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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Frayed nerves...

Wow! Single parenting sucks! The girls are in a new phase where almost anything and everything can induce a tantrum…an all out, on the floor, kicking and screaming, tantrum. Furthermore, they outnumber me!

Here’s a list of things that have led to a tantrum in the past few days:
Changing a diaper
Sister has a toy I want or is in my general vicinity
I’m hungry and mom can’t get food in front of me in the next 30 seconds
A stranger looked at me and waved (No lie, this happened twice in the past week at two different restaurants)
Mom left the room
Mom is on the phone and not giving me her undivided attention
I want Mom to hold me…I don’t want Mom to hold me
I don’t want to eat what Mom gave me so I will spit it out, throw it on the floor, or better yet rub it in my hair- especially if I just had a bath.

They are so fast and curious; in the time it takes me to change one’s diaper the other is into something they shouldn’t be into (xmas presents, Kleenex box, all the dvd’s in the cabinet, the toilet, you name it.)

Even laundry is no simple feat. This morning this is how doing laundry went in our house. I go to my room and gather my dirty laundry. I leave the room with hands full, not able to shut the door behind me, and as I’m leaving my bedroom they are crawling in. My bedroom and bathroom are forbidden territory and they know it- when they see an opportunity to cross enemy lines they seize it. I take the clothes to the laundry room and drop it off and go back to get them. In the time it takes me to walk back from the laundry room, one is in my make-up drawer and the other is standing at the tub and has turned the water on. I get them both out of the bathroom and shut my bedroom door behind me. I go back to the laundry room to load the washer. I hear screaming while I’m in there but figure they can fend for themselves for 15 more seconds. I come out and find Addie is eating something out of the fireplace. While I am washing ashes out of her mouth, Allie comes to the kitchen and unloads the entire Tupperware cabinet. After I hastily pick up the Tupperware and throw it haphazardly into the cabinet (gone are the days of the organized cabinet where all pieces have their matching lids) I find Addie tearing up a magazine in the living room. When I take it away she screams, throws herself on the floor, and repeatedly hits my foot- as it happens to be the closest thing to her. Allie crawls around the corner and sees Addie crying so she starts too. Afterall, the only thing better than one upset child is two. And in this house it is “monkey see, monkey do”. Whew- I’m exhausted and it’s only 9:30 a.m.!

The only thing they both enjoy no matter what is the bath, and if I could get away with leaving them in the bathtub for 4 hours at a time, I just might. Better yet, maybe I should stay in the bath for 4 hours...

They are draining me in a way they have never drained me before. By the end of the day I have picked them up, put them down, crouched down to clean something up, and picked up toys so many times that my back and neck are achy and sore. Added to the stress and exhaustion of grieving it is all too much. It makes me lose my patience and I react in ways that I never would under different circumstances; yelling and spanking over things that don’t deserve such reactions. Then I feel like a horrible parent and my guilt weighs me down even further. It is a vicious cycle. I feel terribly guilty about the little amount of time I get to spend with them (3 hours at most on days I have to work) and I just want to be with them, but then they are so taxing that when I’m with them I just want to be away from them. I am on edge with them, with myself, with everyone.

My emotions are raw, like live wires and if you come too close you might get shocked.


  1. I remember those days oh so well. My kids are now 3 and 6...a little easier maybe, definitely different now and harder in other ways, but 3 years ago they were just like that. I'm actually surprised they lived through the first couple years of my widowhood. There is so much to do when you are a lone parent that you have to take mommy time away from the kids to get it all done (which it never gets done). My kids get my leftover time so in a way, they also lose a part of me as well. I will say a prayer for you tonight.

  2. You just described every day for the past 5 months of my life, it seems. It is so stressful and difficult. Give yourself a break. You are obviously a great mother going through an unimaginably difficult time. Hang in there and know there are others in the same situation (I only have one tantrum-y toddler, though!).