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I feel like I can't cope with my 2.5 year old

(5 Posts)
ERS25 Tue 12-Feb-19 22:11:40

I am a single parent, my LO goes to her dads twice a week, I work part time and she has gone to nursery since she was 7 months old. The past few weeks have been a nightmare. I feel so stressed out, crying and I just feel like I can't cope and I can't do it anymore, and I know deep down I can but I feel like I am failing as the parent I want to be.
Recently my LO has decided she doesn't want me to pick her up from nursery, when she sees me she runs away and cries and carries on, but if it is grandma or daddy picking her up apparently she is fine. So this causes me to dread picking her up. And she seems to be going through a phase of screaming and crying over small things, and I try to stay calm and explain that she can't have Jelly (tonight's example) because it's nearly bed time and I have just made us some toast, well she started crying at the fridge, I told her to have a look because there isn't any jelly in there, but she didn't and then kicked off when I tried to open the fridge, I kept saying 'when you've calmed down a bit you can come and get a cuddle' and then saying 'are you ready for cuddles now' but nothing worked, she didn't want me to touch her but she didn't want me to leave the kitchen area (Open plan living room kitchen) but she was full on screaming, I turned the TV off as she had it on past the usual 6.30 cut off time anyway because of the stress of the previous night paddying where I lost my temper and shouted and felt stressed out, so we had an extra half an hour and I turned it off and this set her off even more, we managed to get upstairs and then she was just crying and screaming, I managed to get her into a hug but she was still screaming, wanting to go downstairs, she would settle and then start up again, I was trying to have a calmer night so I was trying breathing techniques when I felt like I was too stressed and I was about to shout, she then said she needed a wee so I took her to the bathroom, she started crying because I touched the toilet seat and she wanted to do it, I tried to help her with her trousers and she wanted to do it, she spend 30-45 minutes sitting on the toilet, getting off the toilet, wanting her teddy, getting back on the toilet and basically not doing anything on it, I was getting stressed because in between this when I thought she was done I was trying to pull her pull up.. up, but she didn't want it up and she didn't want it off just around her ankles so she couldn't walk. So I've started shouting and telling her to stop messing about but I am also crying because I don't know what to do, I feel fed up and like I can't cope when she is like this. she fell asleep in my arms with her nappy around her ankles, so I started to pull it up but she woke up crying again asking for the toilet, cue more stress and more tears. I finally got her asleep in my arms again while sat on the bathroom floor, managed to get her pants up and almost to her bed before waking up again and then I finally got her to drift off again on my bed before taking her into her own bed where she is settled, and I just feel awful. I feel like a terrible parent, I always wanted to be a parent and I just feel like I can't do it. (Sorry long post)
So that is just an example of tonight, she is like this on and off. So she may kick up a fuss for about 4 weeks and then we will have a good couple of weeks before it starts again. I try follow gentle parenting, I don't smack, I try explain, I'm not perfect but I try and understand where she is coming from but sometimes it is not understandable, and it's just so out of the blue and I'm just lost. I thought maybe I am depressed but I don't think I am because it is only when she is kicking off that I feel like this. I try get her to walk herself when we go out, we never take the pushchair with us, but most of the time she just wants to be carried and I have to try everything to get her to walk. Sometimes she will and other times she is done within 5-10 minutes.
I don't know if I have explained it very well, I don't know what to do, and I feel like a lot of other parents I speak to tend not to be totally honest and pretend everything is easy and then I feel like I am doing something wrong because it isn't, I never thought I would be bringing her up on my own but in some respects it's easier but in others, like the tantrums it is so hard, but the confusing thing is she doesn't like my picking her up from nursery or her grandmas and she doesn't seem to want me around when she is kicking off and paddying over what ever, but she clings on to me when I drop her off at her dads. She cries and grabs me but her dad just say he has a stern word and puts paw patrol on and she settles, but I don't want to put the telly on to distract her, if I have said no to the telly I will stick by it. (Myself and her dad have been separated over a year now so I can't imagine it is that)

MumUnderTheMoon Wed 13-Feb-19 00:04:11

I think you are doing exactly what a lot of mums do. Anything for an easy life. But it isn't making life easier. What she was doing was classic power play and manipulation she didn't want to go to bed and she did everything she could to drag it out and control you and have your complete attention and it worked. In your situation tonight I would have told her. "You can eat your toast or go strait to bed" then "toast or bed" then if the screaming had continued I'd have carried her out of the kitchen and taken her straight to bed. Sometimes it is easier to remove them screaming to their room than to talk too them. Maybe their overtired and they don't even know what they want anymore and at that stage it's probably easier to just end the day, let yourself off the hook and try for better tomorrow.

ERS25 Wed 13-Feb-19 08:43:55

I did take her upstairs but she seems to carry on more. This lasted about 2 hours last night. She just tends to go through phases and I don't want her to associate her bedroom with being bad. I'm not harsh with her but I'm not totally soft. If I say no to something 95% of the time I stick by it. She just seems do strong willed.
This morning she has spent an hour crying because I opened the curtains and she wanted s see but wouldn't sit on the toilet because I touched it, now I'm worried I've scared her from using the toilet because I shouted last night in the bathroom because she was just messing about to avoid going to bed I think.

MumUnderTheMoon Wed 13-Feb-19 10:13:05

It's the 5% of time that you don't follow through that's getting in the way. But the point I was trying to make was that that's normal and maybe you should let yourself off the hook a bit. You now thinking you have made her afraid of the toilet because you shouted in the bathroom. You haven't, she is just trying to see how far she can push you because she, like all kids, wants to be in control.

nowifi Wed 13-Feb-19 15:14:15

You sound like you're doing a great job OP. My DD is almost 3 and she acts up over the slightest little thing like she wants to close the fridge and she wants to pour the milk etc.

At least you are staying consistent as that is a battle in itself especially when you're doing it on your own. I give in all the time ro my DD and that doesn't help matters. Like PP said they just want control at this age and arw struggling to express themselves properly. Agree you need to give yourself a break!

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