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support thread for people with a baby and toddler finding it tough and not believing that there might be light at the end of the tunnel!!

(320 Posts)
exasperatedmum Tue 18-Aug-09 13:21:14

I've posted numerous times before bemoaning the fact that my now nearly 3 year old dd is spirited/wilful/challenging etc etc, and drives me to distraction. Am on an emotional roller-coaster every day, and am shattered as 5 month old obviously not sleeping through, and bf every three hours. Every time I post I get a cluster of 'know how you feel' posts but no solutions as there are none, I know!! So I wondered if there is anyone else out there who feels like me, and whether we could sort of help each other through, because believe me there are days when I think I'm not going to make it!! I keep telling myself "She's only two" and "I'm in charge" but feel like I'm being run rings around. Can't decide if my expectations are too high, and I'm just turning into a witch of a Mum, or if I'm trying hard to have boundaries and be firm with a very non-compliant toddler. Baby has reflux so that isn't helping my general mood. I always thought I'd love parenthood, but honestly I find it the most difficult thing I've ever had to do, and would love to have just a teeny tiny break to revive my flagging spirits... but no chance. Anyone out there?!

rasputin Tue 18-Aug-09 13:25:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Meglet Tue 18-Aug-09 13:31:28

I found it unbearably hard for a few months. I realised that to survive I needed to slow down and just do the minimum, ie: cbeebies were on all the time we were at home, I didn't worry about being a bit late for playdates / toddler groups, the bathroom got cleaned once or twice a month, the kitchen surfaces got a quick wipe over every day,I splashed out on M&S ready meals to keep me fed and sane and spent most of the evenings on MN. TBH I pretty much wrote off most of dd's first year as I'm not a baby person and just wanted her to turn into a little toddler.

But my ds is now 2.9 and dd is almost 1 so I can already see it getting easier. They 'squabble' and aren't really playing together properly but it will start to happen soon (although we'll have more fights). DD will be on 'proper' food and I won't have to mash hers up, DS will be potty trained and whilst I will have 2 tantrumming toddlers they will be more like little people than babies.

Take it one hour at a time and be nice to yourself. It's not for ever.

Yorky Tue 18-Aug-09 13:47:23

<Puts hand in air, waving slightly over enthusiastically>

I completely know where you are coming from. DS is 2.5yrs and DD 9months and I thought I'd always wanted to be a mum, no career aspirations etc - and no I find its not actually much fun atm. I feel like I spend so much time nagging DS or telling him off

I remember the first time they 'played' together, that brief moment of interaction and shared enjoyment - I nearly cried. Though few, they are getting more common and each time I think thats what I wanted, I can do this

exasperatedmum Tue 18-Aug-09 14:07:16

Rasputin, I've ordered the book from Amazon. Anything is worth a try, and the books sounds like it comes from a perspective where I'd like to be (if that makes sense!)

I've just managed a grand total of nothing this morning... managed to get out of the house by 11.40am, drove to Tesco, got them both out of car seats and into trolley, then realisd I'd forgotten my handbag!! Home for lunch, dd refusing to nap, so she's just making me 'pretend cake' at the moment while I continue looking for some answers online!!

Meglet - its less the baby and more the toddler that causes me problems, which in itself is terrifying because I know that my baby will soon be a toddler, and it will all start again!! Dh says I should try to do less, but tbh we don't really do anything, apart from a toddler group once a week. I go round to friends houses if I can cope with it, but the sheer effort of getting them both out and managing dd's behaviour when out and about often finishes me off! We're late for everything, and it is really hard because in my former life I was really organised!!

Well - good to hear that there are others out there who feel my pain. Lets do this together!!

Ceebee74 Tue 18-Aug-09 14:15:02

I'll join (hey Yorky smile)

I have a 3.1 year old and a 9-month old and it has been so tough - much much harder than I thought it was going to be sad

The first few weeks were hellish tbh and I honestly don't know how I got through them as DS1 was just a nightmare - refusing to sleep at nights and his nap (when previously he had been a really good sleeper), which in turn made him a real handful during the day and he was quite aggressive to DS2.

It has got gradually easier but still hard work - I think the most frustrating thing is that DS1 can be so lovely when he wants to be and really caring towards DS2 but then he will suddenly switch and be a complete b*gger to him.

