To hate myself over this ?

(50 Posts)
JingleUpTheHighway Sun 13-Jan-13 21:23:05

DD1 is 3 , DD2 is 7 months .

DD1 is very trying lately . Everything is a battle or is a delay tactic - getting in the car seat ( the straps have to be just so ), getting dressed (she wants you to do this a certain way ), eating food - (she doesn't like the cheese she liked yesterday hmm ... And on and on and on it goes . I mean everything !

DD2 is teething and is cries the minute I stand up or leave the room .

Anyway , today I had enough . I was out dd2 in her highchair and gave DD1 her lunch and I sat down to eat my lunch too (first time I've ever had time but thought as kids were eating I could get something quick ).

So .... DD1 starts ... "I want some cheese ... Not that cheese . I don't like that cheese ". Followed by : "I want some juice "

Me: "ok well go and get a carton out of the cupboard " ; she knows where this is as she gets her snacks out of it .
DD1: "no I want you to do it " (as with everything else !)

Me: "you will have to wait mummy is eating dinner " - then all hell breaks lose !

DD1 starts screaming loud bursts of tantrum in my ear, crying , screaming, shouting whilst I'm trying to eat.

I gave up on my meal as I was getting so angry I couldn't eat it. I shouted at dd1 - cue more screaming in my flipping ear ! angry I have sensitive hearing and it's painful for me to hear these loud noises close up.

So I move dd1 away from me then she tries to start sitting on my knee etc - all the while screaming , crying etc.

Then she hit me. I am so sick of her hitting and kicking , it's driving me mad . Anyway , when she hit me , I took her hand and i smacked her hand then plonked her in time out and shut the door on her sad

By this point I was shaking with anger . DD2 was screaming to be out the highchair and it was chaos .

When I brought her out of time out she was so upset , but I was so angry I couldn't even look at her never mind comfort her . She had ruined the whole meal.

She then spent another 45 mins crying because her juice wasn't right .

I now feel like utter shit . I'm so angry with myself for losing control and smacking her hand and shouting at her .

I love her so much and I just feel so guilty . It's rare that I lose my temper but when I do , I can scream like a banshee and she gets upset then I feel like utter utter shite .

I'm prepared for a flaming . I just needed to get this off my chest .

RubyrooUK Sun 13-Jan-13 21:54:48

Oh Jingle, DS is only 2.5 (and DS2 is not due for 10 weeks) and I sympathise so much.

Yesterday DS had a three hour screaming fit about going in a pushchair. After an hour, he was still screaming "no chair" at full pelt, arching his back, retching and it then took another two hours back at home of him just sobbing about the trauma of the pushchair. (We are giving up on the pushchair permanently now.)

Today he sat on the street for an hour weeping as I wouldn't carry him. His legs work fine. We were going to get a treat from the shop, so not even a horrible chore outing. He didn't care if I walked away and left him - he just turned his back and kept sobbing.

Today DH and I sat in the car and he said to me in a very upset way that we must be terrible parents to have failed in this way. He doesn't understand where we went wrong. Normally he is such a chilled out, confident parent but he had tears in his eyes and so I burst into tears too. Only DS saying from the back "no kissing mummy!" brought us round.

We all ate a crumpet when we got home and cheered up.

We all have crappy days. Big big sympathetic hug. X

Bimblepops Sun 13-Jan-13 21:55:09

We've all been there and it's bloody hard not to snap sometimes. Mealtimes were always the worst time for acting up by the kids (and they still can be!). I ended up resorting to walking out into the back garden, closing the door behind me and screaming at the top of my lungs. Made me feel loads better, so I could walk back into the kitchen, keep calm with the kids and try to restore some kind of order.

McNewPants2013 Sun 13-Jan-13 21:55:38

Not going to get flamed by me either, stop being hard on yourself.

Tomorrow is a new day.

RubyrooUK Sun 13-Jan-13 21:57:13

PS. I told my mum about my parenting failures at length this evening. She recommends an immediate tattoo of "this is only a phase" in an easily visible place to carry me through the next 30-odd years.

