to ask for professional help to stop me shouting at my DS

(99 Posts)
uggbug Wed 05-Dec-12 10:51:41

Just that really. I have a lovely 3.5 year old DS who is extremely talkative and wears me out 13 hours a day (not making excuses). I also have a 10.5 month old DD. Sometimes I completely lose it with my DS just because I am tired, or feeling resentful about the fact that these kids seem to have taken over my every waking moment.

I know this just sounds like the same old story, but I am really starting to worry that I will damage this child. I will shout at him so loud so that he can hear me over the sound of his crying. I know in myself when I am doing it that if someone else could hear me they would be shocked.

I don't swear at him ever or say abusive things, but for example this morning there was an accident in the kitchen which I had to clean up and he said 'that was your fault mummy, and when am I going to get my breakfast?' and I just went mad, shouting at him 'that is the last thing I need, that is not helpful, its not all about you' at the absolute top of my voice. The awful thing that I have to admit to myself is it almost feels like a stress relief when I am doing it. Just writing that down makes me feel sick.

The problem is he understands everything I say and stores it up, so later on he said to me 'Mummy, its not very good having children is it' which just broke my heart. I think I forget that he is not an adult and cannot be expected to think before he speaks in a stressful moment.

I think I need some anger management or something - I know you guys will probably just say 'pull yourself together and stop, you are the adult, this is emotional abuse', but in the heat of the moment I can't seem to do that. I try to remember to count to 10 or whatever but I just forget and shout. I know this is dreadful behaviour, and I wouldn't do it to an adult so why do it to a defenseless child? I need some help but is CBT or something really going to do anything? Am I being unreasonable to ask for professional advice? I feel dreadful and I don't want my DS to just remember me going mental at him.

wheremommagone Wed 05-Dec-12 11:00:16

Yanbu to ask for help. I also feel guilty about losing my temper with my dc... This morning my dd really lost her temper with her brother. I thought it may be helpful to give her a coping strategy for when she felt that angry and was about to say something unkind. I told her to count to ten and remove herself from who ever was making her angry until she had calmed down... I then thought this is something I should do more often too!!! Sounds simple enough but in reality/heat of moment not always as easy!!! maybe worth a try yourself though.

wheremommagone Wed 05-Dec-12 11:01:31

Sorry op... Aren't really read the last par of your post... My advice prob isn't that helpful to you after all!

wheremommagone Wed 05-Dec-12 11:01:54

Hadn't ...give up!

uggbug Wed 05-Dec-12 11:03:20

Thanks you are right it's just finding that second of calm to think 'don't do it' and I really seem to struggle with that I just see red.

wonderingsoul Wed 05-Dec-12 11:07:43

first of have a hug and a brew

i think the fact that your so worried is a good sign, you know its not on and are wanting to stop it! you are human.

i think, if it was an adult doing the same you WOULD react the same. but imo an adult wouldnt act that way would they? you are there 24/7 for this child he relies on you for everything. not like an adult, so of course your going to feel worn out. so i think its a bit silly comparing how to act with an adult to a child.

i feel like this at times. some times it feels like all i ever do is shout, but i catch myself doing it. and like you relise im taking my frustration of every day life as single mum ( dare say parents with two in the house hold feel the same to tbf ) out on them. when i get like this i just stop what im doing. and play with them when possiable, think sod the house work what ever just do something fun. even if its just to a minute to give them a hug or tickle/play fight. it doesnt always stop me from going over the top, but 90 percent of the time it does.
or just locking myself in the bath room, have a quick cry or rant.

on a more practically note, have you thought about parenting classes. i k now theres still some taboo attqached to them. people think y ou must be a crap parent to go to them. BUT would a crap parent seek out help to maker the family home and life a better one? no. they can help you with any behaviouraly problems.. give you different techines/ how to keep clam when you feel liek your going to explode.

that was bit of an essya but i hope your having a good day and dont beat your self up about it. xx

No, YANBU. You should get help for this.

Why are you so stressed? Perhaps you also need to look into this. Perhaps you need some time to yourself.

Your instincts that this is not good are right. Whatever you do and however you behave, just remember you are teaching him....

And if you wouldn't do it to an adult but choose a defenceless child instead, then that is because you can. It's called being a bully.

Think CBT might be just the thing. Look into it and start the ball rolling, at least then you'll feel better about the fact that you are making the effort to put this right.

I think I forget that he is not an adult and cannot be expected to think before he speaks in a stressful moment. Well if you can't do it, why would he be able to?

He learns how to behave and make his way in life from YOU.

chocoluvva Wed 05-Dec-12 11:09:46

I'm guilty of this too -though it's become a rare occurence as my DCs get older.
The worst time was when I was at your stage - with a baby and a toddler. I was exactly the same as you - horribly, massively shouty and very guilty about it. With everybody else I'm gentle and kind - often commented on -but then I'd lose it with my own DC.
I used to apologise to them afterwards like you. As you say, it can't possibly be a good thing, but I don't think my DCs have been damaged by it. (16 and 13).
You are probably exhausted which is probably a large part of your shouting.
That should improve as your DCs begin to manage without constant attention.
It might be most helpful to do something to help you relax and de-stress rather than seeking help with your 'parenting' or 'anger'.
I think we're under pressure to try to be the perfect parents - be kind to yourself - the calm, cheerful parents probably fall short in some other area - maybe they feed their children rubbish, spoil them with material things, let them spend far too long in front of a screen, .....

uggbug Wed 05-Dec-12 11:15:21

Thanks wondering and choco. It's nice to feel there is support out there, but Scarlet you are right. It is being a bully and that's exactly the word I have thought to myself when looking back on incidents. I hate it and wondering yes I have been to two parenting courses already.

I try to do everything the best I can, feed them healthy food, do lots of activities with them, answer all my DSs questions, and 90% of the time everything is rosy. But then something will push me over the edge. I don't know why I am so stressed. I have always had a temper (no excuse). I am secretly pissed off that I don't get much time to myself except for the half hour that DD naps while DS is at pre-school (i.e. now!). I feel like half the time I am wishing their childhood away while also spoiling it with my tantrums.

Levantine Wed 05-Dec-12 11:20:05

The baby and young child stage is awful. I would lose it at ds1 at that stage - I have a nearly four year gap. It does get better, I very rarely shout now. I always apologised to ds1 and I think that does help. Can you take yourself into another room when you feel yourself losing your temper ordo they follow you?

noteventhebestdrummer Wed 05-Dec-12 11:20:13

I remember feeling like this, it is worth you asking for help, yes. Our nursery ran a parenting course and that was good for me - partly for strategies for coping, partly for getting out of the house one night s week for 6 weeks!

EmmelineGoulden Wed 05-Dec-12 11:20:47

OP I've never had CBT so don't know if it would be helpful to you in your situation. I don't hink it can hurt to ask though.

