It’s a Little too Late (to do the Right Thing Now)

The love and light of my life, Brodie at his Jr. Prom

The light and love of my life at his Jr. Prom

I’ll be the first to admit that I like to take trips.   I love sunning on the beach.  I enjoy the drive through the mountains.  I like to explore the city and I think back road trips are best.  I have a passport, I have my luggage on wheels, and I have my travel size accessories in hand so I’m good to go at a moments notice. (Not really, but you get the idea)  Guilt trips???…well, I’m not a big fan, but I seem to be earning my frequent flier miles in this department.

The guilt trip I seem to frequent the most is my role as a mother to my son.  Deep in my heart, I know I failed him greatly.  I’m not searching for arguments.  I’m not seeking out pity.  I’m not looking for justifications.  I’m speaking from the pit of my soul.  To be honest, I’m not sure how I would have handled it differently, but I think about it constantly.  I wrestle the thoughts in my dreams and I battle the guilt in my mind as I try to hide from the nightmares my failings bring.

In our minds, we have this vision of a mother.  Whether this vision is based on our own mother, the mother of a friend, or a fictional mother from television, we all have a picture in our mind.  I saw myself as a mother who was there to pick her son up from school each day.  I would listen to his stories about recess, or a grouchy teacher, and that cute little dark-haired girl, while helping him with his homework.   Next, I would prepare a home cooked meal and then we would end our day watching a favorite TV program.  (Sounds so Leave it to Beaver-ish …just like in my vision).

Instead, my son had a mother who worked long, and often late hours, was tired and stressed when she was home, rarely cooked him dinner or took the time to sit down and watch TV.  My sweet parents, and on occasion a friend, took on my role of being his chauffeur, made sure his homework was done, and nurtured his soul.

My role, however, consisted of pulling in the driveway of my parent’s home in the evenings, leaving the motor running, darting in to pick him up, gathering up his things, and  running out the door again.  I think most of our conversations consisted of a few phrases such as,  “Go hop in the shower; time for bed; time to rise and shine; and do you have your backpack?  Not exactly my vision of a great mother in action.

I’ve concluded, that I was consumed with survival and trying to keep my head above water.  Realizing that I had  a child I was solely responsible for terrified me because I was afraid of failure…again.  (Marriage being my first failure).  I guess I had something to prove to myself.

Much of the time since my divorce (past 7 years) has been a blur.  It’s like I have been engulfed in a fog, lost in a maze, or buried alive.  However, I am beginning to see the light, I am finding my way, and I am digging myself out of the hole I have been in.  It has been suffocating, but I’m beginning to breathe.

I’m certain I’ll take more guilt trips, but I hope I will no longer be a frequent flier.  I’m tired of going down this road and I think some new scenery will do me good.  I hope my son can forgive me for the time I spent wandering… lost in the fog.   Realizing it’s time I cannot get back  is what hurts me the most.

Today I am thankful for a change in scenery and a breath of fresh air.

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7 Responses to It’s a Little too Late (to do the Right Thing Now)

  1. Robyn says:

    Jennifer, when I was having to raise Brandon alone I did the same thing. I felt such guilt til the Lord taught me that He used that time to teach us both how to let go of each other. Brandon…to grow into a independent man who trust the Lord and turns to Him instead of me. Me…to put him in God’s hands and trust Him to take care of him. I know I did so many selfish things and I hate that, but I’m so glad God can bring good out of things! God cut the apron strings when I wasn’t ready, but I’m grateful He did, cause I probably never would have been ready!!! lol

  2. Kristin Gunset says:

    Hey Jen, I know we all have that guilt most moms do have to balance work mom and at home mom. I know you and know that you are a sweet and loving mother who would do any thing for that fine youngman that is your son. You have done a wonderful job with him. When I look into your or Brodies’ eyes all I can see is pure kindness. As for your short commings….. well all I can say is sweetie we all feel that we failed in some way or another or didn’t do enough or spent enough time or whatever we all feel guilty for…. We can’t do that because when we see the product that we send out into the world and they too are followers of God and kind and loving souls then we can say we did our best and let God take care of the rest…. I love you Jen and am proud to call you my friend! xo

  3. Delia Rodriguez says:

    For starters Jennifer, the grass always looks greener on the other side. I was one of those stay at home moms, or rather still am who had fresh tortillas with every home cooked dinner, picked up my kids everyday after school. I was fortunate and grateful to be able to do that. As they got older they realized most if not all of their friends moms worked outside the home. And I was the oddball. I think they secretly wished I had some great career, something they could brag to their friends about. So basically I’m not much of a role model to my daughter, just an example of what she never wants to be. I guess thats why I pushed college and career so much to my daughter, I wanted her to have options. So don’t beat yourself up Jennifer, I think you did just fine.

  4. Thanks Delia for giving me a view of the other side. My mom was a career woman and I witnessed what all she missed from our school activities. From an early age all I wanted to be was a wife and mom. At least I was able to be a stay at home mom through Brodie’s fifth grade year. A lot of moms don’t even get that. Those were some of the best times, but then again I was doing what I loved.

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