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<p>Please be gentle. I'm really struggling with 2 1/2 year old, to the point that I fantasize about going back to work and putting him in daycare so I don't have to deal with him everyday.  I'm pregnant and just SO tired. He is my most spirited child, extremely verbal, demanding and just so much MORE than any of my other children. Also, this is the first time since I had my first child 10 years ago that I've only had one child at home. They've always had a built in playmate with their siblings, but because of the spacing between ds and his next oldest sib, he's home alone with me all. day. long.  It's just SO exhausting.  I'm spent.</p>
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<p>I try to do things to bring structure to our day, but there is only so much I can physically and emotionally do. It never seems like it's enough.  I try to include him in what I'm doing (cooking or cleaning), but that only takes so long. He'd probably be happier if we left the house more often, but again, that's so exhausting to me.  I know I need to.  It's my fault he's so stir-crazy and spun-up.  I try to go to the gym so he can play in the children's gym, but with Christmas coming, I haven't had time (trying to cook, take care of some projects dh and I have going around the house, shopping/wrapping, etc.). </p>
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<p>And then, there's the TV. I've used it to give myself a break from him, but he gets so addicted to it! It doesn't seem like there's any moderation with him. If he sees one 30 minute show on PBS, he'll whine and cry and throw tantrums for more.  I'm not proud of the fact that I've let him go some days watching show after show just so I can rest.  I'm cutting it off all the way now, though, because it's so bad for him.  </p>
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<p>Help! What do you do to save your sanity? What does your day look like that meets everyone's needs?  Also, do you have "quiet time"? This is some elusive thing I've heard from other parents. Does it really work? I can't even imagine.  Ds won't stay in another room away from doing anything quietly or by himself.  Speaking of which, I know a lot of toddlers don't want to play by themselves for any length of time, but is there a way I can encourage it, even for short periods of time? I'm open to any ideas, but please be gentle. My nerves are so shot.</p>
 

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<p>I have been where you are.  Like 3.5 months ago.  Mostly the way I handled it was by resting all the time and letting her orbit around me and I made my husband do everything around the house. <span><img alt="bag.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/bag.gif"> I survived by chanting my count down till I wasn't pregnant anymore.  I have to push hard for her to play independently.  I have to repeatedly pointedly ignore her when she asks for me to do something.  "Not right now, I am in the middle of something."  She then wanders off and usually starts making up a story about how she is the mother telling her doll about how she doesn't have time for her.  It's kind of intense.  I hope I didn't do any lasting psychological damage.</span></p>
 

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<p>I have a 2.5yo too, and I so, so get it!  I heard one that two-and-a-half gives two a bad name, and it is so true!</p>
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<p>I think it is a hard age because they are in such a transitional stage.  Not really a baby, not really a "big kid".  So much energy, can't quite manage everything they want to do on their own yet, and learning the power of words.  Can't make up their mind between "My do it myself!!" and "No Mommy, YOU do it!!" </p>
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<p>My DD has also been watching waaay too much tv lately.  We are going through some big changes at home right now with me closing my home daycare so I am just letting it go for now and will make my major changes after Christmas.  I am hoping once I can focus some more attention just on her we will get over our rough patch. </p>
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<p>For about a week she went through a phase where every time I said something to her she would repeat the last word I said and then asked why.  So it would go like this:</p>
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<p>Me: Honey don't touch that, it's hot.</p>
<p>DD: Hot?  Why?</p>
<p>Me: Because I just took it out of the microwave.</p>
<p>DD: Microwave?  Why?</p>
<p>Me: Because the microwave heats things up to cook them.</p>
<p>DD: Cook them?  Why?</p>
<p>Me: So we can eat yummy food.</p>
<p>DD: Food?  Why?</p>
<p>Me: So we can grow big and strong.</p>
<p>DD: Strong?  Why?</p>
<p>Me: Go talk to Daddy for a while....</p>
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<p>She still naps, which I am sure is 90% of the reason I can hold it together most days.  And whenever she has one of those cute and precious moments that make me remember why I love her so much I grab on to it for all it's worth.  It is a very fun age, but it is also a very hard age. </p>
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<p>I also think that having a vent every once in a while really helps.  I am fortunate to have a number of friends with toddlers around the same age, and it is nice to pick up the phone from time to time to say "My kid is driving me nuts today.  Is your kid driving you nuts too?"  And they usually say yes and we trade stories, have a few laughs, and feel better.  My one friend works three days a week and often jokes that she is going to quit her part-time job and enroll her DD in full-time daycare. </p>
 

