You are here


Colorado Girl's picture

So I've been thinking about guilt. I was reading another post regarding a DH that parents "by guilt". You know how that goes, he feels guilty about the divorce so he gives his child(ren) whatever they want. Then another post was about a BM who overcompensates in insignificant areas of the child's life because she feels guilty about being inadequate in other aspects of her parenting. Or like the skids who won't hug their stepmom in front of their (bio)mom because of their own guilt of being disloyal.Yadda, yadda, yadda.

I have a different kind of guilt. I feel guilty for dragging my own kids into this whole nightmare. My boys who had nothing to do with a new stepdad and 3 stepsisters who are all consuming. The boys are constantly taking the back burner because everyone else is so stressed out. Don't they deserve a mom who cares more about their homework and sports than anything else? I'm too busy worrying about parenting plans and child support and an unruly BM of OTHER people. I have become a walking ball of stress and unhappiness who has little to no patience for my little buddies who are just being boys. This is not the mom they knew three years ago. Nor is it how I want to be a mom.

I feel like a failure today. Sad


evilsm's picture

I really enjoy reading your posts and I just want you to know that you are not a failure, you are doing the best with what you have to work with. Guilt and I are also good friends and visit often but it never improves my life. I think guilt is evil in disguise. Throw it away and have a glass of wine and enjoy your boys tonight.


Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.

Colorado Girl's picture

Did I hear wine!?!?

I just feel it today, ya know? I have them this weekend (thank goodness) and I plan on making it up to them a little bit. I just feel like sometimes they are the "forgotten" bystanders in all of this.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain."

laurels4u's picture

I never would've thought in a gazillion years that you are a failure. Keep your chin up CG!

All I'm asking for is some good old honesty served up fresh when I ask for it without the side order of hot tongue and cold shoulder!

sarahbernheart's picture

I think we all feel like failures at one time or another, but we are only human and we have to deal with what life hands us sometimes it sure feels one sided!!

it is ok to feel the way you do, just know you are not alone and it will get better, you boys I am sure love you and know you are doing the best you can, maybe leave them little notes in their lunch boxes or on their pillows ...
we are here!!!

“You will never be on top of the world
if you try to carry it on your shoulders.”

gertrude's picture

Should you be feeling guilty. I've read your posts, and you are great. No failure - no way. And, well, I'll join your wine with a beer, ok?

sweetthing's picture

My mom, who is a very smart woman says, guilt is a wasted emotion.

You lovr your boys very much. Don't let it get to you, a smart woman once said, life is about learning to dance in the rain. Smile Plan some special time for your boys & you and know that they love you.

Angel's picture

what you are saying Colorado gal. Just focus on giving them as much as you can of yourself.

But, on the other hand if you REALLY feel that you are shortchanging your children you can stop all of this right now. Chalk it up to making a mistake & correcting it.

Again, only you know what is going on.

Men are tiring. Men with prior kids are exhausting! Save some of your energy for yourself & your children.

Colorado Girl's picture

You all are great. Smile

I am taking your advice and spending a little QT with them this weekend.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain."

Stepmom_C's picture

Boy I feel your pain. I've been there as well. It hits you like a ton of bricks and I'm starting to believe (to a certain extent anyway) that as stepmothers we are all going through our "12 steps"... think about it. How similar we all are in the beginning - fights over clothes, pickups, texts, vmails, lack of boundaries and so on. Thoughts to ponder Wink

Anyway - I felt the guilt as well with my BD14. And then I slowly started to make it up to her. When SD's are at their mom's for the weekend, we have at least one day together just the two of us. It can be as simple as a manicure but it's the "alone time." Have fun with your boys this weekend and go play that guitar hero with them! THEY LOVE YOU!

Sarah101's picture

Of course you're a good mom! Your post made me teary because I have the same issue with my daughter (11). This week was really terrible and I told her how sometimes I feel so bad for bringing people into our home who behave like trash--that she didn't deserve that and I was indeed sorry.

