Pregnant and losing patience with my toddler.

Julia - posted on 03/06/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )

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I am a stay at home mom with a 22.5 month old toddler girl. I am currently 23 weeks pregnant with a boy and feel that my patience level is getting smaller every day for my toddler. My husband is busy traveling with work a lot right now and that doesn't help. I know getting out for a while everyday helps, but its cold and snowy here so its not always feasible. I try getting her to help with laundry folding but even that aggravates me these days. She is constantly on top of me the second I do anything for myself (like pick up the laptop or a book). She was perfectly content playing until she sees me do something that I want to do.



Even watching something on television for a second or two makes her do something to get my attention. I used to have more patience with her but lately the second she whines it bothers me and I don't know what to do. I know its pregnancy hormones at work and the OB told me that she would test me like crazy during the pregnancy but this is getting hard. I know she misses her daddy when he is away and that's part of it for both of us, but there has got to be something I can do to help her become ok with me doing a few minutes of other things or when the baby is born there will be bigger issues. Any suggestions or anyone else feel the same way...Please give advice. Thanks.

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Miranda - posted on 03/19/2011

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I know exactly what you are going through. I am 16 weeks pregnant, My husband is deployed for another 8 months and my son is 22 months old. Because I am a military wife, I don't have family around the area, but I am very involved in church, and have lots of church family that are always willing to help out. Something that I will do when I am in real need of some "me" time is, I will pop one of his favorite movies in like Veggie Tales, and go upstairs to my room, close the door and read, watch tv, or just take a nap. I have the whole house pretty much baby proof and the rest is blocked off. If he really needs me, he is very quick to call me or find his way upstairs and knock on my door. I like this because I can't hear some of his annoying toys, banging, or the tv as well, but I can hear him if he calls. I always try to take him outside to play if I can, because this always tires him out enough that I can let him take a nap during the day and have some piece and quiet that way.

Also, not trying to preach to you, but having a relationship with God can help a lot. Just reading the bible and praying for patience has helped me a lot. Just remember, "When in doubt, look up". Good luck!

Katie - posted on 03/08/2011

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I'm sorry that it's been difficult for you. I actually am feeling the complete opposite. Pregnancy is so amazing and so dang strange, lol. Hormones are delightful.
I have an almost 22 month old and am 18 weeks pregnant and I have found that I am becoming MORE patient with my son...I am surprised at how well I've "kept my cool" during certain situations- (him hanging on me when I'm trying to cook and refusing daddy who tries to distract him while I do so, etc.)...I guess I just keep thinking that after this baby is here, it won't be just him and I want to cherish these days that I have with him, ya know? (Not that you don't, just saying that that's my way of thinking! :) Also, a song that ALWAYS brings tears to my eyes and is so true called, "You're Going To Miss This" is one that is a bit of an eye-opener for me. I always tell my husband that we're truly going to miss these days someday, believe it or not!

**Cause you're gonna miss this,
You're gonna want this back,
You're gonna wish these days, hadn't gone by so fast,
These are some good times,
So take a good look around,
You may not know it now...
But you're gonna miss this.***

Monica - posted on 11/12/2012

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Thank you so much for sharing. I'm going through the same thing. I'm 7 weeks and have a 12 month toddler. And sometimes I feel like a bad mom and just want to sit and cry sometimes. But reading what you posted makes me feel so much better, knowing that I'm not the only one makes it all better. We just have to hang in there. We will get through this!!!

