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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!

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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!

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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.

Good luck!

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Toddlers are tough! It DOES get easier as they get older, they are easier to rationalize with.
Hang in there,
L.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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"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

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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.

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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. :)

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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!!

S.

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OK -first of all it really DOES get better! Secondly, I think it would really help you to see a family therapist and talk out your feelings. A therapist can really help you find some solutions that you may find amazingly simple but just haven't thought of before.

One thing you must realize -at 2.5 this is how most kids act! They don't call them the terrible twos for nothing. You still have a few years when tantrums can erupt and listening will be an issue. It's TERRIBLY frustrating and something I've been dealing with concerning my oldest who is now 4.5 for the past 2 years. IT HAS GOTTEN BETTER THOUGH! It's not constant anymore, and we really seem to finally be getting somewhere.

Also, don't feel guilty. I feel a large amount of guilt coming through your post. Motherhood isn't anything like most people ever expect! I also think these people you hear (and see on this board) who just can't imagine spending one little second away from their kid or kids are either lying to feel some sort of smug self-assurance or not very bright. Most normal adults with half a brain REALLY want to get away from their kids sometime! They relish a weekend when the child goes to grandmas or a night out for adult time! With my oldest there have been so many times I was so relieved when he went to his grandmas for the night or the sitter arrived. And yes, I felt guilty for feeling that way, but we ARE entitled to our feelings and it doesn't mean we're selfish or bad mothers or anything else. At least we don't shove the feelings down until we completely snap one day like some of these moms do!

Does your husband help out as much as he should? Especially since you're both working outside of the home, this is imperative. He needs to be in on some of the family therapy too.

Believe me, I have had thoughts about not enjoying motherhood many a time in a frustrating moment --often when trying to get ready for work in the morning! I've also felt like I went back to work full time partially to get away from my oldest for a stretch every day! However, we really did need the money, and I DO love being with him most of the time and doing things with him and his little brother, but it's not been easy these last 2 1/2 years.

Don't worry about having any more kids. After this one gets older and you've had some counseling, you can re-visit the situation, but there's no law demanding you have more! There are many only children now. I'm an only child as well, and it's never bothered me. You should never have another child if you feel like you can't handle it.

Good luck! Go find a family counselor and try to stop and take some deep breaths. Don't feel guilty because it's HARD!

***It's also not the end of the world if you pop your kid's butt now and then! I only do it as a last resort or to really get their attention, but a few hard pops on the rear isn't the end of the world! HOWEVER, if ANYONE suggests you read and implement "To Raise Up A Child" run far far away! I suspect you're too smart for it, but it's truly an evil book written by a sadistic and awful religious nut that unfortunately some people seem to buy into.

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Bless your heart and YES it will get better. Hang in there. I know exactly what you are feeling. When our son was born I didn't bond with him immediately. I was tired ALL THE TIME and didn't enjoy being a mother. It changed my entire life as I knew it and I hated it. I wanted to only be responsible for myself again, not for someone else too. I took care of him, I bathed him, I fed him, I took him to the doctor when he got sick, I kept clean clothes on him, I did everything I was supposed to do; but there was no bond. I felt miserable. I felt guilty.
Then all of that changed when he was about 4 yrs old. I started enjoying him. We started to bond. It was amazing. He became my 'side-kick' , he went everywhere with me. I wanted him with me. I loved hanging out with him. Now he is 8 yrs old and I swear to you......... my love for my child is beyond anything I've ever known. I have never loved anyone unconditionally before, until now.
You will get there. Hang in there. The love of your life is in that small child. You'll see, it does get better. :)

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I didn't read all the post but I agree with some saying that he can tell you're not happy with him. I don't mean to guilt trip you but some kids have a harder time with mommy and daddy working full time. They want to be around you and have your attention. So in not getting that sometimes they act out more. Like I bet when you come home and he is being good (like playing nicely with toys) you leave him alone cause I'm sure you have stuff to do around the house but when he hasn't seen you all day he probably realizes to get attention from you he needs to be bad. Remember to a kid any attention is better than none. I would like to ask what kind of daycare he is in? Is it really big with lots of kids so he probably doesn't get a lot of one on one with a teacher? If so he might do better in a smaller in home type place where he can get more attention there. And I agree with some moms saying when you do have him at night and on the weekends make time to do fun things with him to show him your love. It really will help.

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Hi M.,

First off, take a deep breath. Young children are hard, really hard. Harder than anyone will tell you before you have them. Your son's age is particularly difficult, you are in the eye of the storm this year. No matter how prepared, well slept and rational you may feel, they can just be more whiny and irrational and demanding than seems possible.

Rest assured, I, too, have taken a procrastinated before daycare pickup and I, too, have googled for help from the mommysphere wondering if anybody else found motherhood as challenging as I did, I wondered why nobody had told me it would be this hard. In fact, as a filmmaker, I've often wondered if there is a documentary to be made about the true state of motherhood and why nobody talks about it.

But I assure you it gets better. He will turn a corner soon and things will ease up. Really. Now mine are 10 and 8 and they are fun to be with and generally (not 100%) well behaved, curious, funny kids. I still struggle with the occasional outburst or moodiness but compared to the daily struggle of years ago, there is no comparison.

As for advice, well, looking back I wish I had remembered to go a little easier on myself. Its easy to feel guilty about everything but why? You're doing the best you can and right now its just hard. Working full time and raising a (currently) difficult toddler is like a treadmill but you are doing the right thing by seeking some support. Make sure to take advantage of every babysitting opportunity that comes along so you can get a breather. Try to lighten the mood whenever possible, take care of yourself, and try to stay calm in the face of toddler chaos. Remember, you're not alone and it gets better, really.

Good luck,
M.

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Hi M., I wonder if you may have undiagnosed depression. Child rearing is the hardest job in the world. You having a full time job on top of that is enough to make any woman feel overwhelmed. The best thing you can do to get his behavior under control is being consistent and not giving into the tantrums ever. You should speak to a professional therapist who can help you understand your frustration and possible resentment towards your son. Hang in there. Remember, children only repeat behavior that works for them. If he is screaming and crying it's because he knows eventually he will get his way, even if it's only 25% of the time, it's worth the shot as far as he is concerned. I tell this to parents who are struggling and their toddler is running the house... You are the adult, you set the rules, you are in charge. I believe spanking only teaches the child hitting is ok and will cause further behavioral issues. You can do this!!! :) You have what it takes to be a great mom but need some guidance. Best of Luck.

