« Spank you very much! | Main | The March Mailbag »

March 07, 2005

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341ca52f53ef00d834576d0569e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Take my kid, please!:

» They're so selfish...What about me!! from Blahg Blahg Blahg
This started out as a comment to a post over at MetroDad. But, it's something that is on my mind a lot, so I thought I'd put it here as well. Seems like I have this internal battle every day.... [Read More]

» A response to a chain of posts at MetroDad: on not always loving being a parent. from Rants for the Invisible People
There's a discussion at Metrodad about the trend towards "parental selfishness" - and a response from a woman who obviously had an abusive relationship with her dad. Without invalidating her experience, because I absolutely sympathize, I believe the... [Read More]

» Reading assignment from Motherhood and all that
Your assignment while I'm AWOL, should you choose to accept it, is to hop on over to MetroDad's blog and read his post, "Take my kid please". I had been contemplating a post in a similar vein, and now I... [Read More]

» Dodged That Bullet from Daddy Types
Wow, as I first read it yesterday, I totally felt like I could've written Metrodad's post, "Take my kid, please!" After reading the 81 comments that followed, I was like, whew, dodged that bullet. Yet here I go, playing with a loaded gun, and I can't t... [Read More]

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Jennifer

ok metro, you asked for this is gonna be a the longest response you ever had. I posted this on my blog and in order to save me time I did a cut and past: relax, your gonna be reading for a while

My dirty little secret: things most new moms won't tell you

(METRODAD ADDENDUM: To save space in the comments section, I'm posting a link to Jennifer's post. Go read it over here. She writes a very similar entry as mine but from a woman's perspective. She also honestly discusses the issue of post-partum depression. I think you'll all find it both interesting and informative. Please go pay her a visit.)

Brent

Thanks for letting me be honest here, MD. I gotta admit that when my kids are fighting over the television and throwing simultaneous tantrums, it makes me want to run away and join the Witness Relocation Program.

Valerie

I miss sex! And my old body!

Melanie

I can't even remember the last time that I purchased something nice for myself. I'm constantly buying clothes for the kids and when I can't ever get anything for myself, I feel like it's unfair. I know it's selfish but it really does bother me sometimes. Thanks for allowing me to vent. :)

Abby

I had major post partum depression after my daughter was born. She now 6 and I'm STILL on meds-never have been able to come off. Now, it's entirely possible that I could have gone through a mojor depression even if I had never had her (never had before), but... Some one above wrote that she missed her old body. I do too, but I also miss my old mind!
And when she starts whining I also want to join the Wittness Relocation Program!!

Julie

I love my kids dearly but I really hate the fact that I never get any time with my husband alone. With 4 kids, I feel like we're the joint operators of a taxi service. We're constantly shuttling the kids around from one activity to another. Weekends are the worst. I dread them!!!

Tammy

I think admitting that it's not always a walk in the park makes you a better parent; or at least that's what I keep telling myself. My husband and I were just lamenting our lost weekend selves. When we used to wake up late, go out to brunch and laze about either napping or copulating. It was one of those very weekends that my beautiful daughter was conceived. I also miss the extra $1000 that we had each month that we no longer have due to daycare. It makes saving for our American dream, our own home, that much more difficult.

Sal

Metro, you're right on track! Just wait until she starts walking...
Let's see.... What do I miss the most?.... SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!
My little bundle took EIGHT MONTHS AND A HALF to sleep through the night, and we were literally going crazy. My other half used to sleep in until 11 am every weekend morning, and I'd read in bed until she woke up. Well, not anymore... Our days now start at 7 am sharp (I know, it could be worst!), but then is 12 hours of constant activity because she doesn't nap (and if she does, is in our arms).
I absolutely agree that talking about the cons of parenthood, doesn't make me a bad dad. On the contrary, it takes out the "Hallmark" aspects of it, and puts me right where I am supposed to be: in reality! They say that you forget everything as soon as they smile at you, but I'd say it's not true. A smile from your little one makes it more bearable, but, to forget everything? NEVER!!!!

Stephen

OK, I'll come clean too. My youngest son is driving me crazy. He is pure hell on wheels and requires constant supervision. He's a cute, devilish little kid but if we turn our back on him for one second, he's doing something crazy like painting the dog, crapping all over the kitchen floor or peeling paint off the wall and putting it in his mouth. I love the kid but sometimes I just want to put him on Ebay. Life with him is exhausting. Sometimes, I can't wait for weekends to be over so I can go back to work...and I hate my job!

Stephanie

My 2 1/2 year old son Charlie is sweet, adorable and loving BUT the problem is that he is 2. Toddlers are hellions because they are toddlers. His new nickname is Sweet Bastard. I too long for the lazy weekends of childfree fun. We've just finished a number of Croupy nights - with a trip to the hospital and no sleep etc and the funny thing is at the end of the hassle and those really tough days I feel closer and more in love with the little bastard.

Krissy

Metro, I understand where you're coming from. I don't like the PC, plastic, glazed, "ThisisfanatasticI'veneverbeenhappier" look that some parents feel like they have to force on. If there's a genuine problem, talking about it honestly is great.

