Where Did I Go Wrong?

Question: Dear Luise: I am a 38 yr old single mom of two a 21 year old son(he just turned 21) and 9 yr old daughter. I raise my kids alone. I thought I did a good job. I had basic rules no company in the house and come in at a certain time. At 17 my son seeked out his father and starting spending time with him. He basically bought his love by giving him money allowing him to do whatever he wanted including bring girls over etc. That one year trump all my hard work in 17 years. The father claimed I was sheltering him. Anyway after he graduated from hs the girl he was seeing became pregnant. All my hard work down the drain. I was so disappointed in my son. He saw how I struggle. Anyway he decided to go live with the girl and her mom. I guess he knew living in my house was out the question. The day him and her came and got his stuff. I politely asked for my keys. He dropped them on the table. I did not hear from him for several months. Eventually they had a son he just turned two years old. I have no bond with this kid. My son totally dissed me and my family. He calls her mom mom. I feel like this girl stole my son from me. What did I do wrong? Is it because I did not allow them to stay with me in my house? I told my son he was always welcomed but I do not condone their arrangment as they were kids to me. He drinks and smokes and her mom allows that I will not. My son did okay last xmas when he brought the baby over and we exchange gifts.  He finally remembered that he does have a mother and a little sister. Anyway last month my son invited my daughter to a couple of gatherings that they were having. I allowed her to go because she misses her brother. My son came in the house briefly but left the baby in the car. I found myself walking to the car to see him and say hi. Did not think nothing of it til I asked others opinions. I mostly got as the grandmother I should not have to go out to the car my son should have brought the baby in even if for 5 minutes.(sorry actually he not a baby he is almost 2) I let it go then next weekend it happened again however I did not go out to the car I did not even ask about him. My son called the next day and I expressed my feelings. His excuse we were on the go we had to get the car back etc. I’ll know next time. I had not heard from him in 3 weeks since that conversation. His birthday came I did not want to call him so I text him Happy Birthday and Happy easter. No response. I broke down and called him after I found out he called my mother. He claim he never got the text and that he was going to call me and assure me that there was no problem. He was having a birthday party for his son and invited my daughter for a sleep over and the party. She was picked up from my mothers house I sent a gift. They returned to drop my daughter off  I looked iutside and I asked where is your son. His response we stopped at home to switch cars he’s at home with my mom I mean her mom(he corrected his self). All I said was am I ever going to see your son. He got angry and yelled Mom he was sleep do you have a problem with that. I did not even respond he walked out so fast. My own daughter asked was I alright and said she would talked to him trying to comfort me she also confirmed he was sleep. Perhaps I was being selfish but I do not get to see this If he slept all that time he could of stayed sleep in the car. I don’t know. I tried talking to my mom which was a big mistake but she seemed to side with him and repeated what I said to him so I got a call from my son and he was so disrespectful with his tone of voice.  He said he was trying to keep the baby from me he told me that I do not make any effort to come see him (I don’t drive) but he made it clear that my boyfriend drives. He literally had me in tears I told him I did want to talk to him right know and hung up. I don’t think I won’t to talk to him for a long time. Sorry that I rambled on. But am I unreasonable for wanting to see the kid. I want to buy things and give but I have no bond whatsoever. Is my son punishing me for not accepting his situation completely(allowing him to stay with me) Is this pay back because my boyfriend got in to it with his father 7 years ago and because of that they never really bonded yet my daughter calls him dad and has been told otherwise by my son. My son has the attitude since his father was not there he is going to be there for his son. I don’t see my son as an adult because he has no job and pays no bills. do I need to just let go Am I wrong about how I feel? Where did I go wrong? His son knows no one on my side of the family. MY grandmother and uncles ask me about him I have to tell them I don’t know. MY fiancee tells me he is going to need me one day and that they always come back. Please give me some feedback. Thanks. M.

Answer: Dear M.: We can’t “mother” our adult children. They go out there and make huge mistakes and often not trusting us or respecting us is one of them. We want them to mature and become responsible but they often find others who don’t require that of them.

Trying to figure out why is a useless process. There isn’t a why. And there’s nothing you can do. You son is how he is. He may not stay that way but right now there is no way I know of for you to change him into an adult or alter his behavior. He is making choices that are shutting you out of his life and conveniently finding you to be at fault.

I don’t know what you can do but wait and of course there’s no guarantee that he will come to and grow up. In the meantime, you are missing out with your grandson. It’s a bitter pill to swallow but his father and the baby’s mother are keeping your son a child.

If you can, let go and appreciate that you at least have your daughter and your fiance. If need be, get counseling to help you through this. It is not your fault. You deserve so much better but life isn’t always fair. Blessings, Luise

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