Are you glad you had kids? I open my heart to you:

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MidwestMom, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am, but I'm sorry (I know this is horrible, but nobody who knows me will read this)--I'm sorry I adopted my child who came at age six. No, I'm not sorry I had a biological son who has so many of the psychiatric issues I have. No, he's a joy to me and he's giving me a granddaughter soon. I'm not sorry I had him. I'm not sorry I adopted my beautiful daughter from Korea, even though I went gray while she took drugs and defied us during her teens. She is my best friend, has a huge heart and I love her to death; she is so brave to have changed her life. No, I'm not sorry I adopted my autistic son. He is a sweet boy with such a big heart. No, he will never be independent (not completely), but he tries so hard and he is my hero. And what can I say about my baby, my eleven year old? I love her fiercely. Yes, I know she thinks about her birthmother and will probably search one day, but our bond will always be there. I saw her being born...she and I are forever close...
    I am sorry I adopted my son from Hong Kong. I'm not sorry he got out of Hong Kong. He was way too smart to be stuck in an orphanage and be seen as a second rate citizen there simply because he didn't live with his birthparents. However, I wish he had gone to another family. When his adorable picture appeared in a magazine then called OURS (I forgot what it stood for, but it's out of Minnesota) I wish one of the other eight hundred families who had wanted to adopt him had done so. I wish he had gone to a family of intellectuals because HE is one. I wish he had gone to a family with great material gifts because he is highly materialistic and our family is He was ashamed to have his fiance, now wife, see my very humble home. It's about the size of a trailer with an upstairs bedroom and a small basement, and the furniture is hodgepodge and there is definitely work that needs to be done on it and it doesn't help that we have four dogs. But it's OUR home and he's ashamed of it and of us. I wish he had never come to us...had never called me "mom", had gone somewhere else.
    So my answer is, I'm thrilled I had Mark (and he was NOT easy), and I'm ecstatic I had the privilege of being Julie's mother (even though she was such a difficult teenager--I just love her so much, I can't even describe it), I am thrilled and honored to be Lucas's mother (he is such a brave and wonderful boy) and I'm
    tickled to be Nicole's mother (and she's not easy either). I am sorry I adopted Scott (even though he was a breeze to raise, is successful beyond most adults, and everyone loves him). I am sorry because I am selfish. He doesn't love me and is ashamed of his family. I wish I had never known him or loved him because unrequited love is so hard and so sad. As the holidays arrive, I wrote him one last letter, which I may share with you in another post. But, even as I mailed it off, I wondered if I should have sent it. I took all the blame and indicated I wanted nothing from him in return except a relationship with him (and that means with his wife) on his terms. I know he won't swear at me or phsyically abuse me, but...well, I'll post the letter. Tell me your thoughts. In the meantime, are you happy you had children?
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I would not have it any other way. I am not always happy with my children's choices--I wish I was less controlling and there are many things I wish I had done differently--but I never regretted having them.

    PCson---and that easy child part is just such a tricky word---basically raised himself. I was 19 when he was born. I was not ready to be a mom---but I did it. He was easy. He was/is such a perfectionist---never wanted to fail---a classic type A pesonality---that I've never really worried too much about him.I never had to punish him, he would put himself on restriction. I call him the comeback kid. He will get down and out and then suddenly--he will bounce back with a vengance. He is assertive and confident. On the other hand he can be an obnoxious jerk. When he was younger he was extremely grounded in his religious beliefs. Now, unlike your son, he is not at all interested in his faith. He is too self-reliant. He believes he can fix all of his problems if he just works harder and tries more. He is morally superior and sometimes that really bugs me. But I know that underneath his bravdo is the same young man who went and sat with his best friend's mom when she found out her husband of 30 years was having an affair and her son was away at school. He's the kid with a heart of gold and the hide of a rhino.

    difficult child---he has been a struggle to raise---the years of drugs changed him. He sometimes seems to have no moral compass. He is opinionated and outspoken and have the weirdest theories. But, our conversations about life and philosophy and religion are enlightening. He sees the injustices in life more than pcson. He is deep and emotional where easy child is stoic. He is unlucky to the point of ridiculousness. If he does something wrong he is caught. And because he has a mother who insists he faces consequences and will not get him out of trouble---he is usually punished more than anyone else involved in whatever activity it is. His heart is mushy and his soul is sensitive.

