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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - I'm back again.

First of all, please don't flame me. I feel bad enough already about this. I just need to write it out and see if I'm the only AP mom who's gone through this.

I've noticed the last few weeks that I find myself avoiding DS. I'll clean the house, do laundry, etc. and spend a lot less quality time with DS. I think part of it is that I'm exhausted after 2.5 years of being super-attentive, plus I'm not as comfortable parenting a toddler as I was parenting a newborn/one-year-old. I also think I get frustrated because any time I try to play with DS he wants me to do everything. Pick up the toys, move them where he wants them, draw all the pictures for him instead of him drawing. And, when he's playing by himself for a bit he gets really frustrated and it seems like every 10 minutes he's whining about something involving his toys not working how he wants them to. He gets upset if his train set comes apart, but he wants me to put the trains together and won't even try to himself.
So, I think it's a combination of being exhausted from work/school, and having troubles with the natural changes DS is going through.
I feel terrible about it though. I feel that this is part of the reason that he's got such an interest in his dad, when before he was always satisfied with it just being me at home with him at night.
So, am I alone? Have you ever felt disconnected somewhat? I mean, we still co-sleep, we still cuddle, I still bathe and comfort him, I just can't seem to play with him like I used to.
Any suggestions? I'm about to be home with DS a lot more and I need help!
 

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Well, personally I think that me and ds went throught the same thing when he was 2-3 years old. Oh, well, I went back to work full time when he was 2, so he would have had to separate from me somewhat...


Up until that time he had almost 100% one on one care...but I do get easily burnt out, and at that point I decided to let him learn to play by himself a little. So, he still got lots of attention, but maybe I would finish what Iwas doing instead of dropping everything right away to tend to him.

I am sure you are not alone in this!
 

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My daughter is a little younger than yours, so I can't speak from experience - but instead of you playing with his toys, could you try to have him help you with things around the house? He's a little older now and more capable. He may want to do more things to prove that he is a contributing member of your tribe/household.

My almost 2 year old loves to sweep. She kind of holds the dustpan for me. We dust together. We take out the recyclables together - she holds one end of the crate. She puts all the silverware in the dishwasher and takes it out to hand it to me. We make "music" together. We rarely "play" together though. She just got a tea set for Christmas and was enthralled when I pretend poured tea and asked if she took cream and sugar with it.
 

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I'm so sorry you feel this way and that you haven't had more responses. Sometimes it just goes that way, it's not that you are alone or that people don't care.

I'll bet Ellien is right; your son is older and more independent now. He is ready to imitate you more. My son alternates between playing with his toys and helping me. Here are some of the things he does to "help":

--fold clothes
--sort diapers
--stuff (and unstuff) Fuzzibunz

--"wash" plasticware in sink and make bubbles
--take books off shelves and replace
--play with blankets and pillows while i make beds
--sit in high chair and play with play dough or measuring cups and spoons while I cook--he can see what I am doing this way
--dust (wipe things down with a clean rag)
--vaccum ( I really let him use it while it is running as long as I am right there and safe attachment is on)

HTH. I am sure you guys will get back in your groove soon enough. Could the communication issues you mentioned be part of this? Maybe as those are resolved you can begin to feel less guilty and more in tune with him? I hope so and please let us know how you are doing with an update!
 

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Well. I guess I'll be the first one on your thread to say: YES, I do that, I'm sure too often, with DS. My guy is extremely independent, though. Enough so that a few people have commented on him as being the most independent baby they've known. This is nice, but also makes it too easy to get things done rather than play with him. He wants me to read him books a lot, and sometimes he engages me with counting games (putting things in a container) or something like that. But otherwise, he's perfectly happy to just listen to (and dance to) music and play on his own. Obviously, I stay near him, and a lot of times I even try to play with him, but plenty of those times, he'd rather do something on his own. Plus, we get out to the park or children's museum a lot as he's very into practicing his motor skills right now. And I sing to him constantly. But, I'm with you on the guilt. Sometimes I see him head into his room to look through books, and I stay away because I don't want to get caught reading Brown Bear three-hundred times right now. Or, rather than stop what I'm doing, I call out what's on the page he's reading from across the room (I know every one of his books by heart -- as does he -- he'll look at me funny if I get a page or even a word wrong). My boy also LOVES his daddy right now, because daddy throws him around and chases him and does goofy dances for him. Who can do that all day long, especially when you're lazy (um, like me)? I know for a fact, though, that I'm not SAHM material, so I have a nanny for him part-time who is way more fun than I am.

Go easy on yourself, and take some of the awesome advice listed above (I will, for sure). Even if no one else, other than you and me, avoids their kids (LOL), I'll bet ALL mamas feel like they need a break from them and their needs once in a while (if not often). At this point in my life, I know that the most important thing in parenting -- even when other things fail or fall short -- is my relationship with him. We are very attached, we adore each other, and I provide a safe place for him to have his feelings. So, even though I am a lazy mom sometimes, I think I'm a good one. I'll bet that's true for you too.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by CollegeMama

19 people have read this post and not one comment?

