How Do Adult

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Lizardlicks, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. Lizardlicks

    Lizardlicks Friendly Neighborhood Lizard

    Okay probably a scary title coming form someone who has kids, but allow me to clarify.

    I just signed up to enroll Eris in kindergarten. This will be her first school experience, and my first time with it at the parent end, and that seems to be all pretty well and straight forward. She's also expressed a lot (I mean a lot a lot, the way only an exuberant five year old can) of interest in dance lessons, so I've been talking with a local instructor about signing her up for classes in the fall. Feeling pretty good at adulting getting this stuff done from this end, but with it comes the realization that I'm gonna have to KEEP doing it- sorry executive function, no time for holidays- and on top of that, I'm going to have to interact with other adults that are outside of my normal social circles (which are namely nerds).

    I'm just sitting here inwardly sighing and tensing at the thought of PTA meetings, and small talk veering into anything less innocuous than the weather. My area of acceptable topics features Homestuck, Pokemon and reptiles, and idk what else but not generally Things That Are Talked About In Public. Several years of working at a call center have taught me how to fake it, but oh my god am I dreading it.
  2. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    1) they can't make you PTA fuckers will never take me aliviiiiiiiiiive. Nothing says you can't just drop her off and puck her up without talking to anyone if its a bad brain day.

    2) other parents arent all gonna be pta moms and stage parents. Probably some of them will be just as awkward and dreading it as you! Also fuck yeah homestucks.
  3. Lizardlicks

    Lizardlicks Friendly Neighborhood Lizard

    Ahaha, yeah I'm halfway tempted to only wear my Homestuck stuff whenever I have to go out in public, but I don't yet have enough of it to do that lol. I'm sure there are plenty of parents that are the same way; dreading interacting with "normal people" and being withdrawn and reclusive, but eventually Eris is gonna make friends with other kids, and those kids will have parents, and I'm eventually going to have to make nice with those parents regardless. I think I'm mostly just doing anxiety wiggle dance because this part is new to me, and trying to keep things organized and on time is already munching on spoons. I'm sure by the time Liam is going through it everything will be old hat.
    • Like x 1
  4. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    Yeah, i totally get that. Parenting really does seem to be the "...and now handle one MORE thing! And now.." dance
  5. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    Here's the secret. We're ALL faking it.
    • Like x 4
  6. Lizardlicks

    Lizardlicks Friendly Neighborhood Lizard

    Truth, ahaha. Some people are just more convincing than others.
  7. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    The other day my sister was telling her friend about me and my kid. She was all like "he already crawls and she makes him little toys and edible fingerpaints and makes him homemade organic babyfood and..." And i was just like. Yeah, technically. Except that that food is actually just fork-mashed leftover dinner because i couldnt face going to the store and you didnt mention all the times ive had to just sit down in the floor with bb and cry in harmony because im exhausted and hes cranky and neither of us have any spoons left for anything by misery. :/

    Idk why we do these things to each other but we seriously hella do. Parental solidarity should be way more of a thing than it seems to generally be.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
    • Like x 6
  8. smyxolotl

    smyxolotl a person.

    Haha omg yes. Parenting situations are the worst. My three year old is super extroverted and always makes friends with random children wherever we go, and then I have to stand there and make super awkward small talk with the parents. OR she starts talking to other grownups on buses and stuff and then I have to talk to them too. Like. I love that my kid enjoys interacting with strangers, but it's also pretty much my idea of hell.

    I try to remind myself that almost everyone else is secretly awkward too, but that only works like 1% of the time.
    • Like x 4
  9. Lizardlicks

    Lizardlicks Friendly Neighborhood Lizard

    Parental solidarity should TOTES be a thing. It would help so much if people were able to talk openly about being overwhelmed or needing help or just running out of can for a night or a week or whatever without feeling like A Bad Parent. These past two days I enrolled Eris for school, looked up how to enroll for dance lessons, set up a baby sitter for her and Liam so hubby and I can go to a Bernie Sanders campaign organization kick off, made a bunch of sticker designs and put them up for pre-order in my storenvy, and tomorrow I'm going to call a dentist (for me), my kids' OLD doctor's office so they can get shot records transferred, and then the NEW doctors office to schedule Liam's 15 month well baby check and make sure they're both up to date on vacs before school season. And I'm feeling pretty damn accomplished!

