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September 17, 2012


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My wife Julie is the mother of 3 teen boys!
Will you please post a link to your important Blog at The Motherhood Community at vorts? Our members will really appreciate it.
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James Kaufman, Editor

Hi Kristen, I just wanted to say that I can relate to some of the things you are going through. Well, not the PMS thing, but the pills and stress parts for sure.

Sometimes I wonder why I am blogging and reading and commenting so much. There's really no money in it for me, so what's the point? Then I read something raw and honest like this and it inspires me to keep going at it because maybe someday I can do this for someone else.


A big hug for you >.<

Oh my! I know that feeling of wanting to be good at something. Of never feeling good enough. I hope you find peace with this. I wish I could share something with you that would help but all I have is that you're not alone.

Thanks for sharing!

You got this; you're so wise and I know that it comes to you honestly, experience has been such a teacher.

I'm glad she tried, there's so much strength that comes to a person from trying and failing... so much opportunity for growth and improvement. She'll do great, and it's your fault!

Thanks for this: good words.

I'm just going to second what Rita, Julie and the New Girl are all saying. I think of you often when I'm floundering and say, "Get yourself together girl! Kristen has four kids and does way more." Which is probably not the healthiest thing for me to be doing, but it goes to show how amazing you are and how we all see it.

I know it is so easy to say all this stuff to you and harder to actually believe it. Alanon might be a really good thing. Your line about being "too old for this bullshit" is key. We are too old for this bullshit. You are so talented, funny, beautiful and wise. I feel honored to know such a fantastic person. Believe it.

We are all right here with you trying to embrace our imperfections and not spiral into our insane anxiety or grief or whatever we are trying to process at the time.

we seem to be in similar places with similar shit going on...well except you have the nuva ring and I have menopause but yeah. Your words here, especially that your best is enough is exactly what I needed to hear.
If we were closer, I'd hug you hard because we both could use it.
Thank you.
And to Quinlan...you go girl!!!

Anxiety ain't no truth teller: Amen to that. Thanks for the reminder.

And Rachel, that made me smile greatly. Not the part about your back though.

So much here resonates with me, that I'm almost too overwhelmed with emotion to comment, but here goes.

Try Alanon. I'm 34. My dad's been in AA for 15 years. My mom (they're divorced since I was 2) still drinks. I'm affected, even when I don't mean to be, even when I fight it, I am powerless over alcohol. I don't drink (mainly because I've been either pregnant or BF for years, but also because I don't want to do to my kids what they did to me).
My point is that it stays with you. And their disease infects us, the children. I don't even realize it's happening until after I drive myself insane trying to be "good" and "perfect" and "enough", and then I break down emotionally, and sometimes a meeting is all that helps. Because I'm REALLY good at being the victim, but there, I'm not a victim. I'm a survivor, and I'm learning to be good at that. I can't afford therapy. So Alanon is it.

That disease is sneaky. And it fights dirty. But you're capable. Just have hope. Hope is always the last to go.

You got this.

You are very good at writing! Maybe that is your one true talent. I always have admired those who write well. There are people who are good at a lot of things, and those who are good at just one. I never felt I stood out at anything until I found some success at a sport at age 35. Your writing is clever, honest, and funny.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. :)

Oh, K. Your best is really so good. You're best is more than enough. You're good at almost everything, I swear. You've got amazing qualities and talents stacked up to your eyeballs.

I know what you're saying, though, I hear you. And you know I'm no stranger to those same feelings. But don't forget that anxiety is no truth teller. You are an amazing woman and mother and friend. (I *am* a truth teller.)

Thank you for holding up that mirror for me.

Again, you are me. Except I have a pain in my lower back that stops me from leaning over.

I'm getting on a plane right now. I'll get there pretty late, but have a sitter lined up and we'll go get a drink.

You know, I had a similar experience with Tacy recently - relating to her courage and my lack thereof at her age. That need to be THE best, or else why try.

I've worked to overcome those obstacles I set for myself, to believe what I say - not just to my kids, but to myself. And then I see pictures of me from during a triathlon or visit a neighbor whose home is beautifully updated or try out a new recipe only to have my family refuse to eat it (or douse it in Tabasco), and the positive self-talk goes out the window.

