To feel completely lost with my toddler(27 Posts)
I have a son who has recently turned two. For a while now I've been feeling a bit off and it's only recently that I realised I am losing my confidence when it comes to raising him. The baby years were exhausting, but the toddler years feel so much scarier!
In my head I think I know how I want to handle the usual ups and downs of having a child, but when things like tantrums or picky eating crop up I just fall apart. It's getting me down as I know I need to pull myself together for his sake as well as my own.
I guess I am asking more, is this normal? I feel like I'm failing as a mum.
I saw a leaflet in my local children's centre that do parenting classes for babies and toddlers. Not saying you would need parenting advice but it may help you ok learn hoe to deal with the tantrums and all the bad side of having a Toddler!
Also take some time out for yourself to recoup!
Toddler taming saved my sanity. And you are obviously a great mother. Just make sure you know you are in charge.
Do you manage to get out to toddler groups, or meet up with other mums with toddlers? Doing these things has always helped me, and I've got some useful ideas from watching and talking to other mums. If I stay at home all day with my toddler, without seeing anyone else, I start feeling frazzled and exhausted - getting out somewhere always helps me. I think how you're feeling can be completely normal, but it does sound like it's getting you down a bit, and maybe it would help to make some changes - go on some different days out, take him to a cafe for lunch, enjoy him being a bit more active and capable.
I worried a lot more with my first child but having seen that everything is just a phase, I'm a lot more relaxed with my second. Try not to take any of it personally - he's not trying to wind you up, he's just finding something frustrating or confusing and hasn't learned to suppress his emotions yet. Try to turn it round in your head and think of 'helping' him rather than 'controlling' him, then you're not failing, you're just doing your best.
Does it help to know you aren't alone and that it's not even my first child?
Dd is 3 and has generally always been pretty well behaved. A few tempers but easily solved
Ds is only 13 months but is already showing how difficult he is. He is destructive, temperous and has no gentle hands.
I've had to convert a room upstairs for Dd to have her toys because he destroys them. He destroys her books and pulls her hair.
If he can't get what he wants he throws himself on the floor and screams. He bites. He can't even walk yet!
I am dreading him being a toddler. I honestly think he is going to be major hard work.
I second what Diy said. Get out to toddler groups or other places where there are toddlers the same age. A lot of the things that you are describing are totally normal and being with others the same may help. I know it's hard but try and relax as much as possible. It's a difficult stage but it will pass. If he has a huge tantrum it's not the end of the world and with eating just keep offering different foods.
I have 4dc three are good eaters one is picky but the picky one has got better as she's got older. Eventually they get it but some just take longer.
But seriously other mums are your friend here it helps you realise you are not alone! --just ignore the one with Tarquin the angel child who eats kale--
Have you seen the website and book that has pictures of toddlers being unreasonable about things, and the parents putting why? Eg "he's crying because I wouldn't let him eat the dog food". I can't link because I am on my IPad, but it does help you see the humour in situations, and that toddlers are the same around the world. A really good reminder I read somewhere is that toddlers need food for fuel, so foods like plain pasta, peas, banana, chicken, cakes and biscuits meet those requirements. I am not suggesting give doughnuts at every meal by any means, just that it is normal for toddlers to like those foods. It does get easier.
Second (third!) the Toddler Taming rec. What I loved about that book is that he reassures that xyz awful toddler behaviour is totally normal - his tolerance for "bad" behaviour is a lot higher than society's in general, I think, and it gave me the courage to just let my kids get on with being toddlers (even when sometimes that meant being judged by other people).
Also it's good to know you don't have to take it personally - their rages are truly uncontrollable at this age, expressing anger is as much a need as food is. -- In contrast with mine who at almost 4 are actually trying to mess with my head--
I have two 5 year olds (lone parent) there are times I think I've failed!! Two years old is a very trying age. Don't be hard on yourself x
Toddlers are wild and have their own special logic!
Your not alone I found this the hardest stage.
Don't worry about just going with the flow now and then, you wont set him on a path of no boundaries!
Pick you battles, he will learn so much more as he understands more.
I find it very hard and every day a new un expected battle to get through.
It does get easier, hang in there.
Thank you everyone for your replies. I'm going to jump on eBay this week and give Toddler Taming a read. I know I am having problems with anxiety, I haven't been to a toddler group since almost bursting into tears at the last one. Being pregnant probably isn't helping my mental state at the moment.
I know other people feel the same, but I've been awake since midnight stressing over my irrational sense of doom and failure!
I completely understand, give half the chance my son would eat crap. My house is constantly a mess , I don't invite people round anymore because they my think I'm a slob.
Have you mentioned your mental state to your GP or midwife?
I ask because you sound like you might be experiencing depression and anxiety which are affecting your outlook.
You are not alone! Re the toddler group, if you can, do try and go back - there have been soooo many times that I've seen
and been one of the mums close to tears at a group for one reason or another, and no-one has ever been anything but sympathetic, so I'm sure (or I hope at least) that no one would judge you. Being a parent to a toddler is so hard, everyone is in the same boat!
Toddler Taming is a horrible book. If sedating a poor sleeper or tying a rope from your childs door handle to another door handle to stop them escaping or smacking a child......
Tantrums can be a normal developmental stage, picky eating is a manifestation of a life saving evolutionary trait.
Midwife is aware of my anxiety and thankfully very supportive. I'm quite an introvert so social situations are intimidating anyway. I prefer going to the park or indoor play where I don't feel as much pressure to join in or be sociable with strangers other then a bit of small talk etc. I even found joining mumsnet incredibly intimidating!
Is that really what's in the book pearlylum?
My toddlers eating is slowly going back to normal, so my irrational fear that I'm going to be accused to starving him is fading. It's insane how obsessed I can become over something and once the anxiety had passed I realise how ridiculous I'm being!
Thanks for all the support and shared stories
My ds is not even 2 yet but feeling the terrible 2s have come early! Thank you all for the recommendations have bought Toddler Taming. Am also pregnant and hormonal which I'm sure is making everything worse!
Agree toddler taming is a horrible book, I have no idea why it is so popular. Try reading Toddler calm OP.
I am an introvert too and never bothered with toddler groups etc. DS does go to playgroup now for a couple of hours a week which has really helped his development and it means I don't have to stay haha. Some playgroups take them from 2 so might be worth a look. I'm pregnant too and it does us both good to get a break from each other I think.
Definitely speak to your midwife if you think you are feeling more anxious than normal(normal for you I mean) it could be antenatal anxiety.
Take care, just remember everything is a phase!!
The Toddler Taming book is horrific.
We had no problems with DD at that age. No naughty steps or sticker charts needed, and definitely no ropes! We follow a RIE approach - look up Janet Lansbury. Her "no bad kids" book would probably help, but her website is also brilliant. Now have a very lovely, thoughtful and self-aware 5.5 year old.
Picky eating is completely normal by the way and happens for a reason. All you can do is keep offering food you're happy with him eating and let him decide how much to eat. He won't starve himself.
"My child won't eat" is a good guide on this.
I liked the Toddler Calm book. Lots of explanation regarding why the little lovely little buggers behave the way they do so while it didn't magically solve the way they behaved it made me readjust my mindset and way of thinking and we all really did become a lot calmer. I actually went on a Toddler Calm course too and found it useful to hear others peoples stories. Hang in there! I have nearly four year old twin girls and i survived! Dreading the bloody tweenage years though.
Just seen someone else had recommended Toddler calm. Try and get it from your library or second hand incase it's not for you.
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