We’re the same age. Why haven’t you got this stuff figured out. Hell, why haven’t you got at least some stuff figured out. It’s not that you’re completely hopeless, some days you are, but you’re starting to need more than I can give.

I’ve got nothing left in the tank. Not for you. Not right now. But I know it’s not a fair exchange. I expect so much from you. I expect you to be attentive, empathetic, to show up. I expect you to be present to me every damn day. I expect you to remember milestones and special days and make those the most important thing to you. Forgetting pisses me off.

Some days I ask you questions about finance knowing you’re not an accountant but still hanging you out to dry when you give me the wrong advice. Other days I ask your opinion on why my boss is such a jerk. You’re supposed to agree with my side of the story. Last week, last Thursday to be precise, you made me feel like sh*t all day. I know you had your own stuff going on and I know you didn’t mean to ruin my day but I just couldn’t snap out of it. I couldn’t calm myself down without you. Sometimes I hate that you have so much influence over me.

God damn why do I need you so much.

I’m not sure why I resent taking care of you. Maybe because it’s 2017 and we’re supposed to be strong, put together, all by ourselves people. We’re not supposed to be needy and incomplete.

If I’m totally honest, my approach to now hasn’t been working so in the interest of dodging insanity while hoping for a better outcome, I’m bracing to try something different. I’ve decided to tend to you as my third child. I only ever wanted two, so I really have to park my resentment to the side for this to work.

Surprisingly, tending to you hasn’t taken a monumental effort. It happened when I read a few lines from a book to you before we went to sleep. It was in the carefully thought out meals I prepared, stuff I know you like and stuff I know agrees with you. It was when I nudged you on the couch at 1055pm and prompted you to go to bed. When our alarm went off at 4am, I lay quietly beside you for 10 minutes before we attacked the day. Together.

Life’s been better when I tend to you as my third child. For me. For you. For the other two as well.

I realised it was the simple stuff that made such a difference. We didn’t have to book into a week long retreat and shut out the world completely. We just needed to connect for a few meaningful moments, every single day.

Mental. Health. My third child.

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