Counting to 10 is the one "trick" we're all told to try to avoid losing our temper, but I think it only really works in limited circumstances - because once you hit that flash point it's often too late to remember the counting. I think you're likely to be more successful if you can recognise possible flashpoints earlier and avoid walking into them. So if, say, cleaning up mess is a big issue then when a mess is made don't try and clear up when DCs are around. Put them in the lounge with a game/TV/whatever before you go back and clean up. This only really works if there are particular things that seem to really push you over the edge. If you're on edge over all sorts of things it's less useful.

I have another suggestion for you:

Find a way to get more regular time to yourself. You sound stressed about your life at the moment. It's not being a bad mother to want to have a bit of life that doesn't entirely revolve around your DCs. There are two children to think of and they do deserve to come first. But coming first doesn't mean getting everything. You also need nurturing and a chance to feel like you matter too.

And I'd like to point out to you that you are a brilliant mother, because you've noticed a problem, you've recognised that you aren't able to handle it, and you are looking for help. There's nothing to be criticised in that.

MrsMuddyPuddles Wed 05-Dec-12 11:21:44

I have a similar issue blush The leaflet here is kinda helpful, but the most useful thing is that you can call them anonymously and have a chat without worrying that you're going to get "in trouble" or something for loosing it. not that I've called them myself, mind you

What works sometimes for me is trying NOT to get to the point where I explode, either by saying "ok, I'm tired/stressed/whatever this morning so I'll go easy on myself and everyone" or by putting myself in "time out" when I need a break- saying "ok, I've got to go to time-out now, I'm not being very nice" to my DH and DD, and holing up in my room to relax for a few minutes.

Another thing you might want to try is the stupidly named non-violent communication. With it, you basically try to see the objective facts of a situation, get to the feeling underneith it, the need that is or isnt being met, and a request. It can go either way, internally or in conversation. It's hard to do when emotions are running high, though.

And finally: yes, shouting IS stress relief, it really really is. Can you maybe do a shouting game WITH your son, either try and make echos somewhere or do sleeping bunnies or junior birdman and get as loud as you can? Or any other quiet-loud game?

Do you have any other types of stress relief? Or even any break at all? Even just "dump them into softplay?"

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Wed 05-Dec-12 11:23:22

It's called being a bully. Very unfair comment. It's called being a stressed parent. A bully wouldn't be looking for help or feeling remorse.

Uggbug, you are not a bully so don't be so hard on yourself. We are all guilty of shouting at our children from time to time. If you think it is becoming unreasonable then good on you for seeing it and looking for help. You sound like a good mum who has their children's best interests at heart smile

I am secretly pissed off that I don't get much time to myself

Aha! And there you have don't get enough time to yourself. Work on that. Work on taking away the source of your irritation and stress. Your little boy is not the source. You are spending all your time trying to be the best parent you can be, while secretly being pissed off about something. Your DS says something and that triggers off the pent up anger you are feeling about other stuff, not fair on him.

In order to be the best mother you can be, you must take care of your own needs. This is so important. Really, that is worth working on.

Bearandcub Wed 05-Dec-12 11:24:54

Uggbug I could have written this. Yes, ask for help the relief is incredible, just taking that step and being listened to.

Speak to your HV and your GP.
Parenting course has been v helpful.

Kelly - the op recognises she's being a bully and is trying to do something about it. Not unfair at all.

Is unfair on her son though, and she knows it, which is why she has posted.

uggbug Wed 05-Dec-12 11:28:52

Thanks everyone. I've downloaded the leaflet thanks MrsMuddy and I am going to look into CBT. I actually tried to do an anger management CBT / NLP thing online and it was good, but a bit like the hypno-birthing CDs - you feel relaxed afterwards, but no-one is playing you that when you've just dropped a pint glass on the floor and there are two screaming children to contend with!

I can sometimes do the step back thing and think 'is this really that big a deal' but when I normally lose it is when we are on a time schedule to get out of the door and something happens to throw that off. That's when I can see best-laid plans falling to pieces and that makes me mad.

AbigailAdams Wed 05-Dec-12 11:28:57

uggbug, do you have any RL support? Do you have a partner? If so, what do they do to help?

uggbug Wed 05-Dec-12 11:32:57

Abigail I have a DH but he is not at home when the kids are awake during the week. However he is around at the weekends. The worst thing though is that he has never really seen me behave like this with them. That is because if he is there I will shout at him instead! What a cow I am.

uggbug Wed 05-Dec-12 11:34:04

Thanks for all the help and advice I think it has confirmed for me that I am not alone with this issue and also that yes I need to fix it. Thanks all - got to go and pick DS up now

AbigailAdams Wed 05-Dec-12 11:36:34

uggbug, you are stressed sweetheart. Your DH needs to pick up some of the slack at the weekend and let you have some time alone. Speak to him about it. Get him to take them out on a Saturday morning whilst you put your feet up with a cup of tea and a newspaper (or whatever!).

helpyourself Wed 05-Dec-12 11:39:08

Imagine that you're being filmed, and act 'calm mummy' it does get easier and the more you react calmly and without shouting, the more natural it will become.

EugenesAxeChoppedDownANiceTree Wed 05-Dec-12 11:39:51

Well, a bully might feel remorse in private (don't want to commit all bullies to a pit of not being able to be rescued)... but I agree with you Kelly that's not a very constructive comment.

I would certainly talk to your GP about it. They would probably investigate depression - I saw my GP about anger management issues but had no signs of depression (scored 1 on the test), but it would at least reassure.

I've found a lot of my real blow-ups in the past corresponded with the PMT part of my cycle & since then I've taken starflower oil and vitamin B6 to help. I haven't found myself losing it as much since then - maybe just my children aren't so bad but I don't think so. Perhaps try something like that?

I hope it gets better for you; please don't think you are alone.

wheremommagone Wed 05-Dec-12 11:43:37

You have a small age gap between your two dc, not dis similar to mine... It is hard work... I used to try to get a few bits done prior to the most stress full parts of the day ie getting up and ready to go out and bed time. Such as, I always found that if I had managed to make dinner during the day so it was ready to just warm up and serve at tea time it would make the overall stress levels lower and I felt more in control... That's not to say there were not bad days when everything went wrong!

Try to take some time out for yourself each week and also learn to recognise when you might lose your temper before you get to the point of not being able to not shout... Hope it helps

Proudnscaryvirginmary Wed 05-Dec-12 11:51:38

You are SO not alone.

This has hugely touched a nerve with me today as we had an awful morning with lots of shouting.

My dd is very challenging but said to me this morning after I told her off 'Why do you hate me?'. Words can't describe how awful I felt and we had a chat and a cuddle I told her I loved her, I wasn't perfect, I get things wrong and if I ever make her feel bad about herself then I am truly sorry because she is so fabulous and loved by me and dh.

I am consoling myself by remembering there are so many times where I do manage to hold my temper, I distract, or make her laugh or whatever. And I always resolve things after there has been anger and shouting and I resassure them both I love them.

It's all very hard. But I do agree it is damaging for children if they are criticised and yelled at a lot - so it would be great for you to seek help and/or try some of the strategies on here.

MrsLyman Wed 05-Dec-12 11:54:09

YANBU, it's hard work having two young children and it sounds like you're very stressed so a trip to the GP will most likely be a good thing. They should be able to help. Your behaviour is not ideal but recognising the need to change it is a good thing.

