We’re struggling

Each stage of parenthood is as beautiful as the last but oh my goodness are they also as difficult. Crawling is wonderful because you don’t need to carry your baby all of the time but then they’re into everything and you secretly (or openly) wish they were newborns again; staying in one place. Talking is amazing because you can start to communicate with your little one but then you’re inundated with ‘why’ and ‘no’ until you wish you could literally put a sock in it!

Parenting Jasper has been beautiful; scarily, overwhelmingly, fear inducingly beautiful and I wouldn’t change it for the world but OH MY GOODNESS we’re struggling at the moment. Every stage has been tough to me because it’s all been new to me. Sure we dealt with teething, night feeds and the terrible twos with Rhys but only at the weekends and for me personally, I wasn’t as emotionally invested for those. Of course I love Rhys and he is my step son but his teething made me sympathise, it didn’t cut through me like a knife. His night feeds were tiring but they were short lived and weren’t my night feeds to try to change.

With Jasper he’s me; when he’s hurting I’m hurting; when he’s still waking in the night at 18 months I’m the one at 3am googling ‘WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME AND MY CHILD!?’ and that’s why while everyone is telling me he’s just ‘going through a phase’ I’m struggling, really struggling to just let it be.

Now if this is your first time reading my blog *hello and thanks for joining me* I’ll bring you up to speed. Jasper is 2 years and 7 months old. He has an older brother called Rhys who is with us at the weekends and a baby brother called Jenson who is 3 months old. At around 18 months the terrible twos hit, but the kind of terrible twos that I was okay with. I mean, to be honest it probably wasn’t even the terrible twos; things like throwing a chip on the floor if he saw another child do it or biting a friend once playfully. I think I called it the terrible twos because he was so well behaved up until then that the tiniest of misbehaviours I saw as a big deal – oh my goodness had I seen this coming I think I’d have lept behind the sofa with a bottle of wine and hibernated for a couple of years “call me when he’s 3“.

Don’t get me wrong Jasper is amazing; he’s kind and loving, hilarious and thoughtful. He has a beautiful soul but right now he’s less of Jasper and more a child we don’t know. He seems to cry at everything and I can never win. To give you an idea this is a conversation we had today:

Jasper ‘this is the hulk Mummy’

Me ‘Is it Jasper? That’s cool!’

Jasper ‘not cool Mummy’

Me ‘Oh sorry’

Jasper ‘not sorry mummy’

Me ‘okay’

Jasper ‘Don’t say okay’ – throws hulk and cries till he falls asleep in the car.

I know you’re probably thinking ‘that’s the terrible twos woman’ but it’s constant and consuming and I really do feel like I’m loosing my little boy. I’d say at least 75% of the time we’re having conversations like this or he’s on the floor having a tantrum over something no one can ever comprehend.

Jasper ‘I want Mummy’

Me ‘Mummy is here’

Jasper ‘I want Daddy’

Me ‘okay let me get Daddy’

Jasper ‘no don’t get Daddy’ – *screams into pillow*.

It’s as if he’s frustrated about something and can’t communicate it, only he can communicate and very well. I’m so conscious now not to be on my phone around him; I don’t work during the day unless he’s at nursery and Jenson practically gets ignored while Jasper is awake so that he doesn’t feel pushed aside. I fill our days with fun activities but also lots of down time and I really am trying to do everything I can but nothing seems to be working.

Bedtimes are now a nightmare with screams and cries for us but when we go into his room he tells us to go away. He’s started having accidents during the day and every morning without fail we have tantrums over breakfast, getting dressed and leaving the house. He runs off, throws the iPad and would rather stay at home or go to bed than go out and play which literally breaks my heart.

When he finishes having his ‘funny five minutes’ that last for hours and often occur multiple times a day (like all day every day), he often says “I’m happy Jasper now’ with a genuine smile on his face and all is well but I can’t help but be filled with dread that something may be wrong. I know he says it because we used to jokily say ‘are you happy Jasper now?’ when he’d finish a tantrum but it really does worry me/ scare the crap out of me that his sudden personality switches are something more serious. Could there be an underlying problem? Could this be a mild form of bi polar? Am I an awful mum for even thinking that? They always say a mother knows but I honestly don’t. I don’t know what is going on with my son and I feel like I never will.

