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#1 of 19 Old 10-21-2010, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am feeling really alone and depressed. I'm not really sure what I'm looking for here. I don't really have any real friends or family I feel I can turn to, and hubby is always at work (14 hrs a day/ 6 days a week.) Our DD will be 18 months old next month. She is wonderful, and I am blessed to stay home with her. She has always been just a tad high needs, and I have always seemed to be able to manage..until now. This week has been awful. Everything turns into a meltdown-diaper changes, changing clothes, going out, eating, even playing or reading! She will no longer let me brush her teeth. I try to avoid situations that become power struggles, but all of these things are necessary to everyday life. I understand this is typical toddler behavior. I have read books and articles and have trieed various methods. I distract her. I try to calm her. I communicate to her why she is upset. I have tried everything. I do not believe in spanking as a viable method of discipline, and I refuse to use that method. I was spanked as a child and am seriously scarred and resentful bc of it. Lately, I am so on edge and lose my temper so easily that it has been tempting. I can't imagine how awful I would feel if I even barely tapped her in a moment of frustration. I feel like an awful mother and like a failure. I feel like everyday I am failing my DD bc I have no idea how to deal with these things..and if I don't figure it out now, I'm scared it will only get worse. The only thing I feel we still have going for us is our nursing relationship. I am glad we have this, but it also bothers me that the only way I can comfort or calm my DD is by nursing. Some days I don't even want to get out of bed bc I don't have the energy or patience to deal. Just yesterday she hit me in the face with her sippy cup, and I am pretty sure my nose is broken. All I could do wasry..not bc it hurt like hell, but bc I couldn't comprehend why she could do that when all I have given her is love. I realize I need a break, but that is barely possible with our situation. I wish I could trust just anyone with my DD, but I don't..not even close family. I just want support in how to deal with this. I want to stop feeling like an awful mother. I want to stop feeling like an awful person. I want to know how other women do this with more than one. I want so badly to have another child, but I honestly don't think I could handle another. How do I handle these behaviors while staying sane and taking care of myself?? I am really desperate to get back to being the confident and happy mother my DD deserves, while dealing with her appropriately. Please, I will be thankful for any insight.

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#2 of 19 Old 10-21-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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Our DD will be 18 months old next month.

Just yesterday she hit me in the face with her sippy cup, and I am pretty sure my nose is broken.

All I could do wasry..not bc it hurt like hell, but bc I couldn't comprehend why she could do that when all I have given her is love.
She's only 17 months old. There is no way she did it with the intention or awareness that it would cause you pain. She hardly sees you as separate from herself, yet. She may have reflexively lashed out, or accidentally swung it, but She did not do that to hurt you.

Most likely, she may be going through a growth spurt. How is your nutrition?

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#3 of 19 Old 10-21-2010, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She's only 17 months old. There is no way she did it with the intention or awareness that it would cause you pain. She hardly sees you as separate from herself, yet. She may have reflexively lashed out, or accidentally swung it, but She did not do that to hurt you.

Most likely, she may be going through a growth spurt. How is your nutrition?
I know that she doesn't know that she is hurting me or that she didn't have the intention of hurting me. It still hurt my feelings though. She is cutting molars, so I attribute that to some of the constant fussiness. My diet is fine, we eat mostly all organic, homemade foods. I do have a weakness for sugar and am struggling to break it bc I know how seriously it affects my mood.

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#4 of 19 Old 10-21-2010, 08:18 PM
 
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You may need to up your protein intake. Frequently, a sugar craving is caused by low protein, especially if you don't get any until later in the afternoon. With her molars coming in and likely having a growth spurt at going-on-18-months, she needs more protein, too, by way of your milk, so you getting more will help her get more.

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#5 of 19 Old 10-21-2010, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You know, I have noticed after consuming lots of protein that I rarely crave sugar..I do limit animal protein to dinner though (besides eggs for breakfast almost every morning.) Should I be doing a lot more animal protein?

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#6 of 19 Old 10-21-2010, 08:53 PM
 
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No, I would not say you need more 'animal' protein, it's just that I've heard a lot of women who crave sugar lose that craving if they consume more protein, especially earlier in the day. You could use any form of protein, whether it be a protein shake, or nuts, or whatever you prefer.

