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Struggling with two

(20 Posts)
tiredandflat Thu 24-Sep-09 20:31:05

Feeling tired and in need of encouragement. At times struggling with 2 year old DD's temper tantrums and 8 month old DS (who is actually quite chilled.) DP working away most of the time and no family locally, at times feel I'm doing OK but at other times losing my temper easily and feel like screaming. Nothing is going horribly wrong so I'm not sure why I'm so frustrated but DD is very strong willed and quite jealous of DS. Finding it hard to talk to friends who all seem to be doing much better, some just seem really in control and I think one or two can see that I'm struggling but are quite smug about it. Or perhaps I'm just paranoid. Trying not to burden DP or family as they all have their own stresses. Have spoken to HV a couple of times and couldn't help crying. I don't think I'm depressed though, I have been in the past and this feels different. Just frustrated that I don't seem to be able to get things how I'd like. Sorry to ramble just needing to off-load a bit.

FlyMeToDunoon Thu 24-Sep-09 20:53:14

It can be horrible at times.
It is normal to feel like and to actually scream sometimes.
With two young children everything is relentless and is often combined with a lack of sleep to make you feel ground down.
Can DD go to nursery yet?
Whatever your 'friends' may like you to think I doubt they are doing so much better.
It does get improve as the children get older.
I found that as soon as my youngest started walking and could be 'chased' or chase her sister, the simplest of games, their relationship improved a lot. This coincided with the older starting nursery. The relief!
Hang in there. I used to lock the stairgate to the kitchen and pour a glass of wine of a dinner time to survive.

rosiejoy Thu 24-Sep-09 21:13:18

sounds like me this time last year! you could be writing about my life.

i guess all i have to offer is that routine really helped. didnt help with my own boredom and frustration, but made it much easier dealing with the kids.

make 10 minutes for yourself each evening. doesnt sound much, i know. i had a sketchbook that i used to make myself do something in every night. sometimes i just cut pictures out of magazines and made a collage. really helped me keep some sense of my own identity, doing something i enjoyed everyday. also with my 2year old i thought of him like a puppy! had to get out for a run asap in the morning, fed and watered (im sure you do this already, just made it easier not to take the tantrums so personally i guess?).

it really does get better with time. its difficult if everyone around you is having an easier time (or seems to be). is there anyway you can get some time to yourself in the day? even just 1hour a week if a friend could come over and watch the kids in your house and you get out for a walk? im sure the space to yourself would 'refresh' you and make the tantrums easier to shrug off. i managed this for 6weeks when mine were the same ages as yours and made all the difference

its all about survival i think when they're so little. you havent mentioned this, but try not to feel guilty either- very tiring! at bedtime i used to talk through the day with my eldest, all the good things (eg. went to shops and mummy bought you a cake, you drew beautiful picture, so clever). meant i ended the day feeling positive too.

tiredandflat Thu 24-Sep-09 21:49:59

Thanks both. I do feel very guilty, don't think I'm doing a good enough job. I am really tired and I agree some "me time" would help, I'm going to look into nursery. I need to do some exercise, it helps keep my mood level but I've just not had time. I'm off to bed now, thanks again.

tiredandflat Thu 24-Sep-09 23:40:07

Can't sleep though. DS woke teething, woke DD up as they share a room. He's settled but can't get DD back to sleep. No wonder she gets grumpy. So sick of coping on my own.

rosiejoy Fri 25-Sep-09 07:41:59

yes is horrible having to do it on your own....

nursery is a great idea. just remembered i also managed to get ds into a nursery for one morning a week. i collected him at 1 so he had had lunch too, at that point he would come home and go straight down for a nap so got a few extra hours break.

do you ever manage to get them asleep at same time during the day? have a lie down on the sofa and DONT feel guilty!

plimple Fri 25-Sep-09 08:07:03

Don't assume your friends are feeling smug. Ask them how they do it, ask them if your DD can have a play date. Go to their houses and see how they manage and copy strategies that work. Invite them to yours and they can back you up in any discipline you have to use - sometimes someone just saying "I thought your Mum told you not to do that" or giving a stern look while you're telling off can make you feel better.
Can you involve your DD in helping you with little jobs that help you and make her feel responsible?
Can you move DS back into your room for a few more months? I plan to put new baby (due today!) in with my DD eventually, but not until it can sleep through.

soknackered Fri 25-Sep-09 09:05:55

I hope you feel a little better soon! I feel exactly the same. DP just gone off to work with me crying and DD1 (nearly 3) telling me to be happy! How bad is that? DD2 7 weeks and i am KNACKERED!(doesnt sleep, projectile vomit and diorrhea)

You are doing such a great job, especially with so little support! On days like this I just keep thinking that it HAS to get easier. I feel like a failure for not being all cheery. Some days are fine and others awful.

