Life lately and struggling with three..


Hi guys I wanted to check in with a little 'Life Lately' post and a catch up. It's felt like a while since I've done a bit of a life update. I know when Wilf was smaller and motherhood was so new (and there was only him!) I used to do posts about how I was finding each age. WELL we just hit three with Mabli and let me tell you that since I now how have two children that 'threenager' is more definitely a thing..

I struggled a lot with this age with Wilf but was never sure if it was also because it coincided with me being pregnant and having less patience and energy as well. Turns out three is just pretty hard, ha!

Both my kids were pretty easy two year olds which always leads me to a false sense of security and having blanked out some of my darker times with Wilf at this age I'm just starting to realise how challenging it can be..again.

For the most part it's the 'meltdowns' that are the biggest issue currently. I know she is so small and those emotions can be so big. I know that she's not acting this way through malice or because I've failed in my parenting. It's just how she feels right now. I know when I'm feeling frustrated or cross that I often find it hard to control my emotions so I know deep down that to be so little and have these feelings must be so much harder and probably very upsetting and overwhelming for her.

Still that doesn't stop me from the deep sighs, tense words between Tom and I, the guilt that whilst I'm dealing with Mabli so much Wilf is being left out more. It doesn't stop me from crying too when we are in the middle of a partially bad episode or when you're mini dictator is telling you that you need to perform about five different contradictory tasks at the same time or she is going to scream louder. That you know how the atmosphere can change in a second if the wrong cup is given or you've not quite understood what was asked of you. We are walking on egg shells a lot lately!

I wanted to remind myself and also share some things that I know help us with this age. I don't always succeed mind you but it's always good to have a plan...right??

Make things simple - I know one of my mistakes when Mabli is having a meltdown is giving her too much choice. I know that when I'm feeling stressed the last thing I want to do it make more decisions so asking her lots of questions to try and work out how to make her feel better often has the complete opposite effect. Instead I stick to things I know she will like and tell her we are doing that (que listening to a song from Frozen..ha!) or reading a book or watching some CBeebies etc until she has calmed down. Not always so easy when out and about though. Often I'm stuck with feeling like this is 'giving in' to her behaviour but it I'm also reminded how little she still is and how much help she needs when she's feeling this way.

Sleep - This is such a biggy. Our worst days are days when she's overtired. We are still working out naps, some days she will have one, some days she will skip one. | really try to not let her nap after 3 but now she has started nursery a couple of days she will often be falling asleep as soon as she gets home. To tackle that the next tip is the most important..

Be Organised - I'm not one of those people to whom routine comes naturally but being organised and sticking to a routine definitely helps. To make sure she doesn't fall asleep to early I make sure that I make her a quick easy dinner on nursery days that I can make in the 5 mins from when she gets home (beans on toast is great for these days!). Planning our other days together is also really important I find that when she knows whats happening she happier.

Stay Calm and Cuddle - Sometimes this feels like the hardest thing to do. Sometimes I've done it literally crying along with her but I always try and stay mindful of how much harder it must be for her if its this hard for me.

Acknowledge their feelings - I read this tip in the book 'How to talk so your kids will listen and listen so your kids will talk'* (which I need to re-read!) about how you should repeart and spell out their actions and feelings. So when Mabli is saying (yelling) 'I don't want my socks' for example I'll repeat 'you don't want your socks' until she realises I know what she's saying and feeling and stops. Usually I'd be tempted to try and explain why she needed them but I know that she needs to calm down before I can really try and attempt that. Same goes with when she gets cross I just say 'you are felling very cross right now' etc until she can see I understand how she's feeling (or so she can understand how she's feeling herself).

I'm not saying I have it sorted because this age is super tricky but I do find it I have these bits sorted then it's a little easier maybe!

Do you have any tips??

(pictures by Through the Woods We Ran)
Outfits worn a previous collaboration with Boden which you can see here.

*affiliate link

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