We can't seem to cope now I have 3 children

(35 Posts)
claypole44 Mon 25-Jun-12 16:37:38

I have always thought of myself as good at caring for children, in fact I have made a career out of it. However, with 3 young children of my own, aged 1,3 and 6 I feel at my wits end and my husband feels the same.

I am trained in managing challenging behaviour which is why it is such a slap in the face, not to be able to manage my own kids without feeling like I want to scream and run for the hills. My kids are all very loud,confident and outgoing (which I love) but they challenge us all day, everyday and I find myself wishing myself back to work and away from them. I have planned to retrain at university which will mean my husband and I will both be working full time. I really wanted to enjoy this last year at home with them and I feel so guilty that I haven't.

They are rude, argumentative, destroy the house etc. I think we are strict and follow all the text book advice. Praise & rewards, time out, consequences etc I am referee for their bickering and fighting.I guess this is all normal behaviour just amplified 3 times!! Maybe not being with them all the time will change my perspective. I wish I was more earth mother type and I know a lot of people would love a year at home with their children. Family say I set my expectations way too high but it's hard not to when being a good mum is so important to me.

Anyone else relate to this? any other parents of 3?

LingDiLong Tue 04-Dec-12 21:35:47

Well you could do what I did. I'm a mum to a 7, 5 and 2 year old and found it hard going. Then I became a childminder and often have 6 kids here at any one time. Once they've all gone home 'just' having 3 feels positively relaxing - seriously! I only had my own 3 after school today and feel almost well rested grin

HilaryClinton Wed 05-Dec-12 10:15:37

Out three are similar ages, and yes it is hard work with Waltons/Texas chainsaw days. I don't think of myself as strict, but the expected standards of beviour are there: We are kind to each other, we talk quietly and politely, we find a solution that everyone is hapy with.
We've learnt the hard way to minimise stuff that can cause damage and not to have stuff that we (the parents) will be upset if it gets broken. I really really try to minimise screen time. We go outside a lot.
I am no fan of time out (and I also think it sets up an 'offender' for further bullying by siblings).

It does seem that you are taking this personally, and it isn't really.

Basically i agree with zookeeper

hazeyjane Wed 05-Dec-12 10:29:48

I have 3 (6, 5 and 2.5).

It is a mixture of craziness and calm. There are days, when I look at all 3 of them together, and thank my lucky stars that we had 3. Other days, there is a lot of screaming, and everything they do seems to wind up one of the others until there is the equivalent of a mini atomic bomb and everyone explodes. When it gets like this I try and separate them all, so we can all have 10 minutes away from each other, then we all come back together for a cuddle on the sofa.

robino Wed 05-Dec-12 11:13:38

Thank you for making me feel more normal.

I have three girls aged 5, 4, 1.5. We live overseas and I am currently home schooling them. Day in, day out they are at home, demanding food and making a mess. Exhausting.

The middle one and the little one are sleeping spectacularly badly at the moment and DH and I have given in, we're having alternate nights in the spare room, fondly known as the isolation tank, just to try and get on a vaguely even keel sleep wise.

The only thing I can add for those of you with destructive phase younger ones is something I've been trying to do after chatting with a friend who pointed out that DD3's running away and pulling every piece of every toy out were both just spectacularly effective ways of getting my attention. I am trying to sit down with just her a couple of times a day and read a story with just her, or do a jigsaw or something - it seems to be helping a bit.

naturalbaby Mon 10-Dec-12 22:08:30

Lingdilong I'm registering as a childminder at the moment...because I only have 1 till 11:15am in the mornings while the others are at nursery/school.
Trying to set up a business is hard enough without being a full time mum!

Leafmould Mon 10-Dec-12 22:33:35

Eye of the storm. It does not sound harsh, it is very true and clear advice. I recommend it.

Aboutlastnight Mon 10-Dec-12 22:45:13

I think the bar is set so high these days. I have three children and I work -about to go on nightshift tonight- and I find a lot of the time I am too damn tired/ busy to do nice things with them like games, puzzles, crafts.

I work, I sleep ( alot as I work nights and evenings and find it impossible to get up sometimes) I do housework, washing and then more housework and then go back to bed/work.

It isn't how I thought it would be -but my girls are happy, thriving at school, we are financially stable, we can afford the odd treat, after school activities, so I hope I am doing my best.

But a lot if the time I feel I have nothing left to give sad

SrirachaGirl Mon 10-Dec-12 22:58:31

Mine are 11, 8 and 6 and sound exactly like yours...all very active, talkative, clever, argumentative and I spent every day feeling like I was being outfoxed by them when theywere tiny. The ages you describe we're the absolute hardest (sorry). I read every book, tried charts, stickers, punishments, rewards etc. Nothing really worked until I decided to just surrender and go into survival mode. Beg, borrow, steal childcare as often as you can and go to the gym (use a crèche if they have one) to unleash the frustration, get everyone outside as much as possible...even if it means just taking them to a field and letting them run riot and have a large glass of wine in the evening while they are having their tea (only one, mind). Anti-depressants are also really, really amazingly helpful for getting you through those tough years...my theory is that the day-to-day exhaustion of multiple mini-person care and sleepless nights is enough to trigger low-level depression in anyone and I think they should hand the out in the hospital to all multigravidae.

naturalbaby Tue 11-Dec-12 10:16:52

anti-depressants....have been on my mind for 3yrs! last time I was really low I was bfeeding so couldn't really take anything. Am very tempted to go to the GP now, just to get through Christmas!

hattymattie Tue 11-Dec-12 10:24:35

Just to echo everybody else really - it's a totally different dynamic - mine are now 16, 14 and 10 - 2 girls and a boy. The house is still chaotic - I do not tidy their bedrooms and every now and then I mobilise the troops for a big tidy. Sibling rivalry I'm sad to say continues. When they were smaller and fighting I sent them all to their rooms. It is very easy to get sucked into refereeing though and I'm not very good at avoiding that one.

Also - refuse to respond when they yell "Mummy" from elsewhere in the house - they have to come and ask in a quiet voice - you are not the servant!

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