Guess we just have to focus on the good things.

And its good to know we are not the only ones!

Lots of love xxxxx

FlyMeToDunoon Sat 26-Sep-09 07:29:57

How are you tiredandflat?
I remembered that I also kept a diary of the worst time. It did help to vent there and I could hide it away as if I was putting my problems away too.
I have read suggestions about writing down 5 positive things every night.

tiredandflat Sat 26-Sep-09 23:40:14

Thanks for support and ideas. Up and down but spoke to friends and getting some help. Like the diary idea. Thanks so much

tiredandflat Sun 27-Sep-09 22:04:12

Soknackered meant to say yesterday sorry that you are also finding it tough, those early weeks are so exhausting. It does get better, think I'm just having a blip, hope you are doing Ok and getting some support. Take care x

Innat Mon 28-Sep-09 21:08:32

tired and flat. i feel like you too. today has been awful. i try and keep busy - take DD1 (2) to baby groups etc but she ends up having amassive tantrum when it's time to go, DS (3 mo) starts screaming and it's just a massive stress to get them out the door - we are always the last out. i always feel that there are loads of other people with 2 kids that seem to cope ok...

lots of people have told me it does get easier, but that doesn;t help much at the moment does it!

i feel like screaming a lot too, i try and calm myself down, but it's hard when DD is constantly pushing me to my limit (biting me etc). sometimes i just don't know how to deal with her!

Littleover Mon 28-Sep-09 23:20:26

I meant to contribute to this a couple of days ago as it sounds like my life! MN is my life support, I feel like I am not alone on the hamster wheel. I have a 16 month gap between my girls and while they are lovely together they are such hard work - competitive screaming, pushing each other over, not sharing toys. My brother calls them the Pitbulls! Hell and back every day. We do normal stuff, lucky to have a park across the road from us that we use everyday, but just getting them out of the house is an ordeal. Dd1 is dry but has an issue with pooing and dd2 has been trying to walk for 3 months, only stops whingeing when someone walks her around by the hand. She is too wobbly/scared of being pushed over. I feel as though I have done a whole day by the time breakfast is over and I am constantly exhausted by the grizzling. So far today I have been used as a climbing frame by the pair of them, been kicked in the chest a couple of times as dd2 didn't want to get dressed after bathtime, and had a portion of fish pie thrown at me. I make an effort with my appearance but by mid morning I catch sight of myself in the mirror and I see John Prescott and Anne Widdecombe's lovechild. I feel I give them a lot of my time, and we have a lot of laughs and fun, but the monotony of managing it daily sucks. I stupidly mentioned my thoughts in conversation to my health visitor at my youngest's 12 month check and have been badgered since about pnd. I am not depressed because of how I am when I have time out. I am lucky to have family close by and my mum, love her to bits, helps a lot. We talk frankly about this and her view is similar. She has my elderly nan living with her and we let off steam together. I think I have a realistic unsweetened view of motherhood, I found that once one friend breaks the ice and declares their frustration then more people come forward. I just wish people were more bloody honest about it, there wouldn't be so much loneliness and the underlying feeling (not me anymore) that you are crap at it and everyone else is coping. It's still a bit of a taboo (not on MN thank God) and you have to judge your audience carefully. I love my girls more than I can say but I learnt to put the Stepford wife face on occasionally. If you are dealing with the slog that goes with the wonderful chaos of a couple of little ones then my advice is to do the bare minimum of everything. I cope better if I do bits of housework rather than trying to achieve a big clean and I batch cook and freeze the children's meals to avoid the pair of them hungrily hanging onto my ankles. Make life as easy as possible, cut those corners and give yourself a break. Many people have told me it gets easier but I am too cynical to believe that!

tiredandflat Tue 29-Sep-09 23:59:42

Littlover your post really cheered me up esp the JP AW lovechild bit!! I must look a state least of my worries. Innat lets hang on in there together! Great to hear others experiences bit sad real life friends don't share the bad bits but this thread has really helped me, and opening up here has helped me talk to friends in RL without thinking I must be mad or depressed, whatever the HVs think! good luck all.. Off to bed

becky7000 Wed 30-Sep-09 13:36:33

I hope you are feeling better today. MN is also a bit of a life line for me. I have 3 preschoolers and everyday is a bit like treading water. I love my time with them but it can be lonely and a bit soul destroying sometimes. I think most mums of very young children feel like this at times.

