Thursday, October 18, 2012

More of Me

I have been confronted with a stunning realiztion - my kids need more of me.
How can this be?  I live for these children.  I've finally learned to not be all up in the alcoholic crazy every day, but after reading this post: ...Maybe They Need More of You, I realize that I've been removing myself from fully listening and being present with my kids.  As teenagers, they need me now more than ever. I'm sitting here kicking myself for LT's grades in the first 9 weeks.  I was watching them every day, and he seemed to be doing well, so I let it go, and thought he had it all under control.  Well, now after the first grading period, he's NOT doing well at all.  College ?  Hello- is this important to anyone but me?  Maybe I dropped the ball, maybe I shouldn't have trusted him to continue on a path even with my encouragement, etc.  Whatever the case is, I don't feel like I've given enough of myself to either him or to Maggie. 
God gets through to me in lots of ways.  I think that post is one way, and I needed to hear it.  Jack is so far out of my sphere of influence, that it is safe for me to stay detached with love.  My children, however, need me.  They need my presence and attention fully when we are together.  While they need to continue to do chores, do their homework, have their jobs, etc., they need me too.  Now that I know I can take care of me, it's time to take care of what is my part of taking care of them.  Now that I better know who I am, maybe they can benefit from knowing me.
I just hope it's not too late.


  1. It's not too late, and I am sure that you are being harder on yourself than you deserve. I feel this way all of the time. My youngest one is slacking and I feel guilty for not being tougher on him and whipping him back into shape from the mono. It's tough, though. Living with an alcoholic (or divorcing one) is very exhausting and it does take up much of your thinking space. However, you have been there for your kids. You have been a constant. You know them better than anyone.
    Think of it as giving your son the chance to try it on his own. A chance for independence. Okay, he didn't pass the test with flying colors, so you will step back in and add guidance. He wasn't neglected. He's a teen and I think this is all part of it.
    I wonder how much of this type of guilt that we feel (or feeling like we have failed our children) is a normal part of the dysfunction of our lives or just a normal part of being a mom? I constantly second-guess my abilities and my efforts as a mother.

  2. It is difficult to stay engaged in their lives with everything else going on to distract you, and sometimes, they purposefully keep themselves hidden. Just continue to be there for them in all ways.

  3. In my experience, it's never too late. I can remember feeling very much like you described, but my children are grown now and we can talk about things with some hindsight now. Their experience with alcoholism mushroomed during their high school years also, and I was not only consumed by the drama, I was out of town at least half of the time. Alanon provided me with some tools, though, that helped me to be a better mother. I found that the more I practiced the steps and traditions in our family, the healthier we got as a whole. It wasn't that they needed more of the crazy controlling worry-wart me, they needed to be able to see the healthier part of me. The one that could be honest, compassionate and flawed in front of them.

    1. Thank you so much - your kind words really reasonated with me. I do want to be healthier. For them and for me.