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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to be a gentle mom, but I keep failing. Any insight would be appreciated.

DS is 26mo and has a very limited vocabulary. He has a few signs, but he gets frustrated so easily and yells/screams/screeches. This noise that comes from his mouth vibrates in the core of my bones and I can't take it. Even if he's not upset, he "asks" by grunting. On good days, I can handle it for a while - but not for long - then I'm yelling too. I'm frustrated with him for not being able to communicate; I'm frustrated with me for not being the mom I want to be.

We just moved from CA to CO in the middle of November. We don't know many people here, have no family, and it's too cold to play outside (and our back yard's not landscaped yet). DH works 12 ½ hour shifts, so the days he works I see him for about 2 hours max. DH just had 7 days in a row for work, now he's off for 3 days (yeah!!!) so I'm hoping things will get better (the 7 in a row thing is not normal).

I tried taking DS to an API play date. He screamed about 40% of the time before I gave up and we went home. I haven't tried that group again. We went to a LLL meeting and were invited to a play date a few days after and that was so great. But now I've lost the calendar and don't have the mommies' phone numbers and they haven't called me. I'm hoping that's because of the holidays. We're going to go to church and see if we can find some friends there.

I feel like I'm spending much of my energy restraining myself from physically hurting DS. Although I've been able to keep that in check, verbally I'm not doing so well. How can a kid say/sign/read/write his numbers 1-10 and about 90% of the alphabet and be able to name many colors and shapes and not be able to say, "hungry" or "eat" or "drink" or "help"? I know he's not stupid; he's just driving me mad. Thanks for letting me vent.
 

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It is hard being a mom to a toddler. It sounds to me like you are feeling super stressed, so step back and recognize that. Try to take a little time to meditate, or pray or stretch or whatever energizes you (I know its hard to find time for these things, but just 5 minutes while he eats or naps can help) My next suggestion is to remember that your recent move has also been stressful for your toddler. We moved just a couple months ago, and my dd has had a very hard time adjusting. She went through a phase of not being willing to leave the house for about a month, and then it passed. Some of your son's screaming may be a reaction to the move, missing old friends, feeling lost, etc.

I bet you can call the local hospital to get the number of the LLL to contact them about the next meeting.


As for the communication- can you make a picture board with basic items on it that your ds can point to to communicate with you? A glass to ask for a drink, a picture of some simple food items, a diaper, etc. you explain to him he then shows you what he wants with the picture. Or you can work harder with the signs, if you learn them and use them all the time, he'll pick them up. My dd is very vocal, so I haven't had to try these, but I do know that she still doesn't use words like "hungry" and she speaks in sentences. Expressing how they feel is hard for toddlers. Try to remember he's still a baby, even though he's turning into a child.

I wish you well, it is hard setteling into a new place, heaven knows I'm still struggeling with it.
 

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Hi,

It sounds like you are having a tough time at the moment. With moving and the holidays I am sure that this time would have been stressful for you and your family at the best of times. Joining some local community groups sounds like a great idea for both you and your son. Getting out and talking to mums and realising that you aren't alone with these feelings can really help. Plus the time that your son spends socialising may help him to vocalise more...

My daughter is just a little older than your son and she was incredibly frustrated during that period. She was able to name so many things but when it came to vocalising on an everyday basis what she wanted she was just so frustrated with herself..watching her it really seemed like she was struggling to deal with the different levels of capabilities that she possessed. She seemed to be really having a development spurt and her social abilities, verbal, physical and emotional levels were all out of whack.

It helped to ask her to use her words.. to tell her to take a breath and calm down and then try and tell me what she was after. I asked to to take my hand and lead me to what she wanted. I found that by starting to repeat everything she said and by repeating everything we did during the day it seemed to help..ie.. here is your cup of water, lets go change your nappy, etc etc getting her to try and repeat after me, and make a game of it..ie.. can you be silly like mamma and say what she says.

When it comes to how you are feeling I think it is all pretty normal. i found that I just really felt like i wasn't up to scratch and that my standard responses weren't really helping me during the day. I tried to get some information on what my child was up to from a development standpoint so I could understand what she was needing from me. I also made sure to take some time out everyday... I started to learn to meditate.. a wonderful book is "Buddhism for Mothers" by Sarah Napthali.. It does talk about buddhism, but many mums I know who follow different faiths have also found it to be wonderful. The meditation helps to give me some calmness to start my day.

I hope things improve.
 

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I know sometimes I feel better just knowing that someone else feels the way I do. I have a 27 m/o and he is trying. It doesn't help that I am 40 wks with baby #2 and have very little patience for anything. But something someone else posted about a whole other issue is helping me -

When you are in a REALLY good mood (one of those times when you LOVE being his mom and could bust at the seams) jot down some of the words and expressions that come to mind. Actually the mom that suggested this said to make a whole journal entry, but I have shortened it to key words and expressions to ensure that I would do it, for time sake. Then when you need a recharge of your positive, loving, mom-battery, you can read that stuff. It helps me, anyway, to remember to treat him like a person and not fly off the handle and it helps me lovingly mother instead of being raging-beast-mother. I have even made several of these little notes to tuck in coats and my purse and around the house so they are never something I have to search for.

