Life with a 3 year old is hard. In my experience so far, three is the toughest age. Toddler tantrums can happen at any age though. It’s just a part of them growing up. They are going to happen. So how do we get through them without feeling completely alone or like we’ve failed as a parent?
My toddlers latest meltdown
Tonight I just couldn’t wait for bedtime. (My own bedtime mainly haha) It’s been a long day and I had a killer headache. I was getting the kids ready to lay in bed for our wind-down time when my three year old started to have meltdown. A tantrum over wearing her pull-up to sleep.
She hates it, poor thing. But she just sleeps so hard and doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night to go. Normally she puts it on just fine and says nothing about it. But every so often she just doesn’t. wanna. do it.
Tonight was one of those nights. She’s into this thing right now where she screams, “NO!” at me every time she doesn’t wanna do something. Toddlers are fun right?
I pray for more patience often, but lack of patience is definitely what I have when that comes out of her.
Now sometimes, you have to pick and choose your battles. Normally I would just say “ok tonight we’ll try without it” but then later go put it on her after she was asleep so that I could avoid the fight. But tonight I knew I would fall asleep shortly after her and forget.
So the tantrum ensued
She and I sat on the living room couch while she had her meltdown because we were at the point of no return. Sometimes all I can do is let her cry and fuss while I ignore her after firmly asking her to calm down so we can talk it out.
I’ll try to snuggle her and she’ll fight for me to stop…then she comes to me fighting for the snuggles. Ahhhhh, life with a three year old. The reoccurring cycle of the toddler tantrums.
But now that the meltdown is over and the pull-up is on, I was able to rock my big baby to sleep. She snuggled up on my chest, whined for a minute, then was out. That’s when the mom guilt set in.
“I shouldn’t of raised my voice at her”
“I should’ve just put the pull-up on after she was asleep”
Everything that I “should’ve done” comes to mind and then the tears start to flow.
These times are tough
They’re hard to deal with but they won’t last forever. It doesn’t mean that I’m a bad parent and it doesn’t mean that she’s a bad kid. She’s 3 years old and doesn’t know how to react calmly to something she doesn’t like. I remind myself that the only thing I can control during these situations is my own behavior.
Remember This season of toddler tantrums will pass
Sometimes our emotions get away from us though and we feel like we totally failed at keeping our cool. We feel like we’re failing at this parenting thing.
When that happens, I snuggle my baby, pray about it, and give my struggles to God for the night. You can’t change the past so why keep stressing about it. You have to let it go and remember that you are learning right alongside your toddler. That’s what parenting is, learning as we go.
In your moments of frustration, remember that this moment will pass. She is three. She won’t have meltdowns forever. I am the mom of a 7 year old boy who had these same toddler tantrums. He doesn’t throw tantrums anymore. Yes, he gets annoyed and has an attitude sometimes but no tantrums. We as adults don’t throw tantrums.
You’re doing a good job mama. When your toddler throws a tantrum reassure yourself of that. Tell yourself that YOU are ok. You ARE doing a good job and this season (and the meltdown) will pass. Remind yourself of what a kick ass mom you are and what an awesome kid you have!
Till next time mama, Peace out!
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