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<p>2.5 year olds are exhausting!  My son is not quite there yet, but getting close.  Even though I work full time M-F, by the time Sunday night rolls around, I'm exhausted!  I'm pregnant too which makes it more challenging. </p>
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<p>Have you thought about enrolling him in a mother's day out program or daycare part time?  It will probably be good for him and it will be good for you as well. </p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<div>I think it is a hard age because they are in such a transitional stage.  Not really a baby, not really a "big kid".  So much energy, can't quite manage everything they want to do on their own yet, and learning the power of words.  Can't make up their mind between "My do it myself!!" and "No Mommy, YOU do it!!"</div>
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<p>This is so true!  My son wants to do everything himself and if I try to interfere, he tells me to go away.  He's got endless amounts of energy, probably enough to run a marathon.  The only time he'll sit still and quiet is when he watches his TV show.  Last night we went out to dinner and he was constantly fidgeting and bobbing up and down in the booth.  Right up until bedtime, he's still running around the house which I think is why it takes him some time to wind down and fall asleep.</p>
 

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<p>HUGS!!!!</p>
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<p>A couple thoughts... </p>
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<p>I know you want to cut back on TV but maybe wait 'til after the holidays, when you'll have more time/energy to put into distracting him? (I am actually quite anti-TV but I think by trying to cut it out now during such a busy & stressful time for you, you're just setting yourselves up for more frustration, you know?)</p>
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<p>Also, I would really REALLY try to get to the gym. It sounds counterintuitive if you're already short on time, but he'll get his energy out, you'll get a break, and you will probably be able to get SOOO much more done when you return home!! I do make it a point to get DS out every day (except when I fail, which I often do!) & that just makes our whole day go so much smoother.</p>
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<p>See what you can get your DS involved in that might actually help you. He could decorate brown paper to wrap gifts in, perhaps? </p>
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<p>I have no idea how anyone does quiet time lol, if my DS doesn't nap there's no way he'd sit quietly by himself, though he LOVES books so I can often get a break by reading to him (can't get things done but at least he's staying in one place & it's relaxing for me!) <br>
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<p>My biggest sanity-saver is that when DH gets home from work, he's in charge. Sometimes I leave the house, but more often, I go into another room & read or go online. I don't know what I'd do without that time. This is a hard time of year to ask for help outside the family but maybe once the holidays are over, you could do a childcare swap with another mom or something? Watch her kid(s) one day a week & she'll watch yours the other day so you can get time to yourself? Don't be afraid to ask for help!<br>
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<p>My son is not quite 2, but I have this issue too.  He does watch tv, I try and limit it but he watches his show probably twice/day (total tv time is about an hour).  To 'encourage' him to play on his own I just keep telling him I'm busy, he whines/cries, and eventually wanders off to play.  I do take time to play with him everyday so I'm not always telling him I'm busy.  But to keep my sanity I need a break from him sometimes.  I also include him in chores and I like getting out of the house even if it's just to run errands.</p>
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<p>*hugs* I hope you find some solutions - toddlers are exhausting!</p>
 

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<p>I haven't read all of the replies yet, but I wanted to mention this:</p>
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<p>I had a difficult pregnancy with ds, especially the last few months on partial bed rest.  Dd was 2.5 when he was born.  The thing that saved me was reading her stories.  We spent hours on the couch reading stories; she would hang out with me for a while, then she'd wander off to play with toys, often at my suggestion ("why don't you go get your ___?").</p>
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<p>Do you have any friends or family who could take him out for activity sometimes?</p>
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<p>Hang in there, mama.</p>
 