Jen - posted on 03/14/2011

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like a few other moms here, I am not pregnant, but plan on having another soon, so this is helpful to me, and hopefully helpful to you. Although I can tell you I have a VERY ACTIVE 22 month old girl and she is VERY HIGH MAINTENANCE. Your right, when its cold, its hard to go outside and have them burn off energy, but someone told me once, get outside, even if its for just 10 minutes everyday. So we may walk down the sidewalk, or now thats its getting a little warmer, take a longer walk, or take a short trip to a playground...i'm sure your getting cabin fever just as she is! I still have my daughter in a crib. so if i get really frustrated with her (which happens often--she's at that age lol) I put MYSELF in a timeout...I'll put her in her crib and give her a few toys to play with, turn on music or tv if necessary, and I give myself a break, whether its just a few min or 15-20...sometimes she cries because she doesn't want to be in there, but I realize its better for her than to have me yelling and taking my frustrations out on her. I also have a spare car seat, so when i put her in time out, i can strap her in her car seat, and again, i can give myself a min or 2 to just walk away and calm down... I have also learned that my daughter is at that age to where she wants to help, and she may not necessarily be 'getting into things'..she wants to help...so i let her help more with things that are safe to help with... my best advice is timeout is important not just for your child, but for YOU! If you get frustrated, don't hesitate to put your child in a safe area (for me its a crib) and just go somewhere and calm yourself down, whether its counting, laying/sitting down, drinking some tea, etc...find your calming method and use it! It works for me and it works out best with my relationship with my little girl! Just remember you love her and she loves you!!

Dani - posted on 03/06/2011

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Hiya dont worry your not alone, i have a 22 month old son and im currently 18 weeks pregnant with number 2 and right now i feel exactly the same way, im finding it so hard to not tell him off everytime he moans or does something that would normally not bother me. Im lucky at the moment his daddy is round to help as he is currently out of work but my partner isnt the easiest person to live with, some days i find he makes more mess than my son and moans more than him too lol.
Im trying to just count to 10 everytime i feel myself getting worked up at the moment and that seems to be keeping me from flipping out so far. As for trying to get her to give you more time to yourself it sounds cruel but i have started ignoring my sons wingeing, if i know there is nothing wrong with him it wont kill him to allow me half hour to watch a tele programme while he plays with his toys and if he does something naughty i put him on the naughty step for a minute go back give him a kiss and cuddle then put him right back to his toys. Sure it takes a while for them to grasp but there is no chance im giving in otherwise by the time this second bubba gets here im going to be a walking zombie lol.
Hope this helped :)

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Christina - posted on 10/12/2012

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This is identical to what I'm going through right now... Help. Please!

Erin - posted on 03/20/2011

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I worked at a daycare when I was pregnant with my first (and only, so far :() and I remember thinking about how hard it must be to be pregnant when you have a toddler. I'm sorry that you're having a hard time, and if I knew you in real life I would offer you a break!
I didn't read the other replies, so sorry if this is a repeat.

You know, even if you're not working doesn't mean you can't hire a babysitter if you have a little extra money once in a while. I've been seeing a rise in drop in day care programs lately. Some of the ones I've seen our 2 or 3 and up, though. Or if you looked around (maybe even at a church or some sort of community center) you could find a reasonably rated babysitter, even if it's just for an hour or two. You could go out or just go to your room for and watch a movie or something.
I sometimes even put my daughter in her crib for a half an hour so I can take a breather. I know she's safe and she also benefits from the break.

Kellyann - posted on 03/19/2011

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Hi I have Layla aged 21 months and I am due my son next week, it's normal for them to test their boundaries at this age! Try to stay calm and reward her with plenty of praise and get her to sing to your belly, my daughter is hard work and I'm a stay at home mum to 5 already this being my 6th...good luck :-)

Becca - posted on 03/18/2011

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Find someone to watch the toddler for a couple hours... Even if its a friend who comes over and watches the kid while you soak in a hot tub and relax. It is harder when the hubby is gone. But if you can get a friend or someone to help even just once will probably make you feel alot better! Im so glad my husband is going to be here through this whole pregnancy :D He was in and out (submariner) for my first pregnancy. Now hes on shoreduty so this will be much better. Im only 7 wks but sometimes by the end of the day I just want to flip out on someone! My hubby comes home and watches my son (who doesnt do naps anymore... thats most of the issue) while I relax in a hot tub and watch a show or 2 on tv...

Ingrid - posted on 03/17/2011

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YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! I feel the same way and I'm not even pregnant..LOL!!! hang in there, this too shall pass.

