Did I do The Best I could?

@JTerrasi (199)
United States
July 4, 2008 11:53am CST
I am a mother of five. The majority of the time I was a single parent. Had to work and not always there when maybe one of them needed me. They are all grown now and married with families. Some have made good choices in their lives and some not. Am I to blame for their faults and troubles? I feel at times 'Yes'. They didn't have the things the other kids and teen's had. If I could turn back the hands of time..
7 people like this
13 responses
@Barb42 (4217)
• United States
4 Jul 08
If you did the best you could, you have nothing to be sorry for. My daughter was left with 4 to raise 8 1/2 years ago. She also has to work and leave them alone after school. Two of them have graduated and the other two are 12 1/2 and 14 1/2. They are all good kids. But, if they happen to get in trouble later on, you can't fault her. She did everything to make them a good life, doing without to help them, and making sure they didn't get in trouble. She kept them in sports, too. Kids have a mind of their own, especially when they get out from under the hand of the parents. Some of them experiment with the things they couldn't do under a parent. That should not reflect on you or how you brought them up.
@JTerrasi (199)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I wish you daughter much luck. Sometimes we are put in situations you only hear about....things that happen to other people until it hits home. I wanted much more for my kids than I had growing up. We were poor and as many others I had my sisters hand me downs. I had to work, it was all up to me. No one else! I guess you might say I was and am a proud woman. I know my daughter is a stronger woman and I am so proud of her. Thank you for writing and caring. J
@Barb42 (4217)
• United States
5 Jul 08
It's kind of like it will never happen to us, until it happens. My daughter always says I'm not saying my kids are saints, but I've taught them right from wrong and so far, they are good kids. I think she's done a good job. You just realize your children are now adults and now they have to make it on their own. Mom no longer runs their lives (don't we wish we could!) and they have to live with the consequences of their mistakes.
4 Jul 08
Hello JTerrasi, You have nothing to reproach yourself for I'm sure you have been a good mother, you gave them love food clothing and teach them whats right from wrong, you gave them what ever you can,if some of the children done well for themself is good,but the children, well they have to make their own life wheather it the wrong way or the right, they have to find for themself and make choices. Plese don't feel that you have failed beacause you are a good mother. Be Happy. Tamarafireheart.
1 person likes this
@JTerrasi (199)
• United States
4 Jul 08
Thank you for that. I have carried much guilt for so long. I am 61 now and I guess it is up to them how their lives end up. I will always be here for my Son though. I love them all. Thank you again. Janet
1 person likes this
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
4 Jul 08
I think we all have moments where we look back and wish we had the chance to change something, do something different. I remember as a young mother I was always so busy keeping my home cleaned and going to work that often I didn't take as much time playing with my son. My son is now 27 and the single father of his own two girls, and I see alot of my actions in him now. He is so busy earning a living and caring for their home that I feel he is missing out on the fun times. I would say you did the best you could under the circumstances given to you. As for being to blame for their faults and troubles, I firmly believe that as long as we raise them with morals and values, that any choice they choose to make in their adult life is their own. My son often calls me for advice. All I can do is advise. Whatever choice he makes, right or wrong, is his, not mine.
1 person likes this
@JTerrasi (199)
• United States
4 Jul 08
Thank you for your story as well. Having been married more times than I like to mention I sometimes feel this just added to all the heart ache. Now that they are adults and hearing stories about what they did while 'mom was at work' I don't know if I should laugh or cry. I am very close to my daughter who is 30 and she is very proud of her mom she tells people. I was both mom and dad to all five. No child support. When I look back and remember what all I went through....How did I do it? My daughter tells me it has made her the strong woman she is today. She is my best friend and my daughter. Thank you again....Tess
@joyce959 (1562)
• Philippines
4 Jul 08
I know, as a mom that you did the best that you could in your own way. The faults and troubles that your other children have done in their life is not in your control. You could be there, but still they would be in trouble for all you know. Some troubles and problems occur in everyone's life to teach a lesson and prepare us to be tougher and stronger. Let those troubles and problems be a learning process for the kids coz in one way or another, it can help and mold them. I am a mom of two and I am taking care of my sons most time coz hubby is out of the country and at the same time I am working too. But I could say I am doing my best for my sons and I know you did your best too.
