Sunday, September 14, 2014

She Said I Was A Failure Of A Mother

“This is all your fault! I don’t want you to be my mommy anymore! I want a dad and all I have is you! I have no one! I only have you! I don’t have anything everyone else has and this is all your fault!!!”

Those words cut me to the core in ways that I have never would have imagined were even still possible after everything my ex put me through.

I turned away, clasped my hand over my mouth, and squeezed my eyes shut as tight as I could, not able to look at the face glaring at me; the face of my six year old daughter.

It’s always my fault. It’s been “my fault” my entire life. I've been a supposed failure of a child, a failure of a wife, led an "apparent" failure of life really, and now I was being called a failure of a mother by my own child.

It happens to every mom at some point, the inevitable moment when your child suddenly blames you for every reason of unhappiness in their lives. It’s almost like a rite of passage to be honest; you aren’t really a seasoned parent until your child has told you what a horrible job you are doing of parenting them.

I just wasn’t ready for it yet and most of all, I wasn’t expecting to actually wonder if it was true.

 “Ok….” I managed to stammer out, “everything is my fault so I guess I’m a terrible mother. Maybe we should just take a break from each other for a little while, ok? Take your apple downstairs and watch TV, I do not want to talk to you right now.”

She stood there in stunned silence.

Something tells me this was not the reaction she was expecting.

I turned, walked upstairs, flopped onto my bed, and buried my face in my pillow.

“Was this my fault? Is it my fault that her life is so hard?” I wondered. I was the one who chose her dad; it was me who chose the man that threw us away. It was me who didn’t save us sooner. She has no grandparents because I took her away from them. She has significantly less clothes, less toys, less food, less everything because I can’t provide for her in the ways that I would like to. Her life is harder because of a lot of the past decisions that I made and her life continues to be hard because of my limited time and financial resources.

Is she right, is this my fault?

I rolled over to face the ceiling, took a deep breath, and reminded myself to calm down and think this through.

“She’s obviously hurting” I said out loud. “Something must have happened because I’ve never seen her act like this before.”

I laid there for ten minutes or so trying to figure out what could have spurred all of this, when I heard a tiny, quivering, voice in the hallway.

“Mommy? Mommy, can, can I come in?”

“What do you want?” I asked her, heartbroken but unwilling to let her see me crack; holding my ground to reinforce the fact that it was unacceptable for her to speak to me that way.

She appeared in the doorway, standing there only for a brief second before running over to me, climbing on the bed, and throwing her tiny body down on top of mine.

“I’m sorry mommy! I didn’t mean it and I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. You’re the best mommy in the whole wide world and I love you to the moon and back except that I love you farther than the moon, I love you to Pluto and back! I don’t want any other mommy except for you because you do nice things for me like make dinner and tuck me in and take me to the park and I love you! Please still be my mommy! Please always be my mommy because I need you and I love you!”

I peeled her sweaty body off of mine and looked at her tear stained cheeks; her brown eyes frantically searching my face for any signs of acceptance.

“I will always love you and I will always be your mommy. You really hurt my feelings and it is absolutely not ok for you to talk to me like that, but even when I am unhappy with your behavior, I still love you even farther than Pluto and back.”

I then pulled her in for the kind of hug that only a mother’s arms can give; stroking her hair and wiping the tears off her cheeks. We sat there for a few minutes, I, still unsure of what upset her in the first place.

Eventually, I asked.

“What do you wish was different? What made you so upset that you felt like saying mean things to me?”

She took a deep breath before beginning to speak; her six year old mind trying to form words for things that her heart has yet to understand.

“School is having a pizza party for kids and dads. They said no mommies allowed, only dads and kids. They said if you don’t have a dad to bring your grandpa or your uncle but I don’t have those either. Everyone is going, everyone but me. All my friends gets to do a lot of things that I don’t get to do. I didn’t get any new school clothes, I was the only one wearing old clothes on the first day and that made me feel like everyone else was 'specialer' than me. I didn’t even get a birthday party this year. We were the only ones that didn’t go on vacation this summer. I didn’t even get to do the field trips at daycare, I was the only kid who had to stay and sit in the office all day! We didn’t even write letters to Santa! It’s not fair and it hurts my feelings.  It makes me feel like I’m not special, like all the other kids are better than me. I’m mad that all the other kids get to do everything else ‘funner’ than me and all I have is you.”

She paused for a minute before uttering one last, yet poignant line in the life of a six year old;
“Everyone is gone and I’ll I’ve got is you.”

In that simple paragraph she summed up the biggest fears that I have had in parenting her since her father left, fears that I have written about before.