Thanks mum. grin

susanann Sun 13-Jan-13 22:27:07

a parent who says this hasnt happened to them is either lying or not human! dont beat yourself up about it. Where was your dh at the time?

foslady Sun 13-Jan-13 22:36:55

Don't worry, I'm another one who lost it with my dd at that age and now she's a fab 9 year old who's a credit to me - hard as it seems, it WILL pass. And her turning round for 45 mins saying 'Mummy hurt my fingers....' I'd reminder of that hurt the next time she hits or kicks you.......but then I'm not nicewink!

Samnella Sun 13-Jan-13 22:58:24

Been there and done that. Its a tough age. I remember when DD was 3 and DS was 6 months and not sleeping I was literally exhausted and had no friends and just at such a low point. My DD was messing about getting ready for nursery and I just lost it and smacked her and threw her onto her bed. I feel sad about it and regret it. I didn't do it again and don't think DD remembers it. You are not alone.

On a practical note, she is testing boundaries and perhaps noticing you do more for the baby (even though you have to but she may not understand that). I would suggest a reward (stickers is a good one and you can carry them around so the reward is instant) for good behaviour and independence, a review of her day so she is having down times as my DD was more like this when tired and lastly use the time out thing more. I am short fused at the best of times and know my limits. I put my children in their rooms when I can feel my limit being reached , 5 minutes from the noise calms us both down.

Samnella Sun 13-Jan-13 23:02:21

Another coping technique for me is to close the door and go in the hallyway and scream before going back in. It makes me look unstable but really worksgrin.

My children are older now (7 and 5) so recently I went into the garden so I could finish my phone call as they were constantly interrupting. It was bliss.

BarredfromhavingStella Sun 13-Jan-13 23:18:08

Just a bad day & believe me when I tell you I know there are a lot of them.

Mine are 3 & 1 & it is hard work -don't be so hard on yourself, tomorrow is another day flowers

thatisall Mon 14-Jan-13 02:46:35

I suspect every mother has been there. It does get easier.....promise!
You aren't a crap mum, a crap mum would t be feeling guilty like this. Give yourself a break

Morloth Mon 14-Jan-13 03:28:14

3 year olds can be a pain in the arse.

I wonder some days whether the little aids have a discussion each morning as to whose job it is that day to wind me up until I snap.

tinkletinklestar Mon 14-Jan-13 04:49:03

Dont beat yourself up, your still establishing a routine and 3 year olds enjoy nothing more than a good tantrum.

Does she go to pre school or nursery? Ive found since dd goes to pre school we rarely clash. They have really helped with her getting across what she really wants withoit the frustration of a daily battle of wills.

handsandknees Mon 14-Jan-13 05:31:19

3 year olds are really hard work! All 3 of mine had spectacular tantrums at that age, and I had a baby to think about too, so I remember just how you're feeling.

Try not to feel guilty. I know that's much easier said than done, but your dd is at the age where she wants to assert herself and see how far she can push the boundaries. It's normal, but she needs you to be firm and teach her appropriate behaviour, i.e. asking nicely instead of screaming. You don't have to feel guilty for insisting on good behaviour. It won't happen overnight, but she will learn IF you stay firm. You are doing the right thing in disciplining her and if you believe that and have confidence in what you're doing it will help you to stay calm.

I know this is not the same, but I have a friend who can't say no to her child, or refuse her anything. She feels so guilty if her child is not 100% happy all of the time. The child is now 10 and is a very self-centred girl who hasn't learnt to not have her own way all of the time and it's affecting her friendships now. I do like my friend and her daughter very much, but the dynamic in the family feels odd to me - it's very clear that the child is controlling the whole family and that's not right. I'm not saying that's happening with you OP, I just said it as an example of why it's so important to establish who's in charge from a young age, which it sounds like you are! The "negative" emotions are part of life too - you might hear my children complaining more than my friend's daughter, but that's because I don't give them what they want all of the time.

Loveweekends10 Mon 14-Jan-13 06:11:48

Don't beat yourself up. You are not Wonder Woman. You sound like a caring mum. I always had to try the walk off method and count under my breath in another room.

Loveweekends10 Mon 14-Jan-13 06:14:56

Handandknees my dd started her periods at 9 and became completely egocentric at 10. Isn't that just teenage girls rather than poor parenting?

chunkydory Mon 14-Jan-13 06:44:18

Ya so nbu! I have a 16mo and nearly 3 yr old. Some days I dread even getting them out of bed becauseof the mayhemto come. Tantrums are horrible and so illogical onlya saint (imo) could remain calm and removed throughout.
I have not smacked yet because I grew up in violence and have issues around it but there are times I've felt the all encompassing rage and honestly not known how to deal with it. This is the best place to come for support because people are so honest on here and prove that you are not the only one feeling this way.
The biggest shock for me is that most people seem to think that age 3 is worse than 2. Im gutted , I thought things would be easing up with my eldest, now I read that I could have another bleddy year of this, plus another two years with the younger one!

