ue I'm More Than Just a Mom...I Think: My Downfallu

Saturday, July 23, 2005

My Downfall

I think about other people's feeings too much and not enough about my own. I can't be what I think everyone else wants me to be or thinks that I should be. If I continue to put this intense pressure on myself, I am only going to fail. I can only be me. Why can't I be selfish once in a while and do things that just make me happy? Stop thinking "oh well, that might annoy so-and-so" or "that will give so-and-so extra work". So what? You know, Dave's an adult, he can take care of his children, why do I stress about going out and having time to myself? He doesn't whine or complain about taking care of the kids, so why do I worry so much?

Why can't I just help myself? I did last night and I felt so great after. I went down to the lake front and walked around a little. Then I sat on a bench and just THOUGHT. I didn't talk to anyone, I just sat by myself and I loved every second of it. I think I was gone about 2 hours. Not a lot of time, but enough that I felt relaxed and happier.

I have to admit some things that are really hard for me to say out loud. I can't handle Alex. I can't. He drives me insane. I try my best, but I get frustrated with him so quickly. Karen made some excellent points to me about that last night. He's not my son. As much as I love him and have cared for him as a son, he's not, and somewhere in the back of my mind I know that. That doesn't make me a bad parent or mother for thinking in terms of fact, it really doesn't. It explains the frustration, anger, and resentment that I feel sometimes. All of which are natural, normal, and again, don't make me Monster of the year. The fact of the matter is, he's a special needs kid - he's HARD to deal with under the best circumstances. And David does a better job with him than I do. Do you know what Karen said? Then let Dave do the hard stuff and you do the fun stuff and general taking care of (feeding, doctor's appts, etc that I usually do). Dave totally agreed. He's suggested it in the past, but I've never taken him up on it because I've always felt like I HAD to be the perfect mom to them. I can't be a perfect mom because I'm not perfect. I have to be the best mom that I know how and getting a break from Alex from time to time is what I need to do that.

I have to stop beating myself up about it all the time.

Karen mentioned my "life age" and where I should be right now is a mom to a 3.5 year old, not a mom to a teenager and a 9 year old. She said that's where some of my feelings of restlessness and dread come in when I get home. I've been raising children for years now. I went from being extremely carefree with my life to suddenly being a full time parent.

I have never thought before how hard that was. I always put on a brave face and supported Dave because in the beginning it was SO hard and that was the only way to get through everything we were going through with Susan and custody and all that. Now that she's pretty much completely out of the picture, I'm realizing that I lost a lot of "carefree" time and I miss it. I don't regret my decisions and I don't regret taking them in and being their mom. I love both of them SO very much - I would be lost without them. But the fact is, I lost part of me 10 years ago when I got into this relationship.

It's not a part of me that I can't get back or that I have to leave this relationship to find. I just need to make time for myself and quit letting my perceived guilt stop me from having fun once in a while. I'm not talking about going out and partying all the time. But, there is not a THING stopping me if I want to take off at 8pm one night and just go out. There is no reason I shouldn't do it if I want to.

I need to be there for me now. I've been there for so many other people for the last 10 years that it's about damn time that Cathy got some time for Cathy.


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