i need a break! any suggestions please!

Tiana - posted on 05/23/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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im with my son every second of every day as of late. there is no babysitters so hes with me ALL THE TIME. his father is away for business months at a time and we cant afford for him not to be. im not complaining i love my son but he makes me pull my hair out and when im frustrated i take it out on everything him included and i dont want to be that way! my question is have any other mothers had to deal with this? how did you stop yourself from going insane? i mean im so frazzled lately i cant even be fun and creative with him anymore! there are days where it will start out ok but then he does something that drives me over the edge! my son is very hyperactive. i need release!

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Christine - posted on 05/23/2010

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Hi Tiana,

My daughter right now is 3 1/2. But here's what happened with us..

When she was about 18 months old.. she was still napping a few times a day.. and officially down for the night at like 11. I was dead.. I mean from 6 am to 11 I was going.. and it was really burning me out..

So I looked on line.. I did a search for Toddler Sleep Times.. or something like that.. but I found a website that said how many hours a day a child at 18 months should be sleeping, as well as what time they should be going down at night.. (it said 8 pm) At that time.. based on that information I knew Zoe was getting up at 8 am.. and to get her down at 8 pm.. well with her personally.. she liked to nap after lunch.. so that was the nap time I went with. I set it for 1.. and let her sleep as long as she needed. but as much as I tried to get her to stay up until 8.. she couldn't last past 7.. so that became her bed time.

From that time.. until just a couple months ago, her schedule has remained the same.. she got up at 8 or 8:30.. would nap at 1 until about 3.. get up and then go to bed at 7.

As of recently.. a little after her 3rd birthday.. she started getting up earlier.. now she gets up at 7 am everyday.. and now she can stay up until 8 am. So now she gets up at 7.. naps at 1 until 2 or 3.. and then goes down for the night at 8.

I taught preschool for a number of years.. and let me tell you.. kids need naps.. up until about age 5 or 6.. even if they just lay down for an hour of quiet time.. it needs to happen..

and here's the thing.. a small child that doesn't nap.. well .. depending on the child can have various reactions.. my friends' daughter for instance.. she doesn't nap.. and has temper tantrums, whiney and cries constantly.. anything sets her off..

My daughter doesn't have that reaction.. when my daughter is tired.. she does one of three things.. she zones out and just stares into space.. or she gets hyper tired.. which I think is her battle to try to stay awake when truly exhausted.. or she's what we call drunk tired.. where she trips a lot, walks into things.. etc.. once she naps.. she's fine.. but otherwise.. watch out ! *lol*

Now that she's 3 1/2,., there are some days where she doesn't nap.. she'll lay down for an hour of quiet time.. but that happens maybe twice a month.. for the most part she still naps.

But the thing is.. a toddler who isn't getting the sleep they need.. can have the reactions that you described.

With that said.. when he's awake.. having things to do with him.. planned out is a good thing.. a planned outside time.. or planned time at the park.. even going to the library.. my daughter has been painting since she's one.. so that's another fun thing..

but the thing is.. anything your child does.. painting, coloring, kick ball, games, stuff like that.. just plan.. that it'll last maybe 5-7 minutes at best, and then they're done.. toddlers aren't like us.. where we can do something for an hour.. they have a very short time span on activities.. with the exception of ..

outside play, water play.. that sort of stuff..

We set sprinklers outside and let our daughter run through the sprinklers and play.. we have a water table and she loves to play with that.. if you don't have a water table you can just get a little tub and fill it with water for him to splash and play in... guided nature observations.. that's one of the big things I did with my daughter.. we were outside nearly every afternoon.. picking flowers, looking for bugs, collecting leaves, looking at rocks.. just lots of stuff.. we'd look in our yard, we'd go for a walk.. and when we weren't doing that we were at the park..

But it's really good to have a plan.. at 2.. your sons world is so opening up.. he's walking, talking possibly or about too.. and he's curious, and wants to know what's going on..

main thing is involve him in what you do and play with him.. folding laundry .. I'd let me daughter play in the clean laundry as I folded.. if I was washing dishes.. I let her splash in the bubbles.. it sounds maybe lame.. but honestly.. little things mean a lot in the mind of a toddler.

As for patience.. if you can get him on a nap.. then that may give you the break you need... but if you're still feeling frustrated or angry.. then I'd suggest checking with your own doctor.

Sometimes for us women we have those hormone flux that just effect our personalities.. for instance.. I have hypothyrodism.. but I know that when I start getting more frustrated or angry over minor things.. well 9 times out of 10.. it's my thyroid meds are on the wrong dose.. too low.. and so I go to my doctor to get retested.. the 1 time out of 10. it's PMS..

but my point is.. sometimes the issue is with us as a mom not necessarily with our kids... most of the times... it's combination.. of the two..

I hope that helps.. happy an answer anything else.

Tiana - posted on 05/23/2010

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Christine, my son is 2, and he hasnt actually been diagnosed i meant it as my own personal description hes up up and go every minute of every day. we do have a schedule so far i dont have him taking naps in the day cause its always 10x harder to put him to sleep at night but i think i might try again right now our schedule is up at 8 sleep at 10 we do go to parks occasionally and i would have him in daycare ( i like the idea of daycare for his social skills) but hes shy one shot and our insurance doesnt cover any doctors visits out of state and were on vacation so he wont be able to get his shot till we get back early next month. plus with his father away hes always on edge anything i say to him can make him cry whether its give me a hug or get in your chair for dinner, further pushing my buttons. its a patience thing i know so maybe him napping would be beneficial. may i ask though what time do you put your daughter to nap that she sleeps at 7? what time does she wake in the morning? is it hard getting her to sleep? i like him not napping cause at night hes out like a light, but maybe if i woke him earlier in the day it would fit in enough hours for nap and early bedtime? thank you so much for replying :)

Christine - posted on 05/23/2010

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I'm not sure how old your son is.. but hyperactive can mean alot of different things.. if it's a medical diagnosis.. that's one thing.. but if it's just your perception.. then that's another thing.

I know my daughter.. she gets "hyper" if she's overtired..
or if she's bored..

So that's a whole other issue.. with your son..

For my daughter.. I am with her 24/7 like you with your son.. last year was the hardest,when my husband was away for 3 months.. and wow..

I cherished nap time... and bed time.. I think that's what kept me sane.. a schedule.

If you don't have your son on a schedule.. this is the time to do so. My daughter napped at 1 until 3... and then would go to bed at 7 at night.. every child is different.. but what I do know.. is it gave me a 2 hour window in the afternoon to regain my sanity.. so I was fresh and good for her when she got up.. and at night.. yeah.. after 7.. I was just relaxing. I'd do my nails.. or a facial, watch a fav. movie via DVD.. Redbox is great.. I'd call an old friend, or even have a friend come over.. I did what I wanted.. and it made a huge difference.

Also.. it doesn't hurt to get a babysitter if you really nead a breather... some family or friend.. but yeah.. that makes a huge difference too.. but if you don't have a babysitter, or can't afford one..

then I think your best answer is getting him on a schedule.

There are some websites where you can research how much sleep your son should be getting based on his age.. and then on that foundation think about what time he gets up in the morning .. and from that you can plan what time he goes to bed at night and his nap in the middle.

If he doesn't nap..during nap time.. that is a learned thing.. just lay him down.. and tell him it's nap time.. you may have to relay him down 20 X.. but he'll eventually learn it.

But use that time and make the most of it..

When he's up.. you can combat his hyperactivity with various activities.. again I don't know how old he is.. or what you have, or what you can afford.. but I will say.. a child's activity as at toddler is only a few minutes.. so having an idea of things he can do.. is a great idea.

I know when my daughter gets up from her nap. she has a snack and watched a DVD.. during that DVD.. after she eats... she may draw a picture.. or play with one of her toys.. and then after that she plays out side.. and I do that with her.. we'll do kick ball or tag or just run around.. remember.. it's what you make of it.. kick ball for us.. is literally .. us running around .. kicking a ball and laughing.

we do a garden.. and I let her help in the garden.. kids are curious about nature.. my daughter loves dirt, rocks, worms, bugs.. so sometimes just investigating things in the yard..

and if you live close enough to a park.. parks are great too.

But from what you described.. I think a schedule would make a tremendous difference for you.

Also.. if you go the park .. you may meet other mom's with kids your son's age.. with the same issue.. and maybe from that you can start a playgroup or something.. because that's another way to get a break.

so those are some ideas.

Main thing is .. if you feel like you're losing it.. then you probably are.. go into a room by yourself.. scream in a pillow, or cry or what not.. and count to 10.. breathe deep.. and go back out there.. but try not to take it out on your son. I know we all have bad days.. but just some ideas to try to help.

Good Luck. =)

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