As the month in which we officially honor mothers concludes, it is with great enthusiasm that we in the Mid-Atlantic recognize all of our mothers at Demeter House, our innovative residential substance abuse treatment center which serves both women and their children in a comfortable, familial setting. Although the staff and program participants gathered for a special backyard barbecue on Mother’s Day to recognize each other’s strengths and struggles, we aspire to highlight these women’s resilience every day.
Currently, our women’s residential program has two young children living in the homelike treatment setting. One of these children is a newborn—just two weeks old—delivered while her mother was still in treatment. Now, mother and child are able to live together while the mother completes the program. The staff and other program participants are also able to help raise the child, offering support and advice to the mother when needed. Another program participant, a mother herself, even accompanied the new mother to the hospital and was present throughout the birth process, providing a much-needed source of strength.
It is also important to recognize the ambivalence that many of these mothers experience when first seeking residential treatment. Sometimes, they can be emotionally torn, either uneasy about leaving their older children or unsure of living with their younger children while receiving addiction treatment. At the same time, they are confident that, in the long-term, this assistance will be the most helpful for both themselves and their children. This adherence to the treatment plan, despite the struggles, does pay off. Many women who have graduated from the Demeter House program have gone on to establish strong relationships with their children, reconnecting in ways that they never thought were possible.
To all the mothers out there who have completed addiction programs, congratulations and best wishes in your long-term recovery! To all of the mothers who need treatment, but are still unsure—just remember, there is hope through programs like Demeter.