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Baby and toddler- is it meant to be this hard?

(31 Posts)
Chattycat78 Thu 11-May-17 14:06:22

Just that really. I have a 2 year (and 4 months) old and an 11 month old so a 17 month gap between them. I thought it would get "easier" when baby was sleeping better, and the nights are much better, but I have to say, the days are still incredibly hard.

Toddler is refusing to obey instructions- he's like a whirlwind, Wants to constantly be on the go. He hits me and kicks me if he doesn't get his own way. I go to toddler groups with him and tbh I think he's getting a reputation as naughty. When he gets bored there he starts hitting other children and me. I'm also not loving the looks of judgement I'm getting from other mums there who have meek obedient toddlers and tbh have no idea what it's like. I'm usually trying to discipline him whilst carrying the baby in the other arm- so it's not that bloody simple!sad

At home, I feel like I can't get on top of anything or get anything done- washing constantly, cleaning, worrying about what to feed them both. Toddler also very fussy so if I try to do special things he refuses to eat them- never mind the sheer task of attempting to cook with a baby and a toddler hanging off you.

Can anyone tell me if this is normal, or I'm normal or otherwise to feel swamped like this? Also does anyone else ever go to playgroups and come away thInking their child is the naughtiest there?
How can I see this phase more positively? I love them both to bits but the drudgery of the amount of work is something I'm struggling with.

I'm going back to work in 4 weeks on a part time basis. Will this help, does anyone think?

tintinenamerique Thu 11-May-17 15:07:13

Hi, I think you've posted in reply to my struggles before. I have an almost 3 year old and 10 month old. Your oldest is at a tricky age, mine was hard work at that point (not helped by the birth of his brother) Burgas calmed a lot.
It's still hard work, I find it impossible to please them both and find it hard to know how to fill the day in a way to keep them both happy (never mind me).
My toddler is also fussy as anything but I try not to let it get to me. As much as poss I make the same meals for us all (baby and toddler eat same but the following day) and if he doesn't like it, no problem but there's nothing else.
Can't offer much help but know that (at least in my experience) it us bloody hard!

Mothervulva Thu 11-May-17 15:10:09

I have the same gap but mine are 2 and 3 now. I'd say you're at a hard point. I found having a wilful toddler and an increasingly mobile baby a difficult time. You're tired, no one can do anything for themselves, it's shit!
It got easier for me now they're both walking and talking.

Misspilly88 Thu 11-May-17 15:12:05

A tip from me... I have a very difficult 2.75yo and baby almost here. Go to different places if your lo is getting a reputation. If I pick the right activities then we have days where we all feel like it's been a successful happy day rather than judged. For example a day at the local national trust place where there's lots to play on, lots of space. Or a picnic and walk in the forest. It won't last forever so try to make it easier for yourself.

TessTube Thu 11-May-17 15:15:08

Yes I found it really hard, but it does get better. I fact you are probably in the eye of the storm. Give it 6 Months, things will be easier, the baby walking, easier to go to parks, the one hopefully calming down a bit..

I found that working p/t helped a bit, busy in other ways but not so ground hog day.


Primaryteach87 Thu 11-May-17 15:18:05

Also finding it tough. I have a very chilled toddler and a happy baby (by good fortune not any special parenting ability!). I'm still finding it so so tough. Now eldest has dropped his nap but youngest isn't sleeping. It's just relentless.

Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 11-May-17 15:18:26

My 2 year old was a uncontrollable nightmare at 2y4m but is comparatively delightful at 2y9m so hang on in there, they change fast. Having said that he'll probably be difficult again at 2y10m!

lornathewizzard Thu 11-May-17 15:21:04

We have a 2 year gap ( baby is 9months). It's definitely hard no doubt about it. I second the pp who said change things up a bit with getting to big open spaces etc . My two are pretty well behaved and it's still a struggle

DarkFloodRises Thu 11-May-17 15:23:11

Picking up on the bit about him hitting at toddler group. My DS went through this phase and I found that the only thing that worked was, after ONE warning of what would happen if he did it again, to leave the group. It's annoying for you (especially if you've only just arrived or paid for the group) but it was the only thing that worked! Could you try that?

Chattycat78 Thu 11-May-17 16:04:11

Thanks all. And yes- I need to start leaving the groups after a warning and also maybe going to different places. I do feel like he is getting a reputation and there is one mum in particular who looks at him like he is an absolute little shit, and at me like I'm the worlds worst mother. It makes me feel terrible tbh. I was almost in tears on Monday after leaving one groupsad. Everyone just looked on as i struggled to get my toddler into the buggy as he kicked and screamed. He's massive too and I'm petite so I can barely lift him.

I think I need to break things up and go elsewhere! He's obviously getting bored with the same old thing.

