Friday, February 14, 2014

When It Just Becomes Too Much Then It Is Time To Ask For Help.

I am sharing this post because I need to be accountable for my actions and recognize that the way I act and feel not only affects me, but my family and work and others around me.  This has been going on for awhile now, but the past few months have been a constant struggle for me.  It isn't every minute of every day, no I have many happy moments....but the stress is hard for me to deal with.

It didn’t take me long into the New Year to lose the award for “Most Patient Mother of the Year”.  I mean, December 30th AND 31st we were in different ER’s and we rang in the New Year with not only us sick, but one extremely sick child (temps up to 104 sick).  Though June Cleaver would have taken it all in stride, this mom didn’t stand a chance to win. 

We finally started feeling better early January and then of course the end of January we ALL came down with the sickness again.  So on top of being sick 75% of the time since the end of October, there is stress as we wait for Henry’s EEG appointment, financial stress, work stress, home stress, my yearly January/February winter blues, independent toddler trying to find his way in this world stress, and everything else that just compiles until…


…You scream (I mean scream) at your kid because you are trying to make the bed you just made a few hours before (because twice now he has coughed and puked on the clean sheets) and while you are trying to maneuver a crib mattress your kid starts grabbing the mattress and putting toys on the springs.  Nothing horrible, no.  But in THAT moment it was too much.  And you yell.  A real yell.  A yell that hurts your throat and actually makes you take a step back and catches you off guard because you have no idea where it came from.  A yell that after you put your kid down for a nap makes you cry with guilt and frustration.

Or perhaps it is the time you just breakdown because your child will not listen to any direction you give what-so-ever.  I mean after trying to convince your child to pick up the 50+ flashcards he threw all over the kitchen and then just left them there to go play with other toys you lose it because it is a constant battle and fight.  And after he screams and cries and hits he then pees all over the place.

That was it.  That was the thing that set me off.  After not listening, dumping juice on the floor, laying sideways in his timeout chair, me nearly burning dinner, the constant back and forth, the tears, the screaming, the hitting….I reached my limit when he stood there screaming and peeing.

But most parents would have reached their limit, that is normal...but I went further. I yelled and screamed and hit the cabinet door.  (ugh….I never want him to see me hit things, nor do I want to YELL at him)  But it happened. 


Moments later terry walked in and I just lost it.  Yep, lucky man.  He didn’t even have his coat off when I started yelling and crying about what happened.  My frustrations.  The fact that I have NO IDEA how to discipline him.  The fact that the past few months I have been losing my cool and becoming SO ANGRY so easily.

I feel I yell and say “NO” more than I say “yes” and ENJOY my time with my family. It wears on you.  It has been like this for months and I am just exhausted.  I don’t want to say NO all the time.  I don’t want to always yell.  I don’t want to repeat myself 20 times trying to get a 2 year old to listen to me or pay attention.  I want to enjoy this time because I know it is short lived.  I want to make sure I mold Henry, through proper love and discipline and not the back and forth of love and screaming.  I feel I am focused on the wrong thing.  The things being done wrong instead of right.  Basically, I have turned into a real pessimist the past few months.  I am always thinking worst case scenario and constantly second guessing EVERY decision I make with him for fear it is the wrong one and because of this just get easily frustrated with not just him, but myself.  Mostly myself.  And I am becoming absolutely ridiculous with anything that involves Henry.

I mean a week ago Henry got water on his shirt right before bed after I got him all ready and I had to change him into a slightly warmer shirt to which made me mad as he already had an elevated temp to which I said: “Great, now we have to change his freakn clothes AGAIN!  And now we are putting him in a warm shirt, that other shirt was perfect.  How about we just put him in a freakn parka!!!”  Yes, I really said that.  Terry of course rolled his eyes and let me throw a tantrum like, well my two year old.  Only difference is I didn’t go all limp and throw myself to the floor….though had something else gone “wrong” I may have.  Of course, my comment made me feel like a total jackass later after I calmed down. But the point is…THAT IS ME.  That is how I am right now.  I over-react. I am ridiculous.  I have never been this bad until the last few months.

That same evening as the ridiculous parka comment, Henry must have known I was having a rough night because that night he didn't ask after his story to go to his bed.  He ALWAYS asks to go to his bed.  Instead he asked for a hug. Sigh.  I put him up on my shoulder and held him to me as close as I could and we hugged and just cuddled.  I held him SO incredibly tight and he was squeezing and hugging me and he fell asleep in my arms.  I just sat and rocked him after he fell asleep for another 15 minutes, crying and crying and soaking in that moment….not want to letting go.  Even through it all he still loves me and wants to be with me….I don’t even want to be with me because I am acting a fool.  But HE does.

I do get so frustrated with Henry, but mostly I get mad at myself because I really don’t know how to discipline him and get him to listen to me and I don't how to control my emotions in those frustrating moments.  And when I get stressed I breakdown and go from 0 to 11 in no time at all.  When I have to deal with confrontation, yes even with a two year old, I lose it.  I am not good with that stuff and my temper ALWAYS gets the best of me.  I have always been like this, but could walk away.  Take some time for myself.  Get better.  I can’t walk away now.  And I hate it.  I HATE that I get mad and lose my cool infront of Henry.  I hate that I handle some situations poorly.  I really hate that I cannot figure how to get my own son to listen to me. I HATE that I don’t feel like ME at all.  I HATE that I am so sad one minute, angry the next and happy the next.  I REALLY HATE that I get so worked up and emotional that I feel this urge to hit a wall or cabinet door….and that I have.

I am a mess.

Since having Henry there as been a lot of stress with how Terry and I had to keep a schedule and all the other stresses that come with him working part-time in the evenings. And then for the past 6 months there has been extra stress with Henry's health. It just keeps building and building.  And then the past few weeks have been extremely hard.  Some of my worst and most emotional weeks ever.   And to be honest, I don’t think I have been completely myself for some time now.  It is up and down and I have always just assumed it is part of having a kid.  But I think I am reaching a breaking point that I can no longer handle on my own.

I need to change. 

After the above and other meltdowns the past couple weeks I started thinking about things.  Two things in particular:

1.) How can I (we) communicate better with Henry so he listens and I don’t have to say NO so much?
2) What can I do to practice patience and remain calm?

I have found some things online the past couple weeks that we are trying to communicate better with Henry and I am going to continue trying for BOTH Henry and I to communicate with each other better.  I will post them and the results soon as this post has already become way too lengthy….sorry. 

But for me, I think I am at the point where I can no longer “try” to handle this on my own.  I need to talk to someone.  I don’t like the idea of talking to someone because I hate opening up to strangers about my feelings.  But if multiple people who care about you are telling you this, and have been telling you for a long time, then perhaps you need to listen if you want to change. 

I WANT to change. 

I can’t continue to be like this for Henry, Terry, My Family, work…MYSELF.

It is just a lot sometimes.  No one and I mean NO ONE can push you as much as your child.  I mean, he already knows and is continuing to learn what triggers and pushes us.  If this was anyone else, you wouldn’t get so emotional about them.  But this is your child.  Someone you love more than any words could ever express.  You love them to the deepest part of your being and so much so that it hurts.  They are a part of you and because of that I have to recognize that if I am hurting inside, then perhaps that he sees and feels that too and I need to get help.




  1. Hang in there, Jenn. Two year old (especially boys) are so hard. V pushes me to my limit more than I'd like to admit. You are not alone.

  2. I have no words of wisdom but I wanted to let you know I am reading and supporting you. Hug.