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Guhlia

How Do You Guys Do It?

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Okay, please, please, please fill me in on the tricks here because I'm ready to go insane. My three year old daughter is driving me crazy. I absolutely adore her, she's everything to me, but I really just can't stand her right now. Is this normal? I'm 19 weeks pregnant and VERY hormonal. I don't remember it being this bad with my last pregnancy.

My husband is currently working 12-16 hour days. There's nothing he can do to get more time off. I have my daughter all day most days. We have a babysitter come in for a few hours two times a week (pretty much all we can afford), but when she's here I have to work. We own our own business. I can't slack off on my work, it's tax time. My husband can't slack off on his, it's busy season. What can I do to keep from going nuts? I've never felt like this before. It's just more than I can handle. I just want to cry. Hubby even works weekends, though he generally is able to take half of Sunday off. I just feel like I'm going to explode.

My question to all of you who have been through this... What do I do? I'm blowing up at my daughter and she doesn't deserve it. Because I'm blowing up at her she's acting out more which is just making me more and more agitated. Any suggestions? I've already enrolled her in a few classes, but most of them I have to stay with her. I've looked into preschools and drop off classes in the area, but I'm just not ready to do that yet since we don't have a diagnosis on her, but she's gluten free.

When I do get time to myself, I feel as though I'm crawling out of my skin because I know I have so many things that need to get done. My house hasn't been cleaned in like two months. How can I relax when there's so much to do?

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It's tough being pregnant with a toddler and no job. Let go of the house, clean when you can. Make easier meals. Prioritize your time and stick to it ... like what time of day will you work? What time will you play? Can you hire some help for the business? Is there anything you can do to simplify your work there?

Are you starting up a new business? If not, I'd rethink things. Hubby needs to be around for you, for your daughter, and for himself. If it's a new business and temporary that's one thing .... but if this is how it always is, something's gotta change, especially with another one on the way.

Get some time for yourself. Maybe do your work after your daughter's bedtime, and do something for you when the babysitter's there. Once I realized that I was snapping at everyone because I never took time for me. I was unbalanced. Without balance and taking care of yourself, you can't take care of others without resentment. You will also get more done if you are feeling better about things.

I don't know all the solutions, but you need to do something to change the balance of things. The thing that stands out to me is that neither you nor your husband are being taken care of. You can't go on long like this. It will be tough on each of you, your children, and your marriage. Maybe it's a temporary thing, but if not, I'd really look into what changes you can both make.

I read a message the other day that if you didn't have time for exercise now, then you'd better have time for illness later. That message can apply to relaxation, recreation, diet, etc. as well.

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Angie,

When my two daughters were little, I worked a regular job and my wife was self employed (she had her own business with a partner). She too was going crazy taking the girls to the office with her. It took a lot of convincing to finally get her to take the kids to day care a couple times a week. That really helped - a lot!

The key, I think, is finding the right day care, pre-school, relative, or friend that you'll feel comfortable with. IMO, they need some social situations anyway for proper development of social skills. Of course some disagree.

Good luck, lm

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The key, I think, is finding the right day care, pre-school, relative, or friend that you'll feel comfortable with. IMO, they need some social situations anyway for proper development of social skills.

I agree with this poster - my son is nearing 2 and I thank whoever's upstairs on a daily basis for finding a terrific daycare/pre-school that is willing to deal with his Celiac. Mind you - I don't have an "official" diagnosis either - I simply told them he was gluten-free because if he has it, he'll get rashy and explosive diarrhea, etc. and explained about Celiac and they're fine with that. I pack him his lunch every day and he eats in his own chair away from the group table - but not one the other side of the room or anything - just far enough away so he won't get any crumbs, etc.

You need to get your daughter out of the house so you can have a few moments to deal with yourself! Do you live near a college or high school? I have found that students make GREAT kid watchers - and you can be very clear with them about what she can and cannot eat/touch/etc. - plus they're CHEAP. I know some kids ask for $10/hr or whatever, but I haven't had anyone yet turn me down when I say listen, I can pay you $5/hr. to have fun with my little boy. They love him and he loves them! Of course you don't just want to send your daughter off with some stranger, but if you find a good student, you can start by having him/her come to the house and play with your daughter while you're there - plenty of ways to entertain a 3 year old & get her out of your hair without leaving home.

