This shared experience actually provides enlightenment and helps me move towards balance.
Everything you say fits quite properly to my situation.
Due to my still weak self-esteem, I tend to be quite self-centered, and I am prone to guilt feelings and after-thoughts. I am oversensitive, and yes, I tend to exaggerate things and drowning myself in a glass of water, rather that counting the blessings and focus on what is going well. I realize that many times the only mistake has been overdoing things - including parenting. Relying too much on myself even when I was obviously worn out. And not having the guts to say no when expectations were too high, to cut out some me-time to recharge my batteries and start fresh.
The truth is that when we give too much of ourselves out of fear of not being "good enough" ( as a parent, as a lover,friend, husband/wife, and so on), our inner self feels deprived, and so we start to bear resentment and anger, which inevitably drip onto our dearest relationships. And so we find ourselves unfocused, irritable, or even sarcastic and cold, with the very people we're doing our best to serve, thus creating more feelings of "not-good-enough" for ourselves, and ultimately more guilt, which in turn leads to be even less likely to say no to unreasonable requests.
I see that preschool has been a very helpful experience for both of us. Actually I think she needs much more encounters with other kids and maybe with other adults, to realize how people can be different, how life is not always as fair as I try to make it at home, how her expectations are not always doomed to be met.
When I talk to other mothers at preschool, I often get the feeling that they ask themselves much less questions than I do. Many of them have parenting styles that are quite different from mine, and even from AP - and still, many of them are doing fine with their children. As with the raw vegan lifestyle, I realize there is not THE only RIGHT WAY to be a good parent, and I wish I'd realize it sooner.
I am facing my own fear to fail and to be seen as a failure. Not just fail as a mother, or as a wife, or friend, in meeting other people's standards; but most of all failing to attain the "perfection" which I am convinced to see in other people's lives. We only see glimpses of other people's lives and it's so easy to fantasize about the rest accordingly.
Many people spend a lot of energy polishing out their outer appearance and they indeed look good in many situations. I tend to become upset when I fel like not measuting up in one way or another. The trick here is 1) stop confronting myself with other people , and 2) set my priorities and goals, and 3) move on my path asking fewer questions.
I wrote you 1 private message and 1 email, neither I am sure you've seen. I do not want you to answer, but I wanted to let you know they were there- just because I always forget to check my inbox here on the CZ. Further, this thread is becoming long, quite confidential, possibly excluding other people, and this is not fair on a message board.