First off you are doing an awesome job. To do want u are doing I think makes you a dedicated, loving mum. Depth of character also comes to mind. Sleep or chronic lack of definitely changes your perspective. What helped shift my perspective was understanding my son, meeting his outbursts with compassion and empathy. He is struggling to communicate some intense feelings or thoughts. I started reading Janet Lansbury and Lori Petro. Both these ladies have some great insight. I like lori petr as she has 8 min videos u can listen (whilst in the shower) to manage situations. As for sleep...I SOOOOO relate I have just started getting more than 3 hrs at a time, I co sleep and breastfeed and he was still waking for regular feeds. I attribute this mainly to seeing traditional Chinese medicine practitioner who specialises in women's health. It really has changed my sleep. Its not really about getting your son to modify his behaviour more about focusing on you so are in the right head space to meet his needs. Like u say he is a typical 4yo doing is developmental thing...sorry not very articulate but hopefully some starting points to work from. Good luck
I'm very sympathetic to how you're feeling right now and your struggle. It's not a fun place to be, but try to remember that you're pretty damn awesome for everything you're doing.
You might want to give Child First a call; they can put you in touch with a variety of support services. They're there to help and to offer as much support to struggling parents as possible.
Also, I'm sure you have your reasons for working so much (and this is certainly not a 'working mothers suck comment!! I've been a working single mum and I'm all for whatever path mothers choose) but if you have the capacity to reduce your work it may help. My daughter was really struggling, and so was I, and we've been doing therapy together to work in her defiance issues. One of the suggestions was to spend more one on one play time together. Her behaviour improved dramatically. It was a big sacrifice and difficult adjustment for me as I had to cut down on work quite a lot, but for us it was worth it.
If that's not something you're able to do, as a lot of single mums simply don't have that luxury, you could see if there are other single mums in the area that you could connect with. One night a week you could alternate pick-up or dinner; just having an extra person around, even with the additional kids, really helps. It gives you some adult company and some moral support.
And if you feel like you're at absolute breaking point and can't go on, maybe think about giving someone a call. Any family, friends- even old friends that you haven't been in touch with for years- most people will respond to a desperate plea for help.
I wish there was more I could do. I've been there before, and I remember just how tough it was, beyond description really. But if it's any consolation, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I kept saying to myself over and over 'this is not forever, and it won't always be this hard'. It might not feel like it now, and it might be very difficult to remain optimistic when things are this hard, but I promise it will get easier; probably not tomorrow, but it will.
Thoughts are with you,