On the other hand, I think that often what we say really affects the way we look at a situation. I know some parents, for example, that say that they've genuinely had the thought that they'd like to throw the baby out the window. Then these same people assured me that it was a universal wish. I can personally swear to the fact that I've never ONCE wanted to throw or hit or get rid of the baby. I've never wanted to give the baby away. I've never wanted to smother or scream at the baby.

I'm not convinced that healthy (PPD in dad or mom is something else entirely) that healthy parents really think of their kids as "little fuckers".

I think that it's fashionable to be off-the-cuff with it. I think that it's considered hip and modern to call them "little monsters" and talk about how they've ruined your life. And I think it's dangerous, because I think that if you call them "little fuckers" to be cool with your buds for long enough, you actually start to think of them as "little fuckers".

This phenomenon is like the blogs or message boards where people endlessly whine about how terrible their DUHs are and call it therapeutic. But it isn't. It's just whining and it doesn't do anything to help a marriage by bitching to everyone else how horrible your spouse is. This, particularly among women, is a very popular thing to do, but I personally think it's toxic as hell.

My baby isn't a little fucker. I've often wished for him to sleep, or eat, or wake up... or I've wished for sleep or food or sex or a pre-pregnancy belly, but I've never, ever thought of Charlie as a little fucker and I would never, ever, not for a second trade him off. Even for a lie-in on Saturday morning.

The danger of taking what is frustrating you and deciding that it's the baby's fault is fairly profound, I think, and that even if you truly don't believe they are cramping your style on purpose, acting like you do think that can create a shift in your perspective.

My dad was convinced, from day one, that I was out to subvert him and make his life miserable. He reinforced this idea by explaining to everyone what a pain in the ass I was. He was glib and funny and people laughed knowingly. And I grew up in a war with my father that I couldn't possibly win and that I couldn't surrender from. He convinced himself to hate me.

I'd hesitate to place that kind of burden on a kid, and I think your instant of judgementalness was right the fuck on. What your friend said annoyed the hell out of me, personally.

I don't give a shit if people get their panties in a bunch. I don't think my kid is a malicious little asshole who's trying to drive me insane and I don't think that my husband is the selfish prick I'm forced to live with. I hate people who participate in that crap and label it as "honesty". It's just self-indulgent and self-fulfilling behavior.

Even used lightly, that kind of thing can be poisonous to a parent/child relationship and I'll decline to indulge, thanks.

My kid is the best. He's the bomb. He's the best thing that ever happened to me and my life is indescribably better since he's been born. I'm over-the-moon that he exists and I love him. I love him more than anything. He's just a baby and anything that's going wrong is on me, not him. And if anyone calls my baby a little fucker I'll beat the living shit out of them.

Jasmine

Lighten up, Krissy! I don't think it's as black and white as you make it out to be. There's a big difference between being able to admit that raising a child is very difficult sometimes vs. calling your kid a "little fucker." No offense but maybe your perspective is a little jaded due to your personal circumstances with your own father? As for me? I love my kids madly. I would never refer to them as "little fuckers." But I'm not afraid to say that sometimes, they drive me absolutely crazy and I wish I could have my old life back. I think MD's point was that, as parents, we sometimes need to just sit back, laugh and not take parenting so seriously.

jim

Seems like I have this internal battle every day.

One the one hand: Climbing to the top of the stairs after a frustrating day at work has NEVER been so incredibly satisfying as it is now. Almost every day as I push aside the ugly, white, plastic baby gate I get to hear Liberty (name has been changed to protect the innocent)exclaim "Ooooooh Daddy!!

I really do remember back to my single days when I would get to the bottom of my falling apart stairwell that lead to the nasty bachelor pad; I remember thinking almost every day "I can't wait to climb these stairs and have someone to light up when I open the door". For a couple of years that wish was fullfilled by Justice (name has been changed to protect the beautiful), my new bride. While the "stair topping joy" of a wonderful wife is amazing, the "stair topping joy" of a toddler child is life affirming. This is what it is all about. This is what we work and sacrifice for. This is why we live and breath each day.

But, remember, there are two hands...

On the other hand is the constant emotional, physical and mental drain of a helpless leech that a child can be. (May I be forgiven for that sentance) (Another important side note: my lament over personal frustration and exhaustion is so trivial to that of my amazing wife that I will rot in hell a second time for being so selfish to even feel frustrated and exhausted. She bears it all. 100% every day, every hour.) I know that my wailing is self-centered and in the grand scheme of things very temporary. But, that does not make it any less real when in the moment. Moments like: Rolling out of bed at 6:30am on a Sunday morning knowing full well that the Sunday Post will go 99.8% unread again; Receiving email about the Summer DMB tour knowing full well a trip to the Gorge will not happen anytime this decade; Driving in silence with your partner in the backseat with the baby knowing full well that you're going to be driving in that silence for at least the next hour while the Wee One naps; Discussing child #2 knowing full well that the RIGHT thing to do is give your child a sibling. Yes, these are the selfish moments, but as I said, they are very real.

So, I guess it's all about perspective. I'm pretty sure the drama will be (mostly) shortlived. But, I have no doubt that the joy will be eternal.

Doesn't mean I don't want to read the entire paper though...

Krissy

"they drive me absolutely crazy and I wish I could have my old life back."