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M., you've taken the first step in reaching out for help. Take the next and go to family counseling. They will help to give you the tools to make positive and rewarding changes for all of you. Your little guy needs you and he needs a happy mommy. You are frustrated because you don't yet know how to mother positively. He screams as he is reacting to this. He doesn't know how else to tell you. Small, little changes can help a lot. Smile more, sing silly songs to distract him when he is doing something (including screaming) that you don't want him to do (get some Raffi CD's from the library). Make eye contact and smile at him while changing his diaper. Take him out to the park for a walk in the woods rather than to a store. I really recommend investing in a baby carrier like a Boba, Beco, Ergo, or Baby Hawk to help both of you bond. Children need touch. Cook with your crockpot so that you have more time with him in the evening. Give grandma a vacation and use that time as bonding time together. Best of luck to you.

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This is a great book: Becoming the Parent You Want To Be: A Source book of Strategies for the First Five Years. Go get it as soon as possible.

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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!

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Deep breath mom - I am sure you are tired, stressed and feeling at wit's end but, honey, it is not your child's fault! He has hard days too and misses being with you and daddy and wants your love, attention and some play time. It is hard being a mom! And it is hard to find a balance in who you are, life, money, family and those mom duties but YOU CAN DO IT!!! Get out of yourself for a minute and try to see the world through those innocent, little eyes - get on the floor and play, laugh and work passed the crying and the tantrums. That baby loves you and needs you to, God would not have put you two together if HE did not know the gift in it! Your in the phase of Terrible Two's and there wll be another phase after that - takeit one day at a time, one moment at a time and don't think your self or self talk your self into believing your not cut out for it or you can't do it - ther has to be good times and it may be up to you to create them for you and your child, Sometimes, you have to just walk away from them or ignore thier behavior to regroup your self and those things are okay!!! Pat your self on the back for having the strength to reach out to all these great moms oon here! Reach out to those people in your life too, take time for YOU but lie I said, don't puch out the child - he is your heart and needs you so much! Being a little person is hard just like being a mom/grown up is!!! God Bless you and your child - Now go hug that baby!!

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I can definitely identify with what you are saying. 2 year olds are exhausting and they constantly test limits so some of it may be the age.

I have a 4.5 year old son and he is loud, active and a very poor personality match to my personality. When he is tired he is hyper, impulsive and extremely hard to manage. I have a degree in counseling and did family counseling for several years and I still struggle and lose my temper at times! I found the toddler years the most challenging so far. As a toddler, between 12 months and 2 years, I was exhausted trying to manage him. He got a bit better between 2 and 2.5 then I got pregnant again and when he realized, his behavior took a nose dive. 2.5 to 3.5 was hard as well (but we all had to adjust to the second baby during that time, they are just under 3 years apart). Now that the baby is almost 2 his behavior is definitely improving...but there are still tantrums and misbehavior. Friends with older children say most kids improve their difficult behavior noticeably by age 5. I'm counting the days.

I can see if you are working full time you have your son with you during 2 of the most difficult parts of the day--the morning rush when everyone is scrambling to get out the door and the cranky late afternoon/dinner/bedtime hours. Even at 4.5 my son can be well behaved at 3:30 and hyper, cranky and misbehaving by 5:30. I have seen this in a lot of other kids too, even as old as 6 or 7. Putting him to bed 30 to 60 minutes earlier helped a lot when my son gave up napping. That might be difficult if you have long work hours and have to get up very early or get home late. When my son started preschool (half days) he needed more sleep because he was doing more. You can check with your daycare and add up how many hours sleep he is getting and see if you can add in a little more where you can. FT daycare means long days for little kids, but sometimes it is necessary. Maybe having a snack in your bag for right when you pick him up from daycare will help a little (then he will be just tired, not tired and hungry). When I worked full time with frequent overtime I often brought myself a snack for 5ish. It helped make the long hours or traffic filled commute more tolerable.

Because I am home with my kids I have the advantage of a lot of time with them (and the disadvantage of feeling trapped at times). If you can be calm and consistent (as much as you can) a 2 year old can learn your family rules and take time outs (where you can see him). But even when you know good parenting strategies it takes a tremendous amount of work to constantly use them. If you don't know where to start, talk to a counselor, get some parenting books or look for a parenting class. Time outs are often talked about but not always used correctly or consistently. I used to buckle my son in his high chair for time outs (he was using a booster at the table to eat). Another parenting book suggested using a car seat for time outs. If we were out I made him take a time out where ever we were. I used the stroller or even just held him still if it was important. I'm sure I got dirty looks while holding him from behind with my arms and legs around him but it worked. I only did this a few times--like when he ran into the street or in front of a moving swing--and after maybe 2 time outs like that he learned the rule. It also helps to focus on only a few rules at a time (no more than 3). Because I was home I was able to take short practice outings and focus mainly on my son's behavior (not running away or in the street, walking holding my hand, etc). It may be harder for you to do this because he is in daycare, but ask what class rules he can follow at school. You may be able to use what positive behavior he is already doing at school to get him to cooperate at home.

I do have some hopeful things to add. My son drives me crazy at times but my daughter, now almost 2, has a totally different personality and is much easier to manage (so far at least). Some days I feel like my son is horrible and brings out the worst in me (and I feel like I would happily trade him for a houseplant), then it will turn around. Spending some one on one time with him does help his behavior and helps me be more patient with him (but some days I am just too exhausted or out of patience to do it). Also, it is very hard to tell depression from exhaustion when you are in the middle of it. It is worth having a mental health professional check it out.

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I know this isn't funny but I chuckled bc I'd been thinking the same thing lately. Some women love the baby and toddler stage but I'm not one of them. It doesn't mean you don't really love your child more than anything in the world. My daughters are older now and yes, it does get easier, less frustrating and in my opinion, more interesting. But even though I really love them, I still just want to read my book so many evenings! I also work full time so have very little alone time. It sounds like your son is in a particularly tough stage too which of course makes it all worse. I'm sure it'll pass just like many of the good stages pass too. For instance, for awhile my daughters played together every evening so well I had nothing to do. That certainly passed. Now they fight all the time. So you're not alone, it'll get better in some ways and remind yourself that these years are not about you but you'll have plenty of them later in life. Just keep reminding yourself. Also, if he's good for everyone but you, he may need more of your attention for awhile. If he's difficult everywhere with everyone and if this doesn't pass, you may need to have him evaluated.

