Mothering Sunday is a day of celebration for mothers and all that they do for their children. But, for those whose mothers struggle with alcoholism, this day can be fraught with difficulties. Alcoholism wreaks havoc in all relationships. Mothers are no exception. Children of alcoholics have often done more caring for their parents than being cared for.
Knowing that your mother came up short for you can, understandably, cause feelings of resentment, anger, bitterness, sadness, guilt and hurt. People struggling with alcoholism can be extremely unreliable and unpredictable. They might be drunk, hung over or just fine. but it’s the unpredictability that can be so unsettling and stressful when you’re trying to plan.
Coping with the challenges of Mothering Sunday when your mother is an alcoholic can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to make the day more manageable.
- Acknowledge your feelings: It’s normal to feel a range of emotions, such as anger, sadness, or resentment, if your mother is an alcoholic. Acknowledge these feelings and don’t judge yourself for having them.
- See the mother she is beyond the disease of alcoholism. Behind all the challenging behaviour is the mother she really wants to be. Deep down she likely yearns to be a better mother to you, both now and in the past. See that deeper loving person.
- Set boundaries: If you don’t feel comfortable spending time with your mother on Mothering Sunday, it’s okay to set boundaries. You could explain your reasons for not being able to spend time with her and offer an alternative date to celebrate together.
- Seek support: Reach out to family members or friends who understand your situation and can offer support. You could also consider joining a support group for people with alcoholic parents.
- Focus on self-care: Take care of yourself by engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. This could be spending time with friends, exercising, or practicing mindfulness.
- Practice forgiveness: Forgiveness can be a powerful tool in healing relationships. However, it’s important to note that forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or excusing your mother’s behaviour. It means letting go of anger and resentment to find peace within yourself.
- Seek professional help: If you’re struggling to cope with the challenges of Mothering Sunday or your mother’s alcoholism, consider seeking professional help. A therapist or practitioner of CET can help you release any of the hurt, anger, sadness, etc that you might have from past trauma.
Coping with Mothering Sunday when your mother is an alcoholic can be difficult. However, by acknowledging your feelings, setting boundaries, seeking support, practicing self-care, forgiving, and seeking professional help, you can make the day more manageable and find peace within yourself. Remember, you’re not alone, and there are resources available to help you.
You might consider reaching out to a Certified CET practitioner. CET clears painful emotions and trauma from the past in a matter of hours where other modalities might take years. It also increases your emotional resilience. You can find out more about our CET programmes by clicking here.
Dr Lisa Turner