Good luck! Kate
 

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I know sometimes I feel better just knowing that someone else feels the way I do. I have a 27 m/o and he is trying. It doesn't help that I am 40 wks with baby #2 and have very little patience for anything. But something someone else posted about a whole other issue is helping me -

When you are in a REALLY good mood (one of those times when you LOVE being his mom and could bust at the seams) jot down some of the words and expressions that come to mind. Actually the mom that suggested this said to make a whole journal entry, but I have shortened it to key words and expressions to ensure that I would do it, for time sake. Then when you need a recharge of your positive, loving, mom-battery, you can read that stuff. It helps me, anyway, to remember to treat him like a person and not fly off the handle and it helps me lovingly mother instead of being raging-beast-mother. I have even made several of these little notes to tuck in coats and my purse and around the house so they are never something I have to search for.

Good luck! Kate
 

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What works for me is to act as if someone else is always watching! Well, that and remembering that even though they are super opinionated, strong willed creatures, they really are still babies in the big picture!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for your understanding and ideas. =) The holidays are done, I had DH at home for 3 days (he's back at work today, but it's only for 2 days in a row so I know it's doable), got some sleep, got to snuggle DH, woke up (early) to DS's smile and laugh, was invited to the LLL mommy play date, and have noticed that DS is trying to imitate words. It is getting better. (Oh, and to brag for a second, DS wrote his name! Spencer!)

I need to find what does recharge me. I must have a slow battery, I like to read or play on the computer for a few hours. I'll work on that. I like the note ideas... from reminders of why it's great to be a mom to why DS does the things he does to remembering that I'm training a future daddy who's watching. Maybe I can tape the notes to DS so they'll always be in sight when I need them. =)

Thank you again!
 

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If you don't mind I would just like to say I have no dh long hours to blame (he works normal 8hrs) My son can talk a lot, and I still have a very short fuse. So while I have none of the stresses I totally unerstand the frustration thing. I hope you get a better handle on it htatn I have! I am way to loud around here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
PP - While I can honestly say that our situation has been rougher than usual lately, I think even at the best of times I need to work a lot on my anger.

I sat down and wrote some taglines that I'd like to pin on DS's shirt (or staple to his forehead, depending on what's going on... j/k).

Titles:
Daddy-in-Training
Child of God
Little Baby - Big Body
Knee-High Neanderthal (from "The Happiest Toddler on the Block")
Little Person, Big Needs
Newbie
Future Big Brother (we're ttc)
Hug Dispencer * Giggle Maker * Snuggle Giver

What DS Might Say:
Go Easy On Me, I'm New Here (I know I've seen this one before)
Help Please (something we're working on him saying)
I'm a Human Being Too!
My Mommy Loves Me
I'm Trying (kinda ambiguous... true both ways!)
I'm Worth It
Teach Me How To Be
I'm Watching; I'm Learning
I'm Doing the Best I Can with What I've Got
Show Me the Love (not the money)
I Need You
Look How Far I've Come!
I'm Learning as Fast as I Can
I Love You Too
How Would You Let Someone Else Treat Me?
Respect Is My Right

General Reminders:
Forecast: Sunshine
Fragile: Handle With Care
*beep* This Encounter Will Be Recorded for Training Purposes *beep*
Patience Please
Kindness Begins With Me
And This Too Shall Pass (with a picture of a Tazmanian Devil or something...)
Growing Mind, Body, and Spirit - Nurish With Respect, Love, and Patience
How Will You Be Remembered?
It Only Gets Better!
CCTV In Use: Constant Concentrating Toddler Viewing
 

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I agree that recharging yourself is very, very important.

For me, it is remembering how life can be all too short that helps. I don't mean to sound preachy or anything, but last summer I watched my aunt die of cancer. We were there when she died. Now my mom has breast cancer that has metastized to her liver. And my friend's baby was born with birth defects that resulted in multiple hospital stays in NICU. As hard as that was for her, she said seeing the children with cancer made her realize how lucky SHE was.

Then I see the news and the reports of the victims of the Tsunami, or the children in Iraq, or elsewhere...what really do I have to complain about? So my son gets a little rambunctious or I feel hormonal b/c I am pregnant. Big f*^%ing deal. We are all here for such a short time, make the most of every moment.

I treasure every single second with my son. I can honestly say, again I hope without sounding preachy, that it is rare that I feel like losing my temper or raising my voice. All too soon he will be grown up and won't need me anymore. And how I'll miss those little footsteps pattering after me down the hall..

Good luck and I hope you find some "me" time!
 

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Let me ask this, how did he learn the shapes and alphabet, etc? Because you worked with him and taught him.

You have to teach him the other words too. Tell him you don't understand if he grunts, whines, or throws a tantrum but if he would like to talk or sign then you can understand him better. Because truly you don't know what he wants when he is grunting.

That is what we do with dd and it helps a lot. Its not perfect but its much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by tomsgirl
Little Earth Angels might be interested in those sayings...
Darn, I already emailed 'em to granola threads. And came up with another... "I am the Future - Shape me gently". =) If GT doesn't want them, I'll see if LEA can use them. =)
 

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You are definately NOT alone. My DD simply refuses to talk to use signs. She grunts and whines. Within an hour of getting up in the morning i am pulling my hair out. I have DD and a 1yo DS and i am 21 weeks preggo and my DH is gone 2-4 weeks at a time. UGGGG...sometimes i honestly don't know how much more i can take without just going completely insane.

I REALLY LOVE your little notes you made. I really need to think about that when i am dealing with DD. She really is a wonderful toddler....hardly any fits or anything. Just the communication thing is driving me batty.
 
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