To feel like the world's worst mother?(38 Posts)
I really really am..
I've spent the entire way shouting at my 4 and 2 year olds. The weather is fucking awful outside, and we're trapped inside our tiny living room driving each other nuts. The youngest is particularly trying today-so far he has thrown my mobile phone down the toilet, spread his poo on his bed and walls and has hit my eldest on the head with a hoover bit. I just cannot cope with the two of them. I genuinely don't know how others do it! How do you wonderful fabulous people out there cope with small children, who essentially do what small children do, without wanting to scream and shout????? I've tried rewarding, time-outs (for me and them), but I always lose the plot after a while. They're both healthy, beautiful, loving children that are loved like no other by DH and I but I'm just a shit shit shit shit mother.
I don't think I have pnd because when I'm away from them I feel absolutely fine and in control. I have a highly responsible job, and I'm the epitome of patience and calm (I only work part-time though). When I'm at home, literally they break me. I want to tear my hair out after 20 mins. The youngest is just NON-STOP. He doesn't listen (I know he understands as he speaks very well, and gives me his cutest grin as he's doing the aforementioned naughty things). I'm so ashamed-firstly that I'm so mean to them (especially today), secondly that my eldest is mirroring my behaviour and shouting at the toddler, thirdly ashamed that I wanted to be a mother for so long (and went through several miscarriages) and I should appreciate it more... And lastly, that if anyone heard me I guess they would think what an absolute bitch I am to my kids (my neighbours prob think that).
Just feel fucking dreadful today. Poor kids
Please can anyone tell me that it gets better? I know I'll also get an absolute roasting (totally deserved). I feel like I'm scarring the poor beggars for life.
No, you're not. That's me. But mine are fine. Yours will be too.
Good enough is the aim. You care enough to post. You made it.
You have my sympathy! If it helps mine came home from school and had a huge row over what to watch on TV which culminated in them both laying on the floor screaming. I also wouldn't let my dd stand on a chair so she screamed and pulled my hair! You are not alone!! It is also worse when the weather is bad and you can't get them outside to burn off some energy.
Any chance you could work full time to save your sanity?!
DD was an absolute nightmare from about 1 to 3 yo. 3 yo has been a lovely dream. She was also a child that needed to get outside every day. Unless there is actually a weather warning, get them out. I have been on a rainy beach in December with DD. She HAS to be out everyday. Wrap up warm, get out. As a side effect, you won't want to shout in front of people!
I am trying at the moment to follow the following principles:
Don't stress stuff she can't help (developmentally, physically).
Say 'yes' a LOT, then 'no' means something.
The relationship is the important thing, not the momentary behaviour.
Natural and logical consequences (phone down the toilet means no pictures for her to look at).
Run children like overactive puppies. Tire them out.
Plan things to do every day. I want to be earth mother, cooking biscuits while singing in a lovely kitchen. I don't have this child.
Goodness know what I would have done with 2, torn my hair out, I think.
I often wonder how I coped when my kids were small. I had four under 6 at one point. No matter what the weather I used to wrap them up and get them out of the house, otherwise I think I might have had a breakdown. I found mine were worse when they were cooped up
and used to try and kill each other. I'd end up a stressed mess and the more I shouted the more badly behaved they were. Mine survived as did I.
That does sound very stressful, and your 2 year old is definitely testing the boundaries.
At that age many children could try the patience of a saint.
He is very possibly acting like this because it provokes a reaction from you, so you may need to bear that in mind.
I was luckily not faced with quite such challenging behaviour, but just wanted to say I am sure you are not a shit mum. You are struggling, as we all have at times.
Speak to your health visitor or GP if this is regular behaviour. They can often recommend how to get some much needed support.
I'd love to tire them out but by midday I'm actually knackered myself so literally can't muster the energy to go out in the afternoon as well. I'll be honest, I very rarely take them out together by myself cos I can't control the toddler. My eldest is very well behaved usually, but any type of attention given to Ds2 (even negative), makes him jealous so he starts playing up too. I'll either take ds2 out in the mornings when ds1's at nursery, or wait till my mum/mil can help then take them out together. I envy those who have small children in buggies/scooters and make it to the park in one piece and back. Ds2 refuses to stay in the buggy, and refuses to hold hands. Do I have to use reins, which ds1 then wants. Cue onslaught of screaming and hysterics.
Little children 'need' to go out- that is the crux of the problem. Where are you that the weather is too bad to take them out? I walk 4 miles every day for the school run one way and the weather has never limited this trip so far. I have a car but I don't want my children who are 7 and 3 to limit their exercise just because it's cold as if you're in the uk it is frequently rubbish weather!
I think it's good to be hard on yourself about the shouting as you obviously identify the problems with being 'that' parent. If you're worried about what the neighbours think then it's obviously 'loud'. It is easy to brush it off but that makes it easier to repeat your mistakes in the future. I've been in the position of being the 'moany' parent and realised what a bore i was becoming. I was determined not to repeat that level of fastidiousness again as that is 'not' the kind of Mother I want to be. I think you can stop and think and change your immediate reaction when you're in 'the moment'.
