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It gets easier doesn't it?

(22 Posts)
imwithspud Sun 17-Jan-16 21:53:16

I have 2 dd's, a 3 year old and a 7.5month old. The 7.5month old on the whole is a very easy baby, currently learning to crawl so gets a bit frustrated at times but naps well and is starting to sleep through the night a bit now too. It's my eldest I'm struggling with at the moment.

She's just so... full on, and completely unreasonable and irrational. All the time. I guess there's a reason why they call them 'threenagers'.

Her behaviour is really challenging at the moment, I'm sure it's an age thing. She doesn't listen, she can be deliberately defiant, if we tell her something it will go in one ear and out the other and less than 5minutes later she's going against what we've said, she can lash out if we punish her with consequences: i.e if you don't stop jumping on the sofa you are going on the floor. If we have to follow through with a punishment she then wails hysterically even though she knew full well what would happen if she carried on with her behaviour and even then it doesn't sink in and I find I'm repeating myself over and over. She is unbearably irrational at the moment. Just the other day she cried hysterically at breakfast because her cereal was in a yellow bowl instead of a green one like her sister had, I ignored it and she calmed down fairly quickly, ate her breakfast with no problems but when it's like that constantly all day it gets wearing. Today every time we said no to something she would cry/fake cry. She barely touches her toys, she used to play independently fairly well but that seems like a rarity these days. If we sit with her and encourage her to do an activity she gets bored quickly.

I'm sure it's all normal but it's just exhausting. At the end of the day all I want to do is lie down in a dark room just for the peace and quiet! I'm really struggling with her at this age and I feel like I'm being a rubbish parent to her as a result, I get so down about it. I really look forward to the 15hours a week she spends at pre-school as I feel I'd go insane otherwise. It does get better though surely? When do they start becoming less monstrous and more reasonable?

Mrscog Sun 17-Jan-16 23:31:13

No advice, but my 3.10 year old DS is very similar and DS2 is 9 months. DS1 has got worse since DS2 started crawling - suddenly DS2 is having a much bigger impact on his life (moving his toys and things). Apparently it gets better. I have DS1 in preschool for more than the free hours which helps - is that possible?

SparkleSoiree Sun 17-Jan-16 23:39:05

I must be really old, I've never heard of the term threenagers!

imwithspud Sun 17-Jan-16 23:45:07

Unfortunately not Mrscog the pre school only runs 5mornings a week for 3 hours. She loves it, but is very tired afterwards. I'm sure tiredness is contributing to her behaviour, she complains that she's tired a fair bit, although I'm sure sometimes she says it as an excuse for bad behaviour. She won't nap anymore (unless we're in the car) and she goes to bed at 6:30/7pm and sleeps 10/11 hours so I don't know what I can do in that respect to help her.

I heard of the term Threenagers on here at first I think, I'm sure it's a relatively new phrasegrin

c737 Mon 18-Jan-16 01:02:33

I was just coming on to have the exact same rant although my DD is 23 months so it's more terrible twos. Heaven help me if I have the 'threenagers' to to through after this.

Similarly, dd seems to just moan or cry all day despite me trying to give her lots of one to one time when I'm not feeding/changing 4 month old Ds who gets the bum end of the deal (if you'll excuse the pun). The poor little love just has to go along with it all: the overly-exuberant crushing hugs from dd, her shouting and screeching which wakes him up and still giving him a quick and unexpected slap a few times a wk.

I think she's still jealous of his arrival and also still settling in to nursery for two days a week so quite tired and emotional at the mo but Christ on a bike it is fucking relentless!! Nothing is ever right, stuff is thrown across the floor if I even dare to pick the wrong colour pen or suggest a game she doesn't like, or if I can't be with her at that exact time coz I'm feeding Ds. Likewise my dd doesn't seem to be able to play independently for more than a few mins and it's just do exhausting. Added to that she seems to have dropped her daytime nap (screams blue murder if you put her anywhere near her cot in the day) so there's just no respite from it until she goes to bed at 7ish. Often have one or two night time wake ups from her now and will wake for the day at 5/5.30 a few times a wk also which makes her knackered and crabby for the rest of the day.

