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Self-Indulgent Whiny Venting

Ok, I know how lucky I am.
I know I have two beautiful, healthy children.
I know I have a gainfully-employed, well paid husband supporting me.
I knew before starting this whole parenting thing that it took lots, LOTS of energy. And time.
I KNOW I am over 50 dammit!

I didn't sign on to not being allowed to remark that I am tired, or that my knee hurts, or that my child is a handful today.
No, I have to smile all the time and say it is wonderful or I get reminded of how lucky I am.

I know you walked through hell and slept in purgatory to get your child.
And I know that you, over there, are a single mom with a barely adequate job and a couple of kids and you have to do it ALL yourself.

But, ya know, I didn't buy these children on the internet.
I had to go through all the same stupid, uncomfortable, expensive fertility treatments as you did.


Do you have ANY idea how humiliating it is to have to admit to Ghod and Everybody that you failed at the essential goal of your species?

So don't remind me of how lucky I am if I happen to mention that I am tired or would like a couple of hours to myself that don't include any poop.

And Please! If I comment that I am happy about something, don't tell me that I darn well should be happy given how lucky I am.

Ok, I'm done.
I feel better.



( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 12th, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
I totally believe in the right to complain (or just to state the current reality)!

Aug. 12th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
I think that all this is pretty reasonable. Everyone measures things in context to their own life - I am sorry that people have been making you think that you aren't allowed to have complaints or disappointments or needs outside of being a caregiver.

You are a pretty awesome person, and as far as i can tell from here, a pretty kick-ass mom with some great kids. And Every person needs some time without poop.
Aug. 12th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC)
Been there. Doesn't matter how wonderful the kids are, you still need time for yourself. Sounds like you need a day off. Any possibility of arranging one?

Any chance of finding a really nice preschool for Katie a couple of mornings a week. I'll bet it will be good for both of you.
Aug. 13th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
We didn't fail at the essential goal of the species; we've been busily passing along our dreams, hopes and wisdom to this child who was pretty perfect for us. True, she's not ours biologically, but the long-term future of what we are, what we think and believe are not at hazard, and certainly, we did our part to make the world and the species better.
Aug. 12th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)
I failed three times at the essential goal of my species and have this nice, handy little divorce to show for it, no kids unless you count the cat.

I say this only in the spirit that I know how it feels to have failed the fertility dance. And I totally give up any further go-rounds.

My point is that you are FAR from alone in this particular failure. We card-carrying sisters got yer back, sweetie.
Aug. 13th, 2008 02:33 pm (UTC)
hear, hear.
(and you didn't fail. you just took a different path.)
Aug. 12th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
Lead me to them and let me kick them in the shins next time they (whoever they are) say such stupid things... and anytime you want to tell me you're tired or you hurt or one of the Beautiful Ladies is being (*ahem*) less than perfect (not that they would be, naturally, but...) I will commiserate.

The fact that you are lucky does not, could not, will not, should not negate the fact that you are human, for pete's sake!!! *sigh* We're both incredibly lucky, yes, and I know you celebrate that as much as I do. However, the day that is supposed to keep me from bitching about normal bitchable stuff... well, that day would be a *bad* day. ;-)
Aug. 12th, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
Whine away, whine away.

I would be whining, I'd be YELLING. That's rude and hideous behavior. But I've had people in essence tell me they HATE me for being happy.. How DARE I have a happy marriage, and money, and a house and parents and in-laws I like.
Aug. 12th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
I just got word yesterday that David has a place in pre-K this fall at our preferred childcare center. Two days a week (Tuesday and Thursday), 8:30 am to 11:30 am. For $25 a week. Can't start until his 3rd birthday (end of October).

My God, I am SO looking forward to it! (and I'm still considering a program that would get him out of the house two or more days a week _now_, and possibly get Michael out two mornings a week, as well. For My Sanity!)

I've been a bad Mama today, in my own eyes - he's been allowed to watch TV most of the day, has thoroughly destroyed the basement, scattering toys everywhere, has spread PlayDoh around, got into the freezer and helped himself to popcicles. He's had a blast. I'm feeling guilty.

OTOH, Daniel has worked 26 hours this week, before heading into the office this morning. If he has another day this week like he had yesterday, I don't care what they need done, I'll call him in sick (because if he continues at 2.5 hours of sleep per night, he WILL be sick!)

