Parenting through addiction: ‘It strips you as a mother but builds you back up’

 Woman and ChildAnn Marie Taylor with her son Jayden (2): During her time in Ashleigh House, Coolmine’s residential centre for women, Taylor was one of the first mothers to pilot  a 10-week Parenting Under Pressure (PUP) programme. Photograph: Eric Luke

Tue, May 12, 2015   The Irish News


By Sheila Wayman

Living on the streets of Cork and pregnant with her fifth child after the older four had been taken into care, the future looked bleak for Anne Marie Taylor. After a severe beating when she was 12 weeks into her pregnancy, she was admitted to Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) where she detoxed, “mostly off alcohol”. But she was warned that neither she nor her unborn baby were likely to survive if she went back on the streets.

The daughter of an alcoholic mother, who is now sober, she reckons she started drinking at about 11 years of age: “We’d get a sup of it to keep you warm.” She was addicted to drink and drugs at 13, was locked up in institutions from the age of 14, and imprisoned at 17.

Help and support for addiction is available at Davina’s Ark for the individual and family. If you would like to contact Davina’s Ark you can do so on 02830279407 or

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