I worry about how he is at nursery and how he’s going to be when he’s older. I urge Pete to sympathise (he’s so patient and never shouts but I don’t think he sympathises with him). I on the other hand sympathise but hold my hands up and say that I do sometimes lose my temper and shout because how many times can I tell him we’re not and never were going out when he’s crying on the floor because he doesn’t want to go out!

I often clutch at straws. If he gets a temperature or a cough or runny nose I cling onto the hope that his behaviour must be due to a cold he’s coming down with. But then the cold passes and nothing changes. It definitely is getting worse and it’s making me dread playdates, toddler groups and general days because I so desperately want my son to be happy Jasper all of the time. The odd tantrum I don’t mind at all but when he goes from whingey to angry to sad and back again it breaks my heart and makes me feel so useless and helpless.

I’m really hoping this is jsut a phase; the feeling in the pit of my stomach often tells me otherwise but I’m trying to be optimistic and do all I can whilst not losing sleep over it (I have a baby to do that for me haha).

If any of you mumas are going through something similar with your little ones or you have in the past (please tell me it ends soon) then please let me know; even if it’s just to say you have no advice but you feel me ya know? 

Thanks for reading!
Jess x

15 Comments

  • Amy Donald
    14th November 2016 at 11:07 pm Reply

    My boy went through this and sometimes still has those whingy days where nothing is right for him! He is 3.5yrs and became a big brother at 2yr 4m. For around the first 3 or 4 months of having a brother he was a nightmare some days and a dream ths next. HV advised that a lot would be down to tiredness so we worked on naps and bedtimes and also reward charts and any good behaviour got a sticker. Im not sure either worked tbh rather that he grew up a bit and the phase passed. They say this age for boys is worse hormonally than a teenager so im holding hope that once it passes we will sale through the next stage. No advise other than to say i hear ya and ur not alone

    • Jessica
      10th December 2016 at 10:26 pm Reply

      Ahh Amy I recently heard the hormone thing, I definitely think that plays a huge part! Sleep also; Jasper has been having lots of late nights and rarely naps anymore so I’m going to try and get back into good sleeping habits with him 🙂

  • Cassie
    15th November 2016 at 9:07 am Reply

    Have you tried to have some quality time with him? My eldests behaviour was great when baby was born but after a few months it got bad. Very similar to Jasper only my son is older. I decided to try taking him to special days out, just the 2 of us at least once a month and his behaviour has improved. It’s hard seeing kids go through it and harder when they can’t tell us what’s really wrong. Don’t beat yourself up.

    • Jessica
      10th December 2016 at 10:27 pm Reply

      I’m definitely going to do this; I’ve been planning to since before Jenson was born but haven’t done it admittedly so I’ll make a conscious effort to have some Mummy Jasper dates 🙂

  • Jen Ryan
    15th November 2016 at 9:20 am Reply

    Oh Jess, don’t beat yourself up over this. Having a new baby in the house is a huge transition for toddlers. My boy was fine for the first few weeks after I had my second. It was only when baby was about 6 weeks that he really started to act up. I think they just realise that the baby is staying and is continuing to take up Mummy’s time. They get so frustrated with life because they just want it to go back to the way it was. To be honest, my baby is now 21 months and his big brother still acts up if he feels he’s not getting enough attention. You’re doing all the right things – lots of attention, lots of cuddles and lots of patience. And the odd shout never hurt any toddler! I bet he’s completely different at nursery so don’t worry about that – “street angel, house devil” definitely applies to toddlers!!

    • Jessica
      10th December 2016 at 10:28 pm Reply

      Street Angel House Devil is right, love that phase! haha He is definitely a dream for the nursery ladies, but that makes me feel better knowing that it’s just me and not his whole personality changing. Thanks lovely 🙂

  • Laura
    15th November 2016 at 10:40 am Reply

    What you’ve written is basically my life…my son is 27 months and a total challenge at the minute. Everything is no, he cries and screams and tantrums for about 90% of our days. I hate the way I am with him, I hate what he has turned in to and am desperate for every day to be different than the last one. Sometimes they’ll be little tiny flashes of my sweet loving boy and then I feel so guilty for being cross with him all the time. I also have 11 week old twins so maybe my patience with him isn’t as it should be. I basically don’t go out except to take him to playgroup twice a week because I’m so afraid he will have a meltdown while we’re out. So no advice I’m sorry, but I fully sympathise with how you feel xx

