So angry I feel I may spontaneously combust(9 Posts)
I know I'm being irrational. I just need to rant.
My 15 month old has sucked every ounce of patience I once had out of me over the last fortnight.
My days consist of tantrum, after screaming tantrum over anything and everything, destroying the house/her toys, fighting nap times to the very last second etc. I feel like I spend every waking moment either telling her off, or just sitting here trying not to cry because the stress is so overwhelming.
I'm 26 weeks pregnant with DC2, and am starting to have horrible thoughts like "why the hell am I doing this again?".
I dread getting up in the mornings because I know my day will just be another one filled with tantrums and stress.
Now, I know I'm being ridiculous because she's still so little, but I just can't help but feel like this.
Has anyone else been through this at this age and felt the same way I do??
Can a break for you be organised somehow? DP or a family member looking after DD for a bit? It sounds exhausting!
For what it's worth, at that age I wouldn't waste too much energy telling off, a simple 'no' if something is dangerous but otherwise try to distract. Do you have a safe space or playpen in the house where she can be for a bit without you worrying about things breaking?
Other thoughts - walks with the buggy, potter around in the park - playground with sandpit? DS at that age seemed to be happiest rolling around in the sand...
You need to get out of the house and break the cycle. Make sure you always take the baby out in the morning, give yourself some kind of routine.
It sounds like she is overtired, as are you. I appreciate that's easy for me to write but not for you to change.
Sorry For all the questions but if you could tell us a bit more, maybe we can help:
What's her routine, can you tell us?
What's she able to do, is she able to walk yet or communicate at all?
What's your position - are you a sahp, do you have family locally to help (I hate this question, I have no one to help but people think it's such a bloody easy answer to what I know is a really horrible situation), could you afford to buy help in?
Area you worried about her development in any way, are there any bigger concerns or do you think it's a battle of wills right now?
Whatever the circumstances, you need to make a change for you and for her, especially before the new baby comes.
If you have the provision to, I would personally suggest getting help for at least a couple of days a week on a REGULAR basis so you know you can depend on it, either family or a nanny (who can be there to help you when the new baby arrives too) or put her in nursery and give yourself some peace and quiet. It will also enable her to see how other children are and might help her to calm with tantrums.
Ok so a bit more background (super long post, sorry!):
- I am SAHM, DH is in the forces, so works unpredictable hours most of the time, including days/weeks/months away at a time. Also as a result of his job, I don't have family in the immediate area to help pick up the slack.
- Paying for help is simply not an option unfortunately. DH is not paid until 29th of this month, and as of today we have a grand total of £2 to our name....money is another constant cause of stress for me!
- DD has been walking since she was 9mo, and has recently learned to run! So she runs everywhere at the moment. She has a few words which she will use regularly (mama, daddy, juice, taa, hi, bye etc) and is very aware of everything. She can follow simple instructions (when it suits her! for example, DH just said "shall we read a book?", and she ran to the bookcase and pointed) I think part of the tantrum issue is that she is quite advanced for her age, and gets frustrated very easily when she isn't physically able to do something she wants to, or is told "no" and the automatic response is for her to start screaming, flop to the floor and kick until she goes bright red in the face, and hyperventilates. This happens numerous times throughout the day. If I pick her up and attempt to calm her, she fights against me and just gets into even more of a frenzy, so I'm trying distracting with toys (which occasionally works, but not very often!), or just letting her get it out and not giving her attention during a tantrum.
She has a pretty solid routine:
6/6:30am - wake up & milk/water
7:30am - breakfast
9:30am-10:30am - nap
10:30am-12pm - try to do something active everyday, sometimes play in the garden, play with friends who live in walking distance, or if I'm lucky enough to have the car that day we will go into town or something.