I am sure you are not. We all have had days like this. Do try and get out each day though, just wrap them up and get out. Doesn't have to be much, walk round the block, feed the ducks, go to the library. They need to burn off some energy.
My DS3 (now 3 and a half) sounds very similar to your DS2. It's exhausting. I found reading Raising Your Spirited Child really helpful in terms of understanding and coping with his behaviour
I still lose it sometimes though
You're allowed to have a shit day with them though. You're a human being with emotions and hormones and, dare i say, wants and needs. Children can be a royal PITA. The weather and pre-Christmas stress doesn't help.
Are you me, OP?
Hugs and solidarity, but no real advice. We tend to go out every morning and then have quiet time in the afternoon - luckily, dc2 still naps.
I am managing to cut down on the shouting, but am a right old nag.
I have a 3 and a 2 yo and I can really empathise. The 3yo is coming out of the tricky phase as the younger child is going into it. It is fucking hard so don't beat yourself up. Try taking deep breaths every time you feel you're about to lose it. Ot will help you not lose it.
When they are calm and good reward them with hugs and cuddles. When they tantrum let them get on with it and be there for a hug at the end.
Other than that you need to do your best, ride out the storm and know that you are not alone.
No buggy past 18 months here. Reins worked for us. Don't want the reins? No park/ducks/beach.
Don't envy the mums with children in buggies. They don't have the same child as you. DD wouldn't be tired enough if she hadn't walked everywhere. Serves me right for marrying into a family of bloody runners. She'd better win the sodding Olympics.
It also really helps me to value the child I got. She's not naughty; she's funny. She's not hard work; she's energetic. She's not rude; she's really confident. Some of the behaviours which look awful in toddlerhood, are wonderful in later life. The shy, clingy, quiet, biddable children's parents are worried about them too, just not loudly.
I have a just turned 5&3 year old and there is no way I could stay in all day.
The best thing was actually going out for a walk after lunch even though I felt tired. Bundle them into the pushchair and go for a walk. Youngest would sleep and I would have a mental break for a bit. I felt refreshed to tackle the afternoon.
I work part time and am shouty and stressy with the kids - I don't enjoy my job and feel guilty working and can't switch off which means I take it out on them. It has been better since I've developed an escape plan (from work!)
Have you got a sling? Bung ds2 in it and them hands free for ds1 might work?
I had a day like this, except I only have one! At one point I left her in the sitting room and sat in the hall and had a little cry.
Dd is very frustrating at the moment, I just can't get her to do anything. No idea what to do.
I used reins, and also a wrist strap.
The only choice I gave mine when they were toddlers was "reins/strap or buggy" and if they didn't like it then tough. Sometimes that would mean they didn't get to go where they wanted to, but if it was an essential outing where I had no choice but to go then it resulted in me wrestling them into the buggy regardless of their protests.
I have a 4yo and a 2yo as well.
It's not you, it's this year.
Well it's the end of my first week at home on my own with two DC (DS, 3, and DD, 6 weeks) and it is exhausting! I am genuinely amazed at the fact that so many people I know just do this and get on with it while I feel completely done in after just 1 week. Am even thinking of hiring a mother's help in the New Year because otherwise I think I will go round the twist.
It is bloody hard work. A major consolation to me is that DH was totally shattered after his 4 weeks paternity leave and said that going back to work has been a relief for him. So I know it's not just me. It is tough so just give yourself credit for doing the best you can. 2-year olds are nightmares at the best of times.
You're me two years ago! Except I was full time at home and it was my eldest who was hard work. I dreaded taking them anywhere on my own as I just couldn't do it without warfare and people glare at you - I'm either a bitchface who is too hard on them or I'm a soft arse who can't control them. You got me! I have no idea what I'm doing! The logic of they need walking every day like a dog is by the by when they have you (me) crying in the street, but it really is important to break the day up. I literally had exhausted all my patience reserves and would go straight to shouty for things that didn't need it. They're nearly always a dream now, youngest is the most wilful thing to draw breath but she's ok really. You'll get through it, some children are harder work than others. I used to look at friends kids who were so mellow and still! and wonder what I was doing wrong. Eldest currently in the he process of an autism diagnosis and I admit to a little 'bloody knew it wasn't me' moment. It's not forever x
I'm either a bitchface who is too hard on them or I'm a soft arse who can't control them. You got me! I have no idea what I'm doing!
Going to go with a little fistbump here. I'm winging it, too.
OP maybe ask yourself whether you are really cut out for being at home with very small children. Not everyone is and it doesn't make you a bad parent. Some children need a really rigid structure to their days and days at home don't provide that.
I went part time with all of my 3 until they reached about the age of 12 months when I literally couldn't stand it any more and went back full time.
I was full time all through the toddler years - otherwise I'd have been nuts and so would they. When they hit big school, I cut back my hours so I could pick up from school, have friends over, get to know other mothers etc. It worked for us. Being there full time in the toddler years isn't the only approach to take. Being available more in the school years fitted better with my personality and my children's needs. Working fulltime all through childhood could work too. It is all about what works for you and your family.
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