This is foreign to me. I've never wished for my old life back. And I think the problem is that these things start out light and eventually create their own realities.

I know what I said isn't going to be popular. It's very hip to be totally "honest" about the people and things doing wrong to you at any given moment. People are very into talking about how their mother-in-law is a bitch, their wife is a nag, their husband is a thoughtless fucker and their kid is a whining shit. It seems very popular to say this stuff.

But I really do think it's toxic.

If my kid is keeping me up and I can't sleep and he won't eat, can you see the difference between "God I'm exhausted and my kid won't eat. I'm frustrated as hell. I don't know what I'm going to do. I wish I could sleep. Jesus I wish I could sleep" and "That little bastard won't let me get any sleep and he won't fucking eat. He's driving me crazy. What's wrong with him?"

There's a major difference in perspective there. I think choosing to phrase things the second way is eventually fairly insideous and detrimental.

I don't think that if someone says it once or twice they hate their kid or are never going to have a positive relationship with them, but I do think that habitually phrasing your problems in a "What that stupid kid is doing to my life now" is dangerous. And I have a problem with an inherant approval of that kind of phrasing.

Krissy

Jim,

Do you understand the difference between what you said and this:

"you know what? That kid is a total pain in my fucking ass. Honestly, there's just no pleasing him. He's quickly driving me insane."

Do you understand that I'm not saying that people should lie about the frustrations they're experiencing?

Marraiges, babies, new jobs all can overload people. I do NOT: TO BE CLEAR I DO NOT object to the discussion of being overloaded or at a loss.

What I object to is the very hip, urban thing of phrasing that stuff so it's glib and cruel. There are different ways of talking about problems. One is talking about frustration, one is being shitty about one's kid.

It's the "It's okay to talk shit" part I have the problem with.

JJ Daddy in Savannah's Baby Momma

You may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
You may ask yourself
Where does that highway GO to?
You may ask yourself
Am I right?...Am I wrong?
You may say to yourself
MY GOD!...WHAT HAVE I DONE?

I have experienced the range of everything from total mind-bending joy so much that almost hurts, to standing by a (not-yet-opened) window with my best friend on the phone counselling me to back away before I pitch a screaming infant out of it. Bi-polar, you ask? No, just a normal mom.

Krissy

And I'm not sure where you all live where it's not okay to be overloaded and having a rough time as a new parent. There seems to be this idea that there's an expectation of perfection, when every person I've run into who ever was a new parent, is a new parent, or is going to be a new parent, understands at least intellectually that it's a rough job and the pressures can make you insane.

I never got the hairy eyeball because I broke down crying at a restaurant when I hadn't had sleep in a week. I never had my doctor tell me I wasn't trying hard enough when I twisted myself into knots over breastfeeding. I've never had my DCP look at me suspiciously or judgementally when I forget the orajel.

Maybe I've just been lucky and everyone else is living in a place where they call CPS if you aren't constantly blissed-out over the baby, but it's not that way in my experience.

So what is it with creating "save havens" to bitch about our kids? Go to any parenting blog and you'll see bitching (often ritious bitching) aplenty.

I don't understand this idea that we are all just TIRED of trying to live up to other people's EXPECTATIONS of us. I haven't run into a single person who was disappointed in me, even at my most desperate.

Sara

I miss having "alone" time. I miss being able to spend a wonderful Sunday by myself, curled up with a good book or some knitting. I miss lazy days on the couch by myself, watching dumb shows on Lifetime all afternoon. I miss occasional peace and quiet. I love my kids dearly...but that's what I miss.

Krissy

"No, just a normal mom."

Nope. Sorry to tell you. Nope. Not normal.

It's popular to think it's normal, but considering, even for a moment, throwing your baby out the window is not normal. Not in any world.

Krissy

Sara, that to me sounds totally normal. And I'm sorry you don't get enough alone time. I don't either. And sometimes I'm jealous of my husband because he does.

jim

Yeah Krissy, I think I get the difference. I don't think I would ever refer to Liberty as a "little fucker". But, that's me. I do however understand the sentiment that "(s)he's driving me insane". This usually becomes clear when, for about the 50th time, she is trying to climb over the back of the couch onto the wicker chair. I just have to remind myself that she's learning something and I need to be patient and help her learn it. She won't want to climb over the back of the couch onto the wicker chair forever. In fact, I bet that there will come a day when she's late getting home that I will wish to God the worst thing I have to worry about is her falling to the soft carpet below the wicker chair.

It's all about perspective. And if ranting helps people get perspective, then so be it. I do sometimes wonder if their ranting will come back to haunt them though. It is not something I want to do, I can't imagine explaining those things to my daughter when she googles me in 14 years. But, I'm not sure how I'm going to answer the "Dad, did YOU smoke pot in highschool?" question either.

I do absolutely agree with you 100% when I say that if anyone ever refers to Liberty in a demeaning and derogatory way they are going to have all 5'2" of me up their ass in a very hurtfull manner.

Queen of Ass

I miss being able to go out without worrying about feeling guilty because I'm going out. Or if the babysitter will beat my son as soon as I'm out the door. Or if he's growing up a well-rounded person. Or if I'm doing something to seriously ruin his life. Or if I'm saying something that he's going to bitch about when he's older to his friends. Or maybe to his therapist.