Most people don't consume enough. I believe there is a formula, I don't remember where as it's been 5+ years since I was working, that lets you know how much. I think when I was pregnant, based upon my weight, it was suggested I consume 90-100 grams of protein/day, which is way more than most people do, especially not during the earlier part of the day. I drank a couple soy protein shakes before 1 pm in addition to my meals. I never craved anything but salad during that pregnancy and had an abundance of milk, although I don't know if the milk production/protein intake were linked or just a matter of coincidence.

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#7 of 19 Old 10-21-2010, 10:17 PM
 
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Okay, first off BIG HUG to you. I so know what you are going through. As a person who was also spanked as a child I worry so much that one day I am going to go over the edge and lose control. Sometimes, even though my little baby boy is only a year old, I can just feel my blood starting to boil, and it scares the hell out of me. I just don't think I could stand it if I hurt my baby the way I was hurt. The thought of it really scares me... I have communicated these feelings to some of my dearest friends, and the first thing they say to me is that if I weren't a good mother I wouldn't have these fears. So... this is what I am going to say to you. YOU ARE A GOOD MOM. In fact, you are an exceptional mom. I mean, just think about it.. You are alone with your dc almost all day. She's healthy and I'm sure when she's not cutting molars (ouch!) she's probably a pretty happy kid. On top of all that you are still bfing AND you are trying deperately to give her a better childhood than you had by stopping the cycle of abuse. YOU ARE AWESOME. The world needs more mothers like you.

Okay, so here is another thing that helps me... Exercise. I have found that after a good walk I am like a different person with my ds. If I were you I would try somehow to get this worked into the schedule. Also, make sure you are getting enough sleep by taking naps with her and letting your housework go to hell (okay, maybe not all the way there but don't let it keep you from your sanity!).

Girl I hear you on the sugar thing. I am pre-diabetic and I still have a really hard time controlling myself. I'll try harder to, on your behalf... Sending you good vibes!

Hang in there. Tomorrow is another day. Remember, you are a great mother. I mean that!

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#8 of 19 Old 10-21-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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First off, I really feel for ya. I totally understand not having any friends or family to turn to and feeling completely alone. Its terrifying.

First of all, you need to get out of the house. You need to force yourself to do something other than sit around all day. Go for a walk. Go to the mall and window shop, something. Try to get around some other people and if at all possible, put yourself in a position to make a few new friends. Look for clubs in your area, exercise classes, religious groups. I know that can be hard, but humans are social creatures. We aren't made to sit with no one besides a baby in an apartment or house and thrive. We need (quite literally) social interaction. Even if you don't feel close to your family, are there ways to spend more time with them? Just to get out and talk with some people. The friends that you have, are there ways to become closer to them? Or just have them over for lunch and meaningless conversation?

Why don't you trust anyone to care for your baby? Is there a specific reason you don't feel comfortable leaving her with your parents for an hour or two while you go out and relax? If its just that you aren't ready to leave her, honey, you can't get blood from a stone. Taking care of yourself takes care of her. You need to recharge and taking a few hours to yourself does not make you a bad mommy. It makes you a better mommy and a better person. Have you talked with your hubby about getting some alone time? Maybe he'd be up for a daddy/daughter outing or just staying home with her for a hour or two on his day off while you recharge. My DH works hrs similiar to yours and at a very physical job and I feel bad asking him to help me out like that sometimes. But if I need it and don't get it, things don't get better, they just get worse. I have to take care of myself sometimes.

Honestly, it sounds to me like you are a great mother and a great person. You just need some adult conversation and some serious you time. To me, that's what your post is screaming. And that does NOT NOT NOT make you a bad mommy. *hugs* again, mama!

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#9 of 19 Old 10-24-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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Big hugs, mama. I am in this boat with DH working like crazy, a 4mo and an almost 4yo that is not doing well with the new baby. I have felt like I was seriously losing it.

Get to a LLL group for toddlers, for example. Let some AP folks know you need to make some friends. When I am isolated and worn out it is easy to take the behavior personally.

It will get better!