Shelley - posted on 03/17/2011

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Omg this has been so great to read! I am almost 25 weeks pregnant with my third and love being pregnant! However, my 21 month old is driving me crazy some days! I am normally a very patient parent, but I have found myself to have a bit of a short fuse lately. I actually didn't attribute it to pregnancy at all, but it's nice to hear that that may be the cause. My daughter is almost 3 and a half and such a wonderful kid, but I even find myself annoyed with things she is doing lately.
Hmmm.. glad to hear this should pass and I can return to my regular, patient mommy because I enjoy that me much more and it is much more effective. :) Thanks ladies!

Dana - posted on 03/16/2011

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I am in the same situation. My daughter is 22 months & her brother is due in 2 1/2 wks. The larger my belly gets the harder it is to keep her entertained & out of trouble. We have been visiting family a few times a week that has helped give me a little break and the family loves spending time with her. Each day she is becoming more independent which causes us to but heads but I've just been trying to come up with a new activity daily to keep her interested but I can't wait for naptime to come :) Hang in there, this time only happens once so try to make the most of it. I will write down my pros & cons to share with her when she is older :)

Ekkyfriend - posted on 03/15/2011

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that's beautiful advice Katie! Even made me feel better at handling my toddler! Thankyou! Good luck Julia!

Katherine - posted on 03/15/2011

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i feel you i have a just 3yo 21 month old and 10 month old and my suggestion would be a 5 min time out for you as jen suggested it was my saving grace as long as they are somewhere they cant hurt themselves a little crying never hurt anyone. another thing that worked was taking the kids for a walk to wear them out a bit so they werent "into " everything. good luck

Kari - posted on 03/15/2011

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Oh boy, have I been there! My daughter is 4 and my son is almost 2, and like you, my husband travels a lot for work. During that time when I was pregnant with my son I remember starting to do more playdates. I also started "swapping kids" with a friend so I could have some mommy time and that was a life saver! It really helped to give her something else to focus on.

Marisa - posted on 03/15/2011

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If your husband is away a lot, you need to find some sort of arrangement where you have time to yourself. Relatives, a babysitter, part-time daycare--whatever you can find that is affordable and you feel comfortable about, for everyone's sake, you need time to yourself. Kids this age love being with other children--look into a part-time daycare/pre-school situation. It will give you some relief when the new baby comes and you are even more exhausted and overwhelmed, and the transition will be easier now.

Tracy - posted on 03/14/2011

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Do you have family nearby that she could take the day and go visit or spend the night with? Such as Grandparents,Aunts? Make a play date with a nother mom. Is there a MOPS group nearby? I know of another mom who has a clingy toddler who finally let go of being clingy until they came to visit me. I know mine get clingy as well when their big sisters are not around. Once you have this baby, she may eventually start to have more independence. It's hard to be the only parents at home with the husband gone off to work. Does she take naps? Some toddlers are very stubborn when it comes to taking naps. I have days where mine will not go to sleep. But it's the only time I gain my sanity back. I have eight children.Five are in school.When I was pregnant with my twins I had very little patience. So you are not by yourself. Children always do things when the parent is distracted. Mine do it. If your home is safe where she can't hurt herself,let her go do other things as long it will not harm her. When she does something wrong,let her know but don't stress about it. Every mom goes through this. Even when they aren't expecting. It's a part of guiding them and teaching our children. We can even learn from our children as well. Wishing you the best.

Bridget - posted on 03/14/2011

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omg, am so glad its not just me thought I was going mad, my patience are so low my sons is 22 months and I am 34 weeks prego, and he has 4 teeth coming througham so so shattered, with no sleep due to pregnancy and my son being up with his teeth advice to anyone dont be pregnant at 38 with a 22 month old unless u have lots off help and husband does not work away

Kristi - posted on 03/13/2011

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Wow im glad I read this post. I am 13 weeks pregnant and lately my 22 month old and my husband are wearing on my nerves. Glad its not just me :). And those that gave advice...thank you. I know someday I will miss this age.

