Does That Make Me a Bad Mom?

For those of you who haven’t been following me long, my 16-year-old daughter decided to live with her father this year.

At first, I was heartbroken.  My little girl was leaving me.  Then I was devastated.  What had I done that was so horrible that she’d rather live with her abusive father than me?  Next, I came to acceptance.  My son is amazing, so most of the issues she’s dealing with are of her own making, not anything I did or didn’t do.  Now, I’m at a place of peace.  My home is much more peaceful and loving without her in it and she’s much happier where she’s at.

Or at least, that’s what she claimed.  I had no way of knowing.  I mean, she almost never talks to me and I see her even less (I’ve just convinced myself that it’s what most mothers deal with when their children go away to college, I’m just a bit ahead of the game).  I knew that she could just be telling me that everything’s fine to save face.  I mean – who wants to admit that they made a choice which has altered their life in a very bad way?  Especially when it means admitting your mom was right.  So, I took it at face value when she said that she was happier, healthier, and doing better in school than she ever did while living with me.

Until tonight.  On Facebook, she posted, “Ugh!  Can teenage years get any worse?”

And what was my reaction to that?  Was it the reaction a good mom would have had?  “Oh, my poor baby!  I must find out what happened and help her through it.”  No.  Not me.  “I must bring her back here where she can be happy again.”  Uh-uh.  My first reaction was relief.  I wasn’t the horrible mother I had made myself believe I was when she left me.  My next thought was to wonder if there was any chance I’d allow her back into my home.

Whoa!  RRRRRT!  What kind of mother has that kind of reaction to her daughter in the worst pain of her life?!  What kind of mother am I?

I’m the kind of mother who finally has peace from a tormented, drama-ridden teenager.  I’m the kind of mother who believes children should be allowed to make their own choices and then be responsible for whatever consequences their actions bring.  I’m the kind of mother who believes her son should have the right to live in a peaceful, loving home.

I’m not sacrificing my daughter – I’m allowing her to learn from her mistakes.  I’m not being a bad mother – I’m protecting my son.



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