Sorry am totally hijacking your thread, just wanted to let off steam and also let you know that you're not alone. It's so lovely to watch dd develop and so rewarding to hear new language etc every day but I never dreamed parenting would be such hard work, or that I would practically live for bedtime and 5 mins peace on the sofa!!

imwithspud Mon 18-Jan-16 01:30:38

No it's fine, a lot of the things you mention really resonate with me. The early wake ups are another bug bear of mine. Both dd's share a room now, so when one of them wakes up for the day at 5am then they're both up. It's relentless, having two young dc's is so hard. I'm wondering if she's still adjusting to dd2, she didn't pay much attention to her for the first few months but now she's sitting up, trying to crawl and generally making her presence known I'm wondering if that's having an effect on dd1 too.

She is utterly adorable and cute and funny, but I can't wait until I feel less like a zombie.

Eastie77 Mon 18-Jan-16 05:10:53

I can relate to all of this. DD is 2.5 and poor DS, just turned 3 mths, barely gets a look in on the days I have both of them at home all day. I'm on ML but have kept DD with her childminder for part of the week just so I can keep hold of my sanity. It is all consuming: the whining and hysteria over the smallest thing such as the wrong colour cup or if I sing the wrong nursery rhyme at the wrong timeconfused, shouting and screeching excitedly at poor DS as he tries to sleep, screaming for attention when I BF him, meltdowns over Peppa Pig...I could go on and on. She is also incredibly funny, affectionate and can be a joy to be around but my god it is all SO EXHAUSTING. I have resorted to locking myself in the bathroom and just sitting in the darkness during some of her tantrumsgrin

BugPlaster Mon 18-Jan-16 05:54:35

It has got easier for us...maybe partly as DD is at school now. I remember all the things mentioned above. DD was 3.1 when DS was born and now he is 18 months there is a bit more play between them and a lot less jealousy.
I really felt I was doing badly, juggling, HAD to keep DD in nursery for her free hours after having DS just to stay sane and prevent him being jumped on all the time. I do wish I could have been calmer but also i am learning all the time to empathise with their feelings (tantrums) and stay calm, shout less. All hard to do months ago when night feeding etc! Remember to tell yourself you are doing ok. As long as they feel loved, which they do as they clearly feel safe to express themselves with you, you are doing well.

imwithspud Mon 18-Jan-16 07:39:47

Well we've already had tears this morning. Firstly because I didn't want her jumping on me first thing in the morning (not a morning person) so I told her no, and secondly because she wanted Peppa Pig on but it's not on Milkshake yet and I'm not putting Netflix on first thing. The joys.

I'm really glad it's not just me though, sometimes when there's constant whining and tantrums at home and in public you feel like you're doing something wrong. I can't believe I'm going to have to go through this stage again with dd2 in a couple of years, the thought fills me with dread.

BabyTheCaveLion Mon 18-Jan-16 08:05:27

Same here except both of mine are in that stage at the same time hmm DS1 has just turned 4 and is all about "I want" and "it's not fair" and seems to have regressed in his ability to share toys. DS2 is very nearly 3 but his speech is awful so he just whines, whinges and gets frustrated all day long. He's also very good at winding up his big brother.

They both want the same toy, at the same time - constantly.

They both want to sit next to me at the table, sit on my lap at story time, etc

They fight over who gets what colour cup/plate/bowl/spoon etc

They argue over who gets to choose what's on TV

The list is endless and is the reason why I now have a glass of wine every evening rather than just at weekends grin

Mrscog Mon 18-Jan-16 09:53:16

' I'm not putting Netflix on first thing'

Just a thought - is that a battle really worth having? If you're happy for a bit of early morning TV time, then I'd just go with it. We limit DS to 2 hours screen time per day (he doesn't always use it all) but a bit in the morning is essential - normally 30-45 mins, then a long break until afternoon when he'll have the same again.

OhPuddleducks Mon 18-Jan-16 10:06:42

It gets easier and more difficult in waves. We always struggle with DD because she's our eldest and so any new phase of the always brand new: we don't have the experience to know how best to cope. In comparison I find DS (2 yrs younger than her) easy because I have confidence in how I'm dealing with him. Parenting. For me it's very much fake it till you make it...

imwithspud Mon 18-Jan-16 10:08:27

You're right it probably isn't a battle worth having in the grand scheme of things. Fortunately she didn't complain for long. I do like to take a pick your battles approach with her, but at the same time I don't want to give in all the time. Pre-school drop off is done and the baby is napping so at least I can get a break now.

