I am feeling just about at my breaking point at the moment:( I'm a mom to a 17 month dd and a da who will be 4 next month. I work full time and their dad works a rotation 28 days away, 14 days home. My parents are a huge help and care for my toddler as well as picking my son up from home daycare each day.
I am at my wits end!! I work in Kindergarten all day, up and out of the house early and only home for about 2 hrs before my kids go to bed. I feel like I only get the cranky, tired, angry, disagreeable, miserable time of day and that our interactions both in the morning and before bed never turn out as I planned. I come home tired but with full intentions to make the most of our evening- quick dinner, bath, playtime, books, songs, cuddles... but more often than not I have a toddler clawing at me to nurse, two kids fighting over my lap, and both of them crying.
My almost 4 yr old is my biggest concern. He is an extremely picky eater so dinner is always a struggle. I try to give him a smorgasbord of foods he likes, ask him what he would like and he 90% of the time he eats a couple bites and then asks for "something with it" which in turn doesn't get eaten either. He is never satisfied it seems. I give him what he asks for and then he doesn't want it, he asks for something else. This goes for food, toys, craft materials, everyday household items that he MUST HAVE to make whatever it is he has an idea to make - they are all discarded within minutes and then he asks and asks and asks for different things. He loves being read to but isn't that interested unless its bedtime or its at the library or drop in centre... I try to take him for a walk or bike ride but as soon as he's in the garage he NEEDS something from the the highest shelf or he wants to shovel or pretty much anything but what we were doing. At our local drop in centre he runs from centre to centre, rarely stopping at any one thing for very long. He does love the circle time and will participate with enthusiasm and focus for the most part.
He gets extremely upset and angry if he cannot do what he has set out to do. I do try to make our house a "yes" environment and I allow him to do a lot of exploring and using objects for crazy purposes but when safety is a concern he freaks right out and it takes forever for him to calm down, sometimes he just melts right down and ends up asking to go to bed because he has exhausted himself. Lately I feel like all he does is argue and defy everything I say, every guideline and expectation with a lot of enthusiasm! I try to give two choices but even if he chooses one, once he has chosen he changes his mind and freaks out. He kicks, screams, is beginning to spit, yells "you're bad!". He also likes or say nonsense words, bathroom words, other inappropriate words like "punch" over and over to the point where i think I'm going to lose my marbles.
He is so clever, can be so kind, is very charming and friendly and I want my limited time with him to be fun and loving. Right now it is miserable for both of us I think. He has had a lot of changes in a yr and a half (move, new sister, me going back to work, daycare switch, Daddy working away and then home for short periods of time...) so I am trying to understand that but I feel so upset at how where our relationship is heading. I am trying probiotics and am considering a chiropractor. I am going to get him tested for issues with gluten as his grandad has celiac diseases nod he does have a symptom or two.
I guess I'm just looking for commiseration, I don't know. I want to help him be happier and to enjoy our time together rather than struggling with each other all the time:(
what stood out to me is that you sound like an excellent, caring, totally overworked mother with a very intelligent, quick minded son.