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screaming tantrumming 2 year old+ refluxing 5 month old = dispairing Mum

(6 Posts)
exasperatedmum Tue 21-Jul-09 14:14:36

This is going to be all 'woe is me' so please bear with me. My dd will be three in November. She's very energetic, active, forceful, wilfil etc, but has been even more so (everything) since the birth of ds five months ago. I thought it would settle down with time. Have been as positive as I can be with her, have tried to take time out to do things just with her, try to be patient, try to support her through what must be a psychologically difficult upheaval but... am at my wits end. She has me in tears most days. She seems to whine and scream about everything from the second she wakes up "Muuuuuuuuuuum want get out of bed, Muuuuuuuuuuum don't want to wear that, I'll do it!!!" battle to get dressed, battle to get washed, battle to eat breakfast (tends to take over an hour) in fact, each meal takes over an hour. She screams at me to sit down, get her a tissue, move the baby - whatever, and when I try to calmly say no, I'll do that in a minute (I'm trying to wolf down some food so that I can continue to breastfeed and cope with the pair of you) she screams more. Last night I was up at 11.40, 2.30 and 5.30 to feed ds, and he didn't go to sleep until 6.30am which was when she woke up. I feel like a zombie, and the worrying thing is I always resort to shouting at dd, because I just don't know what to do. I try to get on her level and be calm, try stickers, reinforcement, positive praise you name it, nothing seems to work. The health visitor seems to think I have pnd, but all she could suggest was that I try to get someone to help out more. I can't get anyone to help out more, and although I do enjoy getting out to toddler groups etc, the actual act of getting out of the door takes on average from 6am until 11am, by which time I'm good for nothing. I've asked the health visitor about going on a positive parenting course as I'm worried about the type of parent I'm becoming but the courses run in the daytime, and I've got no one to look after the children. I haven't been out of the house in the evening since ds was born, and although I have a dh who helps when he can, in the day its just me and lots of nappies, crying, screaming and a baby who is generally happy but very sick all the time! Help!!!! Any words of wisdom from anyone who knows how I feel???!

meandjoe Tue 21-Jul-09 14:45:14

Only have one ds but didn't want you to go unanswered! I think we all feel like this at times. I really think if you are feeling like it regularly than you should maybe just go and chat to your doctor or a health visitor who could actually offer more advice on dealing with your emotions. On the whole you just sound exhausted which is totally understandable with a demanding toddler and a baby. Surestart can offter help to parents with childcare etc so you could look into that if you need some time every week to rest/ collect your thoughts a bit. Your HV really should have given better advice and advised you to see someone about depression if you think you are depressed.

From the sounds of it your dd sounds very normal. My ds is 2 and is just so bossy! Constanly 'Mummy, I do it' 'Noooo mummy' 'Mummy sit down' 'Mummy outside' 'pick me up' 'Nooooooo'.... just constant demands really but they mostly all seem to have an attitude at this age. Not that that's any consolation. It is bloomin draining and annoying!

Why do you think she is taking so long with meals? Is it that she's just not hungry and would be better with smaller meals mayber 4-5 times a day rather than 3 big meals. Or is she just fed up of sitting still and wanting to be off playing etc?

As for the dressing thing, they seem to all hate it at this age (again not much help to you!) but is there anyway you could give her something to hold like a book to read to distract her while you dress her sat on your knee. If all else fails then I find a box of raisins makes my ds a whole lot more complient and easier to dress of he's really not in the mood to be man-handled!!