I have only got through the last 9 months as DS1 is still going to nursery 4 days a week which gives me a respite from the constant watching/monitoring/managing DS1's behaviour - which I find quite sad to feel like that and be glad that DS1 is not at home sad

There will be light at the end of the tunnel.....

norktasticninja Tue 18-Aug-09 14:19:40

I've got a 10 week old and a 20 month old. It is certainly challenging at times! I'll be back later to join in properly but they've just both fallen asleep so I'm off to grab some rest smile

FlyMeToDunoon Tue 18-Aug-09 14:42:32

My two youngesr are now nearly 5 and nearly 3 so a two year age gap. I kept a diary for a while when things were really bad as part of me couldn't believe it was that bad and I would be amazed in a few years to read the horrors. I also found it very theraputic to be able to admit somewhere how difficult I found it and how difficult it was to remember I actally loved the little darlings.
Things started getting better for me when the youngest was around one. Then she was walking and the first game the two played was chase. I found that I wasn't spending all of my time removing one from the other.
DD2 also went to nursery 4 mornings a week then which was wonderful.
Can your nearly 3 year old go in september?
I did find getting everyone out of the house a nightmare but playgroup was a break too. Perhaps you could try more doing more things?

Triggles Tue 18-Aug-09 14:47:50

i'd like to join. typing one handed with 2wk old and 3yr old. soooooo wiped out!!!

rasputin Tue 18-Aug-09 18:43:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumofeve Tue 18-Aug-09 20:06:45

Exasperatedmum - your post could almost have been written by me. My DD was 3 last week and is incredibly 'spirited' smile. My DS is nearly 5 months, and luckily is good as gold. But my DD drives me up the wall most days, and by the time she's gone to bed in the evening, I'm left feeling like the worst mum in the world. The times I have promised myself that I won't spend all day shouting, and have actually made it to about 8am!
I do love her to bits, but she's gone to stay with my parents for two days and I can't help but feel relieved at the peace!
She is obsessed with DS, and doesn't leave him alone for a second. It's a miracle he's still in one piece to be honest - I can't take my eyes off them for one second. As for going shopping - forget it! End up staying in most days and am resorting to cbeebies more than I probably should! Arrgghh! And on top of all of this my mum and and dh think I need to chill out a bit more shock!
Am hoping DD will be better when she starts nursery class in september, fingers crossed. Until then will have to keep taking the valium! grin

Lastyearsmodel Tue 18-Aug-09 20:28:53

I've got a just-3yo DD and 17mo DS and was only today telling a friend expecting her second just how tough I've found it at times (I know, how tactful of me). MN is an absolute godsend for letting me know I'm not the only one going through it. Taking time out for me, although rare and hard to plan, is essential.

I can only second all the excellent advice already given and add that if you can find a good cafe whose staff at least tolerate your children, you should go once a week if not more. And online shopping! Why struggle looking for that elusive trolley that seats two toddlers when you can shop from home? OK, it takes out an evening, but there are always discount codes on the Saving money talk topic to cover your delivery charge.

And everything is a phase. By next month they'll have found new ways to make you wonder why you do it.

WhatFreshHellIsThis Tue 18-Aug-09 20:40:16

Bolshy, stroppy, 3 year old? Check.
Refluxy non sleeping 4 mo baby? Check.
Exhausted mummy at the end of the day? Check.

Anyone else clutching a large glass of wine right now?

My overriding emotion is of guilt that neither child is getting a good deal - poor DS2 is neglected and left to scream much more than I'd like, while DS1 gets it in the neck from a tired Mummy who resorts to yelling too quickly. sad I get cross about things that on better days I would find funny, or laugh off, or resolve through humour. Poor child doesn't know if he's coming or going. sad

zonedout Tue 18-Aug-09 21:07:30

what whatfreshhell said. word for word. except that baby is 10 months and wheezy rather than refluxy sad and ds2 is 3.6.

however, i will say that recently things turned around from it being my previously intolerable 3 year old driving me scatty to him becoming his old, mostly delightful self (have figured this behaviour change is directly related to the holidays from pre-school hmm but that's a whole other thread blush to my sweet but crazy, stroppy, crawling faster than a speeding bullet, dog food munching, non-sleeping ds2 who is testing my sanity levels. so it seems to be swings and roundabouts. hmm zonedout swigs from aforementioned large glass of wine, wondering if her sleep deprived brain is making any sense at all.

Yorky Wed 19-Aug-09 08:13:15

Good morning
Anyone put the DCs on ebay yet this morning?

DS was great last night - a pain at bedtime but once he stopped shouting that he wasn't asleep he was fine! DD on the other hand excelled herself. 4 wakes in 4 hours? I am already feeling guilty because I know I'm going to end up snapping at DS for something minor because I'm tired - and its not even his fault.

Thanks for the words of hope/encouragement Rasputin

scrappydappydoo Wed 19-Aug-09 08:27:12

Yep - the number of times over the past 18mths I've felt like collapsing in heap and just sobbing for hours.. I keep starting to write a thread on mumsnet and can't finish - its too much...
My dds are 3 and 18mths and they do play together occasionally but dd1 has sharing 'issues', dd2 still doesn't sleep through (at all) and whereas playgroup gave me respite during the term - these summer holidays have been hell with no let up at all. Whenever I've asked for help I also get that 'I know its tough' response but no help sad. Solutions I have none I'm afraid - my only advice is beebies and bribary. I'm just counting the days til playgroup starts again.

