Sadie walked in the room. The circle of adults, shoulders sagging from weariness, all looked as she felt – worn out. Sitting down, she was asked to state her name and why she was there. She chose to stay sitting, as any strength she had left from the days’ activities had been zapped earlier, when she tried to free herself from being locked in the closet earlier that afternoon, by her energetic six year old.
“My name is Sadie Tuckerdout. I am a mother of five and I have nothing left to give.”
Unfortunately, she was in the wrong building and was shooed out and redirected with a ‘Good Luck’ by the only one in the group who looked as if she understood.
There is no 12-step program for weary, heavy-laden parents, but there is hope. A 12-step program implies hope from an addiction. A parent is dedicated to his kids, not necessarily addicted to them. In fact, those seeking a ’12-step’ something or other, truly could be considered dedicated as they are searching for help to either better themselves, their family, their existing relationships, are in need of support – or all of the above.
There is help, but you may have to create it. You can find the support you need. Begin by checking out the neighboring churches in your area. Undoubtedly, there will be parenting classes for all ages, support groups for moms or couples, or a conference coming up that you would be welcome to attend. Every parent struggles at some stage in the role of raising a child and parents needs to know that someone has walked that road before them and made it through with their sanity intact. All the churches I’ve ever attended won’t trick you into joining if they’re truly there to reach the community and provide support and help.
Does your child have an addiction? Are you overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn? Get into a support group as fast as you can, with others who are dealing with a similar struggle. There is no replacement for talking to someone who is a little further along the parenthood path. Only they can honestly understand and tell you what has worked and what has not – ideas you may not have even considered.
Being a new mom can be extremely overwhelming. There are many support groups for after the baby is born for new moms. Check with you pediatrician’s office, the hospital information center, the YMCA, and again, churches hold a variety of gatherings for people of all ages and various needs. Baby swim classes and the like connect you with other moms in the same stage of life and are beneficial emotionally and physically for both mom and her little one.
Toddlers keep you on the go 24/7. MOPS, Mothers of Preschoolers, give mom a time to get out and interact with other moms with little ones while allowing playtime for Jr., as well. Click on www.mops.org to find the nearest group near you and begin getting support from moms just like you.
As you hang around your kids’ sports games, extra curricular activities, etc., you are bound to meet other parents who have like frustrations and issues. There are two blessings to this right away. First, you do not feel isolated and alone and as if you are the only one struggling. Someone else is there with you and you slowly begin to realize something truly wonderful… You are normal! Second, you may need to be bold if you’re more of an introvert, but invite the other mom for tea and make a new friend! My kid’s best friends’ moms actually became my best friends and family outings increased in attendance and were always a blast.
There may not be a 12-step program for parents, but parents need support and the sooner you step out and get it – join a group, invite another mom for coffee – the sooner you’ll see… you’re not alone.