New paradigm

My best used to be much more than just good enough. My best used to be fabulous.

Since becoming a parent, my best is never good enough at home, at work, at school…in life overall. And that feels awful.

I used to submit before deadlines. Now I have no control over time and am late with work.

I used to speak articulately. Now the most basic vocabulary eludes me.

I used to balance everything from budgets to fitness, academia to consulting. Now I am being thrown off the teeter-totter daily by the overwhelming ball of regurgitated mess that is my life.

I used to bob and weave and take curve balls as they came. Now I can’t come up with an appropriately disastrous sports cliche to express my being clocked in the melon hourly by all the foul balls thrown at me.

I used to have self confidence borne of deliberate effort and measurable success. Now I fake it until I’m called a big ol’ liar, which is pretty much daily.

And most of my communications—text, email, post, and letter—have errors I don’t find until hours after the message is sent.

Who the hell am I? And how much worse will it get?

14 thoughts on “New paradigm

  1. your a mom. and probably much worse till it gets better. at least you’re not alone, too bad we don’t all live in the same neighborhood, we could have a semi conscious discussion while grasping for vocabulary.

  2. what tara said.
    and you’re a juggler. balls fall. whoops.
    and I feel the same way about starting a new career in a totally different direction. i’m studying shit i used to teach! i look at study questions and wonder what twit came up with that stupid question, and yet, i have no clue how to answer it or what they want for an answer because there’s no question?! and no answers in the back of the text because the authors are evil. and i hate my new calculator because the buttons make me feel stupid. i used to understand what all the buttons did. now, i get a number and think “is that right? really?” any number looks strange to me at this point. don’t even get me started on the ‘reverse’ numbers. that button is dead to me.

    May I suggest some Homer wisdom? Not *that* Homer, the *other* Homer:
    “You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.”
    yeah, peep, i’m done trying. trying sucks ass. just breathe. keep going. and i’m pretending that no one is watching. la la la.
    unicorn who never sucked at teh maths before

    • Unicorn, you are the chee beneath my glitter. I’m sorry teh maths are giving you what for. It’s all them datums.

      That breathing and keeping going bit should be a tattoo. On my freaking forehead. Except I never look in mirrors. So tat on my poor, poor hands? Ever feel badly for your hands? Like you’re making them do more than they should? Like they’re waiting patiently to do the next task, but they’re sighing this deep “well, I guess we have no choice, so here we go” sigh?

      I think my hands are sighing.

      Oh, the calculators. Same reaction a year or so ago, when we moved. I picked up the old scientific calc and almost cried. I used to work phucking magic on that bitch. I *worked* it. Now I don’t even know what the abbreviations are, let alone what the functions do.

      They don’t clean my house, that’s fo sho.

  3. I think I may be coming out of the fog now…except that I found two errors in an email I sent out to almost 100 people…So I might be wrong…But at least I have my sense of humor, I think.

  4. You are you, but on sleep-deprived mode. Like, in-violation-of-the-Geneva-Convention level sleep deprivation. And you are holding everything together, even in the face of that. That is some hard shit, man.

    Sometimes I think the work of parenting strips us down to our core identity. Like, who am I, without the trappings of work/school/hobbies/showers? Who do I want to be? (Or maybe that’s just me. Maybe you already knew who you were all along, and this is just an exercise in extreme parenting survival. I don’t know. But rah rah anyway.) (That was me being your cheer squad.) (Clearly I was never an actual cheerleader.)

  5. @tara wouldn’t that be nice? As long as my kid doesn’t bean your kid. Or vice versa.

    @Maria well, that was buoying and then disheartening. They still live in your house, though. And there are three, right? I’d be in a padded room, so you’re really far ahead of the game.

    @Melissa you’re both supportive and hilarious. See how well you’re doing?
    And who I am without showers was always a problem. The rest of me stripped down is probably what I don’t want to face, so I conjure projects from thin air to keep from looking. Have I mentioned my soon to launch etsy store? (Not really. I’ve thought of creating one, though. And that’s as far as I’ll get. See, for explanation, my freaking total inability to keep even one ball in the air.)

    @meg Seriously, my child found your child so that he and I could both benefit from your family. He gets the play style he often forgets to engage in, and I find the grounding earth mama I might be somewhere deep down if I didn’t keep getting in my own way. Mazel tov, Universe, for letting us find Meg and her family.

  6. i heart you too muffin.
    wanna throw the ‘shift’ button out together? i’m in. sooooo in.

    and you know what else gets my goat? GREEK LETTERS. kappa, gamma, epsilon, I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS SHIT. I printed off the greek alphabet, gonna tattoo that steaming shit to the back of my hand! since I have to keep refering back to equations to match up WHAT THE *&%$#%^* TEXT SAYS but does not show a symbol for until the damn equation!!!! It’s like a sick game of Go Fish.

    Unicorn lost her shit today over a monkeyloving equation. still not fully recovered. she will get back on the horse(shit) tomorrow.

    headdesk unicorn

  7. I don’t think this will cheer you up, but I feel the exact same way. I keep telling myself it’s just a moment in time, that things will change (as they always do with kidlets), and one day I will be so back on my game I will be ON FIRE.

    For now, though, I (am trying to) settle for the basics, which is SO NOT ME, but it does feel better than constantly failing to live up to my own expectations.

    • @Alison, it does cheer me up. Not because I enjoy others’ misery, but I started this blog to feel less alone in my parental claustrophobia. I need to know I’m not going out of my mind, and reminders from other humans that everything is temporary, other people have similar experiences, and that perspective often cures a lot tend to work magic. On me, anyway.

      Don’t you worry, a bit, that when it all passes, you won’t be so much on fire as exhausted and resigned? I hope not, but I fear I’m leaning that way. Spinning my wheels now in frustration and comparison is burning up all my fighting energy.

  8. @Elastamom you’re not kidding.
    @unicorn head off your desk, superstar. I think if you make up your own greek-esque alphabet and your own equations, you will out Math Genius both Damon and Crowe any day of the week. Because you’re the real glitter-hooved deal. Drink that iced coffee and read the text backwards, from equation to introduction. That’ll learn ’em.

  9. Oh, Lord. I know. God, I know. I used to have it so together. Now I’m just barely holding on. I want to have it together again instead of faking it.

  10. @faemom And when you figure out *how* to get that awesomeness back, how to restore balance and competence, you drop me a little line, wouldya? Thanks ever so very.

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