Hello My Name Is Krissy, And My Kids Are Driving Me Crazy!

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Categories Family, Mommy Issues, ToddlersTags ,

When I am stressed, I like to chew. Something about the repetitive motion of chomping up and down is calming to me. As a result, I have arthritis in my jaws from consuming many many packs of gum, and slightly bumpy teeth from crunching ice, a habit which has been nearly impossible to break, much to my family’s chagrin.

Last night, I was desperate to chew away some of my stress. I was overwhelmed from back to back bad days with my 14 month olds. My two toddlers turned on me this week, hitting, pushing, falling, crying, head-butting, smacking, pulling hair and screaming. In a restaurant, in the car, in IKEA, with all eyes being magnetically drawn to my twosome. I wasn’t handling the situation well…I could feel myself getting increasingly annoyed, agitated and plain angry with my tiresome duo. I briefly considered trying to sell them at IKEA, but the way they were acting, no one would have bought them!

When my husband got home from work, he found me in a near coma on the couch. I was DONE with those kids….absolutely positively DONE. I had very little left to offer anyone, and when my son hit me hard in the face with a wooden spoon, and my anger boiled over, I knew I was near the edge.

My kind husband put the kids to bed and helped me clean up the house. I contemplated what options I had for making myself feel a little better, and my mind toyed with the idea of consuming large quantities of dark chocolate. Mmmm, chocolate. I stopped eating chocolate 8 months ago when the kids were 6 months old, in an effort to help my weight loss goals. Nary a morsel has crossed my lips, and no, my weight isn’t down thank-you-very-much. But oh, the temptation! I was so incredibly desperate to stop feeling so miserable that I came darn close to stuffing myself with chocolate. But I kept thinking “I have never woken up and though ‘That was such a good idea to eat all that food before bed.'” Instead, I turned to my stash of frozen grapes for my noshing needs.

Today was a much better day. I was able to get a decent nights sleep, and prayed for my day before exiting my covers this morning.  I planned lots of physical activity for my energetic twosome, and mentally prepared myself for the day. I purposefully planned on being around other people most of the day, which is a great coping mechanism for me.

Parenting is stressful. Parenting two strong-willed toddlers is extra-stressful. My husband and I have developed a system to give each other a “night off” at least once every other week. Every other Friday, my husband plays poker after work. And every other Thursday, I leave the house as soon as he is home from work. Sometimes I take a good book to dinner, sometimes I window shop or go to a book store and drink coffee. Other days I meet up with a friend for nourishing conversation. And this past weekend, I slipped out of the house early, before my family was up, for some much needed “me” time. On Saturday, I went to the track, walking, jogging and sweating. On Sunday I went to a local farm and came home with fresh fruit, vegetables and just-baked bread. It was delightful!

Yet some how, I still managed to become a stressball by Tuesday evening! So I am curious, how do you handle the stress of parenting? What has been the most challenging aspect of parenting to date? How do you and your spouse/family give each other a break?

Who US?! Challenging?! What is she talking about?
Who US?! Challenging?! What is she talking about?
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13 thoughts on “Hello My Name Is Krissy, And My Kids Are Driving Me Crazy!”

  1. I destress by working. My job has its own stresses, but they’re completely distinct from those of my family. Work is a break from home, home a break from work, and I feel mostly balanced.

    My husband was away for much of our two-year-olds’ lives. We’re still figuring out how to give each other a break. Tonight, though, he sent me off to take a bubble bath between dinner and the girlies’ bedtime. This meant that I missed playtime with the kids, but the luxury was worth it, this once. I got out of the tub in time to snuggle with the girls and tuck them in. Heaven.

  2. Even thought I have eight kiddos and my twins are # 7 and 8, my hat is still off to those of who are navigating the twin waters with your duo being the first children or closely following your first born. Yes, I’m juggling 8 kids, but I have older ones who can give me a break at times, taking the twins to another room, wrestling a teething terror or entertaining a whiny whelp. I’m so impressed with those of you who are on call all day long to the persistent siren song of double (or multiple) little people without a handy 14 year old to pitch in!

