I have a friend who used to be addicted to drugs when she was younger, now her daughter is experimenting with drugs and alcohol at age 13.
A lot of people blame parents for how children behave or turn out and maybe sometimes it is the parents’ fault. However, no parent is perfect and you have to take the bad with the good.
I always marveled at how well my children have turned out despite my issues and weaknesses but I have recently discovered that one of my children self-harms like I do.
It’s hard as a mother to watch my child go through things that I know first hand will cause said child much pain and anguish. It is even harder to tell the child not to do something that this child obviously has seen me do.
It’s hard not to think of myself as hypocritical or think that my illness is doing my children an injustice.
I decided that every mother has things that she is not proud of and things she worries about afflicting on her children so I am sure I am not alone in feeling guilty about the impact my illness has had on my children.
There are things I picked up from my parents that are good and things I picked up from them that are bad; and it will be the same for every child no matter how good or bad their parent is.
Today I decided that I would make a list of the good things that I have done as a mother and the good things my children have picked up from having a mentally ill mother rather than the bad or the ugly things that obviously come with the territory:
I read scriptures every morning with my children
We hold regular family prayers and family home evening.
We have meals together as a family, take trips together and participate in recreational activities such as bike rides, game nights, movies, etc.
I tell my children I love them and I am proud of them, as often as I can.
I teach my children to cook, clean, do laundry, etc.
My children have a lot of compassion for others who have disabilities and obvious weaknesses.
My children love me, defend me and try to help me even during my worst of times.
My children are strong
My children are learning to be self reliant; There are many things they can do that their peers of the same age cannot or will not.
My children have testimonies of the Gospel.
My daughter is a 4.0 student, on the honor roll, taking band and choir and involved in many other school activities
My oldest son is on a mission and doing well at it.
My youngest son is really good with people, he loves to help others and is super compassionate and loving.
I think overall, I am doing a better job than I give myself credit for, especially given my circumstances. I just hope that my children will forgive me for the mistakes and remember that I love them no matter what!