going awol for awhile

you don't need to tell me that i've been neglecting the old blog. i even forgot that it was my 3rd blogiversary on the 10th. i can't believe i've been writing for three years when i wasn't sure i could continue it for three days.

so, where have i been? i don't think it would be on over-exaggeration to say that i am somewhere between identity crisis and the worst possible me ever, between self-loathing and self-pity. not a pleasant place to be. is it surprising that i'm feeling a bit depressed?

this summer has not been very kind to me. i'm not sure what exactly caused this negativity. i'm pretty sure it's a combination of things :: my own propensity for mild depression (not officially diagnosed but it seems pretty obvious to me ... and rupert), being around both kids 24/7, rupert's health issue, and feeling really uncertain about my role in life.

besides not knowing whether i should embark on a search for a career outside of the home, i'm currently extremely unhappy with my parenting, which is technically my career. i don't feel like i'm good at it and my children are suffering because of it. i've blogged about this before on numerous occasions, and if i'm still struggling with this issue it's clear that i've never come to a satisfactory conclusion about why i'm not a good parent and, therefore, how i can become a better parent.

i know most parents have doubts every now and then about whether they are doing right by their kids. being self-critical and reflecting on parenting experiences makes most moms and dads better moms and dads. but i am seriously concerned all the time with my lack of improvement and an increased agitation with parenting in general.

dare i say it? i don't like parenting. and because i don't like parenting i think deep down i'm resentful. not towards anyone in particular, but just in general. this is where the self-pity comes in :: the "oh woe is me, my lot in life is so tragic" mentality kicks in and i feel sorry for myself. on top of that i start to feel powerless. that leads to frustration, like i don't have control over the direction my life is going.

and i'm afraid to admit i take my frustration out on the kids. my lack of patience with ian and maya is startling and cruel at times. i realize this, but i sometimes lack the control to stop myself. this summer, especially, i've noticed that what little interaction i have with the kids is mostly scolding them. not good.

another thing that worries me is that i am very conscious of what i should do to be a proper parent, but i can't do it. there must be something seriously wrong with me if i can't change my actions knowing full well what needs to be done. i feel like i'm not putting my kids first and foremost; that i prefer to be by myself than to spend time with them.

it scares me to think that, compared to other parents, i may not love my kids very much. is that possible? and if the answer is 'yes,' how horrible. would i love my kids more if i was less selfish? would i be less resentful if i just accepted the fact that with parenting comes great sacrifice? would i be more patient if i could remember that being my children is just as hard as being their parent? i feel like i need a complete overhaul of my attitude and actions in order to get out of this parenting rut (for lack of a better word).

part of that process may be for me to get out of the house and find something for myself away from the kids, as in, finally going back to work. it's also high time for maya to start pre-school and become more socialized with kids her age and other adult authority figures. (we dropped off her preschool application the other day to get on the wait list and she was quite excited about the prospects of going to "maya's school," so i think she's ready.)

having been out of the workforce for a few years now i'm not sure what i want to do. but, more importantly, i'm not sure what i can do. i've been looking at classified ads and i'm not sure i could get hired ... the thing is, though, i know i'm completely capable but i lack the confidence to put myself out there.

so the actual point of this post :: i'm going to disappear from the internet for awhile to focus on becoming a better me. to become a better parent. so that i can feel a bit happier than i am now.

my hope is that it won't take me too long ... wish me luck!


m said...

I'm so sorry to hear things haven't been going so well lately. I know it doesn't help but I feel the same way about my parenting as well.

Although we've only met that one time, I was struck with what an awesome mom you are. You were so nurturing, loving, and patient with both Ian and Maya, and since that day I've often tried to model my interactions with Buddy in a similar way.

I often take my frustrations out on Buddy as well and vow to do better next time but find myself falling back into the same patterns of behavior. Parenting is just so hard.

And I know I don't know you well at all, but it's impossible to even fathom that you don't love your kids as much as other parents. You really are a super mom in my book!

