The Angry House

Breanna - posted on 05/13/2010 ( 85 moms have responded )

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I would love to say that everything is organic and we spend all day doing intellectually stimulating things but...Well, the reality is I spend ALOT of time YELLING! and then, in-between yelling, I might do some PUSHING. I push (cajole, entice, threaten, et al.) to get out the door, to get in the door, to get out the door again, to eat their dinner, to clean their teeth, to get dressed, to to to...

You get the idea?

How on God's green earth can I get away from all this pushing and yelling? I have three beautiful, well mannered children. I don't have the television on (just a personal thing, but it also stops me from using it as a tool when I really need it).

I try not to be a 'helicopter mum'* you know, when you 'hover' all the time. But something's got to change! They are 4, 3 and 9 months (that's right, I've been either pregnant or breastfeeding almost continually for six years). My oldest has started school this year which makes it ten times harder (yes, people it IS possible) by ensuring that everyone is out of the house at 8 am (that is, err, 8.10, 8.20, 8.40 on a really bad day).

I try to get out everyday bar the weekends for their stimulation and my sanity (the walls tend to bend here, does that sound familiar to anyone?). We go to age appropriate things that they enjoy. But still I have to YELL.

I've recently started to go to bed early to get up earlier. But resent it hugely as then I don't get any time with my husband or (gasp) to myself.

I remember when I was once a smart, well presented career woman. The world was my oyster (I don't really get that saying as I don't like oysters but it fits the purpose). I used to be able to stay 'on topic' too.

Help? I think I might explode!

*Forgive me 'Mom' isn't my bag as I'm Australian

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Dawn - posted on 05/14/2010

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We had the same problem with our boys, mainly our (at the time) 4 year old. He would wait until the last minute to get dressed and we really had to fight with him to even do that. Our other son was 1 at the time so it wasn't so much an issue with him.

Our church had a class on Love and Logic and we found it really helpful. Our older son, E, likes to watch TV in the morning, so we set a rule that he had to get dressed before we would turn it on. If he was disobedient, he went into time out. But Love and Logic's version is different than your average time out. He goes into his room and has to stay there until he is quiet and calm. Sometimes he is in there for 10 minutes screaming and yelling, but it gives him time to vent and then think about why he is there and you don't have to get mad and yell at him. Once he is calm, I go in there and sit with him in my lap and we calmly discuss why he is in time out and what he can do differently next time. (This is especially good for when he gets frustrated trying to convey something.) Then he has to say something along the lines of "I'm sorry for ______ (i.e. hitting his brother, throwing a fit, etc.). Will you forgive me?" Then I answer "Yes, I forgive you and I love you very much." I then give him a hug and kiss and all is well.

One idea Love and Logic has for getting dressed is that at the appropriate time for leaving, you tell them that it is time to go whether they are dressed or not. They can take their clothes in the car and get dressed their or they can go to school in their pj's. The hard part about this is to be firm on it and actually do what you say you will do. After a couple of time of me getting my other boy strapped in and climbing into the car, E decided that I wasn't joking as he franticly got dressed in the doorway begging me not to leave him. (He didn't get TV those days either, which is why he wasn't dressed.) You don't actually leave them alone. You have a friend that they don't really know keep an eye on things as you do this, so it appears to them that you are leaving them alone when you actually aren't.

Another thing to remember is that instead of nagging, say it once and then there are consequences if they don't respond the first time. (Love and Logic suggests a key word you only use when they are about to get into trouble so they can check themselves rather than get a time out. We use "Oh Dear". It usually works, in that he knows he is getting close to breaking a rule and stops, but not always.) When we aren't consistent with that, we pay for it with frustration and nagging. We give him about 4 secs to respond that way he has time to think about what we asked him to do.

Now that he is almost 5, we are struggling with a bit of "forgetfulness". We tell him to do something, like stop picking on your brother, or be gentle with the dog, and he will stop for a little while and then go right back to it. So my husband and I have to be a bit more consistent with the one time rule.

You live and learn. The main thing is to not let them get you into a power struggle, because if they get you to drop down to their level, they have already won. It is easy to say, but hard to do. But, if you do it pretty consistently, it makes things a lot easier. I hope this helps. Good luck.

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Hey fellow ozzie mum! Which state are you in?

Well done for trying to tackle this head on. Sounds like you need something for you as well.
Is there anyway you can get a massage once a fortnight/month (or get hubbie to give you good one!?!) Need to release the tension.

You have been given some good advice, and some good books.
Organisation is key - getting stuff ready the night before is helpful too. As your son is 4yrs old - don't do school everyday -it's just too stressful to get everyone out at that time everyday.
My kids are 8,6 & 14mths and we still only do school 3x a week!
Take a good look at what you are shouting about most? Are you realistic in your expectations?

What is the ONE thing you want to work on most? Try focusing on this (without shouting this week)
Why not try working out a routine - changing things every 1/2hr or so.......to keep their attention. This might be playing, but also might be tidying/cleaning with you.

When you get up - b4 you do anything - get dressed, hair & makeup, so whatever happens you are ready!! (I can do this in about 7mins!)

b'fast/lunch/dinner (give them time to eat, but 20-30mins should be enough time to eat - if they haven't finished- then tough! You don't need to yell - b'fast is just over...end of.....you might wanna use a timer to let them know how much time is left.
If you are using plastic bowls - encourage them to take them to the kitchen.
4yr & 3yr old can be encouraged to dress themselves, but again if you have their clothes in a pile, maybe in the same room as the 9mth old, you can supervise dressing whilst getting 9mth old dressed (tho bub can go to school in PJ's if necessary!)

work out different activities - bricks / playdough / story time / snack time / outside play / quiet room play.
maybe include one show that you are comfortable with such as playschool? Have a rough plan of the day, and move from one activity to another.
by the time you add in lunch, and clear up the day fills up more quickly. You will fill more in control when you know what is coming next.
After lunch always have 'room time' This can be where they have an actual rest/sleep or just play quietly in their room. If they aren't used to this, then start with 5-10mins and add up to 1hr.
This is FANTASTIC for your sanity! It also helps them to learn how to be content on their own.
My 14mth old has playpen time, so she is learning how to engage with toys and play, rather than being 'entertained' all the time.

