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The Three Year Old is Tiring

I don’t think I have been this tired since those early newborn days. It is a tired that gets into your bones and wears you out completely. This time though, I can’t “blame” a newborn, it is entirely of my own doing. My life motto includes a lot of “winging it” which works for me until it doesn’t. It is not working right now because I am lacking the structure I need to be more productive but less exhausted. I am working on changing that.

I haven’t really blogged about the children much but parenting is weighing me down at the moment. It happens from time to time. We had an incident last night that I am not able to share here but it has left me drained. It is a situation I feel unable to control, which is not ideal. The second issue that is really getting me down is Emma. 

You would think by now I would have figured out this parenting a  3 year old thing right? I mean this is the fourth time I am doing it. Except I feel like I am wading in pool of mud with dark glasses on in the middle of the night with weights on my feet. No really, it feels like that EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.Tiring Three Year Old |HarassedMom

At school she is fine, independent, happy, listens, helps her friends. With David (if I am not in the house) she is the picture perfect child. With David’s mom she is cute personified. With me, she is exhausting. I am the ONLY one who can do anything for her. It doesn’t matter if David is making food for everyone, I must make her food. I must hand it to her. I must make her tea. I must pull up her pants after she has been to the loo. 

Of course we have tried to get David to do it. Of course I have ignored her pants around her ankles. She just screams and screams and SCREAMS. And then she takes a breathe and screams some more. Then she throws some things. We put her in time out, she throws a few more things all while screaming like we are sawing her leg off with a butter knife.

Bedtime is my worst time of the day. She will not sleep unless I lie with her. But even then she does not fall asleep. It is an hour of going to wee, answering questions like “What happens when you lick your eye?”, demanding I tell her how Kiara cries, moving blankets, changing cushions, making and remaking her tea. By the end of it I have shouted, she has cried and we finally fall asleep out of exhaustion from the last hour.Tiring Three Year Old |HarassedMom

Again we have tried to stop the cycle and let David put her down. She cries but she will cry for over an hour. Not normal volume, upset crying more like angry, intense, loud wailing. 

I don’t know how to deal with this. I make sure to spend a little extra time with her every day. Even if it is just sitting together on the couch while we watch Frozen. We don’t get much one-on-one time but I do try to take her with me to the shops or play with just her.

I know that this will pass, well I think I know it will pass. Some days I feel like I am going to be stuck with the screaming sounds of my 3 year old as the sound track of my life forever. 

Parenting is just one massive guessing game isn’t it. We sort of just muddle our way through each day hoping that something we do stops the crying. I can say, though, with 110% certainty that what works for one child does not automatically work for another, which automatically means that even buying a parenting book to try help you won’t necessarily work.

I can also say, one of the disadvantages of having a toddler and a teen in the house is that dealing with a toddler and teen in the same day is exhausting. 

How are those of you with three year olds coping? Is it just me in the tiring three year old trenches? Please say no!

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  1. Jess
    11 August, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    Wow. Such a relief to hear you say the same things I am going through. My three year old is very much the same as yours. Mama is the ONLY one who can do anything for him. Dad isnt allowed to help at all, “Not you dada! I want mama!” Which means I never get a break from it. Its been so exhausting, the moaning, whining, crying. For every. little. thing. Some days I feel nothing I do is right. Like I live in a state of anxiousness over what is going to set him off this time. Ridiculous! Im hoping its a phase. Right now Im just dreaming of a book in bed and a cuppa tea. Alone.

    • Laura-Kim
      11 August, 2017 / 2:51 pm

      Jess I GET IT! I said to David last night I get so nervous when Emma asks me a question – I never know if the answer is going to be to her satisfaction or not

  2. 11 August, 2017 / 5:45 pm

    Thankfully I’m over the 3 year old phase but I remember my daughter was extremely difficult! Never mind terrible two’s…the awful three’s are so underrated! I remember that feeling of holding your breath in anticipation when giving them their breakfast, clothes whatever and just hoping it wasn’t going to cause unhappiness and a melt down for some reason. All I can say, as you know, is that this too shall pass to a degree. My daughter (now 7) still has moments of melt down because her pants are too short/long/loose/tight, her jacket is too short/long/ doesn’t have pockets, and we won’t allow her to wear filthy dirty clothes for the umpteenth time in a row. BUT these melt downs are a lot more intermittent and infrequent compared to what they used to be. My only advice would be to try spend one on one time with her. I know you said that’s difficult but whenever we’ve had issues with our girls, this is something we always go back to and does wonders. In saying that though, we say we should do it more often yet don’t so I know the struggle. Sending you lots of love and strength…I can feel your anguish and exhaustion in your post. And just keep saying…THIS TOO SHALL PASS! x

  3. 12 August, 2017 / 11:08 am

    I feel for you… been there, done that, got the t-shirt too. There will come a time when only dad knows what he is doing and you will know nothing. (Sweet revenge is not far off mama. Lol.)

    I also realised that each child is different, each one tests what we think we know. My thee taught me a valuable lesson. I used to be of the very entitled opinion that fussy eaters are made and not born, yet my youngest, who was introduced to solids the same way her brothers were, was raised with the same menu (take it or leave it) and has had the same structure surrounding meal times, is a super fussy eater. I learned the hard way that they are not cookie cutter copies, and that they are not mini robots, they are mini humans and most often patience and long suffering will see you through.

  4. 12 August, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    I can so relate! I have often felt that I was trying to wade through waist-high mud all the time. There are times that I still hold my breath when interacting with Amélie and she is nearly 5! Let me know how the structure thing goes…
    Victoire recently posted…How to be present and my Les Fleurs de Bach surprise!My Profile

  5. 14 August, 2017 / 8:38 am

    I know you don’t like to read parenting books but maybe someone else reading this post may benefit – the “your 3-year-old” books are amazing.


    They have one for every age – I started reading them every year from when mine were two because they explain such a lot about each age. Not a lot of advice really but you will know if it’s a stage and wait it out or if you need to change your approach. I find that really useful.

    I just bought the your 8-year-old actually 🙂

    They’re short – you can read in about 1.5 hours.

    And yes, I’m going to ask… what is her love language?
    Marcia (OrganisingQueen) recently posted…Lovely things to do this yearMy Profile

  6. 15 August, 2017 / 11:32 am

    Every. Single. Day. Our birthday twins are SO alike. I have spent hours in tears over the past week or so. She has been so MEAN Laura, like SO mean! It isn’t a lack of discipline or consistency or time with me, which is always the feedback I get when I BEG for advice, it really is just whatever whim she has at the time :'( I am RIGHT there with you my friend. Every day. <3

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