Friday, August 26, 2016

As A Parent, Are You Ever Enough?

This morning my "Mom guilt" is strong. We have an event at the end of the month (that I can't really go into specifics about) that I would love to be able to take all my children to. However, finances and schedules don't really permit for all four but just two to go.
 I've exhausted my resources trying to figure out a way to make it work and the only way its possible is to stretch myself beyond my "means".
 Our finances have never been made public to our kids and it's really no secret anymore that I grew up poor. It's also abundantly clear that because of my upbringing I try my hardest to make sure my kids experience so much!
 This year was a tough one.
 Aubrey has the opportunity to go to New York for her 8th grade trip. Last year when we found out about this trip I knew that there was no way we could afford our 1/2 of her trip. After many of conversations with Sean and Jeanette, we just couldn't do it.  We didn't have the extra cash just laying around or the ability to make the monthly payment. The amount it would cost to send her on this trip, we could afford to all go somewhere as a family.
 In this house, we had to say "No". Which was hard and heart breaking.
 LUCKILY, for Aubrey, between her Mom and her Grandma, she gets to go. I can't even begin to express how thankful I am and how excited I am for her.. but it still leaves my heart sad that we couldn't help send her.
 This year Aubrey also asked for a real cell phone. She thinks it's because we don't trust her that she doesn't have one. Oh sweetie, of all the kids, she is the most trustworthy at the moment. But try explaining to a kid that the 5.65 I pay a month for her gizmopal is just a tad more financially feesable then the 30 dollar smart phone she wants..
 We have been fortunate enough, many times to take our kids to do amazing things. For YEARS we exhausted ourselves with Disney passes, a trip to Hawaii, San Francisco, Reno, Arizona and PLENTY of expensive day trips. Never about the money but more the time and effort. The memories..
 Recently, my highly emotional eleven year old accused me of loving her little brothers more then I love her and her sister. What a blow that was.. How hard that hurt my heart.
 I try, even when they aren't in our home to show them I love them. I think about them. I don't love them any more or less then their brothers and I felt like, in that moment.. everything I have done is for nothing.
 I know this is total normal kid behavior and I didn't turn into a blubbering idiot when this accusation was thrown at me. I actually was just the opposite..
 Here's where my mom guilt comes in. We have done lots of things with our girls, separate from the boys. "Big kid trips" if you will.. and when they aren't home we try and make up for those trips by doing things with the boys, also apart from the girls because 1.) we can't stop living life every other week but also they need to know that our life continues to move forward with them too.
 Having a blended house hold really is hard.
 We have had many talks with the girls about how lucky they are, how they get to do things with Mom and Brandon just as much as they do with us. How they don't include their brothers in those things and that they shouldn't feel like they have to. Also, that they can't expect us to not do fun things when they aren't here..
 But when is it enough?
 Why do I still feel guilty for wanting to do things with either or sets of children?
 As a parent, do you ever feel like you have enough to give to your children? I don't mean just financially.. its everything. Finances, attention, boundaries, love, discipline, praise?
 Is this the pentacle of parenthood? Because this does not at all feel rewarding. It feels like failure..

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