    PCdaughter---the middle school years were horrible. I did not like her at all. Somedays I still don't---mother/daughter dynamics + my control issues and her independent spirit. Now, she is my most independent child. She is such a hard worker. She is not academically inclined. She is very literal and blunt and too the point and will often hurt my feelings without meaning too. She doesn't understand the nuances of language---but can do a trig problem in her head! Go figure! Because of her size she looks delicate---but she is a tiger and is fierce.

    It's amazing how each is so different and yet were raised exactly the same.

    I love that I had a hand in giving the world three completely different personalities. It's hard as a mother to stand back now and watch them live their own lives on their own terms---something that as a mother I have to come to terms with. But Regrets, no.
  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I'm sorry you feel that way. I know these are painful times for you but one of these days I wish for you the blessing of distance.

    Distance will show you that Scott wouldn't be as successful as he is if he hadn't had you.

    Distance will show you that his inability to stay connected is a reflection on HIM, not you...and not on your self-described modest home.

    Distance will show you that you DID make a difference in his life...

    ...and hopefully DISTANCE will allow your heart to accept that that is enough...that you don't need further acknowledgment or reciprocation to feel good about him or to feel good that you were his parent.

    During the worst of our times with Rob I had to console myself with the above thoughts. It helped. I hope for peace for your troubled mind and heart so that you can "accept things you cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference."

    You're a good Mom. Please don't let one child dissuade you from believing your many other successes.

  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I agree with Suz. He may one day grow more into the person you had hoped to raise, but he if doesn't you are going to have to accept the person he is or it will eat you into pieces. You did the best you could with him. You showed him the values that were important, it was his choice whether to reject or accept those values.

    Unrequited love is always painful -- whether from an SO or a child. The best you can do is set them free. If they love you, they'll come back. It is a cliche but it is one with a lot of truth in it.

    I learned long ago that my daughter loves me so long as she needs me. The second she thinks she can survive with others, she is not just out the house, but I am out of the picture. She truly does the best she can with the love she has. It is up to me to accept or reject what she has to offer. I love her enough to accept her love on her capabilities, not my needs.

    The first time she left, I tried to get her back -- I tried bribes; I tried guilt; I was shameless. I was almost a stalker. None of it brought her home until her "friends" kicked her out and she was on the verge of homeless. The second time, I let her go; I didn't contact her; she called me when she needed a home again. The third time, I let her go again; she called, I didn't let her come home; I waited until she was truly homeless and miserable. She's home, she loves me. She will leave again when something "better" comes along. I accept that. I'm just hoping that the next time will be a better move and that I will hear from her when she moves out, but if not, I'll still love her and still be there for her. That's all we can do.
  5. I'm going crazy!!!

    I'm going crazy!!! New Member

    i have no words

    i cant imagine what you're going through

    i will keep you in my prayers
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Suz worded it better than I ever could have. And it's so very true. Right now your pain is fresh and raw, and so right there that it's hard for you to see the reality of the situation.

    You're a d@mn good Mother. Awesome.

    In the future he very well may come back to the way he was raised. But if he doesn't, it's still not a reflection on you or the life you gave him. Love doesn't have a price tag because it's simply priceless.

    I wish there was some magical answer to take away the heartache and horrible pain his decisions are causing you.

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You know, lots of kids finally "get it" when they're thirty. But my son IS thirty. If he doesn't "get it" until he is almost fifty, I may not even be alive. I guess I really have to give this child to God and move on. My other kids think I should--they are very upset with him. But I think they're right. I have four great kids and a granddaughter coming. I need to get over it, even though it's my kid and my heart will always ache a little. This is still pretty new to me. He has only been like this for almost two years now. The holidays used to be enriched because of his presence. He has changed so much, and his wife is so unpleasant, that if he showed up, I think it would probably anger my other kids and make me and hub feel uncomfortable. It's hard to let go, but sometimes you have to do it.
  8. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    MWM, there were times that I regretted it. I won't deny it at all. I also know that it wasn't even a choice. I was going to have children. I was going to do it to the best of my ability and I wasn't going to feel guilt that I didn't give it 100%.
    They were given tools and life experiences that affected them in a positive or negative way but they always had a safety net of love and accountability.

