Worst parenting day to date! - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Worst parenting day to date!

Hazello profile image
HazelloVolunteer

I had PP in 2016 and recovered well until going back to work which set me back. I'm now without work and was doing really well until the last few weeks when I've started to have increased anxiety, insomnia and low mood.

Well today my toddler and I went on a day trip with his nursery and he had tantrum after tantrum which even continued when we got home. Throughout the outing I was on the brink of tears and all the other parents just stared and looked embarrassed as did the nursery staff.

Does anyone else find parenting a toddler so difficult?! Especially when your mood is all over the place anyway.

And of course I blame myself for his behaviour.

Hazello

12 Replies
Jocelyn_at_APP profile image
Jocelyn_at_APPAdministrator

Oh my goodness. YES!!! My son had a screaming fit because I wouldn't walk him through a car lot as I thought a scenic route through the woods would be prettier. A man then appeared out of the woodland asking if he was ok. I'm sure he thought I was murdering him in the wood!

It happens to every parent and it seems even worse when you are not feeling your best. They sometimes don't know how to express themselves and is not your fault. You sound like you have come so far and there will be ups and downs.

Thinking of you and hoping the tantrums settle down.

Jx

Hazello profile image
HazelloVolunteer in reply to Jocelyn_at_APP

Thanks Jossykate, it's so good to not feel you're the only one who finds it tough.

Now he's sound asleep I'm wondering what all the fuss was about, as I'm feeling a lot calmer, but during the day I felt like I could explode.

I spoke to the GP and they've suggested I increase my antidepressant which I think may be wise as things have gradually been getting worse over the last 2 or 3 weeks.

Also wondering if it's possible he's coming down with something as the tantrums were pretty extreme. I've never seen him like that before.

Hazello

Jocelyn_at_APP profile image
Jocelyn_at_APPAdministrator in reply to Hazello

Hi Hazello,

I'm putting it down to tiredness and delayed terrible twos. (He's 3). It's the same as your son - just came out of nowhere and was pretty bad. Hoping it's just a phase!!!

You've done the right thing talking to your GP. I ended up going back on medication as I felt I was an awful mother and not able to cope with my son when he was throwing tantrums. I feel on a much more of an even keel now and able to cope with his strops more!

Jx

Helen_84 profile image
Helen_84Volunteer

Hi Hazello,

What a tough day! Sending a virtual hug after that - tantrums can be so difficult, especially in public with other children. I bet the parents and staff felt very empathic to you, and were just glad that it wasn’t their child this day - the terrible 2s!

Yes toddlers bring a whole new set of difficulties to the picture, my daughter can definitely hold her own when it comes to public displays of frustration, and 100% the anxiety and lack of sleep makes things seem 100 times worse. If I am ever sleep deprived I find it much harder to cope with. And the reasons for the tantrums can make you want to laugh and cry ‘I want the moon!!’ ( it was behind the clouds🙄) was a recent one for us

It’s good that you have recognised this and got advice from your GP, I really do hope that you start to feel better soon. I find taking some time out for myself can help if I am anxious. For me it was yoga/exercise and meditation that helped take the edge off it until the medication kicked in

Also please don’t blame yourself - I would be more worried about the perfect children who didn’t ever have a tantrum, than the ones who were happy to fully express their slight frustration with a full on meltdown. It is 100% normal, unfortunately.

I hope you get a better nights sleep,

Love Helen xx

Claire_griff profile image
Claire_griffVolunteer

OMG yes!!! I too had PP in 2016 and was doing reasonably ok until my daughter turned two, it was like overnight she gained this instead ability to really test me and push all of my stress ‘buttons’. I was like you; tearful and also super sensitive, even responding quite angrily at times to her mood swings (having mood swings of my own to deal with too). I felt bad that I couldn’t cope and super guilty for reacting to her quite childishly myself!

It’s taken a while to get used to toddlerhood and to figure out how to (sort of) know how to react and I never thought I’d say this but it has become easier again, it’s not that she’s not challenging, just that I sort of know what to expect now and I know I can (sort of) cope!

I do think that most parents probably go through this, I guess because of what we’ve been through and are still sometimes recovering from that we are more susceptible to mood changes?

I bet you are doing a super job though, please don’t blame yourself- I hope things get easier as your little one gets older, although to me it always feels like once you get used to one type of challenge another one comes your way! 😂

Anyway please know that you are most definitely not alone!!!

Hazello profile image
HazelloVolunteer in reply to Claire_griff

Thanks Claire you're so right each challenge is replaced by another!

Yes I've been getting really angry and shouty at times which I really don't want to do but I just react without thinking.

I've got a really good parenting book that I have previously found helpful but I don't think I'm in a frame of mind currently to be able to read it without turning every piece of advice into a criticism of me and fuelling the anxious thoughts.

Hazello

Hazello, see if you can access the Circle of Security parenting program. I have a 2.5 year old and it has been the best thing I've done since the PP episode. Not sure how widely available it is in the UK (I'm in Aus).

Hazello profile image
HazelloVolunteer in reply to Sarahmcgregor14

Thanks Sarah, I've not heard of that one. The ones we used in my old work were incredible years and PPP and I haven't accessed anything like that since having my son but will definitely be on the lookout.

Hazello

KatG profile image
KatGVolunteer

No advice, just loads of solidarity with you Hazello! You’re doing an awesome job.

Our son is capable of throwing me sideways at times - not so much tantrums (he’s 5 and a half now) but proper psychological stuff “I’m going to get a new Mum” etc etc and general stubbornness like I didn’t know was humanly possible. Apparently this is relatively common ?! Luckily for us all he can also (sometimes within the same ten minutes) be the sweetest, most loving, little boy...

My family say he is just like me... 😳

Hazello profile image
HazelloVolunteer in reply to KatG

Yes that's the scary thing isn't it, you just hope they get some of your good qualities in there... with my son sometimes he mimics me and it makes me cringe to hear. I read about giving really specific praise and not labelling your child as good clever etc but he has recently started saying "good boy" all the time about himself which makes me realise I'm saying it!

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As you are not working there is no switch off point where you focus on not just looking after children. Every parent has days when young kids play up - sorry to say it may not improve but diversion is a good way of stopping a tantrum - playing with a special toy

or going to the park. As you have insomnia, and anxiety this can sometimes be due to

a hyperthyroid condition which appears post natally. My daughter had this after her first child but it took an endocrinologist to find out what was the cause. She now takes thyroxin every day as th thyroid has gone slow. Expect you will find toddlers group a source of making contact with other mums so you can swap notes. Glad you are better G.G.

Yes, yes and yes!!!! Your child should be friends with mine!!! 2016 was a feisty year, my little one is so much more feisty than my first. Oh sister I am with you 100 percent!!!! But then after they are so difficult they do something really cute or fall asleep on you and look so little and adorable. It’s the ups and downs of parenting. When they get a little older at least you can rationalize a bit more, at this age they don’t understand. And they challenge. Best thing for a tantrum is to ignore it, but I don’t always follow my own advice. Learn that it is not an acceptable way to get their own way. Express for them - do you feel mad. Idk it doesn’t always work for me!

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