This is a terrible example I know, but just look at your flickr. It's choke full of evidence of what a dedicated and great parent you are.

One of the things I struggle with is my need to be alone. Before we had Buddy I always had lots of free time, especially with T's schedule. And now I have no free time to myself. Often on the weekend I'll have T take Buddy out ALL day just so I can have the house to myself.

And I always feel terrible about it, especially when Buddy says he wants me to come or he'd rather stay home with me than go with T to the park. But if I don't get that time alone I feel like I can barely function. Which makes me wonder how I could ever manage to have a 2nd child?

I think you hit it on the head when you say that you need to get out of the house or maybe get back into the workforce.

Sorry to go on and on, and give you my unsolicited two cents. Best wishes to you Yukari! I hope things get better, and please know you're not alone about the way you feel.

Take care!! I hope you'll still post on flickr here and there if you get a chance!



Anonymous said...

Well...honey...we are always are own worst critics.

I have spent time with not just you...but your family...inside your home...and I can 100%, actually 210% tell you...I know a good parent when I see one and you (and Rupert) are a good parent (parents). Do you "look" like what my parents looked like as parents? Noooooooo...that is a huge positive statement by the way. Do you look like every other parent I know...when I think about it...probably not...but that is what makes you a good parent in my book. You are the PERFECT parent for YOUR kids. And while you might not feel you are as "hands on" as you should be...I see you as being an advocate for teaching your children to be independent, yet, still knowing their Mom is there for them and "parents" when they need it. I am always in awe after I leave your home...because I see you all as an amazing and HAPPY family...only a good Mom could make that happen.

Now all the other stuff about life...well, life doesn't seem to get easier...as "40" is ready to shoot and gives me a nasty glare from the opposite end of a gun's barrel, I know these words to be true. BUT, I also know, we get to decide what our life "is about" or "not about" and as long as we are really truly "living it" and doing our best...that is all is required of us. And another thing I know...things happen or do NOT happen for a reason...we have to take small leaps of faith and go with the flow...we may not understand initially or maybe even at all...but it is true.

I am HONORED and totally BLESS to know you...and you know me...I don't say things if I don't mean them...You are doing the best you can and better than you think Y! Hang in there and always know I not only sympathize but empathize and totally understand!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and not to sound conceded...but I think you would say "S turned out a-ok"...and so it really isn't exactly up to our parents to decide how we turn out and no matter the damage they intentionally or unintentionally cause...an individual gets to decide how they "turn out." I came from a not hideous but pretty bad situation (that continues still...ugh!)...you might be surprised. I know you know a few stories...but want to get depressed over bad parenting...spend a few hours with me and I will tell you about my family! You couldn't even touch my parents parenting with a ninety nine thousand two hundred and eighteen foot pole sweetie!

Krimey said...

sorry for not checking your blog sooner --- i had no idea you were in a funk. (guess i've been in my own non-overlapping-nap-induced funk myself!)

i agree with your other readers that you are a great parent - don't be so hard on yourself...we're all doing the best we can.

the 2 things that help me when i feel frustrated with my kids are:
-remembering that gratitude is the antidote for compulsive complaining. when i think about all the things i have been blessed with, i realize how selfish & childish i'm being and it usually helps me snap out of my egocentrism.

-(this one is drastic but very helpful...) i've been thinking a lot about my mortality lately. i've always imagined i have X number of years before i die. but what if i don't? what if today were the last day i would see my family. i would sure want to hug, kiss, slurp & love them up as much as possible...and throw in some poignant words of advice for their future lives. that's why the AA mantra is so helpful...reminding us to take life One Day at a Time. Each day is a mini-lifetime. (No pun intended.) :) I don't always take my own advice, but when I do, I am a much calmer parent.

That being said...hurray, summer's almost over! :) Sounds like you need a fresh perspective. If you're free on Monday you should come over to our place - we're having a bbq! :)

And whether this is in person or virtual, consider yourself hugged yucaree, mom to mom.