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<p><br><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Gillian28</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285795/i-don-t-like-my-toddler-right-now-support-only#post_16120510"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>My son is not quite 2, but I have this issue too.  He does watch tv, I try and limit it but he watches his show probably twice/day (total tv time is about an hour).  To 'encourage' him to play on his own I just keep telling him I'm busy, he whines/cries, and eventually wanders off to play.  I do take time to play with him everyday so I'm not always telling him I'm busy.  But to keep my sanity I need a break from him sometimes.  I also include him in chores and I like getting out of the house even if it's just to run errands.</p>
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<p>*hugs* I hope you find some solutions - toddlers are exhausting!</p>
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<p><br>
Yep, to encourage play, I basically say "mama is washing dishes. can you get your blocks?"  "mommy is making dinner, can you show me how you feed your baby?"  And you have to stick with it and finish what you're doing. As long your LO is okay (warm, fed, not hurt, etc.), it's okay to say "mommy's taking a shower now.  you need to play by yourself for a couple of minutes."  Same thing with TV.  We watch a 30 minute show, and then we do something else.  And have a plan, so you can say, okay, now it's time to read.  now it's time to chase the dog.  Whatever.</p>
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<p>It also sounds like you need a break from him--would it be possible to put him in a daycare situation for a couple hours, maybe two days a week?  That would give him an opportunity to get some energy out, and you could spend the time focusing on yourself, napping, strategizing on how to get through the other days.  Just a thought.  It doesn't make you a bad mom.  It means that you know your limitations, which is a valuable thing.<br>
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<p>I also would look into a part time preschool or daycare.  Part of the problem is he's bored of you, the house, the same old.  I can already see this starting in my boy and he's only 12 months.  Needless to say I'm already looking into preschool!</p>
 

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<p>Hi Sweet Mama, hang in there!</p>
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<p>I run a home daycare, and my saving grace is outside time.  It's harder in the winter and it often seems like it will take so much work to get outside that it's not worth it, but it ALWAYS IS!  The more outside time those 2.5 yo's get, the better they do when they're inside.  If your son isn't used to it, it may take some time to build up resistance to the cold, so start out short and get longer. Try going on a walk in the morning (walks keep the blood flowing), and play in the yard in the afternoon, if you can. </p>
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<p>Scavenger Hunts are a fun outside activity.  You can do these while on walks, or in the yard.  With 2.5yo, just tell him one thing at a time.  First, tell him to find a stick.  Then, can he find a leaf.  Next, a shovel (if you have a sandbox).  You can sit in one place and he will run and run.  If you have enough creative forces, make the Scavenger Hunt into a story (a fairy princess has been captured, and the fairy knight needed to collect the tools he needs to rescue her.  First, he has to find a stick that can be used as a bridge to get over the river.  Then he finds a leaf to use as a parachute to cross the chasm.  Then he uses the shovel as a ship to float over the ocean).  But if you're too tired, don't worry about it.  If it's snowy, try putting adult Smartwool socks on his hands instead of mittens.  Pull them all the way up his arms.  They can still move their hands around and hold things, but they can't pull them off and no snow gets inside.</p>
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<p>We do quiet time every day in the afternoon. The trick is to just knowing that this is the right thing to do, and yes it'll take some time for them to get used to it, but it'll be worth it for them and for you.  We put the babies down first then the 'older' kids tiptoe in and lie down.  I'll rub their backs for a few minutes, then sit in the rocker and hum until they drift off.  Or if I'm tired, I'll set up a space for myself and lie down and doze with them.  Even kids who don't nap at home nap for me, because there isn't any other option!  It's naptime.  Lots of outside time in the morning helps rest time go smoothly, too.</p>
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<p>Also, I'll echo the other moms and suggest a play program for him.  A program like mine is a great place for kids, and it's OK to need a break.  Take care of yourself, mama!  You're worth it.</p>
 

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<p><span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"></span></p>
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<p><span>TV has sadly been my back up lately. I found for my sanity I just need a day or a few days of just letting things be and then I feel better. Also, I make Dh let me take a bath 2-3x a week. I don't take baths to bathe, rather I just sit listen to music or read until the water goes cool. Feeling human again helps me recenter. Sometimes I feel guilty being pregnant as it seems to take away my paience entirely. I can say it has gotten better as I've gotten further along.</span></p>
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<p>HUGS!!! your doing great and you will get through this!</p>
 

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<p>I'm having a hard time lately too. My DD is not quite 2. We do a little TV, walks in the stroller, and outside time when weather permits. That seems to help. I have a sitter once a week come after school. She can only be here for and hour and half but it helps me feel a little better to do something without my LO in tow. Even if its just chores like feeding the chickens or cleaning the garage. It is a hard age! Hugs Mama, you are not alone!</p>
 

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<p>Thank you all so much!  I appreciate the ideas and encouragement. You've given me a lot to think about. This weekend, I'm going to start planning what we'll do after Christmas break when it's just us two again (thank goodness my big kids will be home for the next couple of weeks--he loves them!).  I feel so much better already, just knowing that so many other moms understand. Thank you all again.<img alt="grouphug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/grouphug.gif"></p>
 
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