When we had our son, we were warned about the Terrible Twos. Our friends and family told us that this time would be the most challenging for us as parents, so naturally, we were dreading when our son entered this so-called terrible stage. Needless to say, the Terrible Twos weren’t all that terrible. The new time-frame to be weary of is most certainly the Trying Threes. Our son is testing us daily, and to be quite honest, we’re at our wits end. I’ve thought long and hard on how to handle his crazy antics, and here are my tips on helping you survive the Trying Threes.
When you enter the Trying Threes, you’ll soon realize that the Terrible Twos were simply a walk in the park.
Be Present by Not Giving them a Reason to Beg for Attention
We’re all guilty of it. Our phones or work is taking away time from our home life. Our child picks up on this and because they feel ignored they literally start begging for your attention. They’ll do this however they feel they’re able to get through to you. This could be by pulling on your clothing, grabbing whatever is in your hand that’s “distracting” you from them, yelling or acting out in other ways.
Be the Parent you Want them to Remember
Realizing that the laundry and dishes can wait it important. Your child will only be little for so long, and if you’re constantly busy, you’ll quite literally miss seeing them grow up. Give yourself a break, and be a parent you want your child to remember. If that includes more trips to the park, more arts and crafts or more cuddling together, then do it. You’re being a parent and no one should criticize you for that.
Keep Snacks Handy
As a foodie, I know that it can be hard to concentrate when you’re hungry. Has it occurred to you that your child might be the same exact way? Your child might not be able to communicate what they need, so do yourself a favor and keep snacks handy in your purse or car. When you see your child start getting a bit testy, whip out that granola bar.
Avoid Tantrum Triggers
One trigger I’ve noticed that my son really struggles with is when we go to the store. Because of our infertility issues, it took us a long time to conceive him, so naturally we’ve spoiled him a bit. We’ve spoiled him a bit too much, in fact. I find myself almost having to buy him a small toy at the store just to make it through our trip. Now he expects a toy regardless of where we go. Try to avoid these types of triggers. When you’re in the store, avoid areas where toys might be present, and it’s even a good idea to bring a toy from home for them to play with.
Make time for You
My husband works a ton of hours. Not only does he work Monday thru Friday, but he also works nearly every Saturday and Sunday. What’s worse is that he gets forced over at least once a week, which means I carry a bit more of the parenting responsibilities. I watch our son solo on the weekends and later on some of the evenings until he gets home on top of making dinner, cleaning, running errands and working a job of my own. Because of that, I have very little time for myself (as does my husband) which is why it’s important that we both make time for ourselves. I encourage my husband to grab a beer with his buddies from time to time and I enjoy catching a movie with a friend. It helps us stay sane and feel like we have a little bit of “me” time besides parenting time.
Get a Healthy Dose of Sleep
We’re all aware that our kids tend to act up when they’re tired, so it’s important that we give our kids naps and put them to bed at a reasonable time each night. Consistency is truly key here. It’s also important that we, as parents, get enough sleep. We tend to be a bit more grumpy, have less patience and have a shorter temper if we’re tired also.
Go to the Gym
I’ve always found the gym to be a huge stress reliever for me when parenting just gets a bit too overwhelming. I can work out my frustrating and take it out on the treadmill or weights instead of taking it out on my spouse or child. Plus, I’ve realized I have much more energy to handle my three old one when I work out. You’re “get away” doesn’t have to be going to the gym. Maybe you enjoy long walks or time to read a book. Whatever it is, make time to do it.
Don’t Lose your Sense of Humor
Make sure to find the humor in all of the ridiculous and, sometimes, overwhelming moments. There will be moments when you want to scream and pull your hair out, but when you’re able to see through the madness, you’ll be much better off. Plus, all of those ridiculous moments make for great stories years from now.
The Trying Threes are much more trying than the so-called Terrible Twos, but you don’t have to lose your mind trying to survive them.
In those moments when you feel that you’re not quite good enough, here are 10 things to remember when feel you’re not good enough.