How Some Stay-At-Home Mums Struggle with Alcoholism

Staying at home to look after the children may sound an ideal job for many but it can be stressful and lonely at times, especially if the children are in school during the day. For many, this lifestyle can lead to problems with depression or anxiety, which then can lead to an alcohol addiction.

This is exactly what happened to Emma Bushen, a mum of three who ended up downing a bottle of vodka every day while staying at home to look after her children. She admitted that, over the past ten years, her life has been a blur, during which she attacked her husband and even collected the kids from school while drunk. She even remembers attending parents’ evenings while steaming drunk and, to this day, does not know if the teachers realised or if she was able to fool them into thinking she was fine.

Turning to Alcohol

Emma married her husband in 2003, at which time they already had one child. However, after the birth of their second son, things changed. She had suffered an exhausting pregnancy and her new baby did not sleep for longer than an hour at a time until he was two. She was left feeling utterly drained and she began drinking a glass of wine every evening once the children were in bed. However, she soon started to look forward to the drink every evening and it was not long before it was all she could think about. She says that her husband tried to get her to stop drinking but she would not listen and often became aggressive and violent with him. She would wake up the next morning to find him asleep on the sofa covered in scratch and bite marks. However, she still could not admit to having a problem.


With the problem getting worse and her spending thousands of pounds on alcohol, Emma was hiding her addiction from other family members, and her husband would not report the attacks because he was so ashamed. However, in 2006 when she became pregnant again, the family got a reprieve as she stopped drinking immediately. However, she admits that she craved alcohol for the entire pregnancy and, once her daughter was two weeks old, she stopped breastfeeding so that she could begin drinking again.

Less than two years later, her husband moved out because of the emotional and physical abuse; without her husband she moved house and met a new group of friends who she drank and partied with. Her life spiralled out of control and it was left to her oldest son to look after the children. He was not even a teenager but was feeding, bathing and caring for his younger siblings while his mother was either too drunk or too hung-over to do anything about it.

Medical Diagnosis

After an attempted suicide, Emma was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was told that, in order for her medication to be effective, she would have to stop drinking. Her husband moved back in and tried to help her stay sober. However, two months later she relapsed, admitting to feeling a failure. She took another overdose after her husband threw her out and it was after this that she knew she needed to turn her life around. She joined AA and got support from an addiction recovery charity, and has been clean ever since.

Finding Help

If Emma’s story sounds familiar to you then you need to get help. At Addiction Helper, we can get you the help you need. Our expert counsellors and therapists can put you in touch with a suitable rehabilitation programme and offer advice and information on treatments available for your addiction. Call us today.


Who am I calling?

Calls will be answered by admissions at UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step

0800 024 1476calling