She made me cry when she told me that it was all worth it because she loves her stepdad so much. She added that she knows his adult kids behave badly and she won't turn out like that.

Pass the Kleenex please...

SUNFLOWERGRL's picture definently describe everything that i have felt since going through my divorce. I have such a heavy burden on my shoulders. My kids life is not what they are use to. There was structure. THere was a home that they now mention every now and then that they miss. I had no worries about anything other than what was being planned with me and the kids. Now I know so much about the legal system, child support, psychotic people and unruly behaviors. I miss my old life. It was so mellow and uncomplicated. All I had to do was wake up and take care of my kids. Now my weekends are what time are we picking up SD and what time do we drop her off. Its like I am bound by the hands on a clock and a schedule to follow. Important court dates to remember instead of scheduling mommy and me time. I never thought that this would happen to me. I am now an ex wife, BM and SM and who knows what else i am called. But we are NEVER failures. We dont fail with our children. We simply learn from them. By you noticing what is different in your time with your kids that is where you need to make the change and start a new routine so that our children may feel what we all once felt before...normalcy! You are a caring mom otherwise you wouldnt even flintch to notice the difference how our decisions impact their lives. Its not about who did what to who and how it got dealt with. Its about what we are doing now to get through what happened and how we can heal our children. I hope that i can make my children into very strong individuals that are ready to adapt to changes in their lives without falling apart. I hope that in the end, i would have given them as much love and devotion that they never feel what i feel.

"Just because you can give birth, doesn't mean you should"

Most Evil's picture

CG, you are one of the most caring people I know and should not spend one second feeling guilty. Maybe you can spend a little extra time with your own kids each week if you can.

But we had a lot of kids in my family (5) and not much one on one time with my parents but we adored them anyway and don't regret a thing.

I think all parents do feel guilty because there is no way to be all things to all people at the same time. To me nature has you have your kids at the worst time because you are relatively young but you have to support yourself and don't really know yourself or how the world works yet.

You just do the best you can, just like your parents did and their parents, that is all you can do. Don't beat yourself up!

"Fortune favors the brave" - Virgil

Colorado Girl's picture

to all of you for lifting my spirits.

DH and I had a HUGE blowout yesterday over this very subject and I think it was a much needed temper tantrum on my part.

SD8 was sick but all of us had a big day planned and it just wasn't my responsibility to coddle her at the expense of all the other kids. DH had a softball game and he was supposed to take her and SD5 with him to watch while I took SD11 to her practice and then took my boys to run some errands and some fun time for us. So what would be the responsible and understandable solution when I said that I just couldn't stay home with her? DH should have stayed home with her. Nope.

He called BM and dropped her off. I guess softball was more important. But I wasn't gonna budge. If that's the route he wants to take, that's his problem when she throws it back in his face. I will be sitting there with a smug look on my face saying "I told you so".... }:)

Anyways, I feel better. I think sometimes Stepmom's just spread themselves too thin trying to do by right by those who are in the habit of only doing right by themselves. Oh well, the boys and I had fun.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain."

Sita Tara's picture

I am with you. My SD and BM's drama has been the focus of our blended family. And once the custody case was settled, SD made sure this past year to keep things stirred up toward her. My sons on the other hand haven't had a room of their own (we've been remodeling the basement for a room for them for over a year- their own dad is doing the work and he is VERY slow on projects.) They have seen their mom go from independent single college student full time working stay at home mom with a toddler. My older son is rebelling against DH big time. That's another post. But a few months ago BS 13 said something to me that strikes the heart of me... he said ," were such a good single mom. You always made time for us."

Now THAT's rose colored glasses because I didn't have ANY time. When I wasn't working I was in class or a play at night and my family babysat a TON. But....I think when the weekends came that I had them and was at home, I was focused on them. I miss that and so do they. How do I get there while in the throes of all of this craziness?

Good post CG. I have been pondering this for some time. Might have to piggyback it into my own.