WhatFreshHellIsThis Wed 19-Aug-09 11:55:44

Yorky - I think that's the bit that makes me feel worst, that poor old DS1 gets me snapping at him about things that are really not important at all when it's totally not his fault that I'm so short tempered sad

Poor boy is all over the place, he came into our room at 3am today and I couldn't figure out what he wanted and he got upset and I was really snappy cause I was so tired. Poor lamb, he used to get a nice cuddle when he woke in the night sad.

Oh well. Nursery day today thank goodness and DS2 is asleep so I'm going to have a cup of tea and some biscuits.

melmog Wed 19-Aug-09 12:07:52

Can I play?!

Dd1 just 3, dd2 17 months and I am exhausted and ratty most of the time.

I do have to say though, that although I have some sobbing on the floor moments when they are both being little monsters, there are some truly heartlifting times too.

My hope is that they happen more and more the older they get.

I know what you mean about feeling guilty. Yesterday I snapped and swore blush sad at dd1 because as fast as I was dressing her she was getting undressed again and dd2 was wailing and trying to climb on my lap at the same time. I was just trying to get them ready to get out of the house for their sakes as much as mine. We were only going to the sodding park fgs! I felt awful as she was just playing and normally I would've been calmer about it. It's not like we had a deadline.

Wine def helps.

thinkingaboutdrinking Wed 19-Aug-09 12:20:30

Me Too!! cbeebies is a gift..one that I always feel bad about but hey, it's the holidays so no nursery - only 2 more weeks! DS 3.5, DD 1.5 - both seem to have hit tantrums at the same time argghhhh!
and DH wonders why I want a glass of wine in the evening - glad I'm not the only one!

melmog Wed 19-Aug-09 12:22:51

I just wonder if it's wrong that I'm planning to make them bolognaise sauce with red wine purely to open a bottle at five o'clock....

Roomfor2 Wed 19-Aug-09 12:29:45

Expecting number 2 when DD1 will be 3.... so not in the club yet, but would like to lurk and get some advice in advance please!

I do find even with one (and lack of energy due to being pg) that trying to achieve more than one thing in a day is expecting too much! I consider getting us both clean and dressed an achievement , and if I manage to hit tescos and put the hoover round, I think I have done very well. smile So when DC2 arrives, I think I will be like meglet and just do the bare minimum to keep my sanity.

I'm already dreading going right back to the start with sleepless nights and the like, but at least this time I know it doesn't last forever and my DD is an angel most of the time, so I really hope she stays that way....

GreenFingeredMummy Wed 19-Aug-09 13:00:47

Can I join?!?!? Mad mum to dd 26mths and ds 10 weeks.

I can totally sympathise with all your comments, my dd is so highly spirited and outgoing that I can never seen to control her, matters werent helped by postnatal depression after she was born. Now we have a little boy whos a total angel and with whom I dont have depression. Somedays I find myself really hating my eldest and hate the fact that I sometimes wish I hadnt had her sad

I often meet my NCT mums but so far I havent been able to face taking my dd along. She gets shipped off to Grandmas, its the only way I can cope. Esp as my ds doesnt sleep on the move, so trips out in the double buggy are a 'no-no'.

Oh hes up, best go for now - no doubt Ill be back!!!

essexgirl31 Wed 19-Aug-09 13:09:00

Can I join?!?

I have a 2 year old DS1 and a 10 week old DS2.

I can't wait to see the light. The tinest glimmer would cheer me up. DS2 is a 'good' baby but the tiredness and the relentless treadmill that is my life is so overwhelming sometimes.

My DH keeps reminding me that life with children won't get any harder than it is right now (not planning anymore)and it can only get better. I am trying to hold onto that thought!

I have considered EBay though didn't know whether to sell my toddler through 'buy it now' or bidding wink

porcupine11 Wed 19-Aug-09 13:41:34

I shouldn't be on this thread yet (sorry), but it caught my eye as I'm expecting DC2 next April, when DS will be 19 months... after reading this thread all I can say is eek.

This year I have found ok, if a bit boring at times, so have actually been looking forward to DS becoming a walking, talking toddler. And if I start to feel guilty about being bored, I just remind myself what an amazing life all our babies have compared to the vast majority of the children in the world. Really, they have everything they need and more, so I think of that when I'm beating myself up too much.

neuroticlady Wed 19-Aug-09 13:58:39

Nerdily keen to join you all.

I have a nine week old and an 18 month old. And this is all I have time to write at the moment shock. So nice to not quite get a chance to moan away.

I'll be back, she says optimistically...

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