November 08, 2010,
M.L. asks from New York, NY on October 29, 2010
I Don't Think I like Being a Mother
We have one child almost 2.5yrs old. It has been very difficult for me since his birth and I think its getting worst. The older he gets the more difficult motherhood becomes. I also work FT. It is very difficult to manage him by myself and I refuse to take him anywhere alone. He seems to be going through phases of screaming, crying and not listening to us. I have to resort to screaming or threatening him in order to listen to me. I contemplated spanking him as a punishment b/c "time-out" isn't working.
My experience so far has convinced me that I do not want another child because I would never want to go through this twice. I have constant feelings of guilt because I am very happy when my Mother takes him for the weekend or any opportunity when he is out of the house.
The worst part of my day is picking him up from day care because I am faced with an evening of crying, yelling and temper tantrums until his father comes home from work.
How do I deal with this? Tell me it gets better...I really need help!
1 mom found this helpful
T.F. answers from San Francisco on October 29, 2010
There are ages that are just difficult! He's old enough that I would recommend 123 Magic a parenting book. It will help you let him know in an unemtional manner what is expected of him. That way you can hopefully get on with enjoying him. Also, at that age (and still to some degree but she's grown out of it) evening was THE worst part of the day for my daughter. I wonder if working with his nap schedule might gain you a little more even tempered energy later in the day? Wouldn't want to mess up bedtime though. Also, don't feel guilty, even people who work with children (teachers) have their favorite ages. I hope this works out so you can start enjoying each others company!
3 moms found this helpful
C.J. answers from Milwaukee on November 01, 2010
I give you credit for posting this.
I think the other mom's gave great advice.
Have you had any depression issues in the past? Having my son actually eliminated my depression (who would have thought?) Something to look into.
1 mom found this helpful
L.L. answers from New York on October 30, 2010
Toddlers are tough! It DOES get easier as they get older, they are easier to rationalize with.
Hang in there,
1 mom found this helpful
P.M. answers from Portland on October 29, 2010
M., I can promise you that the lovely and affirming little book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Faber and Mazlish, will make a huge and positive difference in your life. It gives you a vision of an easier, happier parenting experience and some solid, proven, and do-able steps to get you there. You can start applying the techniques right away, and start getting quick results, with less yelling or need for punishment.
M., I'm worried that you sound depressed. Some of your son's behavior will be affected directly by your moods. Have you had any medical evaluation for your sense of weariness and despair? If not, PLEASE do see a doctor, for your own welfare and your child's. The sooner the better.
Blessings to you.
12 moms found this helpful
M.M. answers from Dallas on October 29, 2010
He's acting out b/c he senses you don't want him :( Please go to counseling and figure this out before it gets worse and your son is scarred for life.
I give you kudos for posting this question, it was brave of you to do so. But it is very important that you find out what is bothering you - it maybe postpartum depression that you didn't deal with when it began.
Some people are not meant to be parents, maybe you fit into this category, but now it is too late, you have a child. I agree, do not have another child, at least until you get this 'figured out'.
I hope you find peace and the love for your child that is meant to be...good luck to you. I am sending positive thoughts your way.
10 moms found this helpful
S.F. answers from Reno on October 29, 2010
I would STRONGLY encourage you to find an experienced older mom, one who's children come back and visit her frequently, to coach you on how to find your inner mom. For some, being a mom is very natural. For others (like you and me), it takes a lot of work. If you find such a mentor, have her observe you and your son together. Then, listen and do what she advises. For me, those mentors were my grandmothers.
SH is right about how deeply it will affect your son that you may not have bonded well with him. An experienced mentor mom may help you get control of the situation so you can learn to love the wonderful child your son wants to be.
I had a hard time bonding with my second child. I resented that he was sick all the time and required far more attention than my first son did. He was a constant challenge for me and it wore me out. I even started having fantasies about running away from it all, it was that bad! It wasn't until his first birthday that my paradigm shifted and I learned to love the amazing baby he was; the one I couldn't see for all my resentment. Today, my baby is almost 13 years old and we're so close. I can't imagine what life would be like today if I hadn't figured it all out.
Good luck. Don't give up on yourself or your son. You both need you to meet and overcome this challenge!
9 moms found this helpful
P.W. answers from San Francisco on October 29, 2010
I completely agree with Momma11. Your son knows you don't want him. (Okay, let me change that phrasing -- he knows you're not happy to see him and pick him up. I don't think it's necessary to quibble over semantics. If a woman's husband were irritated every time he had to see her or deal with her, she would definitely feel it and react poorly to it. Why should a child be any different.? I'm just talking about reality here - I'm not judging it. I never said mothering was a ton of fun, I'm just saying kids know how their parents feel around and about them, and M. L. admitted she did not like mothering at all.)
Look at it from your little boy's perspective - the person he adores most in the world, and with whom he wants to spend all of his time, is not only gone all day, but only fights with him and punishes him in the evening. Kids can completely sense how you feel.
That is enough to make many or most kids act out. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, it's just the facts. Please understand your little boy needs his mom, and if you could find one hour a day to play with him and have FUN with him, instead of battling, you would probably see a huge improvement in his behavior. If you think it's hard to find an hour, you probably spend a lot more time than that right now in negative interaction. Spending positive time with him will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Not everyone is meant to be a mother, but you have this little one now. Don't have another child if it's not your thing, but try to give this little boy the mother he deserves. If you can afford it financially, it might help to work part time. If you can't, then you can't.
