20 June 2011

losing my marbles.

{accidently posted this before i meant to, so i'm sorry it it shows up twice in your readers}

brutal honestly comin' at ya!

as mothers, i feel like sometimes we avoid talking about the hard stuff on our blogs. we show you smiley pictures of our kids and tell you how much fun they are. which is all very true, of course. i mean, i just posted about our time at the ocean. but what you didn't see in that post, were the meltdowns, the tears & frustration.

lately, as my very busy 16 month old continues to push his limits and test the boundaries - i find myself wanting to pull my hair out.

he's quickly slipping into what people refer to as "the terrible two's"... only... he's 1 y/o.

i get so tired of hearing my own voice. "bennett, no no" "bennett stop touching that" "no bennett, we don't do that" "honey can you get down please?" "hey bennett,  hey bennett!! hey hey hey... okay he's not listening to me at all". i realize he's only 16 months old but i KNOW that he understands me. and i also know that at this age, their job is to challenge the heck out of their mama's but he's so dang defiant sometimes. lately, it's been tantrum after tantrum after tantrum...you get the point. i can blame it on teething, or maybe he isn't feeling good. but the truth is that i really do think he's just testing me. and i really am losing my marbles.



when is the right time to discipline him? and how? he doesn't respond to little hand slaps, in fact, he thinks it's funny. he doesn't care about "time outs" he just finds something to do to entertain himself wherever i put him. i'm at a loss and i feel like i'm losing a little bit more of my sanity every day.

what is the solution? is there one? he seems to be okay when we are out of the house - and i really do try to get him outside and keep him active whenever i can. but he's even starting to throw tantrums in public. that makes me so sad because up until recently, bennett has never fussed or cried in public.

ugh.




through all of this, i'm trying to remember to cherish every moment. even that hard ones.

but i'll take any advise or encouragement you have to give!

37 comments:

the mom diggity said...

I'm so losing my marbles with you, girl. Since my little one is only about 2 months younger than Bennett we are following right in your footsteps. She's STUBBORN. She acts like a 2 year old and throws fits like a 2 year old. I've been begging for advice from experienced mamas on how to deal, and the best advice I get is every child is different:) Gotta love that! I've learned that my patience with her, and the way I handle a situation has a HUGE outcome on how she reacts. Yes, it's still meltdown city sometimes...but if I calmly talk to her and explain in her tiny language why we shouldn't do what we are doing, sometimes it actually helps. I've been trying "timeouts" by sitting with her and just talking to her. Removing her from that situation, and even getting out a book to read or something. Of course this only works at home. It's the meltdowns in public that I'm clueless on how to handle without looking like a terrible parent. I usually just let her cry and throw her fit and once she's calmed down a bit, then go forward with talking to her and removing her from the situation.

I know that's really not even advice or good advice, it's just what I'm trying and what i've learned from others. I know you are doing a fantastic job. When it gets you down, just remember this is how it's SUPPOSED to happen and he will learn. It's got to be so frustrating for them trying to communicate to us!

Courtney K. said...

Hugs!! This is such a hard phase. Eventually (I hear) they grow out of it, but the testing us as parents never ends. Noah's almost three and I can assure that these little fits have gotten worse over time. Some days are better than others. I think consistency is key! Make sure he knows that the same rules apply ALL the time. Good luck!

m&msmommy said...

UGH! I feel your pain! As I was reading your post it was like you were posting about Mia word-for-word (except she just turned 17 months old on Saturday). I know it's their job to test their limits, test their boundaries with us as parents, but sometimes ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! :) Mia doesn't respond to hand smacks either, and sometimes after I smack her hand, she will look at me, smile, and do whatever it is AGAIN that just got her the initial hand smack. It's a never ending cycle! I wish there were answers and magical equations to make it work, but unfortunately there aren't! :( I keep telling myself (and hubby) to stay consistent and EVENTUALLY she'll learn (fingers crossed! ;)) But if my son (who is now 5 1/2) is a functioning, smart, well behaved (usually ;)) little boy, then obviously we did SOMETHING right, and Mia will be fine too. I guess patience is the key (easier said than done, that's for sure! :))

Hang in there! :)

Kara @ Just1Step said...

Oh girl, I am right there with you. Krew has lately been going into screaming, screeching fits, throwing his body and everything. And I have no clue what to do. :( Let me know if you find the answer, haha. And meanwhile we mommas can just support each other along the way!

WeeMasonMan's Mom said...