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I like what most of the moms have said.My mom didn't like being a mom and she showed it, because of working full time, coming home to cook, clean, iron...you name it. Never spent any time with us.
I became a teacher, which helped me learn about keeping a routine life style. You don't have to follow it always, but most of the time is good in order to have a peaceful atmosphere at home, and with your child. When you come home, sit down and catch up with your son. Ask questions, such as what he did today? Definitely put a little classical music on to tone down the activity level at home. If you need to cook have him sit at the kitchen table near you with a wooden spoon and a pot. Sing with him at times. Go to the park, or for a walk around the neighborhood. Collect leaves, and finally do a warm bath. Once you get used to it, you won't feel so stressed out. You'll enjoy being together. Good luck, and keep it peaceful at home.

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Just want to send out love and support to you. I am also an executive with a very demanding job, elderly parents and a toddler, and have had weeks on end when I have felt the way you do. I adore our daughter but there are stages they go through where they are very testing and I know what it is to dread spending a day with your child. Feels awful.

A few moms have already said these things but I will say them again because this is what I have found personally. You could be depressed. If you are not getting enough sleep, you will have few resources to deal with a cranky toddler. Brainstorm with your husband to see if he can take care of your son on the weekend or early morning so you can get enough sleep. see a doctor if you think you might be depressed.

Don't dwell on the guilt, tell yourself that you need a break and use the time he's with your mother to recharge your batteries. Can she take him for a few hours each weekend so you can have a steady break? Just knowing that you will have a few hours to yourself can give you the motivation to keep it together.

You and your husband need to talk calmly to each other and to your son. He will react to stress the way you do. Yelling tends to escalate everyone's tempers and it just gets worse. I am still working on this, but I know it to be true!

If he is not listening, get down at his level and make sure he is looking at you when you are talking t him. Keep it short and simple. Try the 1-2-3 Magic Method. There's a book. He should be just old enough for it to work.

If time out doesn't work, taking away a toy or physically removing him from whatever he is doing wrong might be more effective.

You say you refuse to go out alone with him. That sounds pretty severe. is his behavior so extreme? is he like this with your mom? Discuss your difficulties with his pediatrician or a counselor. You would be surprised how much sharing this with a professional will help you.

It does get better -- one day you'll realize you spent the day together and enjoyed it.

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M.:
let me first tell you that i have been where you are. i worked full time and my son was very difficult the only difference is that when my son was 16 months old i gave birth to my 2nd son. i loved being a mother to my oldest and felt so overwhelmed with 2 kids. it wasnt until my husband and i sat down (while the boys were at their grandparents house) for 4 hours and talked about everything. how i felt how he felt etc. by then i had quit working to stay home (it gets expensive havin 2 kids under 3 in daycare) and my husband didnt understand that i had no friends to talk to didnt go anywhere other than the store for 45 min (i had to take the kids with me as he "needed time to chill after working all day") he didnt understand what all went into being a stay at home-mother. i told him that he either helped or i was leaving. period. i knew i couldnt do it "by myself" any longer as that is what it felt like. so to fix it my husband told me to go visit my family for a week by myself and he would "play mom" as he put it. we had been together for 4 years at that point. at the end of the 5th day he was calling me begging me to come home. since i came home over a year ago we (him and I) go out just us or just our friends for one night a week "date night" in turn i get away from "work" ( the house) and the kids (every parent needs a break even if you feel guilty you cant spend 24/7 with your kids its not healthy for you or them) and am less stressed. which makes me spend more time with my kids.
M. i would like you to try something. one night for dinner instead of eating at the table or in front of the TV or whereever you eat dinner using the kitchen table or using whatever make a fort out of blankets and you, your husband if he wants to, and your son eat dinner in the fort. dont worry about any mess or not using forks blah blah and talk to him about his day at school. sit down and listen to your son. read a book with him. sit down and watch whinnie the pooh or mickey mouse. what got me through most of my "meltdowns" is just remember that your son is ONLY 2.5. he's not 15 or even 10. he is a toddler. my 2.5 yr old acts out with the same as yours when i dont pay enough attention to him.one day on your day off go outside ( get him bundled up as you live in NY) and take him to look at the birds and leaves and trees. they love new things. in turn it lowers your stress level (let him set the pace no matter how long it takes. stop and get a "special treat" wether it be a small piece of candy from the store or whatever. let it just be the 2 of you bonding your special time with your son. let him know that after you guys are done with your walk or even if you go to the park (play with him dont just sit and watch) that you loved spending time with him and thank him for being such a good boy. i spend one day a week with each of my kids. one day with my oldest and a different with my youngest. and they treasure that day every week. we dont spend a whole lot of money if any and they act so differently now because of it. but it does get better. when you feel like you cant take anymore just take a deep breath count to 3 (most times you cant get to 10) and remember he is just trying to gain your attention and love and approval. he is only 2.5. i hope this helps in some small way. and no i am not some hippy oh motherhood is so perfect blah blah. this is coming from someone who went through therepy ( 3 of them actually) had an assortment of tests done to see if i was bi-polar, ADHD, depressed etc. my last therepist told me this after i told her everything "you are human. you are not perfect, nor will you ever be. you have flaws and all mothers are not cut from the same mold. life is trial and error. when you are at your whits end go to the bathroom for 2 min rinse your face off with cold water, look in the mirror and ask your self ' can i imagine my life without my son?' 9 times out of 10 its a straight NO"
just something to try i guess.if you want to if not then dont. i dont control you just offering advice from me to you. i have been there. i use to hate every minute now i cant imagine one second of my life being different.
hope you and your family get every blessing you wish for.
B.

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really I thinkit is a phase, coupled with tiredness!
I have a 2.5 year old girl, she is whiny, and messy, disruptive and hard work, but cute and so loveable!
I am a SAHM, but it is just as hard if not harder than working, there is mess always in my house, I NEVER get a break from her, there is no going to stay at grandmas for the weekend, my mother has died, and my MIL is in her 70's, my hubby works 60 hour weeks, so it is ALL me - I have an autoimmune disease that makes me incredibly tired - it is hard work.
it gets easier as they get older - I also have an 8 year old, he can do most things by himself, make a sandwich if he has too, bathe himself etc.

And the evening time - right when I need to make dinner and clean up, is truly my daughters WORST time of the day, she clings to my legs and howls, and there is nothing I can do - I have to make food, it is torturous, and tiring.
you will get through it - it will get easier, try doing some fun stuff on the weekend instead of taking him to your moms

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Hi,

Hugs to you for being honest with yourself about how you feel. Have you considered depression? You could have depression~I would get checked out for peace of mind--- you may benefit from medication to help with anxiety from parenting etc. One thing that gets me through hard times is to remember that they are only little once and one day at a time. Good luck to you.