In the meantime do you ever get a break to do something just for you?

Levantine Wed 05-Dec-12 11:55:45

The baby and young child stage is awful. I would lose it at ds1 at that stage - I have a nearly four year gap. It does get better, I very rarely shout now. I always apologised to ds1 and I think that does help. Can you take yourself into another room when you feel yourself losing your temper ordo they follow you?

KenLeeeeeee Wed 05-Dec-12 11:58:53

YANBU. You sound very stressed and worn down. It's completely understandable that you're at the end of your tether. I'd be a nervous wreck too!

Maybe you could talk to your GP and ask for a referral for some counselling or CBT?

Meanwhile, the very fact that you are upset with yourself over this demonstrates that you are a good person and a good parent at heart. You just need a little help to find coping mechanisms for when it all piles up at once.

gottasmile Wed 05-Dec-12 11:59:34

I know what you mean about time constraints.... that's when I will shout too, when I know the dc's messing around is making us late for school.

.... But I find that I shout most when I have PMS. Now I'm more aware of when I have it and know why I'm feeling so mad. I tend to handle it better now and remove myself from them or just start walking out the door whether they're ready or not. It makes them move really fast and prevents us from being late.

I have no idea whether it could be the case for you too, but if you take note of when it's worse for you, you might find that it is.

Sorelip Wed 05-Dec-12 12:03:18

OP, is there any chance that you could have depression? I tried to come off of ADs last week, and I went mental, shouting at my poor 11 month old DS for waking up in the night. After a couple of days of this I recognised that it wasn't time for me to be doing without ADs yet. This might not be relevant to you.

DIYapprentice Wed 05-Dec-12 12:13:36

Imagining yourself being filmed or watched is actually a very good one. You scream because that's become your habit. I've been doing the 'imagining you're being watched - what would they think of you' in stressful times and it's really helped me. School run is a particularly bad time - no matter how much time I leave the DSs use it up larking about.

Being prepared is the other stress reducing factor. Have bags ready packed the night before. Make sure you know where your keys are. Leave some emergency supplies in the car (nappies, wipes, long life snacks, a few pounds) so that if you haven't had a chance to update your bag it's not an emergency, you can still get out in a rush. Have some bottled drinks in the cupboard so that you can just grab them and go.

If something drops/breaks making a mess - cover it up with a cloth to remind you (maybe put a chair over it) and ignore it unless you truly have the time to deal with it.

It's stress that's making you like this, you need to work on reducing it, noone else will!

ooer Wed 05-Dec-12 12:20:29

YANBU - you have identified a problem you would like to sort, you don't think you can sort it by yourself so you are looking for expert help. That's admirable.

It is hard work and you can't park your child or fob them off while you deal with something else. Not feeling in control is stressful. I cringe at the memory of the shouting and I said some things to DS1 I wish with all my heart I could unsay.

I asked for parenting support when my DCs were little and I couldn't get it because of where I lived - it was all for people in "less affluent" areas. I consulted a child psychologist over my joint issues with DS1 and she was very helpful in pinpointing how we (I!) could prevent blow-ups from starting.

Don't forget to tell them how much you love them. When I was finding DS1 particularly challenging (in learning to be tidy, being nice to his brother, washing properly etc), I used to sometimes say it was because I love him that I was expecting so much of him. Your DS understands everything you say, so use it to your joint advantage.

And please please take advantage of some kind of childcare if you can - even for two hours a week - just for a bit of "me" time. A kind grandma or auntie? Mine didn't live close by but our local swimming pool had a creche so I did an exercise class there ... Also there was a baby & toddler group I used to go to: the older volunteer ladies there would make you a coffee and hold your baby, and there were toys and activities for the toddlers. I bless those ladies every day - we occasionally meet one on our walks and it's lovely being able to tell her how fantastic it was.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Wed 05-Dec-12 12:24:57

Well done for posting this xx
When I had days like this I go out and have fun, a bit of distraction and bonding. I also stop and drop everything for a cuddle, the other one is its easier to say no then yes, but you can normally make it a yes with some thought.

When you feel the monster inside (I picture mine in the bottom of my tummy!) just say 'give mummy 5 minutes'

About two years ago I could have written your post, I found a book called Cool Calm Parent quite helpful, I also went to the doctors, broke down in tears and got put on AD's but a low dosage which went along with the italk service and some CBT, which all combined helped but one on its own probably wouldn't do.

In the early days when I was getting stressed and recognised it I either sent myself out the room, or stopped and just hugged my DS

Abitwobblynow Wed 05-Dec-12 12:34:04

What a brave, brave post and shows that you DO care.

The trouble with children is that they get to the bottom of us, and then keep going... we end up projecting our victimisation onto them, and then'defend' ourselves against their 'attacking' [Alice Miller].

I did put DS1 into play therapy and it turned out that whilst he was fine, he did think I didn't like him, so please do go and talk to someone.

My strategies were:

1. imagining that there was a camera in the corner, and a therapist/social worker was at the end of it, watching me.

2. choosing to turn a shout into a soothe, walking out of the room, giving them a pat or a hug when actually I wanted to hit

3. At the end of the day, letting them know that I had had enough and that it was my time (for 20 mins).

Good luck.

MrsLyman Wed 05-Dec-12 12:39:10

Oh I seem to have cross posted with everyone. Some great advice here which I am going to use myself so thanks for being brave enough to post this OP.

Also had another thought I'm currently reading toddler taming, which I've found helps me with DS1 (18 months), not so much from a changing his behaviour point of view but by helping me realign my expectations of him and helping me adapt my behaviour towards him if that makes sense.

Do try and get some time to yourself, I went for a swim at the weekend and even though it was only an hour I have felt much more able to cope for the last couple of days.

cory Wed 05-Dec-12 12:40:04

CBT might well help. My dd is having it for a different issue, and it is very much about looking practically at her day and what triggers unhelpful thought or behaviours, and then coming up techniques that will help her recongise where she is going and choose a different path.

JingleBellsRawSharkSmells Wed 05-Dec-12 12:40:45

Just wanted to say I hope you get this sorted and we have all experienced the feeling behind your behaviour - there is lots of helpful advice on here the only thing I can add is maybe have strategy for reassuring your DS if you DO lose it.

I think Proudnscary had it when she put
Words can't describe how awful I felt and we had a chat and a cuddle I told her I loved her, I wasn't perfect, I get things wrong and if I ever make her feel bad about herself then I am truly sorry because she is so fabulous and loved by me and dh.

This is exactly how my husband approaches it when occasionally he loses his temper with DS.

Annakin31 Wed 05-Dec-12 13:00:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

uggbug Wed 05-Dec-12 13:14:21

Thanks all so much. Have felt quite tearful reading some of these. To be honest I have been scared of asking the GP in case they roll their eyes, or worse, something goes on record.

The thing is, my son doesn't actually have full-blown tantrums all that often these days. So I can't justify it with that. He will say no repeatedly when asked to do things, or just do things really slowly / get distracted, but none of this deserves being shouted at that much. Sometimes he will go mad and scream at me if I say no to something - wonder where he gets that from...