“All she has is me.”

Truth be told, she is right.

I don’t have enough time, enough money, enough anything to be everything. All I am is me. I’m not her father, I’m not her grandparents, and sometimes I suck at providing for her.

All she has is me and she is lashing out at me because I am the only one here to lash out at.

I wish I could say that just like on TV that thirty minutes later the entire situation was wrapped up, settled and finished so that we could move along happily with the rest of our lives, but sadly, this is just the beginning. This is the beginning of a long road for the three of us; a long journey without a map. She is getting older; she is realizing that her life is a little bit different than the lives of the kids around her.

She is right. She doesn’t have a dad, she doesn’t have uncles, or a grandparents. She doesn’t have new clothes and an always full pantry. She has a medical condition that until recently forced her to wear leg braces. She didn’t get a birthday party and she may not get a Christmas because of our financial situation.

She is realizing that she doesn’t have what the other kids have. She has fully grasped the concept that I am the only one here and that people do leave.

She is feeling abandoned.

She is feeling left out.

She is feeling as if she isn’t as good as the other kids.

She is realizing that the most concrete thing a child should have, the love of a parent, isn’t always so concrete.

She is feeling a tiny bit of what I felt growing up.

It kills me.

All she has is a mother and I sure as hell hope I count for something because as she pointed out, I’m all she’s got.

“I know it hurts baby. I know that I have to spend a little more time working than the other mommy’s do and I know that you get sad that you don’t have a daddy.  Mommy gets sad sometimes too that our family is so small, but then I look at you and your brother and I realize how lucky I am because you are the two best people in the whole entire world and you get to be mine!”

We went on to talk about all the things that she likes about her brother and then I told her all the things that I love about her. As she started to pep up she insisted on telling me all the reasons why I am the best mommy in the whole world.

They are as follows:

-Sometimes I sneak a cookie to her when her brother isn’t looking.
-I climb into bed with her at night to read books.
-Even when she yells at me, she knows that I still love her.
-I work very hard putting laundry away even when she can tell that I have sleepy eyes.
-We have silly dance parties in our pajama’s.
-I bake cakes with her and that makes her happy.

She finished it up with “I know that you are the best mommy in the entire world because I know you would never leave me.”


Unfortunately at her age she isn’t able to understand that I’m working so hard for her. She doesn’t understand that I’m busy and tired because I’m trying to take care of her. She doesn't understand that while she doesn't have everything, I have even less.

She is six and she only see’s what she sees. Her reality is the situation directly in front of her eyes with no admissible and applicable circumstances whatsoever.

Mommy is busy and doesn’t always have time for her, mommy doesn’t buy her what she wants, daddy is gone, I won’t let her see her grandparents, and all the other kids are enjoying things that she does not get to participate in.

That is her perceived reality.

I’m going to make an effort over the next few weeks to spend some time with just her, a movie on the couch, an extra book before bed, special notes in her lunch box, and a new school outfit if I can afford it; the one that I didn’t realize was so important to her, something I wish that I had understood before. This isn’t about her wanting everything the other kids have, this is about her wanting to feel some semblance of being just as special as them. She wants to know that despite the fact that she has only one parent and no extended family, that she isn’t missing out on receiving the same amount of love and attention as the other kids.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I can’t give her everything that the other kids have but I can offer her something unique to our situation. I can offer her lessons and life experiences that will better shape her into being an amazing human being; but what I need to remember is that while that is all great and dandy, she is only six right now and she only see’s what she sees.

Breaking the cycle of abuse was only the beginning of raising a better generation in the DNA line.

Luckily for her, she seems to have a mom who loves her very much.

Luckily for me, she seems to think so too.

Now I just need to make she that she knows how special she is despite the fact that she is living in a situation where her perceived circumstances are telling her otherwise.

That night as we were eating dinner I was asking the kids about their day. My little guy piped up with “Sara hit me, she not my friend anymore. She make my feelings sad.” Before I could say anything my daughter looked at him and said what I have been whispering in her ear every night of her life since the day she was born “You are amazing. You are precious. You are smart. You are beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you differently and don’t ever forget it because you are loved.”

I stopped chewing mid bite as I felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest. I’m thankful we were eating ravioli because I think I ended up swallowing the whole thing without chewing; my eyes fixated on the situation unfolding before me.

She reached over and rubbed the back of his little three year old hand and told him “It doesn’t matter if anyone is mean to you, I think you are the most 'specialist' brother in the whole entire world. I love you to Pluto and back and mommy does too. Sara just didn’t know how special you are but mommy and I do, so don’t be sad. We are a family and all very important to each other.”

