When being the “Default Parent” is the hardest

I read an article a while back called The Default Parent in the Huffington Post (if you haven’t read it, you really should: here!)  It spoke to me. The term default parent explained a lot of things for me and even made my perception of being the center of everyone’s universe seem necessary. The term resonates in my life. ALL the time. Some days I embrace it. I mean really rock that title. And in some moments, the weight of it feels more than I can possibly hold. I want to put it down, but at the same time trust no one else to carry it. Not even my husband. And this is when being the default parent is the hardest. We want and loathe the position at the very same time. Breathe it while being suffocated by it. Carry it while it crushes us.

I’ve never wrote a blog like this before, but the human test of wills that was last night has sparked so so many thoughts in my head. When I looked at the clock and it said 3:15am and I hadn’t been to sleep yet. Patrick had not stopped screaming in hours. I walked into my bedroom and yelled at my husband “I don’t know what to do!” “How long am I expected to do this?” “It’s almost morning and I haven’t been to sleep yet!” I received a half-hearted, “you should take him to the ER if he’s inconsolable, what do you want me to do about it” before he passed back out. I just stood there.. What DID I want him to do about it? Did I really want him to take the baby from me? Of course not. Would I have slept better hearing Patrick screaming in the arms of dad while dad is hating me over it? Of course not. The only thing that came to my mind was this title of the default parent. It was me. This was MY situation, MY night. I literally took a deep breath and walked out of that room. I set up two gigantic pillows and “slept” sitting straight up with that little baby on my chest. He drifted in and out. Never really slept. Neither did I. But you know what? I woke up happy, strong, positive. Me and Pat survived until that sun came up. And I did that. ME. Because I am THAT parent. I love being that parent no matter how much I hate it. I need it as much as it needs me. Under its weight, I grow stronger and find more love than I think I’m capable of. As I type this with his snotty, wet, drippy face trying to kiss my chin and his teary eyes looking at me…


I just feel so much. Lucky. Necessary. In love. Overwhelmed. Empathy. Helpless. Capable. Wet. I have no advice to insert here and I’m sorry for that. I just want you to know that if you are that default parent and you find yourself feeling trapped in the role and lusting for it at the same time…. You are not alone. Take a deep breathe. I think you’re the shit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s