M

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If he is 2.5 years old ,then i asume he can talk. If so try to get your husband to tell him what bothering him b/c if you ask im pretty sure he won't tell you.They are small, but they are smart.My 1yr old grandbaby can't talk,but she can point to what she wants to do or what she wants or sometimes she will takes us to what she wants or where she wants to go.She will go get the car keys and then go to the door, which to us that means. She wants to go bye bye! Can you talk to your husband about how you feel, if so i would talk to him.It sounds like you have alot on your plate, i would also seek some professional help. My sister went thur this and my parents had to step in.Screaming back and threatening does not work. Rewarding him for the times he is good, does. I hate to ask this but does he get everything he wants? Sometimes as parents we give the child everything he wants,JUSt so we don't have to deal with the crying and tanturms.So then what happens is when they can't have everything all the time, you go into argueing, screaming. Having 2 children i have learned they will scream and cry for Loooong periods, i don't know how they do it , but they do.
How do you deal with it, GET SOME professional help. IT does get better.
Good Luck

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2.5 to 3.5 was THE hardest year with both of my kids excluding the first few months of sleeplessness. It does get better...much better as they get older. Every mother (whether she admits it out loud or not) has moments that they don't like being a mother very much. It is HARD and FRUSTRATING work...like nothing else in the world. You might try reading some books that are geared toward parenting strong-willed children. James Dobson comes to mind, but he is pro-spanking so he is certainly not for everyone. I'm sure Jo Frost (the super nanny) has a book or two that would deal with strong willed children, and she is very good at employing non-spanking methods.

HUGS! Mothering is the hardest job you will ever do. It's OK to not like every moment of it.

I also wanted to say that there is no shame in deciding to have only one child. We all have to choose the family size that is right for us. We have two...there will be NO MORE! It's my family. My husband and I get to be the ONLY two people who decide how big our family is going to be.

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Here's my two sense for what it's worth.

2.5 is a tough age-my son is almost 3 and it's been a tough year...but here's the one thing I have found-aside fromconsistent discpline, praise, etc...all the stuff other moms suggest.

My son is the awesomest kid when I put him first. Try when you get home from work and it's just hte two of you to do something with him first. It's tempting to want to check email, start dinner, whatever...BUT if you give hiim even 30 minutes undivided attention first and then say...now mommy's got to make dinner-want to come play in the kitchen with me....I bet you see a different kid.

A lot of times kids are naughty purely to get your attention. Once he knows that you will give him attention he'll lessen being naughty cuz he'll be confident that he'll get it. Granted-temper tantrums and power struggles are part of the deal...but I bet it will lessen.

Good luck.

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M., I'm so sorry you are going through this. You need some help. Please talk to your pediatrician and be honest about what is happening at home. It's important to get a handle on it before he gets any older.

If there is any way that you can hire someone to come in and teach you how to manage your son when you get home, kind of like a "Supernanny", it would help. You could wean yourself off of her as you and your child learn to manage better. This would also teach you how to handle him without yelling at him. Losing control is only hurting your ability to handle him. He needs for you to be strong for him, to show him how to be calm, and he doesn't have that from you.

If things get really bad, M., and you feel that you might lose more control, you need to see a counselor. Being a mom is hard - there is no doubt about it. It's harder if you don't have help. It's okay to ask for help.

All my best,
D.

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I'm sorry you are feeling this way...I would recommend counseling on your end to talk about these feelings.

I definitely am against spanking -especially a toddler. You must not even go there and if you feel yourself going in that direction, get help immediately. You need to understand the mind development of a 2 1/2 year old -they do not have the capacity to understand the way that we can.

I think you are suffering from some type of depression and really encourage you (for your sake and the sake of your precious child) to get help. This is very serious.

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M., I'm sorry to hear that you're having such a difficult time. I think that a lot of the behavior being exhibited is out of a need for more attention (positive attention, especially). I have no idea what kind of parent you are, but since you are a full-time working mother, consistency is going to be your best friend in raising him. Consistency is always important, but it teaches a child who is away from his parents for extended periods of time that there is a routine to be followed, and he will begin to understand what happens next, what types of discipline are used and when, and that out of the boundaries you consistently set, there is love.
Though you are relieved of your responsibility as his mother when your mother takes him for the weekend, he probably really is craving your attention and love. Children sense and feel so much, and he feels the guilt you feel. Perhaps one weekend, make the weekend completely about him, in which you create love and kindness out of everything you do together. Work on forming that bond with him again.
Also, if there is a possibility that you could cut your hours at work, or even stop working all together, you might consider that as well. Children desperately need love and attention, and it seems to me that he is screaming for it through the behavior you have described.
Have faith that this will get better, and begin saying positive things about being a mother, because we have the ability to create/change our realities. If our thinking is negative, so then will be our approach to whatever we are thinking of. Begin saying things like, "I love being a mother...", "I am an attentive and loving mother...", "I am needed...", "My evenings are peaceful with my son..." Etc. This can work wonders for you, possibly even write them down and post them in places where you are regularly.
Also, a wonderful book with some great approaches that will help you form a sturdy foundation for your son, is: "The No-Cry Discipline Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley.
Lastly, I would caution you that the use of spanking as a form of discipline will only make things worse for you. Negative discipline only creates negative consequences. He will learn that it is ok to harm others when he is frustrated.

This will get better and easier.

-T.
My Gentle Birthing

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Have you considered counseling? Being a mom isn't easy no one said it was but to give up on your son isn't an option. It sounds like your son is 1 acting like a 2year old and 2 picking up on your stress so he is acting out more.

** EDIT ** I agree with Lee L

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Just wanted to add that some of these answers are not helpful to the asker, they are down right mean. when someone is going through a difficult time about motherhood, you don't say "Some of us are not meant to be mothers" or " he knows you don't want him". These comments make one feel worse.
Getting back to the asker (M. L), she works full-time, has a child that is going through a very difficult age, and probably has a host of all kinds of other responsibilites and she is probably just overwhelemed. I know because I work full time and have 2 kids. My boy was exactly like she described, he has some speech delays, but his speech did start blossiming around 3, so he has gotten easier. My daughter(19 months) is starting the neediness and not listening, on top of that she gets out of her crib all through the night,so I am sleep deprived.
My suggestions:
team up with your husband and see if he can handle more of the tantrums.
try talking to older mothers to vent and for advice.
seek counseling, not because you are off-balance, but because it feels good sometimes to vent to a professional, its good to get couch time now and then.

Best Wishes!!

