Is This A Mid-Life Crisis?

I'm having a bad day.

Like, of Epic Proportions. Epic, huge, life-changing, how did I end up here proportions.

This despite the fact that my housekeeper came today and my house was clean for at least 20 minutes before it imploded. Not to mention that I went to the grocery store and didn't even have a single altercation with anyone.

And it's not that (WARNING! KNITTING BLOGGING AHEAD! Skip this part if you are a non-knitter) I knitted these dang socks and didn't take notes and the heels turned out completely different from each other. Look:

No, wait, can you see it better in THIS picture?

I didn't take notes as I was knitting and the heels are now two different sizes. Those of you who are knitters, do you think I need to frog back the sock in progress and try to recreate the first heel? I don't mind, but I will say, since I've already done significant frogging on this sock, I think I'm being punished for knitting the exact same pair of socks--even the same colorway-- as one I've already done. I think the Knitting Gods aren't happy at all about brainless knitting. Which is a bummer, considering how often I am in that state.

Anyway. (KNITTING DISCUSSION OVER. SAFE TO READ FROM HERE.)

Anyway, it wasn't any of those things that caused my bad day.

Really, it was just the fact that I suddenly realized that I am a complete and utter failure as a mother. In fact, despite Coop being all great and patient and involved and all, I think that we, as PARENTS, are a big, honking failure. We have created exactly the opposite of what we hoped we create. Our children are spoiled and whiny and apparently completely lacking in any kind of coping/self reliance skills. And they aren't even that nice most the time. Certainly not to me, and often not to anyone around them.

I'm thinking this could be an issue, know what I mean? It sort of ruined my day.

See, the Coopers may be relocating to another state (more about that in a future post when things are definite one way or the other and I stop hyperventilating) and as I have been looking around and assessing our life here and trying to decide if the impact on our children would be really detrimental and send them into therapy when they are adults, I've realized exactly how much our "helicopter parenting" hasn't exactly stood them in good stead.

(As an aside, I was an Army brat. How often did my parents worry about the psychological stress on their kids when moving? Um. Never. And look how freaking healthy and self-reliant and together *I* am.)

(Wait. Bad way to make a point.)

(GDR.)

So, here we are, right? The rubber meets the road right about the time we pack up our six hundred million bazillion pounds of broken crayons and butcher paper and load it on the truck. By that time, I will have found the school district that's most desirable, the house in which we'll spend the next phase of our lives, the Tae Kwan Do studio and the next grocery store in which I will meet the most undesirable parts of myself.

And my kids?

Well, I don't know.

I've been spending my nights obsessing over what WE will do if they are bullied, or continue to think they don't have to try at academics, or what will happen if they are ridiculed by their peers for crying because the wrong type of cheese is served to go with their baked potatoes. But I think the larger question is what will THEY do?

And right now? It doesn't look so good.

Comments

Ei said…
You are a caring and involved parent, which means you are just as good as anyone else doing it. And you want to do the right thing, which doesn't mean that your choices will be flawless, but that your children will always know that you care, and you'll see it reflected in them as adults.

I have a nephew who as a child, NO ONE could stand to be around (oh, lord, I hope my sister doesn't decide to start browsing blogs this week). We all thought him horribly irresponsible and whiny and clingy and just miserable. The whole family would talk about how his parents babied him too much and never followed through on discipline. He's 25, almost 26 now. And for about the last 10 years I can tell you, every time I see him I am consistently amazed at what a really decent person he is. Beyond the average "oh he's a nice guy" but a really outstanding human being. And he's a daddy now himself and you've never met a more devoted father.

You just don't know what is sinking in. I comfort myself with that thought when my own kids are demanding and whiny and rude and all I can think is that I'm a horrible mom or that the divorce has ruined them or that I passed on some hideously defective gene that will make them miserable for the rest of their lives.
Lynda said…
Barb,

You know better than that. You are a good Mom and your kids are just normal. You are normal and well adjusted and parent as well or better than a lot of parents out there.

One of the most important things that you can do for the health of your children, and you already know this, is to have a loving and supportive relationship with Coop. That kind of relationship just spills over to the children and they are happy and secure because you are.

Do you think that maybe, just maybe, you might be borrowing trouble before it happens?

Oh, the socks....can you live with them or are they going to drive you batty? If it will drive you nuts then frog them, if not, live with it.
Knitman said…
I love the socks and colourway anyway....
Mrs.Q said…
Nobody who adores their kids as much as you obviously do needs to worry about 'em. More kids should be so lucky!

As for the socks - will they fit OK? If so, my remedy for such situations - if anybody's that close to my feet, and wants to criticize, I just kick them.
hokgardner said…
Ditto what everyone else said.

On a personal note, I often have days when I think I'm raising the WORST KIDS IN THE WORLD, then one of them does something that makes me so incredibly proud to be her mother and I feel better about the universe in general. Look for one of those moment. Or even just go watch them sleep. It heals the soul.

