In order for me to really share my honest opinions and experiences I need to step back and start from the beginning, to really show our life with all the struggles, differences, and successes.
I want to allow people to read along and realize that this is not about parenting, or a lack of parenting, this is not about a steady home, or a one parent household, that there are many factors and honestly not all kids are the same. That is the main point.
My older 3 kids have the same father, my ex husband. They have lived with me from birth and I have always been available for them and with them. My ex husband and I separated towards the end of 2003 and divorced in 2006. When we separated they were 3, 2, and newborn. He and I have both had other relationships since then. He has not always been around for the kids but I have always made it possible for him to be around. He has always known where we were living, our numbers, and how to get in touch with us. As the kids got older and had their own methods of contact he was given their information, just in case he ever wanted to interact directly with them instead of thru me. There has never really been any bad blood or ill will towards each other and the lines of communication open. I want to add that in because I want people to know there was no nonsense between us that would keep the kids not wanting to deal with either parent, there was no using kids as pawns to get anything, there was no drama between us. Even with their stepmoms (see end of this paragraph), there have been no petty nonsense. No "they cant call you mom" or "you cant parent them crap." I have always been open with the kids too in regards to their father. If they wanted to try to get in touch with him I would try and I would tell them. If they did get in touch with him and made plans that were not followed through they were aware of that. Of course it has all been done fairly age appropriately but it has been honest nonetheless. Their father got remarried and had 2 children and then they divorced. He within the past 2 years got remarried again so they now have 2 stepmoms and myself. The kids are all close with both stepmoms and their families, we all spend time together and the kids are all able to hang out and grow up together. We all currently live within 10/15 minutes of each other so that makes it much easier to keep them all together.
As for myself, I remarried and my husband now has been their stepfather since late 2009 when we got married. He is not as active in their day to day as I am but it is not a huge deal. He works a ton and just is not home as much as I am considering I am a stay at home mom. He has 2 children from a prior relationship but there is so much petty nonsense from that direction.
The point I am trying to get at is that my older 3 kids have all been raised with the same set of standards, same set of rules, and same household and environment. The point is that they are all from the same place, but 1- my 14 year old son, is just on another path. My story is so I can show that they have all had the same experiences and family. The older 3 have had their father in and out of their lives the same amount of time. I have gone over the past 15 + years in my head over and over, trying to figure out what was done differently or what could have triggered my son to be different but there really isn't anything substantial. The more I try to find something the more I am able to realize that maybe its not about the family as a unit or the children as a group but as individuals, not all kids are the same. The way you parent is not always the problem and you should not feel like less of a parent. You should not blame yourself.