Mine, not the kids'. Long week (long semester) and every 3 months or so I hit a nadir: "I feel invisible" and "Oh, I just wish someone was interested in me for me" and "I just need a little praise." It's all very self- pitying and whiny.
Seems the intersection of teaching (in which performance is reviewed by students, and only at the end of semester, and often contingent on popularity rather than pedagogical efficacy), research (in which articles I slave over are blind reviewed and get lambasted freely, recreationally even, by reviewers) and parenting ( in which performance reviews come in the form of "No! I don't like broccoli" regardless of how well or cunningly it is cooked) has me down in the dumps.
What I'd like to hear:
1) On student evaluations:
Wow! Your handling of the student with Asperger's syndrome and his random, tangential outbursts really improved over the course of the semester.
2) On reviews of my written academic work on Third Culture Literature (a field I am trying to "make happen"):
You have again decided to write about material on which there is no body of existing criticism and, even if I [the reviewer] have different ideas about what conclusions you might have reached, I am impressed that you managed to produce these ideas in a vacuum. I recommend publishing your article.
3) On parenting:
Oh, nice job diffusing that sibling conflict! Excellent redirect of tired toddler frustrations! I can't believe you got your children to eat sliced carrots for breakfast: that's awesome.
It is indicative of how frail my ego is that even typing a fictional list has made me feel better. Ahhh . . .