1.5 yo & 3 yo - I feel like I'm crumbling with every passing day - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 03-15-2011, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've reached yet another stage of parenting where I'm needing support, I guess.

 

I am a maid. I feel like all I do is clean. The 3 yo stopped using the potty & poops in his pants. The two of them enable each other in bad habits like spitting their water/milk all over the floor or table. They dump all their toys, pull books from the shelves, rearrange furniture.

 

I am a slave. The 3 yo is, as is appropriate for this age, testing me at every turn. Defiant as a soldier under duress & his brother is following suit already. They ignore my instructions, my pleas, my attempts at gentle or positive discipline.

 

I am a cook. I am in the kitchen constantly. What to do? I believe in home-cooked, healthy, nutrient-dense meals, but then I am suddenly sacrificing my time with my kids because I am always cooking. They spend five minutes "helping" me & then they're off tearing apart the house or each other.

 

I am a zombie. Neither child sleeps very well. We're up, on average, 2-3 times every night tending to teething or nightmares or lost loveys or Bob knows what else.

 

I am still a milk-machine. Of course the 1.5 year old still nurses, and the 3-year-old often takes those opportunities to wreak attention-seeking havoc.

 

I come from an upbringing of anger & aggression. How am I expected to find and/or create a place of peace when I can't even catch my breath from day to day? It is my weak point in parenting, & I am trying so hard to not be "that mom." The one who is always yelling or losing her patience with behavior that - I know intellectually - is completely developmentally appropriate. 

 

I know this is a temporary ride. But I want off now, please. =P

 

 

 

 

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#2 of 9 Old 03-15-2011, 12:25 PM
 
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Hugs.  My children are rapidly approaching 3 and 1.5 and you've confirmed my suspicions.  That's it's going to get a lot harder!  I thought having a newborn and an almost 2 year old was "easy".  Now that my daughter is one and my son is almost 3, it's getting tougher every day! 

 

One thing keeping me going is knowing that pretty soon it will be warm enough for outside play every day! 


Mama to three

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#3 of 9 Old 03-15-2011, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Nicole730 View Post

 

One thing keeping me going is knowing that pretty soon it will be warm enough for outside play every day! 



You know, that is such an excellent point. I am probably experiencing major cabin fever on top of everything else. I take the kids somewhere every morning, but for the past few months it's always been somewhere INDOORS. Ugh.

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#4 of 9 Old 03-15-2011, 06:02 PM
 
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I only have one and I've been going bonkers cooped up in our apartment all day, with no car. But today was a bit warmer and I took DD out for a long long walk in her stroller and chatted with a friend and it was heavenly. Soon it will be warm enough for her to play outside!

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#5 of 9 Old 03-15-2011, 06:17 PM
 
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Another thing I find helpful at times is to play cheesy country songs about the kids growing up.  "You're Gonna Miss This" is a good one. ;)  Nothing like tearing up to get me to appreciate the little monsters.

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#6 of 9 Old 03-15-2011, 11:21 PM
 
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hug2.gifmama, no wise words of advise, but I am right there with you but with a almost 15 mo and a 4 year old (and a 7 and 10 year-old!). My big boys are really helpful, so it is actually easier when they are all home from school, etc. but man the cleaning and cooking stinks sometimes... never ends.

 

One thing about they toys I've found helps is to put away 85 percent of them and rotate them.  Box them up and put them up on a shelf or in the closet/ attic/garage if you can. 

 

When there is less they actually play with them and hey, there is less to pick up! 

 

Hang in there... and remember, this too shall pass.


 hh2.gif  ~~~~~~~~~~hh2.gif
 

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#7 of 9 Old 03-16-2011, 04:30 AM
 
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Confirming some of my fears too. Mine are 2.5 years and 10 months old. If you played a loud song and did a "2 minute clean up" do you think you could get them to participate? Maybe if your husband helped the first few times to demonstrate. If everybody is working you can get a lot put up in two minutes.
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#8 of 9 Old 03-16-2011, 05:19 AM
 
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I guess I would just tackle these problems one by one. they are of course typical child issues but there are ways to manage some of them I think.