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Hi there M., I wish I could give you a solid answer but I can't. Children are hard. Nobody really tells you how hard they really can be at times. It's one thing if motherhood to you is just not fun and you don't like it but I sense that you love your son and he's just really overwhelming you with his behaviors. What I would suggest is some sort of family counseling. Maybe you can learn some coping skills and some things that you can do to make time with him more fun and rewarding. It sounds as if he's acting out for some reason, maybe he's sensing you are stressed an overwhelmed. Children are very perceptive little things and they absorb way more than we really can comprehend. When I'm crabby, my kids are crabby. It's a domino effect.

I always say that if I had my son first (he was last) that we probably wouldn't have had more :) I love my son but he's a challenge in everything we try to accomplish. I find that what he really craves is just some extra attention from me, it goes a long way. He may be all boy but he loves to snuggle his mama just like the girls do. Maybe some quality one on one time, in a quiet place would do you both some good.

I'm sorry to hear your sadness but I think with a little brainstorming you can really learn to love motherhood.

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I read the topic of your post and had to read it because lately I am feeling this way too. I am going through a rough patch with my daughter who is 6. I start dreading it when I have to pick her up at school because things just go downhill. I am hoping it's a phase. I wish I could offer you some advice, but all I can say is that I feel your pain and think these feelings are normal. Motherhood is so very difficult. No one likes being a mom all the time, although they may not admit it. I really hope things get better.

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take a parenting class, yelling and threatening doesnt work (ultimately), he knows how to push your buttons and he does it! create boundaries and consequences, consistancy will make a big difference!! make a chart with happy faces, stars, animal stickers.. whatever. when hes good he gets to put a sticker up there and when he naughty he loses a sticker. my son hates loosing stickers (hell be 3 in jan) cuz i pull them off and they get thrown away. but he knows once he fills a row up he gets a treat! usually a tootsie pop or something he doesnt get very often. My son is a very strong willed child, ive swatted him (there IS a difference in swatting and beating) and i barely tap him on the bottom and thats enough to get his attention. not every child responds the same to discipline and theres no manual, but obviously what your doing isnt working so try something new. Oh, and ALOT of positive reinforcement and play time- coloring together watch a movie, we feed the ducks at the park alot. he wants your attention mommmy and hes learned that he gets it when he acts out. he will do ANYTHING to get the attention he craves! it will only get worse if you allow this behavior to continue. something i learned in my parenting class i take is that if you allow this out of control behavior in childhood it will progress into the teenage years and be worse... get a grip on it now!

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Yes, it is difficult to work full time and somehow manage being a mother and a wife. I am an executive who works about 50 hours per week who has 5 year old and 9 year old boys. It is challenging and often times exhausting, but I would not trade it for the world.

Age 2 1/2 is a tough age. It does get better! However, please note that your son is probably feeding off of your emotions towards him. It almost sounds as though you resent him.

Try greeting your son with a smile when you pick him up from school and tell him how much you missed him. Ask about his day. Show him you love him and are interested in what he is doing. If you start treating him more positively, I am confident he will react more favorably as well.

Instead of dreading him being around, get to know him better. Focus on the joys of motherhood. Get excited about his little accomplishments. Try to approach his crying in a more constructive manner. When my boys were younger and would cry or not listen to me, I would whisper to them. They would stop crying to try and hear what I was saying. Or try ignoring them. I used to tell my boys only dogs could hear them when they cried or yelled and I would ignore them until they spoke in a normal manner. Since they did not get a reaction from me, they stopped.

All kids are different, but everyone wants to feel loved and wanted.

Best of luck!

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How come people always gonna think depression when a mother confesses that she is not enjoying motherhood? Kudos to you. I know for certain I don't want anymore children. I enjoy my child 100% but know I don't want to deal with infancy and caring for another practically by myself ever again. Just remember to breathe and remember he is a child, your son, baby and needs tender love and care at all times as you both go through growing pains together.

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children mimic their world around them. so the behaviors he is displaying to you are behaviors he has learned somewhere. maybe hes picking it up from day care or maybe he sees the frustration in his parents and since that is an emotion he knows- thats how he responds. i have a little girl and she has just begun to "test" me and my husband- and it is not fun. i encouage you and your husband to re-evaluate the communication in your home. the way you and your husband talk to eachother- the tones and volume of your conversations. your baby hears everything that goes on- wether hes paying attention or not. its crazy how the smallest things are what they pick up on. im sorry you and your family are going through this. change has to come from the top- and in your families pyramid of success you and your husband are on the top. once a change is made there it will trickle down to your son.

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Things do get better. I have a 13 and 15 year old.
This too shall pass.

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I'm so sorry you're going through such a tough time. I think ages two -three can be difficult -especially with a strong willed child. I cant really give you helpful advice because I don't know how you are handling his screaming and not listening. When my daughter was a preschooler she was difficult and I was tired after getting home from work and didnt have the energy to deal well with her. IF we are not being consistent then we are making it worse. My favorite book for dealing with preschooler to age 5 is the Happiest Toddler on the Block. I read that religiously with my third child, used some not completely all of his techniques and he was very easy to deal with.

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My Mom and her first child was like that... from birth. I don't know why.
BUT... as that sibling grew up... she and my Mom had CONSTANT problems about getting along. A child, KNOWS when their parent does not "like" them... and it creates REAL big problems.
If you do not 'bond' with your child... that is the most basic thing... that will affect them... deeply.
My sibling even said "Mom does not like me..." and "I hate her..." and they had CONSTANT problems... (she was not an easy child to begin with), but it was just constant.
It is sad.
My Mom TRIED her darnedest... to 'bond' with this sibling and get along... but well, the bottom line is, there was no "like" between them.
Now in adulthood... they do get along... considering. But it took that MANY years... of conflict and anguish and issues....

My sibling, was not an easy baby at all... constant crying and fussying and she was VERY high-needs... and well, it just continued in various ways, all her life... and conflict with my Mom.

all the best,
Susan

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I have 4 children (23, 21, 17 ,and 4). I thought that when my third child was 13, I was done and finally able to get on with MY life..then..lol...his sister came along.

It's hard at that age (2.5), but it does get better. I have days were if one more person calls me "mommy", asks for a drink, or needs clothes washed at the last minute I am gonna scream! But at the end of the day, I love being a Mom. I don't know who else to be sometimes.

Our children pick up on our emotions until they reach the teenage years. He is sensing you are tense which makes him tense. This behavior is normal for this age but the added stress he feels coming off of you is magnifying his bad behavior. He's acting out to get you to pay attention to him because he sees it works. Screaming and threatening a child does not result in positive behavior. It's teaching him to be the same way towards you and ultimately others.

