Some days, today for example, I feel like a failure as a parent. My logical brain has a whole list of reasons to explain this feeling. It supplies them in regular rotation, proving them to be completely interchangeable and thus not the cause of the feeling. The feeling pre-exists the reasons and can not be quelled by logic or by copious contrary evidence, both of which my logical brain also supplies. It is a mood. It will pass. Some other day, perhaps even as soon as tomorrow, I will look at the same lists of faults and triumphs, and I will come to the conclusion that I am pretty good at this parenting thing. Logic and emotion are often only passing acquaintances in my head.
So on a day like today I cry some, hopefully in private, but more likely in an embarrassingly public location like church. I sort my thoughts into piles so that I can re-examine them on a more energetic/rational day. Then I find something to do. It has to be a small thing because I really need it to succeed. Today I succeeded in pulling copious quantities of lint out of the dryer vent pipe. In theory this will improve the function of our dryer, but even if it doesn’t, I still succeeded in removing a sack full of mess from our lives. Also I gave two kids haircuts and they don’t look awful. That’s three more bits of evidence to weight the scales on the side of being a competent human being. It’s a start.