Friendship & Kids

Finding friends is hard.

Keeping them is harder.

Not because I don’t want them, but because at any given time, my mental health is running on zero.

For too long I spent too much time emptying my cup to fill others, leaving myself empty and out of spoons. Some days it takes all the spoons I have to keep our house and my children functioning properly. I joke that we had too many, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Our schedule is always full, whether it’s a day at home or a day out, it’s fairly similar.

By the end of the day I’m entirely touched out and I’ve no more room for anymore.

I spend my day being used as a jungle gym, tugged and pulled one direction to another, poked, prodded, my hair pulled, seriously - you name it and my kids accomplished it. Especially Yankee and Alvi.

I think I’ve said already, but the parent/child combo therapy has put us on an indefinite waitlist. So indefinite, in fact, they couldn’t even give me an approximate month to be hopeful for.

At this point I’m ready to call our pediatrician to see why we can’t get a referral to a behavior specialist. I’m sure he will oblige, but I still feel like a failure needing to ask.

My tank is running on empty all the time. I don’t discuss it much anymore, mainly because I get told or looked at like I’m exaggerating and trying to find a way to defend myself.

She’s baby number three, I grew up with younger siblings that I enjoyed helping with frequently, I babysat for people at a rather young age, I was a para professional at the elementary for Pete’s sake! I can handle a lot. A lot. But, anymore, I cry frequently.

This child never stops, never slows, never takes a break from who she enjoys being. Constantly screaming (blood curdling), throwing unending fits, it’s her way or no way. There just aren’t words and describing the things we go through on the daily, including waking in the middle of the night just to stay awake for hours (no more screaming during the night, for the most part), seeking out her siblings just to be mean to them, is just exhausting.

I’ve tried all the tips and tricks. Discipline of any sort does nothing. She’ll cry in her crib for over an hour, decide she’s ready to chill, and within five minutes of releasing the beast she’s right back to it.

No amount of attention, ignoring the behavior, or trying to comfort her does any good. When I’ve attempted to swat her hand she just does it back.

People say she’ll grow out of it, and I pray she does. But, she’s been this way since birth. Gradually getting worse, showing no signs of slowing down or letting up. She’s nearly broken me. I don’t have much left, and I need a new direction to go with her. What we’ve tried, playing the waiting game, all of it is just plain exhausting. Even if we come home with no answers, I’ll be able to say we tried.

A handful of people have actually seen her in action. A very small few.

I take that back. A lot of people have seen her in action. I nearly forgot our few trips out we’ve made and Averi’s softball games that she decided to let her true colors fly. Oh, the looks we got. The judgement they didn’t hide from us.

Trust me, I’ve tried it all. I’m not sorry you had the perfect child that never acted the way mine does, but here we are, Karen. Parenting is hard enough without others and their judgement and opinions. Why can’t we applaud each other, hand out a “you’re giving it your best”, listening ears and open, understanding hearts.

I pray for answers, help, peace. I’ve started to limit asking for patience, because ask and you shall receive and I’ll tell you, the kiddos only amp up their antics to ”grow” your patience and tolerance.

If you’ve got a wee one like Alvi, I feel for you. My heart goes out to you, and I hope that someday you have answers, too. I can’t say it gets better, because we haven‘t made it that far yet, but what I can tell you is we are strong, our God is stronger, and it will get better someday. This storm won’t last forever.

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