How Cannabis Made Me a Better Mom
My journey through motherhood, and my realization of cannabis benefits.
Growing up, I thought the same thing about "stoner moms" that most people seem to believe. They're lazy, unmotivated, and selfish. I thought that pretty much any parent that smoked marijuana was incapable and unfit. I didn't hate people who smoked. In fact, most of my friends were daily smokers, but I was always uneasy when they had children. Not that they ever smoked around them, I just felt uncomfortable, like it wasn't right.
I was never really into smoking as a teenager. I tried it once when I was fifteen, but it was laced with methamphetamine's so, needless to say, I refused to touch it again until I was 19.
I started smoking when I met my son's father. He had convinced me to quit, cold turkey, my long-time love affair with pills and alcohol. And the five months that I was sober were the worst days of my life.
I have severe PTSD and moderate bipolar disorder (apparently coupled with the PTSD as a mechanism to reduce the anxiety and panic attacks as told to me by a therapist), but I always refused medication. I was afraid of being labeled as "crazy" or being unable to function. At least with the pills I was taking I was able to control myself and could function normally, or so I thought.
After those agonizing five months, my son's father convinced me to "hit the bowl." And, it was the best decision I ever made.
My Struggles Through Motherhood
Of course, I quit after a year-and-a-half due to becoming pregnant. I tried desperately to reel in my feelings, keep from exploding. I was constantly on the verge of a panic. It was not a fun time, not to mention the unknown harm it did to my child. My son was born healthy and I assumed everything was over. We were going to be a perfect and normal family. But I had no idea how my life would spiral.
My son's father and I lasted four months, after being together two-and-a-half years, after our son was born. He shook him at two weeks, told me he was "crushing" on his bosses daughter but she was way out of his league, and constantly ignored our son. After we broke up, things became extremely inconsistent until he finally stopped coming around.
Due to my panicky nature, and unrelinquishing fear of being alone, I moved on fairly quickly. That was when I met my daughter's father. We worked together and he seemed fairly secure and very nice. Five months later, I got pregnant. After we discovered that I was pregnant, I saw a different side of him. My son and I had moved in with him at this point and I noticed he spent 23 out of the 24 hours a day away from home or in the garage. That was when I found out he was on drugs.
I didn't know what to do. This guy who had seemed so great started berating me, threatening me, manipulating me, and cutting me off from everyone I've ever loved. He had gotten me so brainwashed, that he had even guilt-tripped me into a marriage that I knew, deep down, we weren't ready for.
Things just kept getting worse until we had no choice but to separate. He came to visit his daughter a few times, but once I mentioned a drug test, he just disappeared.
My Realization of Marijuana
I was at my lowest. I was depressed, panicky, possessive over my children, and obsessive over small things. I was a single parent, completely on my own, with no one to turn to or talk to. I had never felt as overwhelmed and alone as I did at that point. I turned to completely shutting down when things got so bad that I couldn't handle them (which was often), and could do nothing but sit in one spot and stare at one point for what seemed like hours, only getting up to do the necessities (cleaning up, getting food for my kid's, etc.). This went on for months!
Then, one night, a friend of mine came over. It was the first time in months I had had any contact with anyone besides my kid's, so I was a little stir-crazy at this point. My children were asleep and we went out to the front porch, and she asked if I'd like to hit a bowl.
I used to smoke with her all the time, but now that I was a mother, that would be completely unacceptable...right? I was overwhelmed and frustrated and wanted desperately to relax... Maybe just one.
The Benefits of Cannabis
A few hits later, I was ten times calmer, 20 times happier, and a million times more capable of self-reflection! I saw how I had, technically, been ignoring my kids. Not their needs, but I honestly couldn't remember the last time I had sat and played with them, or talked to them. It felt like the last few months had been a complete blur and now my kids are five months older and I missed almost all of it.
Why did I think mothers who smoked were so horrible? I had just smoked and nothing happened other than me being a lot calmer, happier, and able to handle the stress I was under. I could manage my time more effectively (I actually drew up a schedule that night and have followed it ever since), I realized how I needed to spend more time with my children, and it was a lot easier to get things done.
My PTSD and bipolar seemed to melt away. I no longer felt constantly on the verge of tears or exploding. I was able to think my feelings and thoughts out rationally, think before I spoke, and not feel impending doom over an uncontrollable situation.
I now smoke every couple of nights (for the past six months) and I couldn't be happier with the results. I am a calmer mom, I started my own business, I'm a freelancer doing what I love, I have been certified and started college and have maintained a GPA of 3.4. I have more self-confidence and I am no longer terrified of being alone; quite the opposite actually. Marijuana has shown me the joy of just being. Just existing with my children and in this beautiful mess of a world. I'm no longer pessimistic.
I never feel the need to be under the influence around my children, and I have never smoked in front of them (what I thought was inevitable before, was proven false). Only at night, once they are in bed. I couldn't be happier and more grounded than I am right now. I am finally on the right track and providing my kids with what they deserve.