You wake up and you don’t even know where to start. You hear your kids downstairs yelling and fighting over breakfast. You need to get up and start the day but you’re exhausted, you feel lost. Every time you close your eyes you’re haunted by the abuse you endured, but you feel selfish even thinking about healing from it. You’ve got kids to take care of and it’s time to let that go.
Mama, if you relate to that, I want you to know I see you.
You’re not alone.
Despite what motherhood culture and your own brain tell you, you’re not only allowed to process through your trauma, you’re encouraged to recover from it.
Recovering from the abuse you went through will not only help you for you, but it will help you be a better mama for your kids.
I know it’s easier said than done.
This post will show you how to make this happen.
Recovery on it’s own is HARD
Before anything else Mama, you’ve got to give yourself some grace. Recovery is a tough, exhausting journey all on it’s own. Even if you weren’t raising little humans in the midst of this journey, you’d have a lot to handle.
The fact you’re a mom AND choosing recovery, girl. You’re a mother loving superhero.
The first thing to realize is that you’re not going to be able to do everything. Recovery is mentally and physically exhausting. Your brain takes a LOT of energy to process through grief and trauma. So you have to give yourself grace if you find that you don’t have as much energy as you’d like.
The next best thing that you can do is have someone that you can talk to. If you have a partner, communicate with them. Tell them that you’re working through things and healing. Let them know that you’ll need a bit more help, even if that help means hiring a babysitter to give you an hour to yourself a couple of times a week.
If you’re a single mom like me, find someone that you can vent to when things get hard. Whether it’s in person or online, having that support system will help you SO much.
Kids and triggers
What I have found to be the hardest part of recovery as a parent is being triggered by your child and not reacting in the best way.
Once again, before I get into the “how to manage this” part, I want to remind you to give yourself grace. You’re going through a lot. You may snap at your kids. You may not be the mama you want to be in that given moment. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that you’re a good mom. You’re working on your own healing journey to make sure that you’re the best mom you can be for them.
If your kids are old enough, explain to your kids what triggers are and why you respond in a certain way.
My son is 6 years old and we have this conversation often. A major trigger for me is being touched without knowing it’s going to happen. Like when people come up behind you for a hug or even just try to get your attention by touching your arm. It sets me off and makes me physically nauseous sometimes.
I explained this to him by saying that God made our bodies very different. His body was created to like LOTS of touch and to not like space. My body was created to NOT like lots of touch and to like a LOT of space. I told him that I’m going to try my best to give his body what it needs by giving him lots of hugs, tickles, and physical games like tag. I told him that he can respect my body by doing his best to use his words before touching me, by asking before coming into my personal bubble, and being as gentle as possible.
Because he’s so young, this conversation happens over and over again. But he catches himself if he doesn’t communicate before coming in for a hug or some other form of touch. He apologizes and knows that my reaction isn’t because I don’t want him near me, it’s because my body is different from his.
Children aren’t going to understand the ins and outs of triggers, and a lot of the time they don’t need to. They just need to know why you react a certain way and how you can help. When you tie in respecting your body and your brain with you respecting their body and their brain, you’re also teaching them that their feelings matter. They want to do the best they can to help you, so as long as you communicate to them about what’s going on, they’re going to try their best.
Show your kids that recovery is possible
The best part of going on this recovery journey while having your kids around is that you get to show them that recovery is possible.
When I’m working through something really heavy, it’s hard for me to not come off like it’s not getting to me. My son wants to make sure I’m ok and asks what’s going on.
I’ve explained to him that there were some not very nice people in my life who did bad things and made me feel really bad. I’m working on not feeling as bad and it makes my brain really tired.
This keeps it clean (there’s no need for a child to know the details of the abuse) but it shares enough information that he knows that I need time to heal.
This is showing him that even when bad things happen, you don’t have to stay angry and in a very sad place. I let him see me read the books, the courses, and do the journaling. I let him see me do the work so then he knows that the work is worth it.
This teaches kids how to be resilient. When we fight our demons, we’re showing them that it’s possible for them to do the same.
It shows them how strong you are and how they can be strong, too.
I know it’s easier said than done. But if I can leave you with one final tip, it’s that resting takes practice. Yes, practice.
For resting to become a natural, disciplined part of your routine, you have to work at it. Just like anything else, you’re going to try, you’ll probably fail a few times, you’ll learn from those failures, and then you’ll grow.
The core of this entire resting concept is grace. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll continue to.
You have to give yourself grace and understanding as you go throughout your journey. If you can commit to this, your brain will thank you.
You have to remember that recovery on its own is hard. As a momma, it’s even more difficult. Work with your kids and teach them how to help you manage your triggers. Remember that you’re doing something wonderful for your kids. You’re showing your kids what strength and recovery looks like. And that’s the best gift you’ll ever give them.
One part of recovery that’s a hurdle to get over is setting and keeping boundaries. When it comes to abuse recovery, we’ve been taught for so long that not only are our boundaries not important, but that we’re not allowed to have them in the first place. That having boundaries means you’re disrespectful towards others.
I’m here to tell you that that’s total BS. Not only are you allowed to have boundaries, you SHOULD have boundaries.
That’s why I put together this mini coaching bundle! Not only do you get my Build your Boundaries course, but you also get a one on one coaching session with me! This means you’re able to take the course and then ask any questions and get coached as to how to apply these boundaries to your life.
Click here to get the details and grab your spot!