    That said, I have learned to ‘micro-rejuvenate’– it is rare that I get an extended time away, but my dh and I are faithful to our Friday night date and I try to take multiple little breaks during the day (even if it is just hiding in the bathroom for a bit) to take a couple deep breaths and get the multiple tracks running through my head into some kind of harmony. I try to find one small thing a day that I ACCOMPLISH, even if it is just straightening my underwear drawer. When I open that drawer again, it’s mine, it’s an island of neatness in an ocean of chaos. These are 5 minute little breathers, but they are an important 5 minutes.

    I do also find that the physical nature of raising twins is very different than my singletons. Someone is always touching me, wanting to nurse, wanting to be held, wanting to bite me (that one is gettin’ old, let me tell ya). So I have also found that it is important for me to not have physical input, just for a bit, each day. Even though my thresholds are pretty darn high, I do get ‘touched out’ and find that it can manifest in a loss of patience, a shift in attitude and an overall stressed out mom–and it’s as simple as needing a tiny bit of personal space.

    No, my methods aren’t quenching the drought, but they are fruitful little ‘micro-bursts’ that do quench a tired mommy soul. Hats off to all you mommies of first-born or second born multiples–you are mommy heroes!!!

    Blessings!

  3. 14 months SUCKED for us….it was so hard and the kids were needy and all over the place. Happily, 15 months seems to be smoother. I don’t know if it’s this hard with one or what, but I’ve found it just draining. I’ve been reading a bunch of toddler books and talking to moms, trying to figure out how to best parent my duo.

    Things that help?
    1. Have my mom come stay for a week. Extra hands are fanstastic!
    2. Sleep in mornings. We each have one. Sleep in means until 8:30am, but with our early risers, it’s a luxury!
    3. Go away overnight. We’ve done this a couple of times and it’s a fantastic break. In fact, we’re going away again this weekend for a wedding.
    4. Work. I work a couple of evenings a week (and Saturdays for a while)—-it’s great to get away and forget the frustrations of the day.
    5. A babysitter. I have a regular sitter who comes one morning a week. She folds my laundry and cleans the kitchen while the babies nap, then plays with them and feeds them lunch. I get a chance to run errands, go to the dentist or sit at Starbucks and email….and come home to happy babies and a clean house.

    Hope things improve soon!

  4. Walking!! I haven’t done it in two weeks and I’m feeling it. Slow, meditational walks in nature cure everything and bring me back to myself, my peace. Everything they do is a little less tiring after a nice long walk.

    Oh, and for us 14 months was a breeze. Goes to show that every set is different.

    I have found that moms groups help with breaking up the daytime dramas … just gettting out and doing something each day is a real help.

  5. I agree with Sadia – working. Strangely enough, I get more done at work then when I’m at home with the kids. And I get adult time! And non-interruption time!

    If this isn’t an option though, and if my husband isn’t around to hand ’em off to, I’m afraid to say that the TV gets turned on when I need a break. I choose a movie or TV show based on the amount of time I feel I need. A 15 minute Sprout show sometimes works…but sometimes you need that 1.5 hour Disney movie to regenerate. There are times that I feel bad about this…but then I figure that they’re pretty balanced and play and read and stuff too. And I remember watching a lot of TV (still do, actually) and I think I turned out okay 😉

  6. I’m with Sadia and Nancy. Working is at least a physical break for me. Sure, my brain is still working. But at least my body is getting rest – sitting down and plugging away at my computer. By this time next year I will hopefully be home during the day (most days) and I’m sure I’ll have a much more colorful answer for you. 😉

  7. For us, 14 months was the precursor to a crazily hard 16-22 independence phase. It was TOUGH. They are learning to be independent of you and of each other.

    My big break is also to work. But with my husband traveling 2-3 days a week, I don’t get an option of taking a break on those nights. Instead if I feel like I am boiling over, I turn on a tv show they like (preview it first to make sure you like it) then I would hide out in the bathroom for a few minutes to calm down. A mommy time out.

    This is a tough age because they don’t quite get boundaries yet. You might want to check out Ask Moxie’s advice TODAY on tantrums in 18 months old…. very awesome advice on how to help emotionally deal with things.

    I’ve also learned it’s not always about getting a complete break. It’s about going through a stressful episode and rebounding from that. A change of scenery has always helped us, which is why we have a play area in our office upstairs that is a special place.

  8. Sheeez, and I feel sorry for myself with a two year old. I can’t even fathom…… I de-stress by always going ahead and eating the chocolate and always have something in the works to look forward too. Scrapbooking retreats, book club, etc. You look like you got a handle on “me” time. Good for you!

  9. I only have one child (23 months) and I’m a single mom. I wish I had the answer. I work, but that can be stressful, so when my daughter is driving me crazy I just want to sit on my butt, in front of the tv, and eat a ton of ice cream after she is in bed. I can’t do this anymore (must lose weight) so I don’t have any big stress busters. They say exercise helps, and I do feel better after, but when I’m exhausted from working all day and chasing a toddler all evening, it’s the last thing I want to do. Good luck.

  10. I only have one (with another on the way) but can I still say I know what you mean? (Occasionally we have my step-daughter and assorted other family member’s children too!) What works for me is a change of scenery. If the children are being crazy (or driving me crazy) we go for a walk or go outside and kick a ball around. Just something so they can run off some of their energy. Or if that’s not possible, distractions. We have certain toys that are put up so they’re like brand new when we get them out. And you have to have a break sometime, whether it’s hubby’s turn to keep them for an afternoon or enlisting Gramma to keep them for a night!

  11. If you’ve managed to stay off chocolate for 8 months (wow!) – don’t do the chocolate. You’ll just feel extra lousy afterwards.

    You’re lucky to get one evening a fortnight off – but it’s not enough. I try to get out of the house for a walk – even if it’s only half an hour or so, even if it’s after the kids are in bed – about three or four times a week. I don’t know whether it’s the exercise, the fresh air, or just knowing that for the next half-hour or so someone else is holding fort, but it really helps.

  12. I think I’m the only guy to post here and I’m sure glad I found a site where other parents feel the same pain. I resigned from work due to stress; unable to put in all the hours and give adequate time to my 2 1/2 year old and 9-month old.

    I’ve been home for 3 months now and am just going absolutely crazy. I don’t know what to do to make myself feel better. I feel guilty turning on the TV so I don’t do that often — I basically just try to stick it out until my wife gets home to provide a hand.

    Since I never leave the home I feel like I work a double-home shift until the kids sleep with at that point I’m fully exhausted with no energy to read a book or go to the gym. I don’t know if there’s a solution; perhaps it must be this way until they’re older.

    My family is my top priority and I love my wife and kids but I’m slowly going crazy and am probably a bit depressed. I sure am glad though that I was able to read other folks’ comments and stories.

  13. My 2nd set of twins are 16 mos old and just now reaching that new-found independence stage, where they want complete and total freedom yet they can’t communicate that with me so they just scream bloody-murder all day long. My 1st set of twins are 3 yrs old and both are very stubborn and strong-willed. I’m a SAHM so on most days sometimes I just wanna stick my head in the oven…but I usually just cower on the bathroom floor with the door locked shut and pray. Seriously, I pray a lot during the day when I’m alone with the kids. It actually does help…I don’t know if it’s that 5 minutes alone with God where I plead with Him for sanity, strength and patience or just the fact that I’ve taken 5 minutes for myself to practice breathing and not yelling.

    I’ve also been getting up super early before everyone and going for jogs around my neighborhood, which is really good for clearing my head and putting me in a good mood before the day with the kids even starts. Or if I need the extra sleep, I’ll just drag the kids to the gym with me and put them in the daycare while I work out. They love it and have a great time and I get my work-out time in, which I love.

    My husband and I have been in therapy and thankfully our therapist has helped my husband to see that I need breaks periodically. No one can “work” 14 hour days, 7 days a week without having a total breakdown. Now he’s very good about watching the kids for a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday (or an evening during the week if I need it) so I can get out by myself. Sometimes I’ll use that time to do the grocery shopping or get the kids some new clothes but sometimes I’ll just go to Borders, grab a coffee and read a book or if we have the extra $$ I may treat myself to a pedicure. Yesterday I splurged and got my hair highlighted and cut…wow, it was amazing how refreshed I felt after that, mainly because I felt like I looked somewhat human again!

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