I miss not having all the worry to keep me up nights. I miss sleep. And normal dreams that don't involve leaving my kid in the store, or having him disappear in the hands of some monster.

But? I love having his arms wrapped around my neck when he tells me he loves me! And I'd give up all the sleep in the world for that!

ozone ferd

It's fun to read all these blogs of newbie fathers. The naievete and unbridled joy is refreshing, enjoy the early years cause when they get personalities, they get attitudes.

I've been a Dad 15 years as of today and I vaguely remember what life was like without my son and his two brothers (9 and 7). The 5 items you mention are true and it don't get better. I gave up my mustang and motorcycle for a mini-van. Got rid of the water bed. Quit collecting comics and playing in a rock band and basically had to become a responsible adult as my son grew. Raising kids is not for chicken shits. People think I'm kidding when I offer my kids up for sale, hell, for free!

Why do we have kids? To carry on the race? Let someone else do it. To carry on our family name? That's a weak reason when there are plenty of other people in our family tree to carry the torch. Could be our mother cursed us to the same fate she was burdend with? Dear Mom, your curse worked.

For me, we had kids because in some ways it was expected - get married, have kids, they go off to college, you retire, you die. I'm still wondering how we ended up with three. But I wouldn't change that, life is unpredictable with one, add two more and it approaches chaos. For every negative there are 1000 positives for having kids. I can't think of one positive right now but you get the picture.

So in closing, I was kidding about giving my kids away, not the selling part though ;-)

Krissy

Jim,

I think that saying that your kid is driving you insane is very different.

This is the part of the sentence that I have a problem with:

"That kid is a total pain in my fucking ass. Honestly, there's just no pleasing him."

It seems to be feeding into the whole Society of Rant that is going on. I can rant with the best of them and bitch mightily about my coworkers or people on the street.

But when you rant too often and too viciously about the people you love you create your own reality. Studies have shown that people who get angry and "vent" do not actually decrease their anger level, but increase it. Venting viciously about your kid isn't likely to make you less upset, but more upset, and how does that help a situation?

And a rant about a kid's behavior is very different than name-calling or attributing their behavior as purposefully disruptive. (for pre-teen and younger, anyhow).

Does that make any more sense, Jim? I think we're on the same page.

Krissy

Ferd, we had Charlie because we wanted him. We couldn't care less about his genetics or his name. We just wanted children.

JJ Daddy in Savannah's Baby Momma

Jeez, y'all. Lighten up. I think the point is that a)parenting isn't all kissy-kissy and cute smocked outfits (no vomit stains, of course) b)there's many reasons people have children and c)just as many reactions (sometimes occurring simultaneously) to life with children, and d)a fond, rose-colored-glasses memory of what it used to be without them (no matter what the then-reality was).

Perhaps an addendum would be that parenting gives you the chance to break out of your own family-of-origin issues (which are certainly well expressed in this thread today), but, hey, don't you think that maybe ones parents were trying to break free of THEIRS too?

Kristie

I was once childless?

Seriously...lol! I had my first when I was 20 so I've never really experienced child free adult life. When my kids aren't around and the house is clean...I have no idea what to do with myself.

Serena

I agree with JJ's Daddy! People need to lighten up. We all approach parenting differently. What works for one person might not work for another. That doesn't mean any of us loves our child any less. Personally speaking, when things are a little too crazy around the house, I like to think back longingly to the time when I didn't have any kids. It brings a smile to my face and helps me keep my sanity. That's all, folks!

Sheryl

I have three kids 2, 4, and 6 and I HATE the first year. I am just not a baby person, they're sooo needy and half the time I don't know what they want. I'm a raw bundle of hormones, and the whole first year just sucks. Then when they turn one, and can walk and point and give you a hint about what's going on with them, the louds lift and I can see the sun again. I'd much rather put up with a two year-old's tantrum than a baby with colic.

Sheryl

Krissy, you are not in that dad's shoes. Some kids are unbelievably fussy, and there really is no pleasing them. Also many people use the word fuck and fucker left and right until it really has no meaning, "motherfucker!" can have the same meaning as "dweeb."

Tommy

Dude, I love this blog. You are the Man! It's great to come over here and hear whatever randomness happens to be on your mind. You're a mushy emotional father but you're also a cool, down to earth guy who's not afraid to stir things up. Kudos to you, man. Keep it up.

p.s. I miss sex and sleep also. I think we all do.

JenL

Ok, I have four kids 14, 10, 7, and 5 weeks. AndI wouldn't trade a minute of it, not the agony and definitely not the ecstacy. And while I love each of these kids with every cell in my being, there are days where I really don't like them. There are days when the uglier sides of our personalities clash. There are distinct moments when I question whether or not I have done a decent job because judging by their behavior at that particular moment, I apparently am not qualified to rear children. And there are days when I wonder when I'll ever be able to fully BE JEN again, rather than someone's mom, cook, taxicab, tutor, personal groomer, etc etc.

And on those days, during those moments, I fantasize about the future when they are responsible for themselves, or (crossing fingers here) possibly a whole crew of their own children WHO ACT EXACTLY THEY WAY THEY ARE NOW!!

Hee!

