I tell myself everyday, literally every night when I sleep, that I shall be more patient. It does not happen.
My four year old daughter returns from school and throws a tantrum. Everyday. I think it’s a phase and I try and be calm, but I am not a patient person by nature (when you are a parent, that is one quality you must have. Unfortunately, I lack it). But, I try. She does not want to eat, does not want this and that, everything is an issue. I know why she is doing this and it’s only normal. Her life has changed after my twins (now a year old) were born. She does not get her mother as much as she used to, even though I spend more time with her than with the babies. Also, she’s tired and hungry by the time she gets home and, being a four year old, can’t deal with it, so she just generally screams and flails her arms and legs about – something, it seems, most four year olds love to do. It’s a preferred way of expressing their will.
I have little time at lunchtime – the babies need to be fed too and they cry if they hear her scream and shout. So here I have a clingy four year old, wrapped snake-like around my legs, wailing, and a set of twins crawling their way to me to seek security. Within minutes of entering the house, after picking her up from the bus stand, I find myself holding three kids, all of whom want the other to leave the mommy. Patience. I tell myself. Patience..
There are, of course, good days too, but, it seems, that right now, those are few and far between. I understand the older one’s clingyness and do feel bad that I don’t handle her better, but I feel tired (and sleep deprived) and the screaming just blows some fuse in my head. She was not like this before and, even now, she treats the babies really well and accepts that I am their mommy too. But when she is tired, which she is when she returns from school, she lets it get the better of her and that just starts this snowball effect – she screams, I lose it, the babies cry, I get angry, she cries more, the babies get even more upset, I try and calm everyone down, then – somehow – we make up, she tells me that I upset her, that makes me feel like a worm, I hug and kiss her, and then we eat lunch! Phew.
I know it will get better and, like I said, it’s not like this all the time. So, I am hoping it will pass. And I am working on my patience levels.
9 responses to “Patience. I need patience.”
Hugs. This too shall pass. Whats her favorite drink? Give her that as soon as she enters the house. Read her favorite book. Lunch can wait for a while. I used to give my daughter a glass of milk the minute she came back from school. I have seen that the tantrums are the worst when they are hungry. And more importantly, I make sure I have had something to eat too! 🙂
Hi, just had a couple of tips…I know u didn’t ask for any advice but am dishing some out anyway 🙂 I used to have the exact same problem when my younger daughter was born. My son (then 3) would come home hungry, tired and there were tantrums every single day. One – give your older one a snack to munch on the way back in the school bus. This ensures she’s not dying of hunger when she enters the house. Two – feed the twins before she arrives. Three (most important) – I ALWAYS feed myself first :)) With more than 1 kid, it’s important to eat when you have time, and not to wait until you are hungry. Four – it’s hard to pacify everyone when all want a piece of mommy. I’d suggest just leave the twins with the maids for 10 mins and go off to another room with your 4-year old and give her 10 mins of your undivided attention. The twins can wait. Also, they won’t remember. But 4-year-olds will!!!
Good luck! Like you said, this too shall pass!
Hugs CM. Aparna and Boo are right on. I pack a small tiffin with something she loves for her to munch in the bus on her way back. Distract her with anything to see or hear. Maybe a book or a magazine ad or some insects, flowers in the garden. Days when I am home I generally have lunch before she gets in that gives me the energy to tackle the lil monster.
Thanks guys, for your inputs. They make a lot of sense, and thought I was doing some of it, like giving her some sweet biscuits she likes, on the way home, I like the idea about a drink, it may have a faster effect!
I have guilt, no matter what I do. I give most of my time to my older one, because, like Aparna said, the twins won’t remember, but now they are staring to assert their will and cry a lot if they can sense me. So when we come back home, I tiptoe to my room, but if they hear my older daughter, they know I am back too! They’ve figured it out and start shouting “mamma” in unison! it’s actually really sweet..
I know this will pass, and, the way I try and look at it, is that I get soooo much joy from my kids that this little pain is worth it!
Thanks again, everyone. Feels nice to have friends in cyberspace..
Hey Crabby Mommy
Been meaning to say a proper hello for a long time. First things first – a Cribber Mom thinks Crabby Mommy is her long lost twin seperated from her at the Kumbh Mela. So there’s an unseen umbilical cord running the miles.
Don’t fret. Lots of hugs. I have a clinger too. Ok you’re two notches up (because of teh twins) and have more of a right to be cribby and crabby with three li’l ones demanding attention.
