When people ask me about single parenting, I usually tell them my 90% theory. 90% of the time, I love parenting by myself. 90% of the days, I look into Zac's face, see him reach out for me, and melt into a pile of single parent mush on the floor. 90% of the time, I'll sneak into his room at night - just to make sure that he hasn't kicked off the thin blanket that I use to cover his feet in his crib and that he's not laying on one of the books I let him "read" before he falls asleep. I love my son and the connection I have with him as his primary caregiver.
Then there are the 10% days.
Last night, Zac cried non-stop from 5pm - 7pm. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with him or why he was crying. So many times lately, that's the case. I hold him - he cries. I put him down- he cries. I hide on the stairs where he can't see me - he cries. Then I cry.
I used to never cry (and I blame my therapist for my renewed connection to something called 'human emotions'. Bastard. It's hard to really buy into the whole 90% theory while trying to clean the catbox, do the dishes, make dinner, and pacify a screaming child.)
I'm starting to feel like I can't do it anymore. People tell me, "It will get so much better as he gets older," or, "This too shall pass," and I can rationally understand that, it's just that my heart tells me that I've been alone, as a parent, for the past 27 months. I'm tired. I keep searching to find what I need, but I'm not sure how to keep putting one foot in front of each other. On nights like last night, I feel like Zac and I are in the exact same place: we know that we need something, we just can't figure out what it is.
The contract employer is really pushing me hard to reach these tight deadlines, but I can't even think about opening my laptop until Zac is in bed asleep around 8pm. Last night he didn't go to sleep until 8:45pm and I passed out around 9:30pm. I'm just so tired all the time and even though I know that it isn't true, it feels like everything that I do for Zac is wrong. If I could get inside his head and decode those screams, to figure out why he's not eating dinner anymore or doesn't want to play with any of his toys, I would.
When he woke up this morning at 6am, he screamed all the way through my shower, getting dressed, and walking out the door. He was still screaming when I dropped him off at daycare.
This is life at 10%.