    The jury isn't in yet in regards to wondering if I had made a mistake having difficult child. He isn't done cooking.
    If he has a full,healthy life for his abilities I will be satisfied. If he likes us, that's gravy.

    If your son has a stable decent life, you did your job and you should feel some pride in helping him. If he is a snob, that's on him. Lots of people come from humble roots and don't feel a need to add shame on the shoulders of those who helped them.

    On the other hand, it speaks of his character that he can't just show respect.
    It is a fantasy that by parenting children that you have their undying love and respect. If you do right by them then you did your job. When you get love, companionship, and loyalty that's the bonus. Take satisfaction of a job well done while grieving that your son chose to alienate himself.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You sound so sad, and I worry about you. Are you talking to anyone about how this is making you feel?

    I can tell you with all honesty that there have been times when I saw no hope for a happy day in my life. There are happy days in your future, if you will look for them. They're not all sunshine and roses, but some of them are. Most of them can be really good, if you will let them.

    I hope that you will find peace with this, and be able to move on to the good life that we all deserve to have.
  10. catwoman

    catwoman New Member

    I love both my kids with all my heart, but if I could go back knowing what I know now I would not have children. I don't think I'm good at parenting. I know that all of us feel this way sometimes, especially with difficult children in the family, but I think I have too many childhood issues of my own to be able to deal with kids on the level I need to as a parent. Being a parent requires unconditional and often unrequited love. I'm terrible at both.
  11. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    I would do it again - but I think (having the luxury of hindsight) I would lower my expectations considerably.

    I am now of the firm belief that our kids are less the product of our parenting and more the product of their own biological temperaments, life experiences and their own personal choices.

    They are less a reflection of me - and more a reflection of who they are.

    I think it would be a less painful way to approach parenting.

    If I put it all on a scale - the good has outweighed the bad.
  12. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I just wanted to send you a million hugs. I am not sure I can answer the question you posed......because my son is still a teen, and I have this little bud of hope still out there, that he will be the kid that I have raised him to be. But there are definitely days! For sure!

    Did you say it was because of his religion that he is distant? If so, I can offer some tremendous insight from personal experience..........but I will not ramble on and on, if that is not the reason. Feel free to PM if you want.

    Anyway........wrap yourself in hugs tonight........pamper yourself.......and try to believe that he, someday, will come around. I believe he will. I can't help but be an eternal optimist for these kids, thus my quote in my sig.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I do see a therapist--not sure how helpful it is. Most of the time, in spite of the tone of my post and letter, I am NOT sad because I have too much going on--my own life, my job, my writing, my four other kids, my hub etc. When I *do* think about it, that's when I get all weepy. I guess I'm fortunate that I have four kids who I'm close to, but I feel so bad that this one doesn't seem to like me. And I really am not sure why. Anyways, thanks for the concern. In general, I'm doing well, but when I think about this son--he may not be attached to me, but I'm as attached to him as any mother is to her child...
  14. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    Well, had I never had children, I would have felt cheated.

    I think the challenges each of my children has presented made me bigger ~ what I am not so sure of is whether that growth, those areas of growth, matter.

    There was such hope with the kids' births. I was totally committed to them through their entire childhoods and adolescences.

    As we all do, I made sacrifices to guarantee their safety and success.

    Sometimes, I feel cheated.

    You know ~ I gave up this, that and the next so I could be the PTA mom et al, and LOOK WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO MY CHILD.

    I hid those truths, that resentment, from myself for a very long time.

    It was poisoning my spirit.

    But it had nothing to do with my child, really.

    It had to do with how I perceived myself, and with whether I was willing to legitimize a kind of victim's hatred.

    So I guess the answer is that I would always choose to have my children again, but I would wish to have become healthier regarding my boundaries between their choices and actions as adults and my sense of responsibility, or shame, or whatever it is that I feel, for those choices sooner.

    This is all very new to me, too.

    I am still a little shaky on my pins.

    But I think this is the correct path.

