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« When Parenting Makes You Feel Like An Idiot (Case #893) | Main | Bouncy Bitchy Bullet Blogging »

November 06, 2007


kate just sound like you need a break.Someone to respect your views, to listen to you , give you some much needed free time, etc.I am happily married to an able-bodied man who is a huge help with our three daughters and I don't think I could do it without him.I am going to keep you in my prayers and specifically that you are able to have a more managable life without all of the stressors that you have.Regardless of the choices that we make, our children are so influenced by our enviornment and you sound like you need muscles,a listening ear and a kind heart.


I feel the anxiety. You want so badly for your children to have the absolute best upbringing you can possibly give them that your head may explode from trying so hard. I can relate. Your difficulties with your family reminded me of a particular problem I have with my mom.
One night, we had her over for dinner and my daughter (who was maybe 3 at the time) looked at her legs. My mom said, "They're fat and ugly, I know." I cringed. And I realized something. I grew up listening to her talk bad about herself. I remember as a child looking at her legs and being disgusted. But now, I think, how could I have been disgusted at such a young age? My own daughter loves my saggy, fat belly. She likes to give me raspberries and has even remarked, "Mommy, I love your belly."
I realized that I can't control the way other people act around her. All I can do is give her a good foundation. Her teacher at school calls herself fat (jokingly) on a daily basis. And it will come from many other sources. It bothers me that women have it so ingrained in their minds that they are deeply flawed if they don't live up to some ridiculous ideal.
I have my own self image issues(who doesn't?). So I am very conscious about making value judgments about myself in front of her. I realize in the end, it's up to her as to how she sees herself and who she becomes.
When we've been hurt by our family growing up, we have a very intense need to protect our kids(compounding our natural instincts)from all possibly negative influences and maybe we become overly skiddish. As parents, we are where their home is, their foundation. And they are resilient and no matter what happens to them outside of our care (assuming we aren't purposely throwing them to a pack of wolves or something), they have a secure, loving parent relationship to come home to.
I hope that wasn't too long...


Delurking after all this time to say, fuck 'em if they don't get it.


Another lazy night-owl here! I hate that. I sleep considerably less hours than your average early-riser but I am considered a big sloth because I'm in bed at 9 am.

You do sound wiped out, as the first commenter mentioned. I can relate and I have tons of help and had 2 years to prep one kid for a sibling rather than a 2-fer deal like you got.

If I could wave a magic wand and move one blogger next door to me, it would be you (with a big, accessible house that all of you could live in together) and we could trade baby sitting and/or hang out and have tea and plot the revolution while our kids played in a Room Set Aside for the Purpose.

Virtual parentheses hugs to you:


(I have NEVER done that for anyone else, dear!)


Hmm, take it from someone who has worked with kids for a very long time and has 5 of her own. Your little boy sounds FRUSTRATED about something. Destroying things is one of the signs. 'Just my two bits worth. I enjoy your blog so much!

Lantana's Latitude


De-lurking to say, OH GOD YES. This is a painful topic for our family--my partner's parents disowned him because they didn't approve of our wedding music (!!) (and no, I'm NOT EXAGGERATING--they WALKED OUT OF THE CEREMONY, Jerry-Springer style). They never physically abused him, and, on the surface, they are very high-functioning people. Just fucking nuts. We've tried to reopen the channels of communication a few times since our babies were born, but some ridiculous bullshit head trash from his mother always gets in the way.

Long, long story made into short-ish: we have decided that a) destructive, demeaning behavior is NOT ALLOWED around our kids and b) his parents will, for the foreseeable future, ALWAYS engage in destructive, demeaning behaviors. His parents will not be a part of our children's lives, QED.

Of course, our situation is an extreme. I just wanted to say that I relate, and **thank you** for writing this. Just reading "Where do you say that the behavior your family members are exhibiting are not acceptable to you as a parent? Its not like cut and dry physical abuse. It is just like a large degree of lack of respect." I got all verklempt. So nice that someone else understands, someone else asks themselves the same questions.

Lucía Moreno Velo

IMHO, you cannot control what people tell your kids or how they will influence them, but you can be an example and give them a good self-image. Kids can, and your kids will, learn to tell when someone is just being abusive or judgemental. Having such a person as a parent is hard, but if your parents are supportive, other people count much less.
We have some issues in my family of origin, too. It's taken much shouting and a few deaths to make my father respect my choices. Most people in my family are subtly racist and my daugther is mixed race. Well, dealing with this racism is something she needs to learn. When they say something racist I point it to her (she's 3). When they hear me (I do try to be discreet as they have made it very clear that thay do not want to learn), they get mad but I offer no apolagies.
BTW, I work with an artist who gets up at noon and works until late in the night and he is a wonderful professional who is helping my bussiness thrive. It's not convenient for me that I can only call him after noon, but it's not convenient for him to not being able to call after 9pm, too. So, we adapt. End of problem. Your kids sleep enough, are healthy, you are happy. End of problem.


I wish you could live near your father, but not with him. I know that is not possible right now, but it would make things so much less stressful.

The stuff about decent and successful people get up in the morning is just bullshit, plain and simple. There are a whole lot of people at Microsoft who have done well without getting up early.

I had a dream last night that you had written two books about disability, one scholarly study about discrimination in the 20th century, and a memoir. I woke up and thought, "She'd be really good at that." You know, later, when you have some time.

And, finally, as a parent of a six year old, it does get better. My daughter is capable of non-destructively amusing herself for 30 minutes or more while I cook dinner or sew or whatever. It's bliss.



My goodness! Now you've got me all curious about what the wedding song was! The only thing good about this kind of stuff is that it is good fodder for Crazy In-Law Storytime.

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