For him to change his behavior, you have to change yours.

Nanc

P.S. I am a Behavior Modification Specialist for male adolescents from age 6-14. I get frustrated too and know that there's no way I could work full-time and raise a 2.5 year old and keep what sanity I have left. I have a hard enough time attending college part-time and working part-time raising a 4 year old. So kudos to you.

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I think what you have discribed is simmilar to my son, and I think you may want to contact early childhood program in your area there may be an actual REASON to is actions, and I think you may still be suffering from possible post partum depression. These two things combined will destroy you one day if you do not address it now. GOOD ON YOU for seeing it, for reaching out even if it is on here... being a special needs mom takes a lot of work, and it takes you being safe and calm too ... easier said then done I KNOW oh boy do I know. But even if your son is not facing any outside challenges he feels your stress and possible post partum depression. I can tell you horror stories of two now teen girls who's mother never addressed her post pardom depression, so please seek out help TODAY.

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Dear M.,
I'm sure it was hard for you to ask this and I respect you for seeking out help. I would suggest seeking some counselling together, or a behavioral specialist for children, who can help you to work with your son and hopefully improve things. Does your son go through these tantrums and misbehaviors when he is at daycare or with grandma? Is he still taking naps? How involved is dad and how is your son with him?
Good luck, I hope that you are able to seek out some help that will be successful for you and your little guy

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Toddlers are tough! It DOES get easier as they get older, they are easier to rationalize with.
Hang in there,
L.

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There are better moments to come and worse moments to come IMO...it is a constant job. I think from what you are telling us though is that maybe you just need to look at HOW you are handling your child. The more you battle him the more he will battle you back and its an endless power struggle that leaves any mom questioning their choice to be a mother! You need to do some deep soul searching of yourself, therapy would be good too b/c they will GUIDE you through your battles. In the meantime maybe read some books. I personally found/find parenting to be HARD and for me it is NOT all instinctual and I don't find it to be easy. I am impatient, I don't understand the mind of a small child, I was never even and still am not a fan of many other children, but I love my son and I love the GOOD moments so I don't think I made a mistake. Some books I like are "postive discipline" "When you are about to go off the deep end don't take your children with you" "The Happiest Baby/Toddler on the Block" (dvds) I started reading age defining books too at the age of 3, perhaps I should have started sooner...The book I laughed out loud at and said OMG this is totally me and my child was "Your Three Your Old, Your Friend or Enemy" OMG what an eye opener! In addition you have to manage your own stresses, take time for youself b/c even the best mothers can't handle the stresses of their children when they are stressed and overstreched themselves! My son started the terrible twos at 18 months, after he was a colicky baby so there was a small window of "good" LOL. He's 3.5 and the terrible phases only got worse...thats when I turned to the books! Are there moments when I want to be alone, don't want to do it all, ABSOLUTELY, but then there are moments when that child is my main source of joy and happiness and I feel like I CAN do it all...its never perfect. Its a roller coaster of guilth and emotion and difficulty and once I realized its all NORMAL, I was better able to accept it. Did you choose to become a mother or was the pregnancy unplanned? Start there and work with it. List good moments. Focus on those. Its really amazing how much these little ones feed off of our emotions...and its amazing how smart they really are even at a young age. At some point many mothers have questioned their choice and ability for motherhood. I certainly know I have and often times do and for a long time this current child had me not wanting anymore children, some days I think yes to a second child, other days I am like NO WAY! So what your feeling is NORMAL - to me anyway! You just have to figure out how to work it out - if for no other reason that YOU ARE a mother and you owe it to this child to be the best mother you can be and if this is the only child you ever have, then so be it but he deserves a mother who is doing her best for him or at least trying...how do you deal with it? You seek counseling, you seek the support of other moms, you take time to yourself, you learn how to be a good mother, you take the good with the bad, you give endless love and if you aren't feeling loving you step away until you can give love, you just keep evolving as your child keeps growing b/c its like they change every 6 months or so as it is and it goes so fast where one day you will look back and say, wow how time flies...even in the 3.5 yrs of my childs life I already laught at myself at how those moments I thought were the most terrible and were never going to end DID end...and I know we will be alright - for now!

FYI - the more I scream at my child or get "stern" with him, the worse he gets...I realized the power struggle and had to take a step back and realize it was getting us NO WHERE. It was a parenting style that DOES NOT work for me and my child is sooo not responsive to it!

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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.

Good luck!

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It's really hard, motherhood, the hardest job indeed I think. And you see and feel the hard part of it, however, find a way to embrace is. I suggest doing love rituals with your child, look him the eyes and realize the joy and beauty of him. I notice that when I've had it up to here with my son, he feels it and senses it and acts out, somehow it influences him. Although you are busy, doing so much for him and working too, try to set aside some time everyday to just play with him and connect with him, eventually he will feel your desire to connect and bond with him and I think this will have a positive effect on him and things may go easier with his behavior. Of course we are all relieved when we have time for us and the child is out of the house but make your time with him really count, not just doing the chores you do with him but also have the "special" quality moments of bonding between you and him, he is special, he lived inside you for 9 months and he is your child, you will begin to enjoy him once you build these special moments with him. Mine loves playing hide and seek, find out what yours enjoy and go into his world and explore and play with him. He feels it when you are happy having him around and it's possible he could be acting out what he's picking up from you. I know its' hard but try this, this is from a mom who has a child considered to on the "difficult" child. IView your relationship with him as your most important one in your life and base everything else on this, good luck and my prayers are with you and your child. All the best to you and your family.

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I have a cousin who also felt this way with her son, who is now four. She had been feeling that way since she was pregnant. Although, she had a lot of traumatic things happen in her life during those four years. But she found out she was bipolar and that had a lot to do with how she felt about her son. She just needed a little help, and now he is a happy, loving little boy.
It could just be that he "grew out" of it, but I think it has to do with her getting help.
What I'm trying to say is, maybe there's an underlying condition in either you or him? I don't know you or your life, but if you want to, I think it's worth looking into.
I wish I could be of more help, but just wanted to give you my two cents.

I am so sorry that motherhood has been hard on you, and I hope that it gets better for you.

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2. 5 year olds are hard. Making matter worse, they respond to OUR mood. I'm sure your son feels your frustration.

If you can, take a night off and then SHOWER HIM WITH LOVE --I love the dinner fort idea! What fun! I want you to go deeply within your heart and think of all the things you LOVE about being a mother. When you feel that warmth, go and grab your son. Promise to him and yourself that you are going to listen to him, have fun with him.