    At the same time, there are dirty dishes in the sink and laundry that has been sitting in the wash for those same two days because I haven't had the function to go take the old stuff out of the dryer, fold it, and put it away to make room for the new stuff. And there's still moving boxes lying around that have yet to be unpacked, and curtain rods yet to be hung. All of it is give and take; to get one thing done, I have to give up on doing another for the day. It helps to know I'm not the only one, and that I can commiserate and feel supported instead of shamed.
    • Like x 4
  10. smyxolotl

    smyxolotl a person.

    FUCKING YES. At the moment it's a constant struggle for me to prioritize the things that are actually important for my kids, like having the energy to interact and play with them and handle their meltdowns calmly (see: three year old) and making sure they are fed semi-regularly and stuff like that, because I run out of spoons too easily (yay depression!). Feeling like a bad parent because the apartment is super messy is not helpful. It's not like the childen care about the state of the curtains or the amount of unwashed dishes.

    EDIT: Oh my god making this post triggered all my 'Stop Making Excuses, Your Brainweird Will Ruin Your Children's LIVES' feelings

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
    • Like x 2
  11. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer

    Dear parents, who are struggling:

    The most important things are that your children are safe (medical stuff, physical stuff, etc) and that they feel loved and cared for. The dishes? As long as they don't mold, they will be fine. Same goes for the other physical things.

    And no, your brainweird will not ruin your children's lives. Talk to them, let them know what is going on with you. Children love their parents and want them to be happy and feeling better, and often will instinctively try to fix it. So, let them know.

    I promise, they will turn out just fine.

    And if you have a spouse/partner, your relationship with them will color your child's perception of romantic/sexual relationships, so take care of that at the same time. Children will pick up on if you guys aren't getting along and might blame themselves. I certainly did.

    child who grew up emotionally abandoned and fairly alone in a rich, clean household and is still dealing with it at age 25
    • Like x 7
  12. Morven

    Morven In darkness be the sound and light

    I'm pretty damn sure that kids are more hurt by parents thinking they have to parent perfectly and stressing out and getting angry and tense, than any benefit they get from that pressure. If there even is any.

    My mom would always say she was glad she had kids when she was too young to listen or worry.
    • Like x 5
  13. smyxolotl

    smyxolotl a person.

    I agree
    but at the same time, hm. I guess there is a line between "not worrying about unimportant stuff", like doing the dishes or braiding your kid's hair neatly or dressing them in totally spotless clothes, and "actual neglect", like having sandwiches for every meal and no regular mealtimes or not managing to leave the apartment all day or not brushing their teeth and stuff like that. And that line is sometimes really unclear? (And if my time working at the CPS har taught me anything, it's that parents can be really far over that line and still justify it to themselves.) And of course that kind of neglect can be fine too if it happens like every once in a while or for a short period of time, but, how short? How often is too often?

    This is a thing that I think a lot about because I have had a mentally pretty shitty year so far, and really the only thing that have protected my kids from Actual Neglect sometimes is the fact that they also have a dad.

    And like. What @Lizardlicks talked about up there somewhere. If parents could talk to each other openly about all the stuff that makes us not always perfect parents (or even 'good enough' parents) it would reduce the pressure to live up to some ridiculous standard, but it would also make it easier to admit when you are not doing well enough and you need help.

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
    • Like x 3
  14. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    Im kind of panicking right now because what how is this neglect? Because sandwiches are food, its not like you dont feed them, and ive always tended to nosh all day except dinner and be kind of a homebody. Brushing teeth is a health issue, but like. The rest of this. This is actual cps-level Neglect?

    I thought i was doing ok as a parent so far but now im not so sure? Shit.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  15. Mercury

    Mercury 17 Quicksilver Scribe Tramples The Unrepentant

    @Lissiel I'm not a parent, just a person who grew up in rough situations, but I'm sure those things aren't neglect unless they're like... something that happens the vast majority of the time for years, in some pretty extreme ways. I can't see sandwiches for most meals as neglect unless it's something like jam on white bread all the time, or not-regular meals as neglect unless 'not-regular' means 'kids never know when or if they'll be fed', and the not leaving the house is like, not being allowed outside at all. If the kids are getting a variety of food when they need it, and are allowed time outdoors regularly (it's one thing if there's nowhere for them to go that's outdoors and adjacent to where you live, but it's another if you have a yard or a common area where they can go), then things are... pretty normal.
  16. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer

    Sandwiches as all three meals of the day is not okay for me, but as long as the day includes one proper warm meal, it should be okay?

