Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Trying times

Things have been hard here. The kids have been testing me like nobody's business. Maddie is especially tough. She absolutely refuses to talk to me in a nice way. She whines for everything she wants and if you don't have it in her hand literally that instant she will continue to whine for it over and over. I try getting her to stop and say "mommy can I have ___ please?" which she usually will do but I have to get her to do that at least 20 times a day. She constantly fights with Jackson and wants whatever it is that he has and will have a complete meltdown tantrum if she doesn't get it. I try telling her to say "Jackson can I have that please?" and she says "but that won't work" I say "you have to try it" and she just says it won't work over and over and over. I've tried time outs, I've tried ignoring her, I've tried talking with her. She just refuses to understand the proper way to ask for things. She is ONLY like this for me. She by far spends the most time with me so I see how that sets me apart from other people and how her behavior will be different with me but it's not like I condone it or let her get away with anything. I am constantly trying to make things a learning experience for her.
What's been really difficult for ME now is that I find it is effecting my feelings for her. Just putting that in writing is gut wrenching for me. I NEVER imagined that anything would do that. I love her to pieces but there are days (like the last 7 or so) that I can't even think of spending the day with her. The thought of all the mental effort it will take to get through the day is overwhelming. All last weekend she spent at my parents' house because we were helping Chris's brother paint their new house. Jackson stayed with us and even though he was a handful it was better than having both of them there. So even after her being gone for 3 days, on Monday by 10am I was almost in tears over her tantrums. My mom came and got her again so I could have a fight free day. Tuesday we were out all day with my mom at an amusement park so things were actually fine. Today was a nightmare. My sister in law ended up taking both of them from 3-6 for me so I could have some peace. When I went to get them at 6 they were immediately a nightmare for me. Maddie was having a total meltdown because Jackson had something she wanted and just wailed for a really long time. By the time I got home I was ready to snap. I brought them in the house then went back out alone to pick up dinner. I called my mom to vent and ended up crying. I just feel like things are so out of control and I just don't know how to fix it. She said she'd take her again tomorrow for me since I'm watching my niece and nephew again. I'm leaving Friday morning for Chicago until Sunday so I won't even see her until then.
She's having accidents left and right which is driving me nuts too. I try so hard to not get angry about it but it's so hard when she's RIGHT next to the toilet and pees on the floor instead. She was doing so well for so long and now the last week has just been horrible for it. She has accidents at my parents' house too so that's not just me.
Then I worry that all of the passing her off I've been doing is effecting her behavior too.
Obviously she's going through something and I'm sure it's all natural and normal but it's seriously making me lose my mind.

Now Jackson is a different story. While he's not quite as challenging as she is I'm having my issues with him too. For him he's just really clingy to me and when I need to do something that doesn't involve him that's when the tantrum starts. I can't make a phone call, I can't cook, I can't be on the computer. He will literally hang on my leg. Again with him I do not condone this behavior. I give him timeouts, I speak to him about it being inappropriate, I don't give in to him. He just doesn't seem to be learning either.

I'm just petrified of our relationships being strained because of my frustration. I always wonder at what point do kid/parent relationships go from being loving/affectionate to being distant. I'm terrified this is the point.

I REALLLLLLLYYYYYY need this weekend away but first of all it's not nearly long enough and secondly I know I'm just going to be coming home to the same issues I left.

The other difficult thing is that Chris doesn't understand why it's bothering me so much. He sees the bad behavior for a couple hours at night and on the weekend so he doesn't think it should make me this upset. He agrees that they shouldn't act this way but he doesn't understand why it gets to me so much.

UGH, I know all of this is normal but it doesn't make it any easier.


E. from Pot o' Gold said...

Age three is proving to be really, really hard! Everyone I know who has a 3-year-old is going through it. And you have two!! That's why I love reading blogs of similar age children, and talking in person to moms of same age children. It makes our life seem a bit more normal.

I'm really sorry. I think you are a great mom and I think we will look back on this when they are 4, and go " was hard, but it was all developmental."

K J and the kids said...

You are 100% right. It is normal and it doesn't make it feel any better.
Well it might. I think your feelings might change slightly about Maddie if you knew that she was just acting age appropriately and not "trying" to piss you off :)

Good luck...keep doing what you're doing and soon enough that sweet little girl you once adored will come back.

Wendy and Karen said...

Oh darlin'. I'm sorry it's hard on you.

I call it "pressing-on-the-bruise syndrome." It's like the kiddo knows what hurts or bothers you- even when you try like hell to not let it bother you or let it show. They know anyway and they press on it again and again. And just like a bruise, it hurts and stings when they press on it.

I read recently that kids like the power they feel when they make us upset. "Look how powerful I am! I made Mommy get angry and shout. Wow!"

The parenting mantra I like is "Don't fight and don't give in." But it's a hard, hard, hard thing.

You are a good mom. You care immensely. You will get through it. We all will get through it together.

Love you so much...Wendy.

Shamanda said...

I'm sorry you're having a tough time. I completely relate to your feelings. My just turned three year old is driving me nuts this week. He is being incredibly naughty andy strategies are coming up short. I can't wait for bed time most nights this week and I am struggling
with some of things that come out of my mouth; wondering if I am damaging his psyche and our relationship.
I envy that you have family that can take her. I don't havethat option, most my friends are stay-at-home moms with their own three year olds.
I hope things get better for you.