Wrong Guy, Right Kids: How I Sometimes Feel Guilty
I had an amazing father growing up. Okay, who am I kidding; we all know that I still may have some growing up to do. But I consider myself one of the lucky ones, with the constant love and support of an incredible man who is always there. My dad is my rock. Honestly, I felt sorry for anyone I dated or God forbid remarried; my dad had set the bar at an almost unreachable level. (Note to my very recent fiance: I said almost.) And I so wanted my girls to have that same special bond with their dad growing up.
Unfortunately, I must have been at the wrong husband store the day that I picked mine out. I thought I was getting an honest, responsible and trustworthy husband. I didn’t even notice that mine was damaged until I got him home, and by then I had lost the receipt and couldn’t take him back. I ended up with a childlike, selfish and well… just a plain ole asshole husband. And trust me when I say, those kinds are no fun at all. As sad as it is, my girls refer to their dad as “the biological father”. He has been less than satisfactory when it comes to being a daddy. Parenting, like marriage, is something you actually have to take part in, and he checked out on both a long time ago. If you think you have it bad with working mommy guilt, try I “fucked up my girls emotionally because I had a bad picker outer and now they all have major daddy issues” guilt on for size. And warning…It’s not for the faint of heart.
Sometimes, I can’t help but beat myself up over the fact that because of my stupid decisions, my children are the ones who are suffering the consequences. My girls never asked for any of this. Seriously, who would? Then I get to feeling guilty because if I had not married the douche bag, I would have missed out on the three most important things in my life; my girls. At times, it seems like I am stuck on the guilt- go-round with no way to get off. Luckily for me, I am well-schooled in the art of kicking my own ass. And those feelings don’t stay as long as they used too. In fact, the farther along my girls and I get in our journey, the less and less those feelings creep up on me. I have learned to focus on all the positives my girls have in their lives instead. And can I just say, we are all the happier because of it.
Here is a small list of the tools that are helping us achieve our utopia…
1. Therapy, therapy, and more therapy. I cannot stress enough the importance of having someone who knows what the hell they are doing to help your children sort through their feelings. All my girls expressed their hurt in different ways. Fun, right? Not exactly… while two of my girls caved rather easily and agreed to counseling of some sort, my other darling daughter will have to be carried kicking and screaming the whole way. I haven’t given up on getting her there yet either. We are making progress in the mere fact that we can recognize the source of the hurt and anger, keeping it to a dull roar.
2. Let go of the idea of the “traditional family”. My children may not have the presence of their biological father in their lives, but what they do have is better than anything I could have hoped for. What is that you ask? My dad. He never batted any eye at the thought of stepping in to that role for my girls. They now share in that special bond I have with my dad. They think the world of him, and he of them. It is my dad that they want to walk them down the aisle one day when they eventually marry at the ripe old age of let’s say 30 something… An age where they will be wise enough to pick better than their mother did.
3. Speaking of picking better… Pick Better! I won’t lie and say the road of our journey has been smooth. Hell, it’s been bumpier than white water rafting through class V rapids. One poor fellow that I seriously dated just happened to be at the wrong time for my girls. To show their appreciation, they took his ball cap and threw it out back in the fire pit. I know, I can laugh my ass off about that now… although, I don’t think he would feel the same.
And after all my failures, I have finally gotten it right this time (or I am hoping I got it right anyways). My very recent fiance and love of my life treats my daughters like they are his. After four years of dating and proving to them that they can rely on him, my girls have another special father figure in their lives. So try to not to let the guilt creep in and consume you if you’ve been shopping at the same store I did. There is a light, however small it may be at times, at the end of your tunnel.