9 moms found this helpful
G.H. answers from Chicago on October 29, 2010
"he knows you don't want him", come on. This woman is saying that she feels "guilt", that shows she is not a monster & my kids know that I am not always happy with them & they aren't always happy with me.
How about he is probably exhausted from being in daycare all day. Maybe he has a developmental delay and is frustrated that he cannot tell you or knows how to express to you his needs. How about he is in terrible 2's & believe me after 4 kids the 3's are worse. Maybe he needs vitamins. All kids go thru the screaming, crying & not listening when out in public & you are suppose to immediately remove the child & that means leave the restaurant or cart full of stuff.
Now the questions are: how does he behave in daycare & does he act better for daddy & your mom? Is he getting enough good sound sleep at night? I have a friend that had a son who she dreaded being with he did nothing but cry & throw fits. She worked 3 full days a week & she hated being home so when she picked her son up from daycare or on her days off she would be out of the house from 10am-9pm. The kid was exhausted & never got a good nights sleep. She said he sleeps in the car & in the stroller. I asked her how good she would sleep if there was chaos all around her while she tried to sleep. She finally got it & the poor kid got much better sleep & wasn't such a bear anymore.
You need to talk to his pediatrician, read some books like 123 magic, go to a website called difficultchild.com & see a counselor specialized in children. Do you attend a church? Do you know someone that you admire as a mother or even your own mother to give you some guidance. Also he cold be confused if you are not consistent. Watch supernanny. Where I live the park district has super nanny classes. Perhaps you can see about parenting classes.
You are not alone in fact if you haven't seen Sex in the City 2 there is a great part in there about motherhood & the challenges, it feels good to say it out loud. Best Wishes
8 moms found this helpful
L.M. answers from Dover on October 29, 2010
I think you need to consult your doctor to see if you are having some sort of depression. It also sounds like you could use some help in parenting techniques to help you deal with a child being a child because it sounds like your child picks up on your anxiety and then it makes matters worse because he gets upset, and you get upset...constant chaos. Seek out parenting classes and read all you can.
7 moms found this helpful
K.B. answers from Columbus on October 29, 2010
I had a really really hard time when my oldest (now almost 5) was little. This is going to sound terrible, and I loved her, but I didn't like her at all. I felt like a terrible mother. I talked to my doctor about it at an appointment and was diagnosed with post partum depression. PPD can start anytime within the first couple of YEARS after your child is born. Mine was late coming, but hit me hard. I started on medication and it was like a curtain was lifted on my life.
I had much more patience, was able to deal with her better and felt better about myself as a mother, and I was able to think about having another child (which I did!). Have you thought of this as a possibility? It can't hurt to talk to your doctor about it.
The bottom line is, even if you don't have PPD, you are NOT alone. You will get through it. It does get better (four is a GREAT age!), and your child will NOT be scarred for life! Keep venting on this site, sometimes it feels great to get it off your chest and to have validation from people who are/were there with you. :)
6 moms found this helpful
S.C. answers from San Francisco on October 29, 2010
Several things occurred to me as I read your post:
1) First of all, stop and take a deep breath and realize that being a mother is the HARDEST job in the world. Please cut yourself some slack and give yourself some credit for all the incredibly trying work you are putting in.
2) I truly believe the first 3 years are the hardest and most labor-intensive. (I have a 3-year-old and 1-year-old.) When my son turned 3, things suddenly began to get a little easier...he wasn't so needy and baby-like.
3) In my experience, the fact that your son is miserable in the evenings is also pretty typical. I stay at home full time with my kids and even if they're having a great day, they tend to melt down at around 4:30-5:00, and this lasts until bedtime. Do not blame yourself for the evening crankiness!
4) You are so smart to step back, assess, and verbalize your feelings. This takes a lot of bravery, and I also think you need to give yourself some credit for recognizing how you're feeling. I had a very difficult time adjusting to parenthood and the more I talk to new moms, the more I realize I'm not alone. I recently visited a psychiatrist and went on antidepressants for the first time in my life. I can honestly say, after 6 weeks on the meds, that I wish I had explored this option much sooner. Suddenly I am not snapping at my children anymore. Suddenly, I appreciate them. Suddenly I don't have a constant sense of dissatisfaction and anxiety. Suddenly, I have my life back. It really is true that your kids pick up on your energy and attitude, but when you are miserable and someone tells you this, it only makes you feel worse! Again, you just need a little help. At the very least, I'd seek counseling/psychiatry for yourself, and maybe mention your son's behavior issues to his pediatrician. You could have a difficult kid, or he could just be a typical toddler...toddlers are masters at working your last nerve!
5) It sounds like you really, really need a routine block of time just for you. You are being pulled in a million directions between work, parenthood and spouse-hood. It's amazing how energizing and uplifting just a few hours a week to yourself can feel. If that prospect somehow makes you feel guilty, remember this: there is no way you can be a decent mother, partner, employee, friend or family member if you aren't taking care of you first.
6) I think there is a growing awareness of just how hard parenting is, particularly in this day and age. I was riveted by this article I recently read...and it struck many chords with me: http://nymag.com/news/features/67024/
Remember, the very fact that you are questioning all of this means that you are doing a great job! Being a parent is the most difficult job ever. It WILL get easier. Good luck and hang in there!!
6 moms found this helpful