Help - feel like I am failing as a mum(15 Posts)
DD is 2 and is in nursery 4 days a week. When I am not working, I am the primary care giver. DH does bath and bed time one week night when I play sport but other than that it is mainly me who manages getting dressed, meals, bath and bedtime. DH is hands on but he mainly plays with DD.
Over the past month or so her behaviour with me is getting harder to handle. Lots of tantrums which I can never seem to solve. We had so much crying tonight I just didn't know what to do. She wouldn't walk home from nursery so I ended up carrying her - screaming - all the way. She wouldn't have her tea and just kept spitting anything I could get into her mouth on the floor. She wouldn't brush her teeth. She wouldn't settle. When I am holding her I get scratched and hit and when she feels especially hard done by, she starts crying for her dad.
It's not constantly like this, we did have a nice cuddle and a story tonight but it feels like she is more often crying and tantruming than happy. We had quite of lot of crying over the weekend too and my DH doesn't help as she behaves really well for him and he tends to imply that I am not doing what I should be as she is always crying with me. When he has her, she eats all her food and goes to bed straight away (which he points out to me often).
I feel like I'm not a good mum, I can't seem to stop her crying. I try distraction, I try ignoring her tantrums but nothing works. I love spending time with her but I am now starting to worry when I leave work and I start to wonder what kind of tantrum is waiting for me. It may be all down to the terrible 2s but DH gets none of this behaviour. I just feel like a terrible mum - I ended up crying tonight, which made her cry even more.
Didn't want to read and run. We are going through the same thing with our DS. He is 2.4 and these last two weeks have been awful. I work two days a week and he is well behaved for his grandparents when they look after him, however when I pick him up its like a switch is flicked. The tantrums start and he refuses to do anything I ask. I feel like crying and feel like it's my fault but I am assured by friends with older children that this is entirely normal.
I have no advice as I'm learning myself but just wanted you to know there is someone else out there feeling the same as you!!
Thank you so much Bikey. It helps to know that I am not the only one in this situation. Hope yours improves soon; it is a tough phase. How is he with your partner?
He's actually worse with Dh than he is with me...but a little angel for the grandparents!!! Let's hope this phase passes quickly!!!
Could she be poorly? I often went through phases like this and turned out to be low level ear infections or something similar.
No i don't think she's poorly alice. No symptoms and her behaviour is like this with only me and not dh.
Felt really down but spoke to dh who suggested some tactics.
I also have a 2 yo who is perfect for his dad, and prone to tantrums for me.
He walks happily at nursery and for DH, but wants me to carry him everywhere. If DH does bedtime it takes 5min, and for me it can an take over an hour. Apparently DH has never seen a single tantrum.
DH and I both work 4 days per week, so he gets fairly even time with both of us.
So I think it's pretty normal? Hope so anyway.
I've started getting DH to do most bedtimes after I do bath, as it's so quick for him, and hoping it will break my bad habits. Previously I was doing most of them.
We've also started a slightly earlier bedtime as he's not napping much now, and I think a lot of the meltdowns were tiredness.
I am aware that I maybe baby him too much, so I am trying to stop e.g. not automatically picking him up to carry him. It's hard though!
Why not switch round for a bit, you do the playing, he does the dinner, bed, bath. See how that goes.
OP I promise this isn't some kind of failing of yours. This is a very phase that many toddlers go through. It might last weeks, or months. You will learn coping strategies but you must not ever think it's your fault. Also, never take any of the behaviour personally.
She will naturally act up more with the people she feels safest and most secure with, and she needs to see that you can cope with what she throws at you. I lose it on occasion (I have a 2.4 year old) but I'm trying really hard to do that in private.
Someone recommended Janet Lansbury to me and it was a turning point. She has written some fab books but you can get a lot of info from her blog and Facebook page.
Hang in there, it does get better I promise.
Thank you French and fraggled, it's so helpful to hear that others are in the same boat. I am relieved to hear it's a phase and she will grow out of it. I do need to stop taking things personally too. It's just so hard to do all the childcare and then come bedtime have to face tantrums and crying until dad walks in and everything is fine. Will try to remember it's because she feels secure with me.
Will take a look at Janet landsbury.
My DD2 did this at same age (now 28 months)
Got my DH to do more 1:1 and that really helped ESP bath / bed
Lasted about 2 months on and off could be v tough
She has now completely grown out of it
She will naturally act up more with the people she feels safest and most secure with, and she needs to see that you can cope with what she throws at you
^^This is so right
She's closest to you so she's showing you her real emotion when she's with you, and she's testing the boundaries.
Very very normal phase, if bloody hard and tiring to deal with while it lasts.
But your DD feeling absolutely safe with you is such a brilliant thing you have given to her. You're the absolute opposite of failing as a mum, OP.
Thanks for further support! Doesn't help that my dh just rolls his eyes and says 'why can't you control her?' when she's tantruming with me.
Will stay strong and remember this is a phase and it will pass.
Your Dh sounds like a prize
Just tell him that he needs to be more than a playing partner to your child !
Anyway I had this with Ds he rejected me wanting his step dad, my brother, really anyone bar me and was frankly awful but it was a phase and he got over it and was lovely again.
It's probably because you are doing most of the parenting and bring the bad guy. Get your dh to take over, we did this last summer hols, I refused to discipline the kids at all and got dh to do it, I became the fun parent again !
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.