Lizeth - posted on 03/12/2011

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i felt the same way when i was pregnant too and thats how they are just try to ignore her and just do your thins even though she is crying or bothers u give her a time out send her to her room and just do your time b/c i know trust me i felt the same way and yes sometimes when the babys born it does gets hard especially the first 5 months to be exact but then after that it gets better hopefully ur problem resolves and they it is all bout pregnancey

Stephanie - posted on 03/11/2011

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i'm not pregnant, but it takes ALL my nerves sometimes to deal with my almost 2 year old. She is a great kid. But it seems she is needing a lot more attention these days, she's constantly looking for things and wanting to do stuff.
I'm thinking to put together a well structured schedule, with i.e. drawing, building, play time, walking (we have 2 dogs - we are always out) going to the playground.
Stuff like that. And I'm beginning to see that she needs a part time day care just to interact and socialize with other kids.
You might want to look for one.
Twice a week is good for a couple of hours.
Try looking for playgroups, indoor playgrounds (on rainy or nasty weather) outdoor playgrounds....
look for a mommy-daughter swim class (that's especially nice for you)
if your friends have kids the same age, invite one over where you know the kids get along... your daughter will be more interested in her little friend than you... so enjoy that.

We spend most of our time downstairs, so all of her toys are in boxes upstairs. Everyday she get a "new" box. It keeps her busy playing. She does not constantly see her toys, but gets "new" once every day. That has worked out great.
I come in with a new box, sit down with her and open it... usually i don't have to get her excited, she does her own thing. but if not I'll start playing with her.

In the kitchen she has a cupboard full of tupperware, while I do things, she can "help" mommy. Afterwards she helps putting it away and we go on.

Snack time is a good time for you to get stuff done, while she eats you can do your things.
Meals I eat with her.
She has a babydoll and a stroller (I didn't wnat to get it, but she had the doll) getting the stroller was a blessing... she takes that thing EVERYWHERE... and it keeps her busy walking and when she looses interest it's small enough to get tucked underneath her stroller...

if you establish a good routine, it will be easy for your daughter to go through the day, and your son will go right into that same routine.

They do not grasp the concept of time very well yet.. so for her 5 min or even a 30 min "break" from you is too long.
I can't just watch TV. It might run in the background. unless she is REALLY busy, I don't even pay attention.
Her whining and wanting me to close the laptop, is a sign of "i'm bored - help me find something to do" I usually tell her to wait (1min) and then she can close the laptop and we find something to do.
There is no sense in screaming or fighting.

If you want mommy time... Get up before she does, use nap time and the time after she goes to bed at night.
I get up 2 hours before she does... it keeps me sane.

I hope you can find something that works for you and her.

Lauren - posted on 03/11/2011

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I felt the same way. I dealt with it by playing with my oldest for about an hour and then I gave him a coloring book and crayons so that I could go do housework or just have a little me time. It worked for a while, but then he caught on. Then I had to find something he could do that kept his interest longer. I know this is going to sound crazy, but giving them a bowl and a spoon will keep them interested for a while. That is if you can handle it. It took me a little while, but him playing drums loudly was actually making it easier to have my free time.

Melissa - posted on 03/11/2011

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Being a mom can be pretty isolating. I remember being at home with my first child and all my friends were at work. Where I lived there weren't many support groups or moms groups.

The best thing I did was give time for myself. The local Y offered babysitting for babies as young as 3 months and it gave my time to work out and have a little break. Another thing I did was try to get out at least once a day even if it was just to the drug store for diapers. Being out tired my baby out.

Another thing I did as join a couple of moms groups when I moved out of state. It was great to ind the support and friendship of women how had children the same age. We had play dates, coffee outings, moms night, etc. It was just great to know I was not the only one struggling. Every first time mom experiences this.

The third thing I did was join a nonprofit parenting support group. They had a licensed counselor hold meetings. It was a great place to spend our time with our kids.

