I feel like a bad mom today - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 12-18-2002, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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DS has been miserable today. He got a rough nights sleep, due to teething. Then, I had to take our neice to school this morning, and he got really upset when she got out of the car and started screaming and crying. So, we went to his toddler gymnastics, which he loves, and then came home and I played outside with him for over an hour before even going in the house. He knocked a bicycle over on himself, and got so mad and frightened he ran up and started hitting me (he's never done that before). Everything I do is wrong, he cries when I make him a glass of water, he cries when I go to the bathroom, he cries when I take him to the potty. He's so MAD at me, it seems. And in my head I'm not being very tolerant, I'm thinking all sorts of terrible things like "Can't you just quit crying for a minute?" so I end up just keeping my mouth shut while he's tantruming and trying to be present and calm and soothing for him. Nursing seems to tame the beast for about 20 minutes, then he's mad again. He finally fell asleep, after walking around dog-tired and grumpier than heck.
He's never been like this before. He gets upset sometimes, but not for a whole DAY. Is this normal behavior for a 21 month old? He gets fussy when he's teething, but this is really intense. How do you handle it without feeling so intolerant? I feel like a fake, I try to keep my words and actions as patient and loving as possible, but inside I feel frustrated and incompetent.
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#2 of 10 Old 12-18-2002, 06:04 PM
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Sounds so emotionally trying and exhausting for both of you. I do think those behaviors are normal for a 21 month old in pain and sleep-deprived, and your reactions equally normal and expected. When one of my children is in a supreme funk like that the key is for me to get a break from it. One hour of that is a long day!--8 hours can seem like a life-sentence! I hope you have a partner/friend/relative who can be the patient loving tolerant one for some time today? Good luck and hang in there.


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#3 of 10 Old 12-18-2002, 06:21 PM
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now it's my turn to cheer you up . i know how you might be feeling but those aren't the facts--you're a great mom! i've gone through this a lot w/dd--it is totally normal. the best thing to do is find ways to take care of yourself until the phase passes. which i hope is sooner than later for your sake!
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#4 of 10 Old 12-18-2002, 07:21 PM
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You're doing great, Sahara -- as someone else said, both his behaviors and your reactions are completely normal and natural. Indeed, if anything I'd say your response has been supernatural -- as in saintlike! I find that extended crying and anger so incredibly trying; it's like it hits some frequency or wavelength in my body that just puts my teeth on edge.

As for feeling fake, I think a certain amount of fake-it-till-you-make-it is absolutely needed in parenthood; it's not so much being fake as it is appearing calm and steady for your child's sake and because you know deep down that's what YOU want to be, too.

And one thing to try that I found quite by accident last night when my DS was in a similar state: let him run around naked for a while! It was amazing how this switched DS's demeanor last night, and it lasted, too! A nake-adoo cure to the crankies!

Cheering you on,
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#5 of 10 Old 12-18-2002, 10:21 PM
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Poor bug...and your ds too

I have wondered this about teething; it must be a different, and more traumatic experience at 20 mos or so than it was at 12 mos. These toddlers are in such a different place mentally and able to do so much more, but maybe not deal with their own pain and crankiness well at all. And of course, fixers of all things we are, so what's the hold up?

Sigh. I just got used to my communicative but compliant and very contented 14 month old, now who's this energetic, willfull, emotional little bean?

You sound like a hero to me, mom.
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#6 of 10 Old 12-19-2002, 11:12 AM
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Boy can I relate. I think this "teething phase" for dd who is now 20 months has been the roughest yet. She is working on what I believe to be her two year molars which has brought out the crankiness in both of us. She always seemed to get in "high gear" when teeth were poking through and no naps were to be found. sleeping at night was very iffy. She would only collapse from complete exhaustion. We are doing better now but it was a rough couple of weeks, hang in there. Now were are in the midst of a job transfer with a one week's notice (coming from a 4 month lay-off) and she can sense the changes and has been so clingy. I just feel sorry for her and things are getting better. She is getting somewhat back to an actual nap now in the afternoon and sleeping at night. Last I was able to look another was completely through, she will not let me look lately but her temperment has improved so much, maybe we are done with this stage now ?! Sorry to ramble!
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#7 of 10 Old 12-19-2002, 11:19 AM
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dd is only 14 months, so I'm not quite where you are...

but.. I know I've had "bad" days when I was in a bad mood all day and nothing seemed to help.

doesn't make you a bad mother if you baby has one of those.. he's only human, right?

sounds like you 're doing everything possible from your end and just letting him know you're there for him

let us know if things are better today, okay?
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#8 of 10 Old 12-19-2002, 12:20 PM
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I have a high needs 26 mo DD. This is about how most of our days go. Sometimes I *have* yelled at her, so I really feel like a bad mommy some days.
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#9 of 10 Old 12-19-2002, 12:49 PM
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Only have hugs to offer..

Reading about your little one I was thinking "hey this is how I feel some days but can't act out.." :

I take LOTS of deep breaths...

Also keep in mind if he is up teething then you are up too...so you may not be functioning at 100%...which is only another indication that you are a great mom!!

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#10 of 10 Old 12-20-2002, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much. Things were a little smoother today, he's still miserable but I feel much better after venting to you all. I guess I am just surprised by how negative my feelings can be. I get so wrapped up in feeling sorry for myself, I forget how lucky I am and great things are 90% of the time. I don't think I expected the highs to be so high, and the lows to be so low.
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