Tis tough being 'mum' Yours are still very little and this is the hard part. Try not to give ultimatums - and if you do, just follow through.
I remember one illustration that helped me. It was of a police officer standing at a street corner shouting at speeding traffic. No-one took any notice.
Next day he stood there with a speed camera. No shouting. Instantly people obeyed the speed limit as they realised the consequences. You have the authority - you are mum, so don't need to shout! (make it the exception rather than the rule)
If you need them to finish their food in the next 5mins - set the timer - when it goes off, calmly clear plates away - food time is over. (I always have snack mid-morn and mid arvo so they won't go too long without food!!)
Bed time is a tad harder as it's getting colder. I would start right after tea, with bath and PJ's. They are at an age where you will have to do almost everything with them. You can turn it into a game, and set the timer.....can you get undress b4 the timer goes off etc.... (don't set them competing against each other tho)

Tracy - posted on 05/13/2010

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I've had those days.... weeks.... months... years..... I've got two kids that spend every other week with a father who doesn't understand boundaries, structure, sticking with rules, routines, etc. The first day to two days of them being home is a lot of yelling, room sitting, etc. That usually starts on Friday evenings. By Sunday evening they're mostly back in routine of home. I'm rigid, esp during the week, but it works. I don't put up with whining, crying, hissy fits to get their way or as a coping mechanism. That's a time out in your room until you can behave, communicate and be respectful.

I'm not NEARLY as organized as Ms Sharon. My god, lady, you're a drill sgt! LOL

Bottom line, we all have our bad days. You have to set a routine and make sure the kids know their responsibilites. Be consistant, always. And for heavens sake, get a sitter and go on a date with your man! Heck, pack the kids off to the grands for a weekend and spend it.... Doing whatever the two of you want. When those kids are gone, it's just going to be the two of you, so you need to stay connected on a non-parental level

Nicole (Nikkie) - posted on 05/15/2010

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has anyone ever thought about just talking and explaining things to there children opposed to yelling and screaming. Children develope a great comprehension at a very early age. I have two children now 21 and 13 years old. I have always spoken to them about what they do wrong as well as commend them and reward them for what they do right. When they do things wrong I explain to them what they did wrong and why it was the wrong thing to do and that there is a consequence for their wrong doings. The key is communicating with your kids and being consistent with your punishments should it come to that. As far as getting the children ready in the morning evening preparations is the best down to already having the bowls spoons & glasses placed on the table for cereal & juice in the morning having the loaf of bread by the toaster & the juice milk and butter in the front of the refrigerator. this cuts back a few minutes opposed to having to do all this stuff in the morning. Cloths socks underclothes shoes hair accessories jackets sweaters what ever the children need to wear should be neatly laid out the nite be for. If u have an infant diaper bags should be prepared the nite before and placed by the front door. Make a planner of what it is that u will be doing with the children over the weekend let them know what it is that you plan to do with them at that same time you also let them know that if they don't do what they know they need to do during the week that those plans will be without discussion cancelled. This actually motivates the children to do what they need to do because they're anticipating the weekends activities. Have your children help you with things around the house thus they learn responsibility have them pick up their toys, place their dirty cloths in the hamper, throw away their own garbage if the children are old enough to do these things. Teach them you're the parent. I had a saying for my children and that was M stands for mother not maid and if you install this in them now they will carry it with them as they grow older. The thing is if you think that your children are old enough to comprehend you yelling and screaming at them then why aren''t they old enough to comprehend you calmly talking to them? Thats just food for thought.

Amy - posted on 05/14/2010

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I have a 21 month old, and my husband and I found ourselves in the same boat. We found that when he wasn't obedient, we just yelled louder and spanker harder, or more often, but none of it did any good. I was reading online, and one technique I found that helped tremendously is "yes Mommy." In every single situation where discipline is involved, I make Noah look me in the eyes, tell him, "Stop hitting your brother" (we also have a 3 month old), then make sure he's looking at me, and make him say, "Yes, Mommy." If he refuses to say it, I give him one more chance, repeating the process. If he doesn't say it again, he gets a swat on the tush (not hard, usually it just hurts his feelings), and he gets put in his room. He will scream and freak out, but I just wait until he calm down, then go in and repeat the process, telling him, "You do not hit your brother. Say yes mommy." It has never happened that he hasn't said it at this point. If it does, I suppose it will be another swat and another time out in his room - but like I said, it's never happened. I think there's something about saying, "Yes, Mommy" that makes them take the accountability at that point. There's no way that they can ignore you when you're staring them in the face. When I first read it, I was like, "Um, just because they SAY yes, mommy, doesn't mean it will change anything." But I swear to you, it did. I have no idea why, but it did.

So in your case, I would definitely get clothes ready the night before, then have a routine - baby dressed first, then 3 yo, then 4yo. If they are not cooperating, try the yes, mommy approach. ("Sit still while I tie your shoes. Say yes, Mommy") Then brush their teeth - again, with a routine. As far as eating dinner, it sounds so cold, but try the yes, mommy approach, and if they still don't eat, then they don't eat anything - period. It shouldn't take very many times with growling stomachs before they'll eat. But you have to be consistent with it.

And this yes, mommy approach has saved me from a lot of yelling, and a lot of frustration - not because my son obeys more, but because it sort of takes the pressure off of me, if that makes any sense. When he's doing something he's not supposed to be, or not doing something he's supposed to be, I have a plan, and take a very calm approach, rather than just reacting in the moment (which always ends poorly). Then if he doesn't do it, I have a plan for that too. I'm not reacting with an emotion, like I was before.

Another thing I read was to make sure that you are not just saying things idly. For example, if Noah was playing in the dvds, but I was nursing the baby, I'd just sort of loudly say, "Noah, stop touching the movies." Now, for sure, I didn't expect him to follow that direction. I was just saying it. I knew he wouldn't stop. Well, all that did was teach him to ignore me. Or, if I was nursing, and he didn't listen to me, I'd just yell...well then he just started ignoring my yelling, rendering it completely ineffective. I had to stop what I was doing (even if it was nursing - the baby will still be there when I'm done disciplining) and go to him and make him look at me, and deal with that specific behavior in the moment. What makes it work is when you do it EVERY SINGLE TIME. When you give an order, make sure you're prepared to follow-up. If there's no way you can go to the kid and make them look at you and say yes, mommy, then just don't give a command at that point, because they learn to ignore you completely, which only causes more frustration.