Read a "how to talk so your kid can listen book" (s), and just try to shower him with love and understanding. He is 2.5. Being 2.5 is hard. You want to be able to take off your own shirt, but sometimes it's just too hard. You don't really need an afternoon nap, but you do. Adults don't listen, or try to listen, and then, when you are upset about X, they yell at you.

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The "terrible twos" are called the terrible twos for a reason. I completely understand what you are talking about. Here are some suggestions that may or may not work for you and your son:

* Teach your son some techniques that he can use to calm himself down when he gets upset (you can do them as well). Taking deep balloon breaths (breathing for the count of 5, breath out for the count of 5) work. So does instructing him to squeeze one of his stuffed animals until he is no longer angry.

* Having him go to his room until he is ready to talk calmly can really help. Some kids give up on having the fit once their audience (you) is now longer there to watch it.

* Try to take a really objective look on why he is crying and having his temper tantrums. Is it because he can't communicate that well and get his needs met? Is it because he's had a long day at daycare and he's tired and cranky? Is it because his crying and yelling gets your attention better than any other behavior he knows? Once you pinpoint the reasons for his behavior, you'll be better able to figure out a solution.

* Creating a positive reward system can do wonders for changing a toddler's behavior. Make it into a game and really hype it up. Make a reward chart and explain to him that he receives a star for each time he is caught using his good indoor voice and using his manners (in this case, no yelling). At first reward him with a star every 15 minutes to really get him excited about this new "calm and happy game". If he earns all of his stars by the end of the night, then he gets a special reward such as 4 stories at bedtime instead of 3, bubble bath with mommy, playing puzzles with dad, etc. You don't have to do it exactly like this but you get the concept. Make it fun, exciting and rewarding for him to be a calm, happy kid who uses his polite indoor voice.

* This probably isn't the problem but take a look at what he is eating just before he has his meltdowns. My son is very sensitve to sugar and I have learned the hard way that if we give him cookies for an after school snack, we will have a child prone to meltdowns later that evening. Also, artificial colors and preservatives can effect some children's behavior. Some kids are just a little bit more sensitive to what they are eating than others.

* As for your timeouts, how consist have you been with them? If you have been very consistent with them (timeouts given always for the same infraction, alway the same length of time, always put back in the naughty corner if he dares to get out of it before the timer goes off -- in which case, the timer gets reset) then you are right to seek out other disciplining options. If you feel that maybe you haven't been as consistent with the time outs, then maybe you'll want to tighten it up a little more and see how that works for you.

I do completely understand how frustrating this stage in your son's life can be for you right now. It takes a lot of work to civilize children. I'm glad that you are able to be honest with yourself and are looking to alternative solutions. I'm sure that with some trial and error, you will find the one that works best for you and your son.

Wishing you all the best.

1 mom found this helpful

No one really tells us what being a mom day after day is like, do they? It has the greatest joys in between a lot of frustration, anger, sadness, disappointment, fear, and most of all work! My first child was a breeze, so to speak, but my second has been a completely different story. He is stubborn, loud, determined, and sensitive all in one and I love him more than the whole world, as you do your son, but that doesn't make it any easier.
Do you have someone you can sit and talk to, maybe your mom, older sister, someone who's been there and knows what you are going through? It is ok to open up to someone you trust and tell them how you feel. You'll be surprised at how much they completely understand. If you don't have someone close, what about a counselor. Also, there are some wonderful books out there that can help you with a 2 year olds behavior without screaming and threatening. They give advice on how to be consistent and authoitative, yet loving without having to yell or threaten.
Everything will get better. We all have hard days and weeks, but then your child does something that makes you realize how blessed you are to have them in your life. Take a deep breath, go have some fun with your son this weekend and find someone you trust to share all this with. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My suggestion is that you speak with a therapist or mother's group. Being a mom is a full time job...whether you have a father in the picture or not. There are good times and bad but you need to get your head into it as...your life is not yours anymore ...it belongs to the child and raising him and getting the support you need from friends etc...to make it enjoyable for you. I sense some depression issues here and think you need to address that so you can be happy and be a happier mom without yelling and screaming....from both you and the child. Good luck and go talk to someone......soon!!

I have felt exactly how you do the first 2 yrs of my 1st daughters life. I was 22 when I had her, single and worked full time. I paid my sister her to watch her the 1st year and daycare until I stopped working when she was 2 1/2. She didn't even like me that much! So on the weekends if my Mom wanted her I had no problem with it! I felt like I almost didn't know what to do when I had her because I always worked. I couldn't take her anywhere, restaurants, stores, because she caused such a commotion! I was shocked my now husband even stuck around through this phase, I thought for sure he'd be out of there! But I remarried when she was 2 and started staying home with her when she was 2 1/2 and was pregnant again. I finally started enjoying being a Mom but 2 was definitely the worst age for her. 3 was sooooo much easier and now she is seriously the best little girl I have ever seen. I still feel a little guilty sometimes about the first couple years of my motherhood but better a little late than never..... it gets MUCH easier!

I make no judgement. Everyone has thier own road to travel. What I wish for you is that you could find a way to enjoy this, and enjoy him. There doesn't sound like there is much joy for you or for him. My kids drive me batty and sometimes I get really frustrated. Not everyday is great. But, what works for me is to keep them moving. I find that when they are strapped in thier carseat on the way to and from something and the music is on in the car, it's much less frustrating than being at home with them making messes and making noise. We get up and out of the house as much as possible. I take them to run around the park or to McDonalds Play Place, to anything free I can find in my city. We go visit family if nothing else is going on. I have them playing soccer saturday mornings, so that gives me leverage ... "if you dont stop that you wont get to go play soccer." I keep them tired and that seems to help alot. It''s when we stay home that things get frustrating. Right now you are enduring motherhood and managing the stress,. Look for a way to REDUCE the stress and frustration and maybe even find a little fun for you both

Well first it is hard being a mother. Second try to focus on the positive..and every situation has a positve. Even the most dire has a positive.

Be consistent with discipline but also with praise. Are you tired from working all day..completely drained. Well your child might also feel the same way.
I am sending you a hug. Look I love being a mother and I get frustrated with my children...its normal. However since we are the adults we want to teach our kids tools in how to handle themselves with disapointments throughout life and hearing the word NO is nesscary (sp wr) its tough if he doesn't want to hear that word you are in charge.
Time only works if your consistent with all the discipline and he knows you are in charge. It sounds to me like he thinks he might be in charge.
Some times when my kids are not being well mannered I get down to their level and tell them this is unacceptable and I am in charge not you.
Hang in there. Remember before you became pregnant how much you wanted you child? I will say a pray for you.