Oh my gosh, I here you!! I feel like every second of my time with Mason is spent telling him no, prying his hands off of things (like the dog's face or the fire extinguisher that he broke through a baby locked cupboard to get) and redirecting him over and over and over and over again. And then over some more. Swats, loud voice, any attempt at detering him just makes him laugh and laugh and try harder.

Soooo... I'm watching your comments because I'm up for ANY advice at this point too!!!

Jazmyn Alexandria said...

I really have no tips for you sadly (mainly because I haven't reached that stage yet with Alyson), but I really do hope its just a phase because I know that must be hard to deal with and I know I'm not looking forward to that stage at all with Alyson!!

Oh Jazmyn

SarahinSC said...

I remember those times well. Mine are now almost 8 and 10, so it's a whole different ball game. But,I remember reading, "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" when my boys were little and really liked the ideas given to decrease tantrum frequency and duration. As I'm sure you've heard a million times before, this too shall pass!

Anonymous said...

sweetie, I don't like to pull out this card for fear of being known as the "know-it-all", but I have a degree in early childhood and am still clueless. The only thing I have learned when it comes to dealing with little ones is redirection and to use phrases that tell children what they can do rather than waht they can't. Such as "roll the ball" instead of "don't throw the ball in the house". Hey, I can promise you it doesn't always work but being firm and repeatitive is key. Over time they learn. I don't like to spank my children but strongly believe in spanking as a method of getting your childs attention. Especially when they do something dangerous like putting tweezers in the electrical outlet (my 4 year old a few months ago). She got a spanking but then we discussed why later. Of course at bennetts age and the same with my little guy who will be 2 aug. 4 they just laugh. E just pretty much thinks that everything I say is funny. He runs when he needs to be changed, laughs when he climbs on our dining table, and thinks hitting is a super cool game of tag. Just be strong and know your not the only one ready to pull your hair out.then go to that website that shows all the pics of terrible things little kids have done and you'll think bennett is an angel. I can't remember the name of the site so perhaps someone can help me out here. You should start a weekly "mommy's losing her marbles" link up for parents to rant about their kids. :)

Anonymous said...

That was me Joni from six cherries on top. For some reason when I post from my phone it comes up anonymous.

Sylvia Cook Photography said...

unfortunately he's so darn cute even while throwing a tantrum and snorting!
We all go through it, some worse than others.
Like mother like son:)

Summer said...

Parker is also 16 months and it is hard. They really don't understand when something is dangerous or wrong. They are testing everything, especially us! If I act like this, how will mom/dad react? Parker has MAJOR tantrums now too where I have to shut the doors and windows because he screams bloody murder! He throws his head back and usually hits it on something so there is even more tears. He cries because I can't make his lunch fast enough or get the lid on the juice like right now. Sometimes I feel like I just can't win but when he hugs me I know it's all worth it. Unfortunately, they do get older and new problems come up. Sorry to say that. I have found around 2.5-3 years old is when I thought I would hit rock bottom with Hudson. Maybe it's a boy thing? I don't know all the answers but know you aren't alone and it is ok to talk about it because you're right, those people who seem to have it all, DON"T! They just don't want us to know it. :)

Anne U said...

They lie, terrible twos really start at around 15 months, and if ya don't nip it in the bud, it gets really bad at 2 years. Just be consistent with whatever discipline you choose. My daughter did the same thing at around that age but I was consistent and I haven't had any terrible twos to worry about. This 2nd year of her life has been a joy, with minor obstacles of course, but none of the major meltdown tantrums and outright defiance I see of other kids her age. Keep it up mama!

Carolyn said...

I know exactly what you mean. i've gone through it with all 3 of my kids. I'm actually going through it right now. My littlest just turned 2 and has been throwing her tantrums for a few months now. Somedays she's really good and I start thinking "ok, it was just a phase, it's over now" but when you least expect it she's back to it. Good news is, they do grow out of it. But for some kids it's not over night or over weeks but more like months. I think as they get older they learn from right and wrong and as long as we keep enforcing it and acknowledging right from wrong then were on a great track. My oldest is now 11 and I think at about 4 years old is when she stopped misbehaving. Time outs didn't work at first but at about 2 - 2.5 she started to understand the meaning of timeouts and why she was being put in timeout.

Hang in there!

kari said...

The best thing I have learned for tantrum throwing (or any action that I don't like, i.e. hitting) is to say "Uh..Uhhhh" in that no voice and walk away. I've found they do it cuz they know it gets them attention, and they hate it when you walk away & ignore the action. It's really worked well for me. My daughter is 3 (just turned 3) & when I'm not paying attention to her, would hit me in the face. She now knows that if she does, Mommy's going outside for a bit & she can't come, she stays inside.

