A mix of pride and disappointment

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by hearts and roses, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    My easy child is sending in her application to a local community college to begin an Early Childhood Education associates program - hopefully this fall or perhaps next spring session. She has sent away to the college where she received her last associates in baking and pastry arts (CIA) to be sent to the cc and has done all the necessary paperwork and phone calling to make this happen. easy child worked at a local bakery for 9 months before deciding to make this career change and began working full time at a local daycare in the position of teacher's assistant. Her employer is very flexible with easy child, really enjoys her and has taken her on as the only full time employee for this summer - iow, he really really wants her there, he even gave her a $50 bonus for coming aboard. She enjoys the kiddos and comes home with the greatest stories.

    easy child has always amazed me with her drive and focus. When she really wants something, she thinks about it, researches it, and then if it's for her, she goes for it. I am proud of the young woman she's grown into. I wish she'd not gotten in so tight with her new/old boyfriend so fast, but that's another post!

    And then there is difficult child. Hasn't been able to hold down a job; there is always something wrong with the owner/manager/supervisor/hours/rules, etc. difficult child just doesn't have much drive and/or focus. She tells me she has a job, but it turns out to be a fruitless interview. She doesn't seem to see the value of making the best first impression she can by showering, weating a little makeup, doing her hair nicely and brushing her teeth. She just goes in 'as is' and wonders why they don't hire her. She IS very nice and personable - I've seen her talking with strangers and potential employers. She has personality. She just doesn't come across as polished. She had an interview the other day - fingers crossed she gets this job and it works out! I am ever hopeful for this child of mine. It breaks my heart and is such a disappointment to me (and H) that difficult child is not utilizing the intelligence, compassion and common skills that she possesses in some capacity of value, whether it be at school or a decent job. There are so many "if she would just..." floating through my head.

    In my endeavor to detach from difficult child, and even from H to a degree, in this past year, I think I've done well in as far as not saying my piece about thier personal choices, what or how they are living their lives, etc. However, it doesn't lessen the breaking of my heart. Just needed to say it.
  2. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Isn't it AMAZING how we can end up with such opposites ends of the spectrum coming out of the same household!
    One with the drive and focus...the other without. But, maybe it's just gonna take difficult child longer to figure it out. I kinda laugh to myself about difficult child going in "as is"...they don't like to comply with expectations...I think difficult child's truly want the rest of the world (like we already do) to accept them unconditionally. Love them for the super cool people they are, lol.

    I think you're wise to back off and let them realize things on their own...am wondering though How do you think difficult child would react if you suggested she take more time preparing herself for an interview? Would she get angry at you? Or do you feel like that is interferring too much with something she needs to figure out herself?

    Anyway, I DO understand the heartbreak...am hoping that your difficult child just is gonna take alittle longer to get there but that she WILL get there.

    Hang in there Mom.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I sit here with my fingers on the keyboard trying to figure out what to say...lol. Im happy that easy child has found another career she likes. Hope that goes well.

    I can understand your struggle with difficult child. I so wish you could get her to join the Navy or the Coast Guard. Either of those would be pretty safe choices right now and they would do her a world of good. I know I have said it before. LOL. CG is here at home and she would get a good education out of it and a career...and for her benefit...just think of all the cute guys! In uniform too...lol. Better than monkeyboy. She just seems so lost now. I dont know. Somehow she has to find a path. Something she really wants to do with her life.
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Jo, has difficult child ever taken an "interest test" online? I just googled the subject and got tons....here are some links. I found them by putting in "Career Aptitude Tests."





    We used to do this with the difficult children I used to work with and it really helped them because it forced them to sit down and think. I would recommend that you sit with her while she does it to make sure she's being truthful with her answers...and to make sure that her perspective of her skills is accurate. I figure it can't hurt and it's hard to get motivated if you don't have something to get motivated for.

    easy child sounds like she's moving along. That has to be a huge comfort.