@JTerrasi (199)
• United States
5 Jul 08
Thank you for that. I am not saying I am unique in any way. There are so many mothers out there being both mother and father and fathers doing the same. I know sometimes they were embarrassed and that broke my heart. I depended on NO one and asked no one for help. It was me! I am tired of looking back at what was. As someone said if they fall now I will be there but their choices are their own. Thank you again. J
@smallT (376)
• United States
4 Jul 08
Oh, if I knew then what I know now... I too raised my children the majority of the time as a single mom. I wish I could have been there for them more. But, you know what, they grow up and start making their own decisions and they eventually figured it out. Don't beat yourself up about things you can't change. I'm sure they know that you did the best you could.
@JTerrasi (199)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I totally agree....If I knew then what I have made myself aware of today maybe, just maybe things would be different. A couple have become VERY material people. This is not my life style. It isn't what you have it is the person you are inside and out. Being a parent is a life time job.....and no one said it was a easy job. Thank you for your kind words. J
• United States
5 Jul 08
well,unfortunatlly you cannot turn back then hands of time. being a single parent,you can only do what you can to take care of your kids and try your best. dont worry even kids whos parents were there every waking day of their young life,still make mistaks and make bad chpices as adults. thats nature. no sence in beating yourself up over it. all you can do now is be there for them when they need you and express your love like theres no tomarrow.
@JTerrasi (199)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I will always be her for each of them. If some day they decide they want to be a part of my life again I will open my door and my arms and welcome them. But for now I totally respect their wishes. Maybe someday? We will see. Thank you so much for your caring words, Janet
• United States
6 Jul 08
I am so sorry, i didnt relize that you didnt get to see your children.... im sure they will soon change ther mind once they relize you are there only mom. and you did the best you could.
@vanities (11343)
• Davao, Philippines
5 Jul 08
no dont say that..the fact that you were a single parent while doing so..they must understand what you had gone through and be thankful for what they are now..atleast they were not in foster home..while they were still young...how could a child blame their mom for such thing? Its their choices i guess of what they had become although your had contribute much on rearing part but since they had their own minds and choices like my eldest son...we want him to graduate for only 5 years but he chooses his band and other vices so..i waited till his matured enough to say i like to go back to school now and he did..and he graduated last april 2008 at the age of 27
@JTerrasi (199)
• United States
5 Jul 08
Sometimes a parent has to do things they don't want to do. But in the end it is in the best interest for the child.....who is now an adult. I guess it is true when they say...'they walk on your feet when they are small and walk on your heart when they grow up'. Congrats to the graduate...it's never to late. J
1 person likes this
@vanities (11343)
• Davao, Philippines
6 Jul 08
thanks
• Indonesia
5 Jul 08
I think all parents do the best they could in raising their children and you must have too. We can't turn back the time, don't blame yourself too much. There's a lot of things happens and we can't control any of them, it's just the way life is.
@JTerrasi (199)
• United States
5 Jul 08
Thank you. And you are so right. Even parents who are home 24/7 have kids who have gone down the wrong path. And I would love to meet a parent who would say their child is PERFECT! I am hearing stories from my kids of what they did while I was at work. OMG, do I laugh or cry? Have a wonderful day and thank you, Janet
@lingli_78 (12846)
• Australia
5 Jul 08
i think your children can't blame you entirely for their faults and troubles... they are adults and they choose to be what they are since it is their own decisions... if they experience troubles and make faults in their life, they have themselves to blame and responsible for it... you can't turn back the time and there is no use in regretting something that had already happened... it is better to look at the future and move forward as the future will bring hope and better things for us... take care and have a nice day...
