….Anyone want to take responsibility for this travesty?
This week, er, two weeks….it all kind of blends together in misery…has been an excellent reminder that I cannot, or rather, it is very difficult to work full time and have a bloody freaking bored needy and available child around.
Read: not impossible. Just not easy and not always pleasant. I mean, I barely handle a whiny cat without going homicidal. David is much much much less annoying than said Cat (Maurading Merowler, class.), but he’s also a lot more needy.
And I don’t mean that in the…. Dysfunctional way. I mean it in the accurate way.
He requires 5 feedings, hours + of outside, lengthy verbal and emotional interactions not to mention constant educational and playful stimulation.*
(See: REASONS I DIDN’T WANT KIDS, part 1. New sequel, “Honey, I STILL DON’T WANT MORE.” coming soon from Bantam books.)
And just for the record, being fully aware of the intense emotional, physical, mental, not to mention financial requirements for having a child and not wanting to do/be/give those said things for any reason (good ones include: I’m sick, have dreams and only have so many resources and I just don’t want too.) is not, as some would have me believe, selfish or an indication of chronic laziness.
God, and this doesn’t even take into account how totally NOT set up to support parents and families OF ANY KIND our culture is. Is not. ?
Don’t give me this “And this is REAL FAMILY” argument.
A “real” family is any person or group of persons taking care of younger, or more vulnerable members. Or any group of people creating a household where they take care of themselves and each other.
But, the points being: lack of parental leave after a baby is born, the extreme cost of childcare and healthcare, how economically a household requires two full time incomes, the lack of outside support, familial or otherwise–it’s hard raising a family even if you have the “ideal” set up.
I’m close to that set up and it still is really hard. I mean, it’s compromised by my ongoing health issues** and the fact that I keep on running *smack* into the wall of I NEVER F*&^%$# wanted this….
Side note: I think that whining and bitching about my parenting struggles is healthy and helps me, after I’ve turned my laptop off and taken a deep breath, to wade back out into the sacrificial struggle of Showing Up with Loving Presence and Hard Sweaty Work that is, as I see it, being a parent.
I love my kid. I am so grateful I only have one. And I’m grateful I have him. It’s become easier, better, in many ways now that we’re past the screaming larval phase and the “lets see how loud and self homicidal I can be” phase.
Now that we’re into the “Oooh, cool, I’m a person and life is FASCINATING” phase (which to be sure has it’s own unique set of challenges, just like every other phase….I’ve traded in being covered in puke, piss and poop for nightmares about which junior high is right for him, will he be happy and able to make friends and my god, how will I pay for college??) and I’m interacting with a little person, I’m liking things much better.
The fact that he can make a few basic food items and clean up after himself (more or less) thus making me less of a MAID each and every day that I am willing to be in Training, Follow Up mode has been quite nice.
And, I’m at the point where I can see the long game. At the moment my goals are to set him up for success in this modern world and to cultivate the relationship I’d like to have with him for the rest of our lives. Which is pretty cool, now that the numbing hell of early childhood is mostly behind us.
Ahem. So ah, how was everyone’s New Years? I ate rich, heavy, delicious food, hung out with my family and drank a lot of wine. Oh, and WORKED. Hahahaha.
Loves you all.
*Have I mentioned we’re about 3 months into a big cut back on electronic usage. Yeah, kill me now.
**The number of times I’ve wished it were cancer in the last 10 years.
People who have/have had cancer, please don’t be mad at me. I know that I literally do not understand what you’ve gone/are going through.
I’m mostly joking….and invite you to imagine feeling similarly except having your illness be social anathema, with people whispering, saying, thinking things like “well, if she just had worked harder”, “if she wanted to, she just wouldn’t have gotten sick”, ETC X MILLION.
Cancer… If you have cancer, people take care of you, make sympathetic noises and the support just doesn’t stop.
If you have “mental” issues, well, f*&^ you, people think distantly as they disassociate and fade into the darkness.
Ok. That was a little dark.
It is an accurate representation of parts of my experience, but certainly not the whole truth. And, health gods, I’m actually quite happy with where I’m at right now, and loving my healthy cell division each and every day!