If you try this, be prepared to feel overwhelmed for a few days. It feels like ALL you're doing is disciplining (but then it feels like that already, doesn't it?), and it seems like youre spending all of your time in your kids' faces making them say yes, mommy! But it only took about 2 days with Noah, then he started listening to only a vocal command (a calm, non-yelling voice, too!) and he would respond. But again, if he didn't obey, I HAD to stop what I was doing and go to him.

Another weird thing that came out of Yes, Mommy is that my son started hugging me. He's just not a huggy type of kid, and he almost NEVER voluntarily hugs anyone. But the very first time I tried this technique, he said, "Yes, Mommy" and gave me a really big hug. Honestly that was probably the 3rd or 4th time in his life that he hugged me on his own. Then the next time I did it, he hugged me again. It was so strange! I have no idea why he did it, but now he hugs me almost every time. And he has started saying Yes, Mommy without me telling him to. I just say, "Look at Mommy. Don't touch Petey's [our dog] food." And he says, "Yes, Mommy" without me telling him to, and he walks away from it. Now, granted, this doesn't happen every time...it doesn't even happen every other time, but we have almost stopped yelling altogether in our house in just a few short weeks. It has totally changed things! It doesn't mean he gets in trouble less, we just handle it differently.

As far as getting up early, see if there's anything you can do the night before, and if not, then you'll just have to accept the fact that this is where you are at this point in your life. The quicker you can accept it, the better off you'll be.

Good luck!

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Debbie - posted on 05/02/2013

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I am reading a great new parenting book called From Combat Zone to Love at Home. What an amazing transition it has brought into our home. Where Accountable Kids failed us, though, this fills in the gap. Where Celebrate Calm gave us the guilt about our yelling voices, it gave us the solution to move from that to blessings. I cannot say enough about the system's effect on our family. I have already told another mom about it, and will continue to spread the news! There is a sample of the book for review at http://thebestparentingbook.com and it is offered with a thirty day guarantee. I've Never seen that before.

[deleted account]

Maybe you've got this all under control by now-but, if not, have you read (like you have time to read right? lol) "Parenting with Love and Logic"? I didn't have time to read it either, and I LOVE to read because I also grew up without a TV:) But, someone offered a seminar on it at a local church and I've taken it (twice). I didn't agree with everything, but it sure gave me some good tips on how to not yell or threaten (which I was good at!), to follow through (which I was horrible at), and to give age appropriate choices esp. to my little "miss independent" That, lots of prayer, and asking my husband to help me with things that I thought were obvious and he completely did not even notice, have helped tremendously. Good luck and look those kiddos in the eye every day and tell em you love em! :)

Rachael - posted on 06/02/2010

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I've read so many of these posts that my eyes hurt. Here's my take on your "problem". Your children are all very young. At even the ago of 4 our kids can not be accountable for being on time or making sure they get dressed. It's got to be you just doing the getting them ready yourself. Get the kid, get them dressed then send them on their way. Maybe I am the worst drill Sergent of them all but my whole time being a mom, it's been me telling them something and them doing it. there's no other choice..either you do what I've said or you don't do anything. Just sit against the wall and sit there.
My kids are 11, 9, 8, 1. bedtime is 8pm. showers start at 7. but it's all different for me because they're all older.
The baby is a whole new world for me.1 time I swatted at his hand for doing something wrong and he immediately hit me back. so that's not good to teach him. (don't say he needs to be taught not to hit his mother..she shouldn't hit him to start with) I can't yell at him because he gets in an uproar and does his chesty UGH at me..I don't want him to think it's ok to yell to get his point across. I can't even yell at the older kids without the baby UGHING at everyone.
All the kids need to know who's in charge. my 8 yr old boy got in loads of trouble at school and wouldn't stop his behavior. and told me that he didn't care if he got in trouble because it would only be him not being able to watch tv or go outside for that day. so I took EVERYTHING away from his bedroom. EVERYTHING well I left his curtains, clothes and bed and furniture. He wasn't allowed to have anything back until he didn't get in trouble for a week. Drastic yes but he found out how serious I was. He just got his posters back recently. that's everything back now.
Maybe the way I did it was wrong...like dressing them until they were capable to do it themselves. and me saying lets go and ushering them out the door. If left to decide for themselves..they aren't going to do what you're asking. they're little kids..why would they want to stop playing to do something you want.

who ever said your kids will grow up yelling is right. kids mimic what their parents are like. so you'll have a yellers on your hands.
My mom was a yeller and I started out as a yelling mom but there's no need to keep the viscous circle of dysfunction going. I had to stop it at me so I didn't bring up more yellers.

Gotta take control Mama..They are too young to know what's right for them.

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Call, arange for an appointment at your local mental health place; you'll not stop the yelling, etc., until you identify what's really going on and you need help with that. Wishing you the best

Elizabeth Jane - posted on 05/31/2010

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W.W.J.C.D. Christians are Christ-like. I dont remember reading about Jesus yelling to get his point across. Softer tones are easyier to tune into then a loud noise. You would be doing yourself a bigger act by doing the opposite. Paybacks are oppsions. If you dont want your children yelling at you then you might have to stop yelling at them. It is a choice. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. You could also try praying for yourself not to get angry that way, and use the softer and easier way. God Bless

Sunsine - posted on 05/30/2010

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Honey let me tell you something I raised my children. They are 41yrs and 38yrs and my baby girl is 27yrs. I never had a baby sitter I RAISED my BABY'S but now they have chose to to have durg head woman to have there kids and now they want me to raise there baby's while they drug it out all day and night. Well Im 60 yrs old and not in good health, I need to go to the Dr but can't because I have three kid's to take care of. So don't tell me Im miss treating the kids I have decitated my self to them and I think it's time for the PARENT'S to take care of there kid's while I rest .ok

Rachel - posted on 05/30/2010

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Wow, that's a lot of responses. I didn't get through all of them, but it looks like you don't need anymore parenting advice - I've been taking notes on how to deal with my own little stalling queen!
I do have one comment to make based on my own experience of yelling at my well-behaved child: are you yelling because of what they're doing at the time or because you resent the position they've put you in? Don't get me wrong, being a "just a mom" is a very fulfilling job for many women - I am discovering that I am not one of them. Furthermore, I'm taking out my frustration on being stuck as one out on my children; and the younger one is only 2 months old - he's hardly being colicky just to tick me off. So I'm filling my freezer with breast milk and dreaming about sending the kids to grandma's while I work part-time; not a lot of hours, just enough to give me a break from housework and childcare, not to mention a chance to use my brain in a different way. It might not be the solution for you, but having time away from your kids on a regular basis is good for any parent - and the kids need a break from us too!
So whether it's taking an evening class, hitting the gym, or talking to your old boss about flexible work hours (I don't know how things are in Australia, but here in Canada some employers are starting accommodate parents who need/want to work but need to be there for their kids too), a regular dose of mommy-time might ease the load. It may not solve the dawdling, but knowing that there's a break on the way may make it easier to endure. Hey, just looking into options gave me more patience with my little darlings. :)

Hang in there!

