Today was pretty much crap! At one point, I was crying so bad that DD joined me & ended up giving me a big hug. The kicker... DD's behavior is was what kicked off the crying episode.
I honestly feel like a failure as a mom today. I'm not sure if my hormones are going just that crazy & I'm making a big deal out of nothing... or... if I need to figure out a new parenting scheme with DD. Ugh! I'm going to type out my issue & see if I get any clarity... or if anyone can lend some advice. If you have any advice, by all means, please share it.
DD is teething (getting her canines - all 4 at the same time) so I know she doesn't feel well. She just doesn't want to listen to me anymore. I don't run around telling her "no" all the time. I try to be consistent with what is expected as well as realistic with what she can & can't do. I don't expect her to entertain herself all the time only some of the time... which she does (usually by reading her books). She's very smart so I know theirs no understanding barrier. I try to include her in activities around the house because she likes to help.
Today, as most days, the morning usually goes well. She has a nap, she eats lunch & then the day goes downhill in regards to her willingness to listen & cooperate. She ended up kicking me during a diaper change... I had to put her back in her crib until she calmed down. She likes to help with laundry but today she wanted to grab things away from me & not help. I took her outside (it was beautiful here & she usually loves it) but she asked to come back in after about 5 or so min. I finally corralled her in the family room & she started playing with her toys... as if she had too much freedom everywhere else. To say I'm confused is an understatement. Her behavior is making me not even want to include her in helping. I definitely feel defeated as a mom today.
Anyway as I said at the beginning... I'm not sure if my pg hormones are going crazy or what. I know I don't have the same amount of energy I normally do but I try to make sure she isn't bored. If you made it this far, thanks for listening. I'm just having a rough day in mommyhood.
It sounds as if both of you werent feeling well today. Her teething could easily be the cause for everything. I know I havent been the best Mom lately. I am getting really uncomfortable so it is more like just trying to survive each day.
I know kids get bored sometimes. We havent been doing as much as we normally do either. And as I slow down it is likely to get even more that way soon. I think it is good for them to have to keep themselves entertained. Btw, it will take time but keep in mind that you are growing her the greatest entertainment ever! My boys are 16 months apart and play really really well together. Once the baby is about a year old life will actually get much easier for you!
Kai Robert 10/14/11
I hope you're right. DD having a sibling was a very strong reason as to why we decided to have more children. Not that we didn't want any but we wanted her to have a sibling more than our want... if that makes any sense.
I will say... DH told me tonight that he thought she was acting different. He was having a hard time with her as well... & he's Mr. Fun Guy. So, maybe it's just the teeth. I hope so. It was just so depressing today to have no idea what to do.
I know I have been a bit "less patient" with my kids lately too. I think it's at least some to do with hormones! I remember getting a bit this way at the end of all my pregnancies.
Anyway, as far as discipline, this is what I have come to realize (of course feel free to ignore me if you want to )... If you make ANY request of your child ALWAYS (100% of the time) make sure your child follows through with it. That means if you say to your child, "please pick up your book," make sure that they follow through... in a somewhat timely manner. If she ignores you, runs around the room, keep repeating your request. Do NOT let her get away with not following through. If she is clearly ignoring you and just being difficult, then you may want to implement some negative consequence (if you give her a time out she is STILL NOT off the hook though... this is VERY important). So, let's say she has a time out or something, then as soon as she is done with it you go right back to asking her to pick up the book (or whatever your original request was). Now, for a child who is not use to this, it could take an hour (seriously) of you repeating the request before they finally follow through, but they have to know that you mean business. Now, for awhile she will test you. In the beginning battles can be LONG, but ALWAYS outlast her, and ALWAYS win. Soon she will know that she has to follow though with what you ask of her, and she will listen. Of course all kids do still test from time to time to "see what they can get away with," but a child who is use to absolute consistency will decide quickly that the battle simply isn't worth it, and there will be less of them, and they will be less "severe" when they do take place. So, make sure you only request something when you are prepared to follow through!!
Ditto what Laurie said. My DD is a STUBBORN stubborn child and when people tell me to 'choose my battles' with her I can't help but laugh. If I were to ever tell her to do something and then back down, life would be hell because she'd think she never had to listen.
Also, from your ticker it looks like she's about 22 months old. That was a very difficult time for my DD, behavior wise. She grew out of it.
I could have almost written your post word for word today myself! Just substitute teething molars for teething canines. Reminding myself that it's just a phase (for both of us) gets me through those hard moments.
DD Annabelle 04/08/10 DD Gillian 09/29/11
I completely agree with everything Laurie said! That's exactly how I deal with my children. IRL people comment that I'm too strict on little things, but those are the same people who complain that I'm "lucky" my kids behave while theirs won't. With that said I haven't really been on my game lately and it's showing!
I bet most of the problem you're having is a phase for her and it will be over soon. I'd also guess your hormones make you feel a lot worse about it! But it will be over soon and once Ethan is born she wont have to worry about not being entertained anymore! My kids are 17 months apart and sometimes they won't even let ME play with THEM! LOL!
So sorry! I think we all go through this at some point. Don't be so hard on yourself. I think it was around 2 I had a hard time with my DS. You just have to get through it the best you can and some days will be tough. I know when my DS doesn't feel good he is harder to deal with. Also, when I have a rough day my DS does too, so maybe some quiet time for both of you in seperate rooms for alittle bit would help?
Hope you have a better day!
Thank you everyone! I definitely don't feel like I'm "winning" lately. There are days when I'm just too tired to care. My overwhelming lack of energy is probably to blame for some of this. I will try to be more consistent. I know there have been times where I just gave up with her & I would've never done that before. Mix that with her curiosity to test boundaries & her intelligence... she has probably figured out that she can run the show. Thank you for the good advice, Laurie. I'm going to regroup & try to remain focused even when I don't feel like it these days. I sure hope my energy comes back quickly after DS is born.
*big hugs* Although I can't relate to having a 22 month old (just a four year old :S) I totally relate to how you are feeling. There are some nights where, after I put LO down for bed, I sit on the edge of the bed and cry. It's frustrating to me that I can't keep up after him most of the time anymore as I'm so exhausted and deal with a lot of BH's if I don't relax. My DH is out of town half the week at work so as of right now, I just try my best to make it through the day. There are definitely those days in which he tries my patience to the extreme.
Thank you for writing this post. It's good to know that I'm not the only one feeling that way. Hopefully after little one's are born it'll get better!!