Depression - I have certainly considered it especially after the birth of my DD things went wrong for a while there but to be honest I don't think that can be it because I will have some days where I feel absolutely fine. It's the other days...that quote abitwobbly 'The trouble with children is that they get to the bottom of us., and then keep going... that sums it up perfectly for me. It's when I feel like I have given everything and then he takes / wants more.

The other things is that my DH believes that all mental illness is 'in your head' well duh! And these people should just pull themselves together (actually had a conversation with him about this post-DD birth and he fully recognised that he had zero empathy with any mental issues I might have). So the idea of going on ADs - well lets just say I'd have to do it in secret.

PMS - totally worse on those days...but not just on those days so can it be that? I already take evening primrose perhaps I should try the starflower and B6.

ShhBoom Wed 05-Dec-12 13:24:28

YANBU, in fact I could have written your post!
I only have one DS and often find myself shouting at him. It breaks my heart & I feel dreadful, so god knows how he must feel sad
I've just had my anti depressants changed (I'm not diagnosed with depression, just stress) so I'm hoping that will help. I'm also moving out of my mums house, and DS & I are going to live on our own again. It sounds silly, but when we lived on our own before I wasn't anywhere near as stressed as I am now.
I'm not saying you should do something that drastic, but you're definitely NOT on your own!
You'd GP will definitely listen to you if speak to them. I'm going to try & get some counselling soon which should also help.
Please don't feel like you're on you own. There's plenty of help available if you're a bit stressed, take care x

3b1g Wed 05-Dec-12 13:31:34

I think that there are loads of us who can empathise with you, uggbug. Many of us have been there at some point. Can I recommend the 1-2-3 Magic book? This method has helped me to deal with the small irritating behaviours that used to wind me up, which means that I don't feel constantly on the edge of losing my temper.

firemansamisnormansdad Wed 05-Dec-12 13:32:54

YANBU but you are being very hard on yourself. I have my Exorcist "possessed" voice which comes out whenever I've been completely pushed over the brink. It works a treat, especially when I tell DS he has to go to his bedroom and stay there as he really knows that I want him to go his bedroom and stay there. I've only used it twice, however, in 5 years.

More seriously, it sounds like your DS is very intelligent which is why he talks so much and b) why he's picked up on the difficulties of child rearing. Sit down with him during a good moment and tell him the truth, that it IS hard, sometimes it's not fun, but that you love him and your family very much and ask him what he can do to help the family have nice times together. If he understands that sometimes people who love each other sometimes get cross with each other but it doesn't mean that they love them any less, this may actually help him get used to the swings and roundabouts of life: that you don't always get what you want and sometimes you just have to get on with life.

He will be starting school next year, so take a deep breath and remember that this won't go on forever.


BelieveInPink Wed 05-Dec-12 14:39:56

Another liker of imagining being filmed. I had moments where in my own head I knew I sounded AWFUL. I was ashamed. So now, when I feel the stress rising I imagine that someone is watching. In fact just thinking "what if someone was here now" is enough to bring me back down.

It takes some training yourself, but it works.

And you are NOT a bully.

FergusSingsTheBlues Wed 05-Dec-12 14:47:24

I feel the same, seven months pregnant with a v challenging ds 2.5 who has never slept through. How do you safely get a tantruming child off the floor when you are this pregnant and unwieldy? Thats my main issue apart from the sleeping one which is really down to having a very soft father who refuses to let him cry it lut, which, i think he needs at this age, its past a joke. Smetimes i feel desperate and dread having two.

harrap Wed 05-Dec-12 15:01:45

Very brave and very useful post. I'd like to know if there are any mothers who haven't acted and felt like you. There may well be and the fact that its common to lose it with a small child is not a justification but the time to really start worrying is when you stop reflecting on your own parenting.
It is very, very hard looking after one child let alone 2 more or less on your own. YANBU to wonder about professional help but I bet you also need some more time to yourself.

RosemaryHoyt Wed 05-Dec-12 17:14:50

This post will seem 'all about me' but I am hoping you recognise something of yourself, that I can think through strategies and they might be a good idea for you too. Also that you are not alone.

I got that leaflet, am EXACTLY the same, similar age gap between my two. I signed up interested in a parenting course but need to follow it up. I am a lone parent and work part time, I get some time for myself once a week when children are in nursery and when I go away overnight for work every few weeks (I pay for this 'time off' with more killer tantrums), my mum and sister babysit everynow and then, and it makes me feel guilty that they do.

I hate to accept help of any type. It makes me feel like a charity case who can't cope. Now that is silly.

Is your shouting at one child in particular? With me it is my eldest (3). He is what nice people call 'spirited' and I call a massive PITA. He is very, very hard. I guess what I am getting at is, I often feel frustrated like his behaviour is a result of my shoddy parenting. But DS2 is nothing like it, he is an easy child to love (18mths, at this age DS1 'turned naughty'). I, and perhaps you, need to think about our expectations in terms of behaviour, rather than get into the frustrated with self, anger at child cycle.

I particularly need to avoid 'flashpoints' don't let him get even a little hungry, don't take him out when tired, recognise a grumpy day, don't let him hold his wee. If I break those rules, I suppose I need to prepare myself for the consequences rather than becoming infuriated.

I learnt to recognise when I was getting wound up. Shallow, fast, breathing; blood rushing to me head, white noise in my ears, tense muscles everywhere.

I think on balance I am better than I was. But DS had a massive melt down trying to get him out of an unwell friend's house today. I could have wept. I am so EMBARRASSED by him. I just had to lift him it without coat or shoes and deposit him screaming into the car, whilst being silently watched on in horror by SuperMumWithPerfectLifeHomeHusband4DelightfulChildrenAndAnEducation. He had already stuck the place out by pooing his pants, weed in defiance. I shouted at him in the car, not full volume, held self back "I actively dislike you at times" whilst hissing "I could bloody kill you" (nb just an expression!) under my breath.

I just think other people are judging me all the time. They probably are. Other times the shouting is more likely to happen are before my period, like you when under time pressure, when having financial mishap (eg declined card unexpectedly, tax credits over payment etc). Identify and prepare would be a good idea for me.

I laugh at the leave the room idea. Yeah good one. They either follow me (still screaming) or start on each other. I have screamed into a pillow on occasion. I literally had to run away. And yes, the shouting feels like a discharge of the stress of the situation, but I, like you must find less damaging alternatives.

That said, I think children of yesteryear were treated far harsher and generation on generation educated parenting improves. Also, you may not be shouting as much as you think. I have been convinced I was shouting constantly at a friend's house, whereupon they said "you are good, you are firm but don't shout" I thought they were being sarcastic, but no. So may not be as bad as you think. I know I do shout horribly at times. It's my alternative to hitting, but probably just as bad. I hope it gets easier for you. Truly, PM me if your want to commiserate with someone!

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 17:21:46

123 magic and <hugs>

cranverry Wed 05-Dec-12 17:29:48

You sound so similar to me, I have a 2.6 year old and 8 month old, ad a husband who's not around much during the week and then is the fun parent at the weekend.

