Day 23: There is No “Break” in Spring Break

This week is Spring Break and I fear I may not survive it without my own breakdown. 

It is only Tuesday and my daughter has been kicking, screaming, and crying all day. 

We took a nap together and she woke up in the same rotten mood. 

Sometimes I do not understand her. 

This morning she was worried we had left her alone. 

She woke up calling out for me, her dad, her babysitter and was worried we left her alone.

Then, my husband said that she tried to convince him that she could watch herself. She knows where the food is, how to get water, and she would tiptoe in an emergency. 

While she makes an intriguing argument for a four-year-old, we had to decline.

The moment I got home from my mammogram, she started in. 

She wants to go to school.

She is lonely and anxious.

She wants someone to play with (but not me, a kid). 

She wants daddy. 

She is crying to go to “camp.” 

She wants to go “somewhere” but nowhere.

Her iPad died (and it doesn’t charge fast enough).

I reminded Ally that her babysitter was going to take her to a nail salong with her today. That it was going to be awesome.

Her rebuttal was fresh. 

She went back to screaming to go to school, then to play with someone, daddy, camp, and go somewhere. 

And when her babysitter showed up and she was fine. 

It’s like she can turn herself off like a light-switch around other people. 

She supposedly listened, picked glitter polish, and even had ice cream at the lake.

All fine. 

But as soon as I got home, it started again. 

My entire life cannot revolve around her anxiety because I have my own.

Today, I am tired of caregiving. 

And I am annoyed that this is my life. 

Annoyed that I can’t drop her off somewhere for the day and focus on me. Or work. 

I am pretty sure I bombed my bi-annual teaching observation today because I was distracted. 

Highly prepared and organized but definitely distracted by worrying if Ally was trashing a nail salon, my mammogram from this morning, what if the babysitter I hired for next month bails on me, and the other three thousand things that run through my mind while I was trying to proctor a class discussion on The American Dream in “A Raisin in the Sun.” 

I spiraled into my own thoughts about my life. My dream.

My struggle.

My path. 

How I’d rather be a character in that play than myself right now. 

Then those comments from everyone that always haunt me during my hard times started flowing through my mind. 

The ones that go like: “I don’t know how you do it…I couldn’t do it.” 

I don’t have a choice. I do what is handed to me. This is not my dream. This is not my life. 

School breaks are so hard. And I feel like I am holding my breath until September when she has a full day of school activities to keep her busy because I am exhausted. 

I am burnt out. 

I love her but I fear I won’t miss her when I go back to work full-time next month. All of that guilt I ever felt about working in the past has been overcompensated the last seven months. 

And I tell myself it will get easier as she gets older despite knowing that it won’t. 

Because I need that light to hold onto. 

I’m just trying to make it to Monday, to the end of this semester, to summer, to fall, and to bedtime. 

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