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  1. #1
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    Default not coping!

    I feel like I'm failing as a mother and I don't know how to pull myself back up.
    I have two children, ages 2 and 3.5 years. My two year old, who used to be an amazing sleeper, has taken to hating sleep. She will not go to sleep on her own any longer, she doesn't want me to hold her, pat her, anything. But the second I leave the room she screams. Then she'll finally fall asleep and she'll wake during the night coming out of her room and refusing to go back to sleep in her bed unless I sit with her for who knows how long, or let her sleep in my bed. Daytime sleeps are also a nightmare.
    Then there's my 3.5 year old who has just been so aggressive. I feel like I can't take him anywhere because he is constantly deliberately ramming into other kids, hitting them etc. If I try to enforce boundaries he just hits, kicks and spits at me.
    They both are constantly chucking tantrums in major ways, which I know is to be expected from the 2 year old, but I thought the older one would be starting to grow out of it by now. They aren't like this when they're with other people, and i'm starting to feel like I don't want to be around them and that they would be better off without me around.
    I'm crying as I write this, I feel so guilty. I am not being the sort of mother I want to be but I don't know how to change it. I feel so overwhelmed, I'm exhausted and I don't know what to do anymore.

  2. #2
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    I have a 4.5 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old.

    I just want you to know, that your tantrum chucking 3.5 year old is VERY VERY normal. I actually found that exact age the hardest age of all with my eldest boy. He still has his moments now, but at 4.5 he is getting easier and easier every day. I promise you, it's nothing your doing. It's a tough age, possibly especially for boys (though I'm not sure about that as my girl hasn't got there yet). Ride it out, it'll get better soon!

    As for the sleeping issue, have you considered rooming your 2 kids in together? My older 2 share a room, and it is so much easier getting them to bed because they always have eachother so don't feel lonely

    Cheer up! You're doing a good job

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  4. #3
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    3.5 - yeah the tantrums are normal

    One thing to keep in mind - sleep breeds more sleep. So if you can get them out of this little cycle, hopefully the situation will resolve itself as we go.

    So ... perhaps set aside a few days in your mind for just working on settling. Sit in with them if that is what it takes. Read them a story, sit there with them and read a book - whatever. When/if they wake up, go back and lay down in their room until they go back to sleep.

    With luck, within a few days ... once they have a couple of good, deep sleeps in them, they will return to a normal sleep pattern.

    just breaking the cycle is the first step.


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    hi peanuthead, I agree with katiesmum, getting sleep pattern right is the first thing, everything else will be better when the children have enough sleep, and you will function better too. Maybe you will be able to access some parenting classes through a local salvation army?? I don't know if there is any in your area, but im sure if you can spend time with other mums, and perhaps get a bit of support, you will see that you are not a bad mum, and you are just the same as the rest of us, doing the best we can each day. some days work out better than others. normal for us all. Marie.

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    You poor thing I really feel you. My now 5yo was the same in regards to sleeping from about 2.5-4. I resorted to cosleeping, we'd mix it up between a matress on the floor next to our bed or on especially bad nights she'd sleep with us. Then one day she magically wanted to sleep in her room. So it could just be a phase! I know that doesn't help much though

    In regards to tantrums... sadly they're normal. It is no way a reflection on you as a Mum... all kids have them! I remember my DD having a horrible one, one morning and I just couldn't wait to drop her off at daycare. I then cried all the way to work because I felt so guilty I wanted to leave her. So many of us go through these feelings.

    You sound really stressed you poor thing is there anyone who could maybe take your kids for a day so you can have some time to just relax? If the stress is really getting to you, don't be afraid to speak to your GP either. I had PND and my stress/anxiety took over and just speaking to someone helped me heaps xx

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    thanks for the responses. I suffer from depression and I have spoken to my gp and we've decided it's best I go back on my anti-depressants to try and manage my stress etc. which will hopefully help me cope better soon.
    I get that these different behaviours are "just a stage" I just don't know how to manage each stage. My son is becoming the kid you don't want your kid to hang around because hes just constantly hitting, its like he just cant play nice. I'll time out him or take him away and as soon as hes back in a situation its the same thing. How do I stop that?
    My daughters sleep is obviously an issue which is triggering her poor moods and my stress. Its difficult though because I am a shift worker, often working nights so I'm not always there to manage it. This has only started in recent weeks and she'd always had the ability to self settle in the past so I don't know whats suddenly triggered this.

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    hi peanuthead, do you have any support close by. ? im sure if the sleeping issues were sorted everything else would be better. who has your children while you do night work? perhaps there needs to be more communication regarding the childrens diet or sleeping arrangements. I can see this must be hard with your working hours. I can see you do need better support, not just meds. hugs, marie

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    I have no experience with this as my DD is not yet 2 but I read your post and couldn't not reply. You poor thing, you sound so down and exhausted. I'm sure you're a great Mum, just the fact that you're here asking for help demonstrates that! Please believe that your children are most certainly not better off without you. I too suffer from depression and I have felt this way too at times, I really understand that feeling, but when it comes down to it no one will ever love your kids the way you do and although they may not act like it all the time they really do need and love you.

    With regards to the sleeping could you look into a sleep school? I'm not sure what age they cater to but maybe they could offer some advice. I find when DD isn't sleeping well I feel a lot more down and depressed because I'm exhausted and so is she.

    Also with your older child's behaviour, you mentioned some strategies you use, could you try some positive reinforcement with rewards charts etc? It might make for a pleasant change for you both and give you a bit of a breather from having to constantly discipline him.
    Last edited by Mama Mirabelle; 17-06-2014 at 17:27.

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    I never thought of using a reward chart and i'm definitely willing to give anything a go. I do tell him if e behaves we will go to the park, get a surprise etc. But maybe telling him it reward he has to earn rather than a surprise is the way to go.
    My parents watch the kids generally while i'm at work, and they're happy to have her sleeping in their bed, because they only have her random nights. I don't think it would be worth the battle for them, given it might be a week before she stays there again.

  16. #10
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    my daughter still loves sticker charts

    there is no negative (ie no 'take one off' or crosses or anything like that), just rewarding good behavior.

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