I suppose that I just want to know when it will get better (rather than if it will). I feel that I have no energy for the baby and no patience for the 4 year old. My worry is that this might be a permanent state of affairs and that is so depressing. Any words of wisdom? The baby, by the way, sleeps for 12 hours so this is not borne of sleep deprivation.
Yup, it's normal. I had a 3 year age gap and I remember hitting total exhaustion at 6 months in with 3.5. year old and baby. My daughter wasn't sleeping through the night yet at that point and my son was getting up to go to the bathroom as he inconveniently decided to train himself overnight as well as during the day just as the baby hit her 4 month sleep regression - yay!
But yes it is normal. I felt very stretched at the 6 month stage but now it is better at 1 year in. I am still tired a lot but it has gotten a lot better. The baby is on a regular nap schedule now and my 4 year old is not waking up at night. And I have hired a babysitter one day a week... which keeps me sane.
Yes it's hard. I have three years and eight months between my first two and the year before she went to school was tough. I cannot remember my youngest child at all as the older one was so full of energy and need for attention. It was better once she went to school and was older.