I’m not feeling very brave lately.

I don’t like myself very much right now, but I don’t admit that out loud partly because saying something out loud makes it more true and also because I’m trying REALLY hard to be a good example to my girls. But to be honest it’s chewing away at me and despite knowing I’m a pretty decent human I still just feel inadequate — physically, mentally, emotionally, culturally, educationally and all they other -lly adjectives I can’t think of right now. I’m really tired.

Being as sick as I was for as long as I was really did a number on me — once I came home I got a formal diagnosis of pneumonia, and that was after a week of antibiotics on the ship.

One more week of antibiotics, coughing so hard I did something drastic to my ribs and an Albuterol inhaler that makes me shake and I’m not so sure how strong I’m capable of being in the face of illness.

I just feel, blech. I haven’t really wanted to say anything about it because it’s getting old, this whole back and forth of “I’m good! Just kidding, no I’m not.”

I do seem to be functioning at a slightly higher level, albeit on autopilot. I’ve already finished all of my Christmas shopping and I’ve planned, ordered and finished everything for an actual birthday party for Addie four weeks before the big day. This kind of planning for me is unprecedented.

When pouring out my woes to a friend via email this came out “I’m okay. I wish I had more friends close by me, but I’m okay. Well, I mean, I feel like I’m a complete and total failure to Addie and that she’s going to have an eating disorder and unhealthy relationship with food, money and materialism for the rest of her life…but thankfully I don’t even know where to even start with that one so I just eat my own feelings on the subject once she’s in bed. (Currently my feelings taste like peppermint ice cream.) Toddlers are nice, you can’t totally screw them up just yet, or at least you can’t tell where you’re screwing them up for a few more years.”

Copyright Cody and Casey Est. 2001

And that pretty much sums up where I’m at. I have no idea what I’m doing so I keep doing the best I can and planning my apologies for all the damage I inevitably do.

My very wise friend wrote this back to me: “I have a hard time believing that you are failing Addie.  She is incredibly polite and she’s really an empathetic girl.  She got that from someone-  these are traits that don’t just spring up on their own.  All I can say is be consistent with her and try not to fear her anger.  She gets mad at you because she knows you’re a safe person to be mad at- you’re going to love her forever, no matter what.  So all the school related girl angst, the stresses of life, and everything else all come to a head when you say no to her and they bubble out.  All over you.  She still loves you under her anger and, if you hold true to what you say to her, she will respect you- begrudgingly and eventually, but she will.”

If you don’t read her blog already, you should. She’s quite possibly the most wise and wonderful woman I have the privilege of knowing.

So that’s where I’m at. A lot of you have been wondering, thanks.

Comments

  1. Pal, it is so hard, this parenting thing. And adding in a sickness makes it damn near impossible sometimes. Pneumonia is no joke- you might not get your energy back for a few months. Just ride the wave until then. Being on autopilot (or survival mode, as we call it) is just fine! Take care of yourself. You are a great mom.

  2. “I have no idea what I’m doing so I keep doing the best I can”

    That right there? I think that’s what we’re all doing. Most people just keep that to themselves and act like they have a clue.

    And that friend of yours? Keep talking to her. And listen to what she says.

  3. you’re doing so much better than you think you are <3

  4. Michele Turney says:

    I am so glad your friend made the comment about your daughter being mad at you because you are someone safe to be mad at. She knows you will always love her. I needed to hear that today. Thanks!

  5. You are more than enough. Much love to you.

  6. I love your honesty. Your radio silence doesn’t go unnoticed, but we know that you’re concentrating on putting your health before our reading pleasure. <3

    I've been feeling inadequate lately, too; it's a scary feeling and I don't even have my own kids. I can't imagine how much stronger that feeling is.

    Just keep still, or move forward slowly if you can … one minute at a time. When you can, make it two minutes, then five, then, maybe 15. Eventually your sunshine will beat down the grey and your heart will be lighter. Until then, we're still here next to you. <3 <3

  7. Your wise friend Ami made me cry because her words also needed to be heard by me. Sending love. That’s what I’ve got today. xo

  8. Friend, I love you. I wish I were there, so I could hug you, help you, play with the girls and do hair pretties and dress up.

    I hate that you’ve been so sick for so long. Did they put you on any steroid inhalers to build you back up? And if albuterol makes you shake, ask for Xopenex – same thing better, gentler med.

    Your friend is amazingly wise, I needed to hear her words, too. <3

  9. I’m not a mother, but I am a daughter. My mother (and father) always said that they would make mistakes. There’s no rule book, and no “perfect” when it comes to parenting. But they said they would do their best, and then pay for therapy when I grew up. ;)

    They followed through on both counts, and my mom is still my most favorite. You’re wonderful, and your girls are wonderful because of you.

  10. I really appreciate your honesty. Life is just hard and it sucks a lot of the time, I think. Especially if you struggle with depression. I, too, have been finding myself down in the dumps lately. The weather here in Indy has been alternately atrocious and frigid, so I feel trapped in the house.

    I have an eating disorder because my mom has an eating disorder. My sisters have eating disorders. And you know what? We’re still productive members of society. If my mom hadn’t made that mistake, she would have made others. The point is, no one expects you to be a perfect parent! I’m glad that I’ve had to go to therapy to deal with some of my issues because it has helped me to become a stronger, more resilient person.

    You’re a fantastic mother. You have two beautiful girls who are having adventures beyond the wildest dreams of so many kids. They are going to be amazing teens and adults.

    Hang in there!

  11. Thank you for sharing. I’ve been having such a hard time lately and it’s hard to remember we all go through that in our lives at times.

