well basically every issue is centred around the fact that I was a SAHM to here for three years...then boom...now I am in school, work more than part time, and have very little time to focus 100% of my attention on her. All of my "spare" attention still goes her way, but it's exhausted, worn out, ready for bed attention...the kind that she can see right through.<br><br>
As a result of all of this she is now whinny like crazy, attention seeking in every moment, yelling at me when something does go right, screaming for her voice to be heard, refusing to eat, power struggles basically.<br><br>
This is all coming from a little girl who was the most passive, easy child I had ever seen. Still though her babysitter has never once seen her cry...I can hardly fathom that...she cries with me every chance she gets. As a baby I heard her cry like once a month...as she turned toddler, perhaps if she was hurt or didn't want to go to bed. Today...yes, today alone, 15 or more times. And just for interest sake...I cried about 10 times so far...ah the day is still young though!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
Things are tough and with no one to spell off this parenting with, it's so hard to have the energy to deal with this newly emotional child. it's really wearing me down.,..along with the commute to school, the population that I work with and the living with my parents.<br><br>
Venting...but also wondering if this is somehting that is going on as a result of being an only to an only...IYKWIM
Me! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wave.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wave"> I've been single since pregnancy. We live with my mom, so sometimes that ADDS to the stress, and sometimes it takes it away.<br><br>
Just remember, that part of it is age, and part of it is getting used to your new situation.
I am a single mom with an only child. There are certainly pros & cons..... but I think more pros. Anyway, dd was about 2 1/2-3 when I started school and all I can say is that those were the toughest few years so far. I went to school full time and worked part time. It was rough but we got through it. I don't really have any advice..... it was all a blurr! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
Oh, I so feel for you. Yes, we've had some of that too, though thankfully we were able to make the transition slooooow. You know, she's just fighting for what she loves, and that's you.<br><br>
I used to let dd come out and go to sleep where she could see me working. She knew she had to be quiet, or she'd have to go back into her room, so on the whole she really was pretty quiet. Every so often I'd look over and she'd flash me a giant grin, and nod kind of conspiratorially, then duck back down and keep watching me & sucking her thumb. I let her sleep with me, too.<br><br>
I don't feel guilty about letting her see the primacy of work, though. This is a real survival thing and I am guessing that as hard as it is, she'll benefit by it. I'm only 3rd-gen American, and work and providing support for the worker was all there was for my grandparents. I knew they loved me, no question, but the business came first unless I was horribly sick or something. My father made it into a profession, as good 2nd-gen American children do, but the sense of the importance of work was there. I'm guessing that has something to do with why I was able to get the kind of job I needed within a month of stbx's filing. I don't mind dd learning it.<br><br>
I think, maybe, it helps if you can explain a little about what you're working for and how you count on her. For things a preschooler can do. The sense of pride can be tremendous. It helps too if she has friends whose mamas also work and go to school. So do strategies for handling strong feelings. They talk about that on Sesame Street now (I love the "Dr. Feel" sketches) and maybe there are methods your daycare uses regularly.<br><br>
It's very important though to keep the lines steady when it comes to using a respectful voice and following your rules. We had a lot of angry stuff go on for a while, and saying calmly what the consequences would be and then following through, with plenty of built-in opportunity for her to get herself back out of trouble and into good-girl territory, helped a lot.<br><br>
good luck, mama --
mama40, I'd love to hear more about how you handled that angry territory...we are entering into that I think...I am such a calm and patient person...I just don't know what to do here though. I use the constant reminders...respectful words, kind voices, peaceful actions...these are our catch phrases...they don't work.<br>
I've tried the long talks about what mumma is doing, what dd can do while i get such and such done...mostly something right along side me. She's just angry all the time.<br><br>
Our talks about her feelings are good...they are clear, meaningful and she is so into that kinda thing. But when she's in the heat of the moment, in a big sulk she can't work through it. I hate seeing her deal with such intense feelings. I worry about what this is doing for her over time.<br><br>
basically...i am worried that what is going on now is effecting her development into a peaceful person.
