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I feel like an awful parent :(

(16 Posts)
electra Sat 22-Oct-11 23:35:00

I have three children and I'm finding the youngest who's 2.6 really hard work. I'm ashamed to say that sometimes I feel like I don't want her (even though I love her and would be devastated if I lost her). She exhausts me and I regularly break down in tears as a result. I know it isn't her fault but I've never felt this way towards my other two, even the oldest one who has autism and is challenging in other ways.

Is there something wrong with my relationship with her or am I just overtired? At the moment I'm trying to get a qualification as well as be a single parent to three. Do yoiu think it will pass or do I need help? I don't want her to feel I resent her.

electra Sat 22-Oct-11 23:46:00


zimm Sun 23-Oct-11 10:27:31

Oh poor you. You are not an awful parent you just have a lot on your plate . I one find one toddler exhausting and I have help. What help is available to you?

badoomtish Sun 23-Oct-11 10:31:21

I think you need support and a rest. I have felt this way with my first - so it must be much harder with 3. Any family/friends who you could ask for extra support for a bit? Are you getting sleep?

Iggly Sun 23-Oct-11 10:33:05

2 year olds are tough but I would suggest you need some help. You also need to look after yourself - you've got a lot on your plate. I say that because you said you feel like you don't want her at times.

Do you have family nearby? Can she go into childcare for a bit? What about delaying your qualification a little bit?

Are you eating/sleeping properly?

electra Sun 23-Oct-11 11:14:15

Thanks for replies. Unfortunately my family are not very helpful and don't want to look after her. They say how can I feel this way, she's lovely. But they won't babysit for the afternoon! She gets a lot of ear infections and maybe that's why I'm so tired. The qualification I'm trying to get will be finished in June and I am having to pay my fees for it so I can't quit now without losing that money. And at the end of it I will be able to get a job which I need to do now really. While I'm doing that she's at nursery which she seems to be enjoying.

It's not that I don't love her but every time I have to take her somewhere like shopping or to something at my other children's school she screams and shouts the whole time drawing attention from other people. I'm not used to it because my other daughters were always so quiet. It's just that this one has a different personality. Not bad, just tiring.

electra Sun 23-Oct-11 11:14:58

Oh, she is sleeping at night so I have been too - we had a sleepless phase over the summer but that's ok now...

badoomtish Sun 23-Oct-11 11:22:41

I would suggest confiding in family - make it clear that you are finding it tough, really tough, and need help (not want - need). An afternoon a week for a few weeks could make a huge difference to you. It's such a tough phase but it will pass soon, even better if you can get help to ride it out.

lesley33 Sun 23-Oct-11 16:13:14

The truth is we gel easier with some of our dcs than others. I have 4 and find it much easier to enjoy being with and gel with 2 of them. I think you need to accept that that is natural. But make sure you are not harder on her than you were with other 2 at same age. Its not her fault her personality is different from your other dcs.

electra Sun 23-Oct-11 16:41:02

I know lesley, that is exactly what I'm worried about I suppose and of course it is not her fault, it is my issue to deal with. But it does help to hear someone say that. I love her, I really do and she has a great little personality. But she is very loud and the opposite to myself. And some days I feel so exhausted I don't know what to do with her next.

Tgger Sun 23-Oct-11 17:30:07

Awww, poor you. They are bloomin' hard work these 2 year olds. It's not just you! I confided in nursery that DD had been very difficult for the last 2 days (complete with accidents etc, potty trained a couple of months ago) to find she behaved like an angel whilst there. They know how to press your buttons and it is exhausting.

All I would say is repeat to yourself "this too will pass"- it will and it's quite normal behaviour for their age. Do you have friends with children her age that you meet up with (do you have time for this as well as everything else?!). I find this lessens the load- also if you find one or two activities she and you really enjoy then this makes the difficult times easier. My DD is really enjoying swimming at the moment so that's a guaranteed winner for a couple of hours!

Also, it's really hard when they're poorly- I find this as when they're poorly you tend to blur the rules (well I do) and then it's tricky to get it back when they're back to rights- or sometimes they take ages to be properly back to rights.

It does sound like you need help. DD exhausts me at times but I haven't had tears yet and this does show you are in need of help- family/friends, even a chat with the health visitor- she may be able to give you some practical tips just to tweak the way you deal with her.

Good luck and hugs!

electra Sun 23-Oct-11 23:52:54

Thanks Tgger! It has really helped to just read some constructive advice. I had forgotten about the health visitor because they don't do visits any more so I will phone tomorrow and get an appointment.

I do remember my friend going through this when her dd was a toddler and from about 3 and a half everything became much easier.

I feel as though maybe I'm not tapping into her properly and that because I don't 'get' her yet, I've not learned how to get things settled and allow her to be more contented. At nursery they have never said to me that they have had any problems although she's only been there 6 weeks.

Thanks again.

zimm Mon 24-Oct-11 09:22:40

OP my DD can be a nightmare at home and the nursery insist she is's pretty common I think!

lesley33 Mon 24-Oct-11 16:52:09

It sounds as if she has a loud personality and you and your other 2 have quietier personalities. You love her and are doing your best in spite of tiredness and a lack of support. With her personality type, she may love the hecticness and stimulation of nursery, which will make her better behaved there as well.

I would try not to panic at not "getting" her. She has a different personality to you and so you may never totally "get" her. But imo this doesn't really matter. You love her and are trying to be a good mother to her which is what is important. I think if you continue finding outlets for her "loudness" - which you have done with nursery - and have some fun times together, she will be fine.

She doesn't sound uncontented, so I wondfered what your worries were? Quietier types can seem more actively content, but she might just be being loudly content?

But it does sound as if you could do with more support. Are you able ever to get a break with help of family/friends/DP?

FairyArmadillo Mon 24-Oct-11 17:01:40

2years was hard for me. I look back and realize that from 2 and a half onwards I really struggled. Got better after 3 for some reason. And my son is a likeable and delightful child, and I love him to bits. Everyone thought he was lovely and I thought he was hard work because he was (and still is) an active child while many of my other friends had 2 and a half year olds who would sit through restaurant meals with them (or so they claimed!) and just seemed to be less tiring. I used to feel bad finding him hard work and wishing I was alone sometimes. Didn't help that friends would listen to my venting but say, "But oh look, he's lovely." Am a single parent with no family around and very limited babysitting. Sorry, no constructive advice, OP. But I sympathize with you.

MrsVoltar Mon 24-Oct-11 17:01:57

It does sound like you have a lot on your plate, don't be too hard on yourself.
I found my DS really hard work until he was about 4. I find it helps to talk to sympathetic friends who might be going through similar.

Appt with HV a good idea, just for reassurance.

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