I'm calm, calm, calm until we're late and then I get shouty. I wouldn't do it in front of my husband so I know it's wrong. I just can't help it sometimes.

I've joined a gym with a crèche and use that a few hours a week to get some time out for myself and its helping. Would something like that be an option?

FireOverBethlehem Wed 05-Dec-12 17:32:22

I have moments like you describe but can stop myself and calm whilst despairing at DS getting himself undressed when we're supposed to be leaving the house etc.

My advice would be to get your DS into another room fi ou're feeling shouty - I know you're hungry sweetie but there's broken glass in here. sit on the sofa by DD and I'll be in as soon as I can. Get clear space between the two of you.

Oblomov Wed 05-Dec-12 17:33:07

You are so not alone OP. I have this.
I do not get enough time to myself. I recognise that this is a problem.
I am a diabetic and do not have alot of energy, I feel permanently tired. My diabetic consultant and my Gp just think this is par-for-the-course.
Ds1 is ASD Aspergers, and pushes me to the limits. I never knew i was angry, until I had children. Ds2 can be testing in a different way.
I have just finished CBT, but it was agreed by all that it was useless in addressing my issues. I have also been on many parenting courses and know the basics. Doesn't mean I don't struggle with it, at the time.
But threads like this, help us all to get perspective. I will continue to try to make this better.
I am sure you will too. Take heart in that.

RosemaryHoyt Wed 05-Dec-12 17:45:38

"My advice would be to get your DS into another room fi ou're feeling shouty - I know you're hungry sweetie but there's broken glass in here. sit on the sofa by DD and I'll be in as soon as I can. Get clear space between the two of you."


"I DONT WANT TO SIT ON THE SOFA NO! NOOOO, NoooooooooOOOOOO!" removes DS to sofa. Bend down, start sweeping glass, 2.5 seconds later, barges back in, knocking me off balance on to glass.

buildingmycorestrength Wed 05-Dec-12 18:44:45

I had temper problems with my kids. Scared myself and them. I was NOT the mum I wanted to be and it was horrible. To everyone else I looked fine. I ended up taking parenting classes and cannot recommend it highly enough. I also got CBT which was a fantastic, fantastic help. So in my book you have nothing to lose by going for these. They may not be a total solution but they will help to some degree.

Also, if you want, try watching the 123 Magic DVD or read the book (or both like me...I also follow them on FB). I also like Buddhism for Mothers (I am a Christian but found this book very helpful) and Playful Parenting. Those three books help me keep my head straight, give my kids boundaries, and connect positively with them.

SeasonallySnowyPeasant Wed 05-Dec-12 18:47:18

I could have written your post OP. Thanks for writing it and thanks to all those who have given advice.

fishnhips Wed 05-Dec-12 20:24:30

My mum used to go and lock herself in the bathroom for a couple of minutes until she calmed down. Worked for her!

JingleBellsRawSharkSmells Wed 05-Dec-12 20:28:58

oblomov as an aside (sorry guys) do you think diabetes makes you tired? I am type one and always knackered and have often wondered about it. Thinking about a second child but just not sure - being pregnant and diabetic was hideous and with a toddler.....shock

Annakin31 Wed 05-Dec-12 20:29:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Annakin31 Wed 05-Dec-12 20:32:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

haven't read the replies but want to say it's great that you're willing to look for help. It's the best thing you can do for your children and for yourself.

(i wish all mums could have your clarity of mind... We all need help sometimes)

uggbug Wed 05-Dec-12 20:44:48

Thanks again everyone, particularly Rosemary. Yes attempting to leave the room would be a challenge! The problem is my DS is into everything I do. If I have a conversation with a friend he asks 'Who Mummy. Who had a baby mummy? Why was so and so cross Mummy?' and by the end of the day my head is buzzing with answering a trillion questions from him. If I go upstairs for a second (and the baby is asleep) he will come to the bottom of the stairs and shout 'Mummy! Mummy! What are you doing? Why aren't you playing with me?'

If I go to my 'perfect' friends house he will wet his pants because he knows it is the one thing that will embarrass me (never does it any other time). Can you hear me becoming paranoid?

He is so bright that I literally cannot escape him. I can't make a sound without him asking 'What Mummy, what is it mummy' and I have to explain every single thing about why I just made a small exclamation.

The one thing that utterly does my head in is at the weekends, when my DH is around, he literally will not let us have a conversation. If we exchange more than 4 sentences, he will interrupt with an unidentifiable sound, or a question. I will then say 'can I just speak to Daddy for 2 seconds please' and he will say NO NO Mummy you are going to miss it!! And then start crying if we missed whatever it was.

Meanwhile my one comment that I wanted to make to DH is gone. The moment is gone. I feel like an idiot because I was interrupted mid sentence. My DH does not stand up and say hold on a minute DS, Mummy is talking. He is not bothered if I get to speak to him or not. This led to me shouting in the car on Sat 'I am not invisible!!'

He thinks I am mad. Because I get cross about no longer being able to speak to my husband in the daytime.

Looking back over these examples, you can see that my son is just bright and interested. He has done nothing wrong. I just can't deal with the way he has taken over my every waking thought.

INeedThatForkOff Wed 05-Dec-12 20:46:35

OP, thank you so much for starting this thread. I've been meaning to post something similar myself but haven't found the time!

For me the trigger is excessive demands on me when I'm exhausted (DS is five weeks and DD 2.9). I very much want to manage it better and feel that being very conscious of my temper, as you are, is going some way to helping me to rein it in.

I really like the time-out suggestion, and always make sure I apologise and reassure DD (though it breaks my heart when I pick her up for a cuddle and she gives me the sweetest smile). We are planning to join a health club soon and I intend to take Saturday mornings for myself. We'll all swim after lunch then DH will have the afternoon there.

Really, you're not alone. And I will also say that although my parents both have quick tempers (I had no chance really, did I?!) it hasn't done our relationships any lasting damage at all. Obviously the pattern has repeated itself, but I hope that this is where it stops.

thebody Wed 05-Dec-12 21:28:18

Hi kido, not sure if u can say that without sounding patronising but doing it anyway... Hi kido.

I was you,,, seriously 23 years ago. Got oldest ds 23,ds21 dds 13 and 12.

Have you got a good bed time routine? Can you and dh enjoy time together in an evening and chat, have a glass, unwind? If not then sort our bed time routine. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO SLEEP.

Get your dh on board. Don't let him collude into kids taking over! They shouldn't be interrupting your conversation totally like this. Put on a DVD for him and leave him to it once in a while.

Get a puppet. Know sounds mental but it can diffuse the atmosphere as both you and ds can say things you really mean. Lots of therapists use this. And it's good fun.

Finally remember this is ( promise) your easiest stage( sorry) you know where your babies are and who they are with!

My oldest ds remembers me slapping him for no reason in a shop when he was 6!!! I was stressed. He still teases me about it now but says he was a pita so its ok!!!

