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It's so easy to get caught up in the almost inhuman levels of stress we endure as parents. We love our children so much sometimes it hurts; the worry, the guilt, the imperfection within us all, the imperfection within our children, the reflection of us on them, and the endless distorted hall of mirrors and narcissistic chaos that ensues when we stop seeing our kids as people and take responsibility for everything, the good, the bad, the gifts and the challenges.
My sons have been away for three weeks visiting their biological father in Los Angeles. While they are away, I have had a chance to scrub the house, including their rooms and closets, sleep, go out to dinner with my husband, read, and think.
Missing them is always a part of their being gone and, while I love that they are having a lovely time and are not bored at home while my husband and I go to work in the summer, their absence also leaves a big fat space for me to speculate on everything I have done, currently do, and will do wrong as a mother.
It's absolutely dreadful.
As the weeks go by, I attempt to get myself into a space of loving how things have been going; reflecting on all the positive attributes of our family life together, remembering laughter, dinners at the table together, long walks by the water, fun with the pets, and kooky kid conversations.
I believe I have gotten to a point, in the last couple of days where I have come to realize that visualizing my children with love is more important than "getting it right".
As a mother, I remember giving birth with confidence, thinking, "I love this baby so much there is absolutely no way I can ever not protect him from harm." And then divorce, remarriage, moves across the country, school changes, anxiety disorders and family feuds took all of that away. My love hasn't gone anywhere, but my confidence and my ability to protect them from harm is laying battered, in shards on the ground.
Since my love is unchanging, I believe this is really what I have to offer my sons.