I have a barnacle that’s been on my body for two years now. For the first eight months, the barnacle lived on my chest and needed heavy constant bouncing, then the barnacle moved to my back. My barnacle has grown to 30 pounds and now uses my body as a jungle gym. The barnacle only wants me, not dad — and certainly not a babysitter.
I get that she’s attached and I’m her secure base from which to explore the world. What I don’t get is enough time to myself, and it really takes its toll. Signs that I need a break from my child:
- I get easily irritated and angry.
- Everything is too much/can’t focus.
- I want to look at my phone all the time.
- I want to eat.
- I want to scream.
When I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs or start Googling “primal scream therapy” or some shit like that, it’s time to take a break.
I used to think having others for support was what I needed — calling or texting girlfriends and mom to vent and process helps. Writing for this blog as an outlet to be heard and valued helps. The barnacle witnesses me all the time, but I needed others that can relate to my experience to witness my experience. Now what I realize is the need not so much for others to understand, but for me to understand myself, to go inward not outward. My barnacle has big emotions and feelings, and I do too — especially in this season of my life. I need a break to check in and honor those emotions.