Also - where I live (in VT) - the local girl scouts do babysitting. They charge - ready for this? - $2/hour!! and for that you get two 13-year-old (ish) girls (they work in pairs - buddy system!) who will come to your house and be like 'mother's helpers' - ie, watch and entertain your daughter while you get things done. Sometimes they can get a ride, but usually I go pick them up and drop them off...but for the time I get to actually start/finish things uninterrupted it's worth it! And $2/hr just can't be beat!

Good luck - I know how it is having a little 'Kling-on' around non-stop.

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Thanks guys. I really needed to hear that I'm not alone in this. I feel like such a horrible mother sometimes, even though I know I'm not. My daughter is a beautiful, well rounded, happy child, so we must be doing something right. It's just hard to have a few bad days in a row and right now I think I'm working on about 6 bad days in a row. Ugh...

Fortunately, busy season for us will be over in about a month and won't come again until next year, January, so I'll have plenty of time to recooperate. I think maybe I'll try to sign her up for a few more classes because class days are usually better days for us. If I'm going to be with her and unable to work I might as well be doing something fun for her. She loves "school". It's much cheaper to sign her up for classes here and there than it is to put her in daycare/preschool. Plus, once the weather stays nice it will be SO much easier because I'll be able to have her outside every day. That will be nice.

I just really needed some support. Tonight was a super rough night for me. I feel a little better already though. Tomorrow's a school day so hopefully it'll be a good day. We deserve one of those. :)

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I'm glad to hear that this is only three/four months of the year for you. Even the Communists realized that people needed one day a week off! ;)

It does get easier. Two is the hardest ... a toddler and and infant is difficult. I have six, the oldest is now almost 19 and the youngest almost 9. I actually sleep whenever I want! :P I never thought the day would come when I'd sleep for 8 hours in a row again. :lol: Hang in there. It's good for your kids to see you not be perfect and see how you deal with it when you aren't (be sorry, apologize, try to be better, etc.). That's how they learn.

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Hang in there! You are NOT a horrible mom! 3-year-olds are tough even when you're not pregnant!

Scheduling her day into little segments (at 10:00 we go to the store, at 11:00 we eat lunch, after lunch we take a nap, etc.) might be very helpful, especially if you tell her everything IN ADVANCE. This helps her to understand her world, to know what to expect, and that will ease transitions.

I found with all three of my kids that unscheduled down-time at that age felt like a life-saver for me for 5 whole minutes, and then would quickly turn into a disaster. Everyone is different. For me and my kids, I learned to schedule down-time and not veer too much from the schedule, and everyone was much happier.

If it's possible to nap when she naps, I would try to do that, because you definitely need your rest! If she doesn't nap, then put on an acceptable video, lie down with her, and snooze as she watches the video. If she is having a tough time right now, it may be from not enough sleep--I am amazed how many 3-year-olds I know who don't nap, but they spend all afternoon crankily rubbing their eyes and yawning!

Good luck!

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My oldest daughter (now 15) was the CUTEST, SWEETEST child EVER - until she turned 2 1/2... <_< I was pregnant with our second, and dear daughter turned into daughter dearest. I was working full time, and looking forward to maternity leave with her and the new baby, and suddenly I didn't think I was going to be able to handle it. Even the simplest things became a fight. It was so exhausting to be pregnant, and then have to start learning how to cope with all this new (and not improved) behaviour.

I tried to give her choices, and consequences for bad behaviour. One day she was pitching a fit in the living room, and I told her "If you want to stay here with me, you will have to stop fussing and crying. If you need to cry, then you will have to go to your room." She stopped and looked at me "But I want to sit HERE and cry!" Sigh, so much for my parenting technique. :blink:

I agree that some time away is important. They gain some independence, and you have some time without them underfoot. Ignore the house work. Really. I figure anyone who wishes to judge me based on my house cleaning can just come on over and show me how it's done.

