Today, I am heartbroken. My oldest child needed help, and I could do nothing but listen. I understand that a big portion of being a responsible parent, is to teach our children to be able to stand on their own. I get that, but it hurts none the less, to see your baby suffer. I know he is 21, and is larger than I am, so I marvel at the fact that I sustained this man during pregnancy. No one ever warns moms about the crazy disconnect of feelings that we can have over the years. Maybe people tried; I wasn’t listening. I was living life and having more kids and getting divorced, married and divorced again.
All of a sudden, the problems that appear in the lives of our once tiny babies are real. We can only love them and listen to them. Often, as in today, there was nothing I could do to help.
I just want to make it go away. This problem has started me thinking though. At any point in the past decade or so, have I put myself and my own problems ahead of my kids? Have they suffered any unnecessary pain, or issues because my life has been less then perfect?
Great! I found another reason to beat myself up.
Somewhere along the line, have I stopped being the best mom I can be, to focus on my own problems? Am I failing all around? Clearly I failed at marriage 101 & 102. But is that all? With all that has gone on in the last decade, have I failed my family?
What is the measure of success?
If it is perfection, then maybe we all fail to some extent. Seeking perfection only leads to more pain.
I have spent a great deal of time thinking about my own childhood. I loved my parents. I wish they were still here. I would probably like them a great deal more now as I age. I understand them better now. I hope my own kids can somehow encapsulate the lessons and the values to be stored for later use.
While I had a pretty decent childhood, I actively sought to not do some of the things that my parents did. I have tried to raise my kids without interfering in the people they are deep down inside. My own parents interfered so in my career path and dating life, that I am sure I ended up with a very different life than if they had been a little more hands off.
I have also decided to love who they love. My own mother caused me a great deal of pain over a relationship during my college years. She could not see past religion, which for her, was the deciding factor. My own expectations are higher, and I am determined to allow my kids the chance to let me meet and love whomever they choose to be with. I do this on a daily basis with my oldest and his GF.
I try so hard to be my best, and I am sorry for any times when my own problems have distracted me.
I have spent the last several hours reviewing our lives and thinking. Is there any time where I might have acted differently? The answer of course, being yes. The good thing is that for the most part, I think I have done my job. I have managed to remain focused on the BIG issues, and I have not lost sight of my priorities as a parent – A Single Parent, who is very much alone as a care-giver. While I am luckier than many, in that he pays what he is obligated to pay, it might have been nice over the years to have another parent to parent with.
So, tomorrow is another day. I am sure I will find some other reason to smack myself around. For today, I am done. I have 3 happy, healthy, respectful kids who respect the world around them.
For today, all is good with my world.