Women's Health: Postpartum Community
26.1k Members
Avatar universal

Terrible two's help! Or something else wrong?

Hi guys.  Hope all is well with everyone.  My daughter who is 22 months is driving me crazy.  I try to have patience with her but, she just seems so angry with me and everyone else.  My worries are that this is not normal.  You see her dad and I split up a month ago and it's been tough on all of us.  I know she misses him like crazy but we were fighting so much in front of her.  It was so unhealthy.  We decided that he needed to leave (well I decided). I didnt want her to see/hear that.  
But lately she's been acting out.  She wakes up angry and having a tantrum.  She doesn't want me to hold her, she just throws herself all over the place.  Lately she's been waking up in the middle of the night (she's been sick with a ear & throat infection for a week) crying, I try to comfort her and she goes to attack me with her nails!  I've never heard of a baby doing this. And she was never like this. I know she's hurting and she misses him but I'm so scared that I'm ruining her life.  Do you think that this is normal terrible two's behavior or is she angry and doesn't understand what is going on.  I'm so lost. I dont know what to do for her.  How do I get her through this? Dad's been seeing her but, not as offten as I'm sure she would like due to scheduling.  
Even our sitter, who has watched her since she was 3 months old, is having problems with her.  What do I do.  I need help!
10 Responses
568659 tn?1256139982
I think it a mixture of the two. It is very normal for kids her age to act out. You said that she saw you and her dad fighting a lot, well, she is repeating the behavior that she saw. My son's father and I went through a rough patch a while back and Noah's behavior was HORRIBLE during that time. Now that we are doing much better and the fighting has stopped Noah has been much more well behaved, don't get me wrong, he still throws tantrums everyday like a normal kid but there is huge difference. I think that once things calm down in your house and your DD is in a more happy and positive environment her behavior will improve.
I know it's hard but stand your ground with discipline, let her know that her behavior is not acceptable and most of all show her lots of love, she needs it right now, she knows what is going on (to a point).
Avatar universal
Thanks for your help. I am truly at a place where I dont know what to do and dont know anyone who has been where I am now.  One of the major reasons why her dad and I split up was because he didnt know how to control his temper.  I kept it cool and collected (even though my words were angry) and he just got loud and cursed.  This is not what I want for her.  She deserves better.  She should be happy and not see us fighting. We live in a studio apartment so, there was no where for us to go even if we wanted to argue somewhere else.  Sometimes, we waited until she was asleep to have our "discussions" but again they always escalated and he didnt care if he woke her up.  I feel like such a horrible mother.  This is not the life I envisioned for her.  I never thought I would end up here.
568659 tn?1256139982
You're not a horrible mother, it is really hard being in a bad relationship. It will get better as long as you make the necessary changes and it sounds like you already have.
It will get better :)
142722 tn?1281533616
If you are a little upset or uptight she can be picking up on that and that could be causing some of it - as well as the wonderful twos.  This is what I think, but I am no expert by no means.  I know when I am feeling stressed and upset, Ryan acts out who will be two soon.  Things are different and I am sure she senses it a bit.  I hope you are doing well.  Just keep strong and I am sure there are others that can help you better then I could.  
15480 tn?1302529802
Erin you are a great mother!! I sent you a PM before I even saw this post! I was wondering how you are doing! Avery has been awful lately too! I think it is the terrible 2's setting in. Soraya is probably picking up on your emotions thought too and that probably plays a little part in her behavior but I bet most of it is her age. I am sorry you are going through a rough time! :(
165078 tn?1255606407
Hi Erin - yes the terrible two's are hitting us all, Eva just learned how to open the security gate in our living room and she runs up the steps knowing that I am yelling at her and I even hit her hand and she laughs.  I pinch her and she goes OUCH.  She likes to poke me and everyone else in the eyes.  She does not wake up during the night but she will if she is in her crib.  The only way I can get her to sleep through the night at this point is to put her in bed with us.

She also refuses to sit in her high chair and will throw her food on the floor and it drives me NUTS because we just got new carpet and it was not cheap.

So no you are not a bad mother you are just a crazy mom like me and Greta trying to figure out the terrible 2's.
15480 tn?1302529802
It sounds like the 3 girls are all alike!! Avery loves to throw her food and spoon and fork across the room. Lovely-right?! My biggest challenge though is the stroller/cart riding!! If anyone has any suggestions please let me know!
145992 tn?1341345074
Oh Erin, I'm so sorry to hear that you two split.  I think right now she is acting out because of what is going on and the terrible two's is also a contributing factor.  But I think she just needs an adjustment time as well as you.  Once things start becoming more consistent and she gets used to the new routines, she will settle down.  She doesn't know how to express her feelings.  It's not like an adult that can sit down and talk about how they are feeling.  She has no verbal skills and therefore the only way she knows how to express herself is by clawing away at you.  She isn't angry at you directly, she's probaby very frustrated.  You are not a bad mother.  No one envisions themselves having a child and the family being split, no one wants that.  Sometimes these things happen but you need to realize that you did it because things were not good and you wanted your daughter to have a better life.  It wasn't a selfish decision you made by far and not an easy one either.  Maybe he can spend more time with her then he is or maybe you all can still have family time.  Splits don't always have to be mom and dad hating each other, you can come together and be friends for the sake of your daughter.  You will always be part of each other's lives so why not try and make the best of it for her.  Hang in there, it will get better.  I'm always around if you want to meet up and talk.  I have a nice playroom in my building so if you wanted to come by with Soraya one day this week, let me know.  We can talk, kids can play.  Just shoot me a pm.
Avatar universal
Thanks guys.. I cant tell you how much your input means.  I feel like I've actually been punishing myself for making the decision I made.  I know if she could talk, she would tell me that she want's her dad back.  This is why I beat myself up everyday and feel totally guilty.  He came to see her last sunday and we got into again.  I thought it could be peaceful but he's angry that I asked him to leave and he's hurting because they were so close.  So instead of feeding into it, I left, went for a walk and bought her some guilt toys..:(
It's been hard, I'm paying for  the bills pretty much alone. He pay's half of the baby sitting bill and some random things (pampers or wipes).  Then it's just me and her all night after I get home from work.  She's going to stay with him and his mother (where he is living now) for the weekend for the first time.  This is unbelievably hard.
145992 tn?1341345074
I can't even imagine how you are feeling right now.  After Richie and I split for a brief second during our rough patch, it was such a lonely feeling.  When he took Jayden for the night I was so sad and lonely.  I felt like my family was gone.  I was so angry and hurt.  Then when I was alone with Jayden I was furious because I was taking care of him alone.  It's such mixed emotions and you hold back so many feelings because you don't want them to see you cry, you don't want your kids to know anything bad.  Hang in there, like I said, it's an adjustment for everyone and it will take time.  Who knows, maybe the space would be good for you both so you can re-evaluate what you want.  Just because you split now, does not mean it's a permanent thing, that's of course unless you want it to be.
Popular Resources
From skin changes to weight loss to unusual bleeding, here are 15 cancer warning signs that women tend to ignore.
Here’s what you need to know about the transition into menopause – and life after the change takes place.
It’s more than just the “baby blues.“ Learn to recognize the signs of postpartum depression – and how to treat it.
Forget the fountain of youth – try flossing instead! Here are 11 surprising ways to live longer.
From STD tests to mammograms, find out which screening tests you need - and when to get them.
Find out if PRP therapy right for you.