I am convinced that you don't really figure out mothering until you become a grandmother and are able to step back a bit.
I made many, many mistakes as a mom and my children paid dearly. I was an emotional basket case and the more I needed love, the more I pushed people away.
Healing began for me about twenty years ago in a small kingdom called Lesotho in southern Africa. A chief named me Me'ma Lera'to, Mother of Love. I was the furthest thing from that. I never let anyone deep into my heart for fear I would lose them or they would hurt me deeply as I had been hurt. Some how though over the years, I hear that declaration and it pushes me to become just that,
Let me share a truth with you that has helped me forgive myself.
13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret,
and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect;
and in thy book all my members were written,
which in continuance were fashioned,
when as yet there was none of them.
God, Himself was there when each child was knit into my womb. He chose me to be their mother just as He chose my mother. HE trusted me with their lives.
I made mistakes, big mistakes, but my Father sees the beginning to the end and He can take my mistakes and fashion them into strengths and passages for others to be free.
I had to go to each adult child and repent. Some heard me; some did not. But my heart was right. This is not a time to make excuses. There is no excuse for not being available or lack of nurturing. If other things or people were more important and you justified it in the name of survival, recognize that you were operating out of fear. Where there is fear, there is lack of trust in God completely. Like me, you will need to repent to the Father.
When you are operating in fear, there is always a Plan B. There is never a point of absolute surrender and trusting the Father to meet you in the crisis.
I am hanging on to the promises in Joel 2:
25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm,
and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God,
that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.
He took my ALL my guilt and shame when I repented. I cannot replace the past, but I can forge peace, love and joy into each day for His mercies are new every morning.
So celebrate who you are and ask the Father show you how to be all HE sees you becoming. It's a journey, but it will not begin without taking the first step towards reconciliation.