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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Broke Down

The moment I delivered Lucas I realized just how much my parents loved me because the love I felt for my newborn son was deeper and stronger than anything I had ever experienced before.

Fast forward 22 months and that love is still there and grows each and every day, but now I wonder, how on earth did they do it? How did my parents survive the terrible twos? I want to kill this kid.

Last week was rough on me as a mother.

Last week was a break down and cry kind of week for me.

If I thought Lucas was being difficult on Monday when we had to leave music class early because he was so fixated on seeing the fish at Sea Life Aquarium that he wouldn't participate in class, head butted me, threw his shoes across the room and almost knocked out another child with one his three kicking and screaming episodes, I had no clue what I was in store for Tuesday through Sunday.

Let's just say, things got progressively worse.

I broke down in tears a lot.

I haven't done that since Lucas was a newborn and I was severely sleep deprived and my post pregnancy hormones were out of control.

Now, it's my son that's out of control...

It was a week full of temper tantrums, time outs, whining, crying, throwing food, mess after mess after mess, few naps, fewer smiles, abandoned plans, lots of yelling, lots of hitting (on Lucas' part, not mine), head shaking in disgust, exhaustion and confusion, mother's guilt beyond belief, a 90 minute phone call to a seasoned mother I trust and often turn to for advice and two very frustrated parents.

It's like he's reverting and I'm left wondering; what the hell happened to my sweet little boy?!

I know this is all "normal" behavior for an almost two year old and will eventually pass, but I'm at my wits end and what little patience I have is shot.

I know it's wrong, but all I can think is:

I feed, dress and comfort this child all day every day and this is the kind of behavior I get in return?

I plan fun outings, enroll us in classes together, schedule play dates with friends, make trips to three different stores to find his favorite snacks and refill his sippy cup each time he asks for "more" and this is the kind of behavior I get in return?

I read and sing to him, wipe his nose, make sure he stays out of harms way and get down on the floor and play trains and cars with him and this is the kind of behavior I get in return?

I can't leave the house without returning with a new toy, book or article of clothing and this is the kind of behavior I get in return?

I think about my son every waking hour, what I'm doing wrong, what I'm doing right, his well being and love him more than anything else in my life and this is the kind of behavior I get in return?

If you really knew me, you would know that motherhood has been kicking my a** lately and I'm really hoping to turn a corner soon.

How did you survive the terrible twos?

This post was written for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, Prompt 3.) If you really knew me, you would know that...

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Blogger Leah said...

I hope you only have much much better days ahead of you. Come on Lucas, shape up!!! : )

April 6, 2011 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

Oh Tonya, what a crappy feeling! It can be really hard sometimes....and believe it or not, it's probably hard for him to feel this way, too. Is he pretty verbal? I remember several kids having more tantrum trouble when they didn't seem to be able to get people to understand them? Not making excuses, it is REALLY hard. But you are a great mom, you do so much for him, and it matters to him. It really does. But watch out for yourself, have to take care of yourself to take care of him.


April 6, 2011 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...


Thank you for your honesty in sharing your heart. I totally understand this x4. I have been through the 2s four times. I still get days with one or more of my kids where I am left thinking "I do all this for you, and this is the way you treat me?" but it's not usually weeks at a time. Those boundary testing times kick my butt too. *HUG*

April 6, 2011 at 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parenting is SO HARD!! SO SO SO HARD. I feel like this often with my 4 and 2 year old. OFTEN. Just for the aren't doing a damn thing wrong. I sometimes think Tyler's frustrations are because he can't tell me something he wants to say.

One more thing...remember to take care of yourself. Oh..and drink lots of wine!

April 6, 2011 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I'm so sorry you had such a bad week. I have those break down and cry weeks also. Sometimes no matter what I do it doesn't make my kids happy.

You are a great mom to your son and you do many more things for him than I do for my kids. One day he will know this and he will tell you thank you.

Sending lots of hugs your way.

April 6, 2011 at 10:14 PM  
Anonymous MamaRobinJ said...

How did I survive? I didn't. I haven't. He turns 3 in June and I wonder if I'm going to make it. And then people tell me 3 is worse than 2. Fabulous.

Medication helps ;)

Kidding (sort of) aside, know you're not the only one.

April 6, 2011 at 10:34 PM  
Anonymous Dominique said...

I don't think they ever grow out of the terrible twos just gets re-invented when they add a year to their age. Take it one day at a time it 2 boys are also a daily challenge.. wondering if my 6mth old girl will be the same when she reaches 2.

April 6, 2011 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger June Freaking Cleaver said...