So op deep breath, enjoy these years even if they seem bloody awful and just do your best. It will be fine.

caughtintheact Wed 05-Dec-12 21:31:50

Another one who feels/felt exactly the same. Your comment on how the shouting feels like a stress release really struck a chord with me.
Mine are now 6 and 3 and the younger one has just started school nursery. Things are MUCH better now I have more time to myself...

One thing that helped (my ds sounds exactly like yours with the constant interest/questioning) get some adult conversation time in is going out for a walk with the kids on their scooters- they zoom off ahead so dh and I have time to talk.

There is a book called "When your kids push your buttons" by Bonnie Harris which I found really helpful. More so than any of the kids discipline books I read. (Playful Parenting is lovely but made me feel really inadequate) It focuses on YOU the parent and what sets you off...her thesis is basically it's to do with how you were or weren't parented. It's not really a magic solution but I found it helped to be more self-aware.

What helps most really is, as others have said, having some time to yourself and enough sleep. Easier said than done.

lovebunny Wed 05-Dec-12 21:33:13

hoping help is available and you can establish a more peaceful way forward. i was a shouty mum. i'd have liked to be just cuddly and nice. good luck.

helpyourself Wed 05-Dec-12 21:34:06

Your son sounds gorgeous but exhausting.
Get DH onside, but you need to make him wait for attention. Engineer situations if you can't risk him blowing up in real situations.
'mummy has to make an important call about the car, so watch Thomas until I've finished'
'I need a quiet moment with the paper, so play quietly until we go to the park'
He will be much happier and less demanding once he realises he's not your boss.

thebody Wed 05-Dec-12 21:37:12


thebody Wed 05-Dec-12 21:37:49

No one is a perfect parent.. Just do your best. It will be fine.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Wed 05-Dec-12 22:09:36

can you find something to do every time you feel cross? Walk off an make a cup of tea without saying anything. Or make light of what ever is said?

Rudolphstolemycarrots Wed 05-Dec-12 22:12:40

you can change. you are doing all the right things to try and change.

Proudnscaryvirginmary Wed 05-Dec-12 22:26:44

Firemansam that was a lovely post.

OP the more you've posted, the more I think there is more to this. Your husband is not supporting you enough and not seeing things from your point of view. He doesn't hold truck with mental health issues, he thinks you're 'mad', he doesn't sound like he stands in unity with you re parenting strategies (or values?).

Your son does indeed sound lovely and bright - but the crying for you and shouting for your attention when he doesn't get it does say to me that he needs firmer boundaries - boundaries that your husband absolutely must get in line with.

ukatlast Wed 05-Dec-12 23:17:50

This website has some great strategies for replacing the shouting with calm approaches
It was featured on a TV programme a few years ago and that's how I found the website.

Paribus Thu 06-Dec-12 00:29:35

OP, can you afford help? Get a babysitter, nanny, grandparents, get any help you can- you will be so much better off if you could leave the house on your own and go drink coffee, sit in the park, go for a walk-doesn't matter what you'll be doing as long as you'll do it alone. You will see you perspective will change and your attitude will change.
No one can do the same thing 24/7 without any break, no matter how exciting it is. You do need a break.

saccrofolium Thu 06-Dec-12 06:21:11

I share your pain. Your boy sounds delightful but exhausting! My 3 year old does the same thing when I'm trying to speak to DH, so much so that we communicate by email during the day! Thank god for smartphones!
Last year I was at a similar point - I have 2 younger ones as well, and I just couldn't cope with all three crying/wailing/fighting etc. After a tearful heart to heart with DH we decided to up DC1s nursery hours so every morning we have a strict routine, and I only have the other two to deal with. Things improved immeasurably - DC1 comes home shattered after a morning's incessant chattering at nursery and I know I just have to get the nursery run over with and the rest of the day will largely look after itself.
But this time last year I was shouting and in tears a lot of the time. sad Even now, if I need a good scream I put the washer on spin, send the kids in the other room, and have a noisy rant!
You're not alone, and it DOES get better. X

BabiesNeedInstructions Thu 06-Dec-12 07:18:24

I've just noticed myself starting to do this too to my 2 year old, and Lo and behold we've just had another baby. Clearly a potent mix! It feels awful afterwards and is also counterproductive, obviously. Yesterday I decided when I woke up that I was going to have a whole day when I didn't shout at all - just having that goal seemed very manageable. I managed it and the whole day was easier and less stressful, although ds was no less naughty. Going to do the same today. We're the adults so if we can't control ourselves why should we expect little ones to be able too?

I think the fact that so many people have come on here to say they recognise your situation shows how hard it is having two. It already feels relentless. Try and get some time to yourself, that might help.

buildingmycorestrength Thu 06-Dec-12 07:58:19

helpyourself is right...your DS can't be allowed to take over like this. I wish I had trained my children not to interrupt much, much earlier because it is so important that they learn! Mine still do it and it drives me mad. And yes, always remember that PlayfulParenting is just for tips ...

TiredofZombies Thu 06-Dec-12 09:57:27

I can feel myself heading in this direction already, and I hate it. Growing up, it was all shouting and smacking in our house. I don't want that for my family, I need to break this cycle NOW. DD is already starting to get shouty when things aren't going her way, and I know it's because I'm treaching her that shouting is the way to get what you want.

DD is only 16mo, so for me, leaving the room is not an option. I don't feel she can safely be left unattended. I have, on occasion, dumped her in her cot for 5 min whilst I cry collect myself, but that's usually after I've shouted. I just looked at the 123 Magic book on Amazon, it says from age 2, but I reckon it might help me get a head start. Have just found out I am pregnant with number 2 so would like to have strategies in place ready.

OP, thank you for starting this thread, it's so good to know I'm not alone and that others have found ways to work on this.

chocoluvva Thu 06-Dec-12 10:24:33

Definitely explain to DH about the need to break his habit of letting your DS interrupt when you're speaking. (My DH was like that too - probably because I talk too much, he loves the DCs very much and he finds it difficult to say no if it's not something that is clearly impacting on him).
And plan a structured evening activity for yourself which runs at a specific time to give you some time to yourself and allow you to think about other things.
The main problem IMO is your circumstances are unbelievably stressful. I used to wonder how the generation before us managed without our labour-saving devices, modern car seats etc, but they usually had more adult company in the form of extended family or neighbours to soak up some of the stress and they just let their children get on with it much more than we do (I'm not saying that's a good thing).
Be kind to yourself as well as to your DCs.
Your DS won't remember this time of his life when he's older.

uggbug Thu 06-Dec-12 11:22:26

Thanks Choco and everyone.

Surprised by how many people can empathise with the situation. I guess I just feel like I have nothing to complain about - my kids are healthy, no SN, no serious financial worries, so why am I stressed? Because they have taken over my life. Totally need some time to myself, but there is kind of a culture of martyrdom in our house, because my DH does not have any hobbies or in fact do anything that takes him out when the kids need looking after. He will go for a run when they are asleep, and go out with the lads about once every 6 months and that is it.

Therefore there is nothing for him to 'pay me back' for. Doesn't that sound awful. Like people say to me 'oh, do you take turns for a lie in' and I say no, because he will get up anyway when it is his turn. So in fact he is a fantastic Dad, he helps a bit (could do more) around the house at the weekends and does all the DIY etc, but actually I could do with him being marginally more selfish in some ways! So that I could feel no guilt when I take time out!

