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#1 of 22 Old 08-28-2008, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh. Where to start. This post was hard to decide where to put because it spans so many topics: sleep, discipline, you name it.

Basically, I have a 3.5yo DS and an 8 mo DD. DS has always been high needs/bad sleeper. DD has been sleeping poorly since about month 4. DS has been acting out since I was about 6 mo pg but goes through good/bad spells. Since his sister, he now pushes her, runs into her, rams her with cars and pushes her off furniture (she's cruising). He also talks back, whines constantly, throws tantrums, complains that he "can't" (eat, sleep, wait, put on his own clothes, etc.) and is generally not fun to be around about 80% of the time. His sister is a VERY light sleeper and he thinks it's fun to purposefully wake her - so she doesn't get sleep during the day, which also doesn't help her sleep I'm night.

I'm exhausted up with DD all night (she goes down at 8 and wakes about every 1.5 hrs and then for good about 6:15), so I have a low patience level. DS is tired (he goes down around 9:30, wakes all night long and then up at 7 even though my DH, when in town nows goes up to sleep with him) and he's ornery. My DD gets no attention all day because I am dealing with him trying to manhandle her or trying to get one or the other to sleep (he needs a nap still, which is a whole other story).

It used to be rare that I would yell at him. It's getting to be more frequent. I have done things that I am ashamed of (no hitting or spanking but still horrible) to get him to do simple things (like not tackle his sister, try to rest at naptime, don't scream when I am putting her down, etc.). I am not parenting either child the way I want to and I'm so disappointed and don't know how to change things. Part of me wants to let DD CIO b/c I feel like DS is getting the raw end of the deal since I'm so tired - until I got pg I hadn't raised my voice with him once and loved being a mom. Now I'm having days where I don't even like being around him and that sucks because he is a really cool, smart, funny little kid.

I don't even know what help I need. Therapy for me? Ways to get her to sleep by herself (or him for that matter?) Better discipline techniques? A husband that doesn't work or travel? I'm just so sad about this.
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#2 of 22 Old 08-28-2008, 04:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MrsT View Post
Ugh. Where to start. This post was hard to decide where to put because it spans so many topics: sleep, discipline, you name it.

Basically, I have a 3.5yo DS and an 8 mo DD. DS has always been high needs/bad sleeper. DD has been sleeping poorly since about month 4. DS has been acting out since I was about 6 mo pg but goes through good/bad spells. Since his sister, he now pushes her, runs into her, rams her with cars and pushes her off furniture (she's cruising). He also talks back, whines constantly, throws tantrums, complains that he "can't" (eat, sleep, wait, put on his own clothes, etc.) and is generally not fun to be around about 80% of the time. His sister is a VERY light sleeper and he thinks it's fun to purposefully wake her - so she doesn't get sleep during the day, which also doesn't help her sleep I'm night.

I'm exhausted up with DD all night (she goes down at 8 and wakes about every 1.5 hrs and then for good about 6:15), so I have a low patience level. DS is tired (he goes down around 9:30, wakes all night long and then up at 7 even though my DH, when in town nows goes up to sleep with him) and he's ornery. My DD gets no attention all day because I am dealing with him trying to manhandle her or trying to get one or the other to sleep (he needs a nap still, which is a whole other story).

It used to be rare that I would yell at him. It's getting to be more frequent. I have done things that I am ashamed of (no hitting or spanking but still horrible) to get him to do simple things (like not tackle his sister, try to rest at naptime, don't scream when I am putting her down, etc.). I am not parenting either child the way I want to and I'm so disappointed and don't know how to change things. Part of me wants to let DD CIO b/c I feel like DS is getting the raw end of the deal since I'm so tired - until I got pg I hadn't raised my voice with him once and loved being a mom. Now I'm having days where I don't even like being around him and that sucks because he is a really cool, smart, funny little kid.

