To follow up on my post about Truth and Perspective and some very sage advice from Med, here's an analysis I did of those "truths". I am quite pleased that I was able to do this alone without any prompting of the positive stuff from anyone. So here it is:
I really am inadequate as a parent (the fact that both kids think pot is harmless, among other issues, is my proof),
My kids love me and I love them. They worry about me when I’m not well and even though they are not inclined to express their deepest fears and thoughts to me they know I will listen if they do. I try to balance their freedom with my guidance as best I can and when they make poor choices I try not to lecture but help point out possible consequences and options. I try not to get too involved in their personal lives – I don’t like some of my kid’s friends but I don’t harp about that and I am as polite to those friends as I am to anyone else. When I have talked to them about some of the things I feel most guilty about, they either don't remember, don't know what I'm talking about or don't care. I'm not a perfect mom but I am not creating deviant, antisocial, miserable, angry children, they are good kids who know right from wrong.
On the negative side – I have not demanded sufficient respect from them. They tend to not respect much my feelings about drugs and alcohol and they don’t have sufficient respect for our home. (See my comments about them not helping around the house below) I may be a little hyper vigilant about seeing signs of depression and/or anxiety but that doesn't make me a bad mom, just annoying (for them)
I really am a bad dog parent because it's a fact that I don't walk my dog every day,
My dog is happy. If I miss a day walking him he will survive. I have rarely missed two days in a row. He is well behaved and we follow the “exercise, discipline, affection” rule (for those of you who watch “The Dog Whisperer”. I have even had strangers comment on what a beautiful coat he has and how well behaved he is.
I really am a less than perfect wife because it's a fact that John works two jobs and still I can't seem to manage the house without his help (the kids don't help either and it's a fact that if I had been a better mom, they would help).
I do the laundry for John and I and for the household. The kids do their own but that’s their choice, they know I would if they asked. I wash, fold and put away our clothes, towels, dishcloths etc. I do the dishes and keep the kitchen tidy. I clear out the fridge and gather the garbage on Mondays for Tuesday garbage day. I keep the house organized and when anyone is looking for something they will typically ask me and I usually know. I take care of making sure there is soap, shampoo, laundry detergent etc. (well, I put it on a list, because I don’t have a car I can’t actually go and get it) I act as go between, message passer and sensitive issue bringer upper between the kids and John. I sweep, dust, and vacuum. I load and unload the dishwasher and make sure it gets put on when it’s full. I am not the only one that does these things. I try to cook nice meals as much as I can. If the ingredients are not in the house – that is beyond my control.John and the kids do some of these things some of the time but that is to help me out and not because I don't. These are pretty much my jobs.
On the negative side – I don’t clean the toilets and I should sweep/vacuum more often. Sometimes we have everything I need to make a nice dinner but I don’t.
It's a fact that I cannot hold a job and so do not contribute so well (my pension is pathetic) financially to the household.
I have no control over the amount of my pension. John and I have discussed my attempting to return to work many times with the same result: It’s not worth the risk of another Major Episode (I have episodes without the pressure of work).
Last, but not least, I create art (which costs money to do) that I don't do anything with, I can at least somewhat justify the art thing as a kind of therapy, but (there's that word again) it's been sixteen years and the art thing has been no more successful than any other kind of therapy
I have given some of my work as gifts which have been very well received and that has saved us having to buy a gift. I have recently started liking the stuff I create so something must be getting better. I am not “selling” my work because I don’t want the one thing I still enjoy doing to become a pressure filled job with deadlines and expectations. Everything I create is here and if someday I chose to sell it I can. In the meantime, I can consider it building up inventory.
maybe I like being depressed because it absolves me of so many responsibilities,
Well, I don’t like being depressed. It does relieve some of my responsibilities, John never pressures me to do anything, but the guilt and sadness suck any pleasure I may get out of shirking those responsibilities.
So there you have it.