Being a parent comes with a lot of difficulties. Engaging in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) does as well. Combining these two factors may lead you to experience high levels of stress. At times, it may feel impossible to be a good parent and recover simultaneously, but recovery through parenthood is possible. All of the strength to do so is right in front of you.
What Does a Good Parent Look Like?
To manage the responsibilities of recovery and parenthood, it is important to understand what it looks like to be a good parent. This description may differ depending on your experiences and cultural background. Essentially, ensuring your child is provided with safe and adequate care is a common standard. How this is achieved is up to your discretion.
Think about what you wish to achieve that would help you feel you are a good parent. Set a standard for yourself to follow. These standards can be looked at as goals for parenting. Setting these in place will allow you to recognize what you wish for your child and have a standpoint in place for what a successful parent looks like. As with any goals you set, ensure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
Children tend to follow the example of their parents. Set yourself up to be the role model they deserve. Become a person that you would be proud to see your child grow up to be. Raising a child with these standards in mind will encourage their development and long-term success. Stay involved with their change through this development stage and encourage them to become their best self.
Maintaining Recovery During Parenthood
The stress of parenthood can often encourage the use of substances to cope with these hardships. Ensuring that you have the skills to cope with these stressors in healthy ways can help you avoid falling into a state of relapse. Keep the progress you have made so far in mind and consistently review the recovery goals you have set to keep yourself on track.
Being mindful of the needs of your child is important, but many parents often forget to take their own needs into account. Ensure you have the support and resources you need to continue your success and care for yourself. You are unable to appropriately care for your child if you fail to take care of yourself. Caring for yourself helps both you and your child. Ensuring you are caring for yourself can open up the time for you to develop further knowledge of parenting skills and childhood needs throughout the stages of development.
If you feel that your motivation to continue recovery is depleting, think about the reasons why you are doing this. You likely will find that one of the reasons you chose to recover was for the sake of your child. Many of the reasons may be for your benefit. Recovering from SUD can also have a tremendously positive impact on the life of your child. Using this mentality is a great motivational factor to continue engaging in recovery.
Managing This Balance
While recovery should be the main priority during this time, being a parent is also a top priority. It is important to balance these priorities and ensure you have time for the responsibilities of both.
Express Your Problems
Expressing your problems to your treatment team is a way to help manage this balance. Your treatment team has greater insight into your recovery journey and can help implement appropriate strategies to create a sense of balance. This is a great resource to utilize at any moment that you feel you need an extra level of support and assistance through.
Engage in Holistic Practices
Holistic practices are not the best approach for everyone. However, they can help many people establish a sense of balance.
Learn about the basics of holistic practices and review different ways you can implement them into your recovery. These practices can help you to find a balance between caring for yourself, caring for your child, and maintaining your recovery progress along with any additional responsibilities.
Utilize Family Therapy
Family therapy is a resource that is available to you at our facility. This engagement is a great way to allow all members of the family to address their concerns and set goals moving forward. Your recovery does not need to be a secret to your children. It can be an aspect of learning. Allowing them to process through their relevant concerns and be a part of the process can help to strengthen the family unit as a whole.
Engaging your family in the treatment process has been shown to promote higher rates of success and improved family relationships. Attending family therapy is a great way to get your family and children involved in a controlled setting with the help of your professional team by your side.
Managing the stress involved with being a parent along with the stress of recovery can be overwhelming at times. It may feel that you are incapable of being a good parent in this situation. This assumption is far from true. The fact that you are working to recover is already one step in the right direction. Learn more about what it means to be a good parent, how to assess that, and how you can create a balance in your life with these responsibilities. There are many tips that you can implement to manage these responsibilities. Reach out to Dream Recovery to learn more or to seek family therapy services at (657) 216-7218.