Stacy

Okay, while I do understand a good bit of the "create your own reality" thing, I think it's important to remember that what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Just because Krissy doesn't feel right about saying those things doesn't mean someone else is a bad parent.

As for me... passionately in love with my child. Sometimes ambivalent about motherhood.

Krissy

Sheryl,

I didn't expect many people to agree with me. Go ahead and call your kids motherfuckers if you want to. And maybe that guy's baby really sits around and says to himself "Gee, I'm not pleased. I'll scream some more and screw with dad's life. That'll piss him off".

I could be entirely wrong, but I don't think I am. Maybe most of the world is mere seconds from hurling their babies out of windows. But I don't think so.

I think it's something that's currently cool to say, so people do, but I don't think they mean it and I don't, personally, think it should be socially acceptable to talk about your kids that way. I don't like it. I think it's weak and stupid.

But that's me. You go for it and throw those obnoxious little cunting motherfuckers off the nearest roof.

Grins

See, now that you admit it, you're a vetern parent. ;-) Personally I'm enjoying my son's teen years and thinking of the vacationing I'll try to do after he spends all my money going to college.

Dr. Johnny Fever

Although it is a fleeting memory, I can remember a time when my wife and I would go to a restaurant, enjoy our meals, talk, and perhaps engage in some passionate knocking of the boots when we got home.

Now meals are more of an exercise in "Can You Top This?" My son crawls under the table looking for gum. My daughter blows bubbles in her milk. My son throws a tantrum because he can't have another dollar for video games. My daughter writes the word "MURDER" on her shirt in ketchup.

"Kids! KIDS! Sit still! I love you with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my might, but the next person who moves or screams of freaks out is meat! You got that?"

Lara

Dude - here's a SHORT list of what I miss from my pre-motherhood days:

1. My once perky and pillowy breasts completely ornamental and lovely to look at but serving no practical purpose - NOT these giant utilitarian boobies that are used and abused by a breastfeeding monster.
2. The QUIET.
3. Being able to stay awake past midnight (by my own volition, not because I am needed to nurse a baby or comfort a child)
4. My size 10 shoes. Yes, my feet grew to a size 11 and do you have any idea how many pretty shoes come in a size 11? (I'll tell you: ZERO)
5. My smaller ass, hips and everything else on my body that is now shapeless and flabby.
6. Feeling SEXY.
7. Having sex.
8. Sleeping late on weekends.
9. Spontanaeity. (being able to go places without a diaper bag, changes of clothes for everyone in the family or without hiring a babysitter)
10. SEX (I know I put that in twice, but it bears repeating - oh boy, does it EVER!)

Dr. Johnny Fever, your kids sound FUN - especially your daughter who writes MURDER on her shirt in ketchup. I like that kind of edgy sensibility in a kid. NICE. (of course, my daughter, at age 4, asked to be a "Zombie Cheerleader" for Halloween - so I'm used to stuff like that.)

Tina

Sex? What's sex? Oh yeah, that's the thing that got me these 3 kids crawling around my leg right now. Do I miss it? Honestly? No. There are too many things I'd rather have than sex right now:

1. I'd like my ass to be returned to its previous condition.
2. I'd like some peace and quiet around the house.
3. I'd like just one new piece of clothing that doesn't have any spit or boogers on it.
4. I'd like a quiet meal in a real restaurant.
5. I'd like to take a looooooong nap.

Leila Winters

Yeesh. Tense in here.

I have a lot of moments with friends where they say something that just stops me in my tracks. But then I realize that they're still the same people I have come to love and if they cannot let their guard down and say something somewhat controversial to me in private, makes me wonder what we've been friends all this time for.

Lol, and I'm sorry for your lack of sex. Just wait 'til she starts going to school and having sleepovers with friends... ^o^

It is so obvious that you love your daughter to death, so don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. I know my niece and nephew drive me NUTS sometimes, but I just can't stop kissing them senseless or hugging the living tar out of 'em.

I dunno...I guess I try really hard to still incorporate "me" and "them." My sisters, too. If I am playing a video game, often the kids will come and tickle me while I'm playing, dodging my one-handed tickle attacks and knowing to stop if I come to a tough boss. My sister reads to them from her "grown-up" novels and they like asking questions or eventually fall asleep with the lack of pictures.

And let me tell you, when my niece screamed for an hour straight because she didn't want to go home, I was ready to tear my ever-lovin' hair out. In the end, I pointed a finger and said real fierce-like, "Girl, if you don't stop crying, I am going to take your princess dress and you can go home without it." XD Yep. Shut her up reeeeaaaal fast.

Oh yes. A tip, MD? Don't unload your kids constantly on others, expecting extra-special treatment. My brother unloads his kids on my family almost everyday (sometimes for several days) and we've hardly seen a cut for our services. It is frustrating to see him "not feeling the effects" of parenthood, even though he has a wife and a home and two beautiful children. Although we love the kids endlessly, there is still an understanding that they are not officially our responsibility. Still, you wouldn't know it by the way we provide them with all the things a (good?) parent should.

Aww (and like Jim), I'm already experiencing the children's greeting when I come home for the weekend from school, their little footsteps rushing to see who is at the door. Their calls of my name and then often the hugs in their elation to see me. ^_^ It IS very life-affirming. (But then nothing so bitter tasting as finding out my father--their grandfather--turned on the TV and neglected to watch them.)