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#10 of 19 Old 10-24-2010, 04:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
You may need to up your protein intake. Frequently, a sugar craving is caused by low protein, especially if you don't get any until later in the afternoon. With her molars coming in and likely having a growth spurt at going-on-18-months, she needs more protein, too, by way of your milk, so you getting more will help her get more.

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#11 of 19 Old 10-24-2010, 07:05 PM
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You know, I have noticed after consuming lots of protein that I rarely crave sugar..I do limit animal protein to dinner though (besides eggs for breakfast almost every morning.) Should I be doing a lot more animal protein?
Nuts and beans are really good protein sources and greek yogurt is high in protein too. It could help if you snacked every time she nurses. Do you get outside much? Going out for a walk or just to sit on the patio and blow bubbles helped my DD calm down at that age. I also got a backpack to put our DD in and that helped too. We didn't use outside sitters either, but my DH was able to take over for awhile everyday after getting home. Having your DH working such long hours must be really hard. The tantruming might not get better for awhile. 2 through 2.5 is a common age for tantrums to peak. We used ibuprofen for the really bad teething days, and gave our DD finely crushed ice to relieve gum pain. Painting, in the high chair at that age, and playing in water helped our DD be calmer and happier.
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#12 of 19 Old 10-24-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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hugs to you- that sounds like such a tough situation- the thing that stood out for me in your post is that- as you say- you really need a break! With your dh working so much and you alone having to deal all the time with the baby, it is no wonder you are at the end of your rope. I suppose your dh can't take any more time off? I just want to say that I hope you can find someone to help with the baby even a little bit- because it sounds like what you are feeling is totally normal and a result of just needing some space to regroup. I know it is really hard to do that- when you don't have anyone you can trust with the baby. Can you look for any kind of reputable day care- even for a few hours a week? Someone with good references who other people trust, perhaps- just so you could be alone for an hour or two to catch up with yourself. That is how I feel when I am waiting for dh to come home- I need someone to take the baby so I can catch up with myself.
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#13 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for your replies..sorry it has taken so long for me to get back to this. I know that I need a break..just this Saturday we were able to go out to dinner for my bday. My mom came and watched our DD. It was just funny because when we do get time alone, we don't even know what to do with ourselves lol I wish it was something we could do more often, but we can't. My parents/family live an hour and a half away, and his parents are handicapped..and I just don't trust them with her. I don't have many friends (anymore)..things change when you have a baby and ppl realize you have other obligations. I am sure you all know this though. I do occassionally go to a homebirth meetup, but I am just awkward when it comes to making friends. I don't even know how you get to the point with someone where I could disclose information like this and expect them to want to give support.

It is extremely hard with my hubby working like he does. He tries to help, but he is usually so exhausted when he is home. He can't take off more time. We are both just stretched to our limits..and you can imagine the effect this has had on our relationship. That's a whole nother post..

I have thought about daycare just a few hrs a week to get a break, but I just have a hard time justifying it. I also can't see paying for something like that when I am here..that is why we both chose the decision of me staying home. We are also in the process of buying a house so every penny counts right now.

I try to get us out when I can. We go to the park, the farmer's market, and the store. We just got a new puppy so she has kept us busy going outside a lot, too. I find it helps when we go out and be with nature.

I think it would help if I just had someone to call or come over that I could relate to. I mean, I can talk all I want to hubby or my mom, but deep down I know they can't understand bc they aren't in this situation. That is why I am so glad I have this community to turn to..

As for my diet, I know the sugar is a problem. Other than that, I eat very well..I am going to try upping my protein intake to see if that helps.

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#14 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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just an FYI, I am a sahm but I have a mommy's helper that comes at least 10 hours a week. the reason I have this is because I don't have any family around and hubby goes out of town a lot. but you know, even if he didn't, I would do it regardless. getting the help I need and having some me time helps me to be a better parent. IMO, should you go that route, you are TOTALLY justified!

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#15 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dalia- Your previous post was very reassuring..thank you SO much for that! What exactly is a mommy's helper? Is it like a babysitter, a friend, someone you hire? I ask bc I have seen several ppl talk about them, but never really knew exactly what/who they are.