I'm a single mother of an 8 year old son, and have been single and working his whole life.<br><br>
One thing that really helped was when he was whiny, or irritable and I thought the cause was lack of time with me, was to scoop him up in my arms and hold him tight and tell him that sometimes I felt the same way, and kind of validate his wishes in fantasy. If he said "I don't want you to go to work" and I said "oh, but you'll have fun at school -- you'll get to see Johnny and Tamika and play outside" or "But I have to go to work -- you know I need to work to buy you food and pay the rent" it didn't work nearly as well as if I said "Me either! Honey I'd love to stay home with you and snuggle under the blankets and read 100 books! But today I have to go to work. Why don't you think while you're in school and come up with something fun we can do together after I pick you up." This kind of wish granting helped us become united in our frustration as opposed to him being angry at me.
Great suggestion momily...i can see dd really liking that i am on her side with that feeling of not wanting to be away from her. Will try tomorrow...definately.<br><br>
for now, i'm off to snuggle with her, we need to catch up and i need sleep!<br>
Thanks for the suggestions...my mind's been feeling a bit scattered lately and unable to brainstorm for myself.<br><br>
I am a single mama to a 10 month old DS. Also been single since mid-pregnancy. I worry about him being an only child. I never planned that. And I do want more children... just don't know if that's in the cards...<br>
I worry that his bond to me will be overly intense...<br><br>
As for your DD... I didn't catch how old she is... I agree with Aliviasmom... kids really change at different stages and ages and with life change. I used to teach preschool and I found that 3 year olds (give or take depending on the kid) are REALLY tough. A lot more power struggles than the "terrible twos." And I'm sure you're right, that she can see how tired and worn you are. You are so strong... you're handling so much. She knows you love her, that's why she can be herself with you. You're doing great.<br><br>
I'd recommend a lot of, "I'm sorry you're so upset but... it's still breakfast time and I want you to be healthy." "I can see that you're angry/sad/whatever and it's ok to feel that way..." "If it makes you feel better to scream then that's ok, but you still have to... " As well as, "Mommy is very tired/sad/whatever today but I still love you more than anything..." "I know Mommy is tired a lot lately, it's hard to work and go to school. I still love you and love the time I get to spend with you." You may not see immediate results. But just recognizing what you are both feeling and letting it be ok to feel that (even though sometimes you have to do certain things anyway) will go a long way. Also... avoid power struggles you can't win. You can't force food down the child's throat! Set limits that enforce your intention... i.e. has to sit at the dinner table for 15 minutes or whatever... but if she doesn't eat, let it go. She won't starve herself.<br><br>
Don't know if any of that helps... maybe you just needed to vent and if that's the case then I'm sending a big hug. I can't believe all you're juggling... you're a rock star! And your DD is lucky to have you. She (and you) will get through this stage.
I have an almost 4 year old. As I am in graduate school, student-teaching and looking for a teaching job (which is a full-time job in itself), our lives are ridiculously crazy.<br><br>
I always try to plan something special for each afternoon, which to him could be 15 minutes at the park playing with me one-on-one, playing a game, sitting and reading 30 minutes worth of books, etc. For us, it is a means to reconnect immediately.<br><br>
This term in school, on Wednesdays, I don't see him all day. I leave before he gets up and I don't get home until he is in bed. Thankfully, this will only last for another 5 weeks. His behavior on Thursday is atrocious! I just try to be very prepared, patient and understanding with him until I am able to refill his cup of mommy love.<br><br>
It is REALLY hard and sometimes I don't always succeed...I am human. But, I do the very best that I can. In the end, I believe that he will know that.
Yep -- saying I don't want to work all the time either helps us, too. At first it was kind of a revelation for dd and for a while when I said I had to work or go to school, she said, "But you don't really want to, right, mama?" And then I explained that sometimes I really don't, but sometimes I do. Because even though I have to work, I get to pick what work I do, and I really love doing some of it. And I hope someday she'll get to pick work she loves, too.<br><br>
Telling her I think about her all the time when I'm working helps, too.<br><br>
About strong feelings...well, it might help to keep in mind that peace is not the absence of intense feelings. Peace is the understanding of how to respect and handle intense feelings in a way that takes others into account.<br><br>
Talking directly about the feelings in the moment, acknowledging them, and modeling for her how she can safely express them at their real intensity may help. Maybe there is a place where she can be angry. And maybe there is a sense of a time limit -- you know, sure, you're angry, we all know you're angry, but you can't just be angry forever, because it feels bad, so why don't you come ________. And then if she doesn't want to, OK, you can be angry over here and when you want to come join me, I'll be over there. Why? Because I don't want to be around anger all the time, it's exhausting, and I like to enjoy the time when I don't have to be working. I'd like to enjoy it with you, but if you're busy being angry, OK, be angry, we'll spend another time together. And certain behaviors are still definitely not OK -- throwing things, destroying things, hurting people -- so if you do them, there's some swift consequences.<br><br>
A safe place to rage, someone showing her how to control it, and a lap to cry in when it passes -- all of these can help. If she's been very mellow, she may even be scared by the intensity of her own feelings.<br><br>
It might help, too, if you can be comfortable with her anger. Knowing it's about something real, also knowing it will pass. If she senses you think there's something's wrong with it, that may be fuel on the fire.
