I started saying I never wanted children around age fifteen. It’s not that I didn’t like kids, I adored them, and they adored me. I was great with kids and made a great aunt and babysitter. I believed myself to be far too damaged to ever pass that DNA on to an innocent child. This was a lie I carried with me.
I was an addict long before I picked up a drug or drink. I was selfish, self-centered, dishonest, and unhealthy from an early age. I knew I couldn’t stay clean long enough to be any good to myself, let alone a baby.
Thank God I found recovery when I did.
Imagine my surprise when, with 60 days clean, I found out I was pregnant. My fiancé and I were using protection, but on my 30-day clean date (God wink!) we forgot. So, now I am a mommy in recovery. Lies shattered, dream realized. My daughter was born on my 10-month anniversary.
Being a mommy in recovery has been so emotional. Being pregnant and newly clean was really hard on me emotionally. Being sleep deprived and confessing the true nature of all your wrongs is well…interesting. A teething infant at a meeting is an experience. A toddler at a meeting is always a good time. No matter what, with some help with a team of other mommies in recovery, I’m doing it.
If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes one to raise an addict as well.
Many experienced mommies were happy to lend a hand or shoulder to help me, and I am happy to help other mommies today.
Staying clean does come first, but I can take it further today. By practicing the principles I’ve learned, I can be the best mommy I am capable of being every day and shed the damaged picture I’ve always had of myself.
I’m simply, beautifully flawed.
This post originally appeared in September 2013.