When I was young, I knew I wanted to have a family. Also being young, I didn’t have the patience or the sense to wait for the right guy to come along. So like the foolish young girl I was, I decided to start a family with a lifelong guy friend. Once I was pregnant, we got married – he and I both thought it was the right thing to do. It went alright for the first couple of years. Andy was born, and we were doing quite well. Well enough that we thought it was a good idea to try again for another baby. I got pregnant again immediately. About 6 months into my second pregnancy is when our relationship fell apart. The kids’ dad and I split up and I started dating someone else almost right away (as went most of my relationships from then on). Once my second baby, Evan, was born, I was pregnant again from the new boyfriend within a couple months. The new boyfriend was not happy, denied paternity, and disappeared, never to be heard from again. So here I was, headed to being a single mom of 3. Andy and Evan’s dad was around off and on, some for me, some for the kids. He claimed my third, Cory, as his own as well. But as noble as that sounds, it still didn’t make him a good dad to the boys.
Over time, I dated a few guys that were in my life for long enough to be in the boys’ lives as well. A couple of them seemed to be good guys, but more often than not, they didn’t relate to my boys well at all. Nothing ever worked out. That’s where the guilt comes into this post.
I have tremendous guilt now for all the wrong decisions I made not only as a woman, but mostly as a mom. The majority of these guys should never have met my boys, if any of them. My self-esteem during those times was the lowest it’s ever been in my life, and my personal boundaries were severely lacking. The guys didn’t treat me right, and had no respect for my parenting or connection to my kiddos, as most of them had no children of their own. By dating them, I allowed them to take a lot of my attention, when more should have been focused on the kids. That is something I regret more than anything else in my life. I cannot allow myself to sit and dwell on it too much or depression takes over.
As anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows, there is a happy ending to that. Jarrod and I found each other! Our immediate connection, and knowing we were meant to be together, changed my whole outlook and perspective on being in a relationship. He and I both have kids we hold as high priority, so we know what each other needs to do to be a good parent… and we respect each other for it. We give each other the space to spend time with our kids, while maintaining an excellent balance so we have our own time together as well. It has been very fulfilling for us both.
Jarrod and I have had many discussions about adding to our family, and how lucky our next child(ren) will be to have two parents who have both made unfortunate mistakes, but have learned enough to know how to keep the family together. And while the guilt from my past mistakes remains for my current boys, I know I will not repeat those mistakes.
The baby I carry now, and any future children Jarrod and I may have, will be very lucky kids. They will have 2 parents who love each other endlessly, and whose home will never be broken. For for that I have eternal gratitude.