I have never professed to being a perfect parent. In fact, I constantly worry that I am somehow completely fucking my children up in the most spectacular of ways.
I look at other mothers and feel that they are always doing a much better job than me and I’m absolutely positive there must be things I must do better. Sure, I sometimes get frustrated and raise my voice, but it’s not a constant thing. I never, ever hit them or swear at them. I’m home at bedtime, I read stories to them, I take them to their activities and help them with their homework. I sometimes worry that I might shelter them a little too much because the world can be a dark and scary place sometimes and I never want them to go through what I’ve gone through. I don’t think I’m the worst parent on the planet–I’m definitely nothing remotely close to my parents–but I just don’t quite feel good enough.
Most days I can just maybe start to think I’m doing okay but sometimes I’m not so sure. Sometimes I wonder if maybe I’m missing something.
Whenever someone–mostly my ex’s wife–makes a comment about my children, I start to worry that I’ve done something wrong. I start to worry that maybe I’m not the best person for them or that they’d be better off without me. The latest slew of messages has done it again.
According to the ex’s wife, C is being an obnoxious brat and she’s basically telling me that it’s all my fault. I don’t see these behaviours at home. C has the biggest heart. He’s the one who hugs you and tells you that he loves you and just wants to spend time with you. He’s the one with the friends and the one who helps others when they need it but she says he’s different now and is alluding to the fact that they basically don’t want him around them.
I have my own theories as to why C is acting the way he does around them. C has always been brushed aside from the very beginning. I’m fairly certain his father would have been just as happy had C never been born. M has been and will always be the priority–the number one son. Now that dad has two other children with his wife, C is being pushed even further away.
What both of them also fail to acknowledge is that C spent many years at the receiving end of M’s anger and hostility and when M comes to visit I notice the change immediately in C. He’s more withdrawn. He hides his things so M can’t find them and break them. He cowers when M walks by and acts much younger than normal. I simply think he’s never forgotten all the things that M has done to him.
I think C’s being obnoxious because he’s tired of being treated poorly by M and is starving for attention from his father. He only wants to exist in his father’s eyes. Dad only sees him for about 48 hours a month and sometimes not even that long. He doesn’t go to his soccer games or his school events. He doesn’t call him on the phone. When C goes to dad’s he gets hit by M, he isn’t allowed into the bedroom he shares with M until it’s bedtime, he gets scratched and bitten by his younger sisters and basically doesn’t get to spend any one on one time with his father. I think he’s feeling left out especially after the comments about how M is going to be an ‘official’ member of their family.
I can’t talk about with his dad or the wife. They won’t listen to me and there is no reasoning. I think it makes them feel better about themselves blaming me for everything that went wrong. I’m not innocent but he needs to take his share of the blame and she needs to just shut her mouth. They aren’t her children, they’re mine. I am their mother, not her. And every time I hear something from her I’d like to send her a quote from the movie ‘The Ref’ “You know what? You know what I’m gonna get you for Christmas? A big wooden cross, so every time you feel unappreciated for all your sacrifices, you can climb up and nail yourself to it.”
I wish I could be a little more resilient but every time I have any type of contact with that woman I’m left feeling like I’m totally missing something. I’m left feeling like I’m the worst mother in the world.