Also, I've found the "Uh...Uhhhh" in the no sound works better than saying "NO"....

Good luck dear.... It's fun isn't it? LOL

Steph said...

First, let me give you a big ((HUG))!!!

I am pregnant with our 5th and toddlerhood is still challenging! Each kid is different, so what works for him wont work for any other kid. Isnt that lovely!

Some tips though:

1) TRY to avoid losing it in front of him, the bigger your reaction, the more he'll try. If you have to, put him in his crib, tell him you love him and walk away for a minute or two to collect yourself and then try again.

2) AVOID hunger and tiredness as much as possible. Keep snacks with you and try to eat on a schedule. Also figure out how he eats well. Is he a 3 meals and 2 snacks kid, or 6 little meals, or just a few big meals? Try to keep naps on schedule too. This is WAY easier said than done, but keeping snacks and bringing a carrier he'll sleep in helps a ton!

3) Dont give up on things that dont work now. Time out is hard when they're little, but when he's 3 it may be the perfect thing. For now, figure out what does work (does he hate to be alone, does a stern look/tone stop him in his tracks?) If you figure something out that works, stick with it!!

4) Carriers are your best friend. Slinging a crabby toddler on your back can be a bit rough, but it's calmed even my feistiest down... and keeps them up close to you.

5) Take a TON of pictures and right down the funny stuff, because when he's 8 (and he will be quickly) you will forget so much of this!!

nicole. said...

we all lose it from time to time. just remember that you are not alone.

my son, never listens. ever. not at all. in or out of public. he is challenging, to say the least.

at the end of the day {especially an extremely hard one} i just make sure to look at him.. and remember how amazingly blessed i am.

more and more i am learning that in order to be my best with him... i have to take care of myself... which includes a little alone time for mama.

as for the NO all the time. yep thats me... i vow to take braeden outside to a place where he can do whatever he want for at least 30 minutes {most of the time its an hour or so}.. and i dont have to say no. he can just go. run. get into.

:)

Andrea said...

Well you KNOW how I feel about this stage. What sucks the most is how cool they can be one moment and the next it's like the exorcist!
Nothing else to contribute except that I am right there with ya. Must. do. more. girls nights.

:)

I just appreciate hearing someone else say they struggle with this age, too. I think it is absolutely rougher with boys!

Branson said...

We are in the exact same place right now! Aaaaaahhhh! I hear ya girl... Aiden is driving me nuts daily, lol. I can't wait to have time to read through your comments to see if you get good tips. If the bubs ever goes to sleep that is ;-)

Jessy Taylor said...

I really thank you for being so honest. I am just starting my motherhood journey and have already had a post like this, glad to know I am not a crazy wack. Hugs!

Kali and JT said...

Ok we are going through this to some extent (I feel like it started at a year hahaha but the things I have found to work are...

EYE CONTACT- I make sure that I always walk over to where Miley is and make her look at me, I think a lot of what I say is still lost on her but they definitely understand facial expressions. Sometimes it takes grabbing her little face and forcing her... oh well.

We also do time out and redirection depending on what this action is... she could care less about me swatting her hand (and of course I don't have the heart to actually make it hurt) so I have started forcing her to sit on my lap with her arms folded or hands clasped. I especially use this one in public or with hitting.

I also make her repeat things back to me since she is really good at language and I think that helps her get it- like "no hitting"

let us know what works so we can all try it too!

The Pepper. said...

Just hang in there and remember to take a deep breathe! We've been going through the same thing with our little one and have been wondering the same things as yourself.

Lauren said...

from the massive amount of comments it looks like you might have gotten some good advice! If anything works let me know lol you have heard about how AWESOME ryan is right now. Its really been since about 18 months- pure hell no lie. Who knows... love you

AmyLee said...

could you get this all figured out so when parker is at this stage in two months you'll know what to do please? i think the answer is lots of girl's nights with ME!

ahahah.

sorry you're having a rough time, friend. :::hugs.:::

Siuan @ Snowbound said...

You have lots of great advice. Little ones don't understand negative comments. If you say Don't Run, they hear Run but if you say Walking Feet, they get it. It's all about redirection and follow through, stick to your guns. I have 3, all boys, all crazy impulsive, don't listen to you kid of kids. But Rules and follow through work. I've been reading a book called Parenting With Love and Logic and it has the same principles. Good luck. My oldest will be 10 in the fall and I still don't have all the answers and I keep working at it. Full time job I tell ya!

SewSara said...

i haven't started disciplining simon yet at all -- mostly because he seems like an angel next to his older siblings, haha.

i like what the anonymous comment said above about redirecting. that's the main thing i do with simon.

but no matter what, there are gonna be days/moments when you just wanna scream!

Nikki said...

But he's so cute when he throws a fit ;) I'm sorry you're entering the terrible two's so early, I wish I had advice for you.

Olivia Grace said...

There are days when I go to bed at night and feel like I spent my whole day disciplining rather than enjoying my child. It is so hard and emotionally draining. The only advice that I can give is to redirect, give positive praise when it is due, and be patient. Sometimes, I have to put MYSELF in time out, gather my thoughts and courage and take a deep breathe. This is the side of mothering that just isn't easy and/or fun, but it's a part of it all nonetheless. Every age brings a different challenge, my seven year old is now rolling her eyes! Hang in there and know that you are doing your best!! And that you are not alone!

Lisa said...

I certainly don't have the answer, I'd just like to say stay strong! My daughter is 2 1/2 and sometimes (well, oftentimes) I get so tired of hearing my own voice telling her no about things over and over again, BUT it hasn't gotten better. She has learned, and when I look back, I'm thankful that I kept at it because I know she'll be better for it.

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

My daughter, 23 months, is in the exact same phase. I am constantly wondering if I'm handling it well or if I'm letting her down.

I don't really have any advice except to keep in mind that this too shall pass, but I have plenty of encouragement! KEEP IT UP! The fact that you're a mother attentive enough to notice not only what you're dealing with but also what Bennett is going through shows that you are doing an excellent job!

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

My daughter, 23 months, is in the exact same phase. I am constantly wondering if I'm handling it well or if I'm letting her down.

I don't really have any advice except to keep in mind that this too shall pass, but I have plenty of encouragement! KEEP IT UP! The fact that you're a mother attentive enough to notice not only what you're dealing with but also what Bennett is going through shows that you are doing an excellent job!

Shawntae said...

Oh man. Kingston is the best at throwing fits but I get to the point I just start laughing at him and he'll stop or I'll seriously step over him and leave the room and turn the tv on or something and act like what is on tv is the coolest thing. Then he'll come over to see what he's missing out on. My grandma always said Motherhood isn't a competition. I will give King something or be like "OH WOW WHAT'S that!" then he'll stop. Don't worry though sometimes it doesn't work. I still think he is too little to put in time out so I don't do that. I also am a strong believer in spanking is wrong! but if he really wont stop I'll get down on his level and look at him in the eyes and tell him that he's hurting mommies feelings and he'll stop. This stage is freaking hard huh. They are soo dang smart I swear they just do it to piss us off sometimes. I didn't share my diet coke with King the other day and he just fell on the ground and put his face into it and screamed. WTF? Toddlers are weird.

Tiffany said...

Awe. I'm sorry! I know how it is. It can be very stressful at times!!! The little face he's making in the last picture makes it all worth everything I bet!

Jess said...

I have no suggestions since my little man isso little yet... but just wanted to say that you're doing a great job! And that this, too, will pass.

Angie said...

being a mom is HARD! i love being home with Kaylin this summer, but being a SAHM is tough...it's definitely been an adjustment. i think we are finally settling in...but i'm tired of everything being a struggle! hopefully these "terrible 2's" don't last very long...haha! and good thing we love these kiddos so much and they are so darn cute! hugs...and hang in there!

The Best of Both Worlds said...

I am with ya girl! Chloe makes me crazy on so many occasions, & I'm afraid of the upcoming months and the age 2! Chloe is actually opposite of B. She is so good indoors, it's when I take her out the house that becomes a problem. I feel like I can't do anything with her or I need someone's help. I wish I could offer some advice. But I think it's all stages of childhood. But def remember those good times, because even when they are rotten they're our babies and the good will always out weight the bad!

Sarah said...

Life is hard. I think we all understand that. Thank you for sharing honestly. I love those photos even if he is crying. Just remember those days go fast! Enjoy them. ha ha.

Ashley said...

Great post Mandy! I have been watching the blogs of all these cute moms and babies for a while (like yours) and wondering when you would hit this stage! haha. It's totally normal and will come and go. i don't really have any good advice, I am going thru the same thing with Mia and went through it with Nate. It just keeps going and changing. You will constantly want to kill them and be blown away by how amazing and cute they are. He will always be worst for you and when at home. You are smart to have figured that out early. They definitely test and push the buttons of their mommies! Hang in there, you are certainly not alone!