Okay, one crazed mom to a million out there in the blogosphere...
For those of you with "spirited" children, or "fiesty" children...aka CRANKY children, how do you deal with it?!
Kate is such a handful. I love her more than life itself, let's just get that out there first. There is not question about it. I have a special bond with her that God in Heaven knew I would need to survive her! But she is so tough. I feel like I'm in a constant state of frustration trying to figure out how to keep her happy and healthy. She's been my toughest sleeper, my most clingy child, and my most emotional child. Beth and James were delightful babies. They both have their moments as they get older, they both have their tough phases, what kid doesn't? But Kate has been tough since she was two weeks old. She cries. A lot. I literally had a melt down the other day because she was crying and the thought came to me that she has probably cried a significant part of every day since she born. That's 17 months of crying. No wonder I'm at my wits end!
Kate seems to only be happy when she has 100% of my attention or some really good distraction. And sometimes that's not enough. Which is tough since I have a two other kids, a house, a life, and a calling at church. I feel like after my other kids were born we had an adjustment period and then life got back to mostly normal. I could handle housework and all that. But now I'm at a loss. Every time I clean or do something else productive, mostly when its a desperate situation, she follows me around crying, and then screaming, until I sit down, preferably on the floor and pay attention to her. That makes it hard to get things done! I have let a lot of things slide because I do realize that her happiness is more important, but I can't let everything go all the time!
Now, don't get me wrong. She is not always sad. We have lot of good moments. She LOVES to play outside, go on walks, take baths and be out and about. She can be hilarious playing "i'm going to get you" and other popular family games. Sometimes she'll play well on her own for a while, and of course there are naps here and there. But there are just a lot more moments than I would like that are sad or whiny or demanding and screaming.
What I really struggle with is the fact that she puts me on edge and then anything my other kids do can push me over. So I feel like I take out my frustration on them because they are older. I don't know how to help Kate, but I know how to punish Beth and James. Its bad. Its bad parenting and it makes me feel awful. I feel like my fuse is always lite and just waiting to blow. I hate feeling wound up. I feel like I miss a lot of moments and opportunities because I'm too close to my breaking point. I know that in general I am not a bad parent. My kids know they are loved, there is no lack of "I love you's" or attention, or affection in our home. Ryan and I teach the important things, and in general I think we've done ok so far. But this is not working right now. Does any of this rambling make sense? I just felt like I needed to call out to all of you wonderful mom's out there that I know struggle with the same things. I need to feel like I'm not alone in this scary world of parenting.
How do I deal with her so that I can stay calm and collected for my other children?
How do I discipline Kate's misbehavior in a way she understands?
How do I keep her happy and still accomplish what needs to get done in my home and life?
How do I give her what she needs without completely draining my personal reserve?
*sigh* Life is not all bad. I really do love my life, I'm sorry if this is coming off as complaining. Motherhood is what I wanted for my whole life, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I can't imagine my life without any of my kids, even Cranky Kate. ;) I just want to be the best Mom I can be, and I don't feel like I am being that right now. I'm trying. Any advice is appreciated and welcome!