It’s hard to not talk about my role as a mother and my journey with alcoholism and sobriety. Motherhood is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and the older my children get, the harder motherhood and sobriety is.
My children push my buttons in every single way, tonight I was talking to my husband about how it feels being a parent, and probably one of the best analogies we could come up with is that it’s like the sensory overload often assimilated with travelling through India. Literally every single day of my life, as a mother of a 2 & 4 year old, they touch my senses, the sound, the mess, the noise, the invasion of personal space, I just cannot escape it.
I keep thinking this role of motherhood and sobriety is going to get easier, but everyone I speak to says that it gets harder and harder, this is something I struggle with comprehending. I thought pregnancy was bad, but now that’s over I thought the newborn phase was hard, but then that was easy in hindsight. My girls current ages are challenging because they are pushing boundaries, demanding my time, trying to win at a power struggle between mother and child and fighting with each other.
Evenings are supposed to be ‘my time’, but we are fighting with a 4 year old who doesn’t want to go to sleep, so the process of getting her down goes on for an infinity.
As a recovering alcoholic, the evenings present a new challenge, a challenge where I am finding myself quite lost, even 6 months into sobriety I struggle at night. You see, as a mother I would look forward to 5 pm every day because this is when I would pour my first glass of wine, irrespective of whether my husband was home or not. The moment the alcohol hit my lips, I felt the weight of the world lift from my shoulders.
In Sobriety, I’ve found myself at a block, the night time hits, but I am paralysed with no ability or knowledge to do anything. I am deeply motivated to try and be productive, do something positive, write, or spend time with my husband, but the stress from the day just leaves me feeling deflated and dejected.
I end up spending my evenings lying on my bed withy laptop on my lap, just trying to unwind, I find myself watching crappy reality TV, or old episodes of TV shows I have watched incessantly.
I wish there was a handbook for how to handle motherhood, and then a chapter on how to handle it as a recovering alcoholic. Some days I feel like I am failing, I am a failure, I am broken and I am empty. My output throughout the day has been so excessive that I can’t reset myself in the evening.
I go to bed every single night with the knowledge that tomorrow will just be a repeat of today, another Groundhog Day where I yell at my children, they don’t listen to me, and I try and get household chores done. I can’t wait till the day I feel fulfilled again.