I am still young and most likely still too selfish to handle caring for a child. But still, you DO NOT neglect a kid. Even if you are working on something and are sitting in silence next to your child, it is still something. At least you are THERE. Don't feel bad for not always being interactive with your children, the most important thing is that you are there for them if they need you.

Ah, but I can't imagine you doing anything like that. You are going to be ten times the father my brother isn't. (And pray Peanut doesn't fall into the "Princess" stage...)

^_^ Ahhh...a good vent. Keep up the good work.

Dollymama

First of all, I'd like to back up what I think Kristy is trying to say. In my own words: Very often we say things and we think we are just venting temporarily. But, what happens is more like a snowball effect, or possibly even an avalanche. Those words have power, and every thought you think and every emotion you have is felt within you, even to physical symptoms. It can be very dangerous to allow ourselves to get on a roll with negative thoughts. They can take over quicker than you might expect. I've seen it many times, and I've experienced it myself.

I'm not saying to deny that you have any negaitve thoughts. Just to be careful about how you deal with them, and how much you allow yourselves to dwell on them.

Things that seem hardest to me currently about being a parent is that I have realized that I bought myself a job and a life that took away most of my chances of having any life of my own. I got to adulthood and gave it all up without getting to do any of it.... I guess it's a no-brainer, but I never realized that on the pre-baby side of things. I got married young, we started having our kids right away. I guess it's great to have the kids when you're young and all, and I'm not sure that I would have preferred doing a lot of cool things, going to a lot of cool places, building up a career, and then giving it all up to have children either. It's just that, I've found myself in the past couple years looking around thinking, "I'm 33, I have 6 kids. I haven't done anything for myself in my entire adult life." I gave up my education, my employment, etc. in order to be a mother. And, although I love my children, being a mother can be a very difficult combination of mind-numbing boredom and the most spine-chilling considerations.

I reached a crisis point last year (and was building up to it for awhile) where I was able to finally realize that I had to find much more balance in my life, and that investing in myself (even if it meant not being The Ideal Mother from my imagination) had to be done. I've come a long way since then, but there is more work to do. It's very hard to find that balance between taking good care of myself, and taking good care of my entire family. Right now I'm considering some needs that 2 of my children have, and comparing it to the fact that I'm not really looking forward to taking care of those needs in the way that I believe they need to be taken care of. So, there we go again: Sometimes the parents get the short end of the stick. (Did I say sometimes?! HA!)

I actually do pretty well for sleep and sex, I'm starting a business, taking classes to be what I want to be now that I'm grown up, and so things are bright. But there's always an undercurrent of wonder as to whether or not the needs of the family will actually allow for me to really succeed at any of these other things. Will I do all this work and have it sabbotaged?

I hate to say it, but quite a bit of the time I am just kind of waiting it out. "In 2 years we'll be done with diapers and car seats." "In 6 months I won't be breastfeeding any more" "In another year there won't be any kids climbing into bed with me."

I think I've been at the mom routine for so long, I'm feeling kind of lost. There's no way to know if you've got the longevity to do the job well for as long as it takes. And so when you start to feel weary, you can add a heaping portion of guilt to your load.

Maybe it's more ok for fathers to not like parenthood, but I think for mothers there is a huge amount of stigma and guilt that goes with not being insanely happy all the time.

More Diapers

You've got an easy (not that any kid is easy) kid. You're a lucky, lucky, lucky man. I love Hayes to a ridiculous extent, but I don't like what his colickiness and acid reflux is doing to him or us. To be honest, I can see exactly where your budy is coming from and often feel that way. It's not the change in lifestyle, it's the crying without a solution.

We dropped HBomb off at a friend's for a few hours this weekend... she had a fussy infant (who is now 7) and thought she could handle him. First thing she says to us when we come get him: "I don't know how you do it."

Dude, be thankful you've got a kid that didn't (doesn't) cry for 3 hours straight every day. That you need to force feed Zatac. That has fluid on his head and will likely keep me up all night worrying before we can get into the docs first thing in the AM.

I love HBomb more than I can express. But the first 6 weeks have been hell.

Carrie

One night when my newborn daughter was two months old, and my husband had been out of town on business for several days and I had been home alone with our special-needs baby and no help, I woke up to her crying for the fourth time in four hours and wanted to just shake her and shake her until she stopped. I didn't. I made sure she was safe and then I got up and went into the other room and called my husband and begged him to come home. He talked to me until I could calm down. I don't think there was anything abnormal about this reaction, after the stress I was under. What would have been abnormal was if I had actually shaken her.

I tried for years to get pregnant with my child. I risked my life to stay pregnant and give birth to her. We were told just before her birth that she wouldn't live. I have given up everything that was important in my life to care for her: my job, my schooling, my hobbies, free time and money. My husband took a job where he is out of town all week every week to help pay for her bills and to allow me to be at home with her so she can get better care. I wouldn't give her up for the world, and I don't regret any of our decisions, but I have to be honest (and not self-indulgent) when I say that if I had known before I was pregnant what it would be like, really known, I might not have gotten pregnant. I am glad that some parents have never had the feeling I had because it was a dark and ugly place and I never want to go there again. I am glad they have plenty of support and room for error without judgement. It isn't that way for everyone.

