Letting everybody down

I am just going to put this out there because surely someone out felt this way at some point. Large disclaimer…it is Late July, a bad time emotionally for me, so if I sound depressed or something, I probably am a little. At any moment I could make a list of at least 10 ways how I am letting the various people in my life down. Feeling guilty about those things on my list is my most common emotion and motivator. Here is today’s list 1. Have no dinner planned for kids (it is 6:00pm) as Luke is out of town and we have not gone to the store 2. My bedroom is a mess I actually cleaned the bedroom today…so one thing at least but it has been bothering me for a week or two so I had to put it on there 3. The day is not over, but I have not had either of my children practice their musical instruments today. Lauren hasn’t practiced for a week. Her attitude has been bad lately and I am not emotionally fit to have that fight with her. So – guilt going to to her teacher right now. In fact, musical instrument practice, with Lauren especially since I am an active part with her, is a good daily chore that if I don’t get done I feel guilty about – so that is on my list a lot. 4. Did not leave the house today. Kids not “entertained”. Thankfully they have been outside for a few hours playing now so the guilt is easing up. Since Luke is out of town I let them get a bunch of toys out of the basement and play down there (which is usually his office and not available to them on a daily basis). So they have not minded too much, but the guilt is creeping in that I had better take them to do something fun tomorrow. 5. The dog…actually fed (not that she would eat breakfast) and medicined relatively on time today, is old and falling apart and has some maladies we perhaps should address. She has been the the vet within the last week with a festering wound. There is another cropping up and also nasty gunk in her eye, that Luke would wipe off if he were here but I can’t bring myself to do it. I feel bad for her. 6. Been unable to find things to tell Luke when he calls me at night, mostly because I am doing nothing of interest. I should try harder though – he is gone and working all day at the client site – he surely has nothing to tell me. Instead he lets me off the phone to watch something on TV. It’s all good between us, but I feel like I could do a better job cheering him up than I am able right now. 7. The kids really want to go to Illinois to see their grandparents and I am not sure if I can make that happen. It is looking more likely (Mike and Kathy – I will talk to you about it this weekend) but Luke has been traveling and working so much that it is difficult to time. He was able to spend a few days with us in Hilton Head only because he flew in and out for a weekend, spent the week at the client-site, and flew back and and them home with us. Unfortunately, his parents can not get good internet out in the country and so it is not an option for Luke to work there, making it difficult for him to go there when he needs to be working. I can go without him, and have in the past, but looking at driving there and back alone both ways for the 15 hours is daunting. As I said before, I am not in the best state of mind and it could be bad for both me and the girls if we are stuck in a van together without Luke going all that way. Flying costs an arm and a leg. Things are looking up though, it seems possible Luke could take a few days off – we’ll see. 8. There are some job/volunteering tasks I have been putting off that I really need to do. Maybe tomorrow. 9. There is a huge mess I really should clean. We had a big rainfall and the neighbor behind us had failed to clean out the important gutter in their yard. So all the rain water washed down our backyard and swept a large amount of mulch all the way into our side yard stopped only by the gate even with the front of our house. It must now all be shoveled in a wheelbarrow and hauled back up into the upper yard in the back. I really should have done it by now. 10. yeah well, you know I couldn’t save my kid from dying of cancer, and furthermore, unlike what (seems to be) every other parent this has happened to, have not started a foundation, or even held some kind of fundraising event. This really does put me in a minority. Seriously. I just don’t have it in me. I just don’t. I feel guilty and I feel judged. There – you have a list. Truthfully I feel better after writing it because it isn’t as bad as I imagined it would be. It is not 6:20 and the kids are not fed, but they are still playing outside happily.

7 responses to “Letting everybody down

  1. Just a lurker that cares about you. You are not judged. You get up every morning. I call that victory.

  2. Yikes…a lot of those things are on my list a lot! There are not enough hours in the day! Don't be so hard on yourself….we all have our moments. From where I sit, I think you're a pretty awesome mom/wife…quite inspiring really. Hugs!

  3. Susan,I don't know you in real life, so take this for what it is worth–I think you should give yourself a free pass every year in July. You are raising two smart, strong young women who are going to go to college and have good lives regardless of how much you are kicking a$$ and taking names as a mom for these few weeks.You (of *course*) have a right to mourn Nathan for the rest of your life. If this means that you have trouble engaging your kids to your high parenting standards for 1/12 of the year and haven't put energy into fundraising in Nathan's memory because you are putting your emotional resources and available energy into your daughters, I think all three of your children are still lucky to have you as their mother. Really.

  4. The only thing I can judge is you are way too hard on yourself. Good grief, kids do not need to be taken on an adventure and entertained every day. I know my parents never did that with me and I don't do it for my kids. We *might* go somewhere 1-2x a week. If I dared to utter the words I am bored, my mother was real good at finding me something to do (work!). We have had our share of days where dinner was cereal or McDonalds. And if any room in my house is trashed, it is my room, because that is the one room no one goes in except me/my DH and I can close the door on it when company comes (after throwing everything in there). And music lessons? My kid plays drums in band (he is 11). I don't think he has practiced all summer. You are doing the best you can, during an undoubtedly very rough time of the year for you. I think you should make a list of all the things you are doing "right" and well for you/your family. Betcha that list would be MUCH longer than 10 things. Rita

  5. I love you.and it occurred to me–if you and Luke ever wanted I'll bet he could go to IL and "commute"from my parents' house! They have great internet and Doug was able to work with no problem. You know my parents would love to have him. :-). Just an idea–that way he could work but you could all be together on vacation there too.

  6. Oh my friend. I’m praying that you’ll remember Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”Love you.

  7. "10. yeah well, you know I couldn't save my kid from dying of cancer, and furthermore, unlike what (seems to be) every other parent this has happened to, have not started a foundation, or even held some kind of fundraising event. This really does put me in a minority. Seriously. I just don't have it in me. I just don't. " OK, I know you are sad and this wasn't meant to be funny but it did make me laugh. My dead daughter also should be remembered by some foundation or fundraiser or something but we never did that either. We even received a modest amount of money from a settlement related to her death and instead of contributing it to charity or doing something really special, that money eventually went to pay for regular bills. It is hard to be ambitious when you are grieving, but our family does remember our girl often and in our own way.

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