Um, thanks for the chance to vent. You and I should really figure out a way to ditch the respective families and go out for a drink sometime.
Aug. 12th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
All sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Being a parent over 50 -- no matter what age the kids are -- is hard. Being a parent of very young kids is also hard. Combine the two...

Next time somebody spouts nonsense like that at you, ask them whether they've tried it.
Aug. 12th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
Not sure what to say, everyone else has said things so much better than I might.

Aug. 12th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
I'm not a parent, by choice. But good ghod, anybody who has ever babysat (that would be me) knows that some days, no matter how much you love your kids, you just need to GET AWAY. That doesn't make you a bad parent. Nor does that mean you don't appreciate the two beautiful kids you have. It means your a normal human being.

I second the vote to kick the idiots in the shins (or higher up if it'd do any good).
Aug. 12th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)

And I think that the Essential Goal of the Species is to raise 'em, never mind how you got 'em. If they pass my attitude down the generations, then I Win. BWAAA HAAA HAAA HAAA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
Aug. 12th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)

I was twenty-eight when I got mine, and they were already six and three, and I can't imagine how you two are holding up. Somebody owes you medals. When I say I'm happy to have missed the diapers and the potty training qtrhorserider always says I missed the best years, but nowadays one of them agrees with me (perhaps not coincidentally, the male one). I know your rewards are great, but I can only imagine your trials.

Aug. 12th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
I think it's perfectly rude of folks to push the "well, you wanted this, so you have no right to complain," button on you.

Being a mommy is simultaneously exhausting and exilerating. Every mom has moments of being tired, achy and sick of diapers. You oughtn't need to keep such comments under your hat.

Like drzrron, I sometimes have people hate on me because I'm normally chipper and perky and positive. Sometimes, when I complain, I get it back in my teeth - a "Oh, I thought you were supposed to be happy in your little perfect life, why don't you do your little gratitude things?"

I wonder if some of those sour grapes are what some people are pulling on you, trying to make you feel bad because they're jealous of your life.

Big hugs, and let me know if you need a couple of hours at a con to help wrangle kids so you can go have fun. Or sleep.
Aug. 12th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
Venting is good for the soul - have at it any time you feel like it.

*Big HUG*
Aug. 13th, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)
Yep! ditto
Aug. 12th, 2008 10:10 pm (UTC)
OF COURSE you need some time without poop! Whether or not you can get it right now, the need is valid. And doesn't negate the good things at all, just as the good things don't negate the bad.

Hang in there. This stage will pass.

(Of course, then you will get new challenges. Have I told you that I am religiously reading the Zits comic this past year, just because it so clearly details the travails of having a teenager that it helps keep me sane when my kid does typical teenage stuff. It's still annoying, but at least I know it's typical for her age, and a developmental stage, and not something I have to worry about or try to instantly correct.)
Aug. 12th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
You completely have a right to complain. Having some good things in your life - even having a lot of good things in your life - doesn't make bad this disappear completely. And having there be people who are worse off than you doesn't make your troubles less.

I used to have this discussion with F, because he wouldn't ever want to mention if he was feeling bad because I have a chronic medical condition. And I tried to explain that this wasn't like a contest or something - we're not measuring who has the worst pain or anything. If I care about someone, I care when they don't feel good or when they're unhappy or whatever. And the same, presumably, should apply to me. Having a bad back doesn't mean I don't complain when my tooth aches. Or that I think other people can't vent because something is bothering them.

If you care about someone, you accept the good times and the bad - you try to make things as good as possible, but sometimes what you need to do is just be there for people. Let them vent, let them get it off their chest. That's part of the job!

Oh, and as for the knowing what you're getting into thing (or doing it by choice)...I don't think we usually really have a full understanding of what we're getting ourselves into. *grin* And anyone who thinks we do is probably deluding themselves about some of their own choices.

*hug* And you can always vent to me!
Aug. 13th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)
Listen some more.
Willing to listen to more, yet.

Now, here's the thing: The species, last I saw, was doing quite fine, thankyouverymuch, so you haven't *failed* at anything. Last time I looked, our species also considered itself more than just self-replicating, and you are a much more advanced soul.

Seriously -- you have to give yourself some leeway. There's a good chance that what people say to you bug you because you, yourself, internalize what they are saying. The solution is to stop internalizing. Easily said. Not easily done. Next time we see each other (please?) let's talk some more about this.

