S.O.S: Toddler behavior has me maxed out

My three year old is dancing around me as I ask her for what feels like the 10th time, to sit down so I can comb her hair. She is chattering away or singing, or saying mommy? mommy? and trying to point to something she wants me to get for her…she is so engrossed in her own behavior that she isn’t hearing me. I start out patient every time, but the lack of attention/focus and my repeating instructions has me annoyed to my limit. Meanwhile, her six month old sister is starting to fuss and the cat is climbing on my lap. Finally irritated, I raise my voice and in a harsher- than-I-would-like tone and say “Can you please come sit down? This is the eighth time I have asked you! We don’t have to go to x,y,z, if you are not ready to listen”. I say this as I am scowling, rolling my eyes, and giving an exasperated sigh.

Instantly I feel like I have crashed her little spirit and my tone has been mean. Sometimes I even dig in a little and say, “why don’t you listen?” or some other unproductive comment that makes me feel like an asshole parent. I rationalize that I am human and only have so much patience in a day, but the truth is that some days I am maxed out and this is the best i’ve got. Frankly, this depresses me.

On good days I don’t indulge in mom-guilt. I have visions of fun crafty things we can do-together and strive to be engaged and patient. On the bad days, I lose the battle. I am hoping that I am not alone in the struggle to be a better parent. Maybe I am too nice? Maybe this is just what 3 and 4 year olds behave like? Maybe I just suck?

How do you cope on your worst mom/dad days?

16 thoughts on “S.O.S: Toddler behavior has me maxed out

  1. mrsmotherdirt says:

    Oh no!!! LOL! 3 has been tough. I was hoping 4 might be a bit easier. Yes, the repetition and the tiny, tiny toys and broken crayons and paper scraps that seem to leave a trail everywhere she goes. I feel stress just thinking about it! Sigh…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. momlifewithchiari says:

    You’re not alone! Some mothers are just a little more honest than others about the real struggles of motherhood. I like to give myself a time out when I know they’ve exhausted my patience. I go to my room or bathroom and take 2 to 3 minutes to remember to breathe. Children have a way of showing us realities of ourselves like no one else. Through them I’ve seen my lack of patience and how I so easily get upset. It’s tough at a moment of chaos but a good reminder is to know is that they won’t stay little forever. And often think there aren’t only the ‘terrible’ twos, there’s the terrible twos, threes, fours, fives…! 🙄💛🤣

    Liked by 2 people

      • momlifewithchiari says:

        Yes it is, I know it’s me. They have no fault over the kid like behavior. I correct them, but I have to control myself and not raise my voice as much as I do – it’s such an easier thing to do. However it doesn’t teach the children anything about love and patience. Everyday we learn and everyday there’s room to grow 🙏🏽😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nick Holland says:

    toddlers are tough! I’d be lying if I said we never had days like this. We try to not let it get us that far, but when it does the other half will take that as the ‘offender’ needs a break, so its a quick trip outside for a walk or to the shops to allow the other to cool off.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. momnessly says:

    every toddler mom go through that and yes, the guilt after raising your voice is instant. When I know that my patience is about to snap, I took deep breaths and count 123 and it seems to work (but not all the time)…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tomashia says:

    You are definitely not alone. I’m trying to do better in this area. My kids are now 8, 10, and 12 and I’ve become so accustomed to yelling, which isn’t healthy. Sometime I just take a few deep breaths and try to refocus their attention. It’s not easy, that’s for sure. I think we need to be more honest with our feelings. Most times people think we have it all Tibetans we’re screaming for help inside. We can be afraid to tell the truth. I appreciate your honesty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mrsmotherdirt says:

      And you are hitting the tween and teen stages. I am sure it’s a challenge. I was finding myself yelling a lot too and even worse, I was doing a lot of eye rolling and huffing and puffing – attributes/behaviors I have inherited from my own mother (and which I do not like). After some thoughtful responses from other bloggers, I am realizing their behavior is about me and my areas that need growth. In fact I have been working from home today with both girls and haven’t lost my patience once. It’s me that is my own problem. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mrsmotherdirt says:

      Thanks for taking time to share some mama wisdom. Most days I can be empathetic but it can be exhausting. I think 3 was the hardest age so far! The neediness + her competing with a new sibling…ugh! 🤦🏼‍♀️


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