How to be a motherless mom?



My mother began drinking when I was 4 years old, so I have no memory of her sober, much less being a mother. I became a first time mom to perfect boy/girl twins 9 months ago, but I’ve just been winging it hoping I’m doing the right things. I always imagined that this would be a time in my life that my mother would be my go to for support & advice, but I’m finding myself almost grieving the loss of that possibility. She is still actively drinking and I have chosen to not allow her to be a part of my life or my children’s. But how do I fill that void? How do I do this Mom thing with no positive reference? It’s almost like I know what not to do, but am clueless on what I should be doing…other than instinct & google. Feeling abandoned all over again. Can anyone relate or offer any advice?


Congratulations on your babies! I’m sorry to hear that your mom’s addiction to alcohol has made you feel rejected all over again during this new phase in your life. Of course you would want your mom by your side to help you through. To be honest it is one of the fears I have. How to deal with an alcoholic mother and have kids and trying to figure out how to incorporate her in my life. I do not have kids yet but I know it’s something I am going to have to deal with. And I know it will be difficult to look at my children one day and think… how could my mom have left me as a baby? She got severe postpartum depression and ended up leaving when I was 9 months old. I had a very limited relationship with her after I was 4 years old when she started to come and see me and my sister again. The pain is still there and I’m not really sure that part will completely go away but I have started building a new relationship with my mom in the last year. I decided to give up all expectations of her acting like a “normal” mom, never giving up hope that one day she will get sober, but just trying to see and accept her the way she is. Even if she were to never change… I don’t know the severity of your mom’s alcoholism, but if there is a way to reconnect with her it really helps. My mom and I don’t talk about her being drunk or sober anymore. I call her almost every day to see how her day was and what’s going on in her life. Talking about light subjects and laughing together. It’s been really transformative for our relationship. Not perfect of course because there are times when she is really drunk and depressed and it’s difficult to see her that way but she knows I love her no matter what and I think that has helped her open up to me. It’s a long and hard road but I truly believe it is worth it. After all, we only get one mom. I hope this helps. :heart:️:blush:Let me know if you have any other questions.


Congratulations on your twins @Ready! I haven’t had this experience myself but want to chime in because I am really feeling for you. My husband’s parents had a questionable relationship to drinking and it definitely affected his early childhood and his expectations of the world and himself so I know this can have a major effect.

Perhaps we could practice a perspective shift here: remind yourself that being a mother for the first time will always be hard and there will always be so much to learn.

Perhaps also you can work through some of this grief with your partner, siblings, friends or a counselor. I think it’s healthy to acknowledge and it is totally fair to have all of these feelings.

I know @carolzevallos has been very thoughtful about how to engage and develop a relationship with her mother in adulthood on her terms - I wonder if you might share a bit of your experience here?


And I’m sure you’re doing things just fine as a new mom :wink: Don’t be too hard on yourself :two_hearts:


I lost my mom to cancer when I was 24, she was only 44. I don’t exactly know how you feel but I can relate. I was lucky enough to have her when my first 2 babies were little but as they grew I thought I needed her more and more. It was hard, I’m not gonna lie, to not have her to lean on and to help me to be the best mom I could be. But… I know you can do this. Find someone, if you don’t already have someone, to lean on. A special friend, an elder from the church, an aunt. Someone will be there to support you. I now have a 25, 23, 18, 15, and 12 year old, and although I think I would’ve been a much better mom if my mom would’ve been there, I feel they turned out pretty good.
Congrats on your beautifulbabies.


Congrats on the twins! Such a joy!

Reading this question, I wonder if you have any desire to reconnect with your mother, and if so, work on ways to do that in a healthy positive way, as @carolzevallos pointed out! If you don’t have a desire to reconnect, it is also possible (and would be helpful) to work on ways of letting go of the past, while understanding how it impacts the present, so you can move forward with confidence in raising your children. Ultimately I believe knowing what not to do on it’s own is great, because there is no one size fits all to parenting! I’m sure you’re doing a great job, and reaching out for help is only going to benefit you and your children in the long run (you’re already taking steps to get support and advice, but maybe not in the way you may have previously thought). I agree with what others have said about finding support in other positive figures in your life to move through the feelings of loss, this can help fill that void as well. I also wonder if you ever coped with the abandonment you’re experiencing again now? The community is here to support you, and I am as well. Feel free to send me a message for one on one support if you’d like :slight_smile: