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Three sons 3, 4, 5 driving me mad. I'm losing it.

(20 Posts)
CiaraD Wed 09-Jul-08 17:42:12

I have three children very close together in age, all boys. Things have got tougher and tougher over the last 2 years and it has got to the point that I truly believe I am the worst parent. I shout, I bribe, I lock myself in the bathroom to get away from them. They fight all the time. They wind each other up. They ignore me. They take things off each other. Any activity I set up for them ends in fighting and tears, so I have pretty much stopped setting things up which results in boredom which itself brings it's own problems. A vicious circle. We live abroad and the children are on school holidays and we are three weeks in and I am at breaking point. I am everything I hoped I would not be as a parent. My patience ran out a couple of years ago and I have no reserves. I even ditched the reward chart last week because it painted such a bleak picture. I can't wait for them to go back to school. I take them out places but find controlling them hard. Keeping an eye on, and control of, three so young when I only have one set of eyes and a pair of hands is a challenge and exhausting. It's like herding cats.

When they are with other people they behave and with Daddy they are MUCH better than when they are with me. They are not bad kids, but unless I entertain them all day life is pretty miserable. Their mission seems to be to pull my strings and push my buttons and deep breaths only work for me for a few hours.

I am bright, but whatever I do doesn't seem to work. I had two under control. Three is a total nightmare! Why do they fight ALL THE TIME? Where have I gone wrong? I've lost perspective. I used to have a career. Now I can barely string a sentence together.

Tickle Wed 09-Jul-08 17:46:03

Oh CiaraD that sounds rough. I have 4 under 9, and can relate to the hiding in the bathroom sometimes... but it sounds like you need a break.

I'm in the middle of making dinner, but will check back in later - I'm sure someone will have something constructive to say!

toastandbutter Wed 09-Jul-08 18:15:02

Can't really offer any solutions, just sympathy. I had the same problem with my three and felt just like you. All I can say is that it does get easier as they get older. It probably seems worse if you don't have much practical/emotional support too. Just remember that lots of mums feel just the same, even if they don't show it. Good luck!

MilaMae Wed 09-Jul-08 18:54:05

Ciara I have 4 nearly 5 year old twin boys and dd nearly 4. I find 3 of a similar age hard at times.

Now re boys I do think they need to be out a lot. I would get out of the house by 10.30 whatever the weather until lunch preferably,longer if you can stand it and make them run around a lot eg who can get to that tree 1st? (said tree being nearly out of sight).

Do a toy tidy up put them all away then just get out 1 or 2 things. I find mine forget what toys we have and will play made up games eg going to the cinemahmm instead so no fighting over toys.

Plan the rest of the hols with military precision so you have something crafty, outdoorsy,let's pretend every day. I can give you some ideas of what we'll be doing.

Bring back the sticker chart but let them choose the reward something bigger than just sweets.

Save TV for dire times, I always put it on at 4 while I make tea then it's tea ,early bath,stories bed so in reality I only have to get to 4 o clock re ways of keeping them busy and they calm down a lot from 4 until bed.

I hope I don't sound too priggy,believe me it's chaos here too but I'm always better with a plan. Am with you on the "I used to have a career" wail grin

Where are you living????

MsDemeanor Wed 09-Jul-08 18:56:28

Gosh, you do sound like you need a break. Do you ever get one? Can you get an au pair? Can you get a job?

Amphibimum Wed 09-Jul-08 19:00:37

oh ciaraD, are you me?? mine are 2.5, just 4 and just 5. all boys too.
bloody hard work the three of them, and ive often said the same as you; 3 is madness!! grin

i am lucky in that i have childcare help. any chance you can get an aupair or something? i found having an extra pair of hands around really really helpful... and one of them in particular i really liked so having her about saved my sanity!

FluffyMummy123 Wed 09-Jul-08 19:06:48

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FluffyMummy123 Wed 09-Jul-08 19:07:01

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KerryMum Wed 09-Jul-08 19:08:39

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KerryMum Wed 09-Jul-08 19:09:00

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FluffyMummy123 Wed 09-Jul-08 19:10:05

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EffiePerine Wed 09-Jul-08 19:10:24

Can you get a creak regularly? Get DH to look after them for an afternoon and go somewhere quiet for a bit? Three boys 5 and under sounds hard

EffiePerine Wed 09-Jul-08 19:10:36

creak? break

KerryMum Wed 09-Jul-08 19:12:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Amphibimum Wed 09-Jul-08 19:14:34

cod is speaking much wisdom here, honestly.

FluffyMummy123 Wed 09-Jul-08 19:19:01

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Nemoandthefishes Wed 09-Jul-08 19:19:33

agree with cod
I have 4,2.6 and 1.6 little horrors and my saving grace is one morning a week they ALL go to nursery so I have a whole 2hrs to myself..strangely enough I clean etc in that time but its quite theraputic as I can do it with no one moaning at me.

yomellamoHelly Wed 09-Jul-08 19:33:20

Sounds hard work. With my 2 I always get out and do something in the morning. Then in the afternoon once the ds2 has woken up and had a drink we go out again for an hour / hour and a half. Means there's relatively little left of the day where they're demanding that I entertain them. Have also found feeding them / elevenses-ing them at the same time with the same type of drink / food helps decrease the nagging. Ditto for when they get treats. And set times for tv.

MilaMae Thu 10-Jul-08 09:30:32

Ciara hope you're feeling better forgot to say the "How to talk" book is good for re-freshing yourself when it all gets a bit much.

Also my post re planning the hols-it sounded like we follow a rigid schedule we don't as such but I plan a few things every day so when the niggles start I have ideas quickly to hand eg why don't you play with the....,let's.....

I'm not good at thinking on the spot when fraught so have a few ideas to hand which helps to diffuse things. Most days we don't use them but I just like to know the back up is there,makes me get less stressed IYKWIM.

Also leaving them to sort things out themselves really helps. I find playing with my dc pure tedium(happy to read books or crafty stuff instead)so never have done. They are really good at the make believe stuff(making a game out of a twig etc) as a result and sorting out squabbles themselves now.

Ie don't feel pressured to be interacting with them all day every day,stand back and give yourself a break ,as long as they're in a safe environment they can sort a lot of things out themselves.

Hope this helps smile

oneplusone Thu 10-Jul-08 13:15:57

Ciara, i only have 2 under 5 and have days like you have described. YOU ARE NOT A BAD MUM NOR ARE YOU A FAILURE. You are doing a hard, hard job and you are doing the best you can. You are only one person like you said with one pair of hands and one pair of eyes, it is logistically impossible for you to control/manage 3 boisterous boys on your own.

Can you get any help? Even just a temporary/part time nanny/mother's help to get you through the holidays? I have the hols coming up and after (the hell) of last year, this year i have learnt my lesson and have already arranged a part time nanny for the hols. I nearly killed myself last year with entertaining/occupying my two for 12 weeks singlehandedly over teh summer last year and ended up with pnemonia i got so run down. Am not going down that road again this year.

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