It must be rough to have both you and your husband so busy at the same time, plus being pregnant. Don't sweat the small stuff, and hopefully you'll be through the worst of it soon.

Debbie

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Kelly Ripa calls it The Terrible Twos and The God-Awful Threes. With both my kids 3 was much worse than 2. It's not you, it's the age. Even if you weren't pregnant you'd want to pull your hair out, so I admire how well you're doing.

I had a similar thing going on when I was pregnant with my second. No help, no time, no choices, no money. I'm so glad to hear that you're only this busy a few months out of the year.

With my kids, the house we used to live in had a long balcony with a really high drop. We put a gate across the little hallway thing that leads to their rooms so that they couldn't go wandering in the night.

It ended up being a real great thing and I used it a lot just for Mommy time, especially when I was pregnant. She'd play in her room or if I needed some serious space, I'd put our little TV in her room and let her watch movies for a couple hours. I'd be able to take a nap or just sit on the couch and watch TV or read a book.

When I started getting the worst of my undiagnosed celiac symptoms and was so angry and irritable all the time, I'd put them in their rooms more for them than for me. I hated snapping at them all the time, but I just couldn't help it. So a little bit of space was good for all of us.

Being pregnant and having a three year old is HARD. You get a pat on the back from me.

I hope that helps.

Hugs,

Nancy

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You guys are the best. I think I will definitely look into more classes for her so that we have less down time. That will make it easier to keep a tight schedule too. Maybe I can try to schedule one day at the park for playing outside and the rest busy busy busy. She likes to go shopping at the mall, so that can be part of our schedule too because I could use the exercise, walking around the mall.

Luckily I usually get plenty of sleep so I don't think that's really a factor. I sleep 8 or more hours a night and then I sometimes take a nap if I have a headache or something. She always sleeps through the night unless she wets the bed or something. And she sleeps 9:30 to 8, plus a daily nap, so I think she should be getting plenty of sleep as well.

Thanks again everyone!

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I have a three year old too right now. He is my third and I am pregnant right now too. He is definitely a challenge right now. The worst part is that he isn't ready to give up his nap, but some days he needs one, but then he keeps coming out of his room at night when he has one. He will just wonder around upstairs being kind of loud.

They will definitely act up for attention that is for sure. So maybe try and give her some quality time each morning, where she feels important and keep her on a schedule, with regular naps and eating. Make sure she is getting enough sleep. I would put her in time out in her room if she has done something. I find that if I put mine in time out where I can see him, he will do everything possible to annoy me. LIke being loud, etc. I think they need to be out of sight when they are throwing a fit or it will make you angry with her.

Just some suggestions. My 3 year old is in a really stubborn phase too, but it does get better eventually. Plus, first children seem to be pretty strong willed.

Hang in there.

Monica

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You guys are the best. I think I will definitely look into more classes for her so that we have less down time. That will make it easier to keep a tight schedule too. Maybe I can try to schedule one day at the park for playing outside and the rest busy busy busy. She likes to go shopping at the mall, so that can be part of our schedule too because I could use the exercise, walking around the mall.

Good idea, especially if it's raining!

I only just remembered--I learned quite a bit from how our wonderful daycare handled things. They had the kids go outside in the mornings whenever possible, and when they just couldn't, they had a gym stocked with tricycles and pedalcars and sit-down-scooter-things. I tried to follow suit at home (my kids were only part-time daycare), except I didn't have the gym! So on rainy days, I took my kids out for umbrella parades and puddle-stomping.

When it was just impossible to get outside, I set up obstacle courses inside for them, and eventually let them design and set up obstacle courses.

Now that my kids are in 6th grade, 2nd grade, and kindergarten, they get cranky in the evening if they have not hand any active time during the day. My 6th grader especially will beg to go outside even when it's raining fish hooks and hammer handles, and my 2nd grader bounces off the walls on days when he doesn't get to run around. One thing they all loved to do was to volunteer (with parental supervision) to take the neighbor's dog for a walk. The neighbor was obviously happy for the free dog-walking service, and I was happy becausue it got the kids outside and moving, plus they learned some responsiblity because they had to pooper-scoop.

