Dreading spending time with your own children?

“Is it really possible to dread spending time with my own children?’ was a question I asked myself recently.

The surprising answer was yes.

Maybe dread is a strong word, but you know that feeling, the night before daddy is away all day and you are home alone with all the kids and you feel a pang of fear as to how your day is going to pan out?

I’d never really had that feeling before, but recently my two boys seem to be constantly arguing, fighting and pushing the behaviour boundaries more and more and I have found myself on a few occasions dreading what the day will bring when we are all in the house alone together.

I don’t know what has happened but these last few months my eldest little boy has turned into a bit of a threenager,  and it means that when I am alone in charge of my two boisterous boys it can be quite challenging trying to control their behaviour and maintain discipline.

We used to have the odd moment of misbehaving here and there and he was by no means a perfect child but I have really noticed a change in the eldest recently and I am not sure why.

Like most things in the parenting world you feel like you always need to have a reason (well I do anyway) so I tried to think what has happened to make his behaviour change. His little brother is getting bigger and at two years old is no longer a screaming bundle of nappies and poo so he could now be perceived as a threat?

There is someone else vying for my attention alongside him, a rival and someone who can now play with ‘his’ toys and he has to learn to share a lot more. They also love to rough and tumble all over the place, wrestling and generally jostling with each other (which usually ends in tears).

He has also started the School nursery in September so he is mixing with a lot more children and experiencing different sights, sounds, smells, adventures and behaviours so this could also be a factor.

When I have one to one time with my boys they are completely different and a pleasure to be around, however when they are together they can sometimes be extremely hard work.

One minute they are best of friends enjoying playing chase around the room and pirate ships on the sofa, then it’s all out war and they become the worst of enemies battling for supremacy over who gets the prime spot in the den made out of cushions and who has to sink in the lava and be eaten by the crocodiles.

It starts to become very wearing when you feel like all you do all day is shout at your sparring children. ‘Stop hitting your brother’ ‘Don’t snatch’ ‘Don’t push him’ ‘Play nicely’ ‘I’m not telling you again’ and so on and so forth.

When we are one on one we can sit nicely drawing pictures up the table, make puzzles on the floor, build castles out of bricks and fight dragons with our swords. However, when we are all together the felt tip pens are thrown at heads, the puzzle pieces are ripped apart, the bricks are thrown under the sofa and the swords are used as weapons of mass destruction.

I know I have a huge responsibility on my shoulders to raise my boys to be decent human beings and it definitely feels that sometimes I need an army around me to do it, so I am determined to keep telling them right from wrong and try to curb the bad behaviour as much as I can but I would be lying If I said it wasn’t hard work at times.

When I became a first time parent it was difficult to adjust, I even wrote a book about it and when I had two children under two, at times I thought I would not get through it and it was definitely the best of times and the worst of times.

However, now I am through the baby years, which I continually wished away because I couldn’t wait for the next stage I am now realising that it was so much easier when my children couldn’t talk or move. Now that they are individual, dynamic, independent little people that can talk, run, hit, fight and have an attitude I am slowly realising that each stage is just as difficult as the last but in a different way.

I am so lucky I have some great people around me and a fantastic husband who also admits that he sometimes dreads spending time alone with the children when they are behaving badly and when I asked my friends who have older children about it they just laughed and said ‘Absolutely!’.

We can laugh about it because of course we love our children more than life itself and we are grateful for our healthy happy children and we know how lucky we are, however it is also okay to admit that not everyday is sunshine and rainbows and sometimes we do dread spending time with our children (when they are being little ****) and that’s okay too because it doesn’t mean that you love them any less.

I know this is just a phase and the bad behaviour will settle down again, I’ll have a few more grey hairs no doubt and in another few years when the next behaviour stage hits I’ll be wishing he was a threenager again!

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