To my sons

I want to admit to so many mistakes I have made in the past with you two. I want to say first and foremost, I do love you both with all my heart. I know I haven’t always put you and your needs ahead of my own. I see now the results of my mistakes when I was younger and selfish. Your dad and I married when I was 16 and he was 19. He was and still is a very good Christian man. You know he is a good father to you. Our marriage didn’t work because I didn’t want it to. I wasn’t satisfied with my life. I didn’t know what it was that I was looking for, but at the age of 22, I left your father. We agreed on joint custody of you. You were 5 years and 5 months old at the time. I decided to go out and live my teenage years that I never had since I got married at 16. I married another man, that although he was good to you both, was not your father. I compared him to your father for 2 years and he never could be the man your father was, and this led to our divorce. I put my job, not a career, but a job, ahead of your needs. I still took care of both of you and always made sure I had you on my days and never interfered with your dad on his visitation days. But I still know now that I did not put you and your needs first. I know I rushed into a third marriage with yet another man that  was not good enough for you boys or me. I became stuck in an abusive relationship with him, and I regret that you boys had to see me not only abused, but to see your mom become such a low self esteemed person. I was so  deep into depression over this third failed marriage, but I just did not want to give up. I wanted to be a stable mom for you. I regret that you were witness to the physical and mental abuse that went on from him. I thank God he had sense enough to never put his hands or lash out at you boys. I finally wised up and divorced again, realizing that a third divorce was better than the alternative. I began to pull myself out of the low place in life I had allowed myself to be in. I began to have better self esteem, I was smiling again, I was happy. But I always had you two. I reconnected with a life long friend from school, and fell in love again. This time, he was a great guy. He had 3 kids of his own, but you two were always looking for the positive in my situation. You absolutely loved having 3 step brothers. I married this man, and we became the brady bunch, except all boys. He helped me to become a better person, helped me to see I deserved to be happy. He put me through nursing school and helped support you two while I was in school. I know that we have had our bad days, but with that many kids under the age of 14, that is to be expected. I am thankful your father never decided to take me back to court and take you away from me, even when I wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on. He is truly relieved and happy that I have after 10 years since divorcing him, “found myself”. I have a stable life now. You boys know where my home is, you don’t worry if I will get tired of this one too and divorce him. You know this is finally your mom being a mom and a wife.

I say all this to say I know that karma is a bad thing, and I have my share of bad coming back to me. I just don’t know how long I will have to suffer. I know I have made terrible mistakes as your mother, and I am paying for them dearly now. You two slowly have spent more and more time with your dad over the years. I tried to not be mad and “make” you spend equal time with me like you used to. I understand you are boys, growing into young men and need your father’s influence. You are now 12 and 17. You are both very good kids, well behaved, respectable, make good grades, are kind and generous to others, know right from wrong. You know I was wrong to put my needs and wants ahead of yours when you were younger. But I have spent the last 5 years trying my best to make up for my past mistakes with you. I know I can not make up for lost time, only make the best of today. However, I miss you so much! I come to your ball games, your band concerts and make sure you have whatever you ask for, although you are such good kids you rarely ask for anything from me or your dad. I miss how only 2 years ago, during the summer and anytime school was out, you always spend every day with me and every night with your dad. Somehow, in this last 2 years, when I have most likely been over compensating for my past mistakes, I seem to be losing you. It breaks my heart that you kids stood by my and always wanted to be with me when I was being a bad mom, but now that I realized my mistakes and am making sure I don’t make them again, that now you are pulling away from me more and more. I miss my babies! I don’t know what else to do, I’ve asked both of you if there is a reason you don’t want to be at my house anymore and you both deny any problems with being over here, just that you prefer to be at your dads.

