As a child, I experienced neglect from my parents. They did not pay attention to us. They were too involved in what they were doing and were absent most of the time. They did not parent us; they let us do whatever we wanted. Because I did not have good role models for parents, I did the same thing. I did not know anything about being a good mom. I was absent for much of my son’s first year. My son lived with my brother, and I lived day-to-day in a tent or wherever I could find for almost a year. I did not see my son very often and was not a good role model for him. When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I knew I had to do something different.
I was referred to New Phoebe House, where I reunified with my son after ten months of not having him because I had been homeless and using drugs. He was 13 months old, not talking or walking. He would whine to get what he wanted. I did not know what to do, so I held him most of the time. Staff helped me teach him to walk and use words and how to take care of him. I was able to learn to be his mom before my youngest son was born. The staff has really helped me learn how to be a mom. Since my second son was born, they have helped me cope with being a new mom to two children. I was not used to having a child and now I have two. It was really hard, but the staff are helping me.
New Phoebe House is helping me become a parent. Before New Phoebe House, I was more worried about myself than what my son needed. At New Phoebe House, I can provide a safe place for my one-year-old son and newborn son while I learn what I need to stay clean and sober and be a good mom. I can now bond with my children and provide basic needs for them.
New Phoebe House staff take the time to give us guidance on what we need to work on. Through parent coaching, I learned that in order to bond with your child you have to spend time with them and get on their level. You have to be consistent and use time-outs, so they learn. A mother has to be the guide and show her children love so they thrive. Through parent coaching I have also gained knowledge about my sons’ development so I can respond to their needs better. I have learned that it is important to put my kids first, no matter what.
Without New Phoebe House, I would be without my children, homeless, and still using drugs. I would not know how to be a mom.