Sunday, July 19, 2009

pick yourself up, dust yourself off

It�s been one of those days with my future DRAMA MAJOR that leads me to question not only my sanity, but whether or not I should have ever become a mother.

And it�s barely noon.

Any of you have mental illness in your extended family medical history? I do. Some very bad seeds? Me, too. Unhealthy patterns in parenting? How about anger management issues, depression, and passive-aggressiveness?

That�s just my adoptive family. My biological family was one big Korean soap opera. And it�s harder to detach myself from the crazy in their family, since I am actually genetically related to them. At times, when I feel particularly shitty as a mother, I imagine that all the bad parenting qualities in both my families have coalesced into one perfect storm of nature and nurture and settled in me, with my daughter as the unsuspecting victim.

I remember when I first learned the truth about my birth family � specifically, about the abuse and misery my birthmother had inflicted on my sisters, and the fact that she was a truly disturbed woman who hadn�t wanted me because I was �another girl.� Also, I was born so prematurely, the doctors were sure I�d never lead a �normal life.� As it turns out, I was the luckiest of my birthparents� daughters, because I was the one they gave up.

The night I learned all of this, I couldn�t sleep. Of course, it might have had something to do with being eight a half months pregnant with Abigail at the time. I just lay there in bed, hour after hour, asking myself, �Am I going to be like them? Am I going to be a bad parent?�

I think that most people have the potential to be good, even great parents. The truth I had never really confronted � until that night, facing down the skeletons in my family closet for the first time � was that most people also have the potential to be extremely bad parents. I decided I had probably not inherited some �bad parenting gene� that would doom me and my children to a life of unhappiness. But I would still have to be aware of my limitations, my weaknesses, and yes, my sins. I would have to be humble.

Sometimes, when everything is going well with Abigail and we�re clipping along for weeks on end with no major disasters or meltdowns, I forget to feel thankful for the relative peace. I may even get a little cocky, and start to think that I have something to do with how smoothly things are running. But days like today keep me humble and well-acquainted with my own faults, lack of patience topping the list.

I hate feeling so aware of my own powerlessness, when I can do nothing to make my daughter feel any better; when I put her down early for a nap and then punch a pillow in sheer frustration; when I sit numbly on the couch with a cup of tea in my hands and seriously � seriously � question whether someone like me (lazy! impatient! selfish! only child! needs alone time! has latent CRAZY GENES!) should have ever had a child in the first place. Too late to spare Abigail, but maybe she doesn�t need a sibling. Maybe, I think to myself, maybe there�s somewhere I could get a tubal over my lunch break.

Here�s where I should stop feeling sorry for myself and say something uplifting, something positive about motherhood. If I wanted to, I could say what a lot of parents say � that I�m aware of my faults, but that having a child has given me the perfect opportunity to work hard to correct those faults for the sake of another person. And that�s true, except you don�t have a child as a means to self-improvement. Abby deserves a good mom now, not a good mom-in-training.

If I were grading myself as a mother today, it would be pretty grim. Not even a gentleman�s C. But she�s napping, praise God and all the saints, and I have another few minutes to repair my tattered nerves. A deep breath, a sip of tea, and some lunch are in order.

Soon she�ll wake up, and I will still be here. I�m leaning towards still being here, anyway. And then we�ll start all over again.

Nikki has officially made it to bedtime and is about to start drinking heavily. This entry was written earlier today and cross-posted at A Small Song.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Le Sigh

I am convinced that the Triangle region of North Carolina is home to some of the worst drivers in the country. I mean, I'm totally cool with people who drive the speed limit, but people who drive 10 under on a road where most people drive 10 over? That's just annoying. Or worse yet, people who come to a stop, A STOP, at an on-ramp to wait  for a large enough clearing in freeway traffic to merge. Could they have not thought ahead and started looking at the traffic patterns before they got to the very end of the merge lane?

I guess my driving frustrations are starting to show. Today while riding in the car, once again frustrated at my fellow drivers, I heard Linus let out a big sigh. Unsure if I heard right, I questioned him, "What?" He again gave a very dramatic sigh. Thinking back, I realized that he was mimicking what I had just done when some irresponsible driver cut over 3 lanes of traffic while driving 20 under to catch an exit.

Lucky for me, a sigh was all I had for that driver. It used to be worse. I mean, my mom did teach me the superior communication ability of my middle finger in those situations.

Crossposted at My Sweet Babboo. When she's not journeying from playgroup to Target to Local Yogurt, Abby can be griping about it on Twitter or her personal blog, My Sweet Babboo.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fourth Festivities

2668231888_99fe47b7fc_b Even if you aren't heading to the beach for the holiday weekend, there is still plenty of fun happening right here in the Triangle. Here in Durham you even have parade options for the younger set.

Your first option is to participate in a 60 year running parade of children over in the Watts-Hillandale neighborhood. Bring your bikes, wagons, or strollers all decked out in red, white, and blue and join the parading masses as they celebrate the independence of our country, the spirit of children, and the comfort of good neighbors. Festivities begin at 10AM at the neighborhood's park in the 2200 block of West Club Blvd and will continue following the parade in Oval Park.

If your a bit more of a procrastinator, like me, you can opt to join in the less historical but just as fun Central Park Children's Parade. To participate, just bring your wagons and bikes to Central Park. The good folks from The Scrap Exchange will be on hand with plenty of re-purposed supplies for turning your tiny transportation into a spectacular Independence Day float. Central Park and The Scrap Exchange is located in the 500 block of Foster Street. Decorating begins at 9:45AM with the parade scheduled to depart at 10:45AM from the corner of Foster and West Corporation.

Both options are loads of fun and last just long enough to make sure that your baby, toddler, or preschooler is home in time for a quick lunch and afternoon nap. They are definitely gonna need that nap, and you too, if there is any hope of them staying awake to enjoy fireworks.

For other 4th of July activities going on around the Triangle, check out MyNC where they have a round up of the local festivities.

Abby, an avid pie baker, is hoping for a long enough afternoon nap to throw together a cherry pie. Of course, if she gets too involved in blogging or Twitter, she'll get nothing done. You can read about all of her projects at her personal blog, My Sweet Babboo.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,