12pm - Lunch
2pm-3:30pm - Nap
5pm - dinner
7pm - bath time
7:30pm - asleep
I think she's almost ready to drop down to one midday nap rather than two (I've posted about it before), but she's not quite there yet. We've tried only having one nap, but it was a train wreck, because by the time I put her down, she was over-tired and only slept for an hour! So by mid-afternoon she was super tired again, but it was way too late for another nap by then. It seems as if two naps is too many, but one is not enough at the moment!
I did look into the local nursery/preschool, which is the only one it would logistically be possible for Dd to go to because of DH needing the car most days, and we have no public transport where we live (ie. The arsehole of nowhere!) - and they only accept children from the age of 2 years old, and Dd will only be 18 months when DC2 is born. Not sure about childminders - feels a bit weird if I were to drop Dd off with a childminder when I'm not going to work, just being at home with the baby?
I'm trying to remain calm, and as stress-free as possible, but after a completely relentless fortnight, that is proving rather difficult, and I'm at my wits end. DH does his share when he is here, but he only spends about 90min/2hours maximum with Dd everyday between him getting home from work and bedtime, so it does feel like I'm doing this all by myself majority of the time.
Dd is in the throes of a tantrum right this second. She is screaming at the top of her lungs, flopping to the ground, kicking and hyperventilating..... all because she pushed a book under the sofa, she can't reach it, and DH didn't retrieve it fast enough for her liking
OP that sounds so hard, I can empathise with how claustrophobic it feels and how you spend your day just trying to avert a tantrum.
Good things - routine looks great and at least you're getting some down time during naps and evenings. I agree it's probably time to move to one nap, how about reducing the morning nap by five mins each day rather than going cold turkey? My DD is 16 months, she's awake at 7, asleep at 12 (I feed her early) for 2h, then asleep again at 6.30-7pm.
It does sound like DD is frustrated, I can also understand how isolating it feels to not have support around you.
Regards support (which sounds like the most important thing right now):
There's absolutely nothing wrong with using a childminder or any kind of help frankly under any circumstances. You do what YOU need to do. Let's face it, the help is in the absence of a support network or your DM/MIL... I pay for help at home as a SAHM, if I didn't I would have no one. People who have family support often take it for granted, don't feel guilty, it's not your fault and we all need a break esp if DH is away so much. Would there be any chance of asking anyone to come and stay at anytime?
If childminder is not an option regularly for you, do you have any playgroups you can attend with DD where you can sit back and let her play? Even if you could have some time out in that environment it could be a help. You could also meet some other parents who are likely in similar positions and can at least lend an ear. You may even find someone who has a teenage daughter who you could invite in to play with DD whilst you were in the house, st least to occupy her and give you time out, you could pay a small hourly wage which would reflect their age / experience
Regards frustration, how about using a picture board with DD to help her to communicate what she wants? For example - when you wake up show her a picture of breakfast so she knows you're going to have breakfast, let her choose (between 2!) her clothes and maybe cereal for example if you have to. When you're going out, let her choose between eg pictures of park and shops, or at least show her a picture of the shops when you're going.
Leave the pictures in an accessible place so when she wants something she can point to it. You can easily print anything you need off the internet, introduce a few at a time. Might help to bridge the gap between now and talking.
I hope someone with more ideas will be along soon too, good luck
beenaround I truly appreciate your insight on this!! Makes me feel less like a complete nutjob being overwhelmed by it all!
I am definitely going to try reducing her morning nap gradually, bringing her afternoon nap forward and hopefully she will learn to sleep for longer during the second one! I'll probably have to bring bedtime a bit earlier too.
If money was no object, my solution would be an Au Pair or a part time nanny, but there's no way either would be possible with the current state of our finances (car broke down a month or so ago, needing £3000 worth of repair work on it which we are trying to pay off in instalments every month 👎🏻 amongst other things!).
I was furious to find out from a friend, that the only playgroup that runs in our village once a week has (as of last week) been moved to a different village hall that is about 8 miles away so without a car most days, that's a no-go for us now, which is a huge shame because Dd really enjoyed it!