Colorado Girl's picture

The "mom, you were such a good single mom...." My BS11 said, "I liked it better before "DH" and the girls lived here..." Broke my heart right in half. Sad

I think they "liked" it better because we were in a semi-normal state of mind. We weren't consumed by a dark cloud that always seems to be lingering.

I am literally stressed out of mind and I'm sorry, but it DOES show. It's so obvious when they are fighting over toothpaste and I'm screaming at the top of my lungs that I just can't handle them fighting all the time. It's NOT them that are causing my bouts of insanity, they are just the casualties....

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain."

Sita Tara's picture

"It's NOT them that are causing my bouts of insanity, they are just the casualties...."

In my case I think there's a lot of blame to go around. BM and SD for their craziness, DH for his intolerance of my son's issues, me for my lack of control over my temper... kids seem hell bent on getting negative attention. My 13 year old son keeps telling me it's all me, or his teacher, or DH, or's always someone else that MAKES him be rude and disrespectful. SD is the same. I just saw a paper she was working on for school. It said, "My job in my family is to keep clean. I do the dishes, set the table for dinner, clean up after dinner, often I cook the dinner, I do the laundry, I dust and vacuum. I also must babysit my little sister, feed her, change her, and play with her."

I didn't know CINDERELLA was living with me!!!!! When the heck does all that happen? Oh wait I know...I'M THE ONE SHE'S WRITING ABOUT INSTEAD OF HERSELF. I was disgusted. What a flippin' martyr.

On the flip side to yours and my sons insinuating how good the good old days were, SD tells me that about before we came. All those "years" it was just the two of them were the "best" years of her life. Ummm....unless she was talking about the years DH and BM were still married, where SD and DH did spend a ton of one on one b/c BM refused to go to family events with them, or BM spent a lot of time in her room, OR SD spent a lot of time sent to HER room.... her math needs some work. DH and I met exactly 6 months after BM moved out, and two weeks or so before the divorce was final. That's hardly the glory "YEARS" SD mentions to me often.

Ok...feeling less guilty now.

Peace, love, and red wine


Wow thats really one for the books. I think its funny when the kids act like the "victim". Since she wrote all that stuff you should hold her too it. Smile No one wants to look like a liar now.

I have to admit it breaks my heart to see kids sad because new kids move in with them or are around quite often. Its almost like there world is being shared. I mean, techinically speaking yes, but for a child to feel like there stuff or their home isnt really theres just makes me sad. I wish we could get one re-do in our lives.

"Just because you can give birth, doesn't mean you should"

Sita Tara's picture

Always forward. No re-dos. I think about this often, because my own family had a severe trauma when I was 12. My oldest brother, then 17 was paralyzed by a drunk driver (who was being pursued in a high speed police chase when my brother's car intervened when driving through an intersection. My brother's date was killed (their first date) and my brother was in a coma for 2 months, then taken care of at home for the next fifteen years.

My tolerance for how bad my kids have it is admittedly skewed by this experience. And if I got one do over, it would always be to erase that accident from occurring.

BUT...we can't go back. And our kids need to step outside of themselves and find interest in the bigger picture.

We are in a cultural war against families. Marketers are targeting kids more than adults because kids have more influence than any other time in history over their parents. I don't know why this happened in our generation (well there are tons of books and studies on the subject) but we're here. I just wish we could all get our parenting cahonas back and stop being "friends" with our kids.

Life is tough. They need to know that. They need to focus on the good things that they have instead of always wanting what they can't. But how the heck can we instill that with other parents sabotaging it all the time?

Peace, love, and red wine

Catch22's picture

You just hit one of the major stages I had in my "recovery" from all this. I did wake up one morning and thought...this kid and his mother take up all my time and energy. SS didn't deserve all my time, BM deserved NONE of my time and my precious boys deserve ALL of my time.

That was the day I started to realise "not my kid, not my problem". My boys are MY kids and are MY problem. Now they get ALL of me and when SS is nice and civil and uses his manners and respects me, he gets part of me too.

Love ya girl. You are a great mum Wink

Catch xx
*Mean People Suck*