Things which suck

By Mir
September 17, 2013

1) Feeling like you’re failing your kids.
2) Feeling like you’re failing yourself.
3) Feeling crappy.
5) Sometimes not wanting to talk about those things because there will always be someone ready to tell you that you’re doing it wrong.

A thing which (hopefully) does not suck:
Me, over at Alpha Mom, reassuring you that you can manage depression and parenting and not ruin everything.

Yeah, it would be better to never be depressed and just naturally be a perfect parent, but it would also be better to own a glitter-pooping unicorn and never have to say, “Please don’t speak to me that way.” We don’t always get what we want, so let’s make the best of what we have.


  1. Alison C

    I really hope you seriously consider taking your step mom up on her offer and have a bit of a vacation.

    I’m wondering if what you are going through is a reaction to the tough year or so you have been through and all the adrenaline finally leaving your body?

    Remember to take care of you too xx

  2. Lucinda

    I’m sure you are working on this and talking to your doctor and looking at all your options but…in case you haven’t thought about it (and I know you’ve already had a hysterectomy), metabolism changes over time and being in your 40’s is definitely one of those times. It may be screwing with your dosage. But I totally trust you and know you are smart and pretty and doing all the things you need/can do. Hugs!

    • Mir

      Yeah, the trifecta of depression/menopause/hypothyroidism is definitely mucking with all of the usual “this should work” sorts of tricks. We’re working on it.

  3. Flea

    O hai! Hypothyroid and menopause! They’re beautiful things! AHAHAHAHAHAHA! Not. I’ve gone the opposite direction and have stopped taking everything but the Synthroid. Stupid doctors. And now I’m the crazy lady on the block.

    Seriously, though – trying all of the natural stuff. Green smoothies were working great for a little bit, but taking them within four hours of taking the Synthroid is very, very bad. And there are raw greens which are evil with an underactive thyroid. And soy. No soy. No more edamame, both for the thyroid and the menopause. No more tofu.

    What. The. FREAK?

  4. Sharon

    Helpful advice and reassuring words. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  5. kapgaf

    1) there is no such thing as a perfect parent, there are only good enough parents and good enough is perfect
    2) depression is a bitch but there are ways and means of dealing with it and you are doing exactly what you should
    3) you are very pretty

  6. karen

    Well, from my perspective out here in blogland, you have been an exceptional parent through one hell of a lot of suckitude..and you managed to do this while managing your own issues. If you ask me, that’s a major accomplishment, so don’t you dare beat yourself up with thoughts of poor parenting and such. Also, give yourself credit for working through it all and getting the help and resources you need to cope and hopefully heal, mentally and physically.

  7. Aimee

    Love you, lady.

  8. Niki

    Mir – you need to go watch this video:
    It’s Dave Matthews and Grover from Sesame Street, and they are feeling a lot of feelings, and they sing about it. It will make your day!

    • My Kids Mom


  9. Marissa

    I agree with Alison, you’ve have a tough year and now that you’re no longer in full crisis management mode your body is allowing itself to react to all the past (and of course current lower level) stress.

    YOU NEED A VACATION! Even if it’s just a weekend to recharge. I say this with love and as someone who understands the fear that it will all fall apart without me (mom to a 12 yr old, 4 yr old, and 2 yr old and a full-time litigation attorney). My husband and I are going away for the weekend at the beginning of October for the first time in years and I can’t wait. As hard as it will be to leave the kids and unplug from work, I know I have to do it in order to be able to keep going.

    Hugs to you!

  10. Carrie

    Might I add that it can be beneficial to children with mental health challenges to have a model of a parent who is dealing with their mental health issues in as positive a way as possible – demonstrating that sometimes the things that used work stop working, that’s normal, but you don’t give up hope – you acknowledge it and push through the difficulty of trial and error until you can find something that works for you again. The teens, they pretend we are stupid, but they are still watching and learning. I don’t wish this on anyone, but kudos to you for showing her how to deal with it.

  11. Sassy Apple

    Thank you. When you share your struggles and triumphs, it gives me hope.

  12. js

    I have no advice, just lots of commiserating. I’m very sorry you’re going through all this.

  13. Kathryn

    Those things may suck, but you do not – you are such a great parent to your kids. You have had so much to deal with, it’s amazing you’ve held it together this long. Take the vacation, it will be beneficial to everyone in the family, including the kids. Vent here as much as you need to, you have so many supporters here.

  14. Karen.

    I truly am not wishing away my children’s childhood, but there are a few things I am looking forward to. All individuals being able to bathe themselves, for instance. Add to the list the day I can say this and it works at least some of the time: “You know what? I can’t have this conversation right now. I need to take a break because I don’t want to lose my temper.”

  15. pharmgirl

    Just back from Alpha Mom. Possibly one of the best posts you’ve ever written, probably one of the best posts I’ve ever read, definitely one of the top 5 of the past 5 years.

    We all have challenges. As they get older, our kids need to be able to see us as people and not just as parents.

    To do otherwise only sets unrealistic expectations on both sides.