Diddydollydo Mon 14-Jan-13 06:54:06

Nope no flaming from me either I reckon we've all had similar days. flowers

DeltaUniformDeltaEcho Mon 14-Jan-13 07:23:26

We've all been there!

DS is 3 and I used to think "terrible twos? what's that then? Never happened here..." but wow is he making up for it now!

I have a new rule here....he can scream, fuss and shout all he likes but he has to take himself to his room to do it so we don't have to suffer. If he refuses I will pick him up and put him on his bed.

It will pass though......won't it? grin

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Mon 14-Jan-13 07:30:50


A couple of things jumped out at my from your post - I think she's old enough to learn to phrase her requests politely... I wouldn't respond to 'I want'.

Second, pick your battles. There's a developmental reason that kids often fight about every little thing. This age is about establishing boundaries but it's also about learning the degree to which she has control in her life - and while total control is, of course, a terrible idea for kids, no control at all can be just as damaging. I think a bit of control (getting dressed in a certain way) on the stuff you decide is not so important helps kids to accept your decisions on the non-negotiable stuff.

And while I'm not going to judge you for hitting her hand, it's not true that every parent has done it at some point (I haven't), and I think you know it's not ideal, especially as a response to her hitting you. Next time take her hand and tell her very firmly (a bit of volume in your voice no bad thing here - I don't subscribe to the idea that all parents have to be unnaturally calm all the time) 'No! We do not hit'.

Onwards and upwards.

DoIgetastickerforthat Mon 14-Jan-13 07:45:40

Actually, whilst I don't think smacking is a good tool and would never advocate deliberately using it on a child, I'm not sure that there isn't a lesson in 'pushing someone (mummy) too far'. Her behaviour is partly about pushing boundaries and it's a nessasery to learn in life that everybody (even mild, loving mummies) have a snapping point and if you push it and push it, you will have to live with the consequences.

It has happened to me with l three of my boys at this age and whilst I always regret those moments of losing the plot, I think you have to see them for what they are; a flash in the pan that both of you can learn and move on from. Really, forgive yourself. You didn't do anything that bad.

DoIgetastickerforthat Mon 14-Jan-13 07:50:41

^ on phone, no sleep = dreadful grammar/spelling.

JingleUpTheHighway Mon 14-Jan-13 08:00:44

Thank you everyone for your kind replies . I thought I would be flamed and judged but so pleased I'm not the only one to lose it blush

I'm a bit gutted that 3 is worse than 2 though ! I thought it was the end of the terrible twos !

I've taken some tips from all of your posts and plan to put these in place . Especially things like stickers , asking nicely for things , and straight to time out before it escalates.

DD is absolutely pushing the boundaries - she tries to control every situation and it is so wearing ! I should probably give her some control like choice out of what she wears etc and pick my battles.

Feeling a bit better today and looking forward to spending time with her on her own tonight . Thanks again for the incredible support flowers

Tailtwister Mon 14-Jan-13 08:10:13

Oh OP, don't beat yourself up about it. We've ALL been there. No sane person can deal with what you have described without losing it to some extent.

PeppaPrig Mon 14-Jan-13 08:19:44

Would you prefer wine or brew, op?

I have a 2 year old and a newborn. The 2 year old drives me to distraction and I've turned into shouty mummy which I hate. It's tough, isn't it?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 14-Jan-13 08:57:06

There is a perfect parent out there who has perfect DCs. I've yet to meet them.
Tomorrow is another day. Oh look you posted yesterday so it already is. Divert when your 3 year old is on a roll and doesn't know herself what she wants. Anything calm to block out the mithering. Singing, or making a counting game. Stickers or stars. Rhymes or poems to get her attention. Audio stories, stick on a CD. I know you sometimes want them to STFU and have mercy for 10 minutes. You won't be forever in her adult memory as Shouty Mummy who once smacked her hand and gave her time out.

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