    But sandwiches that have ham and cheese and greens seem fine to me, just not all the time.

    It of course really depends on how old the children are. And essentially the most important thing about food is that they learn to treat it as food, not as comfort or coping mechanism. But I am speaking from my own experience here.

    Basically, it's more complex than "sandwiches all the time are bad". Please don't panic.
    • Like x 1
  17. smyxolotl

    smyxolotl a person.

    Okay, I deleted my last posts now that I'm not freaking out so much. I'm really sorry @Lissiel for making you panic with that poorly worded post, this is what I was actually trying to say:
    Staying indoors all day and having sandwiches for dinner and all that is stuff that I do semi-regularly (for example I put my oldest kid to bed just now without brushing her teeth... whoops). It's not harmful in any way, and I don't consider myself a bad parent because of it. But if it's part of a situation where food = toast occasionally, and you don't leave the house for weeks on end (and your kid is too small to go on their own), and you never wash them or brush their teeth or clean their clothes (and in this scenario I imagine the parent is pretty shut off emotionally too, because I can't really see this happening outside of major depression or someting like that), then I do think it would be considered neglect. And that is pretty much how I've acted when depressed before I had kids, and also a fairly accurate description of the first four months after my first kid was born. (Well I actually managed to take care of her, I was the underfed unwashed one.) So I have this huge, at least semi-founded fear of reaching that level of neglect witout noticing it.

    And that was my point about the CPS! Like, of course a depressed parent who needed help with keeping up basic routines would get that (that stuff ispart of my job, actually), at least in the Swedish equivalent of CPS. But what I mean was that every time I tell myself that I am a good parent, my brain reminds me of people I've met who also claim to be good parents, in the same breath that they explain that they hit/lock up/threaten their children for their own sake. And I really think that they are honest in their assessment of their parenting skills. And if they can delude themselves to that extent, how can I be so sure that I'm not deluding myself the same way? Part of the problem is that my patients/clients are the only not-completely-sane people I ever interact with (as far as I know), so I have no other role models.

    The thing that actually reassures me that I'm doing an okay enough job is that there are people in my life who know my failures and shortcomings and who would tell me if I was fucking up. So, therefore, being open about your limitations as a parent 2k15. Or something.
  18. rats

    rats 21 Bright Forge Shatters The Void

    i am Not An Adult and this is kind of a sidetrack but i just wanted to say that this thread is reassuring in a way? like, i can grow up and have kids and still be allowed to have my own problems, and be a real human being, and also be cool! because you are all really cool people who also happen to be parents and it's just extremely nice to know that despite whatever happens i will be able to remain my own person like you all are doing. . . ive sort of grown up feeling like adults are their own weird entity and kind of terrified of entering Actual Adulthood myself but im seeing more and more that adults are just. . . larger people who are not all that different and who also have to pay bills

    idk, this is weird and off-topic and since i am not an adult i am obv not in my lane for this thead title, just thought i'd share though!! keep on rocking cool parent people
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
    • Like x 6
  19. Lizardlicks

    Lizardlicks Friendly Neighborhood Lizard

    I don't think it's weird at all.

    When I was growing up it always felt like there was going to be some point when I would Officially Become Adult and stop liking "kid things" and some how magically know how to do all the stuff my parents and grandparents did. But as I got closer to adulthood, it became more and more obvious that just like with the first half of your life, Being An Adult is a learning process (albeit one that I think would go a lot easier for people if they prepared you for it in highschool). There have been a few moments were I could definitely say I felt more grown up; moving into my own place with some room mates was a huge one. But for the most part it's been a lot of fumbling to figure things out on the fly.
    • Like x 1
  20. Morven

    Morven In darkness be the sound and light

    Yeah, I remember wondering how on earth adults coped and were competent and my idea of it was that some Magical Change happens. And then you grow up and find out it doesn't and adults have just learned a role.
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