I don't even know what help I need. Therapy for me? Ways to get her to sleep by herself (or him for that matter?) Better discipline techniques? A husband that doesn't work or travel? I'm just so sad about this.
Honey, you are way overwhelmed. I'm not great ta the baby stage, why don't you try over in Gentle Discipline? I'll bet you'll gt a lot of great ideas there!

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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#3 of 22 Old 08-28-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MrsT View Post
Ugh. Where to start. This post was hard to decide where to put because it spans so many topics: sleep, discipline, you name it.

Basically, I have a 3.5yo DS and an 8 mo DD. DS has always been high needs/bad sleeper. DD has been sleeping poorly since about month 4. DS has been acting out since I was about 6 mo pg but goes through good/bad spells. Since his sister, he now pushes her, runs into her, rams her with cars and pushes her off furniture (she's cruising). He also talks back, whines constantly, throws tantrums, complains that he "can't" (eat, sleep, wait, put on his own clothes, etc.) and is generally not fun to be around about 80% of the time. His sister is a VERY light sleeper and he thinks it's fun to purposefully wake her - so she doesn't get sleep during the day, which also doesn't help her sleep I'm night.

I'm exhausted up with DD all night (she goes down at 8 and wakes about every 1.5 hrs and then for good about 6:15), so I have a low patience level. DS is tired (he goes down around 9:30, wakes all night long and then up at 7 even though my DH, when in town nows goes up to sleep with him) and he's ornery. My DD gets no attention all day because I am dealing with him trying to manhandle her or trying to get one or the other to sleep (he needs a nap still, which is a whole other story).

It used to be rare that I would yell at him. It's getting to be more frequent. I have done things that I am ashamed of (no hitting or spanking but still horrible) to get him to do simple things (like not tackle his sister, try to rest at naptime, don't scream when I am putting her down, etc.). I am not parenting either child the way I want to and I'm so disappointed and don't know how to change things. Part of me wants to let DD CIO b/c I feel like DS is getting the raw end of the deal since I'm so tired - until I got pg I hadn't raised my voice with him once and loved being a mom. Now I'm having days where I don't even like being around him and that sucks because he is a really cool, smart, funny little kid.

I don't even know what help I need. Therapy for me? Ways to get her to sleep by herself (or him for that matter?) Better discipline techniques? A husband that doesn't work or travel? I'm just so sad about this.
i had this problem with my DD who was incessant cryer and whiner and never happy. then grandma stepped in and made me take back my position as "the boss" and all my little ducks fell right in line. I had no idea but kids were definitely runnin the show in my house for a while!! They are so much happier now and everything is pretty consistent: discipline, dinner, bathtime, bedtime, expectations of their behavior. they haven't yelled at me in so long and i've been soooo happy.
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#4 of 22 Old 08-28-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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Maybe try the GD forum with some specific examples of DS' behavior for more specific suggestions??

Also, time for a mother's helper. Someone to come in and engage DS so you can play with DD or vice versa.

And DH needs to take both children at night on Friday so you can sleep straight through (pump milk if you have to so you don't have to get up). And then on Sunday morning, he takes them in the morning so you can sleep in.

If he can DH should take DD on an outing leaving you with DS. Sounds like DS really needs some one-on-one with mommy.

Or you can do what many moms do and put in a DVD for DS to buy some peace. Nothing wrong with that if it gives everyone a buffer zone.

V

Happy Momma to DD (almost 3) Fall Coleslaw -- Simple Italian Stuffed Peppers -- - Fall Toddler Activities.- We Made a Play Kitchen Selling gently used books on all topics here.
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#5 of 22 Old 08-28-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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Yeah, first stop feeling guilty that you have to be "the boss" towards ds and step in when he can't treat dd respectfully.

You might want to try and create a space for your dd to sleep peacefully during the day for naps where your ds can't get at her. It might also help that you put her down and spend some time focusing on your ds while she sleeps. That is, if she is content with such an arrangement. Your ds might also benefit from his own sleeping space at night if he's waking a bunch.

Is your ds dealing with low blood sugar or anything like that? My dd is a lot nicer to be around when she eats well before going down for a nap.

A trick that's working for me right now with my two is using a music box during nap time. If I need to take care of ds first, we wind up the music box and dd can play with it until ds is asleep or can tolerate me tending to dd. Then we rewind it and let ds play with it while I nurse dd to sleep. She's old enough to be okay with "we'll listen to it three times then you go to sleep" and then ds usually can't wait any longer so I switch and she's fine with cuddling up with me. Limits are not a bad thing. It doesn't always work but t's around 80% of the time.

Good luck!

Mom to DD ('06) and DS ('08)
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#6 of 22 Old 08-28-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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I could have written this post myself fairly recently. I have a dd 35 mo, and a ds 11 mo. My son doesn't sleep, and keeping dd from killing ds feels like a fully time job. I also had never yelled at dd until the pregnancy was kicking my butt, and felt recently that I was out of control being the mean, nasty, yelling mama I really don't want to be. I was so disappointed in myself. I wrote this post

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=954719

a week ago and got some awesome tips. After some serious soul searching, I made up my mind that I was capable of doing this the way I want it done. For the last few days, I have completely changed. I focused on handling every situation without showing any anger. I stayed relaxed (especially my jaw...no clenching) and just said what needed to be said. I can honestly say I have turned a new page. For me the single most important thing was determining I would not yell/speak harshly and then focusing on relaxing so that I could handle those hot button issues without loosing it. I hope you find something that works for you, but I want you to know that I know exactly how you feel.
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#7 of 22 Old 08-28-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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OK-I know I am bound to get some flack for this, but: PRE-SCHOOL. It may sound counter-intuitive (will he feel like I am pushing him away? Isn't being home with me what he needs? Maybe even more time with me? etc.) but really, at this age (and 3 is HARD), I found that just a few hours a week where ds was happy, safe and having a wonderful time at pre-school and I could take a minute without him to think about things, physically relax a little and let the pressure up was SO AMAZINGLY HELPFUL. It was only like 9 hours a week, but I swear, it was like I could get my life in order, my thoughts in order, in a way I couldn't when it was DS all day, every day. My DS has very high needs too and I had been feeling the exact same way- I was turning into a mother I didn't want to be because I was exhausted and stressed out. But with a little time we could take a break from each other, both do things that made us happy and come back a bit more refreshed, things improved DRAMATICALLY and I could again appreciate him. I could do my shopping without things ending in a fit, clean up without getting frustrated, I would prepare dinner early so that at 6 all I had to do was warm it up, and I even took a course at the university and the best part was that then, in the afternoons, I felt more free to actually interact with him and enjoy the time together and I had a chance to think about the best way to handle things instead of always just putting out fires so when it came to discipline, I felt like I was able to be more patient and thoughtful. And, as I tore myself up about "leaving" my DS for a few hours at pre-school, it turned out to be an absolutely wonderful experience for him. He goes to a beautiful little school that he loves and every day he would wake up excited to go and everyday he would come home happy and tired from a morning of play. Not to mention that he learned a lot and the teacher had some really great tips for me and the whole community there became an amazing resource of information about this age and support.

I know its not for everyone, and there are many here who (I am sure) would adamantly disagree with me, but even if pre-school is not your thing, maybe another version of help- a mother's helper, a nanny, a college student to just take one of them (or both of them) to the park or even to play with them while you are home while you nap or get yourself together for a couple of hours a week. They might really enjoy another person and their attention and you could come back together with a bit more prespective.

Mothers deserve to have some time, some sleep. This is a perfect example of how being the "perfect" mom can lead to being the "imperfect mom" because we can so easily burn out (not that you are "imperfect" but in our quest to do well, we can often forget ourselves and then we are unable to do what we really want to do). If we don't satisfy our own needs as well, we can't care for them (the old "put your own oxygen mask on first, then help others" thing).
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#8 of 22 Old 08-28-2008, 09:33 PM
 
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Yes to PP (too lazy to find nodding pointing smiley). When I read your post "preschool!" shouted itself in my mind. It sounds like you both need a break. (Insert hugs smiley here!)
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#9 of 22 Old 08-28-2008, 11:08 PM
 
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I'm in the exact same boat, only double the jealousy with my 3yo having a 2yo brother and 2.5 month old baby sister, both of whom are nursing. I just made an appointment with a counselor because things have really deteriorated and I need my life back and I need my relationship back with my son.
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#10 of 22 Old 08-28-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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Yes to PP (too lazy to find nodding pointing smiley). When I read your post "preschool!" shouted itself in my mind. It sounds like you both need a break. (Insert hugs smiley here!)
Amen. Paddy starts Tuesday. He's actually been asking, practically BEGGING to go back to school. I can't wait-we're driving each other NUTS.
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#11 of 22 Old 08-29-2008, 12:30 AM
 
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I totally agree with the preschool suggestion.

to you, mama.
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#12 of 22 Old 08-29-2008, 03:20 AM
 
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I also agree with the previous how ever many posters said preschool! My 1st did soooo much better once she had a few hours away with her peers and loving teachers. And she only went 2 mornings a week for a couple of hours. We chose a program that practiced everything gentle and "kind words, kind hands, kind hearts" as its motto. It fits perfectly with our style of parenting and dd comes home and wants to be a big girl/helper with her younger sibs. I know of several families who were in similar situations with the older's behavior deteriorating and preschool worked wonders. HTH and good luck!
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#13 of 22 Old 08-29-2008, 12:52 PM
 
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I can totally sympathize... I have a 4 yo dd and a 1 yo ds. Here are my suggestions:

* Get a routine going... High needs kids often do better when they know what to expect. The first few weeks are hard, but if you stick to it, it can be a life-saver... Something like... wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed, go for a walk, play inside, lunch, nap, art project, outside, cook dinner... Not a schedule, just a basic order to the day.

* A lot of kids don't need a nap by 3.5 yo. Try skipping the nap and going to bed earlier. Again, first few days or weeks might be difficult, but the earlier bedtime might be helpful to you.

* As pp's said, dd would probably benefit from her own sleep space for nap. Could you lay with her in your bed and nurse her then leave. That time could be used for one-on-one time with ds. Also, it would prevent him from waking her.

* Also agree with pp's suggestions for time away for ds. If you're not ready for preschool, you could try having dad or another relative take him out to a park or something one or two days a week. Or maybe getting him enrolled in a class or something. Or, some moms have luck with trading off on playdates. A friend comes to your house for a few hours once a week, then you send your lo to her house another day for a few hours.

I hope you find something that works. Both of those ages are soooo difficult.

Taryn
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#14 of 22 Old 09-17-2008, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the suggestions and support. We've had a few good days (nights excluded) and it's because I took some of your advice:

1) DS did start preschool
2) I've been making a conscious effort to stop my negative behavior (yelling, etc.) and staying calm when he tantrums.
3) Stopped trying for a nap or quiet time
4) Picking my battles - yesterday he was quite happy to play with a roll of tape, some scissors and a magazine for an HOUR. (Normally I would tell him that we don't "waste" tape or leave it all over the house, but I'm calling it a craft now )
5) Thank god for better weather, we've been outside playing a lot!

We're still having serious sleep issues, but I'm feeling less stressed. It was beginning to take its toll! Last week I got stress induced hives, a migraine and my leg went numb - all because I worked myself into a frenzy!! I need to learn how to relax!!!!

Thanks again, it's nice to hear that other people aren't as "perfect" as I think they are!!
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#15 of 22 Old 09-17-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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Sounds like you are already doing better!

I would post over in the Nighttime parenting section to see if you can get some tips on sleep.

Three boys.  jumpers.gif
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#16 of 22 Old 09-17-2008, 04:03 PM
 
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Responding with a and to sub so I can come back later. You need SLEEP. Let's work on that first - it's a fundamental human need and there's no point working on destressing your life without it.
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#17 of 22 Old 09-17-2008, 07:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Violet2 View Post

Maybe try the GD forum with some specific examples of DS' behavior for more specific suggestions??

Also, time for a mother's helper. Someone to come in and engage DS so you can play with DD or vice versa.

And DH needs to take both children at night on Friday so you can sleep straight through (pump milk if you have to so you don't have to get up). And then on Sunday morning, he takes them in the morning so you can sleep in.

If he can DH should take DD on an outing leaving you with DS. Sounds like DS really needs some one-on-one with mommy.

Or you can do what many moms do and put in a DVD for DS to buy some peace. Nothing wrong with that if it gives everyone a buffer zone.

V

I agree, you need some time.
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#18 of 22 Old 09-17-2008, 08:13 PM
 
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Sleep for Mom is soooo important. But yes, unless you neglect a waking baby, what are the parents to do? I was there. I was not my best self when I was waking night after night with the baby. She is 2 now and sleeps though the night. dd1 is 4 and the "rough" period in our lives does not seem to have harmed her. Yes, she watched alot more TV than I liked, but I had to keep dd1 distracted while I nursed dd2 to sleep for naps. Yes, I was short tempered with dd1, but luckly she doesn't remember. I would say: Its just a phase. At some point soon, you will be able to get more sleep and be a more mellow mom.
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#19 of 22 Old 09-17-2008, 08:46 PM
 
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4) Picking my battles - yesterday he was quite happy to play with a roll of tape, some scissors and a magazine for an HOUR. (Normally I would tell him that we don't "waste" tape or leave it all over the house, but I'm calling it a craft now )
Mrs T!!! You rock! I love this - isn't amazing how things that used to just p*ss us off can no longer bother us? You have a great sense of humor. I am so happy for you, that the changes you are implementing are beginning to work - already! Way to go Mama, you are awesome!!!

Wife to Hank , Mommy to Gabriella 6.5 yrs Anthony 28 monthsand 3 angels wait for me in Heaven Praying to be a Proverbs 31 woman!!
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#20 of 22 Old 09-17-2008, 09:01 PM
 
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Responding with a and to sub so I can come back later. You need SLEEP. Let's work on that first - it's a fundamental human need and there's no point working on destressing your life without it.

This cannot be said enough. I've been doing some "life journaling" where I basically record my moods and what's going on. I've found a good night's sleep was far more important than I'd imagined. Really. Now that I'm aware of it, I can chart how much sleep matters in my daytime.

My DS and DD were that way when DD was around your DD's age. Now that she's older, it's gotten much better. I think some is the age. She's cruising now, so she's more indepedent to him than when she was just a little baby. I think that can be tough for the big guy.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#21 of 22 Old 09-17-2008, 10:25 PM
 
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You need SLEEP. Let's work on that first - it's a fundamental human need and there's no point working on destressing your life without it.
This is very true for me. Everything is at least four times worse if I haven't slept well, even for one night. When it's night after night, I am barely functional.
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#22 of 22 Old 09-17-2008, 10:48 PM
 
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Sounds very familiar. I have a dd that just turned 4 and ds is 7 mos. I would have days like you as well. It is different haveing 2 kids instead of one. I had issues wih dd and yo are doing great by choosing your battles. I also had to give up nap/rest time for her. This is her second year of preschool and it was great when she went back this year. Take each day as a freash start. One thing I did with dd is when I did/do "loose it" I would sit down with her and we would have a little talk and I would calmly tell her I was sorry for yelling and hurting her feelings, I would explain that Mommy is tired and I need her help as a big sister to look after brother, help set the table etc and that would make her feel better. We would end or talk with a hug and a kiss and lots of love yous and things started to get better. Godd luck, keep up the good work.

 Yoga loving momma to DD, Eden Raine 8/04 , DS Brett Edwin 2/08, DS Brantley Albert 12/12 and wife for more than a decade to Jason 
~Living to preserve Gods green earth~

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