Being a Sober Mom is Challenging
Being a mother is a rewarding experience, but it can also feel like a difficult full-time job. Living a sober lifestyle after addiction treatment is also challenging. Being a sober mom who is working a program of recovery? Well, that can seem downright impossible at times. Hats off to all the ladies out there who are raising children and living a life of recovery, one day at a time!
Because we understand the difficulties women with children confront in their pursuit of a new way of life, we want to help. At New Directions for Women, we know that one of the greatest challenges sober moms face is finding childcare so they can attend AA meetings regularly.
In this article, we will provide information to help recovering moms get the support they need by discussing AA meetings with childcare.
Find an Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting Near You
To find an AA meeting that offers childcare, you have to find a meeting in your area. Every county in America offers different self-help meetings at different times in different places. You probably want to find a meeting location that is close to where you live. You will also want to look for a meeting time that is convenient for you.
Every now and then, you might come across a meeting on a schedule that will indicate that childcare is available. However; you will generally have to go the extra mile to find (or create) opportunities where you can attend a meeting while your child is being looked after.
Don’t get discouraged if it seems at first glance like the meetings in your area don’t offer childcare. Just because it is not indicated on the meeting schedule doesn’t mean you’re out of options.
Childcare is Often Available at the AA Meeting Place
Meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous are usually held at churches, community centers, and other non-affiliated facilities. These places rent out meeting space to AA groups for a small fee. This allows recovering people the opportunity to enjoy a safe space where they can share their experience, strength, and hope with one another.
They sometimes provide childcare free of charge for sober moms. Children will usually meet in a playroom that is supervised by one or more volunteers or a paid staff member from the church or community center.
When searching for a new AA meeting, you can find out the location of the meeting place on a meeting schedule. Then, you can contact the facility directly and ask if they offer free childcare during the meeting time.
Members of AA Are Sometimes Available to Provide Childcare
In some areas, there are AA clubs dedicated to providing AA meetings and opportunities for recovering alcoholics to enjoy fellowship. At these facilities, the group does not share their space with any other organization. It is run by that particular AA club. Some of these clubs are open 24-7 and offer childcare to members during meetings.
At an AA club, your child will be looked after another recovering alcoholic who has volunteered to help sober moms by watching their children during a meeting. (In our experience, this person is almost always a woman). Sometimes, this happens in an area that has been designated for children – one that offers games, toys, coloring books, and other fun activities.
Ask Your Sponsor or Another Recovering Woman to Provide Childcare
Alcoholics Anonymous is program that focuses on service to others. You may not be able to find “official” childcare at an AA meeting, but you can oftentimes build relationships and ask another recovering woman to watch your child during a meeting. If she is also a Mom with young children, you may want to trade off child care and attending the actual meeting. Many women are happy to do this because they know how difficult self-care and getting to meetings can be for a recovering mom.
Ask your sponsor for guidance in this area. She may be willing to provide childcare while you are attending a meeting. Or, she might know another sober mom who would be interested in taking turns with you so that you can both attend meetings without your children present on alternating days.
If your sponsor is unable to help, ask around the program. Chances are, you will be able to find someone you trust to watch your child during a meeting.
You Can Always Take Your Child With You to a Meeting
We agree that taking a child to an AA meeting is not ideal. However, it can be an option. You can set them up with earplugs and allow them to watch a movie or play a game on your phone during the meeting. This will keep them entertained and distracted.
Online Meetings Are Always an Option For Sober Moms
Lack of childcare does not have to be a barrier to recovery. If you have exhausted all resources to find childcare so you can attend an AA meeting, but have come up empty-handed, you still have the option of attending meetings online. This is also a great option if you don’t feel comfortable bringing your child to a meeting with you.
Thousands of people attend daily AA meetings online. These meetings typically follow the same format as a face-to-face AA meeting. The only difference is (obviously!) they are held online. They usually last an hour or an hour and a half. Many people prefer online meetings because they enjoy attending meetings from the comfort of home.
Online meetings are ideal for sober moms who can’t find childcare. Here is a comprehensive online AA meeting schedule.
You can also chat online or text when you need support from other people in recovery.
Meeting-Makers Make It
AA meetings are vital to the recovery process. They offer support and give you the tools you need to enjoy a life in sobriety. Meetings provide direct access to the message of recovery, which will help you stay sober one day at a time. Attendance should be a priority.
Finding childcare may be difficult at first – especially if you are new to the program and you don’t know anyone. However; if you will put forth a little bit of effort, we are confident you will find a solution that works for you. There is a Thursday night AA meeting held at the New Directions for Women residential addiction treatment center in Costa Mesa, CA on Thursday nights that offers free childcare. For more information, send us a message using the contact form on the website.
We understand that being a sober mom is demanding, but you CAN do it. We believe in you!