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02 Aug 2010

Overwhelmed by my toddler
Dear Doc, I am 35 years old and have 2 kids. Two girls, one aged 10 and another aged 2. For the past 6 months now I have been feeling extremely overwhelmed by my 2-year old. I feel that my life has no order and everything is a constant rush. I feel run down and many times, I feel I just want to run away from everything. My family senses this and as I withdraw from them, they try and get closer and demand more attention. My eldest, at times, is so rude and my youngest screams and shouts if she does not get her own way. My husband helps a lot but it feels as if I am just not coping emotionally and physically. I tend to resent my 2-year old because if she was not there, my life would be peaceful as it used to be. I am sorry, this is AWFUL to say and I truly LOVE my kids!! Our house is sometimes really untidy which irritates my husband and this makes me feel even more incompetent. Please could you advise me what to do??
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

The average 2 year-old would probably make a Mother Theresa swear - they are designed to be exhausting. That's part of their developmental tasks, and yes, hard to handle. Don't beat yourself up for not finding it easy to handle. DO have a checkup with your GP about the possibility of a depression and/or anxiety disorder ading to your difficulties, as those can respond really well to treatment and counselling.
And let go of some of the urge to control the uncontrollable. 2 year-olds are tireless, compared to any other normal mortal, and we CANNOT keep up with them. And while i's pleasant to have a tidy house, this isn't pracical with a rampaging 2-year-old. Without giving up your general standards, learn to tolerate their disorder ( there's a useful difference between disorder and dirt ) until they grow out of this phase.
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