BTW he never really seriously tries to make me feel guilty. He just makes jokey digs if I have left him to it, but generally he doesn't ever talk about his feelings. This means that I don't know if he is happy or unhappy with a situations, so of course I project what I think he is thinking!

Therefore it has turned into a bit of an 'ask if I can go out' situation. My parents and his are quite far away, and because my DD is so little it is relatively difficult to swap daytime babysitting with friends. This used to work OK before I had her.

I just wish he would say 'come on, you've been doing this all week, go and get a coffee'. He would never say that. No-one says that to him do they? 'Come on. You've been leaving the house at 6.45 and coming home at 8 all week, let me do that for you for a bit'. So why would he say it to me? I think that's once of the problems. He does not see us do every day. When he is with the kids, I am there 99% of the time. It is never as hard.

My DS is actually at pre-school every morning. That time flies though and from when I pick him up at 12pm until 7.30pm he is non-stop chatting and demands. I love him to bits but it is a bizarre relationship, almost like I see him as an overly intense adult who is following me around! You can't just brush him off with 'hmmm', it has to be a full blown and enthusiastic response. I have actually found myself saying 'Mummy needs to concentrate now' in the car, just to get 2 minutes of silence (he has been shouted at before for shouting to get my attention while parking).

I think the advice to just think 'today, I will do a whole day without shouting' is going to be a good first step for me. I know he won't remember this time, but I don't want to teach him these ways to communicate. But more importantly, I don't want to somehow damage him when he is so little?

AbigailAdams Thu 06-Dec-12 11:29:56

Seriously uggbug, the problem is that your DH isn't supporting you. "Jokey digs" are subtle and unpleasant. He does get time out from the kids, while he is doing the DIY, while he is at work. You don't. You don't seem to be getting any down time.

It isn't on and he is being selfish.

EmmelineGoulden Thu 06-Dec-12 11:38:24

ugg I suggest you set an example with stopping the martyrdom yourself. You can "owe" him for a while if you want to think of it that way (I don't know that that is the fairest way to think of it, but I don't know your circumstances). It doesn't have to be him that sets the tone or leads the way.

Can you just say to your DH something like "Look, this is getting too much for me and it's making me loose my temper with the DCs. I need a morning out every weekend. I'd like to go out every Saturday from 1 - 6. Are you OK with that? You're welcome to a half day at the weekend too if you want it, but I don't get any time away from the children at all at the moment, and I've realised I need some."

Be open to negotiation, but make sure you are clear about what you need. And ask for a good chunk. Don't try and make do on an hour grocery shopping on a Thursday night or something. You have DCs but you have a life too.

saccrofolium Thu 06-Dec-12 11:46:55

God yes, protected time! Book nights out/away without the kids, both for you and for you as a couple. It's a discipline, and harder to do than staying in but so worth it!!!
I let my 3 year old play with the iPad, which silences him for a bit and beyknd that, I try and make sure that all three have a good run every day to tire them out so that at least the evenings are silent!

DIYapprentice Thu 06-Dec-12 12:47:27

Your DH doesn't work the whole time he is out of the house. If he drives to work, yes commutes can be stressful, but it gives you a chance to listen to the radio station of your choice or play a CD of your choice. If he goes by public transport, he has maybe 30 minutes where he can tune out, read the free newspaper, have a cup of coffee from the coffee stand. I'll bet he doesn't deal with work emails or read work documents the whole time, every day. At the office he gets to get up and head to the coffee/tea making area, make himself a cuppa, have a quick catch up with anyone else who happens to be having a cuppa, occasionally have cake for someone's birthday or other celebration, ask about their weekend, have them ask about his. At lunch time when he's busy he might work through, but he is able to pop out for a sandwich, wander into a shop - all of these things are WITHOUT a child hanging off his legs demanding that he take his attention off what he is doing and back onto him.

You, on the other hand, are always with the children. If you have the radio on, the DC will talk over the top of it. As soon as you get on the phone to make a phone call they are hanging off your leg, pulling you towards something that you MUST see right this very second, or that's when they need the toilet, or are thirsty, need a nappy change, have hurt themselves and are crying hysterically. You go out for a coffee with a friend and most of your energy goes to making your DC sit still in their chair, not spill their drink, talk quietly so that the whole coffee shop doesn't hear them, etc. TBH coffees out are almost more stressful than they're worth sometimes (although with perseverence they EVENTUALLY get better).

So no, noone says to him 'why don't you take a break, I'll do this for you' because quite frankly he has a number of built in breaks to his day anyway. You don't, and never do. By giving you a small break he is paying you back for the fact that he gets to drink a coffee hot instead of luke warm, can talk to colleagues and give them his full attention, eats lunch at his own pace rather than wolfing it down while trying to get children to eat theirs (instead of wearing it), has time to just mull over the day in quiet while commuting. I used to look at my one day of volunteering as my break, even though it was incredibly busy and stressful in its own way, it was incredibly freeing to not be at the beck and call of my DC.

uggbug Thu 06-Dec-12 12:55:06

You are right DIY. The thing is he is massively busy at work and sometimes come home saying he didn't get to eat lunch or whatever. He also works on the train there and home, sometimes having to crouch in the aisle to put his laptop on his knees. So I can't really suggest to him that he gets built in breaks because he will just laugh at that idea (you are right though, even things like going to the toilet without someone waiting outside must be amazing!)

handsandknees Thu 06-Dec-12 13:04:30

My DD1 was like your DS sounds Uggbug - very talkative, bright, demanding, couldn't play alone. I am so, so proud of that child (she is now 11 and amazing) but bloody hell, she was EXHAUSTING when she was younger.

You don't need to feel at all guilty for not giving him attention every time he demands it. He needs to learn to wait or play alone sometimes. I wish I had done it more with my DD1. I learned to say "I'm just having some peace and quiet and I'll tell you when I'm ready to play/talk again, so you need to find something to do." I even used to close my eyes as an extra visual clue! What would happen if you said that to your DS?

AlienRefucksLooksLikeSnow Thu 06-Dec-12 13:17:35

Can you just say to your DH something like "Look, this is getting too much for me and it's making me loose my temper with the DCs. I need a morning out every weekend. I'd like to go out every Saturday from 1 - 6. Are you OK with that? You're welcome to a half day at the weekend too if you want it, but I don't get any time away from the children at all at the moment, and I've realised I need some."

This is so important, you will feel rejuvenated, and ready to look after them calmly again, I know because I've been there too, flipping over something simple because I never got a second to think, now I have some 'me' time at the weekend, and go round a friends one night a week for a couple of hours. Try it, you may find that's all you need Good luck

AlienRefucksLooksLikeSnow Thu 06-Dec-12 13:18:27

It's important for him to have one on one time with the kids too, it's not a punishment!!

