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5 Ways I've Messed up My Kids

Dear Kids,

Let’s get a couple of things out of the way. From the bottom of my heart I am so, so sorry and yes, it’s all my fault. Everything. You. Now. You are both getting to the age when you can, will and should start blaming me for everything that’s messed up in your life. Just the way I blamed my mom. There’s a legacy of mom blame in our family so go ahead, take a deep breath and, as you exhale, blame all of your issues on me. Not only now, but far, far, into the future. Your issues are clearly a direct result of everything I did wrong when you were little. It’s a rite of passage. Go for it.

For example:

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1. Relationship Issues

Because you both decided that mom’s bed is where the party’s at, neither of you can fall asleep on your own. Relationships founded on comfort and cuddles are your go-to. You don’t feel safe on your own. I should have pushed you out and into your own beds at a reasonable age, say before 10, so you could have learned to comfort yourselves in your own bed and not depend on another warm body.

2. Boundary Issues

See above. How can you have healthy boundaries when being squished in a bed with your family is the norm? This goes for both of you, and leads to my next big mess-up. Please apologize to your future partners for me as well, especially after they tell you they need "more space."

3. Money Issues

If you had more stable relationships you’d have more money. Yup, all those security deposits lost on apartments that you’ve moved out of after six months when you realized he wasn't "the one" will add up. If you had more stability in our home, you could have made better choices instead of mirroring mine. Also, that stable home life would allow you to focus more on work and less on finding the best moving company in town.

4. Employment Issues

Maybe I should have been tougher. All the “follow your dreams” stuff is awesome advice but only applicable when you have the skills to back it up. Aria, you wanted to be a musician but I let you drop out of piano because practice was “boring,” and I hated seeing you miserable. My fault for not trusting myself enough to know when to say “too bad, kid.” I let you collapse and drop out when the going got tough. I was a softie and permissive at times and now you don’t know HTML or Java and are basically unemployable.

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5. Self-Esteem Issues

Because I never pushed you to do things out of your comfort zone, you lack chutzpah and confidence when it comes to trying new things or presenting yourself to new people. Confidence is the key to avoiding issues 1 through 4, but I'm more of a coddler. Let's hope that therapy you're destined for pays off, and you build it up on your own. I'll help! Just print out this list, and hand it to your shrink.

How have you messed up your kids?

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