    • Jessica
      10th December 2016 at 10:23 pm Reply

      Ahh you’re a wonder woman with young twins too; are they dreams? Jenson is a dream which makes life so much easier with how Jasper has been, if he was a fractious baby I think I’d cry constantly! We don’t go out as much as we used to which did bother me at first but now the weather has gotten so cold I find it nice to be indoors and snuggled x

  • Tehara
    15th November 2016 at 12:27 pm Reply

    HI Jess,

    I could have written this myself literally every word less eloquently than you. My little daughter’s birthday is around Jasper’S (April 17th). getting in and out of the car is a nuisance as she doesn’t want to do it and often wants to sit inside the car by herself. … which is not always possible. When she kicks off she often wets herself…it’s like I can’t say the right thing and she goes from zero to 100 in seconds…I’m questioning what I feed her, what I do with her etc. and Im finding it draining. You’ve given me consolation in sharing your struggles so all I can do is hope and pray this ‘phase’ goes quickly…. hang in there BIG HUGS

    T

    • Jessica
      10th December 2016 at 10:22 pm Reply

      Ahh the car things is a struggle here; he wants to get in the car but he wants to do it himself, but if I wait for him to do it himself he moans that I haven’t helped him! He sometimes wants to stay in it too and if we’re at home I just go in the house and wait in the doorway till he comes in haha

  • missbettyandme
    15th November 2016 at 1:48 pm Reply

    Oh Jess, I could have written this blog post myself!! Betty is just like that at the moment and I’m exhausted from it. I constantly have to bargain with her but I too lose my temper because it’s just too damn much. All of the time! I think Jasper and Betty were born very close to each other so maybe it IS an age thing and something they will grow out of?
    I don’t have any advice but please know that you aren’t alone. Maybe they are still trying to get used to all their emotions? They probably feel really grown up too but obviously we realise they are still little. Maybe they are bored? See, I constantly question everything too! ? Big hugs to you xx

    • Jessica
      10th December 2016 at 10:20 pm Reply

      Ahh I’m so glad I’m not alone! These toddlers are so testing! Jasper since got better but then the last two days have been hellish – his thing at the moment is throwing things and manically laughing when I tell him off – what is this life haha

  • Donna
    15th November 2016 at 8:14 pm Reply

    I’m going through something similar with my 3 year old and I think part of it is just the normal terrible twos/threenager everything is so melodramatic phases but it has gotten worse since his sister came along 4 months ago. So I would say this phase for jasper is just normal toddler behaviour but it’s been compounded by his new sibling. It will pass. If it makes you feel any better, my little boy dropped his pants and stood and peed against my leg while I was doing dishes – he’s been potty trained over a year!

    • Jessica
      10th December 2016 at 10:19 pm Reply

      I’m sorry to say that did make me feel better haha Thanks Donna! <3

  • Janine Marie.
    16th November 2016 at 7:39 am Reply

    This literally made me cry. Cry tears of understanding as I’m going through the same with my almost 3 year old boiterious boy. I also have a 10 month old son and a 8 year old daughter from a previous relationship. My daughter was an angel ‘golden child’ as I always joke so I never came across the tantrums 50 times a day! I thought the same – the terrible two’s began before the age of two but boy don’t I know what that term means now. No matter how calm I keep he makes a fuss at breakfast, whilst I’m getting out of the door for the day’s adventure, just before or after tea..he’s very unpredictable and I get worried when the next time will be. He’s stroppy, screams, lashes out, goes red till he turns blue – sometimes just like you I question is he acting normal, do I need to worry about any behavioural issues?! My hubby is the same, ‘He’s just a boy, discovering the world’ he says. I pray that it doesn’t affect my youngest as I worry he will see his big brothers behaviour and think that is the way to behave. I’ve lost my sh*t sometimes and shouted, when your out in public getting all the stares I’ve tried my best to just get on with whatever I’m doing and ignore them but it’s bluming hard isn’t it! As long as you stick to your guns, ignore them as much as possible only concentrating on getting on with whatever your doing till they are back to normal I think they *fingers crossed* will get over this stage as it could just be testing your boundaries and patience.
    Good luck! Update us with how things develop as I love reading all your posts. They really are a honest, refreshing concept of real parenting <3.

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Hi I’m Jess, Single Mum, Accredited Life Coach, NLP Practitioner and Beauty Business owner.

I chat about all thing female empowerment, spirituality and positivity

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