And as my great-grandmother would say, "Things will work out."
I'm with Lynda on the socks. Do what you can live with.

Actually, that's pretty good advice with the kids, too. Just try to raise them to be people you can stand living with. They won't be perfect, but they will be good enough. And when they try to blame you for anything, just laugh. Now that I am a parent, I'm really not into blaming mothers for much. Just be good enough and make sure they learn to pick up after themselves. Sorta.

And if you saw my Anna's room right now, that advice would really make you laugh.

I think the moving will be a fun, fun adventure (if you don't alienate anyone at the supermarket, that is); think of how much you moved as a kid!

My kids whine way too much. I don't know why I am adding that here, but it seems appropriate. And as far as Lynda's marital advice...Larry and I always try to hold hands and be really lovey around Anna...because it makes her want to vomit. So much for our happiness spilling over to the kids. But it's fun to tease her.

Laugh a lot - it makes your kids wonder what you're up to. Throws them off balance, you know?

I'll stop now. Time for bed.
MadMad said…
Leave the sock alone - it's a heel, for goodness' sakes. It goes in the shoe and no one sees it. No biggee. And as for the kids - they will be fine: they have you guys as loving, caring parents, and kids are more resilient than you know.
Cherizac said…
I'm a firm believer that if your kids know, really KNOW that you love them, then all the other mistakes you make are temporary. They grow out of those kinds of mistakes. Deep breath - you're doing okay.

As for the socks, I'm with Madmad. They're in the shoe for heaven's sake! If they're comfortable who cares? On the foot, you probably can't tell at all.

As for punishment for making the same socks in the same colorway; bah humbug. I do it all the time. If it's what you like, who cares? You're going to change the pattern you love, or the color you love, just because you have it already. And then spend hours, days of effort making something you like half as well? Well, THAT sounds nuts to me!

Just my $.02.
DK said…
Your children will be fine. Trust me, I'm a professional in screwed up, and your kids will probably turn out less crazy than most. They'll be fine. You'll be fine.

Patience, Camille.

And your new location will be good. Kids relocate all the time. It'll be difficult, but new and exciting, and in the end everything will be just peachy. And this is a much better time to do so than, say, Ana's senior year of high school. And anyway - they need something to talk about in therapy when they grow up!

GDR indeed.
Barb, stop it. Your children are individuals who are strong and can overcome anything that life throws at them. Maybe not the first time, but the next time they'll have learned from the first time. And they'll be fine. Trust me.
chichimama said…
I would frog back the socks. But I tend towards obsessive compulsion about such things.

As for the kids, I think we all think our kids are spoiled and whiny. My new litmus test is "Are they whiny and rude to other people?" and generally the answer is no, so I have decided that it is just a developmental thing. But then again, what do I know?

And they will survive the relocation just fine...
Tenna Draper said…
Well, Barb, I moved three times as a kid, more as an adult. I turned out okay, but hate moving. I do the therapy thing, too, but not about the moving.

Agree with everyone else about the socks...they go in shoes, who cares? As for the kids, well, you're never going to be good enough anyhow. They'll blame you no matter how good you are. Beyond that, it's a child's perogative to make their parents nuts, and it's a grand-parent's perogative to spoil the grandkids, and give them cake and cookies and sweets and send them home wired to the gills and wide awake still at 11 pm.

All you can do is have fun where-ever and whatever you're going/doing. But stay away from Michigan. We're in a recession right now. LOL!
Mokihana said…
Try on the socks. If the heels both fit, don't frog. If anyone notices it while your socks are on your feet, they're too dang close!

I mean, really. Who is going to get that close? And the heels won't show from a normal distance and the socks are beautiful and I love the colors and just enjoy them and your kids will do fine with the relocation because they're not in high school yet and they will turn out to be fine people so just relax, put on your socks, grab a latte, and start finding where the LYS's are in your new state!
CK Holder said…
Again, you posted something that I have thought and felt myself. Are you SURE you're not me?

The most profound thing I ever read, (from where???) about parenting is what keeps me sane(ish): We do the best we can. We always do what we are capable of doing and our children learn how to adapt to us to get what they need. If I'm not in a good mood, my kids will learn how to adapt to me in a bad mood. I think, too, that if they get all the love and attention that they need, they just punch into the water to see what that means - what it feels like. Likewise, we adapt to our kids in the same way when they go through their learning phases. When they start to grow into a new behavior, we change our parenting tactics. Since each phase is completely new to us, we can't be expected to get it right everytime. We just have to keep loving them and keep trying.

My first inclination about the socks was to knit two more. Knit one more with the one kind of heel and another one with the other kind. But that kind of proposition would take me years, so I'm with the other reader (??) who said that if it bugs you re-do, but if you can live with it, don't.