She might be realizing that she doesn’t have everything that the other kids have, but thankfully she is grasping the concept that to at least a couple people, she is the most amazing person in the world.

It’s just the beginning of a long road for us, but I like the path that we are starting out on.

Don’t forget to let the people in your life know how special they are to you. Just as I started the whole “no work weekend” campaign over at my house with the intentions of tending to the things that mattered most in my life, it is important to realize that while we may fully grasp the concept of “I am doing this to make our lives better,” it isn’t always that apparent to the people closest to us. Our long work hours, our household chores, they sometimes get between us and the people that we love the most. As much as we may understand why we are doing what we do, we need to remember that the people around us only see what they see.

Pull those people close to you and give them the kind of hug that only you can give them. You might not be able to give them what everyone else has, but showing them in any way you can that they are the most important person to you goes a long way in making up what you don’t have to offer.

When it all comes down to it, we all just want to feel special.


  1. I don't know you, but reading this made me tear up. Do you have a paypal or something or a wish list for xmas gifts for your kids? I know what it's like to struggle with bills and needs/wants, but I'd love for your kids to have an incredible christmas. I didn't get much growing up, my mom was a preschool teacher raising 2 kids on her own, so I didn't get new clothes at the beginning of the school year and christmas was often bleak. So I get it, and if I can help in any way, I'd love for your kids to have an amazing christmas.

    1. She has a donate button on the side of her blog that we bullied her into putting on there. She will never mention it because she is too prideful so most people probably don't even know it's there!! I would help if I could

      Bless your heart for caring about her kids!!

    2. To the first anonymous, thank you for caring about us. It's always a little shocking to realize that people who don't even know us care, especially when the ones that were supposed to care the most didnt.

      To the second anonymous, yes, yes, I have a donate button that I have hidden on the left hand side, away from the top!

      BIG *hugs* to both of you.

    3. Do you guys have an Amazon wishlist? I will donate through your button, but I was also just thinking about how fun it is to receive packages in the mail, especially as a child. I even like getting things in the mail that aren't bills :)
      Anyway, yes, people care. People who don't know you or your family, but for all I know you could be my next door neighbor. You never know what people are going through, and if the kindness of strangers can brighten you and your children's days, then even though I don't know you, I'll picture 2 little kids smiling on Christmas day when they have a couple of presents to unwrap.

    4. Aw! How generous!!! I do not have an amazon wishlist because I don't have a shipping address for anyone to use :( Kinda hard to stay anonymous if I put my address on here haha!

      I need an out of state friend....

      I agree about the mail though, my kids ask EVERY day, "did I get any mail?"

      No kid, you did not get any mail, nor did you get any mail the last 428 days you asked. The last time you got mail it was a reminder card from the dentist saying that you were due for a cleaning! Haha.

      I admit, I love mail too. The kind that isn't bills.....

    5. Amazon is supposed to be set up so that you can put your wish list under any name you want and that no one will see your shipping address because amazon handles all the orders and mails the gifts to you. Log out of Amazon and try "buying" something off your wish list and see what it shows.

  2. This just breaks my heart, Eden. I can't imagine how hard it must be not to be able to give your kids everything they deserve to have. I am so proud of you for continuing to work and struggle and do your best every day...Because in the end, that's all we have. Just remember that what is your best today may not look the same as what is your best tomorrow. Don't measure yourself, your situation, or your kids by someone else's yardstick. You're doing the absolute best you can with what you have to work with. I'm glad that your daughter truly understands how much you love her--you've already given her something you didn't have as a child, even if she may not appreciate it until later. Hang in there, sweetling. *HUGS*

    1. Thanks hun. Def feel like I'm struggling a bit more in the parenting department these days. It was so hard when they were babies, but that was hard physically. These conversations, this whole situation, it's a lot to navigate.

      Thank you for your sweet words ;)


  3. Don't you have a friend with a nice husband or brother who you have good enough feelings about that your daughter can "borrow" him for that party? Or, how about Frisbie guy? He sounds nice enough and trustworthy enough?

    Your friends take you out to "get a break" and I'm sure they must treat you to a drink when they do, right? So if you tell them that this time it is your daughter who needs that break I'm sure they would help you? (If they can buy you a Happy Hour beverage they could treat the pizza slice!)

    That is, unless she isn't allowed to eat it because of the special diet thing? If so, you could pack her the allowed snack instead and it wouldn't even look conspicuously poor or anything (because it's, "because of her allergies and she can't eat that," etc., NOT because, "we can't afford pizza so she can't have it...")