We all need some positive self-talk from those around us now and then, and you can always count on me not just to remind you of how awesome you are, but to really and truly empathize.

Thanks so much for your support everyone. And will check out that book, Anon - appreciate you sharing. Also going to start reading Jonathan Fields' Uncertainty + Brene' Brown's Daring Greatly.

You are enough.

Perfectionism does nothing but land you in a bad, bad place. I know - I am a frequent flyer to that very dark place. Thanks for sharing this - these are the types of posts that make bloggers special - they share the truth.

...and that makes others not feel so alone.

and dont worry about the running - I would be WAY behind you.

Just a wince, a hug and a confident, "You've fucking got this."

Oh hon, I think you do a fabulous job. Mom's who can't be supportive of their adult daughters can suck it. Hard.
You are raising wonderful kids (as evidenced by so many things) and you are an inspiring woman who has helped me out so much. Your best is amazing and wonderful.

I grew up with the same sort of fixed mindset. I was good at a lot of things without really trying and as a result I stopped doing things that required extra effort. I am currently working very hard at eliminating that way of thinking with my children who already appear very academically advanced at young age. Trying new things for the joy of it, and enjoying the accomplishment of effort instead of a perfect result.

Fixed vs. growth mindsets is a really interesting subject. The book, Mindset, seriously changed my life http://www.amazon.com/Mindset-The-New-Psychology-Success/dp/0345472322/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347901467&sr=8-1&keywords=mindset and has sort of freed me to try new things and not crap all over myself if I do not "win". Check it out. Really.

You are so right. Your best IS enough.

Reading your post is painful for me because my husband is in the same boat as you. He is the child of an alcoholic father AND step-father. I see him in the mire of "nothing less than perfect is enough" and it breaks my heart. Worse, he had started down the road of projecting it on our kids and while he is working very hard on stopping the behavior, it hasn't been without residual effect. My 6 year old is a hyper perfectionist and I battle every day with getting her to understand that all we want is for her to try hard and do her best. And that not coming in first every time isn't the end of the world. Recently she auditioned for a kid's role in A Christmas Carol at one of the big theaters in Houston and we were SOOO proud of her. She is normally shy and timid and she went into a room with three casting agents...all by herself...and auditioned. By the looks of it, she's probably not going to get a part, but we keep telling her how brave it was of her to have even done the audition. I breaks my heart to see a 1st grader beat herself up over the smallest mistakes. We're all working it make it better. Hopefully you can too!

I'm a recovering perfectionist, too. When I finally realized that all perfectionism had given me was an eating disorder, an anxiety disorder and a never-ending adrenaline drip, I started trying all sorts of stuff that I'm really bad at. I'm not a fast runner AT ALL. I'm not a great artist. I suck at sewing. I'm not a good cook and a worse baker. My crafting leaves much to be desired and if a picture I take is remotely in focus I feel victorious. You on a fat day is me in my wildest dreams of hotness.

Kristen, you're awesome. I like you a lot. I'm amazed at your dichotomy of mominatrix and nurturing mother to four. You do a more-than-fulltime job without much if any childcare and a husband who travels a lot. When I get bummed because my now-always-traveling husband isn't around, I think of you with three times as much as I have. Your best is pretty amazing.

It's hard to recover from perfectionism. I do a ridiculous amount of self-talk. "Rita, leave the dishes. Rita, let the pepper plant die. Rita, start a new novel. Rita, embrace your outdated clothing, your too-long-for-a-short-haircut-hair, your sun spots, your unfinished kitchen." It's a practice, this recovering from perfectionism, and it takes an enormous amount of mental energy. Over time, though, it does work, as any practice works. And then it's easier to try new stuff, because if it fails, eh, it was fun to try.

I'm certainly not that laid-back every day, but some days I am, and it's from all the practice.

Hope your neck feels better tomorrow!

Thanks for writing this... I truly needed this today and have really been feeling this way for a long time. I'm not sure how much more my shoulders can hold.

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