National Eating Disorders Association
Blog

A Mother's Day Message

Chelsea Kronengold, MA, Program Coordinator

This Mother’s Day, we want to thank all the wonderful mothers (and mother figures) for their unconditional love and support when caring for a loved one with an eating disorder.

I want to give a special shout out to my own mother, Debbie, who played – and continues to play – a crucial role in my recovery.  Like many children struggling with eating problems, my mother was the first person to call attention to my concerning eating behaviors. She was the one who had the difficult conversation with me about seeking treatment, and while I was in treatment, she was willing to do whatever it took for me to get healthy. Once I was well into my recovery, my mother continued to support my eating disorder activism by fundraising, volunteering, and walking by my side when I coordinated NEDA walks in my community. She even joined me at a NEDA conference in an effort to learn more about eating disorders and connect with other family members in similar situations.

There are many mothers out there, like my mom, who are supporting and caring for a loved one with an eating disorder. At NEDA, we know it can be frustrating when you want to help your child, but don’t know where to start. In an attempt to address some of these questions and concerns, we have compiled a list of resources available for parents and loved ones:

  • Parent Toolkit is a comprehensive resource for parents and family members that guides you through the overall process from having a conversation to paying for treatment.
  • Parent, Family & Friends Network (PFN) supports families and friends of those struggling with an eating disorder by providing personal connection and resources that fit your needs.
  • NEDA’s Forums offer a safe and welcoming place to connect with others who are supporting a loved one.
  • NEDA Navigators program connects people trying to navigate the systems and emotions involved with seeking help for an eating disorder with a person who is in strong recovery (or has a loved one now in recovery).
  • Last, but certainly not least, the NEDA Helpline (1-800-931-2237) is a free and confidential resource for parents and loved ones to talk with trained volunteers who are ready to offer basic information, locate  treatment options in your area, or help you find answers to any questions you may have.

If you are a mother (or caregiver) working through a loved one’s eating disorder, it is important to focus on your own mental health while supporting your loved one. Educate yourself on the complexities of eating disorders, set aside time for your own self-care, focus on your own emotion regulation, and develop problem-solving strategies so that you can manage your child’s eating disorder in addition to your own distress and concerns.

Mothers, we know navigating a loved one’s eating disorder is no easy feat, and we thank you for your fortitude and compassion. And to my own mother, I would not be where I am today without you. Thank you for being my rock, my cheerleader, and my greatest ally in everything I do, including my ED recovery.