Everyone has struggled. Money, love life, health, relationships with family, friends, job – it comes from everywhere. As a parent, you not only have your own struggles but those of your children as well. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for a long time. I remember my medications most days, and that helps, but how do you medicate against other people’s struggles? Or perhaps, you medicate because of other people’s struggles? I’m not sure. My children are struggling – each in their own way(s), and it hurts my heart so much. When I was pregnant with them, I made sure to eat right, never drank or smoked, gave up caffeine, and just in general – took care of myself for them. When they were born, I nursed them, co-slept, read up on brain development and tried to make sure they were happy, healthy babies. Their milestones were all on time, and I began to homeschool them as soon as they were ready to, never caring about what age they “should” be doing stuff because I knew my children and their capabilities.
I accept that I did fail them in some ways. Ways that I didn’t foresee. I stayed in a toxic relationship because I thought they were happy, that they were being nurtured and cared for by two parents. I was wrong on that – and I’ll never be able to make it up to them. I failed in homeschooling them past the point where I felt I could comfortably do so and they fell behind, which should not have been a problem – but their father made it the problem. They are caught up now because they were put into public school, which has then introduced them to more struggles beyond what they were ready for. Labels are put on them in school files, meetings are set, plans made. When one child has an issue, it becomes my issue because I do not know how to separate myself from their problems.
I tried to do everything I knew how to do to make sure my children had a GOOD START. A good, healthy, happy childhood… one they could look back upon with smiles. As it turns out, I failed. Miserably. If, at the end of my life, I’m asked what I did – that’s what my answer will be. I was a failure at the one thing I thought I was good at.
Shenanigans! You’re an incredible mom. Every parent makes mistakes. No one is perfect. And the rough patches of our lives give us depth and complexity.
This is an opportunity. Model the ability to learn and grow from setbacks. Show them that it’s not the end of the world when things don’t go as planned.
Model the inner fire and strength that is their birthright… because you are their mother.