@JTerrasi (199)
• United States
5 Jul 08
My kids are my world. Even if they are adults. Some want nothing to do with me and I totally respect that. When I am not here any longer I wonder what then!? Maybe I was to hard or not hard enough. Said yes when I should have said no! I guess it is a guessing game at this point. But I am blessed with the most beautiful granddaughter who had to fight for 'life' when she was born 2 mos. early. Nana's special Angel! Thank you and take care, J
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I am pretty much the same as you only I had 4 kids and one is still growing...14 yr old. The others are grown. They do well. They are good people. I had one that really struggled and made terrible choices . She is doing better now but still struggles with life a bit mainly because of bad choices made earlier on. I know how you feel. I too have often blamed myself but I'm getting over that. I did the best I could under the circumstances. If I was not at work, I was home with them and doing for them and trying to keep a decent home for us. I was not the perfect parent but I tried to be. Sometimes it is not all black and white.They did not go hungry or cold or naked growing up and I don't regret (now anyway) that I wasn't able to give them everything that back then I wished I could have. They are all hard workers. I'm close t o them all. I have stopped kicking myself for all I could not do and things that in hindsight, I think I could have handled differently. It is hard...very hard being a single parent. I think you should stop knocking yourself. Even kids that come from 2 parent homes with money often have issues. You can't always blame the parents. And even the most well intended parents make mistakes. we never stop learning. Ease up on yourself. The very fact that you are concerned makes me think you probably did a better job than you give yourself credit for.
@JTerrasi (199)
• United States
5 Jul 08
If it were a perfect world we all would have perfect families. I have always told my children to be proud of who and what they are. If you have a dream, follow it. Never give up. But maybe as they were growing up I should have had my eyes opened more. And made myself more aware of the 'bad' things kids were getting into then. If is very different now than when I was growing up. I am certain God gives us all a cross to bear. How we handle it is up to us. Thank you for writing me. J
@Muelitz (1592)
• Canada
5 Jul 08
I honestly believe you did a good job! They are all grown-up you said. Being able to accomplish that alone is a heck of an achievement. Bravo. You say some have good lives and some do not. Its not your fault anymore, they are big enough to take care of themselves and decide what to do in life. If they fail, it is their fault. Your responsibility is to just help them recover and encourage them to do more or if they are successful in life, remind them to help the others who are not successful. :)
@JTerrasi (199)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I have decided that if I spend all my time looking back at all of the yesterday's, I will miss out on all of my tomorrow's. They are adults now and make their own choices in life. My father told me he didn't agree with all of my decisions I had made in my life but was very proud of the 'Woman' I had become. I miss him dearly. J
@Hatley (164743)
• Garden Grove, California
4 Jul 08
JTerrasi things do not always count in your childrens minds as much as you being there for them, and them knowing that they could come to you with anything and you would not be angry. As for the choices they made that was theirs to make and you cannot be accountable for your adult children now. they are on their own now. You are not to blame for their faults or troubles as they are now all grown up.the training wheels have come off the bikes now. they now have kids of their own. you cannot turn back the hands of time but be proud of your kids.
@JTerrasi (199)
• United States
5 Jul 08
Kids now grow up to fast. My dad was a hard man but a good man and father. We were poor and I always wanted more for my children. I know it isn't material things that matter, it's the quality time you have with them. I did my best. I just have to keep telling myself that. No more what ifs, or if only I had...I do still feel sad though just remembering. Thank you so much for writing me. There are a lot of caring people here. J
• United States
5 Jul 08
honestly that is a question that only you can answer. and it is not about what other kid had, as long as you provided them with the neccessities gthat would allow them to survive i think you did wonderful. there are alto of parents out there that cant even provide the things their kids need. and as long as you know that you raised them right then you should have no doubt. whatever your kids do once they reach age 18 is left up to them , as long as you did your part as a mother. it would be different if the things they are doing you supported it and told them it was ok to do it. my mother fights with this everyday with my two brothers, she wonders why one is in and out of jail, and why the other one doesnt want to do anything with his life, lucky for her she has a witness that was there the whole time and i tell her evey day that she was a wonderful mother and she had no control over what my brothers are doing. but keep your head up , your kids are alive today to beable to have families, so that is a sign you did something right.