    Wishing you & your family all the best.

  16. Kristen

    You know, I’m not sure I’d even want a glitter-pooping unicorn. Glitter is hard enough to clean up when it is not attached to poop….

    On the particularly bad and challenging days here, (and there have been MANY this September) we’ve been watching Shane Koyczan’s “Instructions for a Bad Day” There are lots of iterations on YouTube but we like this one best:

    My favorite line is: “Be the weed growing through the cracks in the cement, beautiful – because it doesn’t know it’s not supposed to grow there.”

    As for #5: I am so grateful to you for talking about these things….so few people do, and it is sooooo helpful for other families dealing with similar issues to realize we aren’t alone. So, if anyone every insinuates that you are doing it wrong, just smile and say, “Well, Kristen from Wisconsin disagrees with you vehemently.” (and then send them a care package of glitter covered unicorn poop.)

  17. elainepill

    this is beautiful and meaningful and wonderful. i have mild depression, a kid with ADD, another kid with anxiety and ADD AND a husband with ADD, OCD, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety. it can all be quite a handful at times. all of what you are saying is super helpful and took sometime for me to discover. thank you for putting it out there.

  18. Chris G

    Mir, that was one of the best posts I have ever read. I have suffered with depression for years and have two grown sons. After my divorce the kids experienced an outburst from my ex-husband who was drunk at the time. It affected my younger ones coping skills. He was an outgoing kid suddenly afraid of me leaving him at school or going anywhere without him. We tried some therapy that may or may not have worked but I used some coping skills I read here or there and set some limits with him and supported him and they did work. I thought he was being medicated but he was hiding his pills in various places in his closet ( one day when he hit his teens I was redoing his room and found all of them) He didn’t want to be dependent on medication. He was left with some anxiety and OCD which he manages quite well. When his older brother doesn’t understand for instance, he quit their co-ed softball team rather abruptly giving an excuse that wasn’t quite true, I reminded the older one that he was just starting his freshman year in college ( living at home) and he is trying to figure it all out. He is overwhelmed and is doing what he needs to do to reduce the anxiety he is feeling. The truth is he could play ball but doesn’t want to go back on his word either. Can I say he’s a bit stubborn. The excuse he made is one of the girls was flirting with him and he thought it was disrespectful because he has a girlfriend of 3 years that he is very serious with. He told his brother that he didn’t want to put himself in that position, just as he wouldn’t want his girlfriend to hang out with someone that secretly liked her either. I told the older one that I didn’t think this was the problem but just to wait and see. My older son thought the girlfriend was jealous and put him up to it. I reassured him that I’m sure she didn’t it was his brothers issue of adjusting to changes in his routines and starting college. I told the younger one the night before that I couldn’t believe he quit because of a girl hitting on him. I told him to look inside himself for the real answer. He came outside to talk to me as I was watering the flowers on the side of the garage and said he found the real reason and talked to his brother about his anxiety of starting school and maintaining the relationship he has with his girlfriend (who is in town going to ND). The older one goes to the same college here in town and his girlfriend goes there too so he sees her everyday. The girl who was flirting with him was a good friend of his brothers girlfriend. When I first learned that the conflict was brewing I was preparing myself not to take sides but to try to understand each of their positions. In the past I would have gotten upset and put my head in the sand trying to avoid the drama. The older brother was the head of the team and thats why it was so important to him. He lost one of his best outfielders and hitters. My mother had depression and took it out on us at times blaming us, crying a lot…..but they were interspersed with her making doll clothes and lunch for the girls in the neighborhood who all remember her as being remarkable. I knew I didn’t want to be that person and have found ways to cope and try to pass them onto my sons when they run into trouble. Your post was so great giving ideas of how to help people cope when you are feeling bad. They help with small tasks and you employ your methods of plugging along while trying to get help and not attacking anyone. I am thinking those hormones play a part in all of this and I am just past menopause and feel much better. I struggled in my 30’s and 40’s and raising kids alone I couldn’t fail them. They felt their father already did and were struggling while trying to believe it wasn’t their fault. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for this blog post I’m certain you did women a giant service. You are amazing!!!

  19. Jessica (the celt)

    Mir, I know we’ve “talked” (via my old email account) about my mom and dealing with severe MHI when I was a child (from about 8/9 on). The thing that has helped me “get over” any of the anger that I might have had was this: she was doing the best she could given the times (stigma and less understanding than now, even though it’s by no means where we need to be) and I know that she is still doing the best she can. Reading through your list on AlphaMom made me so happy for your kids that you have a plan in place to deal with your depression and a support system when you need it. I know that it would have been easier on all of us in my family if that had been the case for my mother, but even given her difficulties, I love her very much and I will be one of her biggest supporters forever now that I have the greater capability of knowledge and emotional maturity.

    I know I’m late to reply, but I wanted to say thanks for posting those points. Oh, and you’re awesome. Walking away when you need to (and recognizing it in the first place) is one of the best things you can do. I really need to learn that one more often myself…

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