I would wager a guess that a big part of the reason be is yelling and screaming is because that is what he has learned from you. Children mirror us, that is how they learn, and if we approach them with love, calmness, and firmness, they will mirror that type of behavior. Chances are he can tell you do not want to be around him, he can seance your happiness to be away from him, and he is reacting to that, and I can not blame him one bit! I think you need to go see a therapist to work on your own issues, and attend some parenting classes to learn how to undo some of what has been done to your child.

It gets better but u have to put the time in the less time you spend with him the more your going to feel this resentment that's why newborns need such constant attention to teach us mothers how to be there all the time. Do something fun with your child every week so it's not such a chore and he will behave better too! Good luck.

If you are the type that don't mind kids but didn't know they would be work, you're not alone. Or if you have a high needs child that tests your patience after 8hrs of more of work, you will lose it. You work full time and that can be stressful when you are coming home to a child you don't think you "know". After all the daycare seem to know his moods and stuff more than you, and then you are tired and have to deal with the after effect meltdowns. It's tough, but don't let it get you discouraged. Try to focus on making it fun for you and your child so that taking care of him doesn' t become a chore. Maybe after not seeing you all day he just wants your attention to play and hug, love, etc. Make sure you eat first to have the energy, take a bath if you must to refresh and then you may be better able to handle it. Hang in there, you're doing a great job already - you took care of him for 2.5yrs, you can do it for 25 :-))

I had so many issues with my first. I was frustrated to say the least. I could totally identify with what you're going through. I just recently had my fifth.... and my first just turned 17. I have to say that it got better... much better. The problems I had didn't subside until he was 7. My other children were much more pleasant. It turned out that he had an allergy to gluten. Actually, he had 21 food allergies but the gluten one was the last one to figure out and it made the biggest difference in his behavior. With my other children, I discovered they had food allergies too so I didn't have to deal with the problems like my first. All five of my children are a treasured blessing to me! That age is difficult anyway, but truly frustrating if you're having issues like this. Hang in there! Good luck to you, I wish you the best!!

Wow I see that you have gotten so much advice, hot topic!! So what came to my mind was actually a really great friend of mine. She is older than me and actually has a son my age. Anyway, she said when she had him she had an awful time. It also made her conclude that she would not have more children, and in her case, she didn't. She also was going through a lot personally and always worked while raising him. I don't really know what transpired between then and now but today she is a new grandma and her face lights up when she even mentions her son. They are very close. So I would say it is a season, a hard one. I heard you say that you think motherhood is crappy but never heard you say that you didn't adore your son. So that is what I would focus on and let the rest take care of itself. You have a lot on your plate and a high strung/needy child. I have a high demand child as well but I am with him all day and my mom is retired and helps me with him alot. And as many moms say, 2.5 was the worst for me too plus I had a new baby, yikes!!! But now at just over three I am amazed everyday at the stuff that kid comes up with, it is fun to watch him grow. You know we are all wired differently and you are the right mom for the job for sure, but your personal temperament may take time to adjust to all his childish antics, and there are so many!! As some other moms suggested, how about doing one thing weekly to enter into his world. What does he like, to paint? to wrestle around? to sing? Is he into any superheros or tv shows. How about picking him up one day and surprising him with an action figure or car to play with on the trip home. You can get a lot of cheap toy junk at Wal-mart for like $1. I bet if you put him in the car seat and excitedly tell him that your friend Mr. Snake wants to know if they can be friends and ride home together(and then pop out a rubber snake or whatever thing you find), he will think that is the greatest thing ever:) Just little stuff like that, it doesn't take much to make them happy at that age. Hang in there and just know that yeah it gets better and whether or not you like being a mom all the time, you love your son and in the end that is all that really counts!!

He feels what you feel, the crying and all is age appropriate, terrible 2's is what most call his behavior, put him on the floor with his favorite toys,, play on the floor with him, I mean get down to his level,,,hands and knees, lay down and let him play,, roll and roll and say rolly polly, they love that one...let him watch a bit of cartoons,,,,,age appropriate, he sounds bored to me.....mommy has to play to make him happy.......

Call your local HRDC(Family Resource Center). My local one has a Parent Support Group called "asking for help is a sign of strength." They meet once a week and provide childcare. Wish I could give you more advice.....

I think most moms have days when they ask themselves what they were thinking by having kids! I have a 4 year old boy and a 2 month old girl. My 4 year old is very spirited, and it's been a challenge. Time out does work for me- 1 minute per year of age. If he gets up, I keep putting him back over and over until he stays which has taken some time in the past. He screams his head off and hates time outs (therefore I consider it a success!). It takes some effort, but don't give up. He will learn that you are not messing around.

I don't think there's anything wrong with your child, it's normal behavior for 2.5 y.o boy, let's stop thinking that they are all ADHD or such: children are difficult. It's hard, I know, it's trying physically and psychologically, it will last for some more time but it will stop, realistically, when your boy will turn 4. If mothers would go into motherhood with a more realistic view, we'd have less disillusioned new mothers and less guilt. Also, try to worl with yourself to be more positive so the boy doesn't "sense" your hardship. That should help. Good luck and keep up the faith.

ummm, have you looked at his diet? sometimes when kids that young (or older) act out, in part, could be they are actually allergic to something OR certain foods just accelerate certain behaviors.. that said, I would consider the amount of sugar in his diet . not only from processed items such as sodas and candy, but other items such as too much processed juice , things like jam/jelly.. all these things can lead to too much sugar in one's diet..
Another thing, kids do play off our vibe.. so IF you are seeming stressed, unfortunately, kids do follow our lead.. Lastly, realizing that kids this young can't overly verbalize what they are feeling (this includes anxiety they may have) I think it's important that when you have a child who is on the more aggressive side at times to make sure he/she comes home to a calmer environment, such as turning down the t.v., perhaps playing some nice music.. having dinner together where he is allowed to talk about his day and then maybe later on, a nice bath and bedtime story. this while the house is nice and calm.. again, kids do pick up on their surroundings..
you can't control the outside of the house, but you can the inside..
see if this approach helps at all.. best of luck to you

I haven't read all the other answers, so I'm not sure if someone else suggested this, but you may want to have him evaluated. He may have some developmental issues that contribute to the screaming and not listening, which of course creates frustration for you. If you find there are issues, you will be able to get therapy that will help both of you cope.

There may be some other issues that can be helped once you know what they are. Don't give up on him (or yourself) just yet.

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