Please don't think everyone else is coping better. I was out for an evening meal a couple of weeks ago with some friends and one said to me how great I am with the kids (she has 2 preschoolers) as she popped round unannounced and I was playing a game with eldest 2. I pointed out that if she had been 10 minutes earlier she would have found DC1 in front of CBeebies and DC2 and 3 having a nap. And me on MN (like now- this is a bit of time for me, I don't do housework and I don't feel guilty!)

So what I am trying to say is, things aren't always as they seem!

GhostMoon Wed 30-Sep-09 14:31:27

Hello I'm new to MN but just had to add into this.

When you're under fire it always seems like everyone else is better equipped to deal.

I have 3 boys and gorgeous as they are some days it's a bloody good job they're pretty!

DS2 (3) is currently shut in his room to play to avoid him sitting repeatedly on DS3's (9mths) head. As I'm typing now #3 is attempting to climb inside the computer cabinet and making a pretty good go of it too!

DS1 is 15 and as such merely 'Moo's'at me occasionally.

All 3 of them are attention junkies so you are not alone in the wanting to scream department and I quite frequently do.

Are you familiar with the game of "Bogies?" A good solid game of that works wonders. The kids can join in and I always win. grin

Hold tight you're not alone.


Innat Fri 02-Oct-09 12:49:29

tiredandflat how have the last few days been? mine have been much better. mainly because i have tried so hard to keep myself calm and not shout and get angry.

it's interesting what you say about talking to RL friends. If someone asks me casually how i am i always say "yeah we're good thanks" because we don't have any serious health issues etc and underneath i know everything is ok. Also there are some people that just seem to whinge all the time and i don't want to be like that. however i have spoken to a few of my friends and they all agree (regardless of how many kids they have) that toddlers are hard work and can drive you crazy.

the other reason i don't want to be too negative is that several of my friends are now pregnant with no 2 and i don't want to make them dread it before dc2 even arrives!

it is great to have mn where you can let off steam!

tiredandflat Fri 02-Oct-09 18:17:48

HI Innat totally agree, thats why I don't like to moan in RL too! Was doing well for a few days, have lost my temper a bit today as we've had a few bad nights and I'm tired but overall I do feel better. DP back at the weekend so will be getting help and it makes a huge difference. I did speak to a good friend this week and she made me feel loads better by saying how much patience she thought that I had (she's not seen enough of me obviously!) but it did give me a boost. Glad things are better for you too and that you are managing to keep calm, you're right it helps so much!

Ghostmoon haven't heard of Bogies, please explain!

Innat Fri 02-Oct-09 20:28:43

i was thinking of making up a reward chart for DD (2). she loves stickers and i've seen them in cbeebies magazine but never with things relevant to her. i though there could be categories such as nappy changes, getting shoes on to go out etc and if she gets stickers for everything for a week she gets a small present.

dh is not keen as he doesn't want her to get rewarded for everything that she should just do for herself. i see where he's coming from but also think she's only 2 and doesn't really understand the concepts of time and consequences. i.e. if we didn't go to a baby group one day because she took too long to get ready she wouldn't necessarily notice or realise the consequence of her actions...

any one got any advice or experience?

tiredandflat - glad things are bit better for you today - hope you have a good weekend with dp.

isittooearlyforgin Fri 02-Oct-09 20:51:42

tiredandflat - you have an 18 month age gap - that is really hard - two preschoolers - wow! The fact you manage at all is a minor miracle to me - how many of your friends are dealing with that?
I have a 2.7 year age gap and my child minder looked after the 2 year old while i caught up on sleep with the baby for the first few weeks before my 2 year old went to preschool 3 times a week. When other people feel smug - you don't know what support they have, how easy/difficult their children are etc etc.
This will be the hardest time of your life, it will get better I promise. You need to tell yourself how well you are doing and sometimes just getting through it is enough because when they get older they will be close friends and play together and you can relax once again! Good luck love

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