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#16 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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Dalia- Your previous post was very reassuring..thank you SO much for that! What exactly is a mommy's helper? Is it like a babysitter, a friend, someone you hire? I ask bc I have seen several ppl talk about them, but never really knew exactly what/who they are.
not dalia, but just wanted to jump in--

The most common definition I've seen of a mother's helper is someone (that you hire) who watches/plays with your kid while you are still in the house. I think the general idea is that s/he would be younger, and have less responsibility, and get paid less than a sitter.

For example, I may not trust my 12 year old cousin enough just to leave her alone with my DS and go shopping, but it would be helpful for her to sit and play with DS while I do something else (even if it's just sleep). I would trust her enough to holler at me if there was something that she couldn't handle. This might also be something that your IL's could do-- just entertain the kiddo while you read a book in the next room.

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#17 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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It is extremely hard with my hubby working like he does. He tries to help, but he is usually so exhausted when he is home. He can't take off more time. We are both just stretched to our limits..and you can imagine the effect this has had on our relationship. That's a whole nother post..

I have thought about daycare just a few hrs a week to get a break, but I just have a hard time justifying it. I also can't see paying for something like that when I am here..that is why we both chose the decision of me staying home. We are also in the process of buying a house so every penny counts right now.

Have you looked for other SAHMs in your area in the same situation? Maybe you could start a baby-sitting swap? You watch their LO, they watch yours; you both get some free time and neither pays anything.
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#18 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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I found a gym when dh was deployed, this gym offered child care, and though it cost to join the gym, the childcare was free while I was there. I found that the 2 hours there (1 hr. to work out and the shower and change clothes etc.) was all I needed to really recharge.

With that said, here are some things that helped me when ours went through fussy phases, I've been through it four times so I could probably write a book, but here's just a couple suggestions. First, remember that you are only human and emotions are good. So next time she hits you with a cup, let her see your upset. Tell her that you don't like it and that it isn't acceptable for her to do that. Then give her a hug and tell her you still love her.

Offer choices. I don't know what the fit was about, but this is the best advice I have ever gotten. Offer her choices on what to wear that day. Offer her choices on which cup to use, which drink to have, what food to eat (even if it is only one of the things on her plate). Choices choices everywhere. She will feel more in control and less likely to act out aggressively if she feels like she controls so much.

One thing we did was when a toddler was being especially fussy I'd say, "oh did we wake up on the wrong side of the bed today?" Then say, "let's fix that OK" Run her back into her room (smiling and laughing, this is a game) if she's in a toddler bed it works well. Jump under the covers with her and say, hmmm, well you got out this way so let's try it like this. Turn it into a game where you flip this way and that until she is laughing and happy. In a crib it probably wouldn't work, but mine were always in toddler beds by 18 months old.

Did I mention give her choices?

When she gets mad, say, "oh my you are mad" then ask her to show you her best mad face, then say, "see this one is mine" and make the silliest mad face you can, then encourage her to do the same.

Did I mention give her choices?LOL This is the most important piece of advice that I got with my first and have used with all of them. Invaluable.

Mostly, just realize that you are doing a whole lot. You are bound to get overwhelmed. But think about this, she is overwhelmed too. So the fact that she is feeling exactly what you are feeling should make you feel a bit better and more understanding of her actions. Just remember that she is just as frustrated as you, but she doesn't have the ability to TELL you why, so you have to try to help her.

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#19 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 10:06 PM
 
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I think the definition the pp gave of mommy's helper is right on, though I think what my son actually has is a nanny. I just didn't want to write that because like every other mother I feel guilty about it! When she comes to the house I am around a lot of the time, but other times I am off shopping or doing water aerobics. Sometimes my hubby and I use the time to just hang out together... I am telling you I NEED THIS. With my family history and all the things I want to do differently from the way my childhood was, it's important for me to have a break so I can be a patient mommy.

I also have a baby group at my house that actually gives me a nice break from the ordinary. And I go walking with another mommy/baby and attend a Stroller Strides class. If I don't make contact with other adults, I seriously go nutso. I understand about the whole social insecurity thing and often feel weird and out of place, but I force myself on behalf of ds. children have a way of making you step out of your comfort zone!

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