I wasn't sure where to post, but thanks in advance if you make it through this. I came to ask a simple question and ended up posting my entire thought process.
So I've just read half of the book 'Raising your spirited child' and it was incredibly enlightening. I have always considered my four year old to be very demanding, high maintenance, intense, and just plain difficult at times. I love her more than anything and I have always had a feeling of guilt that I just don't do enough for her. After reading much of that book, something has just clicked. My daughter is an EXTREME extrovert/spirited child. I am extremely introverted, and so is my husband. I can see now just how much stress/tension/irritability/etc this causes for us all. What she needs to be happy is people, noise, movement, she needs to constantly be talking and making noise and to be DOING something at all times. That is what re-energizes her and makes her feel good. And unfortunately those are the things that drain me of my energy. I need quiet (at least sometimes) loud noises irritate me so much, movement irritates me (when it's bumping me or causes loud noises), I need a lot of time to gather my thoughts and just be alone... which I never get. I'm home all day with her and when my husband gets home he's drained within 5 or 10 minutes. We don't have a lot of family around who are able to babysit for breaks, and I don't have many options for friends with kids to do playdates with. We see my sister and her kids, and my ONE friend and her daughter a couple of times a week.
I've honestly been at my wits end trying to keep this kid entertained every day. She will not play by herself. I have tried everything. Quiet time/alone time consists of her being extra noisy/throwing things/asking me questions/basically doing whatever she can to get attention. We have a lot of activities set up in almost every room, I will sit down and do them with her for a little while to get her going and she lasts two minutes once I'm doing my own thing. She hates being alone (as is normal with extroverted children, from what I've read!). We do a lot of activities together every day as well, there is just no balance and I can't catch a break. She gets a lot of snuggles and love, we go do activities outside of the house several times a week. I never feel like it's enough because whenever I am not doing something with her, she is demanding things/crying/screaming over every little thing. And meanwhile I'm just desperate for some peace with no way to get it. I'm sure at this point she is very aware of how to get on my nerves, by being extra disruptive and as noisy as possible when she can see I'm trying to concentrate on something. When she gets room time, she screams the ENTIRE time and will continuously peek her head out to ask questions or ask if she can come out yet. If I tell her it's not time yet (she gets 4 minutes) she slams the door and starts screaming again, then ten seconds later it's the same thing.
This ended up being more of a rant... but I'm looking for advice from any introverted parents out there. How do you do it? How do you maintain your sanity? I am not a loud person by any means but by the time evening rolls around I feel like I am constantly irritated with her or we are all yelling. I have tried locking myself in the bathroom but she will just sit outside the door trying to talk to me. I need silence so bad. I really hate that my daughter mostly sees me feeling irritable and upset and just wanting some time to myself.
In a way I'm glad to have discovered there's a reason why this has been so incredibly hard for me (parenting), for some reason it never clicked that I am introverted (I guess it makes sense as I have social anxiety as well). But at the same time I feel hopeless, like this will always be extra challenging and sometimes I just feel like I can't handle it.
Thanks again if you made it all the way through this... any advice or insight would be so so appreciated!
(I forgot to add: I am home pre-schooling her because we make both too much (no assistance) and too little to afford pre-school. I take her to story time at the library each week so she has the chance to get some interaction with other kids---in addition to a visiting with my sister/friend and their kids each week.)