I guess I am alone in this.
You are so not alone in this...I'm sorry I missed the post until I came to post something related (see toddler driving me beserk thread).

I have not read the responding posts yet, I will go back and do that. But I wanted to respond quickly to you. I purposefully wanted to wait to read others posts because I didn't want them to influence what I was going to say.

I do not know if this is normal or not. I do know I'm struggling with it as well. I think my dd is very demanding and what's happening is I feel like I have nothing left to give and so I feel like avoiding her which makes me feel horrible which exacerbates a negative cycle.

I am now going to go read what others have to say...and likely will contribute more later.

I hope you feel better
 

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So I read everyone else's posts as well. And it sounds like it's a developmental adjustment for some of us. I do find it harder to parent dd. And yet the weird thing is I feel like I understand her better, I understand her motives and goals much better than I did before. But maybe it's the understanding that makes me less patient. I don't know.

I know I need to figure out a way to recharge myself and I think that's what I'm hearing in your post as well. Frankly I'm not sure how I'm going to accomplish this because I feel so depleted. But I do really believe that if I could accomplish this then I could work on geting back in sync with dd and have that bond we had before.
 

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My husband has went through that phase with each of our boys. It seems to be difficult for him because he isn't able to just give the little guy time to be in charge of Papa, but the little guy no longer wants Papa to be in charge all the time.

For us the whining and directing that is so common in that age, really tends to lessen if you devote 5 or 10 minutes to your ds, letting him know he is in charge. If he says to put your hand on your head, you do it. If he says chase me around but don't catch me, you do it. If he says move that purple crayon there, oh no, now I want it over there, now back over there... do it. It's so much easier and funny when it is a game. Somehow it eases that pressure for him to need to control Mama's actions, when he get a chance to practice it. Then he'll hand back the control and accept working together with you again a lot smoother.

That's my take on it. Does that seem like advice that could work for you?

ps I wanted to add that during the whole time you refrane from commenting on his whiney voice, lack of saying please, or anything else not safety related. Make it fun. You could tell him he's a king and you're a servant. Whatever you need to do to provide the role reversal he's trying to create.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kchoffmann
Well. I guess I'll be the first one on your thread to say: YES, I do that, I'm sure too often, with DS...
Go easy on yourself, and take some of the awesome advice listed above (I will, for sure). Even if no one else, other than you and me, avoids their kids (LOL), I'll bet ALL mamas feel like they need a break from them and their needs once in a while (if not often).
sorry - does it help to know that I work full-time during the day, so I'm not with my kid all the time? I have built in breaks every day.

college mama - what we all forgot to tell you is that you sound like you need a break yourself. Enough sleep, enough food and enough downtown. Can you leave your little one evening a week and go to the Library alone, or join a knitting group (one of my outlets which has a few moms of toddlers) or even just sit at Starbucks or Barnes&Noble and sip coffee. You DO need you time. How about college? Any relaxing student commons areas you could go to once in awhile?
 

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i relate! "playful parenting" by lawrence cohen is a great book and i nned to reread it. in it he advocates spending special time, and labeling it and otherwise specially designating it so it's obvious it's special, with your child. can be just 20 minutes a day playing whatever the kid wants. a lot like what ja mama said.

i do think a lot of it is probably developmental. child wants to be able to do stuff that he/she can't quite master yet so she/he directs/bosses mama around to do it.

gotta run, but hang in there...
 

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i'm having the same problem with my dd. i got some great ideas from reading this though. i just keep telling myself that this too shall pass. i just need a bit more patience to listen to her and deal.
Darcelle
 

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I went through this a few months ago with my dd. One of my solutions was to find new things to play with her with. Like we got a block set and then she and I could both make towers seperatly or together and we started playing some computer games together, I like www.pbskids.org for some neat free games.
I tried making specific time to spend with her in her room so I knew she had some attention (sometimes it was just me sitting on the floor in her room while she played without me). And the rest of the time I did what I had to. We got through the adjustment period and our relationship shifted. I think its part of that going from being a baby to being a child.
 

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You aren't alone and it took guts to write what you did.

I can relate. My ds1 is a very high needs child. He is very demanding of my time (always has been). Also, he can be very insatiable. Even before ds2 was born, I could play and play and play and it never seemed like enough. He just never seemed satisifed (I think this goes along with his high-needs temperment). These things really seemed to peak right around the time that ds2 was born and in a way ds2 was my scape-goat. I had to nurse the baby, hold the baby, etc. It was the 'perfect' excuse not to have to interact as much with ds1. Of course, just typing this out makes me feel completely awful, because ds1 was and is the light of my life. He is the most amazing, gentle sweet spirited boy, even if he can be utterly mentally draining. I have felt such guilt about all of this and it doesn't help matters that ds2 is also fairly high-needs in the sense that other people (dh included) cannot soothe him at all, so it has been very difficult to etch out one-on-one time with ds1. I'm praying ds1 doesn't have resentment towards me over all this. I really think he and I are OK, but I don't feel as close to him as I did before ds2, and my heart aches over it. Luckily, ds2 is also physically advanced and is able to crawl everywhere and stand, etc, so he is content exploring and playing by himself (in the same room, of course) and I can devote more time just really playing with ds1.

