I love being a mother. However, today I have reached my limit. For those of you who don’t know my family: my daughter is almost 2 ½, my son is 9 months. It really is funny because just the other day I was thinking that having two children wasn’t nearly as bad as people had made it sound. Then everything got difficult.
My daughter is possessed by a demon or something. (I’m not serious, just trying to make a point) Last week, she bit another child- it was hard enough to leave a nasty mark. She is overall aggressive, hits, kicks, pinches. She has been refusing to do anything anymore- from the simple things like washing her hands to potentially dangerous situations in which she runs away from me, refusing to hold my hand. I said: “R, you cannot run away from Mummy!”, she responded: “Yes, I can. I’m very fast!”
Everything is a struggle and a fight. I try threats, I try bribes, I try rewards, all without success. It has worn me down physically and emotionally. I am starting to doubt myself as a parent, which I usually don’t do.
On top of this came that on Friday, she started climbing out of her crib and coming out of her room during nap time. We had to convert her bed to a toddler bed, so she wouldn’t hurt herself climbing in and out. It’s a catastrophe! She came into our room and woke me this morning at 6:30 am. I just fought with her for 1 ½ hours trying to get her to nap. Nothing will convince her to stay in her bed or even her room.
You’re probably thinking: ‘Ok, pretty typical, we all have to do it as parents.’ Here is my problem: I have a baby who is still exclusively breastfed and whom we attachment parent. He sleeps with us. He cannot fall asleep without either suckling at the breast or being held.
As a result, he hardly ever gets a good nap. His sister either wakes him immediately or he never gets to fall asleep. And he really needs to nap! I feel so guilty, but there is no way I can leave my daughter unattended. Even if I did, she would come looking for me as soon as she noticed my absence.
My son decided a little over a week ago that he should start crawling. So I cannot leave him unattended, either. If I try putting him in a playpen or crib while I deal with his sister, he screams bloody murder.
I am so torn. I feel as though my head is going to just pop at any minute. I haven’t slept an entire night in the last 2 ½ years and I am physically and mentally exhausted. I feel like I am wronging both of my children. I am incapable of giving them both the attention they are looking for and need.
Honestly, I am at my wit’s end. I was so angry with my daughter during nap time (which is actually ongoing...)- I tried time-outs, I tried reasoning, begging, I even yelled. Have I done everything wrong? Is my style of parenting just not doable with two children? And if this is the case, why didn’t anyone tell me?
I know I’m going to get buckets full of suggestions, from the harsh who suggest beating my child, to the extremely gentle who suggest co-sleeping with both children. I have thought of most possible scenarios and I just cannot come up with a reasonable solution.
Writing this down, I feel so ridiculous. I have two small children who are perfectly healthy and overall wonderful, yet I am complaining. Let me tell you, I have had some pretty challenging jobs in my life, but this is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Nothing has ever made me feel so out of control and close to insanity as motherhood has.