    Don't let your pride make your kids suffer unnecessarily (and in this case, here's a real example of where if you just allow your personal support group to give you a hand, which they would be very happy to do and would appreciate the chance, it would make a real difference to your child. For once, she COULD be "one of the group".) !!!

    Just saying, when it comes to the kids, you should let the loving friends you have, help you here. Remember that it is a gift to them as well as you, people love to help if you just let them know what you need! !!!

    1. I was just going to suggest this. Hopefully she has a guy friend that would be kind enough to step in for this day.

    2. Oh no pride is getting in the way of this one. I've reached out all over Facebook, contacted my church, the big brother/big sister program, and so far I haven't had anyone step up ;(

      My friends husband's are SO busy. I obviously won't let anyone I date fill the role of a male role model because they are ever changing. It really suck :( When the daddy daughter dance rolled around last year I couldn't find anyone to take her. To be honest I am kind of at a loss here. I resorted to asking one of my friends if their teenage son's could take my little guy to the park and kick a ball around; I was getting worried that he never see's any men.


    3. I would totally send my hubs or uncle to do it. They would be thrilled. My uncle even used to be part of big brothers back in the day. :(

  4. I've been in the same boat lately, since my ex is now officially too sick to partake in the child-rearing.

    I think everyone just does as well as they can and worries that it's not nearly good enough. Most of the kids survive with only a few lifelong issues due to the way they were raised.

    (This was another great, heart-wrenching post. Another one!)

    1. I'm sorry to hear about your ex and your situation :(

      Cheers to doing the best that we can!

      *hugs momma*

  5. I have a hard time rectifying the "man who threw us away" comment with the man that you describe as being your abuser.

    I find it interesting that you see it from that perspective; as being abandoned by him, rather than defining him as your abuser.

    1. I think because he abused me, but he threw his children and his family away. I know he was my abuser, but the way that he threw us away is what I see my children struggling with (obviously we would have had other issues had they seen him abusing me) I know that he was a bad guy, but the overall absence of a father that hurts my children.

  6. I really loved reading this. You are such a great mother! Have you thought about participating in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program? That might be something that would make your kids feel xtra special.

    1. It doesn't start until age 5-6, so I just signed my daughter up last week actually, but they only match with the same gender so I still don't have a male role model for her :(


  7. You are doing a fantastic job with your children. She may not have a lot of what she wants but she does have toys, food and clothes. If I could I would totally box up some of my daughter's toys and send to you, but since you are anonymous it makes that hard lol. If I could donate money I would, but my stbx husband isn't letting me have access to money so every penny I come across is going to a lawyer. I think you handled the situation excellently! I love reading your blog, you are a wonderful inspiration! Keep your head up!

    1. Oh the joy of ex husbands and lawyer fee's. Fun times I tell ya! My ex dropped a $500 dollar check today at Mr. Attorney Man's office towards what my ex owes me, but I won't even see it since Mr. Attorney Man is putting it towards my bill. I teared up a lil bit as I sent him the text saying to go ahead and keep it. Oh who am I kidding, I think a few tears actually rolled down my cheek lol!

      Thank you for your support, even just reading the messages from you guys helps tremendously!!

      Best of luck to you with your situation!


  8. *hugs* My sister just went through that with my niece. And, hell, I went through that with my mom. It wasn't until I became an adult and tried to live on my own that I came to appreciate just how hard my mom worked to provide special things for me.

    One of the things she would do when I was around 12 or so is leave little notes on my door that were just for me. Saying that she was proud of me, that she hoped I had a good day at school. Sometimes we would go out together just the two of us and have fun.

    I think you are trying your best, and it's normal that every kid goes through this stage. *hugs* Keep at it.

    1. I love the note idea :) I spend so much time writing letters to give her when she is older that it never dawned on me until very recently that "she only sees what she see's" and that she might need a little note right now!

      Your mom sounds pretty awesome :) Make sure you tell her that often :)

      Thank you!


