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Question
Posted by: LadyBelle | 2011/09/28

How do I learn to be a mother again?

Dear CS

Four years ago my mom passed away during a time when my husband and I were separated. At the time, I was taking care of 3 kids on my own. I needed to be with people my own age. Met up with the wrong friends. Got hooked on drugs. Lost my job, had to let my 2 sons live with their gran and my daughter with her dad while I basically roamed the streets. All of this happened in less than a year, but I also pulled myself together the same year and seeked help. I am still battling to get things back to the way it were before I messed up. I am now back with my husband and my daughter. My sons are still with their gran, until I can afford to have them back with me. Also they are not my husband kids, but their dad passed away.I am still battling to find a job. There are many issues, but my immediate concern is my eldest son. Its his last year at school and he needs guidance and love. Ok they all need love. I dont know how to give it. I lost all ability to feel. Im cold. I just dont know how to get things back to the way it was before. Im like a lost child and dont know how to be a mom anymore. How do I get myself back so I can be a mom to my kids.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Lets not confuse needs and wants. In the situation you found yourself in, you wanted to be with people your own age ( this isn't compusory, either as a feeling or an action ). And as you found, you sank out of the level of life you had achieved, and now need to work hard to recover the sort of position you once had.
Maybe you're not as Cold as you think ( you're being rather hard on yourself )- are you saying you never ever loved your children ( that seem awfully unlikely )or that you lost track of love and how to do it, during your unpleaant wandering time.
Seeing a counsellor could be really useful, if you can arrange that. Otherwise, spend time with the boys, chat with them about their interests and concerns, emphasize that you care about them and regret what happened and want to get to know them. Mention, perhaps, as they sem old enough to understand, that it feels a bit strange after the interval, and you want to learn how to show love to them again. Your current difficulty seems to be more in not knowing how to act lovingly, rather than in now feeling any love

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: LadyBelle | 2011/09/28

Thanks so much for the advice, guys.

@Albert Thanks for reminding me about the NA Group they were positively instrumental in my recovery. And since I cant afford a professional counsellor, nor do I have anyone to talk to or support.

Reply to LadyBelle
Posted by: Albert | 2011/09/28

Hello Ladybelle - try to not put too many demands on yourself. Remember its like learning to walk again after you are coming back from where you have been. Also you must try and identify if your own feelings of guilt are getting in your way of expressing yourself. And I would not be surprised if your confidence is at a low level and you need to build this up slowly. It looks like you have a lot of support around you but these are all people who are emotionally involved with you so as CS says a counselor could help. You can also contact Narcotics Anonymous as they will help you with support meetings and someone you can be in contact with everyday for support. Also you can try some of your local church groups. Congrats on where you are today and all the best...

Reply to Albert
Posted by: Romany | 2011/09/28

Start by being their friend.

Reply to Romany
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/09/28

Lets not confuse needs and wants. In the situation you found yourself in, you wanted to be with people your own age ( this isn't compusory, either as a feeling or an action ). And as you found, you sank out of the level of life you had achieved, and now need to work hard to recover the sort of position you once had.
Maybe you're not as Cold as you think ( you're being rather hard on yourself )- are you saying you never ever loved your children ( that seem awfully unlikely )or that you lost track of love and how to do it, during your unpleaant wandering time.
Seeing a counsellor could be really useful, if you can arrange that. Otherwise, spend time with the boys, chat with them about their interests and concerns, emphasize that you care about them and regret what happened and want to get to know them. Mention, perhaps, as they sem old enough to understand, that it feels a bit strange after the interval, and you want to learn how to show love to them again. Your current difficulty seems to be more in not knowing how to act lovingly, rather than in now feeling any love

Reply to cybershrink

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