    As for you.........I'm sorry that your heart is breaking but I'm incredibly proud that you are detaching and letting others make or break with their decisions. You rock!

  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Janet I know what you're saying and I agree. We've tried to push her to join the coast guard several times. Some of her friends have joined the Army and one even the Marines. I'm not that gung ho about those armed services. I just don't think difficult child has it in her. However, I'm thinking of sending away for the information packet to give her because I think she misunderstands the CG's role in the world (I hesitate to say just in our country because I know they do international work as well). I would even say that I'm a bit confused about it as well to a degree - it would do me good to get to know more about it as well.

    I also hesitate because as I continue to practice my detaching...I walk a fine line, as I'm sure you can understand.

    My dad, my uncles, my brother and my H are all Navy guys - I hear you on the uniforms! Wow. Hahaha.

    Tammy, thank you for your understanding words. It's a comfort. I have gone over the task of helping her to understand all about presentation. That even if she were applying for a job as a garage monkey, her first impression is important - important that she look clean, neat and smell decent. A while back we bought nice clothes, some interview-y type, and I haven't seen any of them. I think they are underneath something in her room somewhere. Plus, I think she begins to feel defeated by all the places she's gone two and three times that still have "Help Wanted" signs up yet don't hire her. IMVHO, if only she would listen, she would have had better luck. But, alas, I can only do so much for her - the rest is up to her!
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  6. ML

    ML Guest

    It is of some comfort to me as rasing an only (difficult child) that maybe it isn't all my fault. I know better for the most part but you do forget and question whether you had done this or that better just maybe things would be different.

    I think you're doing an amazing job of detaching. I'm working on it myself for m even through he's not yet an adult. I realize the need and that it is super important I start now. Hugs, ML
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    ML, I think it's real important to detach along the way - from the time our kiddos are very small. Once they show signs of independence in one form or another, it is our duty to step aside and allow them the space to proceed - to perhaps make mistakes or even hurt themselves - and grow from that experience. I think it's great that you're learning how to detach now because you will definitely need it later on when your difficult child asserts his independence in ways you cannot manage or control in any way.

    I feel that the thing with difficult child's is that we often need extra time to tell when they really and truly need us or when they are just manipulating us, or when they in danger or when they are just learning at their own pace, etc. That's very difficult to guage when parenting a difficult child. I've said it before, my easy child was just a breeze. Even when she was at her snottiest typical teen stages, she was easy. A part of me believes that since so much of my time was taken up by difficult child, easy child learned early on how to be more self reliant and resilient. In many ways, this has served her well but I can see that there is a part of her psyche that is cut off from emotion, as though it's too tender for her to 'go there' and it hinders her in some ways in regards to her relationship with people close to her. I think she will figure it all out, but it does pain me to see that side of her at times.

    Anyway, just sort of babbling this morning. Thanks for your thoughts.
  8. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi Jo,

    I so agree that our easy child's tend to become "self reliant and resiliant" as a result of being raised with a difficult child sibling.
    I understand what you're saying too about being cut off from emotion...my easy child can keep herself VERY guarded at times. She does tend to gravitate...or maybe I should say, her friends tend to gravitate toward her very caring/nurturing side. She tends to have friends that are "injured" in some way...have emotional problems and have experienced a tougher than usual life. She is the strong one in the relationship. But she has very lil pity for her difficult child brother number 2 who feels extremely sorry for himself. She is really tough about his past drug use and what he did to our family for years (oldest difficult child did too but she he does not feel sorry for himself, etc...she has a better relationship with him.

    My easy child wants to be a psychologist some day...and I suspect she will be an awesome listening ear and be able to help guide many people into finding better solutions/coping skills.

    Anyway, I do hear ya on the "price" our easy child's pay...hopefully their inner strength will carry them forward without too many problems. So far so good, huh.

