Entering Rehab as a Mother

There is a heavy burden of care on mothers. Despite the changing world, patriarchal traditions still permeate society, and expecting mothers to heroically balance work and family is one of the most obvious ones.

Though parenting can be rewarding, it is also stressful, and substance use can become a way to cope. Occasional use may not be a problem, but ongoing use and addiction can negatively impact mother and child. There are already too many stigmas around entering rehab as a mother and, coupled with the stigma of mental illness, it can all seem overwhelming.

However, women can overcome the barriers to seeking addiction treatment with the right help.

Rehab Programs for Women With Children

Addiction affects mothers uniquely because they are prone to stressors like negative emotions, perfectionism, relationship difficulties and low self-esteem. Substances like alcohol and drugs become a coping mechanism, making it harder to acknowledge the necessity of seeking recovery treatments.

Since sex and gender can each play a role in how addiction manifests and presents itself, choosing a treatment option depends on several factors, including:

  • Treatments and therapies offered
  • Options for aftercare and sober living
  • Affordability and payment plans

External factors, such as who will care for children, can become additional barriers for mothers seeking rehab. Luckily, there are many options available for recovery.

Dual Diagnosis

Mental illnesses like depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder can relate closely to addiction and substance use. Those who live with mental illness — like depression, bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder — along with addiction require treatment for both issues. Ignoring one issue can make the other worse, so treating both simultaneously is critical.

Dual diagnosis treatment aims to tackle the unique symptoms of people who live with both mental illness and addiction. Approaches vary based on the combination of mental illness and addiction, and involve a range of therapies — individual and group therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy — and treatments specialized to an individual’s needs.

Inpatient Rehab

The most intensive form of rehab is inpatient rehab, in which the client remains at an addiction treatment facility for a minimum of 30 days. The amount of time spent in an inpatient facility correlates with a lower risk of relapse upon discharge.

Tranquil Shores maintains a 3-to-1 ratio for clients and counselors, which means there is one counselor for no more than three people. A small client-to-counselor ratio allows clients to get personalized care, more supervision and increased safety.

Recovery from addiction is intensely personal, and our 3-to-1 ratio ensures clients can develop deep connections with counselors to better aid them.

Our inpatient rehab also involves an Integrated Recovery Model consisting of structured programs that address the client’s physical, mental, emotional, behavioral and social aspects to prove a well-rounded package of solutions aimed to help you reclaim your life.

Inpatient rehab is ideal for anyone who is looking to recover from chronic addiction, and it is the best way to treat a dual diagnosis, since it allows staff and counselors to more accurately keep track of the client’s well-being. Facilities offering inpatient rehab provide lodging, nutritious meals and other amenities for their clients to supplement ongoing treatment.

Outpatient rehab allows clients to seek addiction help while remaining with their families. However, since you will still be able to interact with the world at large, there is an increased risk of encountering triggers that challenge sobriety. This level of care is offered to our clients as a step down approach in order to stay connected after completing the inpatient portion of treatment.

Sober Living Homes

Often, people find that they need a step down between inpatient care and returning to everyday life. Sober living homes intend to help clients transition out of rehab.

It can be daunting to return to a world full of triggers and stressors after spending weeks or months in a safe, monitored and structured space, and some clients worry that they won’t be able to stay sober once they leave the inpatient program.

Transitional living allows clients to address any concerns they have regarding transitioning back into daily life by providing the option of a safe space where they can maintain their treatments and pursue employment as they return to their everyday tasks.

Bonding With Your Child While Healing

While recovery is the priority for mothers who enter rehab, worry about children is inevitable. Mothers recovering in treatment programs might fret about the well-being of their children and may fear the physical space between them will result in emotional distance as well.

Tranquil Shores allows visitation and daily phone calls with young children, but we also understand that there’s more to maintaining that bond.

Include Children in the Recovery Process

Addiction doesn’t only impact you and your life. It has a profound effect on the lives of your family members, especially children. Open communication is crucial and can include keeping your children updated on your recovery.

Family therapy allows children to see their mother in recovery while also aiding the process.

The group dynamic of family therapy lets counselors see how the children interact with their mother and vice versa, which helps them get a better idea of what the family dynamic is. At Tranquil Shores, we also offer family counseling to help address any difficulties that may arise as a result of having a family member in rehab.

