Is it normal to feel like you're really messing up?(9 Posts)
I'm not writing this at a low point so it's not just a pity party on my behalf.
I've got a nearly three year old and a baby who just turned one. I seem to shout/snap/lose my temper at the two year old every day. Its becoming more and more apparent that I just don't have the patience for this parenting thing. She does things that, rationally, I know are totally normal for a toddler but quite often I just don't have the patience to discuss it with her normally and rationally. This morning we went shopping, just the two of us and she kept wandering off and I just kept snapping at her and guiding her towards me and away from other people. I know it's normal for them to be in a world of their own and not pay attention but it just seemed to piss me off more than I'd expect to be normal.
I'm also not handling the 'never shuts up' part well. She never stops talking and generally interrupts me in the middle of a sentence to ask why, before I've even had a chance to explain. Then I explain. And she asks why again.
I genuinely don't know if all parents just this frustrated or if it's just me. It's a vicious circle because it makes me angry that I get angry and that just erodes my confidence.
Any help or suggestions? I don't want to be a mum who's constantly raising her voice or losing her temper.
I feel like this so often! It's totally normal! I'm sure of it. I do try and do the 'find three positives I each day' and try not to feel too guilty about "messing up" as that sends me into a circle of negativity. Try to pick your battles. My 3 yo ds is such a challenge and I've got a 9month dd so I understand there isn't always time to correct properly and have the energy to keep up with them! But I keep reminding myself it won't be like this forever. I also think that we think by now (having two kids), we should be doing better and we probably try and achieve too much or ask too much of ourselves or our kids.
Ps just realised your gap is even smaller than mine so seriously don't beat yourself up - this really is hard but you sound completely normal to me! Is the eldest at nursery yet? Gives you a bit of a break. I know you're probably like me and don't take any time for yourself, but even just half an hour here and there for a simple but of me-time might lift your spirits too
hope it's pretty normal. Fwiw it is a difficult phase, DD turned 3 last month and there has been an improvement! I've also tried to pay extra attention to listening to her never ending stream if consciousness and giving lots of cuddles.
I felt bad after I shouted at her a few weeks ago and she looked so sad and confused
I swear the extra cuddles have made a difference.
It's not just you.
OP I could have written this post almost word for word. Almost every day I tell myself that today I will have more patience, not shout, keep calm. And then I don't. And I torture myself which makes me even more stressed and short tempered. But I have been thinking about it a lot and here is what I've noticed. Maybe this will help you:
- if I am distracted or stressed out my ability to listen and be patient, calm and empathetic with my DC is basically nil. You need to make sure your own needs are being met first. Get some help. Give yourself a break and make time for yourself every now and then (nigh on impossible I know)
- try to do just one thing at a time. When you can. And don't do something that might be stressful unless absolutely necessary. Like don't take your toddler to the shops if you can go the next day and leave her with granny.
- don't even try to hurry. It's impossible. Accept that everything takes hours. I find that when I'm in a rush and trying to chase DD1 around to get her bloody shoes on while DD2 is screaming i end up shouting at everyone. If I know it's going to be a nightmare, I try to acknowledge that at the start, take a deep breath and consciously choose not to use harsh words. It's hard.
- try to get down on a level with your DC and talk to them. For my DD distraction and making up stories on the spot can neutralise a stressful situation. For your DD maybe draw her attention to her senses, like listening, to help with the never stop talking onslaught.
- give dedicated, undistracted time to your DC and consciously let them lead it - so it's ok if they interrupt or want to run around or whatever and then you don't need to feel so guilty or stressed when you are trying to do something else.
- and leading on from that. If you need to, take a deep breath and put CBeebies on.
- finally forgive yourself. Think about what happened and how tomorrow you could do it better. At the end of the day we are doing what we do with love. We are not perfect but we are doing the best we can and this period in our lives is incredibly short.
Thank you all so much. It's both lovely and sad to know I'm not alone.
I work in the mornings so do get time away but I didn't realise how much I needed proper alone time until I had children. She'll be in nursery in the morning in the summer so it won't make a difference in the time I get to myself.
I try so so hard not to lose it, and often manage it, but so often she does things that are totally normal for a toddler and I still just feel as though I don't have the reserves to deal with it. She's clearly acting out because she feels the baby gets more attention. My partner said earlier and I said I often feel it's the other way round. The toddler demands so much attention quite often the baby just seems to plod along. But I realise actually the baby gets all the positive attention and the toddler seems to get all the negative because I expect to much from her that she never seems to meet my expectations
Thank you for all the tips Joy. I'll definitely try them. We've found a way of getting her out the tantrum is to interrupt her then explain the reasoning behind our decision.l but essentially just to keep talking until she's been quiet enough that she calms.
I just feel like I must shout more than most mums and it's horrid. I always knew I was impatient but swore the ridiculously high expectations I had for myself and others wouldn't translate to my kids but it seems like it has.
At those ages I think it's totally normal to feel like you're messing everything up. The thing is everyone else feels like that as well (they just don't post about it on facebook, they post the rare good moments) and you're most likely NOT messing things up!
3 is really hard and they are extremely demanding. With a baby as well it must just be non stop. I think once the younger one is old enough to join in a game things will improve a little as the older one won't be demanding attention quite so much. You'll still have to referee fights but it shouldn't be as relentless as it is now.
I follow a couple of blogs on Facebook you might like - Andrea Nair writes a lot of really interesting and helpful stuff which is relevant for 3 year olds and Finding Joy is a blog about a mum who struggles with negative feelings but she writes so beautifully about how to get back to the good bits. Couple of sample posts:
Eight ways to reduce the stress of parenting toddlers
Dear Mom who feels she is failing
Oh when they both grow up and can be friends and play together it's really lovely. And you do get more you time then too
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