Had a late nap so i could stay up until midnight
7am: woke up ready to play with my favourite toy
7.30am: found mum and made her play with me all day relentlessly. when she refused, i nagged her incessantly, hit her or yelled at her. mum tried to force dad and i to play together but he is boring so i refused.
4.30pm: threw huge tantrum because i wanted a freddo frog. sent to room
5pm: fell asleep leaving mum feeling guilty that i was cranky and alone when i fell asleep
Midnight: woke mum up and made her search for specific toys
1am: told mum for the thirtieth time to call me brown spirit rain pony
1.30am: threw a huge tantrum because mum didnt put my blankets exactly how i wanted them but i wouldnt explain it to her either
2am: made mum make me heart shaped sandwichs three times
3am: made mum get me juice and cup of tea in two different drink bottles, then swap them over because they were in the wrong ones
4am: got mum to search for a specific part in a movie, that was really hard to get to
4.30am: cut up pictures into tiny confetti for mum to pick up
5am: worn out from my busy night/morning, mission accomplished, had a nap
8am: woke myself up for kindy
9am: left for kindy with my now 5 snuggle rugs
Ok so jokes aside, this is what my typical life looks like with my high needs, spirited, etc 3 year old. Yes i know she sounds like just another spoiled brat and she is a little spoiled, as all first borns are. However, i have confirmed with a professional parenting expert that she is indeed actually just high needs. People who dont have one of these kids, have no idea what its like or that its even a real thing. Dr Sears has written a whole book about it called The Fussy Baby. I find it doubly hard because i also have a fairly unhelpful, critical hubby, depression to deal with, not much help or support from others, two high needs dogs to care for also and now another unplanned baby due in 2 or 3 months.
We had planned to have 2 kids but after experiencing Brooklyn, we decided not too. Obviously our new bub had other plans because it only took one slip up and she was conceived. I believe that we have a pre birth plan that we create for our spiritual growth, before we arrive here. The only way to grow is to do it tough and we only plan for ourselves, things we know we can get through. Im desperately hoping bub number two isnt high needs also though.
My husband works full time so i can be a SAHM but Brooklyn still goes to kindy 2 or 3 days a week for my sanity. So im pretty lucky really. It has been tough though because sometimes its like having a teenager living with me. For example, just 3 days after giving birth to Brooklyn, my husband was nagging me about sex. He is very good with cooking and cleaning but thats mostly to satisfy his own need for cleanliness and a steak cooked right. Having a high needs baby has been hard for him because understanding and nurturing dont come naturally to him. Its hard to give something you never got much of yourself as a child. To me, being a mother to a high needs baby comes naturally but even i struggle alot. I still havnt managed to get hubby out of the habit of constantly swearing but im grateful that he finally quit smoking and has learnt to become a slightly more tolerant dad.
As a baby and still now at 3 years old, Brooklyn is almost constantly stuck to me. She is stubborn, intense, competitive, feels deeply, is persistent, demanding, often unsatisfied and often negative. She has always needed to be carried while i walk her up and down the hallway or around the back yard. She rarely plays without me having to join in and has always screamed if anyone else held her or i ever put her down. I actually cant believe that i was able to get her to go to kindy but of course that usually involves crying or a tantrum as i leave and its been 2 years now. For the first 3 months of her life, i had to sleep on the couch with her on me because that was the only way she would stay asleep. She also had colic and severe constipation, which is still a problem at times.
We tried the cry it out method but a high needs baby needs attachment parenting, which i have reluctantly taken on. We continued to sleep together up until recently. Whenever she wanted something, she would scream right from the get go. These days she is still easily triggered by little things and everything seems to have to be a battle of wills with her. We try to do things her way a fair bit because her high energy takes up so much of our energy as it is that we just cant fight with her about every little thing. At mothers group, all the other bubs would be happily playing on the floor while the mums chatted, while mine would be sleeping or crying, while i stood up, holding her. Once she learnt to walk, she was always off on her own, with me in pursuit. Now shes 3, she still isnt really interested in playing with other kids unless they are older.
