Losing my temper - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 02-04-2009, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Lately I've been getting more and more frustrated with my 2years and 8 months child. I keep losing my temper and yelling at him or worse roughly picking him up or grabbing him by the arm to move him/ get him to do what I need. I feel horrible when this happens. Are my expectations of him too high?


Alot of it , my frustration comes from feeling pressured by time and balancing trying to meet his and my 4 month old daughter's needs.

1 was easy and enjoyable but lately my son asks me "are you happy mama?" or "are you grumpy mama ?"



The situations when I lose it are:

Diaper changing/potty time.
when it's time for a diaper change he runs around or hides behind the couch.
We are working on potty training and he pees in the potty usually in the morning, before nap and bedtime, we haven't moved on to underwear yet.

after peeing if I'm not in there to get a diaper on him right away due to taking care of his sister he runs around again. Usually I have put down my 4 mo old who is then screaming/crying with increasing urgency while I have to chase him like a chicken! Then when I finally get him and force a diaper on him he's kicking me with his legs the whole time.

Bedtime...
he runs around and jumps on the bed. He does not have his own room we are a co-sleeping family. He seems to get more wound up the later it gets.

and morning time trying to get fed, ready and out the door.

please give me some points to ponder or advice
I really want to be the mellow mama I was with just 1.
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#2 of 8 Old 02-04-2009, 10:31 AM
 
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I know how you feel. Well, my second hasn't arrived yet, but my DS1 has had me in that state most of this pregnancy. There is nothing more frustrating than chasing down a toddler. It feels like a lot of work when you are chasing for diapers, clothes, shoes, when everything is a struggle. I got the book Playful Parenting to try to get some tips and tricks to make it into more of a game than a struggle but I was really too tired to even try the tips in the book.

I'd like to say that it could just be a "phase" but thats not very helpful. for some reason my son has been cooperating with me very well lately. I don't think anything has changed. He just wakes up some weeks and is a nice sweet obedient child. I think they sense your intensity and play around with your emotions. When you are relaxed about things then they are more willing to cooperate. If I know I have to leave the house I get him ready WAY in advance, usually while he is distracted eating breakfast or watching a tv show. Then there isn't a mad dash to get everything on right as I am trying to leave the house. The diaper thing has been pretty much solved by counting. We do time outs here and by the time I get to 3 he is laying down ready for his diaper. It doesn't always work but I'd say about 90% of the time it does.

I hope things turn around for you!! It can feel very depressing to be so frustrated when you want to just enjoy your children.

mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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#3 of 8 Old 02-04-2009, 11:08 AM
 
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Adding #2 was VERY overwhelming for me, and #1 acted out for months in response to getting a new sibling. I'm thinking that some of your frustrations will resolve themselves with time. I know now that ds is 2 and dd is 5 things have gotten, dare I say it, easy. They're playing together now, and I find myself with some actual time to read, or do something else than nonstop parenting! Just know that there is an end to being totally overwhelmed.
Also, we have to build extra time into our day. I really think we should be able to get ready in the morning in about 45 minutes, but we get up 1.5 hrs. before we have to leave. Something always slows us down, usually it's dd taking FOREVER to get dressed! Or, some mornings it takes over ten minutes to get ds in his carseat to bring dd to school! Adding extra time takes away the pressure of running late, a huge frustration for me. Try to find ways to alleviate your "triggers".
Also, at the beginning, I judged the success of my day simply by keeping it "positive" (i.e. not yelling, etc.), not by how much got done or if a healthy, gourmet dinner was prepared. Lowering my standards really helped.
Good luck. Going from 1 to 2 was really hard for me, but well worth it in the end.
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#4 of 8 Old 02-04-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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Ugh, I was right there when DS was that age, but we weren't potty-training (he didn't train till he was nearly 4, one of the reasons we did EC with DD2) and we didn't have another baby! I WAS having marital troubles though, which certainly didn't help. And I've got a temper...

DD is now 2, and I'm having a much easier time with her. It's mostly relaxed expectations and understanding of what children are like, I've read a lot about young child development and stuff like that and I have a better appreciation for what their behaviours mean, so I'm more likely to take things in stride rather than get frustrated about it. Most recently I've read Dr Montessori's "Secret of Childhood" and one of the points that she makes, is that adults' actions are "goal-oriented". We want to get something DONE. Young children want to explore and discover things. Those two goals don't always mesh. So, as adults, we will tend to see our childrens' behaviours as getting in the way of what we are trying to GET DONE.

If we understand that, and learn to let go a bit of our "need" to be efficient and all that, then we can follow our kid more rather than expecting THEM to fit into OUR world. Appreciate the things they do for the miracles they are, rather than how it interferes with our plans.

Easier said than done, of course, but it IS a helpful mental shift when you can manage it.

Some practical suggestions for the meantime...

Is it absolutely necessary to re-diaper him immediately after pottying? Would it really hurt so much to let him run around naked for a bit? It can actually be very helpful for potty learning anyway. You might get some messes to clean up sometimes, be prepared for that so you don't get upset with him. Cheerfully say "whoops, pee goes in potty, let's clean this up and try to get it in the potty next time." It's just pee, it's not a big deal. Even poos clean up pretty easily. Is it really worth the battle?

Do you sling your baby? Honestly I don't see how parents survive toddlers AND infants without one! With your baby being worn you can chase your toddler, play with him, do lots of stuff.

Do you involve your toddler in stuff around the house? They love to be helpful at this age, and he's more than old enough to help with doing and sorting laundry, cooking, dishes, sweeping or vaccuuming, etc etc. Again, just let go of a need to do it quickly, efficiently, and 'correctly', let him make mistakes and enjoy his exploration and interest. You might find that spending this time doing 'work' with him will improve your disposition, your attitude about having to move him out of your way.