I can’t offer you tips coz I’m quite a loser who can’t handle a similar situation. Along with the kid, I have a wild meltdown. And then he’s so baffled he stops howling to watch me. I know I’m setting a bad example, but what the hell. He stops crying! (Hey that wasn’t a tip.)
It can be sooooo frustrating. Just crib and crab and blog it out. That’s the safest way to get it out of your system and get ready for the next day.
Hey, it’s great t hear from you. Long lost twin is right! I feel the same..
I am trying not to fret, with mixed results. It works at times and at times I get all aaagggghhhhhhhh. I like the idea about you having a
meltdown! It’s great really. Don’t know if I can pull that off though, with three of them.
Blogging for me, like you said, is therapeutic, so that’s what I try and do. And when I find people like you in cyberspace, I feel I am not the
monster I sometimes suspect I’ve become!!
Thanks again. Will be visiting your blog regularly..
I have a five year-old son who I end up getting angry/raging at about once a month (pms) although I have been able to not do this some months. This is totally not his fault but I do see the pattern of conciding with my PMS. I do see the benefit of being able to vent and have a laugh about it at sites like this and cut ourselves a little slack to help relieve the guilt. But for me, I do feel the responsibility of making improvements so that I am dealing with the problem so that my son does not have to.
I’ve done a lot of research on this and read a lot of books and I’d like to share what I’ve found.
There are two components to this issue: physical and emotional. In my case, physically, I believe the stress of a difficult childhood, is a factor in this. Both the thyroid and adrenals can be affected in any chronically stressful situation. Anger/rage, emotional outbursts are all symptoms of problems with either of these. I have no affiliation with these websites other than I’ve found them to be THE best source of information on these topics:
The only other thing I would add is to look long and hard at natural thyroid meds if this applies to you, rather than synthroid.
The second aspect of the raging for me is emotional. Again, all the wonderful baggage I carry around from my childhood. I found one book, ‘When anger hurts your kids’ that really helped me understand the affect my anger was having on my son. It’s a small but powerful book, that is not meant to create more guilt but quite simply explains the problem, and, more importantly to me, provides a series of exercises and suggestions for overcoming the expression of anger at children. Very helpful.
The last book I would suggest, ‘Parenting from the inside out’ is very helpful for understanding the connection between our previous experiences and how we relate to our children. I think it’s intent is to help us better understand ourselves and where the anger comes from. To really get to the root of it and be able to ferret out the source, not just cover it up. As an example, one of the authors, an MD, talks about his reaction to the cries of his 6 month old son. He would become irritated and angry toward him whenever he cried. With a little introspection, he was able to tie his feelings back to his internship at a children’s hospital dealing with chronically ill children. He had to treat them with methods that would hurt them and make them cry and he had to cut off his emotions at that time in order to get through it. Until he processed those emotions, he was just carrying them forward and it was affecting his relationship with his son. Both books have a nice ‘Look inside’ on Amazon to give you a better idea.
In my case, it makes me sad when I think I’m adversely affecting my son and my relationship with him with my anger. This is the sweetest relationship I’ll over know and I want to preserve his feelings and the relationship with him. I look at it this way. If my spouse or even a good friend raged at me verbally on a regular basis, I would distance myself from them, either physically or emotionally. My five year old can’t remove himself from the situation physically, but he can emotionally. And I don’t want to lose the close bond we have or to create a situation where he has to mold his character around my anger. I’m his protector and he should have a sense of security and safety with me. I want to provide that for him.
I hope this is helpful to you.
Hey, thanks for this long reply to my post. I do, indeed, find it helpful. And I can relate with what you say about not wanting to destroy that innocent and tender relationship with a five year old.
I am facing this issue more than ever now, since my older daughter (almost five) is going through a sulky phase and I am finding it hard to cope with it, since I have fourteen month old twins and they have their own demands on me.
I know I need to be more patient, but it’s hard. And I know that the root of my irritation is not really the kids, but the fact that I am at home doing nothing else and have given up work, which, ideally, I would not have wanted to do.
I will try and get the books you mention.
Thanks again. I really appreciate your post.
hi there,,,i so hear your frustation..im a new mom of twins (3 month old) and i have a 3 yr old little girl who was an angel before the babies came…i was telling my hubby, are all parents of multiples going thru this or are we not good parents/.??
im also stressed and cooped up at home…hang in there it will pass…i keep telling myself that…:)