A Sober Mommies Christmas Wish
In May of 2013, I had a silly thought that started with “What if..?”
What if there was a place for women and mothers of all walks of sobriety and recovery to connect? What if there was a safe space for women who were contemplating sobriety to say, “I’m just not ready yet,” and be met with support from thousands of sober women who would understand, respect, and love them where they are. What if there were other sober moms out there who wanted to share their experience and help others without judgement? What if I created a blog called Sober Mommies and invited these women to join me?
It started with one blog post and the support of close friends in the blogging community. Some of my in real life friends laughed at the idea. Some were “supportive,” with a smirk that said, “Yeah, good luck with that.” Some in real life friends said they’d help, but then realized it wasn’t something they could commit to. Honestly, there were days I wondered if I could keep it going. Thank God for my supportive husband. Without his constant belief in me and this mission, I probably would have given up. It made all the difference in those very early months. Serendipitously, I met Rachel via twitter chat and after submitting a few posts, she agreed to come aboard. She has always had a fierce commitment to our mission, and has helped me in so many ways.
What started with an idea and one blog post has turned into a loving, compassionate, and supportive community of not just women, but a handful of men who have found comfort in identification here.
Sober Mommies has become a safe place for so many – a place where the words “should” or “shouldn’t” are not necessary, because everyone has the right to their own journey. It has become a place where there is always someone to listen – someone who genuinely cares. Sober Mommies has become a place where we never have to be alone with our addiction ever again – where you will be told you are loved, appreciated, and understood. It is a place where women in all stages of recovery are celebrated; where the positive strides we make are pointed out if and when we struggle to give ourselves credit. Sober Mommies is a place where you can feel safe to bring all of you…even the parts you may think are completely unlovable. Sober Mommies will love you unconditionally and help you anyway we can.
It is the women of Sober Mommies that make it what it is. It is because of people like you, submitting your stories, reading our blog posts, and sharing them with others, that our community has grown into what it is. Sober Mommies is a safe place because YOU make it a safe place. I know I’m just one woman. I don’t have the power to make or break anything like this. It is the power of “WE” and behind “US” that fuels the Sober Mommies community, and I am so beyond forever grateful for the opportunity just to be a part of it.
In honor and celebration of the power of “WE,” Sober Mommies, Inc., now a registered 501(c)3, is sponsoring a sober single mother and her family for Christmas this year. Recovery as a single mom can be overwhelming enough; without the added worries of providing a memorable Christmas morning for our children. We at Sober Mommies understand this like no one else can, and we want to relieve this stress for one sober mom this year.
I recently reached out to a friend who works with recovering women, and asked if she knew someone who needed help, but probably wouldn’t ask for it. Without hesitation she told me about Jaylee. My friend told me of Jaylee’s strength over the last almost four years she’s known her, and how much she respects her commitment to recovery regardless of the obstacles she’s faced. When I reached out to Jaylee to let her know that we want to help her, she couldn’t even speak. She was overwhelmed with gratitude and told me it sounded too good to be true – that she’s not used to this type of kindness. I told her about Sober Mommies, our mission, and how many of us understood exactly how she felt. She agreed to let us help her.
It is my sincere pleasure to introduce you.
“Hello my name is Jaylee, and I am a 32-year-old mother of three. I battled with addiction for many many years until I just could not take it anymore. I have been sober for almost four years now, and I completely love my life today. I am so happy! I can’t say I regret everything in my past because it has made me the person I am today, who I never thought I could be. I just recently got out of an extremely abusive relationship with my youngest daughter’s father.
We were in a shelter for about five months I got my housing on November 1st of this year. We moved in with nothing. My daughter’s father kept everything I own, including my father’s ashes. I don’t have much support here at all. I am so grateful that Sober Mommies is willing to help me with Christmas this year for my children.
My oldest daughter is 12 years old and at an extremely difficult stage to buy for. All she wants is gift cards to her favorite stores – Justice, Abercrombie n Fitch, Aeropostale, any other stores a preteen would like. She’s also really into sports and loves both basketball and soccer.
My son is three years old he loves trucks, Legos, Transformers, and all learning toys. He is a size 3T-4T a size 7 shoes**.
My baby girl is 10 months. She loves toys that light up, sing, learning toys, and she LOVES Baby Einstein DVDs. She is a size 12mos in clothes** and is growing quickly. She wears a size 2 shoe**.
I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for people out there willing to help people in need around the holidays. I cannot wait until the day comes that I am able to give back and pay it forward!
Thank you so much!!”
I love that Jaylee looks forward to the day she can pay this forward. When I read that, I knew this was meant to be. We may never be able to repay the kindness of those who supported us in our early years of recovery/motherhood, but we can pay it forward in hopes that the cycle of giving and support will continue.
I thank you all, in advance, for your willingness to assist us in making this a hopeful, beautiful Christmas for Jaylee and her children.
A donation of $25 will allow us to provide one of the above wishlist items. Click the picture!!
Sober Mommies, Inc. is a registered 501(c)3, and all donations are tax deductible*. We will be collecting any and all donations between today and December 20th. We will then purchase these items and provide Jaylee with the wrapping paper and gift boxes needed.
If you are in the Massachusetts area and are able and willing to donate any of the actual items on Jaylee’s list, please email Events@sobermommies.ORG to make arrangements for a pick up.
We at Sober Mommies would like to thank you for your support in this project and every day.
*Letters will be provided to those who donate in amounts of $500 or more as required. Letters are available upon request for those who donate items in amount of $500 or less.
**For sanitary reasons, we are able to accept only brand new items.
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Julie Maida has been in abstinence-based recovery since May 2, 2000. She is fiercely determined to advocate for and connect ALL women with the appropriate support and resources necessary to achieve their personal recovery goals. She writes about mothering with mental illness at juliemaida.me.