Maintaining connections is crucial to recovery, so at your request, our staff is able to provide your family with weekly updates, via email or telephone, about your recovery process. We believe family plays a significant role in recovery from addiction, and a robust familial support system is irreplaceable.

Use the Seven Cs

Because addiction, especially when coupled with mental illness, is so complicated, children may not understand everything that is happening — or they may get the wrong idea. The Seven Cs are a good rule of thumb for discussing addiction with children and helping them understand that they are not at fault.

  • Cause: Your child should understand that they did not cause you to become addicted by doing or not doing something. Children whose mother is in recovery need to grasp the fact that they’re not to blame for their mother’s illness, and that you still love them unconditionally.
  • Cure: Once children accept that they aren’t responsible for the situation, they may try to find ways to fix it. Talk to your children about how addiction is an illness without a cure, and you’re in recovery to learn how to manage it better.
  • Control: Your children may have tried to help control your intake of drugs or alcohol to keep you from using substances too much, but you need to remind them that you — not they — are responsible for your actions.
  • Care: Remind children that they need to indulge in self-care when necessary.
  • Communicate: Encourage your children to communicate their emotions without fear of judgment. Communication is part of self-care, and children need to know that their feelings are valid.
  • Choices: Be open about the realities of substance abuse and help your children become educated on its harms and risks. Children armed with this knowledge will be able to make smarter choices for themselves.
  • Celebrate: Your child needs to know that seeking recovery for addiction is an act of self-love. Encourage them to find ways to celebrate and express appreciation for themselves.


Bonding with your children while in recovery will help you maintain closeness with them once you leave treatment. Post-recovery can be stressful as you balance returning to your everyday life while avoiding or tackling your triggers, but your relationship with your children and your family will be a huge support system.

With open communication about your feelings and needs as well as theirs, the bond between you and your family will assist your vow of sobriety.

Family Support During Addiction Treatment

It’s impossible to overemphasize the importance of family support in addiction recovery. A familial support system in place to complement your professional addiction treatments can have the following benefits.

  • Respect: Addiction has many negative aspects, and lack of self-respect is often part of it. With a robust family system to support your recovery and uphold your sobriety, you’ll find yourself losing those negative thoughts as you develop a new sense of respect for yourself.
  • Unity: Going through recovery all alone is not impossible, but it can be disheartening. A sense of being part of a group that supports and encourages you to feel secure and safe helps you be open and upfront about your boundaries.
  • Patience: Your children love you, and their willingness to support you as you get healthy is just one example that familial bonds are unlike any other. Both blood and chosen family are more likely to be patient with you during and after rehab, which helps you be more grounded and better able to focus on other aspects of recovery.

How Can Family Members Help?

Mothers in recovery worry about their families, but there are ways families can support the mother and themselves.

  • Education: The best way to dissolve any fears or misunderstandings about something is to learn all about it. Families who educate themselves on the specifics of substance abuse and rehabilitation regarding the member in recovery can not only provide more support, but also help ensure they won’t get overwhelmed by the situation.
  • Therapy: Whether it’s group, family or individual therapy, families must practice self-care, both with and without the recovering client.
  • Encouragement: Positivity can go a long way, so creating and maintaining an environment of praise and encouragement, free of name-calling or judgment, encourages the client to be optimistic about their recovery process.

Family support during recovery reduces the client’s risk of leaving rehab before completing their treatment. It also allows family members to voice any concerns or questions they may have about the rehabilitation process.

Communication reduces the risk of a disconnect between a mother in recovery and her children, and additional family members who may be caring for the children while the mother undergoes treatment allow the mother to fully focus on her health, with little to no distractions.

In addition to keeping families updated on your progress, the staff at Tranquil Shores also guides families with post-rehab preparation by teaching them to become a recovery team to help you maintain sobriety after rehab.

Start Your Recovery With Tranquil Shores

If you’re ready to take the first step to recovery, Tranquil Shores is here to assist. Our addiction treatments are comprehensive and customized, and our 3-to-1 ratio ensures that all our clients receive the attention they need and deserve as part of their rehabilitation.

We care about your well-being and understand that rehab can be a financial strain. That’s why we accept insurance from a wide range of providers, including Cigna, Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield. If you’re unsure whether your insurance will cover your treatment, we provide an easy-to-use form to check.

We are determined to provide high-quality care for adults who seek help with their addictions and mental illnesses. Book an appointment to take a tour of our facility and learn about the programs and activities we offer, or call us toll-free at 877-566-1166 and let us help you reclaim your life.

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