I _fully_ recognize that this is an impossible situation for parents and children alike. I didn't create this reality. I don't approve of this reality. I'm just saying, it's reality.
J. expressed some interest in how I felt about this as a parent. I said, I'm doing the best I can and I don't expect forgiveness, justification, rationalization or anything else for me on the part of my child or children. I may have further added that something along the lines that it's one thing to mess with someone; it's a whole lot worse to insist that they like it or approve of it.
Decades hence, when my children are going, Mama, you were a _wreck_ and you really did a number on us, my primary aspiration is to be able to say, Sugarplum, I know it. And I'm sorry for it. My one hope is that you will do better by yours when you have them.
I hope to be very entertained by what specifics turn out to be identified as the Real Problem -- and what will in that age be proposed as an alternative.