When I read "few naps", a bell went off in my head.

And I'd never go three places to get his favorite snack. No almost two year old needs a snack that badly.

But then again, I'm old and tired and think we cause more problems than we solve by spoiling the kids.

And we really should recognize "good enough" parenting as good enough, because none of us are ever going to reach perfect, no matter how we run ourselves ragged for the little imps.

April 6, 2011 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

First timer here on your blog and I'm so so sorry you had a crap week :-(

My baby is now 15 months and generally, he's a pretty cheerful chappie. Which makes the meltdowns even worse. One time at a restaurant, I sat down only 5 minutes of our hour there, as he made me walk him out time and time again, he wouldn't sit and eat, and he would just bawl. So I totally feel for you!

Here's to a better week ahead!

April 7, 2011 at 12:40 AM  
Anonymous Miel Abeille said...

Just think of the fun stories you'll get to tell his fiance!

April 7, 2011 at 12:50 AM  
Anonymous Sharon Paz said...

I survived it by reading Love and Logic and implementing those practices, which thankfully were very close to our parenting philosophy. Hang in there girl.

April 7, 2011 at 1:38 AM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

I believe that God makes us love them so intensely so that we CAN get through the 2's...I will say 3, 4, and 5 were better. We're now at 14 (and it's kind of like the toddler stage all over again, but with deodorant, black clothes, and teenage attitude).

April 7, 2011 at 3:34 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

With our little guys being the same age, mine is doing all of the same stuff. He was my sweet, easy to manage one and now, not so much. Just try to not be so hard on yourself and not take it personally. I know it is hard but you are doing everything you can and he is just being 2 and taking everything out on you because he loves you so much. :)
I know it sounds corny but when all else fails I tell myself, in my head, over and over again "this too shall pass." It reminds me that the craziness is temporary and all may be fine again if I can hang on for 5 minutes.

April 7, 2011 at 4:37 AM  
Anonymous Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

All I can say is thank God I don't have these problems and hang in there--this too shall pass.

Stopping by from writer's workshop.

April 7, 2011 at 5:43 AM  
Anonymous Samantha @ Becoming Me said...

I feel your pain. My oldest son was the worst in the terrible twos for tantrums. We joined a library reading group and were asked to not join up again because my son was not interested in sitting still at all. My youngest was the worst for being mischievous, climbing on counters, the stove ... it was scary!!

It will get better. I promise. As it gradually gets better you will come upon age 3.5-4 and it will be great. And then, in my experience, the children spend their entire fifth year in a timeout. At age six all is well again.

Keep wine handy.

*here from writer's workshop*

April 7, 2011 at 6:24 AM  
Anonymous thepsychobabble said...

The terrible twos didn't happen for us. We had sweet adorable children....until they turned three.
That's right. They lulled me into a false sense of security and then BAM! They blindsided me. And I think that my son is trying to make up for lost time, too.

April 7, 2011 at 6:25 AM  
Blogger Sluiter Nation said...

We are just seeing the preview of this...Eddie is 21 months and the tantrums have started.

I have no advice for you, but you KNOW I will be cheering you on!

My mom tells me the Terrible Twos are a lot like labor. Horrendous, but you forget the pain out of all the love.

I hope this is true. For both of us!

April 7, 2011 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Coreen said...

Oh honey! I am so sorry you are going through the terrible twos. I know you know it will pass but until then, deep breaths and take breaks from each other and continue to set boundaries. He doesn't get to be the "boss". But he loves you. He is just testing out his new sense of freedoms. Hang in there! xoxo

April 7, 2011 at 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Bruna said...

We are slowly coming out of this stage with our almost 3 year-old. She has had her tough stages and it's been trying on our patience.

The terrible twos aren't fun and especially when you have a kiddo who's already strong-willed like my youngest:)

You'll survive!

Added myself to your Google Friend Connect!

April 7, 2011 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Elena said...

Being a parent is just crazy hard at times. I'm onto the Trying Three's with my oldest and my youngest is starting in on the Terrible Two's a bit early. I was overjoyed at that fact. My saving grace? Any day that brought me to tears, I always walked in their bedrooms and watched them sleep soundly. For some reason, a peaceful, sleeping child totally rid any bad moments of that day.

April 7, 2011 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Gigi said...

I'm sorry your week was so hard. I remember the days well. They are not easy, and it's made harder if you've had a particularly easygoing baby prior to it. It can be a shock to the system.