There is a difference between joking around and saying the kid is making you insane and actually believing the kid is doing it on purpose. I have a dad like Krissy's, who had children because that is what a responsible man in his position did, and believed that his children were a reflection on him and that when we misbehaved we were doing it to antagonize or embarrass him. I was called all sorts of names, none of which were said affectionately. So in my house, I will never, ever call my kid a "little fucker". My husband has instructions to take her and leave me if I ever start to treat her disrespectfully. And I know that when she's driving me crazy she isn't doing it on purpose, any more than I ever was with my dad (my favorite: "You're too smart to lose track of time!" I mean, WTF? What has being smart got to do with it?) But you know what? She's a fucking pain in my ass sometimes. It's not her fault, but she is. I spend 99 percent of my time working to stay positive around my child in the face of extreme stress, so when once in a while I want to tell a close friend that I've had it, I'm running off to Mexico, I am grateful that they have the response that MD showed--they laugh with me. Because they know I wouldn't do it, not even to save the rest of the world, even if it feels like a good idea at that moment. Saying it out loud helps remind me how absurd the idea really is. I sincerely feel physical pain when I am more than a room away from her, for crying out loud. I know that one can't spend time dwelling on how hard stuff is--if I did, I'd have been hauled away to the institution a long time ago. But an occasional bitch session can sometimes help you put things in perspective, and work through problems you do have.

If MD's friend says that sort of thing half-seriously a lot, I would hope MD would be able to talk to him and encourage him in his parenting. That's what we need, I think. Support. No one here actually wants to toss their kid off the roof, or tells their kids how they ruined their lives (I hope). Some people have more stressful parenting situations than others, and I am glad that MD can appreciate that.

What I want back about my old life? The ability to finish cleaning the kitchen or doing laundry or making calls without interruption, and without having to choose between these things and sleep.

Amy

I miss being able to wear a black shirt without some sort of baby goo on my sleeve or shoulder.

Lori

There is no way I could ever possibly express in words how much I love my family. Love for your kids does not get you the things you sometimes need as a parent. Like sleep, sex, hot meals,peeing alone...these are the things I am missing. A 6 month old and a 26 month old take up pretty much all of my time. I am guilty of being one of "those" moms that bitch about my kids and husband in my blog. I do believe venting on here makes you(me) a better parent and spouse in "real" life.

panthergirl

Hm. I'd have to say I'm more with Krissy on this than some of the others. I think there's a BIG difference between being overwhelmed at times, missing the freedom of life before kids, etc. and thinking of a FOUR MONTH OLD as a "little fucker". Now, a FOURTEEN year old is something else again. But an infant?

NOW...I will preface this by saying that I had major PPD with my son...so bad that I didn't even realize it. I used to hang over the crib at night and weep, asking myself why I had him. Bad shit. That's not normal...it's bad, bad, bad.

It doesn't sound like your friend is saying that. It sounds more like half-kidding snarkiness. It just did give me a shiver, because frankly...it sounds really hostile.

(that said, one of the funniest things I ever heard was uttered by a friend of mine, whose snotty little four-year old daughter was throwing a tantrum at her own birthday party: "Ding dong, the bitch is four.")

enygma

Wow, MD, you have a talent for stirring controversy. Sometimes, it's difficult for me to figure out what's more entertaining, the post or the comments that follow. Before anybody gets made at me, I'm not making fun of your comments. I think that some of them are enlightening and others are just a bit...judgmental. Of course, I can't really contribute seeing as how I am not a parent, but I don't see why it's so wrong to admit that you're kid is driving you crazy.
My brother was born with Down Syndrome and my parents were immigrants who still have limited English speaking skills. It was a downright pain for them to take him to hospitals and stuff and it still is, because not only does he have Down Syndrome, but he has hearing and vision problems. Thankfully, though, he is in the mild-moderate level so he can take care of himself. Now, what's my point? Raising someone like my brother has been a great trial for my parents, especially my mom. More than once, I've seen her shedding bitter tears, frustrated that she can't understand him nor can he understand her. She's been angry and exclaimed that she wished she did not have to deal with this burden. Those are pretty harsh words, I know. But how many people are actually overwhelmingly joyful that they have the opportunity to raise a child with special needs? You can't even pretend that having "normal" kids is a cakewalk and anyone who denies having uncharitable thoughts towards their kids is a liar.
My brother is almost 21 now and he's graduated from high school and learning the skills he needs to go out and work in the community. In all honesty, if my mom didn't love him, he could have been sent to a group home long before this and she wouldn't have to spend thousands of dollars to make sure he can go out several days a week to hang out with his peers through special rec to play ball, golf, bowl, etc. Thanks to her care and anxiety, my brother has this chance to get a job after he finishes his vocational training. He's not going to be stuck inside a group home all day, he'll have his own life, though I get the feeling he's not going to want to live by himself; he loves his parents too much to relish any form of separation.
I heard a saying once and I think it's so true: You always love your kids, but you don't always like them.
Carrie, up there, mad props to you. It's hard, I know, but hang in there.

Suzanne

Words are a funny thing. Just groupings of letters and words combined into sentences, and ugly words, provided they are in a language you can understand...can be detrimental to one's spirit.

