Confessions of a failed mom…
“Momma” it’s all I wanted to be….
I have two beautiful grown children of my own that I love with most of my heart. Wait… what, most?
OK so I can’t love them with ALL of my heart, if I did then how would I have room to love others? I have been “mommy”, “mama”, “mum”, “Mommaboomkin” (one of my gaming names 🙂 ), momma and various other forms of the word “Mom” including my current title “Bonus Mom”.
I love being a mom.
I can say without a doubt it’s the most rewarding job in the world. For those who choose not to be a mom to a human but choose to be a mom to something other than a human… you know exactly what I’m talking about too so don’t let anyone tell you that you are less of a mom because you choose to have one with fur, feathers, scales, slithers, is slimy or is creepy crawly.
This post is hard to write but since I’m being honest, I gotta get this out.
Currently my grown son is not talking to me, hasn’t for a few years. Why? I honestly don’t know.
He got his first job, moved in with my parents (whom I do not have in my life anymore) and he went to see his father (whom chose not to be there for his children as they grew up) before he got married and all of a sudden, I’m no longer being spoken to. But here is what I need to say….
I failed you as a parent, I admit it.
I didn’t want my kids growing up the way I did. I thought that giving them love and support to be independent would be a good thing but it wasn’t. I should have made them rely on me more. I should have isolated them and restricted them more. I shouldn’t have allowed them to express themselves and think for themselves. In the end what happened? When they came of age they made it clear I was no longer needed. It seemed to have backfired.
By the way, I truly do not feel that what I did was the wrong thing. I had no support system, only a system of people judging me by the lack of ability to keep a job for long periods of time and didn’t understand the struggles of a single parent. I was supposed to be the do all, be all, and if I reached out for help…I was a lowlife human being for not being able to do it all alone.
While I was attempting to focus my efforts on being your mom, I lost me.
Every time I started to think and make decisions beyond raising you….I messed up.
While I looked for what was missing in my life, tried to be super mom, find my lost self, fit into this mold that my own parents and society had placed upon me… I kept changing. In that change I kept trying to go back to being super mom and at times I was really good at it. But it wasn’t enough…I’m sorry.
I love you both very much and you both have literally kept me alive.
You have always been my reason to live. I have attempted to have other jobs, to find who I am, what am I good at? I’m a mom. As much as I don’t want that to be the only thing I am or what defines me….. It’s the only job I keep going back to and love the most. I need to be a mom.
I know that you have moved on in your lives
I am so incredibly proud of both of you and all that you have accomplished. It’s very hard for me not to be a part of that anymore or as much. I know that you are hurt and may feel that you’ve been replaced, but you haven’t. It’s impossible to love you with all of my heart; I have to have room for others. You didn’t need me anymore is the message I was getting and I need to be a mom.
My second chance at real love
I am incredibly lucky to now have a man in my life who loves to be a dad as much as I love to be a mom. I’m sorry that my supporting his need to be a dad took me away from you and moved me across the country. We truly only moved across the country so that he could fight to be able to see his kids. I commend him for that. I am so glad that we did and I wished that you could see the importance of why life brought us on this journey.
See, I did what so many others have said they wanted to do. I totally packed myself up and moved across the country. My kids were grown. (My daughter had just turned 18 and at the time made it clear she did not need me)
I was so lost when we first moved there.
I had no kids to take care of. All of the memories of raising my kids would flood back to me and you would think that was a glorious thing…. And it was. But then depression would hit and it would hit hard….. My life was over, I wasn’t needed anymore. I had done my job, failed at it and now had to live with that failure.
Then our lives took a turn for the worse, you know that old saying…. It’s darkest before the dawn? We still had not been successful at our goal of my man being able to see his kids after more than a year being there. But, we never saw this coming and it blindsided us; we were not prepared for it at all. We found out that my sweet man’s ex wife was sick….very, very sick. Cancer.
It was his mom who called to tell him.
I can only hope that the father of my children would feel the same way about me that I saw my man feel at that moment when he was told.
I saw the man who had had so much anger towards the woman that kept him from his children fall to his knees in devastation and weep. There was no joy in what she was going through, there was no celebration that something so horrible was happening to her…. No this man pulled every ounce of love that he once had for her and openly, with raw emotion cried like I’ve never seen a man cry.
The love for the mother of his children, someone so important in their lives and cannot and will not ever be replaced showed through. He called to let her boyfriend, someone he once called his best friend, know that if they needed anything at all…. He was there. It was very hard on everyone involved; she lost her fight only 3 months after we found out.
Fast forward through everything that came after that, it wasn’t at all easy, he still didn’t have his kids. But that finally changed 7 months later.
I didn’t know how things would go at first.
Would the kids hate me and think I was trying to replace their mom? We eased into my “parenting” role. I let them gauge their interaction with me but it didn’t take long. I made sure that I let them know that I was never ever, ever going to replace their mom, they only have one.
That’s when I told them I didn’t like using the word “step”… they are not my step kids, they are my Bonus Kids. I have my own… they are a bonus just like they have their mom, and I am a bonus. They loved it! It brings me great joy to hear them explain to others that I’m their Bonus Mom and what that means.
My second chance to be a mom
We were out shopping with the kids one day and our youngest came bounding over with a coffee cup that said #1 Mom. I’m usually the …“No, we can’t get that.” person and I started to say no and then the love of a child looked me in the eye and said… “but you never get yourself anything.” I had to fight back the tears. I had resumed the mommy role. Not thinking of myself, only thinking of my family.
My kids are 10 years older than my bonus kids. We had a talk and I told them that I see them as my “do over kids”. I’m a MOM again. I can take the things that I have learned raising the two beautiful children that I am so proud of and try to see where I went wrong.
I’m just as open with them as I was with mine and I’m still making the same mistakes that I did with mine…encouraging them to be free thinkers and independent. This time though, I have their dad right alongside of me making the same mistakes because evidently he doesn’t see them as mistakes and that means a lot.
It means…. Maybe I wasn’t the failure I thought I was the first time.