Mamas, this thread popped up in my google search, so I'm bumping it.
I have a young three-year-old boy. He is really sweet and funny and weird and wonderful, but he is also spirited/high-needs/whatever the cool kids are calling it these days. I could use some tips, or even just some "I hear you" support. I mostly SAH/WAH with him, although he goes to hippie preschool three times a week, and my husband is working long hours right now, so four days a week, it's the two of us. And it is really hard for me to admit this, but oh God, I can barely cope sometimes.
My main thing is how much he needs to be engaged with CONSTANTLY. I certainly don't expect him to play by himself all day, but I am a bit of an introvert, and he is highly, highly verbal, and he just wants to talk and interact constantly, whereas, to be a good mama, I really need to be able to dip into my own quiet headspace a couple of times a day for 30 minutes. I find this really hard. You'd think that going for a walk or something would be a good thing to do, but instead it's all about how we have to stop and discuss a rock he found and how rain works and what do you think that mail carrier's name is.
I mean, I am not so much of an introvert that I don't like to be social. I do. And I like talking to my little boy. It's just that, even with adults, being forced to socialize all day is basically my nightmare. I need to be quiet here and there for basic sanity. And since he quit napping, it's just constant conversation (and not conversation I can ignore, he isn't just rattling on, he demands responses) from 7 to 7.
To get anything done (loading the dishwasher, starting dinner, or just being in my own head for 10 minutes so I can stay sane) I have to resort to letting him watch TV. Watching any TV at all is not my ideal, so I feel pretty bad about this. I would love to be able to say "Okay, I have to start dinner. Why don't you play with Legos and occasionally check in with me?" but the reality is more like me trying to go into the kitchen and him standing at the gate and breaking out the epic lamentations, and throwing things into the kitchen, and trying to start conversations, and so on and so forth, until I turn on some Dinosaur Train.
We did/do the whole AP enchilada with this kidlet. He just moved to his own room, he still nurses, he eats a totally whole-foods diet, he goes to a hippie preschool a couple of times a week, we do Hand-in-Hand/NVC communicating with each other. And aside from the constant conversation-having, I feel like our communication is actually really solid. So I don't think there's a whole lot I could realistically change that would improve things. This is just who he is, and my mother and mother-in-law say that this is basically how my husband and I were, too. So I'm guessing it's genetic and it's our comeuppance... sigh.
Anyway, I doubt there are solutions. But I really want to be able to more consistently stay in an emotional place where I feel cheerful about interacting with him. Instead of that feeling of dread and boredom, which I feel so ashamed to have, ugh. So maybe there are some been-there parents in here who know what I'm talking about? Even just knowing that other people get what this is would help.