DIYapprentice Thu 06-Dec-12 13:22:47

Send him to the coffee shop with the DC. He NEEDS the break! grin

CheeseStrawWars Thu 06-Dec-12 13:44:24

If I'm getting wound up with them, I have a "quiet place" I can go to calm down - we have a stairgate on our kitchen so I can shut myself in while still keeping an eye on things. I tell them I need 5 minutes of quiet time and they're not to talk to me until I've had my five minutes of peace. To start with, they'd try to talk to me but now they get it. It honestly makes all the difference in just letting me gather my thoughts and giving me space to calm down. They have "quiet places" too, if they're feeling like they're getting angry and might hit someone, or if they're feeling hassled by the other sibling, they take themselves out the way - if someone goes to their quiet place (under the table or behind an armchair here) you have to leave them be.

chocoluvva Thu 06-Dec-12 13:53:15

My DCs were very similar to yours Uggbug.
eg, 'Mummy? Can a dog run as fast as a deer? How fast can a big dog run? How many miles an hour? etc'
From the age of 3, after lunch I'd tell him I was busy and wasn't to be interrupted until the hands on the clock got to X time, which I would show him so that I could have half an hour to myself.
I take my hat off to you for admitting to losing your temper and for taking steps to address it - my DH is usually home between 6-6.30. You have a very long day on your own.
If you do manage to get some time organised away from the children your DH will hopefully gain some insight into what a day in your life is like. Ideally, an evening out with your DH now and again too.
Do you feel undervalued in your role?

MummytoMog Thu 06-Dec-12 14:27:10

I was very similar when my DS was littler (there is a 18 month age gap betwen my two) and it got a LOT easier once DS was older and better at waiting for things. When I had two of them screaming at me with no way of comforting both at the same time it was pure hell and I would end up screaming at them. I felt dreadful. Poor DD would get so upset that she would puke. It was not a good time in my life, but it did pass. Part of that was getting back to work, and part of it was my DH being less of a shit and helping out more, but I think the biggest part was just the kids learning together that sometimes they couldn't have something right now that second. They still tantrum if they're thwarted, but it's maybe once a day rather than twenty times a day...

buildingmycorestrength Thu 06-Dec-12 18:10:06

I think if the other half is out of the house all day, how can they possibly understand what it is like? You've presumably worked in your life so you do know a bit what his job is like...but at the moment he can't put himself in your shoes. For the sake of your sanity and your marriage, I would ensure he has the kids on his own more often. Just a few hours at the weekend will make all the difference (although do make sure he has to do a meal). grin

BabiesNeedInstructions Thu 06-Dec-12 23:21:47

How was today OP? Did you manage to hold back and avoid the shouting?

tara277 Fri 07-Dec-12 00:18:56

I also wanted to echo how brave I found the op's post to be and to reiterate that I too could have written the post as many others have said too.

I think it can be easy to become engulfed in meeting our children's needs and lots of the posts seem to be supporting the view that particular phases can just be really tough and the best you can do is make the most until it gets easier. In a way I find this helpful personally as it's good to remember that lots of other people have been here too and that it changes.

I would also like to offer a few ideas. It sounds to me that your son may be of 'high learning potential' there's a book that you might find supportive
Living with Intensity
Also there's a brilliant website called Brainpop that is fantastic for children who have millions of questions about everything. The uk edition is less annoying than the US one but the US one has a younger option called Brainpop Jr
Also came across this recently and thought there were good ideas if I had the time to get organised enough to set it up in the first place when nap time ceases

uggbug Fri 07-Dec-12 10:11:58

Tara that is a great selection of resources thank you. Brainpop will be amazing as I spend at least an hour every couple of days with my DS on the Cbeebies website and he is over that now.

The quiet time thing - I did try to introduce that just after he had dropped his nap, but he seems to have a pathological need for company in everything he does. He has literally only just started being able to play for 5 minutes on his own. And this is not down to me, trust me! I have been encouraging him to do this for ages!

He is getting into puzzles now so I am hoping that the Christmas presents will contribute towards my sanity this year!

So. Update. It has been two full days since I started the the thread. I have NOT SHOUTED! Except here! This is a bit like a smoker giving up I know, difficult to admire their progress until its been at least a few months, but here goes. My strategy so far (a combination of advice thank you all).

1. DEEP breath.

2. Repeat mantra to self 'I am the adult I am the adult'. Imagine someone watching me.

3. Breakthrough. I realised that when they are both making a noise (e.g. my DD crying and my DS saying 'woo woo woo' which he likes to do at moments of my extreme stress), what is the worst that can happen? She will stop crying when I have finished putting her coat on, in a few minutes we will be in the car...the situation will have changed.

This was a eureka moment for me. I have always tensed up and tried to work twice as fast, while thinking 'fix it fix it fix it!!!!!'. I think I imagined that someone was going to come and have a go at me while this was going on 'stop that baby crying!'. That's not going to happen, I just have to continue to the end of the task until it is complete. That is all. I cannot do any more than that. What is going to happen if I ignore her for one minute while I put DS in the car? Nothing.

4. Look at DS when talking to him / arguing with him. This makes me tone it down a bit if I look at him and see the impact. It is actually really easy to look
at whatever it is you are trying to fix while also screaming at your child. Also I tried this yesterday, I said exactly what I had been wanting to shout at him, but in a low voice instead, and it actually had an impact (rather than just making him cry).

5. Realised that I was putting too much pressure on myself to be a good mother and make DS happy all the time. Ironic as I was then making him miserable when I exploded. For now I am going to aim for no shouting for the whole day, and then know at the end of it that maybe it wasn't the BEST day he's ever had in his life, but I did not make my DS sad today.

When I look back on my own childhood, I remember my DM losing it with me at a very young age. This scares me that I remember that. I don't want to make that early memory for my DS. Maybe I already have. You don't know what they remember do you?

But at least I can reduce the chances of that memory if I can try and reduce the occurrences. I've bought the book 'Overcoming Anger and Irritability' which is CBT type book.

And finally I am going to do the most cheesy thing ever and give myself a smiley face on the calendar at the end of each day in which I have not screamed at my DS. I am not going to include general voice-raising (let's not aim for miracles here!) but if I have not lost my temper, I get a smiley face. So then I can be realistic when I look back and see how many incidents there are, compare week on week etc.

All good resolutions but what you really need is willpower I suppose.

JingleBellsRawSharkSmells Fri 07-Dec-12 11:40:58

grin at your idea for a sticker chart for yourself!

uggbug Fri 07-Dec-12 11:46:07

Will not be purchasing actual stickers or telling anyone else what this means of course! Merely a mini smiley to myself! Reward chart though - that could work!

buildingmycorestrength Sat 08-Dec-12 13:28:51

Fab ! Really well done. I also found that if both kids were kicking off I felt like a total failure and started to freak out. If I'd seen anyone else in my shoes, I'd have thought, 'baby crying, normal, preschooler being attention seeking and annoying, normal, mum doing her best, bit frazzled but normal, nothing to worry about, no one failing.' You are right, you don't have to keep them happy.

chocoluvva Sat 08-Dec-12 23:27:10

No 3 is a very significant insight IMO.
I'm sure that's one of the things I did wrong - so very stressful.

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