No advice, but I can understand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
At this point in my life, I know that the most important thing in parenting -- even when other things fail or fall short -- is my relationship with him. We are very attached, we adore each other, and I provide a safe place for him to have his feelings. So, even though I am a lazy mom sometimes, I think I'm a good one. I'll bet that's true for you too.
Yes, I agree completely, at least I'm able to do this for DS.

Thank you all for your responses. I've felt so badly about this. I've tried to let him lead, and to get down to his level more and it does help some. I've also tried to get him to help me with some chores and often he'd rather do something else by himself. Perhaps he needs some time alone too?

Yes, I do think I'm burning out, mostly thanks to work. Today's my last day at work, so perhaps I could get some help before school starts, and have my mom or something watch DS while I rest and veg out for a few hours. I think I need that.
 

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youre not alone. i was seriously burning out and avoiding my daughter.
its gotten a little better as ive relaxed and shes started walking.
im pretty lax but ive gotten much more so. im still vigilant and ever present but i let her play with things i might get flamed for.
if shes sitting next to me playing with a blastic bag and a coconut im not too worried. i know her well enought to know i can trust her with that kind of stuff. are teeth comming in? my daughter is getting multiple molars in and oh i feel like just leaving her at grandmas house for a few days.
i know it feels bad. it feels bad to type it. but yes it does happen.
i dont know if it would work for you but reading the continuum concept may help... since ive been implementing the 'dont-give-her-bad-ideas rule' things have been going suprisingly better.
the rule is: dont say things like 'im afraid she will stick that in her eye' or 'she'll fall' because she can understand and may want to fulfill our expectations. it was proven with a twist tie off her new pony toy. my sister said 'take it away she'll poke her eye' and cassandra pulled the twist tie harmlessly over both her eyes i said 'youre giving her bad ideas' intrigued by this, my sister said 'she'll put it in her mouth' to which the baby promptly stuck the twisty in her mouth.
ive been expecting her to use her common sense and for a month now its been working wonderfully.
she even put herself to sleep once! she crawled over me into her spot on the bed and covered herself and went to sleep with a little bit of rocking and whispering to herself.
i was so proud...she knew she was sleepy and took initiative. thats more than i can do now lol...
right now she is behind me putting sheets of constuction paper in a plastic grocery bag then taking them out and putting them back in. im not afraid of her putting the bag on her head, weve never showed her to do it and im not about to give her the idea. she knows not to use them when theres a dirty diaper in them so i know shes got some sense :LOL
my daughter is 14 months old.
 

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I so understand the desire to avvoid a kid! both of them and one is only 1! I htink the key as others have said is to get a break for mommy, and I don't neccessarily mean go to work. I mean some real only for mommy time. Last night was a great shower with a special laveder scrub with help from DH on the back, I am ready to play with my kids


On the bossy thing, I have not encountered it in my kids, but I have in others I have found that while I have a great difficulty in being bossed around grandmas don't mind at al. niether do various older siblings. Unfortunatly I don't have any but any slightly older child will usually suffer willingly to be ordered around by a toddler for the sheer fun of it. If you can find one let them fullfill the need for commands in your kid, and you get to have a diifferent kind of fun.
 

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The first 18 months to 2 years are serious attachment time- and it is usually all about the momma. After 2 years of literally being sucked dry, it isn't unusual to be a bit "drained". This is also the time a lot of us have baby #2 so momma goes on to do attachment work again and daddy often takes over a great deal of 2 year old care. 2 year olds are working on independence and if you did the attachment stage really well, then your kid knows you are there, you are always going to be there, and they are free to explore the world and other relationships, especially the relationship with their father and begin to develop their own internal world. So instead of feeling guilty that you are finding more freedom in their moving on a bit, feel proud of yourself. It is a great sign that your kid can become more independent, it means you did early attachment work really well. Be there when he needs you. When he is tired or hungry or hurt. But otherwise, take some time for yourself. This stage changes again and they get a bit more emotionally needy later on. Don't worry, they will be back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks everyone. Things have gotten a bit better, I think it's helped that I've been able to have a few days off where I'm not worried about getting anything done. He's back to being a little more Mommy-centered, but it's okay because I feel well-rested. I start school on Monday, so the fun time is about to end, but at least I'll be home more than I was.
Maureen, your words really meant a lot.
 
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