I know this is just what goes around comes around, but it is killing me for you to pull further and further away from me. Your dad and I have talked and he assures me that he knows of no reason you wouldn’t want to be over here. Like this morning on my way home from work, you are home at your dads while he is at work. It is  Thanksgiving week off from school. You would rather stay at your dads house alone, while he works, than come spend time with me at my house. I call every day you are not in school to offer to come get you  and stay with me until your dad gets off work. You haven’t spent a night at my house in almost a year now. I only see you on Saturday mornings while your dad works from 7am-12 noon. I know you enjoy time with him, but you spend every single day and night with him! When do you forgive me and let me be mom again? Or do you? I know I did a lot of selfish things, but I was always there. I always have provided for everything needed. I always take you places. You don’t even want to go with me to visit you grandmother in another state. You haven’t seen her since last Christmas when she came here to see us. I know you love your dad and you are loyal to him, but he has told you countless times to come with me on vacations, camping, visiting relatives, ect. But you choose not to. The only reason I ever hear is “I just think I’ll stay at Daddy’s” or “I really don’t want to go, but I will if you just WANT me to.” You aren’t spoiled brats, you aren’t disrespectful to me, you just don’t want to spend time with me. I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t want to just let you two go  and leave it to you to decide to see me, that is why I call all the time trying to get you to come over. I mean for craps sakes, we are exactly 4 miles from my driveway to your dads! It isn’t a distance thing. I just don’t know what else to do. I love you boys more than you will ever know. I know that by me taking care of all your financial needs isn’t going to make up for me not being the best mom I could be when you were younger, but I want to spend time with my children! I love you! I miss you! It does hurt that the only time you ever call me is to tell me something you want me to buy for you. But I never complain but I am just so thankful you called me. My husband now thinks I should just let you go and let you decide, but until you decide he thinks I should “cut you off”. No more guitars, laptops, video games, etc. He points out to me I only hear from you on my paydays, which you remember quite well. He has become bitter towards you two because he sees the hurt it causes me to not spend time with you. He says you are at 12 and 17, old enough to know what you are doing. He says you aren’t the angels I think you are, because I miss you so much. My husband now is a good man, a good husband to me and a good father to his children. He never connected with you boys because he didn’t want to cause any problems with your dad. He knew you already had a loving and supportive dad and didn’t want another. He loves you on a step dad level, but it makes him more bitter as time goes by that you refuse to spend time with me. He doesn’t like to see me upset or hurting and most especially when it is by my children and he has no say so to make you do any different. I know I spend more time with his kids than I do you, but believe me, it wasn’t my choice. If it were up to me, you would live with me 24/7, but I could never ask your dad to give up time with you that he deserves. After all, he isn’t the one that divorced me. He has never put his needs about yours. He still, 10 years, actually wow, 11 1/2 years later still doesn’t date because as he says, you are his number one priortity and that you are only kids once and he can live when you are grown. I am sorry I could not be more like him in that manner. I am glad I have finally married a good man that loves me and does his best to help me be a better mom to you than I used to be.  But he also loves me enough to be mad at you for punishing me for so long. I just want my kids back. Why did you have to wait until I got my self together and become a better person to pay me back for my bad parenting? It has been over 6 years now that I have gotten myself together. I have been trying to make up for 5 years of being a selfish mom for the past 6 years. How much longer will you punish me?

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~ by Stepfamily Letter Project on November 22, 2011.

4 Responses to “To my sons”

  1. I think the challenge of parenting is always 1) knowing and 2) doing what’s best for your kids, even if it means taking yourself out of the equation. You sound like you have made tremendous strides here to do that, but you are still castigating yourself for having screwed up in the early years. Please try to let that go and just BE. Even if you were the best mother in the world all this time, your boys need their dad to learn how to be a man from him; they are as much a part of him as they are of you. Your boys are growing up and leaving the nest – maybe sooner than if their bioparents were still married, but it happens to all boys as they become young men. Please learn to let them fly with love than think that they are flying to get away from you and figure out how to lure them back to keep you company. If you still need help working on your self-esteem, please look into therapy. Maybe you will see that it is YOU making your husband mad, not the boys, because you cannot move into a healthier mindset about their needs.

    It sounds like you’ve raised two young men with great judgment and manners. Trust them here that they are only living their lives and not punishing you. Treasure every moment instead of being resentful that they aren’t giving you more. That is not healthy for anyone, and the sooner you can see it, the better you will all be.

    Good luck.

  2. Sorry you are hurting. My daughter was for my divorce till I remarried and even after that died she is still distant. People say she’ll come around but it is very hard, as you well know.

  3. Ten gave you some excellent advice and I couldn’t have said it better myself. I don’t mean to sound harsh, as I can tell you’re coming from a place of love, but it sounds like you’re still focusing on yourself more than your kids. You’re spending your energy beating yourself up for things that happened years ago and cannot be changed. You’re convinced that them wanting to spend time with their father has everything to do with YOU and your karma but I can almost gaurentee that it does not.

    Kids will always need both parents, in some capacity. It’s important to remember that they’re his, too, and they’re at an age where they’re needing to assert more independance from you and take their cues on how to be good men from him. It sounds like you’ve had a good part in raising two respectful, decent young men and they’re getting ready to come into their own more….don’t let that be a bad thing in your heart.

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