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Anticipating Tantrums

From "Mummies of Many" Series

· parenting tips,managing siblings,parenting a toddler,motherhood,siblings

I was faced with several very challenging months dealing with my toddler's tantrums and meltdowns a few months after his younger brother was born. My toddler was affectionate towards his baby brother since the day he saw him at the maternity ward. Then came tantrums that happened almost every day and I was constantly feeling frustrated and worn out. I thought my son was simply at the peak of exhibiting the phase of "terrible twos", and I truly believed that these two-year-olds were indeed terrible.

 

My toddler was attending a playgroup on weekday mornings and insisted that we go shop at the mall after he was dismissed from school every day. If I didn't agree, he would start crying. I decided to simply comply so that my days could go by easier without having to deal with emotional roller coasters, even though I was fully aware simply giving in to the child's every request was not an ideal solution. Since I was going to bring him to the mall every day, I used those times to do grocery shopping and run other errands. But when it was time for us to head home, he wasn't always cooperative. There had been times he would just sit in the supermarket trolley, wailing and literally kicked up a huge fuss when I picked him out of the trolley. I made it a point to give him advance notice to let him know when we were leaving the mall. He would seem agreeable but still made a big fuss when it was finally time to go. It made me dread each time I had to bring him out.

There were also times in the morning when he refused to bathe or change into his uniform for playgroup. He would scream angrily, run around, or even sit in his poop-filled diapers, refusing to wash up. I tried various methods -- talking gently to him, playfully engaging him, scolding, shouting and spanking him. There were times I was so angry I was yelling and completely felt out of control, and thought I was truly losing my mind.

There was once we were at the mall and he kicked up a huge fuss again, refusing to head home. I got so mad, I threatened to leave him alone at the shopping mall. It was near my in-laws' place so I called my in-laws to pick him up. When they reached, I left for home without him. I was so angry and frustrated with my son and I felt the daily tantrums were simply too much for me to bear. I broke down on the drive home. I felt so defeated and ashamed of myself that as a fully grown adult, I couldn't manage my two-year-old properly. A part of me felt that I was losing my sanity. I was also ashamed of how I lacked self-control that I had horrible outbursts in response to my son's tantrums. After I got home, I locked myself in the room and continued to cry in despair. I pleaded for God to help me and to save me from being such a mess.

It is not easy taking care of a child, and even more challenging when you have more than one to mind.

I think the most challenging part of being a mother is having to consider the emotions of your child even when you feel mentally drained and when your emotional tank is running empty. @mumpreneur264

We can have bad days at work and choose not to care about the feelings of our bosses or colleagues. When office politics get too messy, we can put up a front and still be able to complete our tasks, working with nasty colleagues without getting our emotions hurt or worry about protecting theirs. But we simply can't do a mother's work with emotions detached.

There will definitely be a period for everyone to adjust to new family dynamics with the addition of a new baby. If it is hard for you to adapt to a new routine that comes, it is even more difficult for your toddler to do so. Therefore anticipate tantrums and meltdowns. Your toddler needs your love and patience now more than ever.

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