Pregnant with number 2, finding myself short tempered with my toddler

Samantha - posted on 11/11/2015 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone. I'm new on here. I have an amazing 19 month old little girl who is seriously my world. I love her more than I ever thought I could love someone. I am currently 8 weeks pregnant with baby number two and I'm just finding my fuse is SO short lately. My daughter is very hands on (what toddler isn't?) and lately all she wants is mommy. Sometimes I love it, and other times I just want to curl up and scream/cry/have a meltdown. I'm usually such a calm, level headed person, and this feeling of having no control over my emotions and outbursts has me just feeling guilty and wretched all the time (which consequently only leads to a shorter fuse on my end). I don't mind when she watns to be with me. I'm home with her three days a week and work part time two days a week for about 4-5 hours each day while my mom watches her. The biggest problem I think is that she is right at the cusp of starting to really talk and express herself, however sometimes the communication breaks down which just involves a lot of her screaming NO at the top of her lungs. She has a very short attention span, and has trouble even sitting through a 5 min YouTube video without screaming NO repeatedly until I come to change it to another video (that she ultimately screams NO at 2-5 min later anyway). I'm not proud of plugging her into any type of video, however sometimes the dishes need to be done, or I have to prep dinner, or clean up after her. Basically, the whole point is that ever since becoming pregnant, I just feel like my patience and tolerance has taken a major backseat and I find myself constantly losing my cool. I shout. I cry. Then I feel even worse for not being adult enough to control my emotions, and thus feel even worse. Does anyone have any tips to just stay sane? I want it even more for my daughter than I do me, I just don't want to yell at her. She doesn't deserve it. She's a toddler who is just learning how things go. I feel like the worst mom when I get like that! Can anyone relate? Also, she does Gymboree once a week, and we are looking into part time daycare after she turns 2. But still, I'd love my time with her to be less stressful. I'd like to blame the pregnancy hormones and just chalk it up to it all going away once the baby is born, but it's not like things are going to get any easier after that. I love my kid(s) so much, I just want to do right by them and be a more patient mom when she is acting up. Any advice?

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Sarah - posted on 11/13/2015

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I am late to the conversation as usual. I have one idea, to help with the screaming, which can be fun and helpful. I used a few basic signs for my third (who had a speech delay) We would teach him the signs when he was fed and rested, so it was fun. We taught stop, more, all done, hungry, thirsty and share. He then taught them to his siblings (in your case she could teach dad) That helped tremendously with lessening the "NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!" and "MMMMMMIIIIINNNNNEEEEE!!!!" You will be able to use them with the next baby as well.
Also, we have all resorted to videos out of desperation (unless you don't own a TV or computer) Once and awhile, you do whatcha gotta do! Your a tired hormonal mess right now, and that is not a bad thing. Baby Mozart and I were on great terms!
I had this one weird task to keep my toddler busy; I had a jar with a a plastic screw on lid, a huge plastic jar. I also had about fifty colored ping pong balls. My hubby cut a hole in the lid of the jar and filed the edges smooth. I would ask my child to put all of the red balls into the jar, then the blue, then the yellow. I know it sounds like the strangest game but it really worked for all of my kids! I just handed it down to my niece who has a two year old and a new baby and it works for her. I am sure there are many variations of this game you could come up with (as long as there are no sharp edges and no choking parts) Once my kids were older, they had to bounce the ball once and then put it in the jar. Hang in there....

Raye - posted on 11/11/2015

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Samantha,
Take a breath before responding to your daughter. Start making her more independent of you by praising her when she's doing things on her own. It's ok to tell her "no". When she's screaming, tell her to stop, she's hurting mommy's ears, and put her in time out (1 minute per year of age). If she won't stay, pick her up, move her back in time out, and the clock starts over until she stays for the full time. A kitchen timer might help her see how much time that will be, as she can watch the dial move back to zero.

If you need time to do dishes, laundry, etc., she should be able to play by herself for a short time. Sitting her in front of a movie or something can be effective (we've all done it), but shouldn't be used every day or every time you can't get her to leave you alone otherwise. She needs to learn other coping skills. Try to give her little things she can do for you, like throw something away, move something to another place, take something to another room, and then praise her for doing it even if she didn't do it perfectly. It will probably take you 10 times longer to get anything done, but you'll be teaching her at the same time, so it's not time wasted.

Raye - posted on 11/11/2015

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Bella, please remove your e-mail address from your post. This is a public forum and anyone can get your information and start harassing you.

Bella - posted on 11/11/2015

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Hey there Samantha,
My name is Bella and I am the mother of 5 children, my fourth child passed while I was 6 months pregnant last year. My 5th child, a boy, was born in August of this year. I have a 16 year old, 14 year old, and 5 year old. I totally understand what you are experiencing. Such actions can occur at anytime with a mother. One reason is because our nurturing spirit tends to go into overprotective mode as we aim for perfection rather than aim for results. If I may suggest, I would consider first, prayer. Praying helps to bring you back to your center being...your core...who you are. Tare a deep breathe in and slowly breathe out. Ask yourself what is it that needs to be accomplished. Then solve it by doing it. I know that some things will make you feel as if you are dropping the ball or failing, but trust me you are not. Keep in mind that your job is not to please your daughter or child by giving them every thing they want or ask for. Your purpose is to train them up in the way they should go. You won't be their best friend all the time but you will serve as an active role model. Maybe in your down time you can create things you will like for her to do so when you need to wash the dishes you can. You might even invite her to help you while in the kitchen (even if she gathers her toys and plays or you can turn on music and sing and dance with her as you clean). I would love to chat more with you if you like. I hope this helps. Oh most importantly make time for you to be alone. I have much to share. Talk with you soon.

Ciao Bella!

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Samantha - posted on 11/13/2015

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Sarah e: thank you so much for your reply and words of encouragement. They mean the world to me. I love the ping pong ball idea and will have to definitely give that a try! Thank you very much for everything. You made me feel a lot better.

Bella - posted on 11/11/2015

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You are welcome. It's always a gold thing to know we are not alone especially in parenting.

Samantha - posted on 11/11/2015

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Thank you for your kind words, Bella. I am truly sorry for your loss of your child. I can not fathom that kind of pain. I appreciate your advice and take your words to heart. I personally am agnostic and therefore don't have prayer in my daily life, but I'm very happy it has served as a comfort and strength in your life. Thank you for reaching out, it is good to know that at least I'm not alone.

Samantha - posted on 11/11/2015

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Raye, thank you. I was worried someone would misread this and assume that videos are the only thing we use. Not the case, just an example. We have done all the things you suggested. I have her help me with laundry, we have a giant thing of corn that we use to work on motor skills (scooping from one thing to another), a ball pit, bouncy castle, I have her help by bringing me things, helping me put things away. Everything you suggested. We do not just use videos. That was just a prime example of when she yells, so I used it. Of course we have other outlets for her. I appreciate your feedback. Just please know that videos are not our be-all and end-all. We don't even have movies that we put on for her. Like I said, it's sometimes just a 5 min YouTube video if I'm rushed to get something done. Otherwise, she does always participate. It just doesn't help with the screaming and tantrums. I just wanted to hear from moms who could possibly relate, so I didn't feel so alone.

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