Today I feel like I'm going a little bit out of my mind. I can't get away from my daughter; she follows me all over the house wanting to be picked up, wanting "Moe" (to breastfeed), wanting to be carried, wanting to be lifted onto chairs, wanting to put flour in the bread mixture, wanting to put the towel on the bowl for the bread to rise, wanting to play with my bathroom baskets while I am trying to clean the bathroom, wanting to stand DIRECTLY behind me when not in arms, so I trip on her con. stant. ly. She's intense. Most days I handle it in stride but today I'm Done. It's not just that she's slowing me down or getting in my way or dissatisfied with the (vast) number of times I have sat down and nursed her this morning. It's not just that this morning I threw her regulation out of whack by leaving her at home with her daddy while I went to drop off some homework Ayden forgot to bring with him to school today. It's that I'm so tired. I'm so tired of being touched, followed, demanded of, scratched, hit, screamed at, and poked that I want to drag my fingernails down my face.
I'm hiding in the downstairs bedroom to get away from her, as we speak.
She's lovely, she's spirited, she's energetic, she's cute, and she's a drain on my substantial parenting reserves. I want to fly away for a weekend. Just a weekend without her. Oh, my lord, even an afternoon would be heaven.
And then I feel so GUILTY. I'm so ashamed that I feel this way about an 18 month old person who is a beloved child of mine, that I crawl inside myself and curl up in a ball and judge myself. My daughter makes me grind my teeth and sprout grey hairs and get pounding headaches, and I feel entirely responsible. Some days, I feel like I'm parenting her well. She's intense and has a deep well of need that has large holes which leak rapidly, so my refilling each day is essential. She doesn't just like to breastfeed, she NEEDS to. She doesn't just like to be hugged, she NEEDS to be held, often. Dysequilibrium looks like some tears and some misbehaviour, in most kids, but she flies off the handle, screaming, flailing, biting, slapping, kicking, scratching, grabbing, screaming, screaming, and more screaming if thrown out of balance, and it will last until she next sleeps. Sleep re regulates her, but she fights it like its a nest of vipers. And sometimes she wakes up dysregulated. Then there's no help for any of us.
I love her. I like her. She's awesome. I need a break.
Other days, I hear distant critical voices in my head, "You created this." Either because I'm too responsive to her desires, or because I'm not in tune with her enough, it depends on the day. MOST days I know she's just the way she is because she's wonderful and born intense and destined for great things. But some days, those critical voices slam me against the wall, and today is one of those days. Here is a summary:
Today we are having a bad day.
I don't feel like I can talk about this to anyone, which makes me feel more alone. Mainly I think I can't talk about it because not every family has a child this intense. Thus, judgment is likely. Either judgment of my parenting or my stamina or my coping mechanisms, either I'm too soft/lenient/give in to her demands, or I'm not attachment parenting ENOUGH; too structured/too taxed/too selfish or something, but I think you need to either have a pretty open mind and empathetic spirit, or have a child like this to understand without judgment. I know, actually, that most of you are in the empathetic and open minded category, which is why I feel best expressing this here. For that I would like to say thank you, and send you love. xo.