And lastly, I enrolled my child in Rec and Gymboree classes. It was just great to get out and do stuff together. It gets easier. I have two toddlers one almost 4 and the other that same age as you child. They learn independence but it takes awhile for each child. Just being around other children will help teach your child that she doesn't need mommy every minute. If anything it'll be a distraction from you. And ignore the whining and tantrums. I tell my kids that they do not get what they want by crying. They must as politely in a normal voice. Responding to whining only reinforces it.

I was lucky because when I was pregnant my son was already through that phase and such an easy child. My second was needier and had colic with reflux for 6 months. I only hope your second child will be easier. In most cases the children's personalities balance each other out. Good luck!

Leanne - posted on 03/11/2011

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I'm so glad I saw this post. I'm not pregnant (TTC though!) and I already feel like I lose patience with my son too often. I will have to keep this in mind when I finally am pregnant. I definitely understand how you can find those things annoying, and I don't think it's just because you're pregnant (although I'm sure that doesn't help!). I agree with what the others are saying, to try and get your daughter into some kind of program, or even just out with a friend or relative that can take her and give you some 'me time'. I definitely notice that the more frustrated I get with my son, the longer it's been since I've had any kind of down time. I don't know if you have family/friends nearby, but I would definitely lean on them as much as you can.

Another thing I found helpful for a while when my son was going through a difficult phase was keeping track on the calendar. If a day was particularly good for us I'd put a star beside it and if it was awful an x and try to see if there's a pattern. Whenever a day (or morning or minute!) went particularly well I'd try to remember to thank my son and emphasize what he did well, to try and reinforce that.

Good luck! Hang in there, you're already past the half-way mark :D

Chanell - posted on 03/10/2011

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Im not preg right now. I have a now 22 month old and a 13 week old baby. But I was in your shoes.. and I also babysat a baby 2 months older than my oldest. I found that when I was 16-30 weeks along I had no patience. I would get mad over any little thing. I believe it was partly because of winter, durring the summer we would be outside all day long.. and then being winter we had to stay inside.. But when I got upset I would walk away.. and ask myself.. is this really hurting anything..then come back and sit down with her and ask why she was being bad, or what did she want. I also read her TONS of books. Keep things calm, that way she would stay calm and our evening would go smoother.

Just dont loose hope.. things will get better. I can say that shortly after having my baby our house was back to normal..

Ashley - posted on 03/09/2011

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I'm 35 weeks preggo with my fourth child - my other kids are ages 6, 4, and 22 months. My suggestion is to see if you can do a babysitting swap with any of your friends with kids of a similar age, or look into programs (like through the community Parks and Recs) for kids her age to give you some down time.

Allison - posted on 03/09/2011

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Yes! I know how u feel. It seems that when I spend a nice chunk of time with my toddler she is more content to play by herself later. I now have my third, so it is harder to do this, but I hope to get back to it soon! Also inviting a friend over for her to play with helps too! Then, u can take turns with a friend! Above all, prayer is much needed to handle any emotions I have!!! Psalm 126:3

Julia - posted on 03/08/2011

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Thanks everyone. It makes me feel a little better knowing that it is in fact the pregnancy causing me to lose patience and that I am not alone. I was getting worried that it was me.

Cassandra - posted on 03/08/2011

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Wow! I am so glad to see I am not alone! I have a 22month old son and and 28weeks pregnant with a girl! Everyday I feel like I loose my patience with him. He is also going through cutting more teeth so he is more irritable and he wants to be Mr. Independent and if he doesn't get his way the tantrums start! Sometimes I have to just get up and walk away from him. I do cherish everything about him and these things didn't get to me as much before the pregnancy as they are now. I defiantly and going to miss him being my baby and turning into a big boy but I am right there with you as far as the level that can be handled as well! I hope everything works out for you!

Rebekah - posted on 03/06/2011

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No advice, but I'm right there with you. I'm a SAHM with a 4 year old, 21 month old, and I'm 10 weeks pregnant.

The one thing that's helped me (this pregnancy) is my Y membership. We go every morning, and even if I don't workout, I can leave them in the childcare for up to 2 hours and get some "me time."

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