I do feel for you, it is exhausting enough having a toddler without a sicky baby but remember everything is just a phase (I hated it when people said that to me but it's true!!!) this time next year your dd with be starting nursery/ pre school and ds won't be a baby anymore, everything changes so fast with kids, even when it seems to be lasting forever! xxx

faeriemummy Tue 21-Jul-09 14:50:42

I totally know how you feel.
Mine are 2.5 and 4 now. They go in and out of phases- just when you think your life is coming together they through another bomb at you! My dd2 is just like you decribe- screams and demands EVERYTHING! The best thing with her is to walk away and ignore her, or if she's having a tantrum to put her in her room and tell her she can't come down till shes finished screaming. She basically just wants to be with me so this usually works. But yours many be totally different...
Its a cliche i know but the hard bits do pass, until then find some people you can moan to and you can get together with during the day who won't care what a state your in!
Just hearing other peoples tales of woe will make you feel better.
Theres no way you're a bad parent either- we all feel like that! Read my post about my ds...
Feel like at my wits end some days, told my dh recently i'd had enough and didn't want to be a mum any more! But it passed blush
Things magically improve when they both sleep through though- thats when i started getting my life back. Its hard when you don't have anyone to take them for a bit though...
Sorry i haven't been very helpful but wanted to empathise cos i've been there so try and keep smiling

januarysnowdrop Tue 21-Jul-09 15:29:08

I know how you feel! I've got a dd1 who was 2 last month and a nearly 6 month old dd2. And it's really hard work, isn't it?!

My only vague attempt at a word of wisdom is to try to analyse what went wrong when things do go wrong & think of ways you might do things differently next time. There was something somebody told me when I was doing teacher training that really struck home with me - you can't change somebody else's behaviour for them, only they can do that, but you can change the way that you react & respond to it. I think they had a quote that went along with it - "if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got".

Difficult to give specific advice, as I don't know enough about your life, but maybe you could go out of your way to make dd laugh a bit more? Try putting her clothes on a teddy bear if she's not cooperating with getting dressed, make jokes about the baby "Can the baby eat fish fingers?!? No!" (use a silly voice) - that sort of thing? It's not usually all that difficult to make a toddler laugh... It might cheer you up anyway - it's horrible, isn't it, when you feel you're turning into a moany old witch?! And give dd as much attention as you possibly can, as she's obviously desperate for it - and praise her to the skies when she does something you want her to do (even something really small). And maybe try to get her playing with the baby - my dd1 likes hiding behind the curtains and jumping out & saying 'boo!' to dd2, who has just started to respond and find this funny.

I do feel for you! Good luck!

exasperatedmum Tue 21-Jul-09 16:09:15

Thanks everyone for the kind words and advice. She's asleep now, so as usual a little bit of perspective has returned and am feeling slightly better. With the meals, am not sure why she takes so long. She likes to eat everything, and it just takes her a long time to eat. We've tried setting a timer and taking her plate away after a set period of time, but she gets so distressed it doesn't seem right. We've tried to ignore her slowness to avoid the coaxing/instructions etc ("Will you please hurry up and eat that toast!!")... sometimes I think we spend all day at the dining table!!

It is encouraging to hear that things will improve - she is a lovely girl, and there are so many positives, but she totally knows which buttons to press with me, and I feel totally beaten at times. I can just imagine people witnessing her behaviour and thinking "If she were my daughter I'd have none of that" but nothing I try works!! I understand the quote about if you always do what you always do you'll always get what you've always had sort of thing, and I will try to analyse the specifics of the situations a bit more carefully. I'm just struggling with trying to have boundaries and not just be dictated to by a 2 year old, but also have fun, let some things go to avoid the tantrums, and survive the day! Its encouraging to hear that other people do know what I'm talking about. I sometimes feel that I'm the only one who really struggles with parenting. I love my children, and would love to have more - but I wish I knew when the light at the end of the tunnel would shine a bit more brightly on me!

madwomanintheattic Tue 21-Jul-09 16:16:19

when ds1 was a baby and dd1 was two, i wrote 'i have gone to the airport' on the fridge in magnetic letters.

but here we still are.

my advice - get. out. of. the. house.

and never, ever have sex again, or you will end up dealing with a stroppy pre-schooler, a tantrumming two year old, and a newborn.

in my case the newborn had some additional needs which meant i didn't have time to write imaginative stuff on the fridge.

if you can't get out of the house, order 'toddler taming' by chris green from amazon. i reread it every time i wanted the world to stop so i could get off for a break.

not as good as getting out, but at least gives you a perspective when it ain't all cupcakes and bunting.

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