I'd put the 3 year old back in diapers.
Zero tolerance for the water/milk spitting. Watch like a hawk and immediately remove the drinks with a stern warning.
The toys I would organize in a way that you can control what comes out at what time. If they pull books off the shelves they put them back before they go to the next thing. Or the books are removed.

Pick an acceptable amount of time to cook and do that and no more Other than that just make it work. We bake bread once a week, buy natural PB. That's lunch a few times a week. It takes about a minute.

Why is the 3 year old waking multiple times a night? Can you have your DH take over? Around that age we were very firm with my son's nightwaking. I know it's not always easy but without more info that's all I can offer there.

By 1.5 my second had very strict limits on nursing. Designed for my sanity. I think it was just before naps and bed and overnight. With my first I didn't have that and it was a mess.

Last year (before I got pregnant again and had some restrictions) I joined the local rec center. For 1.5 glorious hours a day my kids played in the play area (supervised, obviously) and I got to work out. Or lie on a yoga mat and listen to music redface.gif. It was awesome. I wouldn't have agreed to have a 3rd child unless I had experienced the bliss of taking care of myself for a defined period every day. So maybe look into something like that, too.

I guess in general I'd just say to take a deep breath and know that while a lot of what you're talking about is unavoidable... you're still the boss and it doesn't have to feel like that, all the time. It definitely took us a while and a big perspective change in myself to change things around here. But man it was worth it!!


DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#9 of 9 Old 03-16-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carmel23 View Post

hug2.gifmama, no wise words of advise, but I am right there with you but with a almost 15 mo and a 4 year old (and a 7 and 10 year-old!). My big boys are really helpful, so it is actually easier when they are all home from school, etc. but man the cleaning and cooking stinks sometimes... never ends.

 

One thing about they toys I've found helps is to put away 85 percent of them and rotate them.  Box them up and put them up on a shelf or in the closet/ attic/garage if you can. 

 

When there is less they actually play with them and hey, there is less to pick up! 

 

Hang in there... and remember, this too shall pass.


Older siblings are wonderful!  :)  My oldest is a huge help with my littles, just being able to go to the bathroom and say 'keep an eye on them' is absolutely priceless. 

 

As for the rest:

 

Cooking- You don't need to be a slave to the kitchen to make homemade and healthy food. Make the crock pot your friend. Keeping salad all tossed together works for quick meals for us. Hardboiled eggs are always in the fridge for easy basics.  Rice and beans can be made ahead and stored. We make lunch our big meal of the day- dinner is lighter and requires less time and effort as the last thing I can juggle along with the evening witching hour is being a personal chef.  A plate of crackers and cheeses and some veggies and dip can have all the same great nutrients as a big meal. 

 

Cleanup- I echo the PP.  it was a hard leap for me to make, but I put away a lot of the toys, and they now rotate.  When I found myself resenting that toy xyz was on the floor AGAIN, I realized that I had the ability to control that.  The kids really don't miss things that are put away and when they come back they are Brand New all over again. 

 

Potty Training- I figure you can either  stress about it, or accept it.  If you need to put the three yo back in diapers, do it.  if you don't want to do that- he needs to take some responsibility for helping to clean up the mess.  Why do you think he is regressing in this area? 

 

Spilling water across the table etc- food is ONLY eaten at the table, and when something is not treated properly, it is taken away after one warning.  My kids liked doing the same thing with their cups, and it drove me bonkers.  I finally had enough and took the cups away the moment they were used as toys instead of cups.  It took about a week, but they don't do it any more. 

 

Enlist help for the sleep issues, and start creating firm boundaries with the older child. By 18 months and three years they are able to learn to settle themselves back to sleep and find their own lost loveys. A nightmare needs a snuggle on occasion, but they can learn to help themselves with that as well.

 

In my home, that place of peace has been found only after I created a pretty firm, safe, and predictable structure.  You can be a firm parent and still remain loving, it does not have to be one or the other, even when they are pushing developmentally appropriate boundaries. 

 

 

Oh and yes, lots of outside time makes the world a happier place. :)

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