I think everyone that has posted has an interesting and valid point, and as usual...(painfully so) I can see everyone's meaning. I will always seek the balance between finding humor in life's adventures, and being mindful to what I put out in the universe by way of my actions and words.
Children are wonderful, but can make a sane person nuts with moments. Laughter is a good way to keep the sanity, so long as you make sure not to overdue and cause another person harm. Especially an innocent child.

What do I miss? Going to the mall and actually being able to concentrate on the task at hand without having to constantly do a "head count" for attendance. Being able to go to a resteraunt without someone whinning about their dinner. Being able to meet my husband at the door in a sexy outfit because the kids are around. I miss the money I could otherwise spend on myself, that now goes to private school tuition. I apparently missed 4th grade homework, because I get to do it every evening now! ug!
Would I change it for the world? no way! I love my punkins!
Live, laugh, love, and be merry! It's all about perspective.

Krissy

Carrie,

I'm going to comment about this:

" I woke up to her crying for the fourth time in four hours and wanted to just shake her and shake her until she stopped. I didn't. I made sure she was safe and then I got up and went into the other room and called my husband and begged him to come home. He talked to me until I could calm down. I don't think there was anything abnormal about this reaction, after the stress I was under. What would have been abnormal was if I had actually shaken her."

I just want to say a few things.

1) I completely believe you that it was that bad. I believe you.

2) Good for you for being so responsible and putting the baby down and getting help. Good parenting.

3) Just so you know: wanting to shake the baby until the baby shuts up is not unheard of, but it's not normal. It's not your avarage reaction to an inconsolable baby. It's an outlier reaction.

4) You knew this, and got help, and again, good for you.

5) As anecdotal evidence from the other side, my son has been up all night every night for the past five nights. I've been getting two hours of sleep a night, if I'm lucky. I have never, ever had the urge to shut him up at all costs. I have never, ever had even a momentary urge to shake him. Ever.

6) Please understand that I don't think you're awful. That I think that people have impulses all the time and it's the actions that count and you proved yourself a good parent.

7) I also suspect you may have had a mild PPD or something that would contribute to wanting to shake the baby. And that's not a bad thing, that you'd have that. PPD or PPAD is outrageously common. That's why new moms need help and you went and got it.

8) Again, just to be absolutely crystal clear: I do NOT think you are a bad parent.

9) What I do think, however, is that your experience is extreme and doesn't exemplify what typically happens in a parent/child relationship. A lot of people would take the very real situation you found yourself in and turn it into a drama-queen or king wail. "I almost KILLED the baby by shaking him last night" accompanied by all sorts of fake angst and trying to fit in with everyone by inventing anger and hate that wasn't there.

And my problem, my issue, is that if we act like people that hate their kids are normal; if we act like having the impulse to hurt or injure your child is normal; if we act like belittling your kid or taking them for granted is normal, then maybe eventually it will be.

Your situation was very real, and you handled it admirably. And you didn't come here and say "I am really just going to shake that little shit until he's dead." Which is the kind of comment I see all the time and the kind of comment I object to.

I also think that if we make it seem normal for bitching, disrespecting and harming loved ones, those people who may really have PPD or PPAD won't be able to get the help they need. They'll assume that everyone goes through what they are going through and that their impulse to smother or shake the baby is normal.

Wanting to hurt the baby is not an avarage response. Badmouthing your kids is not normal behavior. I'm not okay with those things being normal behavior. I don't think people should lie about the reality of their situation, but I'm really against making assholespeak against your family the accepted norm.

You didn't do that, but advertising your situation as "normal" makes drama queen wannabees chime in with 'oh yes I wanted to hurt my baby' even when it's a lie and makes the folks who really are going through a hard time think that their situation is normal and that they don't need help.

It's detrimental to be off the cuff and glib about it. That's what I'm saying.

Krissy

Oh, and I meant to add that of course with a special-needs baby you don't have to have PPD or PPAD to get to the end of your rope.

However, having a special-needs baby means that your situation is special and not universal. You need more help that most folks would need because of the baby. Which is absolutely expected and normal for parents of special-needs kids.

I'm saying that presenting your case as if it's an avarage situation is a false comparison. Most parents should not get that far to the end of their rope in normal situations.

But people will want to empathise and relate to you so they'll claim having the same experience. And once they claim having had the experience it becomes easier to invent the experience and give into impulse and decide it's "normal".

Krissy

Lori -

"I am guilty of being one of "those" moms that bitch about my kids and husband in my blog. I do believe venting on here makes you(me) a better parent and spouse in "real" life. "

You're wrong.

Getting advice and changing your perspective on a situation can make you a better parent and spouse. Bitching does nothing but beget crappy feelings all around.

I'm sorry, but they've done studies that prove that venting only increases the neural bookmark on the situation and makes people more angry, more hostile, and does nothing for conflict resolution.

But if you need to believe you're making your life better, go ahead. It's going to be easier than facing the fact that maybe you're just being a self-indulgent whiner. But don't worry, there are masses of self-indulgent whiners out there. It's currently very hip to be a self-indulgent whiner. You're very hip.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

I also blog at...

Bookmark and Share

September 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          
Blog powered by Typepad