Someone tell me this gets better(11 Posts)
I have two sons; a 10 month old and a 2.5 year old. The baby is a peach. Easy-going, happy and has started to sleep through the night. The toddler is such a handful I'm struggling to cope.
He's so loud and demanding ALL the time. I feel embarrassed wherever we go as he's always the loudest, most out of control child by miles. Literally everyone else seems to have these quiet, well-behaved toddler sons, and mine is from another planet. It makes me feel like a failure.
I'm trying to instil manners and discipline now he's getting a little older but it's so draining when he spends from 6am until 8pm (napping has stopped for some reason) doing one or all of the following: shouting, screaming, squirming, running or being rough with brother. I don't want to demonise him but some days I feel so run down i can't cope. He's well fed, watered, entertained, and loved...I grit my teeth and get on with things but I need to know this is a phase that won't last! Or at least someone tell me you're in the same boat...
Did his behaviour change when you had your second baby or has it been a slow build up?
Im a child therapist and I often see children act out when a new sibling comes along - as though its a threat to their sole hold on their mums attention so they find new ways to keep mum's eyes on them.....
sounds exhausting though
Try putting him to bed earlier if he won't nap - over-tiredness could be part of it?
We have a similar age gap (DS1 - 3, DS2 - 1). Jealousy also definitely causes issues!
My DS3 is 2.6 and DS4 is 1 and you've just described our days! Unfortunately I have no solutions but a lot of empathy. Structured groups really don't work for him so it's parks, soft play and general bimbling around for us. My older sons are 10 and 8 but neither of them were the
whirling hooligan spirited livewire my DS3 is. My DS1 never really showed any jealousy towards DS2 but there definitely is between 3 & 4 and I try to be mindful of this and praise the kind behaviour/carve out some 1:1 where possible.
Naps are also a thing of the past though tbh 2&3 also dropped naps at 2.
I'm sure he isn't the loudest, it always seems like that with your own as you're so acutely aware of what they're up to! Most toddlers have their moments
Does the toddler go to a child-minder or nursery at all? If not, could you afford to send him even for one morning a week? It'd give you a bit of a break. I find my DD incredibly hard work and demanding sometimes but the time apart gives my ears and brain a much needed rest, and by the time it's pick up I'm really looking forward to hear her
scream Mumma repeatedly chatter again.
I'm thinking over-tired too and agree with PP about maybe making bedtime a bit earlier if he won't nap?
Thanks everyone for hearing me whinge and for your advice. He probably is overtired so I'll try and earlier bedtime. I don't think he is jealous of his brother as I don't think he means to be rough sometimes, more he's just too young to understand. Maybe I'm naive about that though.
He's a very energetic, "vocal" boy so I try to get out at least once a day for a walk, let him run around the garden or visit people. We only see people with other children once a week on average but I'll try to increase that a bit so he can let off more steam with other maniacs...
I don't really have the spare cash (SAHP) for nursery but may consider sending him to a childminder for a couple of hours of a week for a break. Mil takes him one say a week which is saving my sanity atm!
Do you have a pre school near you? They are generally cheaper, our local one is £10 a session (which is 3 hours). I'm a SAHM too and we're considering this for our energetic toddler
hooligan (22 months) to get him used to a nursery-style environment and keep costs down- there's no way we could afford or justify £45 a day nursery when I'm at home with dd anyway.
I've just checked and the nearest one is 11 miles away. Sounds good but I guess spaces are allocated to the local children? He also doesn't qualify for the free 2 yr old nursery places.
We live in a tiny, dead town (literally no playgroups in a 5 mile radius) which probably doesn't help keep him occupied. I have friends but there is naff all on for pre-schoolers around here so apart from the weekly meet up with people it's the usual park, garden, play time rigmarole for him. He's prob bored of me!
I'll try to take to more things outside our place and try an earlier bedtime. Failing that only 10 more months till he's at nursery...
Ah, don't wish away those precious 10months before you lose him to education! And he definitely isn't bored of you . It does sound like he has lots of energy to burn off though - exhausting, but will stand him in good stead when he's older.
The preschool may well have spaces. I've found that as well as being cheaper than nurseries, they are often more accommodating. Even when they are privately run, they seem to still see themselves more as part of the school system. Ask at any primary schools close to you too - they often have a 'linked' pre-school (as well as the school's actual nursery) which does wrap-around care for the school, but also takes 2+yo.
I'm sure you've tried out all the different parks within range! But it's worth thinking about what else could provide some entertainment, even if it isn't aimed at pre-schoolers.
Do you have a garden centre close to you? They are often fun for a mooch around, especially if they have a fish area. Ours sells fish food, which you can feed to their fish - sounds strange, but the children love it.
Is there a train station close to you? Even if you end up just doing a short return trip for the sake of it, that will be great fun for your DS. Even better if there's a different park at the other end. Maybe take a picnic if it's sunny.
You sound like you need a day off! Nothing - NOTHING IN LIFE is as relentless as being a mother to young children. I found baby toddler groups really superficial... Whilst it got me out, I found a lot of mothers rather unkind and unsupportive in their competitiveness.
I found structure to be the key... Getting rid of loads of energy in soft play places, leisure-centre -tumble -tot -style things and anything physical to let off steam.
As for bedtime, we put meditations on the iPad after lavender baths and a story.
Sleep deprivation is the devil for behaviour.
Good luck and try and get a day off!!
Can a few of you get together and start a play group? Local church hall, ask for free toys, some where to run about when its wet and cold?
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