Thanks for the reassurance though. I sometimes wonder if I'm just crap at this and others find it easy!

jailfordebt Thu 11-May-17 16:19:11

That was like reading a story of my life! I wish I knew you in real life as I'm in exact same position with same age gap. Both big lively non stop boys! And the judgey looks at toddler groups, it's soul destroying sad I've had to tell myself it doesn't matter what they think, no one is perfect and I'm doing my best. The 2 year old escaped from toddlers again this morning, I realised a few seconds later but by that time there was already a group of 4 mums standing staring, not helping at all, just tutting at my neglect! Then I thought it would be nice to have lunch at the beach, big mistake! Had to bodily lift toddler from the beach under one arm, bags shoes and bucket in the other! Dinner tonight is microwave lasagne and waffles, it's all I can manage.

I really really hope it's not always like this sad

TessTube Thu 11-May-17 16:43:32

I really feel for you as my son was the same at that age.

Don't let anyone else make you feel crap though, it's a common thing and it's no reflection on you.

He is a very non hitty 6 year old now.

2littlemoos Thu 11-May-17 23:09:28

I have an 18m gap. Some days have been fab and others awful! Today started as an awful one! Took them toddler sense which was fine. Popped to shops. Fine. Then a sweaty walk home and they are both screwing at me as they are tired yet not sleeping! Usually when I am out its fairly easy and staying home is difficult. 9mo is devastated if I am not holding her atm. Unbearable.

Sorry I have no advice but hang on in there. Sounds like you're doing a great job. If you are trying to tell DS to behave at these groups then I am sure no mums are judging (although its hard not to feel that way sometimes). I have honestly never judged the parent of a misbehaving child unless that parent is not guiding them whatsoever.

It gets better apparently OP! We can and will get through this phase!

TessTube Thu 11-May-17 23:58:12

Yes now I've got older ones and another toddler grin

I promise you the vast vast majority are just thinking you poor bugger because we've all been there.

toffeeboffin Fri 12-May-17 00:23:27

My DS was the same as your toddler. Wilful, super strong, I remember wrangling him into the car seat, him screaming, he was stronger than me!

Ignore the stupid looks, the meek and mild toddlers turn into horror teens grin

Chattycat78 Fri 12-May-17 11:58:02

Haha thanks toffee hopefully it does balance out somewhere!grin

Candlefairy101 Fri 12-May-17 12:00:26

I have a 6yo, 2y10m and a 15m.

I dread waking up everyday, everyday seems to get worse and worse!

Pp have said that it gets better but why isn't it for me sad I found the first yr the easiest because the baby stayed put and the now toddler had no tantrums, now my life is like a volcanic eruptions.

My mantra everyday, every hours is 'this stage will end it will get better'

I live in hope! Why do I find toddlers so hard sad I find babies so easy even if they wake every hour for feeding.

I'm very thank you you started the thread op but also worried that or there said at this stage theirs past. God I'm having a bad day!

Nan0second Fri 12-May-17 12:02:40

I only have one but she is a whirlwind.
We need big big toddler groups with piles of toys and huge amounts of space to run around. At the smaller groups, she is the naughtiest child and I'm fraught with anxiety. In the big groups, there are other active children so she fits right in.
No wriggly readers / crafty type groups for us! Find the right groups ;)

Chattycat78 Fri 12-May-17 12:09:42

Thanks for the honesty everyone. I wish I was getting similar honesty from people I meet in real life.

isthistoonosy Fri 12-May-17 13:39:54

Weve a 16 month gap, when the youngest was 1 - 2 yrs was the hardest (both kids stopped napping at 18 months).

Sammysquiz Fri 12-May-17 13:41:21

Having a baby + toddler was the hardest stage of parenting for me. It gets so much easier and better, hang on in there!

Doje Fri 12-May-17 13:49:21

It's so difficult! I have a 3 yr old and an 18 month old. Both of them want my attention, and if they are left alone together for more than 3 seconds world war 3 breaks out.... hmm

Candlefairy101 Fri 12-May-17 13:52:16

Doje glad you said that because mine are similar ages to yours and I feel mine are getting worse and worse with each day, my youngest two are girls and the fights between them or like cats on heat!

Doje Fri 12-May-17 15:03:09

It's terrible isn't it Candle! They only want what the other one has got too! Thank goodness for nap time when at least I only have one child to deal with for a blissful couple of hours! when I sit the eldest in front of the telly and MN

Candlefairy101 Fri 12-May-17 16:12:37

I knew that I was about to scream this lunch time so I put one down in their bedroom for a nap and set up the travel cot in my bedroom, came down stairs and catches up on some on demand.

Thank god they actually BOTH slept!

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