  12. When I start feeling sad, I start to eat. And drink. And medicate via the Fashion Mall, Amazon Prime and Zappos.

    Then I feel fat, and tired, and full of shame because I’m a crappy steward of my money. So basically I make myself feel even worse than when my sads first began.

    It’s so hard. So hard. But we gotta keep plugging along. It will pass, and well, probably come back again when we least expect it. You’re not alone, glad we’re friends.

  13. I’m sorry you’re feeling this way, and also that you think it’s getting old, the feeling good no wait feeling crappy thing. I understand, I feel the same way sometimes about me. But what I know is that it’s just not true to others – you’re doing your best, and its your reality and life, and that’s that. It’s not ‘old,’ it just is. Also, I think you care too much and try too much to be thinking that you’re failing your daughter in some epic huge way, and that it’s inevitable that you’ll mess up your other one. You consistently try your best, self-reflect, and love them unconditionally. That’s enough. There’s no such thing as parenting, and I learned while getting my masters in psychology that ‘good enough parenting’ is what anyone should strive for.

  14. *no such thing as perfect parenting.

    And upon rereading, I’m not sure if it’s clear that I meant “you care too much and try too much” positively. You do both of these things too much to think that you’re a bad parent, is what I meant. <3

  15. Melissa S. says:

    I think you’re one of the most amazing moms I (cyber) know…so I say “ditto” to the above comments. I wanted to tell you to take care – my hubby went through something similar two winters ago – after two rounds of antibiotics, an INCORRECT diagnosis of pneumonia, etc., he was finally diagnosed with whooping cough. Whooping cough! I didn’t know people actually got that anymore, but alas, they do. He also was given an Albuterol inhaler, which made his heart race and made him feel like he was having a heart attack each time he used it. One of my children suffers from “respiratory distress” (since she was 6 months old, and too young to diagnose officially with asthma), and we had to change out her Albuterol for another inhaler which did not increase her heart rate…you may want to ask your doctor for another option if you keep having the shakes. In our experience, there was an effective alternative. Hope that helps! Stay strong, Casey. Will be keeping you and yours in my prayers.

  16. Hang in there and continue to feel better. You are amazing!

  17. HUGS to you my sweet friend! I know your pain all too well – from sickness, to feeling like a parenting failure, and more… I am so sorry you are feeling so miserable right now. I wish we could share some of that ice cream together right now. (I too use ice cream as a drug of choice.) ;) But, we are too hard on ourselves. We are doing the best we can and we love our kids! The thing is that kids will never know how hard it is to parent until they are parents. And then we just hope they can forgive us for being human too. I LOVE YOU!

  18. If you need it, I can be there in 45 minutes. :) As for the “it’s getting old” part, those things do not “get old” to friends. Friends stand there with you through all of it. I think I’ve said it before, but friends will sit with you when you cry and then will help you back up when you are ready to get up.
    As others have said, we all think we are screwing something up in e parenting thing. One of my friends once said to me, “I think if you’re worrying about whether you’re a good mom, you ARE a good mom.”
    If I can help, please let me know. Even if it’s just to tell you stupid bits about me to make you laugh. Never doubt that you are a good person.
    Love to you, my friend.
    Mary

  19. “I keep doing the best I can and planning my apologies for all the damage I inevitably do.”

    That’s my parenting plan on a good day. Really.

  20. “I have no idea what I’m doing so I keep doing the best I can.”

    This is now my official motto. So, if nothing else, you can know that you’ve given one lonely woman across the pond some hope. I hate that you’re miserable, but it’s so nice know to be alone in misery.

    Jenn

  21. Just look at the smiles on those girls!! You aren’t failing them at all! They just ooze happiness and love for each other and their mama behind the camera.

    I was just wondering why I haven’t seen any updates on your blog. I was hoping you were doing okay. Sorry to hear you have been so sick and so blah.

    I know you aren’t interested in my Juice Plus+ products, so at least eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies every day and be sure to take Vitamin D3 in addition to using your lamp.

    Doctors will tell us that a level in the 30s (where most of us are) are fine BUT we should really be in the 50s. You also have to take it with a meal with fats or if you take Omegas, with them. Proper levels support a healthy immune system and studies have shown it can help with depression.

    Hope you are feeling better by Thanksgiving!!

    Kristen

  22. Oh honey. I know exactly how you’re feeling. I don’t have kids yet, but the rest of it… spot on to how I’ve been feeling the past week. Big hugs from the northwest side of Indy. <3

  23. Right there with you…I was in tears yesterday because of the frustration at being my daughter’s proverbial punching bag for all her angst, and the injustices she felt. I was sobbing into my pantry – my sister was there – she gets it. She let me be for awhile then silently handed me a tissue. I am forever grateful that my girl has me and I have her. But sometimes it does feel like it is just.TOO.MUCH. Running errands yesterday was too much. I sobbed through most of Catching Fire then had to go home put my sweat pants back on and nap. I was hoping it would help but I woke up still a hot mess. We have a new routine starting today which won’t be a routine because of the short holiday week but we’ll see.

  24. Is it a eight/nine year old girl thing? I feel ya. It seems that sometimes all that comes out of (what used to be) my sweet, beautiful daughters mouth is sass and anger. Mostly at me and/or her father. I thought we had a few more years before teenage-angst…
    Hang in there. You are not alone!!!

  25. You are a wonderful person. And you are raising two wonderful girls. Please hang in there and have faith in yourself.

    “It takes courage to raise children.” – John Steinbeck

  26. I know what you mean about being tired of the up and down. You keep trying, though, and that’s all that matters.