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I haven't read any of the responses yet, but I too am a yeller. As a result... I have 3 kids that yell ALL the time. I have made up a couple of little posters that say STOP YELLING! (yes, written like that) that I have to look at all the time. It has helped.... some. :)

Timna - posted on 05/30/2010

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All I can say is that I get it. Being a mom can be hard. Give yourself a break. Look at all of the good that you do for your family. I don't know if you are religous but I find that prayer helps me quite a bit. It doesn't change my situation but it helps me to feel peace and take a step back. good luck with everything. you are not alone!

Angela - posted on 05/29/2010

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First, if you don't want to yell and push don't, your the adult. Its only taken me 12yrs to stop. I find it gets worse when we are all busy and yes it was the mornings, so i started getting organised the nite before, pack lunches, make sure homework is in the school bag and after they went to bed so there would be no arguments, especially with my oldest, now she gets herself up showered and dressed even before i'm up. But since i think anyone with 3 kids under 5 is nuts hahaha but seriously rest,rest and rest when the eldest is at school and the other 2 are asleep rest no housework, nothing treat yourself a cup of coffee in peace and a magazine. When hubby gets home, and its a really bad day with the kids, go for a walk and breathe and if you cant get a walk in, a glass of wine curled up on the couch after kids are in bed, does wonders. And as far as discipline goes, if I ask the kids to do something and they don't, I ask once more, tell them the consequence eg. the tv will get turned off, but whatever works for you and count to 3 and if they still don;t do as they're told I follow thru. Works most of the time, they still may complain or cry but they still do it and if they do complain or cry just ignore it. Apparently according to my 12yr old im the strictest mother ever and sometimes they both tell me they hate me. But I know they love me and everyone tells me how well behaved my kids are. But as you read all this advice remember take whatever you like, they're your kids and you know them best and it does get easier as they get older.

Breanna - posted on 05/29/2010

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Thankyou Tisha. And the good Lord for you all hay have provided some good advice. I think the key is not going out so much. It's exhausting all of us.

Special thanks to those who supported me and didn't bash me down, I am aferall trying to do the best job for my children. And also to the mum who recommend 'the bell' it's worked a treat.

It's good that we don't all assume that a frazzled mum is not organized. Organisation can be the reason for all the stress!!! There were lots of back issues to my Initial post, like I'm sure there are to every post here.

I respect and appreciate your frankness and the strength it took to admit that everything is all peachy.

Loren, I understand that you are trying to impart wisdom of some tough situations you have Been in at work. Just be careful of your tone when posting to stressed out Mums. I'm sure you don't intend to be sanctimonious but that's how it can be taken by those on the edge already like me.

I hope this post helped some who are trying to hold everything together and that gave previously posted about birthday party ideas or whatever as if that's your biggest concern right now.

Without sounding too mushy, there are sone outstanding mums in the posts above. I salute you.

Tisha - posted on 05/29/2010

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Loren. First, this is supposed to be to encourage and lift up other mothers that need it. Not to rub it in that you think that you are doing a better job than them. Second, there is more to caring for children than just managing them. That makes it sound like you are just herding them around and not really caring for them or teaching them anything. Finally, if you are in achildcare environment with 30 kids that young alone, you are breaking the law!!! So, which is it? ARe you breaking the law or do you really have others there helping you while you take all of the glory for doing such a wonderful job? There is not one state that allows those child - teacher ratios!



Also, just because she is feeling the stress of being a mother to three children ages 4 and younger - doesn't mean she's angry!!! It just means she's stressed out and needs to find something that works a little better for her family!

Lissa - posted on 05/29/2010

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When it comes to getting out of the house in the morning my tips would be have all clothes organized the night before. If you have trouble getting the children to sit down for breakfast ask them to help, a three and four year old can get cereal from the cupboard and milk from the fridge (while you are supervising of course) this will encourage them to follow a morning routine, kids love to help. Same thing with the washing and teeth brushing, say it's one childs job to get the toothpaste the other childs job to get the toothbrushes. Telling them how proud you are of them and how helpful they have been really will make them want to do it every morning. If you run out of time a 9 month old still in a sleepsuit when you take your eldest to school isn't a disaster. Just concentrate on getting children fed, washed and dressed, housework can wait until you get back. As simple as this sounds always have paper and crayons to hand. When you feel you are getting irritated and the children are getting bad tempered asking them to go to the table to draw mummy a beautiful picture, it will distract them and let you have a little time to calm down. Lastly we all have days when we run around in circles, get nowhere, shout about nothing, wonder why we are such awful mothers when it seems everyone else is perfect. A good simple game you can play is hiding objects under a blanket and guessing what they are through touch alone, it's free and it's stimulating. If you let them have a turn finding things to put under the blanket for you to guess it gives you time to get a cup of tea while they decide what to get. Have you made friends with the other mums at the school or mums and toddlers? This would be good for you as they know how you feel and are in the same situation, just ask a few mums round for coffee and a chat.

Stefanie - posted on 05/29/2010

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i have felt the same way you do. i don't think you need to go somewhere everyday to stimulate them. maybe just a solid everyday predictable routine would help them to do those tasks that have to be done like eating, bathing, cleaning up after themselves. i have 5 under 9 years old. we do homeschool and are at home most of the time. if we do go out its usually in the afternoon. we also have friends over to play weekly and have families that our entire family interacts with evening or weekends. when you have that many small children i personally think that its easier to be at home. and by the way, i have been pregnant and breastfeeding for 10 years!! you are doing a great job:)

Tisha - posted on 05/28/2010

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It sounds to me that you really just need to simplify your life. I lay out their clothes and mine the night before, make sure their bags are packed for school, etc. Anything that i would normally do in the morning that can be done at night, i do. I have even been known to make breakfast at night if it is something that can be reheated in the morning without being yucky! i get up 30 minutes before my kids so that i can get myself ready before getting them up. i get them up dress them and feed them. everything is already ready so we are then out the door. i know it's a little more difficult with a toddler and an infant so i would just suggest trying to make things as simple as possible. also, if your son is not required to be in school (i don't know if you are in the US or Australia, but if he's not in kindergaten yet) then there is nothing wrong with just staying home and letting everyone relax. You don't have to go out and do something every day. You could also wait until after you take him to school to go back home and get the other two ready. that way he's not late for school. and it gives you a little more time to get them ready. there is a website called flylady.net it is designed to make house cleaning simplier but it has helped me with simplifying my life altogether. it helps set up routines which have been amazing in my life!

Amy - posted on 05/28/2010

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You really have your hands full! And your kids are at ages where they really push your buttons (mine are 4 and 2...I feel your pain). Have you tried talking to the the teachers at your oldest childs school or the other parents? Some may be in the same boat, trying to maintain some sense of being more than "just" a mom, but a well rounded person. Maybe you can arrange with them for playdates or trade babysitting time so you can get a little time to nurture yourself...reading a book, shopping for new clothes, or (my personal favorite) getting a nap. If your parents aren'y nearby, maybe a neighbor would be willing to help. For example, there is a mom with kids the same age as mine in my neighborhood. I watch all the kids for 10 minutes in the morning so she can do what she needs, and she does the same for 10 minutes in the afternoon. Sometimes that 10 minutes means I just stare into space and pray for the strength to get through the day, but at least its a few minutes to take care of myself! And in the process I've made a friend, and am now able to carry on a conversation above a 4yo level. Having that outlet has reduced the amount of yellin, begging and cajoling in my house. Hope this helps.

Meadow - posted on 05/28/2010

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Take a deep breath honeay and don't forget to let it out! You sound pretty normal to me. I have a toddler and a teenager, and some days I truley wonder about what "sanilty" is and weither or not I have any left.
With my teenager, when she is giving me "teen-a-tude" (attitude) I talk to her like she is talking to me, when she get's mad, then I switch over to a normal voice and ask her which way she would like to be addressed. She always picks the "normal mom voice".
The toddler, I ask her not to scream in the house. And I turn up the tc when she yells, she will then tell me it's too loud, so then I point at her and tell her too loud. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
My toddler has special needs and I make sure she goes to a day care for a couple of hours a week, 3 times a week. Then I go try to find my sanity. I work out, sleep in, go plant something.
I know people who have posted "non-screaming zone' poster's in their house. You'll find something that works for you.
I told my husband that we both needed time off to go do things we like, outside of the family. So we have all signed each other up for free gardening classes at out local Home Depot and Lowes.
I also get up early and drink coffee with my cat in my lap, get computer time( quite time).
Good luck!

Nyssa - posted on 05/27/2010

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It can be overwhelming when they are all that little. I know, I was very overwhelmed with my first 3 and they weren't even as close in age as yours. Mine are 2yrs apart, and now I have 5. It's kinda funny, but I don't think I yell as much as I used to. Probably because the older ones can be a big help sometimes. I didn't have that when they were all little. I read this the other day..."when my child is annoying me, I get down to their level, kiss them on the nose, and tell them how much I love them." I thought what a great idea. I haven't done it, but I'm substituting the word annoying with frustrating or angering. I think I might actually do it one day. Take a deep breath, or lots of them. Have you talked to your kids about it? The oldest would probably understand that mommy needs your help even if it is the little things. It'll get better. Breathe!

Josie - posted on 05/27/2010

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This is why I'm afraid to have more kids. I see my sister (she has 3, the oldest is in her teens but she has 2 young ones) and I'm like OMG I can't do that! Her kids are insanely hyper, up at 5 or 6 every morning and need to be entertained until 8 or 9 at night. Within 10 minutes her apartment looks like a hurricane blew through it. I honestly don't know how she does it. My son is 2 and for the most part is a pretty good boy (just having a hard time with potty training) I'm afraid if I have another he'll turn out like one of my sisters! Good luck! I hope you find a solution.

Denise - posted on 05/27/2010

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and that 2 is true u must be doing something if ur kids r polite whatever u r doing keep it up i am stern but also very receptive 2 my children's feeling and very involved in their life's 2 i know all their friends and their schudules also so always keep involved no matter what and keep doing what u r doing but don't be 2 strict either

Mindy - posted on 05/27/2010

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This post is a little old, so forgive my somewhat late reply.
First of all, I am an Aussie too, which is probably irrelevant, but I think culturally Australians still have a lot of an old fashioned sense that mum will take care of everything.
My background is that I have two boys, the eldest just turned 4 and the youngest is almost 3. I am 17 weeks pregnant with my third.
I can relate to your post in that I do find myself flustered, particularly on a preschool morning and end up yelling at my son to find his socks, get dressed and generally just hurry up. I think that it is unfortunately a part of the process. I also threaten, withold and punish when they just don't seem to cooperate.
The thing that I have found most helpful in easing this situation (not curing it 100% as this is reality so we have to be realistic here) is sitting down with my boys after one of those really bad days and just talking to them, telling them that I am not happy to yell at them and that I love them while inviting them to discuss the days events too. I found that my boys were very perceptive and actually acknowledged some of their behaviours. Then in the mornings following whenever they would start to dawdle or carry on, I would say remember we had that talk and you said that by telling me no when I ask you to something that you knew it would make me angry? (as an example) and they would remember and coorporate. Weird as it sounds, I think that just sitting with kids and talking to them whether afterwards, beforehand and doing this whenever you can, actually helps a lot despite their age. I also think that if you accept that you are human, its ok to get frustrated then that permission actually makes you do it less ( well it has for me anyway)
I do think that there are a lot of pressures to be a parent in this day and age, i have a lot of what I call PC parents, who condescend others (kind of like Loren) and tell people that they are basically perfect parents because they never raise their voices. Well I always find it amusing when my darlings are out to lunch being well behaved and some PC parent next to us is struggling to distract spoilt little Johnny from throwing food all over the room. You said it yourself, your kids are well mannered and polite, clearly you are doing something right :)

Denise - posted on 05/27/2010

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been in the same place u have 4 the last 24 yrs and still hanging in there up until recently with the death of my husband did we have constant yelling and hollering all the time i can say in the last 2 weeks i have only had 2 yell at my kids to clean their rooms or help with the housework maybe 2 or 3 times all my kids r now old enough 2 help seeing they rang in from 12yrs to 24 yrs of age but when they were children it was nothing but hassles 2 get them 2 clean their rooms i literally had 2 sit at the top pf the stairs just so they wouldn't olay with their toys instead of cleaning their rooms this got 2 me on most days but i learned that patience is something u need when raising ur children and if u don't have that than u have a major problem also i learn that sticking 2 ur guns and making sure ur kids know when ur r playing and when u mean what u say r 2 different things i have a few suggestions that i know worked and still work 4 me they r old fashion but they really work if u r very stern with ur voice and u don't have 2 yell ok here's the 1st one: try the 123 method by this i mean give them 2 the count of 3 move or punishment is enforced, the next thing i do when my kids don't listen is 2 call their names in full when i do this they know like i used 2 know when i was in trouble 4 doing by my mother both of these mathods were used by both of my parents when i was a kid and i will tell u what if i didn't more when they said something my head was handed 2 me on a silverplatter ( not literally) but u should be able 2 get the idea

[deleted account]

Your human mum. Bottom line :) Three young kids = frustration. All you can do is try to make a note of when you are yelling at the kids, and stop yourself right there and then. Deep breathes, and pick your battles... finding yourself escalating?.. sing your frustrations.. walk away for a sec..

My kids are now 8 and 10 but i find i still yell.. bllllooodddyy kids...

I also count mine down to whatever we are doing. I give a 10 minute, 5 minute, and 2 minute warning plus what they should be doing at that time. If they don't do it, we don't go. Period, end of discussion. I have stuck by it and after just ONE time of reneging its now house gospel ( to the point of eg out to eat and shenanigans starts all i have to say is AH are we going home are we? and the BS stops, not a decibel raised)

But ya gotta laugh when hubby has a go at you for yelling at the kids yet is into it himself after a few mins with them teehee Do make a point of letting him know you can hear him :P

Good luck hun, they do grow up and things do change.. as my eldest is getting lunch boxes ready and im on the net sipping coffee.... lol ;P

Jeanne - posted on 05/27/2010

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I have an almost 3 year old son (his birthday is coming up soon) and find myself yelling at times too. One thing I have noticed is the more I yell, the more stressed out I feel and the more I end up yelling. Sometimes taking a quick break to calm down will make the rest of the day better.



I also give my son time outs in his room. If he is throwing a tantrum I put him on a chair in his room and tell him when he has calmed down and is ready to talk to me nicely, he can come knock on the door and I will open it. This works really well. I use quite a few of the other suggestions for discipline as well.



Also, in order to get my son to do certain things, I sing songs. I have a clean up song, a getting dressed song, a brushing teeth song... I also play up certain things to make them sound fun and exciting. When getting dressed, I call his clothes "outside clothes" because he loves playing outside. We cannot go outside unless he is wearing outside clothes. I also tell him that eating well and getting good rest will help him grow big and strong. This seems to get him excited about eating and sleeping. I also sometimes have him help me pick out what to wear. We also have races. If he can get something done before the timer goes off, he gets a prize: stickers, music choice in the car, an extra bedtime story.... And if he has a bad attitude or isn't listening he gets privileges or toys taken away for a day. If it takes too long to get ready for bed, we do not have time for reading books; but, if he gets ready fast enough the next night, we can have stories.



Hope this helps!

Crystal - posted on 05/27/2010

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Also, I used to feel the same way about tv, but then I was introduced to pbs and especially nick jr., because nick jr. is on 24/7- if you really need a break to get something done or to just relax for a minute, an hour or two a day is great- and they learn a lot- my daughter is 2 and she speaks spanish, knows octagons, etc., etc., and it's almost all from tv!

Crystal - posted on 05/27/2010

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This sounds very familiar- life can get very overwhelming, especially if you're just go-go-going and there's no break- it sounds like you should do 2 things- take some time out for yourself, and also go on a date with your husband. It's ok to get a babysitter sometimes- it's fun for the kids, (even if they scream when you drop them off) because they get to do someone new with new people, and you need your sanity to be the best mom you can be (which is not perfect!). When things get so hectic, just find someone to watch the kids (if money is tight, switch with another mom on a different day, or use friends or family. Then rekindle your marriage by going out somewhere- I've recently been through this same thing, and I promise, this is some of the BEST advice I was given. Hope this helps

Traci - posted on 05/27/2010

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It is the age, but simplifying by getting lunches and snacks in baggies the night before, will help having the kids shower while you are doing dinner gives them a task and they are out from underfoot while you are cooking. Try to join a moms play group, or put them in daycare 1 or 2 days a week it is worth it!

Johanna - posted on 05/27/2010

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first you dont have to do it alone talk to your husband let him take some responsibilites let him bath the kids and put them down at night offer the kids a treat when they behave if you dont start chores while they are young you can forget it for the rest of there lives be stern but also be kind let them pick out there clothes let them get dressed on there own every day make it a challenge ex. who gets dressed first the next day who is last this way no one gets left out and I promise it really works. and most of all let them help you for ex. let them fold clothes even though it not done the way you like it tell them its great its simple but you need to relax and I promise this works johanna lipani

Anna - posted on 05/27/2010

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My son's only 4 months old, so I don't have a frame of reference with which to compare my experiences yet. But, I do have a suggestion for you. Clearly you don't like the common dialogue you're having with your children (i.e. yelling) because it's not inciting the results you want (timeliness). I have a similar issue with my husband (I know I know, insert some joke about husbands and children here), and as we only have one car, timeliness is a huge deal for us. Yelling at him doesn't do anything because he either a) tunes me out because he's sick of it or b) yells right back because he's sick of it. This has prompted me to start looking at how we speak to each other and making observations about what works and what doesn't. For my part, I've found that reiterating when we need to leave/what time we need to get up/etc. in a calm and friendly manner works best; it makes him feel like he's involved in the process instead of being "pushed" by it. I can't say what sort of dialogue will work for you and yours, because I don't know you or your kids, but I do really suggest you start paying closer attention to how you're interacting with them when the yelling starts. If you can take a second to step back and think about what tone of voice/choice of words seems to have the most positive effect on them, hopefully you can find a more constructive way to get done what needs to get done.

And good job, mama. We're all freaking superheroes here.

Tanya - posted on 05/27/2010

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I just have one little tip- whisper- they Are likely to quieten down to hear you. And don't be hard on yourself- we all have shitty days :)

Amidy - posted on 05/27/2010

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First I would like to say something to Loren. That was rude! She asked for advice not to be yelled at herself.

Second I would like to introduce you to the best blog for moms like us, www.rantsfrommommyland.com. Laughing a little each day goes a long way, and you will laugh your butt off reading it!

Finally a few suggestons that might make your mornings a little easier.

Set out clothes each night for the next day where the kids can get to them.

Get them each their own alarm clock and set it about 5 or 10 minutes before they really need to get up, that way if they don't you can go in and wake them.

Make each of them a morning chart and laminate it with contact paper or put it in a clear sheet protector or something like that. You can let them help you make it so that they feel part of the whole thing and then will be more likely to use it. Draw a "list" of pictures showing what they need to do to get ready. Clothes for getting dressed, toothbrush and toothpaste for brush your teeth and so on. Draw a box next to each picture so that they can check it off with a dry erase marker when they have completed each task.

Then put up a fun bell or wind chime that they can ring after they check it off to let you know that they are being big kids and getting ready all by themselves. When they are all done and you are out the door on time give them a high five and tell them how proud you are!

I hope this helps you out. I did this with my older two and will be be putting it to use again with my youngest next year when he starts school. I use it because I am a yeller also, and I am sooo not a morning person!

By the way I find nothing wrong with hanging out in your jammies all day and taking it easy. Too many activities can be stressfull for kids. They need time to be bored so they can learn use their imagination and entertain themselves. If they are not going, going, going all the time and get to do what they want to for awhile then going out to do fun things will be special and not just another thing they have to do. It's more fun for all when everyone is relaxed.

Sunsine - posted on 05/27/2010

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Well I dont know about you or the rest of the moms on here but! im raising three grandkid's and it's not easy at all. The only time I get rest is when they go to sleep around 9:30 & 10:00pm The kid's are 10yr, 5yr and 14 mon's And Im 60yrs my husband is 65yrs I told my oldest kid's which are 41yr & 38yr. I don't have time to even get sick! I can't go to dinner alone with my husband we can't have friend's our age, because most peole our age don't like kid's around.So we just hang out around the house or go to a tee ball game or Mc/Donalds might go to the park to let the boy's fish. So it don't matter if your Australian or American We all could explode. Just do the best you can do.From grandma

Amanda - posted on 05/27/2010

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Hi!
I'm a 23 year old mother of three beautiful children ages 4yrs, 3 yrs and 10 months and I know EXACTLY how you feel. But I think many of the mothers who posted responces here do not understand how a family with three small children runs. It does not run smoothly everyday, scheduals mean very little and yelling is and can be a very real thing everyday regardless of what you do to prevent it. There is no magical cure.
I myself, try very hard to enforce stability, routine, and loving and nurturing environment for my children, but it doesn't allways go the way we plan. There is constent chaos despite my efforts and I've come to the conclusion that ..... kids will be kids!
Structure is fine and dandy, but when you have three kids under the age of five, things will go a bit crazy. Or a lot crazy, often times. Regardless.
Try to remember that they are children and learn over time that rules are in place not to harm them but to help them. Love your children unconditionally and they'll be happy (and tantrum free, hopefully!)
As for not going crazy yourself.... well, I'm hoping that in a few years when the kids start going to school, things will calm down enough for me to calm down as well. Untill then, try to keep your chin up! I know I will....

Alison - posted on 05/27/2010

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Wow. Thank you for being so candid!

Honey, you must completely eliminate from your thinking that you "have to yell". This is a lie. Yelling is the only way you have found to deal with things, but the more you yell, the more you have to yell. The inverse is also true...

You are a frazzled mom who needs some support. Being a mom of three is tough!!! It is normal for you to feel stretched, but I am convinced that it is possible to find strategies that will help you find balance and sanity for you and your children.

If you can, try to get in touch with a social worker who can help you find effective strategies with your children and help you take care of yourself too.

Dorothea - posted on 05/27/2010

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First off, it's a typical response. Don't beat yourself up over it. The parent who says they never yell either has laryngitis or is a lier.
I have two little boys 5 and 3. We discuss "the plan" for the day. It's usually 3 steps at a time, for example, wake up, get dressed, eat. I, verbally out loud, go over this a few times while I'm waking them up, and frequently when we're doing it, I ask them to say it with me too, so they know what's expected. When we're on the last step it's time for the next set of "the plan". (usually play till the timer goes off, then go to the bus stop, then get on the bus.) For discipline, time out with timers work well for both. I try to take a moment before I discipline to make sure my tactic fits the "crime". Relax, breath, and although, I wouldn't keep anyone home from school for behavior, if you end up taking your other kids to the bus stop in their pj's it's not the end of the world.
Another thing to think about is talking with your doctor. I spent more time yelling than enjoying my kids until, I talked with my MD and he put me on antidepressants. I know there is a stigma associated with depression, but it's a real thing, and (speaking from experience) I don't want to drive the car off the nearest bridge anymore. Getting up the courage to talk about it was the hardest part, but it's been smooth sailing since then. I'll probably be on antidepressants the rest of my life, but if that's what it takes for me to find joy in my family it's well worth it. Your mind and body have had a hard six yrs. Relax, breath, and remember that your not alone :)
Good luck!

Amanda - posted on 05/27/2010

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Wow Loren, they are obviously kids you work with at a daycare/preschool/similar. It is a different ball game when they are yours though and you have them 24/7. We all need to consider one's circumstances though, how much support, how much finance, how much time away from the homefront,special needs, etc x.

[deleted account]

I'm going to be lazy and not read all of the replies (I skimmed some, but I've got to get back to being a mom soon), so I apologize if I am repetitive.

I also LOVE "Love and Logic." I use parts from it almost everyday.

Other things I do are, though I don't select outfits for the week ahead of time, I have school clothes matched into outfits and I pull one out of the drawer and put it in their chair after they go to bed. They know where to look for their school clothes in the morning. I expect them to be dressed, have their beds made and their floor picked up before they leave their room. Then they tend their morning chores (feed the dogs, take out the recycling, but my boys are 5 & 7) before breakfast. If they are on time to breakfast, they can watch a 15 minute television show while they eat. They don't get a lot of t.v., so this is a big deal for them. After eating, we have 15 minutes before time to leave, which is enough time for brushing teeth, combing hair, and gathering items. (Backpacks are packed the night before.)

It sounds amazing, doesn't it? The reality is, and because your girls are younger than my boys, it will be even more neccissary, I often have to be in the same room as my boys in order for them to be moving forward with their tasks. As soon as I walk out, (to tend breakfast, get myself dressed, etc) they start to play. Staying close helps with this.

I have taken my youngest out of the house in a half dressed state, clothes in hand. I let him know that it is because he is not finished and I hope he can get finished before he gets out of the car for school. (I am usually just a hair shy of yelling when I make this statement, I'm not proud of that, that's just how some mornings go.)

Another thing I use that works well for me with my older children is taking time. If they go over the alloted time for a task and I have to sit with them, fuss at them ect., then from that time until the time they finish with the task, I am keeping track of time. The amount of time it then takes them to finish the task is the amount of time they will need to spend helping me with my work after school. I tell them that they used my work time to get their work done so they will need to give it back by helping me get my work done. Then I have all day to think about what they will be doing for me that afternoon. :) If they give me a hard time when it comes time to pay (with work) I start the time over and add a few minutes to it. They get the point pretty quickly.

In spite of having the system worked out, I find that it only works if I am RIGHT THERE making it happen. If I go check e-mail, talk on the phone, or let anything else distract me, it all goes to... a mess.

Good Luck,
V in Fl

Loren - posted on 05/27/2010

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wow, you are angry. when people are stressed and overwhelmed it typically means they have more on their plate then they can manage. orginization and pre-planning is one way to manage. you put it out there, sista, take advise from a woman who manages 10 toddlers and 20 4-5 year olds with out even raising her voice. In fact, sometimes I whisper! Enjoy your day!

Holly - posted on 05/27/2010

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Hi Breanna
I felt the same way too. Then I saw a CD at the library called "Scream free parenting" or something very similar. I listened to it in the car when driving from place to place and it gave some very helpful tips. Hopefully you can find it. Of course I can't thinnk of any specific tips as I am typing trying to get my crew off to this that and the other thing but it gave me alot of hope. I also read "Raising your Spirited Child" and "The explosive Child". These gave a lot of alternatives to screaming. I won't say I am scream free but a lot closer than I was 5 months ago!
Holly

Breanna - posted on 05/27/2010

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Why does everyone assume that I am not organised? Or that I don't play with my kids? Or that I don't do stimulating things with them?

This is a silly attitude to take. I and I would gladly assume that everyone of the respondants here are the same in saying 'we do'. We do take responsibility - we know we are THE MUM for goodness sake. We know we have to take RESPONSIBILITY --- we have children - what more can we take on?

And yes - it's my job. There were completely crappy times at my paid work too. It didn't mean that I dropped the ball totally there either.

Please...understand that the Mums that are on this site care about their children and their life and are proactive enough to actually take five minutes outta their oh so precious 'me' time to read and share on a site like this. Consider this before you post- there is a back story to everyone - but we shouldn't have to feel that we have to vindicate ourselves to our circle of moms.

Loren - posted on 05/27/2010

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you need to tell the children you are starting over with a chart. Set rules and give choices. Also, with the ages you have, you have to get proactive and keep them stimulated with activities. I teach toddlers and pre-k..I would get FIRED if I acted this way, remember this is YOUR childs LIFE, are you making it the BEST life for them..and for you? Doesnt sound like it..get them outside, get a playyard, get a sand box, put water in a bucket with a paintbrush, have them "paint" the sidewalks, cars..etc..you need to make sure NAP time is plesant time for YOU to re-generate and ready for the next 4 hours of YOUR LIFE. Why not make it happy for everyone, the MOM is in charge of the household. Get over the fact your husband isnt there to help..its your JOB, as thankless as it seems at sometimes..Put your smile on and ENJOY your life! Count your blessings..and keep to the RULES of the house, your kids at this time have figured out how to push your buttens..readdress and go at it! WIsh I was there to help you get back on track, but you sound like a smart woman..get moving!

Lindsey - posted on 05/27/2010

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Hi Breanna,
you have loads of advice here - I especially like what Dawn has said - and you are def not alone - some days i feel like i am yelling all the time!!!! I have a three and a half year old and a four month old and I have Post Natal Depression.
all I will say to you is..
http://www.supernanny.co.uk/
which is what I say to everyone!!! its brilliant for fresh, simple suggestions, i use it all the time.
nobody is perfect, you just do your best but sometimes you need some secret assistance!
I bet you're a great Mum and we are all having the same traumas!! the time out step works well for us.. I have already used it four times this morning, unusual for my little girl though!!
good luck
xxx

Breanna - posted on 05/27/2010

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Girls, I have decided to borrow my husband's police whistle. If that doesn't work then maybe I should try for a 'peaceable' option. I'm reading 'The Magic Faraway Tree' to my children at the moment and I think we all deserve a trip to the land of 'Take-what-you-want' ha!

Nevien - posted on 05/27/2010

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My kids are now 14 , and 12 and I'm still yelling........I wish I can find the magic stick, or even the magic word to make them listen, and respond without having to yell..........!

Amanda - posted on 05/26/2010

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Firstly, we shouldn't be forgiven because we're Australian! I know EXACTLY what you are talking about, I have a 4 and 3 year old and that can be challenging enough without a baby thrown in to the mix. (3 year old is currently standing right next to me screaming that she wants to go in the pool - it is currently about 17 degrees atm). There isn't 1 organic product in my house as living on one modest wage only stretches as far as generic brands. My chn are currently watching a dvd, but dancing at the same time ('Lord of the Dance') so I figure that's not so bad. Like you, I have very well mannered children, two princesses, who probably put my own manners to shame. I am constantly tired because I don't go to bed early enought, becausse like you say, I treasure my peace and quiet time. My partner works a thousand hours a week so I am a pseudo single mum. All's i can say is that you are not alone. xx

Rachel - posted on 05/26/2010

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u now what u need to do ask ur mom or some one that is related to u to talk the kids for the weeked and have it for u and ur husband i now that sonds harsh but people tall me that moms need to think about there salfes to

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