JustAWeeProblem Tue 19-Jan-16 19:49:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

imwithspud Tue 19-Jan-16 20:12:56

I hear you on the less tired thing! Both DD's sleep relatively well, DD2 is just starting to sleep through most of the night, some nights are better than others though. DD1 does mostly sleep through but some nights she comes into our room once or twice because her duvet has fallen off her bed or she's had a bad dream (the other night she woke saying she doesn't want the vacuum to 'get her').

I do have some support fortunately. DD1 goes to my mums or PIL over night around once a month (DD2 doesn't yet as she's still bf and it's too faffy to organise for her to stay over at the moment). They all still work full time so they are not really 'on tap' during the week, but I am very lucky that they do want to spend time with their grandchildren and take them off my hands when they get the opportunity. DP works 45/50 hours a week but fairly close by. It must be so much harder when you've not got much support.

Ragwort Tue 19-Jan-16 20:16:03

It might get easier ................ when they leave home, personally I find having a teenager the worse part (so far) ............................

imwithspud Tue 19-Jan-16 21:39:04

Oh god, dreading teenage years. Especially with two dd's.

I often wonder what on earth I was thinking when I decided it would be a good idea to have children.hmm

justonemorethread Tue 19-Jan-16 21:52:26

I felt the same as you when dd1 was 3 and baby 6 months. It was a high peak of stress that I will always remember, and yes the jealousy did increase when baby started ' interfering' more in her life!
I know this will sound really annoying , but.
With the benefit of hindsight I realise only now how tiny dd1 was. Because she was my first, older child I think I expected her to be much more reasonable than she was capable of. Unfortunately I know that does not make your life easier right now, but it will pass! If I only could have had a crystal ball to show me what a lovely 9 yr ( who has already started closing herself away in the bedroom!) She would become, and how quickly that would come round!!!

Sorry, I definitely win for most unhelpful post!

imwithspud Tue 19-Jan-16 22:29:23

No that's really helpful actually! You've just confirmed that it does in fact get better, but also reminded me that this time is fleeting and before I know it she will have grown up into her own person who won't need me as much anymore. I am aware that I do sometimes expect too much from dd1 and so does dp. I think we are both finding this stage frustrating. It's difficult at times to remember that she is only 3 and that although she's the big sister that doesn't mean she suddenly has the same level of understanding or attention span that we as adults have. She's still little really.

justonemorethread Tue 19-Jan-16 22:41:11

Doesn't make it any less frustrating! It is hard having that smaller age gap when they are little, I'm sure you're making the best of it. Youcan only dowhat you can when you can, and 3 is a very trying stage! ( my dd2 had ssuch an epic tantrum once that my neighbours came to knock on the door to check we were ok!!)

imwithspud Wed 20-Jan-16 05:21:50

Thank you, it really is a trying stage, most difficult one yet for me.

Currently on tenterhooks praying that both dd's will drop off to sleep for another hour at least. Dd1 came into our room at 10 to 5 over something or other. Disturbing dd2 who is a light sleeper at around this time, gave dd2 a feed in the hope that I would put her back to sleep, made her drowsy but she's still awake in her cot, dd1 is in her bed also trying to get back to sleep. They are both obviously tired but it's a funny time of morning where it can go either way. If this is them both up for the day then I am done before the day's even begunwine

Needtobebetter Thu 21-Jan-16 16:17:32

OP I could have written your post! DS 1 is 3 and DS2 is 7 months, I'm tearing my hair out. Not helpful but it's good to know it's something other people are going through. I try to have some one to one time with each DS which seems to be helping. I have afternoons with DS2 when DS 1 is at nursery and one morning a week I send DS 2 to the childminder so DS 1 and I can do something nice together. DS1 is always more calm the day after but is back to his usual self within a few days.

It's nice to know things do get easier, I hate it when I feel so tense and shouty!

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