Everyone has a bad day. Anyone who loves you will understand that and let you vent. Anyone who doesn't, well ... they don't count, anyway.

If you *only* vented; or if nothing ever pleased you, then maybe you'd need to reconsider your behavior. The occasional peeve? Come on -- you know yourself that one day of Gretchen peeving will not stop the Earth rotating.

Nine times out of ten, when someone criticizes or reacts in anger, it is not about you or your complaints. It's about their own complaints. Everyone has 'em.
Aug. 13th, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)
You, lady, have not failed.

You brought two beautiful kids into the world - regardless of whose vagina they squirmed through, those kids are here because of you and roper.

They are the product of you and your husband.

If they become scientists, or artists, or educators, the legacy of their work will be because of YOU.

Anyone who says that the details of their construction or delivery should disenfranchise you of the God-given right of every parent (to occasionally want to point a freeze ray at their kids to suspend them in time for a few moments) can jolly well fuck off. Tell them I said so.

As for those who have "harder" lives than you, well most people's lives are the result of some random chance, and a lot of personal choices. Mostly choices. Many people from dismal starts or circumstances go on to have fantastic lives. Many who have every advantage starting out come to ruin through bad choices. I do not pity anyone their life situation unless it is abundantly clear that no choice they ever made would change it.

There will be times when you reflect on the joys of your life, and others when you bemoan the challenges you face JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. It doesn't matter how heavy your burden is compared to the next person.

You get to cut loose once in a while. You get to whine sometimes. We don't mind, honest.

Edited at 2008-08-13 03:10 am (UTC)
Aug. 13th, 2008 01:39 pm (UTC)
People (not-us-people anyway) are idiots. Have you only just noticed this?

Aug. 13th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
FWIW, I totally do not think you failed.

And I think you're a wonderful parent.

Aug. 13th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
It's very nice of all of these people to try and reassure you and tell you you didn't fail.

But you did.

At least, that's what the voice inside your head tells you.

And sometimes it's a little voice that says it, and you can tell it to shut up because you know, in truth, you are an amazing, wonderful, beautiful, competent, insanely intelligent, funny, charming, spectacular woman, wife and mother.

And then sometimes, people say or do things, and that voice gets louder. And louder. And telling that voice that it's irrational doesn't work any more - it's not listening. It's too busy yelling at you.

That voice tells me I'm a failure as a woman because I had two miscarriages.
That voice tells me I'm a failure as a woman because Tate was a c-section
That voice tells me I'm a failure as a wife because I'm divorced.
That voice tells me I'm a failure as a mother because Aidan has had socialization issues.
That voice tells me I'm a failure as a mother because Tate isn't potty trained yet.

And the list goes on and on.

But when that voice starts to get loud, you should do what you are doing here. You should tell us, your friends. You are not whining. Because sometimes, by yourself, you can't shout that voice down. But that voice has got NOTHING against the multitude of people who can HELP you shout it down.

I will always help you shout that voice down.

Aug. 14th, 2008 05:22 am (UTC)
The most determined, loving mom in the universe gets darn tired of baby poop. When Susan went off to see family back in South Dakota around the first Thanksgiving after we got Mere home, I stayed home. And when I met her at the gate, she had one totally blown-out baby, loaded with liquid joy all over the place.

It's a serious job, dealing with a baby, let alone a baby and a toddler. You eat, breath and sleep KIDS until you're ready to drop. Susan was a good, very dedicated mom back then, but there was a limit, and every MOMMY hits it sometimes. Endemic.

One of the easiest ways of pissing off someone is to challenge and comment harshly on their parenting skills - because everyone gets ouchy on that point. And frankly, it's easy for people to pick things apart.

One of the things that still sets me off are the people - the people in the 'adoption community' - that insisted that irregardless of how much evidence we had on the twins, that we should NOT reveal it to them until they were adults, and then they could deal with it on their own time. When this first came up four years ago, I was aghast, and now I'm furious. I see how much those kids have benefitted from the bonding, and I can imagine the horror that they would have greeted the 'here's the information, do with it what you will' letter. They would have hated us, and they would have had good reason to.

The quick answer, aside of making sure you have outlets to deal with the day to day of MOMMYhood, is to tell these people that they can piss up a long rope. They'll be just as horrified.
Aug. 18th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
You know, 20 years ago I don't think I had the energy to deal with kids. Especially not full time.

No envy.

And gripe away -- 'taint nobody has the right to tell you you don't have the right.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )