The primary caregiver blues

I ran out of patience this morning before 8.30am. That has to be some kind of record, doesn’t it? I’m suffering from a case of what I call the Primary Caregiver Blues.

You see, despite it being so very lovely having a husband again, and despite both kids being delighted to see him, for almost two weeks I was Mom and Dad rolled into one, and they’ve grown used to that. So Arthur wants to be around me all. the. time. (To the extent that he sat outside the shower watching me wash this morning). And Ella is teething and sore, and going through 7 month separation anxiety, so she is happiest in my arms and not too interested in anyone else calming her down… Which is a nice way of saying that this morning she wailed in her nanny’s arms and in her dad’s arms and only calmed down when I picked her up.

It’s all totally understandable but oh my goodness me is it exhausting. Especially on top of a week of being sick followed by a week of recovering from surgery followed by 2 weeks of solo parenting and no sleep because of teething (which is still ongoing, by the way… Where oh where is that bloody first tooth?! I remember feeling the same way about Arthur’s first tooth so alas, I think it’s to be expected).

I do wonder, though, if it’s harder for those of us who love being Moms but don’t love being needed. Some of my friends are very into this baby and toddler phase of being able to cure everything for their kids, and while I can see how lucky I am to have that, it’s not in my nature to relish being needed. I find it extremely draining…

I read somewhere that we all have a prime period of parenting – a stage we really excel at. I think mine will be when they’re old enough to be self sufficient but young enough to be magical. When is that – 4 to 6ish? I remember distinctly my Grade 7 teacher, Mrs Boonzaaier, who had kids around that age, telling us how a gust of wind blew leaves down the pavement and she and her boys chased them to see where they would end up… That sounds so fun! And there are glimpses of it now, when Arty and I go on adventures together or make pastry together or explore the world in some way or other. But it’s interspersed with a whole lot of other stuff that I enjoy a whole less (like reasoning with a small person entirely devoid of reason).

I know that this too will pass and that I’ll long for the sweetness of these days (because they are so very sweet), but I’m going to drink a cup of tea and indulge in my primary caregiver blues for a few minutes, if you’ll indulge me… It’s pretty much the only indulgence available at the moment!

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