Five Ways Cannabis Makes Me a Better Mom
Disclaimer: I originally wrote this piece in the fall of 2017. As medicinal cannabis was technically legal in California, and I was in compliance with Prop 215 and SB 420 by holding a HelloMD medical card. this was prior to the recreational legalization the following January of 2018. With that said, I was feeling less confident in publicly admitting that I, as a mother, consume cannabis to help me be a better parent. Parts of me wish I published this back then to help other mothers cope with their own socially-induced guilt, but I understand that sometimes we need to take our time until truly ready.
I’m going to start out by saying this- I am a great mother to my little tike, and I owe a lot of my parental success to medicinal cannabis.
Perhaps I’m making a bold statement by using “cannabis” and “parental” in the same sentence, and perhaps that last pun was intended. Either way, considering the physical and mental toll of parenthood in this day and age of parenting, I think medicating with reasonable amounts of cannabis makes incredible sense.
Now I’m not saying parenthood is a diagnosis that should be treated with cannabis. No way do I believe that. Parenting is just the way it is, but don’t we deserve to know about plant medicines that can help us get through it well? And hey remember this, this is only a narrative. A story I’m sharing with you about a mom who likes pot.
So here I’ve broken down the five main ways in which cannabis helps me become a better mom. My hope is that you may reconsider cannabis as a natural and safe, spiritual-enhancing medicine herb rather than an irresponsible and dangerous drug.
1. I calm down
First and foremost, I calm the heck down. Some days, when life has me by the ovaries and the bills are stacked higher than my income, I can let the stress override me and be in the worst of moods. For me, cannabis makes that bad mood and chaotic perspectives fade away. I can come back to the balanced, best version of myself around my son. Fully present and trouble-free; ultimately humbled.
I’m sure you’ve been there too, right? Where you’re so upset and it has nothing to do with your child, yet your negative energy and nervous tensions seep into them anyway. Smh. We need to do better to mitigate that, yeah? Cannabis helps.
2. I play more
One minute I can be exhausted, withdrawn, and absolutely not in the mood to play, the next I'm belly-to-the-floor enthusiastically playing trains, loudly singing sing-alongs, solving puzzles, and building forts with my energetic baby boy. That's cannabis for you.
It’s not that I can’t achieve this state while ‘sober’ I’m just more likely to be super into it with cannabis. It is then that I have the heightened desire to play whatever it is my son is playing. I am with him- in his world- supporting him and his imagination. And the best part? Since I'm so engrossed in sharing his enthusiasm, he gets deeper into the activities and explores his own identity even more! My presence matters to him, and my enthusiasm supports his ability to thrive.
I also believe it’s my personality that allows for this kind of shared creativity and enthusiasm, it’s just sometimes I can’t reach that side of me because I’m so overwhelmed and/or slightly depressed. When I consume cannabis, I am no longer that defeated adult reluctantly riding along. No, no. I'm in full character ready for any adventure my child throws my way. That is what matters to a little one. Being there alongside them, which leads me to my next point.
3. I’m present
Any good parent can tell you that what matters to a child isn’t just how you treat them when you’re around, or even how much you structure you provide for them. What matters to a child is that you are there with them. Period. A successful parent is all about “being there for the little questions,” as Stephanie, mother to an adorable 3-year-old girl, so perfectly puts. It means you are there witnessing your child’s growth and their understanding of the world around them, in the littlest of detail.
When I consume cannabis, no matter how stressed out I am or how scatterbrained I may feel, I immediately come back to the present moment to take my child in. He is the only one I am focusing on and it is beautiful.
Since I am so present with him, I can remember the little details of our fleeting moments together. I can remember holding his tiny toes as an infant, inhaling the back of his soft neck to let those sweet baby notes fill my senses. I remember slowing time down and just soaking him in as we cuddled in the bed. This will all go away someday, and I refuse to let it pass without my noticing.
4. I listen
Have you ever realized how tired you were that your child is tugging on your clothes yet you don’t notice? Falling back into the theme of noticing the little things, cannabis can help a mom listen to her little ones, even when her mind is a tired mush.
This world can get so noisy that it tunes out our bonds to our young. Cannabis helps me to quiet the mind, the world around me, and tune in to my son’s little ques. What is he trying to tell me? It brings me back to the intuition between babe and mother.
5. I’m grounded
Good parenting is not all fun and games, and by no means should any of us try to be our child’s best friend (I hear you will regret that by the teen years). With this comes consistency, structure, and boundaries… and I can’t say I’m the most structured person. Actually, I have very little structure. I’m more of an airy, go-with-flow kind of gal. So when I use cannabis, I become grounded and level-headed, which gives me the structure and focus I sometimes need when I feel in over my head and all out of whack.
Cannabis helps me set ground rules, and stick to my guns when the little tike is screaming that he doesn’t want to use the potty (when I know he NEEDS to)! It’s no fun cleaning up a wet apartment when I know I should have done a better job of making him sit on the pot in the first place.
So there you have it, five quick and personal reasons I like to use cannabis as a tool for conscious parenting. It is no walk in the park being a parent. Yes, you probably do walk in the park more as a parent, and there are crazy cute moments, but there are also difficult moments that test your capabilities at being a decent human being. I promise.
During those infamously trying toddler times, I either want to snap in an instance or slowly wither way in a shadowy corner, never to be seen again. These sudden onsets of desires are all induced by the need to be a parent 24/7, and how the stress that comes with that responsibility builds up to the brink.
I am telling you, no one tests your human capacity like your own children.
We just need to remember to slow down, take a few deep breaths, become increasingly present, and reevaluate how we consciously choose to show up for our children and take it from there.
All I’m saying here is cannabis helps.