I've sat here just now (while Dd kicks about and messes around in her cot, trying to avoid going to sleep!), and tried to think of anything that has changed even slightly in our lives recently that could possibly explain the sudden change in dd's behaviour, and the only thing that I can think of, is this horrific heatwave! That is literally the only thing that has changed over the last fortnight. Everything else, routine-wise has been exactly the same as normal. So I'm thinking maybe the heat is causing the nap time/bed time fights all of a sudden, which in turn means she's more tired than usual, which then is making her more irritable than usual??
I think I will drive myself crazy trying to figure it out!
It could be the heatwave. She could be teething. She could also be having a developmental spurt. Mine (at past 4 years) still can go loopy around big developmental spurts. I would keep the routine calm, not take things personally, and after offering a bit of distraction, ignore some of the tantrums, especially if they are at home and not outdoors. I don't mean that you leave her distressed. Just that if you've said no, and she is still screaming, then you carry on with what you were doing, maybe occasionally offering a hug, but not interfering too much. Two things happen sometimes- the distraction can fuel the tantrum, reminding the child what they are not getting, and then secondly, it becomes an easy way of getting attention over time. This is particularly true at a stage when they don't have the words to make conversation or get attention in any other way. Lots of praise when she is much calmer, and a gentle reminder of 'rules'- we had only three- no hitting, no throwing and no shouting. I would always say 'ask nicely please.' Even when the kids didn't have the language to! Which might seem bonkers but you are basically encouraging some form of communication rather than shrieking at you, demanding something. But there is no point in enforcing 'rules' when they are screaming bloody murder. Ride it out and at a calmer moment just say 'do you remember the 'rules', do you remember when you shouted for X, did you get it? No? that's because we don't shout. And a no is a no.' She may understand, she may not understand, but gently introducing her to some basic framework of a family code/social behaviour will at least make YOU feel you are in control even if you aren't! It doesn't have to involve any punishing or discipline because she is little more than a baby, just a more gentle setting down of expectations and ENORMOUS praise when she achieves it.
Distract as much as you can - and go out. My 16mo DD2 is best out of the house - anywhere that is not home (and DD1 was the same). She is very grumpy, especially in the afternoons, if we don't go out. Can you get out after her afternoon nap, before tea? You could push tea to 5.30 if you gave her a snack or milk at 3. Even if it's just a walk in the buggy or with her on reins. Do you have a playground near?
DD2 has just dropped to one nap and it has made things easier, partly because we can get out more, partly because (this sounds awful) she has a bit less energy and so is more inclined to sit down than try to climb up things or run away. So hopefully that will help you soon.
Telling off doesn't work at this age. You can say No and remove item but there is no point in anything more by way of telling off. And No provokes tears/strop so I go with a quick no, remove item and then immediate distraction with a silly game, silly face or another toy (this doesn't always work).
Not sure about childminders - feels a bit weird if I were to drop Dd off with a childminder when I'm not going to work, just being at home with the baby? If you can afford a bit of childcare for DD1 when you have the new baby, I urge you to take it. Even just a couple of hours a day will make a huge difference to you. It is really some of the best money I've ever spent.
Thank you all!!
DH is on 2 weeks annual leave from today, so that's an absolute godsend....for one, I'm not trying to diffuse every tantrum by myself, and there's an extra person here to keep Dd entertained!
We've taken a walk to the newly built playground in the village everyday over the weekend, let her run around the football field chasing a ball and some bubbles. We went to the DS of one of DH's work colleague's 2nd birthday party yesterday afternoon, so she was occupied with lots of other toddlers around to play with. She's only had the one nap around 11:30 yesterday and today - yesterday she only slept for n hour again, so did then have a 20 min snooze in the pram on the way home from the party, but today slept from 11:30-1pm. I'm going to do bath time at 6pm, bed at 6:30 I think and see what happens. She's still been waking a lot in the night, but I think that's because of the heat!
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