I just read that article last week, actually. I don't know that it helps ... but it does give me some sense of being in good company, so to speak.
I feel like I spend every day of my life cleaning up messes, breaking up arguments, listening to people demand things of me (never asking, just demanding), and generally having everything I say ignored or refused. My kids are only 4.5 and 28 months, and I know
that their behavior is not outside the realm of what is "normal" for their ages. But I'm fed up.
I'm tired of my kids hurting me all day, even if it's not on purpose. DD constantly scratches/pulls/pinches my free nipple while nursing regardless of how many nursing necklaces I try or special toys we reserve just for nursing. Every time I try to stop her, she has a HUGE tantrum, and then I get frustrated, and she's not getting any nursies, so then she's even more pissed off, and I often just end up walking away from her. DS plays so rough, and I know he needs it, but he just gets rougher, and rougher, and rougher ... and he steps on me (stepped right on my breast a couple of days ago), and jumps on me with both feet (right in the groin, yesterday), and just is out of control and completely oblivious to anyone else.
I hate grocery shopping. It's my idea of hell. (Literally, if there is such a place as Hell, and it's personalized for every being, then my hell will be one continuous grocery shopping trip with a dozen two-year-olds.) My DH works out of town for five days out of every eight, and then has two other part time jobs on his days "off", so I have to take the kids with me when I go to the grocery store. Hell, I have to take the kids with me everywhere. And I despise every minute of trying to keep DD in the cart (she won't let me wear her anymore). When I let her out of the cart, she immediately runs off and destroys something or climbs on something (like the produce coolers
) or starts throwing random things into the cart. And then there's DS (4.5). He wants, wants, wants, wants, wants. And he has these major meltdowns when he doesn't get what he wants, even though I NEVER buy some of these things, we never eat them, it's just not an option and never has been, so WHAT IS THE FREAKING DEAL?!? I know I'm one of those people that other people are thinking, "Geeze, can't she control her kids?!?" and I just don't know how to do any better than I'm doing. I try to make it fun, try to make it educational, try to keep them entertained, try to make sure they're not hungry or bored or otherwise in crazy-making mode, and it does. not. matter. what I do.
DS is one major meltdown after another All. Day. Long. The first thing I hear every morning is, "Mom, I'm hungry." and if I do not IMMEDIATELY jump out of bed and get him something to eat, it's a screaming, crying, throwing himself on the floor breakdown. I mean, ten seconds is too long. He doesn't want to get dressed, he doesn't want to go outside, he does want to go outside now that we're doing something else, he doesn't want to get in his seat in the car but he DOES want to go to the park, he just had an inkling that his sister was perhaps thinking about playing with a toy he was playing with two hours ago, he's already had his limited screen time for the day but he wants to play another game, he doesn't want to listen to Mama's music, he wants something else to eat for the fifteenth time in the past three hours but I'm up to my elbows in dishwater ... all of these and many more are cause for world-ending type meltdowns.
This kid is hungry every damn minute of every damn day. We can go to an all-you-can-eat buffet, and as we are headed out the door he says, "Mom, I'm hungry." WTF?!? I don't even care anymore. How sad is that? I spend all of this time trying to provide nutritious food, preparing things from scratch, avoiding the "bad" stuff, working around his diet issues (he has Celiac disease) ... and I just don't care anymore. If I hear that he's hungry one more time I may just explode.
DD potty learned all by herself at 19 months, with absolutely no prompting from me. Now, at 28 months (actually, for the last two to three months), she won't go on the potty. Noooo, because it is so much more fun to take her clothes off and go on the floor. Put a diaper on her, and she can take that off, too. "Mama, I pooped on the floor again." And sure enough, in the two minutes I was in the bathroom washing her brother's hands, she has taken off every stitch of her clothing and pooped on the floor ... AND she's put her hands in it.
She also climbs. Everywhere. On top of the refrigerator, to the top shelf in my closet, up on the countertops, anywhere. I ask her to put her chair back at the table about five hundred times a day because she drags it around to use it as a stepping stool to places she doesn't need to be. When I ask her, she says "no" and continues. When I help her return the chair, I have to literally wrestle the chair away from her and then sit in it to keep her from taking it again. And there is no such thing as redirection for this kid. There never was with her brother, either. They have laser focus and will not be swayed, no matter what you offer.
Did I mention that we've had to put padlocks on all of the gates in the fence around our house? I got out of the shower -- my three minute shower, even -- one morning to find that DD was not in the house. She was two blocks down the street, nekkid as a jaybird, happily splashing in a puddle in a neighbor's yard. This is my life.
I don't get any sleep, I don't get any down time, I'm exhausted and miserable and worn out and done. I yell all the time lately. I can't withdraw, my kids won't allow for it -- they have to be WITH me every minute of every day ... DD nurses while I take a poo, for kripes' sake, and when they're not with me they're obviously doing something crazy-making (see my search for nekkid baby above) -- so I end up over the edge and I yell. I can hear myself doing it, I know in my mind I shouldn't be doing it, but I'm so worn out I can't seem to come up with other solutions that I can implement in that moment. I'm so stressed out from the last 800 "episodes" that I've dealt with today that I can't even stop the slide into all out screaming, because the slide long ago became an avalanche.
I have nothing to give these children anymore. I forsee no change in our circumstances in the near future that will change that. So what do I do? I'm miserable. I hate being a parent. I love my children ... but I don't like them very much. I feel like a terrible, awful mother. I can't take much more. I feel about this close to just shutting down.
So there it is. Ugly. But maybe it will help you to know that there are other mamas feeling similar things. Maybe it will help both of us to talk about it with other mamas. I hope so. I hope something helps.