Dr Sears says that its the parents job to control the situation, not the child. Having a high needs child has certainly had an impact on our marriage. Brooklyn, our 2 dogs and i, have left multiple times due to daddys selfishness and lack of support. However, family is extremely important to Brooklyn, so we always return and work things out. Our marriage wasnt wonderful before she came along. It was pretty good but not strong enough to handle a high needs baby without ending up slightly tattered. I ended up going to counselling for all 3 of us, which helped alot because i found an amazing counsellor. Im anxious as to how another baby will effect our marriage and my close bond with Brooklyn, not to mention my poor fur babies. I have to give so much to Brooklyn and to myself just to keep coping, that i just dont have much left for my poor hubby these days. Im hoping that once Brooklyn is at school, things will improve.
As a parent of a high needs kid, you often feel alone, useless, resentful, controlled, trapped, frustrated and completely exhausted. Some days, i wished i had a nice quiet job to go back to. However, i worked in child care before becoming a mum and that was even worse but at least i got to go home to my nice quiet dogs at the end of the day. My husband and i recently tried to have a holiday, while Brooklyn stayed at grandmas. We had to pick her up after 2 nights because she was hysterical. I realise now that it was foolish of me to expect my velcro kid to be away from me for a whole week. The longest shes ever been away from me is an 8 hour kindy day. Boy do those days go fast. On the days i have her at home, i have to take her out because otherwise she nags and harasses me all day. It took me a long time to go out much with her as a baby because of her behaviour so im not sure how im going to go with 2 to try to take out somewhere.
Brooklyn is also very noise sensitive. She needs constant stimulation such as jumping on the furniture while watching a movie. Her bedtime is anywhere from 5pm to 11pm and shes up again at 5am. Trying to convince her to sleep has been one of the biggest struggles. She only eats pasta, ham, bread, strawberries, bananas and mandarins. Water has been a big help for both of us. Often as a baby in the middle of a demonic screaming fit, i would hop in the shower with her and she would quickly calm down. However, getting out of the shower often triggered her again. Ive often had to carry her, while pregnant, while pushing a shopping trolley just to avoid the screaming. I should have guns as big as Arnold Schwarzeneger by now but unfortunately fitness doesnt seem to work that way. When i go to the toilet, she comes and sits on my lap or bangs on the door asking if im finished yet. She has always required so much energy from me and unfortunately for our situation, im a low energy introvert.
Im really not sure how she will cope with a baby taking up all my time. She is mostly extremely excited and interested in the baby in my tummy but im not so sure how she will feel when she has to start being daddys friend for a change. Her crys have always been ear piercingly embarrassing, causing my husband to close all the doors and windows and label her as ADD or a fruit loop. Im glad she has me though because i dont feel that anyone else could be there for her with as much understanding and patience as i can. Luckily i have a decent singing voice, because that has always been a god send when trying to calm her down. Its funny because i remember telling my husband that i was used to caring for a room of kids so one should be easy and i wouldnt need any help. lol
Its not all bad though. Having a high needs velcro kid also means that you have been blessed with an extra loving, extra creative, extra smart, high energy, inquisitive, confident, often very happy, enthusiastic, social little angel too. The past 3 years have been extremely hard and i often curse my mum for leaving before Brooklyns birth. However, i obviously needed this experience to toughen me up without much support to fall back on because mum would have made life so easy for me like she always tried to do in these situations. Im not sure when all these toughening up situations will finally end. Believe me, theres been plenty of them in my life. All i can do is trust in my pre birth plan and deal with the situation at hand. Im not the type of person to give up or run away, although ive wanted to so many times.
I count every little blessing i get, like the fact that she stays asleep when i need to move her, the way she gave up her dummy so easily, the joy of patting her to sleep instead of carrying her while pregnant, or the way she talks to trees. She makes me so proud everyday. Being her mum teaches me everyday to become more assertive, patient, self caring and easygoing. She wants to be a horse vet when she grows up and i believe she just might.
Sorry for the long post but its a long story. lol. Comment below about your parenting or life struggles.