I will stipulate that parenting is an overall fulfilling experience. But it is so by only a narrow margin. 51-49 at best.
Ru-Jun went back to school today and I had my first full work day in over a week. We were both totally wiped out at the end of the day. She fell asleep in the car on the way home and slept for a couple of hours after that, but it wasn’t a deep sleep and she wanted someone with her for most of it. This delayed dinner. When she did wake up she was upset and in a rotten mood for a long time. I eventually got her to eat a semblance of dinner and then we went 10 rounds over an uneaten half a carrot. I won but not without a half hour of tantrum hell. She was pleasant after that.
Parenting is an open-ended, seemingly endless, thankless, ass-busting payout of one’s entire being. I show love by what I do. I don’t have this deep warm feeling of love though. The evidence that I love is that I am here, giving care. Inside, when I don’t feel like crap about stuff not going well (which at this point is still > half the time), I mostly feel nothing. Fortunately I don’t need drugs or alcohol to get me to feel that way. It’s more of a natural state for me. Others in my situation would go there.
At this point it’s not that I need help parenting or a break from parenting. Those would be almost counterproductive because I would always have to come back to this. I’d rather just stay and not deal with the downer of a break ending. I need progress. I need permanent solutions to problems. Only those make things truly better.