One thing that I learned out of sheer torture and some help from our speech therapist is that oftentimes, periods of defiant behavior precede periods of massive growth and development. It's really true, too. Happened with both of our kids. And at that age, when they are soaking in so much and learning so fast, the tantrums are more pronounced and so is the development. When he hits an easier spot, watch how much he's grown. That will be your reward for the hell you're enduring now. :)

personally, I don't look back on those years very fondly. But one day, you'll be having dinner and you'll realize that suddenly, it's not as hard as it used to be. And you'll jump for joy. :)

April 7, 2011 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger WTH am I Doing? said...

Well, the good news is that there are good days & bad days with the terrible whatevers (Boo had great 2s and terrible 3s).

What I've noticed is that there seem to be phases. Boo will be great for a long time & then just go thru a couple weeks where he's just a butt. He still does this, even at 5. It gets easier & they get better.

Plus? This is part of why God makes them so darn cute. ;o)

April 7, 2011 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Soge shirts said...

Sorry Tonya that sounds really difficult. You can only do so much until he comes out of this phase.

April 7, 2011 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

Tonya...motherhood kicks all our butts and if someone says otherwise they're lying! Someday you'll look back on this time and laugh and miss the good things about two year olds. Now that mine are 10 and 8, it's all about talking back. I'm dreading the tweens and teen years. I think I have some serious butt kicking coming my way, but I plan on kicking some butt!

April 7, 2011 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger A Mountain Momma said...

How did I survive the Terrible 2's? Man, I will let you know once I make it through the terrible 3's.

April 7, 2011 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Here's my answer: I have no answer. Seriously, one of the reasons I started my blog was because Ethan (monster) was just that...a monster. Writing was a way for me to get away from it all for awhile.

It is just hard. It sucks a lot of the time, and as my sister always says, it's mostly a thankless job.

I did (and am) taking it a day at a time, sometimes a minute at a time, and trying to relish the quiet, special moments that I get.

And I too have noticed spurts of the bad times...Ethan will be really good and then have a few really bad weeks.

Hang in there, and I'm always around if you need to vent.

April 7, 2011 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger waytenmom said...

I haven't read the other comments, so I may be completely repeating them, but YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It feels so helpless to be giving, giving, giving, to know intellectually how it's important to set limits, demonstrate self control, teach, support, and nurture yet find yourself at wits' end. I guess I will sadly tell you that he's doing things that are developmentally appropriate, figuring out his world and you, my friend, are his most trusted guinea pig!! Which I guess gets back to - try not to beat yourself up about this. And if you want a 14 year old GIRL to show you some different issues let me know and we'll see what we can do to arrange an exchange program. :-)

April 7, 2011 at 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Heidi Smith Luedtke -- LeadingMama said...

What a lousy week, Tonya. Our terrible twos were not so terrible. The threes? Kill me now. Please. Shoot. Me. Tantrums, screaming. Oh, and he had the verbal skills to tell me "You a BAD mommy." Tears. Lots of tears. It helped me to try and detach from his behavior. It really isn't about you (I know, I know it feels like it is!!) If you ask yourself what you would think about this child and what you would say/do with him if he were someone else's child, you will be taking the kind of view I am talking about. Helped me some. But yes, there were tears. Now he is four and it is different. Now I am sad he's growing up so fast.

April 8, 2011 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger SWEETMOCHA said...

Hi, I'm stopping by from the writer's workshop. I have not kids so I can't offer any advice. I do believe that your level of concern indicates that your a good mom. Hang in there!!!

April 10, 2011 at 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Cheri Paxton said...

Thank you for this timely post. It is 2:30am and I came online to google search the subject "how parents survive the terrible twos" because I had such a terrible day with my 2 year old and now I can't sleep because I feel like a horrible mother. Anyways.... after reading a couple of other fluffy posts about how to deal with the terrible 2's I saw under your post in my google search "I want to kill this kid" and I knew I was in the RIGHT place!! Because that's how I feel right now. So frustrated, so exhausted, so guilt ridden.... it just goes on and on. I also have a 5 year old, which actually helps because I remember going through all of this with her too and now she's amazing... so funny and fun to be around. My 2 year old drives her bonkers too. My 5 year was really tough when she was 2 till she was about 3 1/2, so I know it's just one of things that you just have to ride out. I do believe my 5 year would be a nightmare right now if I didn't let her know who was boss day after day when she was little though. This taught me that being a consistant mom may feel thankless, but you will reap the rewards later. Just wanted to let you know you ARE a really good mom, being a mom to a two year is tough stuff & I hear ya loud and clear... just know that you are not alone!!!

June 17, 2011 at 3:10 AM  

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