family · mental health · wellness · writing

My life, my kids! Get with the program or get out!

Ok so I feel a long blog post coming on about a subject that many will not agree with or like but I feel it needs to be said, first and foremost it is MY OPINION, you do not have to agree but I would suggest if it offends you, a look in the mirror might be a good place to start.
I will preface it to say that my kids… are just that….MINE! Unless I leave them in your care, you have zero ownership of them. Just because you are “family” does not give you rights to them or that it bestows you access to them. Want to see them, you know my number and where we live. They are underage, you want them to visit you, ask my husband and I first. Period!
Also we know your kids are important to you and the world revolves around them in your eyes. But please, stop expecting everyone to feel the same way. We have our own families, our own lives, and struggles. If someone is absent, consider why and do not bad mouth them to your kids. You are doing more damage than you can possibly imagine. I was told a few months ago that if I did not get my shit together and start making an effort that was acceptable in their eyes, that they would raise their kids to not even know who I am. Go right ahead then, knock yourself out! I bow down to no one who sees fit to threaten me in such a manner. Up until our world feel apart and I got sick a few years ago, I did everything I was socially expected to do and what I wanted to do as often as I could. Then all of a sudden, I am not good enough because I stepped away to protect my kids and myself and to try and fix the brokenness that was left behind. We are still healing and I am still in the fight of my life.
If you want something from me, ASK! If I can not give it to you, ACCEPT IT! Guilting me will only drive me further away.

I have a huge capacity to love and I care for my family deeply but I am under no obligation to constantly be in their lives. If we talk, we talk. If we don’t, we don’t. Start thinking of other people for once and stop making it all about you and yours. See, I am the type of mom who does not give a fuck if you keep up with my kids. I have raised them to appreciate the ones who do make the effort and to be gracious to the ones who don’t. It’s not personal, their self worth will not be based on who makes them feel special. They need to learn that they can stand on their own two feet and that while they are important, it should never be based on someone else. We, the parents, are the ones that are there for the special moments and if others want to be involved that is fantastic. Yet for the ones that can’t or don’t for whatever reason is not a baseline for how they feel about your children. Out of everything that has ever been said to me, the one that hurt the most, was what a horrible aunt I was because I do not remember birthdays or have not shown up to get togethers in the recent past. That I was unavailable for emotional support and I left them out in the cold. I am at a loss really, I do not remember much of the last year as I struggled with mental health issues and debilitating illnesses all while trying to help my kids deal with trauma and grief. That is where I was needed and where my obligations resided. Period! You don’t respect that, you know where the door is.

What about the birthdays and events they have been left out of. Or the grandpa who spends all his time with the other grandkids and hardly anytime with mine? Yep don’t give a shit! Large families are complicated to navigate and there is no room for this type of nonsense, you are hurting your kids far more than the ones who you claim don’t show up. The big problem also resides in the adults and their egos, strained relationships, and hurtful words. Learn to respect boundaries and move on with your own life. Take care of you and yours and everyone else be damned. You can not control other people’s action and their feelings.

My intentions where never to hurt anyone but alas, I did and I am sorry for that. Yet, I will not take ownership of the fact that others have deemed me unworthy. Continue to place expectations on people and you will find that they will fall away more quickly as your demands grow. Keep throwing fits and making people feel bad because you are not the center of their world, and you will find yourself alone. This is why we have large numbers of children with severe emotional issues because we do not teach them to rely on themselves. Continue to teach them that are entitled and uber special and they will become non functioning emotional wrecks as adults as soon as someone does not include them or make them feel special.

I have zero expectation of my family where my kids are involved and it will stay that way. Expectations lead to disappointment and what you should really be asking yourself, is if the problem resides in you and your emotional issues.

Maybe it was how I was raised that led me to this belief or the fact that I know my own worth and my heart. I can barely keep track of my meds much less what is going on in everyone else’s lives and who’s birthday is when. I am not up for pretenses of faking it until I make it, not my style. If you want me in your life, learn respect and boundaries and I will be more receptive. I do not live my life for anyone but me, my husband, and my kids.

And that is my rant, my opinion, and how I raise my kids. They know who loves them and if you are not a constant in their lives, they love you anyways. Your welcome!

Jennifer Steen

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