I have struggled most of my trying to be a good parent. I have two children, a son who is 17 and a daughter who just turned 16. My daughter lives with me and my husband (her stepfather) and attends high school in grade 10. My son currently resides in New Brunswick with his father and we are estranged.
I love both my children but sadly cannot parent them both. My son has some severe mental health issues, along with emotional and Behavioural difficulties which unfortunately is too much for me to cope with. I have struggled with the guilt that comes along with this issue, and continue to work on this in therapy. One day I hope that my son will be open to accessing services that will enhance and change his life, but until that happens, for safety and health issues I must maintain a distance.
My daughter and I have had our share of struggles an there was a time that I could not parent her either. I suffered several psychotic break episodes that required hospitalization and at the time I needed her to live with other people. I also had to attend intensive psychotherapy to begin the recovery process from these episodes. During this time I again struggled with guilt but I believe that I did the best I could. She never stopped believing that I loved her, even when I couldn’t be there for her. She has been back with me and my husband now for two and a half years and in that time I have seen her mature into this amazing young woman.
I’ve learned how much of an impact that I have made on her life and how my influences and experiences are helping her find her own way through the world. She is kind and compassionate, loving and generous. She has moods like her mother and is shy and unsure of her identity. But every single day she inspires and motivates me and gives me excitement of what life has yet to bring.
If you struggle with parenting, never under estimate the power of love. We may have a mental illness but that can never diminish the contribution we make as parents. Stay strong and love your babies. Stop judging yourself about what you can’t do for your children and focus on what you can.