Let's see... getting him to do what you need. Is it something HE needs to do, or something YOU want him to do? If the latter, is it truly a NEED or is it something you can let go? If it is something he does need to do, can you approach it in a more playful way, or in a way that gives more control? We've all but eliminated getting-dressed battles, for instance, by giving DD a dresser she can use herself. It's just one of those sets of plastic drawers. We put a selection of socks, undies, pants, shrits, etc, in each drawer, and let her choose her own outfit. She even mostly gets dressed by herself too. Sometimes I have to turn her pants the right way around, etc, afterwards.

It does take a lot longer, of course, but there's no battles so we all stay happy. Kids this age are working on independence and anything that helps them will result in happier households. As long as I am *expecting* the length of time for it to take and the 'fixing' afterwards then I'm not frustrated about it. In fact I end up feeling proud of her for being such a 'big girl'!

Bedtime... do you have a routine? Maybe he needs more wind-down time? Can he still nurse to sleep? Do you try walking around with him? When DD won't settle down, I'll wear her on my back and do housework, knocks her out every time!

I hope these help somewhat... you might also try these articles by Naomi Aldort, it's very helpful for both your mindset AND practical tips:

http://www.naturalchild.com/naomi_aldort/toddler.html
http://www.naturalchild.com/naomi_aldort/tame.html
http://www.naturalchild.com/jan_hunt..._disorder.html

Best wishes. I do know what it feels like to lose your temper like that... I even slapped my son when he was 3. Just once. It was horrible and I cried. I'm sooooooo different now with my daughter, I think honestly just because I've learned so much since then.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#5 of 8 Old 02-04-2009, 01:54 PM
 
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I can commiserate, DS is the same age and there are also certain things that push my buttons and I know I have gotten rough with him (like yanking him from out of a corner), and scared him with my yelling. Some things I am fine with and can deal with, other things push my buttons.

I agree with previous advice and encourage you to ditch the dipes and try some trainers or naked bum time (which I know could be difficult because then it might mean more clean-up). You can get waterproof trainers so there's less mess to clean up. See here for info:

http://diaperfreebaby.org/index.php?...ion=285:14:230

http://diaperfreechallenge.org/

Bedtime: Do you have a regular bedtime routine with winding-down time, such as soft music or reading books? Is he on a schedule, same bedtime every night and same wakeup every morning? There were some times, doesn't happen often anymore, that DS would be wide awake at bedtime for whatever reason, but it was bedtime and I was tired. I just had to lay there next to him while he whined, cried, tossed and turned until he finally fell asleep. With the lights off, and not really talking to him, but there to comfort him if he needed it.

Morning: I know this is tough too, we both work full time and have to get him to daycare. I am starting to get into the habit of getting him dressed into clean clothes at night so I don't have to change him in the morning. I almost always seem to run out of time in the morning. Get whatever you can ready the night before and try and wake up and get the rest ready before he wakes up.

DS 2006 nocirc.gif DiaperFreeBaby angel1.gif March 2010, DD 2011

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#6 of 8 Old 02-04-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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One book that helped me get some calm perspective was "Buddhism For Mothers" by Sarah Napthali. It's a gem. Not only does it have great advice but you feel so understood and vindicated!
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#7 of 8 Old 02-04-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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Ok I could have written some of this post. My DD is 2.5 and has been increasingly difficult for me to deal with, I am in my first tri and cannot even remotely deal emotionally with her right now. We have a good day and then well a total SH** day(like today) all I want is a NAP, and oh she doesn't do that and hasn't since she was 20 months. I'm starting to really question if this was even the right decision to have another child, I can't even seem to take decent care of her lately. I just plopped her angrily on the couch after she would not stop bugging me while I was just trying to get 2 seconds of rest. Now I am here on the computer and she is asking if I am happy, which honestly I have to say I'm not. My advice people have given me is let her play in a safe room while you rest or let her watch a DVD-but nothing works, she just decides that it's time to jump all over me and drive me crazy. If I wasn't so exhausted I'd be a happier mom, but she doesn't rest, she doesn't nap, she won't do quiet time. I am all out of ideas. Luckily she is out of diapers and only uses the potty, but everything else is totally awful right now.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#8 of 8 Old 02-04-2009, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you!! each and every one of you who replied!:

I just moved to a foriegn country 6 months ago and have been feeling so guilty and horrible and alone because the few friends I have I don't feel i know them well enough to talk about this with.



Lotus- knowing there's light at the end of this tunnel/phase helps a lot!

Nolamom-keeping it positive as a goal rather than how sparkling the house is a great perspective change I will try to use!!

Tankgrl- thank you , tons of great ideas!
I studied child development, positive discipline was a preschool teacher to 18 and loved my job and was very poisitive before .

but somehow it's been harder with just my own two.
I feel like I should know better

I dont know I guess i've been in a negative thinking rut... yeah diaper less why the heck not ? Rountine...I've been working on it and see that it really helps as long as I don't stress too much when we're a bit off schedule.
I can see how mine and DS's perspectives of the world are clashing and that is the big issue

Ophelia-waterproof trainers! yes! and getting up earlier too

keeptryst-"Buddhism For Mothers" by Sarah Napthali will google it right now!

norasmommy- "she is asking if I am happy" doesn't it just kill you when they ask that? The one thing that kept DS busy was water I let him play in the sink
or a very low filled bath while I sat in the bathroom on the floor with a pillow and rested...(but not slept)
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