  15. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I never regretted having children. I resented it sometimes, though. For a long, long time, I resented being dealt the cards I was dealt. I would go through the motions of fighting for their needs, of being there for them, of staying "strong," but would frequently dissolve into tears once no one was "watching."

    I can't remember the moment I got through that. I suppose it was gradual. I do know antidepressants helped, along with some great counselors. At some point, I said to myself, "God chose me to be the parent of these girls. If He believes I can do it, then I have to believe it, too."

    I still cry sometimes. I still have my moments of "why me," but not nearly as much as I used to. I love both my girls. I ache for their troubles. I get mad as heck at them sometimes, and don't like them sometimes. But I don't regret having them.

    I'm so sorry for your pain, Midwest Mom. Hugs.
  16. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    A couple of years ago when both difficult child's were giving us grief, I really wondered why "someone" thinks I can do this. I really questioned myself as a mother and as a woman. I knew I was too intertwined with difficult child 1 and he was treating me like a "friend". things usually do with me...I got mad. I got mad that dang it, I'm a good mom, dang it...we provided, taught, educated, stressed values, didn't overindulge....and still we got caught with difficult child's who used drugs/substances. Sure...difficult child 1 was adhd...well gee morphed. It morphed to BiPolar (BP)...was it always BiPolar (BP) and no one knew?, I never had a clue until I came here.

    My take is along the same lines as Suz. You did what you did, you raised him to 18, he's 30. He's successful, alive, happy in his own world, confident, and whatever. He doesn't have to like you or be a part of your family. All your other kids are happy to be around you.....what does that tell you!

    I guess, what I worry about is...are you dwelling on one apple when the whole barrel is right there beside you?

    Here's a ****sunny smile**** and {{{sunny hug}}}}, jest you go about your wonderful world and never mind what one lil' ole' apple is doing. You know you've done right.
  17. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Ditto to Barbara - I would feel so cheated if I had not had children. I would definately do it again. However I wish I had the knowledge then that I do now on Boundaries also and how to let go. I was so consumed with them. I was always with them trying to teach them right from wrong and everything I knew that was a good way to live. Then when everything falls apart I blamed myself beacause I was with them more than my husband was. I practically gave up my life and myself for them because I loved them so much. They came before everything. And then came the pain of losing my son right before my eyes and there was nothing I could do about it. He is still alive but the son I had is buried down in the body somewhere.
  18. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Wow. I had to think about this one a long time. I still don't know if I am going to word this right.

    From day one I knew that it was a mistake to bring Copper into the world under the conditions that I did. I wish I had waited. It was so unfair to her.

    Knowing what I know now, understanding what I understand now, if I had the chance to go back, I would not bring ANY children into this already overpopulated world. Feeling left out or not. I'd borrow a nephew for awhile.

    And yet, all things happen for a reason. If it were not for each of my kids, I would not be here. They both saved me from a drug induced death.

    I must still have some work to do down here.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is a odd question for me.

    For most of the years while my boys were growing up I really felt like I wasnt a very good mom and that I didnt really "like" kids and being a mom. I couldnt wait until my kids turned 18. Now I wonder why I thought 18 was such a magic

    From an aged perspective, I think I was probably a better mother than I ever gave myself credit for. No, I wouldnt win any awards for being the best house keeper or cooking the best dinners but I dont think those things make up a good mom. I think my boys remember me being there for them when the chips were down, being team mom, being on the sidelines of all their games, going to every school function, fighting for them, crying with them and for them. We didnt have much but we did have each other.

    I used to think I wished I hadnt had the boys...especially Cory. In some of his harder moments I have thought wistfully that I had opted for the abortion the doctors offered me. But now, I cant imagine my life without any of them. All of them have made me the person I am today in some form. I surely wouldnt have my precious grandchildren without having the kids first!

    Though I gotta tell ya, if someone invented a way to have grandkids without the kids first...that would be just about perfect!
  20. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    MWM...all I hear is your pain. My difficult child brother didn't get his act together until he was nearly 50. (Now he's the multi-millionaire...go figure.) He's a great guy, but put the family through a lot of pain.

    No words of advice other than to hang in there. Eventually he'll 'see the light.'