The Struggle Being a Parent

Am I a failure?

 

This has been a question that has been pre-occupied my mind as of late. No matter what it seems I try to do to become a better parent, person etc. It has been met with hardships. Some good, some bad, but overall it I am always feeling that it isn’t good enough or I need to try better, harder.

On the flip side, I also think about, that maybe I am trying too hard and therefore is the reason for a lot of the strife going on more frequently. I have found that blogging has been a great outlet for me because it empty’s all this pent-up stuff inside, but has motivated me to become better, research and attempt new things.

 

Where am I going with this?

 

Outside looking in, one would think, Wow, you have a great family, life etc. And yes, I do, but I feel like most people only allow others what they want them to see, versus letting them see the WHOLE picture. Not only does this create a sense of falsehood, but it doesn’t make you want to work on changing things for the better. I mean, who would want to do something like that when they could put minimal effort in so that they could APPEAR to have it ALL together. Compared to the other person who is busting their ass day in and out so that they can provide a fulfilling life for themselves and family that they care about.

What one does better in the long run? Is it better to have a façade of a good life, or bust your ass early on and BUILD up to that goal?

As of right now, my work and current career have been taking a HUGE mental toll on me. Not only do I not enjoy what I do anymore, but I feel ‘trapped’ per se. I am so experienced in my current field, which my pay reflects, that if I were to ‘start over’ I am not sure I could support our lifestyle comfortably. You might be thinking… ‘You must have some transferable skills…’ I wish. I am in the Biotech, Science field and work in a lab all day long doing research. Sure, I have skills when it comes to various basic stuff, but it is not like I could go join a tech company and expect the same amount of pay.

I have two career paths in front of me that have been more and more appealing to me as time goes on… The issue has been just taking that ‘dive’ and going for it. Since I am not on my own anymore it has been a lot harder for me to make that decision. Even though I know it would bring a change in my personality, demeanor, and outlook on life. For I wouldn’t just be ‘treading water’ at my current job, which I dread every day, but I would have a goal and something to work towards again. I NEED THAT.

Is that selfish?

I don’t know honestly. Because yes, one of the reasons I want to make this change is for MYSELF and mental sanity… But also, I want to be able to provide a lifestyle that my girlfriend and Natalia deserve and looking down the road…. This career ISN’T that. So not only can I not provide them with that, but I hate what I do… These two things have just been compounding on each other daily to the point that it is now coming out passively in my interactions with Natalia and my girlfriend.

Stress, Anxiety are POWERFUL emotions that we as humans carry daily within our lives. It is my DUTY as a parent, and boyfriend though, to not allow my own emotions to dictate how I act because it isn’t their fault. They didn’t do anything wrong. Things have gotten to a point where I feel like I have fractured my relationship with my girlfriend, which I know we can work on and repair in time due to the fact she loves me for me and knows what I am going through right now.

More importantly, though, I have fractured my relationship with Natalia. It hurts saying that, but that is my current reality. Yes, I love her dearly and she loves me, BUT her actions would say otherwise. And when I see how she is reacting to me, by even simply walking in the door after I get home from work and traffic etc. I am CRUSHED.

CRUSHED, because I did this she didn’t. Natalia is probably one of the most empathetic kids I have ever met. I mean anytime my girlfriend yelps, ‘Ow,’ no matter where Natalia is in relation you can hear her yell, “You Ok?” Yet whenever I walk in the door as of late, she runs away straight to Mom… Leaving me there CRUSHED, MAD at MYSELF and LOST.

My girlfriend has been trying profusely to repair our relationship, by getting Natalia to be more inclusive when it comes to doing things when I am around… But it has been such a hard, emotional toll on me internally.

Now my baggage from work, which has now found its way into my personal life, along with everything else has just been pounding me into the ground. My personality has changed into someone that is on edge, stressed and anxious. Someone that is trying now TOO hard to not mess up, which as we all know… You WILL mess up and its OK if you do. Natalia has felt this more so in the ways we have interacted lately, which has affected our relationship even more.

Am I a failure?

I grew up for most of my life not having a Mom and only having my Dad and younger sister. As a kid, I remember my Dad being the “enforcer” and my Mom the “comforter.” That is how I believe Natalia sees my girlfriend and me now. A difference though is that my girlfriend has been in Natalia’s life since day 1… and myself coming up on a year now. The bond between those two is inseparable… no matter what my girlfriend does, says it doesn’t matter. Even in those moments when I try to be the “comforter,” Natalia has begun to push my hand away and still seek Mom’s comfort… It hurts seeing this interaction every time…. Because I am still a lesser option, even when I am not the one being the “enforcer.”

Ouch.

But then, Natalia has the power to change that, especially when she spontaneously tells me that she loves me. Damn.

I am not going to give up. I am going to rebuild this relationship so that when I come home, I can hear those little footsteps run towards me… because that is the BEST feeling to come home too.

 

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