Self care for Mothers & for Sons
Many of our mothers are keen to reach out to other mothers going through similar experiences and warn them to take care of themselves.
The ordeals we describe on these pages often drag on for year after year, taking an enormous toll on you, your son and your family. Your health, mental and physical, is extremely important in these circumstances, particularly as you have so many people depending on you.
The MOS mothers have the following advice for you:
Look after yourself; try to keep a normal routine, eat healthy meals, sleep properly and exercise regularly.
Try to find a suitable sounding board or counsellor to debrief or let off steam.
Keep some space for yourself otherwise you will burn out.
Stress is one of the most difficult areas to manage when you find yourself in this supportive role so be aware of signs of depression in both your son, partner and yourself.
You and your son may also experience sleeplessness, nightmares, anxiety and panic attacks. It’s likely you will be very, very angry for a very long time. Try to channel your anger into something productive – like volunteering for Mothers of Sons!
If your son has been accused of sexual assault or domestic violence, you may find yourself losing friends. If you do, they’re not real friends. Real friends will remain and support you and your son – they are worth their weight in gold.
Try not to become isolated. Contact and stay connected to people who have similar experiences – they will support you and have empathy when others have difficulty understanding what you are going through.
Your son may also need counselling/support but take note of the advice given in our section on family law here, pointing out that notes from counsellors/psychologists can be subpoenaed in family law battles and used against your son.
Manage your expectations. Understand that legal suits are complex and move slowly and expect that you will suffer setbacks and disappointments.
The Parents Beyond Breakup website has good advice for people dealing with the challenges of long legal battles here. Here’s one of their suggestions:
A common and easy exercise is to list off all your challenges under the headings of (1) things I can control, (2) things I can influence and (3) things I have no control over. When you’ve done that, work on the items in (1), work on developing your approach to the items in (2) and think of not wasting time, energy and emotion on items in list (3). Set realistic expectations and timescales, and you’re a long way towards managing your situation in the best way.
Download a printable copy of this advice as a PDF