Parenting Three Year Olds

Everyone said three was harder than two.  I believed them fully. But I didn’t know just how hard it would get.

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I feel like someone has stolen my happy little girl and replaced her with this emotional roller coaster. I can’t stay on top of the mood swings and the fits have me wanting to walk right out the door. I tip toe around everything, spell things out and avoid so many things simply because I’m afraid of the meltdown that will ensue. Somedays feel like one big fight from beginning to end. And I wonder if Eleanor’s life is any fun at all. How can being three be so incredibly hard?

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I try to do fun things with her and it winds up hard and bad. I plan fun days and they end up all trouble. I reserve special treats for her and it always ends up in a fit. The more I try the worse it seems. I am consistent and fair and loving and everything is wrong. I am angry and threatening and I count to three and it is still all wrong. And I take a look around us and I can’t remember if Eleanor has smiled all day long. She whines when she wakes up in the morning, she fights anything we give her for breakfast, bed time is a nightmare and eating dinner never happens. I keep her on a schedule to help her adjust her expectations and it blows up. I try to be spontaneous and fun and that never works. I am failing miserably. All. The. Time.

Playing with friends is hard. But not having playdates is apparently a crime. Communication sucks. Negotiation is impossible. Compromise is non-existent. And crying is happening all the time.

Honestly, I think we are just in a down swing right now. We have been traveling so much lately. The girls just had a terrible cold with fevers and coughs. It was a holiday weekend with visitors and too many sweets and not enough sleep. It has been a perfect storm of environmental factors and three-year old tantrums. I miss my little girl. I feel like we haven’t really seen each other in weeks.  And I wonder when we will just be ok again. When will we start having fun again?

Parenting is so damn hard. Every day I count the mistakes I make. And even when I am not blatantly making a mistake I’m wondering if my choices and actions are right or wrong. There isn’t enough black and white in parenting. There are too many gray areas. It all feels so hard right now. And I’m just wondering when it is going to get easier.

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2 thoughts on “Parenting Three Year Olds

  1. breathe in. breathe out.

    That is all that is truly required. The rest will pass. And just like the pain of bringing them into the world, you will forget these horrible days and only remember how much you adore them.

    breathe in. breathe out.

  2. Pingback: What makes being a mom fun? | Tanya Kummerow

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