One of my friends emailed me this article on why parents hate parenting, or could be otherwise titled "how and why our children make us unhappy". In some ways it was a depressing article, and in others, totally liberating. I found myself nodding along in the article as the author spoke about the pressures on parents today, the things we worry about, the ways we are making ourselves crazy, and how being a parent brings you such joy even though the day to day is draining.
These days, I will freely admit it, life is hard. I am Exhausted, with a capital E. Gabe has become a full-fledged 3 and a half year old, and it turns out that 3 and a half year olds are totally unreasonable, totally insane, totally annoying, totally frustrating, and totally infuriating. They are also absolutely adorable and hilarious and brilliant, and thank goodness for that, because if not I'd be selling him on the street corner. Additionally, 18 month olds (or at least MY 18 month old) are all of those above things and more, and the combination of the two of them has me contemplating a drink at 9:15 in the morning, and I don't even like alcohol.
I have been having a hard time parenting lately, and I can't quite put my finger on the why. I feel like I'm always frustrated, have a short fuse, can't seem to get the day on a good track. I'm yelling more than I want to, getting actually angry rather than keeping control of the situation. I feel like both kids are just not listening, and actively disobeying all the time, and it is driving me bonkers.
I'm sure part of it has to do with all the injuries, part of it has to do with Gabe being out of any organized program since the end of March, part of it has to do with our contemplation of a third child, part is the ages of Gabe and Josie, and the rest, I have no idea. Maybe I'm not sleeping enough, maybe I'm just grumpy, maybe the kids are just difficult, maybe it is just a phase. Regardless, something has to change because my level of frustration (and Josh's too) is just too high.
If we're going to have a third child, Josh is adamant that it has to be soon, and I'm beyond terrified at the possibility. I really do want another baby- as insane as that is- but things are so crazy right now I can't imagine fitting another pregnancy, another bout of all-the-freaking-time sickness, another person into the mix. I think the worries about another baby are increasing my anxiety over Gabe and Josie's behavior too. Rather than viewing it as regular kid stuff, I keep having this doomsday attitude of "oh my God this is awful and it is only going to get worse and now we're going to have another and shoot me now." Somewhat unhelpful, I do acknowledge.
On the one hand, I'm adoring this summer with our super lazy days at our town lake (almost every single morning), delicious ice cream, relaxing grilling, and playing outside, but I'm also feeling totally burnt out and disappointed in my own and the kids' behavior. Any tips? Is this a terrible age? Tell me it is going to get better PLEASE.