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I'm pretty much beyond where I'd like to ever go again - I can't seem to enjoy my almost 4 year old at all. I dread when he wakes up, I'm irritated with him within minutes of the day starting. I feel like I am not anywhere near my potential as a mom right now.

The thing is that he has SO MUCH ENERGY. My whole day is, "Please speak more quietly," "Please back up" (because he talks right into my face and his sister's face constantly), "Please be gentle" etc. He is almost constantly in a wonderful mood, and I realize that this enthusiasm is a great quality in an adult, but I seriously can't deal with it right now. I'm worn out. I'm not mothering him well at all because I'm so irritated with the constant negotiations for personal space and the general energy level of the house. It's too intense. I have no idea what to do. I plan some kind of activity every day, to get us out and try to use up some of his energy. And trying to keep him safe when we are out is so consuming that it makes me want to park him in front of a tv and go cry in the garage all day.

I have told DP many times that I HAVE TO have a regular alone time every week. He gets to go to the gym for 2 hours every day, and I need SOMETHING. It hasn't happened. So I guess I need suggestions about how to reform my own attitude and how to better relate to my son - things that don't require my getting away from him for a break - because I just can't count on that, much as I need that department to improve.

Help?
 

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I could have written this post. I can't even remember the last time I had a real break. I just wanted to empathize and hope that there's some good advice out there. hugs mama and hang in there.
 

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I'm sorry your husband isn't helping you with this. You need time to yourself, you deserve it, and it's not fair that he gets two whole hours per day to decompress at the gym. If the two hours he's going are the only two hours he has, he will just have to go four days a week instead of 7. Instead of telling him how much you need some 'me' time and hoping he will give it to you... could you just take it? Make a plan to go do something you enjoy for a few hours 2-3 days per week, inform him when he needs to be home and what he will need to do, and then go.

Kids like your son are lovely people, but very draining, and it's worse for some people than for others. You need personal space, and that's okay.. I don't know how you can feel more positively towards him when you are so tapped out.

Exercise is the best thing to bring down his level a bit. I have dogs and a lot of dogs, just like some kids, need a ton of intense exercise and without it there is no way they won't be over the top all day. Not just playing on a playground or regular kid activities, but something that will really exhaust him.

I was a hyperactive kid. My mom got pretty creative - made me run laps around the (outside of the) house, took me to a parking lot (or fenced tennis or basketball court) on my bike or rollerblades, and made up a game to keep me going as fast as possible until I was ready to drop. She made up a lot of games where she got to sit or stand and verbally prompt me while I ran, jumped, swung as high as I could on the swings, etc. She would even set me up little drills and obstacle courses in the back yard. It's the only way enough of my energy was expended that she got a few peaceful hours in the day. Going to the pool all summer burns a TON of energy, but your son is still so little I suppose he isn't actually swimming and you'd have to supervise him in the kiddy pool..
 

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I agree with the PP who said exercise. And lots of it! I was extremely active as a child, and so is DD (I have a new appreciation for what my mother went through). We scrounged a tramp (little one inside, big one outside), swing set, slides, etc. Hippity hop, tape "paths" on the floor you have to hop skip slide through, etc.

I also put DD in preschool 3 days a week, 4 hours a day. She loves it. It really seemed to meet her needs for activity and stimulation. Its out for the summer, but we've been meeting up regularly at the park with some of her preschool friends.

Will your DH get down on the floor with him and give him maybe an hour each day of very physical play? Dads seem to be able handle the more intense physical needs of kids. It will go a long ways towards meeting his needs for crashing against someone solid, being hung upside down and swung, and all those wonder vestibular activities that are too hard for me to do for any length of time.
 

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HI OP! Exercise for sure. Planned activities too: play dates, park district classes. At-home activites too to keep his hands busy: search for marbles in shaving cream water; sewing cards; painting; playdough; bath tub and playmobile ships; stringing beads or macaroni. We go from one to the other....literally. Also I bring my son to play with my dad--it really helps for some reason to have another person beside me for him to interact with. Again, we just keep going from thing to place to the next thing to do.

I love the idea of obstacle course. He has scooter and bike and a plasma car, this would be a great activity!
 

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Preschool is a great energy burner/stimulation provider for DS. All winter he went 3 days a week for 3 hrs.

Also other people to play with him. Yesterday I let my nephew and BIL spend the day playing with him. W also go on all too infrequent play-dates, and I get to hang and have grown-up coversations with the other mommy while the kids wear each other out.

Don't ask for bits of time here and there from your DH, he will always be "busy." Make a schedual.
 

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Keep him outside as many hours a day as possible. Go hiking and let him climb trees and explore while you pursue something quieter. Take him to natural areas that have fewer things he can hurt or that can hurt him. Volume is less of a big deal when you're outside. Give him heavy work, like hauling water, moving furniture while you clean, etc. Will someone wrestle with him? I do not wrestle, but DH is happy to wrestle, and it helps. Try teaching him to jump rope. Set up a climbing rope. A swing that moves like a tire swing might also help. Think about ways he can feel his WHOLE body.

4 is a big deal. They need to use their bodies in big ways, and when that is stymied, there are repercussions...


PS- just schedule something for yourself, and let your DH know when you'll be gone, and go.
 
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