I have heard wonderful things about something called "Dance Dance Revolution," and I know some parents who swear by trampolines.

There was also an article in Newsweek (or was it Time?) about how physical excercise stimulates brain function.

Monica--on days when you think your 3-year-old might need a nap, try wearing him out all morning so he takes a nap right after lunch. Otherwise, see if you can wear him out right after his nap so he sleeps better at night for you!

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I just wanted to let you guys know that today went MUCH better than the past two weeks have. We had class this morning, then we came home and I had her make her own lunch (BIG HIT), then we played outside until nap time. I told her the rules on boundaries BEFORE we went outside and it worked MUCH better than trying to stop her while she's running away. When it was time to come in I asked her if she wanted a special snack and she headed right for the door. This is usually a big fight for us. She chose to have fruit snacks, which is better than having a blow out right now and I didn't bribe her, so I felt comfortable with the situation even though I normally don't let her have sweets. After she ate, I told her I was heading back to her room to read a book. She happily joined me. This is generally another big fight, getting her back there for her nap. We read a book and then she went straight to bed with no fuss at all. I think she was tired. When she got up, I made pizza for dinner, which is a major favorite of hers. I don't usually like to do junk for dinner, but I really wanted to have a good evening since we had such a good day and I knew it wouldn't be a struggle getting her to eat pizza. While I cooked I let her watch a little tv, which is something I don't generally do either. She didn't fuss at all when it was time to turn off the tv to eat dinner. :) Then daddy came home and he gave her a bath and now she's playing happily by herself with not a word to me. :) So, I almost feel as if I'm getting a break from her even though he's on the phone with a customer and I'm watching her.

Maybe it was that I did things differently, maybe it was cuz I kept her busy, maybe it was just destined to be a good day. Who knows... I'm just thankful that we finally had a good day. We both desperately needed it. I even got some cuddle time in today which she normally isn't willing to do. She hates settling down to cuddle.

Anyway, thanks everyone! Oh yeah, I signed her up for a drop off class at Gymboree so I will have one hour every Wednesday evening to go get ice cream or something with my husband. :) Don and I really need to be forced to spend time together because it's so hard to find that time when you're SO busy all the time. He agreed that would be nice, so I think he's going to try to make it every week. Even if he doesn't make it, the mall is a 5 minute drive from Gymboree, so I can make a quick shopping trip if I want. :)

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Maybe it was that I did things differently, maybe it was cuz I kept her busy, maybe it was just destined to be a good day. Who knows... I'm just thankful that we finally had a good day. We both desperately needed it. I even got some cuddle time in today which she normally isn't willing to do. She hates settling down to cuddle.

I think it was your outlook on today and she reacted accordingly. :)

I agree with Kelly Ripa ... I always said that anyone who thinks two's are terrible has never had a three year old! A three year old is a two year old attitude with intentions.

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Maybe... I definitely felt a lot better after talking to you guys. I really needed some support and I'm just not getting it here at home.

Funny, I thought the "terrible two's" were adorable. She was SO much easier back then. :)

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I agree with the schedule thing and letting dd know what to expect and rules ahead of time. But I also understand feeling so overwhelmed that the above seems like too much effort. Of course, if we can stick to the schedule, spend some time together, the day does go so much better! For exercise, you can also dance-my kids end up laughing hysterically when I dance with them, which is also good for them! I try to tell myself I don't want my kids remembering me as the "I need to do the laundry, dishes,etc" mom, but as a fun mom. It is hard to let the house stuff go, though. Hang in there.

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I have a Master's in Child Devleopment and have worked in the field for over 35 years. Neither my symptoms nor my son's seemed to have manifested themselves when he was 2 or 3. We just had the usual parent-child issues. A lot of it has to do with becoming more independent and the child's having their own ideas instead of just doing what the parent says.

However, all the suggestions written were very good. Particularly the ones that focused on having your child in a structured program. Three year olds are really ready for socialization on their own, with age peers. Child care is a deductible expense. The National Association for the Education of Young Children has lists of high quality accredited (not just licensed) programs at www.naeyc.org

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