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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.

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.

schroedingersdodo Wed 05-Dec-12 20:38:55

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.

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