    2. I do. I'm lucky to have her. *hugs* You're welcome.

  9. Frankly, I can't believe that your child is the only little girl in the entire place there who doesn't have a male figure happening for her right now... In fact, I would think her peer group is probably nearly equally divided between "haves" and "have nots", in that regard, what with today's culture of single moms, unique families (Heather-has-two-mommies, etc.,) deadbeat dads, you name it! So there must be other "daughters" in the very same boat regarding this ill-planned event, I would think. Have you spoken with her teacher about this circumstance? Ask them what they proposed to do for all the devastated children who felt left out and/or traumatized by this poorly planned "party" that belongs in another century (seriously, I would consider this event to be one that could in fact be viewed as "politically incorrect", actually!) !!! Back in the day it was a good thing for girls to actually make a point of interacting with their dads once in a while and all, since good old Ward was usually off slaving in his suit and tie while elegant June was always home dusting the house in her dress and pearls (ancient sitcom reference there, "Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver, the perfect parents", for those who don't get that...) But right now, children either have a good relationship with their father or they don't, and if they do, they don't need the pizza thing, and if they don't, it's just playing up the fact that they are missing out and don't have it, and no artificial creation of togetherness like this cozy little soiree will help with that. Seriously, you need to have a chat with the admin folks who were this foolish in their planning (be kind, they're probably just too old to get it, initially, until pointed out to them... but they do need to be told!) Just sayin, you are far from alone on this one, I'm betting!

    1. Oh I did and it erupted into quite the show which I will be discussing in an upcoming post.


      They were fairly firm that it was men only and I am not happy about it. I am not the kind of mom that tells my kid that she is the fastest and smartest and that every kid gets a trophy, but this is ridiculous. What's next, an all white prom?

    2. Well, if they're going to be that picky, they need to provide "loaner" men, right? :P (Like those restaurants that have jackets and ties for the guests who don't have one?) ;-)

      Seriously, why don't you ask your lawyer to step in, he's certainly a guy? And you know he can be trusted with your little girl! (All he can say is "no", right?) :) :) :)

    3. Love it! So true!!!!! The 'loaner men' part anyways.

      Ok, so Mr. Attorney Man + kids= HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      I once went to his office with both of them and he was like "Hi....little girl....I uh....(here, let me pat you on the head) don't have any toys....but I have this here nifty golf club you can play with."

      He gave her an actual golf club to play with while standing next to his GLASS DESK.

      I was like "whoa, whoa, thanks for that, but I probably paid for that desk, so give me the damn golf club and why don't you, dear girl child, go for a staple hunt on the floor. Find 15 discarded staples and I'll let you ride home with me."

    4. Lol staple hunt! And I'm so w/ Anonymous on this! I can't WAIT to read this post.

  10. When I saw the title, I thought to myself, she's young of course she might say that. Then I read on. I can understand how you might have felt at the time. Also how you reacted may not have been what she expected.

    But I'm glad it all worked out in the end. I'm guessing you live in the united states, may I ask what time zone you live in? Feel free to e-mail me the answer if you don't want to tell on your blog.

    1. Can I ask why you want to know what time zone she is in? I think if she gives away to much info someone will figure out where she lives.

  11. Just curiosity she has my email if she prefers to answer privately.

    1. Hey girl! Come on now goof, you know I can't answer that. You guys are way to smart for me and you would pull all my little details and be like "here she is! She lives at the corner of such and such in Cabo!"


    2. Oh and the "hey girl" was me saying "Hi! Hi there!" not like "HEY YOU" or anything lol

  12. *hugs* mama! the rejection thing hurts so so much even if it's "mean mama" over the irrational demand that they eat the food presented to them.

    1. Oh the nerve to feed them something they had not priorly approved!!! I'm just like "Ok, then I'll eat it and you can go to bed." They eat it but man can my kids give a top notch death glare.


  13. Note to self: do not read your blog at work! Crying at my desk. I can blame it on allergies.

    Do you have a P.O. Box or some place generic to send cards to your kids? As a kid, I loved getting things in the mail.

    You're doing great, mama! Keep forging ahead; you're raising two gorgeous, sensitive, lovely human beings.

    1. Aw don't cry!! lol. Sorry about the tears! I don't have a PO box :( Thank you though, my kids would have loved that! They love getting mail, even though they never get anything besides reminder cards about dentist appointments and what not, they ask everday lol!!

      Thank you for thinking of us!!


  14. OH my gosh, I'm with Anonymous up there- don't read at work! This one made me tear up, too. You are an amazing mama!!

    1. Haha! Aw sorry! Didn't mean to make anyone cry!!

      *thank you*

  15. You are an amazing mother and you already have proof in your life that you've broken that terrible cycle. When you see your daughter comfort your son with words you taught her you know that you are doing things right with them. Someday they'll understand more than they do now, but till then keep writing! Also, how backwards and exclusive was that pizza party! What about the kids whose dads' have to work, or single mothers or TWO mothers! Whoever let that invite out the way it ended up was not thinking clearly, and yeah, it's kids who hurt the most over stuff like this, but we moms internalize plenty as well.

    1. Aw thank you :)

      But yes about the party! Way to make it only for some strange little "elite" group!!