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mama40</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7989652"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
It might help, too, if you can be comfortable with her anger. Knowing it's about something real, also knowing it will pass. If she senses you think there's something's wrong with it, that may be fuel on the fire.</div>
What a fabulous point!!!
wow...so much insight...I couldn't drag myself off to bed just yet!<br>
I like that reminder that peace isn't the absense of intense feelings. I need to remember that defintaly. I like a calm home, but I need to accept what I have right now and quit fighting it, acceptance of her anger, an okay space for her to have these feelings...stiffling them can't feel good to her.<br><br>
Perhaps I am angry right now too...she could be feeding off it...I just show it in different ways. I think I have some great ideas to roll with these next few days. And the encouragement from you mammas, a real help. Thank you.<br><br>
I mostly love single mammahood...we are a great team the two of us. Me and my three year old face the world and for the most part we do okay...this too will pass....right???!!!
I'm a single mom to only child. We recently have gone through some huge transitions (moving, traveling out of the country & learning a foreign language etc.) and once I thought the waters had calmed from all the activity my son stirred up his own storm! He also has been the most easygoing happy kid from day one (seem we single moms get blessed with great kids despite crappy situations). I really thought I might have to throw in the towel this time. I thought I had the parenting thing down and was doing pretty well, but this stuff he stared really made me question if i had what it takes to be a great mom. I wasn't proud of how I reacted to him initially. I was frustrated and burned out myself from all that we were going through. There were a few days where I really wanted give him away (I say that but there is no way anything could separate me from my child!!). And so i dis what I do when I feel in crisis; I researched and read and reread all the wonderful parenting books and talked to great friends who were able to give me wisdom and perspective.<br>
So this was what I came up with: I reread 'The Positive disipline book' basic concept; when children feel significance and belonging they don't need to misbehave for attention (great how do I do that...? Read the book).<br>
I realized that I am doing the best for my son. I love him and do my best to incorporate him into every activity I can (measuring the oatmeal and putting away dishes). I give him lots of hugs and smiles and firm but fair choices and limits. I let him experience the natural consequence of his choices (so long as it doesn't put him in harms way). I had to figure out what game rules I was willing to live by and then convey those to him in a very clear way; through my actions not lectures. No shaming, guilting or causing pain.<br>
It is a phase. You are both adjusting to a new schedule and figuring out where things fall into line. Make sure she knows SHE is number one even though it may appear you priorities are elsewhere.<br><br>
Check out the positive discipline book. I really found it quite helpful.<br>
Also, I'm not sure if you ever used baby carrying with your daughter but..even though she's three she might benefit from time in the sling or backpack. My son always responds well to it. I think it helps them when they are feeling like regressing a little to go there with them and coddle them a bit more. In a healthy way... it's not spoiling.<br><br>
There are my thoughts and experiences!
Very insightful post...<br>
I too love the Positive Discipline book...there are some wonderful ideas in there and i have recently picked it up and reread it again. FUnny you mention that about the carrier...I was a HUGE babywearer, she was worn almost all day when she was an infant and I carried her in the wrap, sling and ergo well into her twos. I suppose it was this past winter that we sorta stopped "needing" it. With her wonderful independence comes the desire to walk everywhere. I asked her about it just yesterday while we were on our way out somewhere, she told me she was too big for it and didn't want to ride on my back because she couldn't see things that she wanted to see. She wasn't opposed to front riding...at her suggestion tonite we did that for about 2 minutes...then she bored and got down. Then I read this.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I am basically just accepting that this is a hard phase in life for her...patience, creativity and love...ok and a bit of coffee will get me and her both through this part...I know there is a calm ahead.<br>
Thanks for all the guidance...really, thank you for settling my mind, it was oh so necessary.<br><br>
Someone else need a turn to vent????