    I understand too what you're saying about when to step in and save the day or when to let our difficult child's experience/learn from life and come to their own conclusions. It is so hard to fully detach.
    I often say to my young difficult child now...you are an adult and you will find out the results of (insert situation) on your own and see if it worked/works.
    There is very little I should say or do at this point in my difficult child's lives. They are grown...as I am reminded by my wise aunt, what's done is done.
    Hopefully they will land on their feet...time will tell.

    Thinking of you,
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think one thing you can do to get difficult child more interested is to act like you think she CANT do it...lol. Turn that old ODD around on her. I was looking at some of the jobs here and she could be in food service or a store keeper if she doesnt want to really go for it and become something totally cool! I mean she could learn to fix helicopters if she wanted to...lol. How totally awesome would that be! Now there would be a trade!
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Nichole is also wavering about what she wants to do with the rest of her life. I guess I should just be thrilled she's still doing ok in school.

    I don't lose patience with her because I had the same problem at the same age. There were so many things that interested me that I felt overwhelmed.

    I think our girls will figure it out eventually. Nichole is taking the summer off. A good idea in my opinion as she hasn't had anytime off since the summer before becoming a senior in hs. I think she's suffering from burn out and hope she'll get back on track after a break.

    Part of Nichole's problem is boyfriend pressuring her to do what he thinks she should do. And even if she does make a decision.....like the EMT.....he rides her to death about grades and such to the point where she doesn't want any part of it anymore.:mad: So I keep my mouth shut on the subject except to point out her strengths.

    And sometimes when you're a difficult child......and you have a sib who does well with what appears to be little effort......it sort of makes you feel even more inadequate. I know Nichole has stuggled with that for years. She's only now beginning to come out of it. And when I was a kid, people always told me I was stupid. Including my Mom. And they always gushed about how smart, pretty, and perfect my sis was.........Took me a few years away from them all before I slowly began to realize I did have a brain.....and heck, I'm actually waaaaay smarter than she is. lol

    I hope easy child does well with her new career choice. Little kids sure can be alot of fun. Also hope that difficult child finds her way soon.

  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hey Lisa, thank you for sharing about Nichole. I wish Gina was floundering about something, or between two choices, but she's just plain old floundering - about nothing.

    Suz, I've done those on line things with her and she's done them on her own. She's all over the map, but they have been somewhat helpful in making her realize that she needs at least some vocational training of some sort - something she is not willing to participate in right now. Thanks for posting the links, perhaps this weekend I could get her to try these.

    Lisa, I have 3 sisters - all older than me. My immediate older sister was my mom's favorite and even when she was blatantly doing wrong, my mom was blind to it. She was the one I was measured up against in every way..."Why can't you play guitar like M?" "Why don't you join student council like M?" "Why don't you this or that like M?" and on and on it went. My sister M had mediocre grades at best, was a pothead and hung out with losers. But for some reason, my mother only saw M's natural musical talent and her ability to entertain and nothing else. Being the youngest in a crazy house taught me to lay low and be as quiet as possible. It served me well growing up and I later blossomed into my own person in my own time. But being compared to someone I didn't want to be like in any way was difficult, yes.

    We do not, and never have, compared difficult child with easy child. She does that all on her own, she's her own worst critic and she manages to find a way to beat herself up more harshly than anyone ever could. I do believe that exh and ex-sister in law have compared difficult child to easy child in seemingly innocuous ways, such as, to difficult child: "Hey, easy child is good at baking, maybe you would be good at cooking" or "I bet if you [insert something easy child has done or tried] you'd be good at it too"...and other such statements. I have no control over what is said by them to easy child/difficult child. It's been discussed over the years, but the reality is, exh and his family are ignorant and crass and seem to have a lack of discretion in most areas of life and social graces. I gave up with them in that regard a few years ago when I thought my girls were old enough to handle it.

    Thanks again all. I love thinking out loud here and getting such thought provoking feedback.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    THE BEST absolute I saw in your post was about YOU. You said you are backing off from difficult child and H. Doing more for JO. As your friend I say.....