I've noticed from being online that not many people actually admit to having struggles with their children. Its like if you admit that you are struggling, then you're a crap mother and your children should be taken away from you or something.
So I'm going to admit it. I am struggling. I'm not struggling because I'm depressed, I'm struggling because I feel I can't meet the needs of my children. I don't know what people think of me when they see me out with all the kids. Do they think I'm stupid for having them so close together? Brave? A bit of a tart who keeps getting knocked up?
Some days I long for my uncomplicated, stress free life before children. I say to Elf Man "why the HELL did we have children?" Children (I thought) were supposed to bring joy to your life, fill your life in a way that nothing else can - at the moment, my life is just full of stress. I know I have to do something about my mindset, but its so hard when day after day - everything is just shit.
Sparrow and The Baby are pretty ok really. I know I lose my temper at Sparrow, with his incessant whinging for things. He asks over and over and over for the same thing, even if I have already told him "yes, in a minute" because I'm stuck doing something else for one of the younger ones. He waves the playstation controller in front of my face at all moments of the day, even when feeding The Baby because he wants me to play to get him through a level. He yells to get my attention, even if I have previously answered his question. Its incredibly frustrating, and he's not even a big issue out of my day when it comes to major frustration and stress.
The Baby is pretty cruisy. Eats, sleeps (sometimes) and generally a happy baby, except when Speedy is around.
Speedy. Oh what can I say. My near 2 year old is a major bully. She attacks everyone. She throws things at everyone. She takes toys from other kids and runs away with a big shit-eating grin on her face because she knows she's just made someone upset and that makes her happy. I call her my monster. Which, isn't really that fantastic, but if you were to meet her - you would probably think the same. You would probably think that Elf Man and I are doing a hideous job at raising these kids - because she is just mean to her siblings. Every time I put The Baby down on the floor to play with toys, along comes Speedy to hassle her. And by hassle her I mean pushing her so she falls over, pinching her arm, tapping her on the head really hard, poking her in the eye, head butting her, putting boxes on her head so she can't see anything, or if she is on the bed - she puts the covers over her head and presses down. All this could happen in the time its taken me to get off the floor with a dirty nappy to put it in the bin. Then she's just as mean with her older siblings. She throws things at them, she hit Sparrow in the head with something the other day, cracked him a good one so then he was bawling. She is very mean to Coo, and Coo is so highly strung, she stands there and screams/wails/screeches until we do something about it. I'm at a loss on how to handle her behaviour. Taking her away from the situation doesn't work, she'll come straight back and do it again. Put her in the corner for a time out, and kneel down and explain that we don't push Coo into the dishwasher or kitchen cupboard - she'll come straight out and do it again. Smack her - she'll still go and do it again. I'm hoping this phase will stop soon and she's just working out her place in the family, because I can't handle too much more of this behaviour.
Then the Coo. Highly strung as previously mentioned. She wails/screeches. Its a horrible noise, and I know its one of my triggers for my anger because it pierces through my head and gives me an instant headache. And she does it every day. Sometimes all day. It could be something like Speedy is standing in her way, she doesn't think to go around Speedy, she'll just stand there and screech. Then when you ask her to put it into words, she'll cry that she can't get through. We don't know how to make her think "hey, Speedy is in my way, I'll go around her" so again, I'm hoping this phase will end soon too.
Sometimes I want to walk out the door on a bad day. Sometimes I don't think I'm handling things very well and maybe someone else could do a better job. Sometimes I think I should get stoned so things like the stuff mentioned above doesn't stress me out. I just want things to be easy - everything is so fucking hard. Changing nappies is hard because of tantrums. Getting dressed is hard because of tantrums. Getting in the car is hard. Getting out of the car is hard. Everything - is a struggle.
I thought having 4 kids 4 years and under would be hard but I thought I was able to handle it. I know its going to get better, but just at this very moment in time - its a struggle. Its a struggle to find the joy in my children because every day I'm breaking up fights, or asking them to stop jumping on the couch/bed/table. I'm having to ask them to just sit down and eat their dinner. Or in Speedy's case tonight, get your foot out of your brother's dinner. It is a madhouse. Mostly I'm just sick of seeing my children hurt each other. Every time they hurt their sibling, it hurts me. I didn't want my kids to be hurt by their siblings the way that my sister hurt me. I didn't want to raise a bully, but it appears I have one.
And I dunno what the hell to do about that.
P.s. I should probably mention that I'm sick with a cold, have a cough, am extremely tired and a little cranky. So please don't call DOCS just yet, I'm just having a whinge.