I love my kids - all of them. But I don't know how to parent them. Since being at work I have forgotten what it's like to have them for a day, or even a few hours. I've grown accustomed to seeing them in short bursts of time. It's not that I don't want to parent them, it's that I am afraid to. I am afraid of screwing them up, afraid of doing it wrong, and afraid of my own potential as a parent. I'm aware my feelings are cowardly.
So, what do I do with them? I give them every opportunity to go see Craig. I pass my kids off so I don't have to face my fear of parenting them. It has nothing to do with being a martyr, it has to do with fear. Why not allow them to be mostly raised by two people, Craig and Andrea, who know what they are doing and who are comfortable with it.
I haven't really been all there as a parent since December 2009. That's when life started. I entered a depression, then got so distracted with the ins and outs of polyamory, then had my mental breakdown. It's been three years since I truly felt capable as a full time parent. Yes, I parented during the ins and outs of our situation, but I didn't feel present. My feelings kept taking precedence over the proper raising of my kids - and that is something I feel guilty for as well. Then I started working - and that took me out of the house for longer and longer periods of time. Now I am gone for about 10 hours per day. My habits dictate that my life is mostly work with small amounts of parenting.
The guilt I feel about this is overwhelming. I gave birth to two of them, and have been a parent to the other two for years - yet I am unable to actually parent them. I am a coward. I am too afraid of my own failures to be there for my kids. I obviously do not put them first. That fact alone makes me terrified to parent them, if I don't put them first how can I be an adequate mother?
I don't know what to do. I don't want to not have a relationship with my kids, but I don't want them to be able to detect my fears and uncertainties. I feel trapped in between a rock and a hard place. I want to be a mother - but I am incapable of doing it properly.
I am guilty. I am afraid. I need to learn how to be a mother again, and the only way to do that is to keep trying.