Friday, June 10, 2011

I Am Slowly Going Crazy

Sheesh. I always knew that parenting was hard, but I had no idea it was this kind of hard. I've had several things going on that seem to add to the overall mundane, annoying task of being cooped up in the house with four kids all day and most of the time I feel like I'm going to have a nervous breakdown. I hate admitting this, because I know it's a real blessing to have children. I adore them! I'm happy that I get to stay home with them to see and hear the cool things they learn. I'd never want it any other way. I wish I could program my kids, though, so that we had more harmony and less cacaphony!

Two weeks ago, I was helping my girls clean their HIDEOUSLY messy room. They had three years' worth of dress-ups, broken toys, shoes that don't fit, and piles of miscellany in their tiny closet, all over their floor, behind their beds--the place was truly a disaster. I suddenly started to get really hot. Then, I got really dizzy. The room was spinning, I couldn't breathe, I had a pounding headache, and I couldn't even walk to the kitchen for a drink. I had to crawl. I was having a panic attack! Who does that? After a useless trip to the doctor, the PA decided that since I didn't have traces of thyroid problems in my blood, I must have Labyrinthitis (a middle-ear viral infection). It causes dizziness which causes panic attacks and there's nothing to be done for it since it's a virus. Boo. So I've been having attacks and lots of vertigo for the past 16 days, and I have four more weeks before I'm out of the usual healing period. I can't function and it makes me feel even worse because I'm not accomplishing the things I usually do. Ugh.

My three older kids are always, and I mean ALWAYS at each other's throats. I can't stand it anymore! I think that they spend seven or eight collective hours in time out every day. All of my usual punishments or rewards are useless lately, and that is hard for me. Do any of you have good ideas to rememdy this? I'm at a total loss.

Amber is out of school for the summer, so she's bored because we have little-kid activities going on for the others. She cries about everything. I ask her to brush her hair, she cries. I ask her if she wants oatmeal or Mini Wheats for breakfast, she cries. I ask her to gather up her shoes from the family room, more tears. AARGH! I am really not looking forward to having her turn 12, when she has an extra dose of hormones on top of her already-emotional personality. I've tried every method of encouragement, reward, threat, and ignorance, but nothing seems to help. Add to this her bossiness and know-it-all personality and it really gets on my nerves. I love the girl and think she's amazing, talented, smart, and hilarious, but sometimes I just can't stand the attitude. Help!

Sorry to rant, but I want to document this stage because I've never heard my mom talk about the downs of being a stay-at-home mom. Everything is always loveley and beautiful and harmonious in her account (which, I know, was not, because I lived it). It feels good to vent. I know things will get better, and I'm looking forward to that day! Until then, you'll find me curled up on the floor of my closet, hugging a Diet Pepsi and clutching a handfull of low-strength Advil in my hand, desperately humming "Love at Home" to myself, and dreaming of the day that Adam and I can take a two-week vacation sans-children to Hawaii. He he.


Parrish Family said...

Oh Nat, I am so sorry you are sick. It sounds miserable. And if I had some advice to give you on the kiddos I would, but you have more experience then me! :) I think laying in the closet you with your diet pepsi and medicine sounds like a good plan!! ;) And by the way, I LOVE your craft blog! I can't wait to see what you put on there!!

Joe and Marci said...

I am so with you! The first week of summer break is always the pits around here, this week was no exception. Add a fierce cold I've been fighting and my patience is nowhere to be found. I'm glad to hear I'm not alone, but at the same time I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Good luck my friend!!

Christina White said...

HI Nat! I must say, "I hear ya!" on all accounts. I too have mini panic attacks, where the kids have been at each other all day and I walk into the kitchen at 5 and the question, "What's for dinner?" is too much. I sink to the floor and want to cry. Try to take deep breaths . . .summer vacation is always an adjustment. Amber may just need some one on one time with you or Adam. Sometimes that works for us when our kids are acting up. Good luck. Hang in there. You are amazing! This too shall pass . . . :)

Deanne said...

I just assumed all mothers of little children felt this way! I know I have on many occasions. Yes, love them, love being home...but it can drive a woman bonkers most days. ;)
When Sophie and Truman are at each others' throats non-stop, I immediately tell them there is no more talking. Depending on my mood they can still talk to me, but not each others (although sometimes they aren't even aloud to talk to me either). If they do talk to each other, then they are punished further (like a time-out). Usually only after a few minutes they ask if they can talk to each other again because they really do enjoy playing together. If they still keep fighting after the "no talking time", then it's "rest time" and they get separated into different rooms for 30-60mins. Many times all they needed in the first place was a little space away from each other anyway.
Hope you're feeling better soon! The dizziness sure can't help an already frustrating experience.

Stephen and Kristen said...

I'm sorry to hear you're having a rough time. My mother-in-law has a small plaque in her kitchen that says "Motherhood isn't for wimps." Amen! You have lots of friends and family nearby, so you could always ask for help. As in, "I need a babysitter so I can leave for a couple of hours and rejuvenate myself before my kids wind up on a milk carton or the posters in Wal-Mart." Or if that's not an option, and you HAVE to deal with it, try making two of your kids sit face to face in chairs. Put them close enough so they are practically on top of each other. Then make them sit on their hands and lean forward and sit nose-to-nose until they're not mad anymore. They can't talk, either. It usually makes my kids laugh pretty quickly. It's not the ultimate fix-all, but it works a lot of the time. Good luck! I hope your summer progresses more stress-free. And I'm rooting for you and Adam to go to Hawaii! :)