Of all the Charlie Browns: Im the Charlie Browniest. Contemplation on Self-Doubt

Linus once told Charlie Brown,”Of all the Charlie Browns, you’re the Charlie Browniest.”

What does that mean? Well, it means one is riddled with self-doubt, anxiety, and depression.

It’s when you feel like nothing could go right and you haven’t even gotten out of bed to ruin your spouse or kid’s lives yet.

I kid.

In all seriousness, let’s get down to the matter. You see, on social media, I am supposed to tell everyone how AWESOME my life is, and that I couldn’t be happier. I am supposed to post pictures of my child smiling happily, the treats I “bake” her, marital photos in which my partner and I look like we are stoned on love, and shots of me jumping through a field of wheat, in which I look like I am back on the prairie.

No one wants to see photos of people fighting, children crying, wrist slashing, or drunken dancing.

I’m not supposed to share that I am riddled with self-doubt. I am supposed to tell everyone that since I am an adult, my life is so magnificent, and I’ve got it all figured out.

I don’t. And the majority of my Facebook and Twitter friends don’t either. Sure, they may be happier or just more blissfully ignorant, (I wish I were like this!) but no one has it all figured out.

It’s not as if I am sitting here on the toilet bowl, pushing out a doodie and crying about how my life sucks so bad that I should just lock myself in the attic and not come down until the next presidential election. Instead, I am wondering profusely if I am taking my life in the correct direction, and trying to make myself a happy and contented life–for my daughter as well.

I can’t stand that so many people pass themselves all off as these self-contented little happy twits. I just wish one day I could actually hear what people really think, and see posts of what people really say to their children all day.

Last week, I really felt like I was going to snap. I was alone constantly with my daughter, and so she decided it might be really sweet to have a bunch of temper tantrums. She’s 2, and it’s basically in her job description and resume: Have strong opinions, will tantrum. References available upon request.

I just felt like I was getting it all wrong. I tried redirecting her, ignoring her, and sometimes I even–gasp, yelled at her. Not often as I am not a believer of yelling, but I got to the point in which I felt like, “Why can’t you just be obedient, child?” To which I then looked at myself, and remembered that I am the same woman who stated in her marital vows that I would “not be obedient. I’m not a dog. I’m a person.”

The fact is she is a very good kid, and people tell me this all the time, but of course she tests me the most. I’m her mom. This is also in her resume: Ability to Drive Mom Crazy. Tests Adult Patience.

I just felt like, maybe I don’t know what the hell I am doing. Should anyone even trust me with a Sea Monkey?

Her dad doesn’t have these moments it seems, which then makes me feel worse, until I realize that he is with her 20% of the time, and I’m with her 80%.

I’m also grappling with a big life choice. It’s made me a bit pissy and anxious. I’ve sometimes felt the need to just not talk to people because I don’t want to bother anyone, or accidentally snap at them. It’s not personal, but I’m just processing many things at once.

I just have to wonder if I am doing it right. Life, that is. Career, creative, love, and parenthood.

I think I have some of it right, but then again, I’m sure I have some of it wrong. I guess I wouldn’t be so endearing and cute if I didn’t feel a little self-doubt. Who’s Woody Allen without his compulsive pondering? Who’s Charlie without wondering if he will kick the football this time?

I see people that seem to have it so easy–appearances are always deceiving–and I can’t help but wonder if maybe there is something I can do to make things easier for myself that I haven’t figured out yet.

And while I’d like to elaborate more, I have a pint-sized peanut shouting “Mooooommy, Moooomy.”

That’s my name these days.

It’s almost strange to hear my first name lately.

It’s almost naughty and dirty sounding. Ooh, talk dirty to me. Just don’t say the word “No”…I hear it all day long!


5 thoughts on “Of all the Charlie Browns: Im the Charlie Browniest. Contemplation on Self-Doubt

  1. duncanr says:

    Parenting was easy for earlier generations.

    Baby crying and screaming? Dunk their dummy (pacifier) in some rum or whisky.

    5-6yr old, and getting on your nerves – send them out to work cleaning chimneys or down a mine

    [Those were the golden years of parenting – sigh !]

    The thing to remember about modern parenting is that kids are little shits and we parents are at a disadvantage because we can’t beat the crap out of them when they’re really acting up. We’re all in the same boat, lurching from one ‘crisis’ to another, seeking the calm between the storms. The time to think perhaps your parenting skills aren’t up to scratch is when the little buggers try to kill you. Till then, you’re doing O.K. 😉

  2. Geoff says:

    Where is the fun in having it figured out? If everything went according to plan, then life would be pretty boring. The best stories and experiences come out of the unexpected. It only feels like Hell within the moment sometimes. I loved this piece. Thank you!

  3. Foghorn The IKonoclast says:

    You know, a little vulnerability is kind of sexy. As I see it, both men and women have a certain level of uncertainty. It is not about being helpless but helping in an empathetic way. This goes in both directions and that struggle between good and bad is universal.

    I have an extreme anxiety disorder and major depression. Some times I want to lash out at stupid people and some times realize I am pretty stupid as well. It is when we realize we are human that we can go on and hopefully not mess up the day or the coming weekend.

    It is also easy to render an opinion but I like the lyric, “He can’t even run his own life, I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine”.

    I actually had a guy who divorced seven times trying to render that advice. Well, that went into a mental quarantine file.

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