rough weekend / tantrums

April 20, 2015

(This is one of those . . . honest posts, where I sometimes wish this blog were anonymous.  But I feel like it’s important to keep things real, so here we are.)

OMG.  This past weekend was not one of those blissful ones where solo parenting feels easy and effortless.  I was mostly on my own for most of Sat/Sun (Josh had work responsibilities) and:

a) It was HARD
b) It was tiring
c) It was frustrating
d) I don’t think I won any parenting awards

In lieu of “appreciating each moment”, I found myself basically counting down the seconds until I would not be on my own again.  A had tantrum after tantrum, and C was fine but added a layer of physical fatigue onto my emotional exhaustion.  (The combination: a recipe for disaster, pretty much.)  I actually had a babysitter scheduled for 3 hours on Saturday, but ended up sending her home after 1.5 because I just gave into Annabel’s tantrum (she was begging me not to leave the house.  I know, I know).

So, I guess I’ll just have to chalk it up as a learning experience.  I’m not exactly sure what I did wrong, but perhaps I needed more planned-in-advance outings or social time.  That said, we probably would have done more had A been easier to deal with.

I realize I probably should research this in some academic fashion — or maybe I’m supposed to have all of the answers already from my pediatrics training (uhhh no).  If anyone has successfully gotten through the tantrum period and has tips, I would greatly appreciate them.   Parenting book recs welcome, too.

(Should I be “picking my battles” — aka giving in more instead of holding firmer?  Things like taking a bath when dirty / letting go of mommy when she can go to work are non-negotiable, though.  I don’t feel like we are particularly strict.)

pix that are not very illustrative of the above

note the outstretched anna-costume-clad hand

she looks so angelic here . . .
(and often she is!  but sometimes . . . not.)

the physical aspect

Workout report from last week
I feel I must publish this because it is so motivating.  Sunday I don’t think I would have done the barre workout (it was during the only overlapping nap time) if it weren’t for the little nudge of accountability.
Monday: rest
Tuesday:  4 mi, 9:07/mi average (outside.  It is getting to be the season where AM runs are 80 degrees.  But we have no winter so . . . this is not a complaint)
Wednesday: 40 minute barre3 workout
Thursday: 4 mi on treadmill (6 – 6.8 mph intervals – changed with each song)
Friday: ~3.7 mi tempo: 1 mi WU at 9:09/mi, 1 mi @ 8:28, 0.31 mi recovery jog, 1 mi @8:04/mi, 0.41 mi cooldown jog
Saturday: 4 mi on treadmill (10:00/mi slow, I was tired)
Sunday: 30 minute barre3 + 1 mi treadmill run 


  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Oh Sarah,
    Sorry you’ve had a trying weekend. Thank you for your honesty and good work on the training over the week!

    SSG xxx

  • Reply nicoleandmaggie March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm
    The comments have some really great advice too, probably better than the original post!

  • Reply amyruthj March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    No, no, don’t try to overanalyze a rough weekend. Sometimes it’s just hard. You made it through, and you’ll never have to go back and relive this weekend again. 🙂 Try to go easy on yourself, too.

  • Reply Tyra March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I think a lot of people will appreciate you posting that it’s not always happy and sunshiny at your place!

    I really like Janet Lansbury’s advice on crying/tantrums:

    There are pages and pages worth of posts, this one in particular might be useful for you:

    Keep in mind that my baby is only 9 months old, so all of my reading is purely theoretical at the moment!

  • Reply SusannahEarlyBd March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    We’ve all been there in some capacity! I almost took a permanent trip to the looney bin when Jeff went out of town for four days last month. Sometimes their needs are just too much and you feel like the walls are closing in. I dont have any good tantrum advice but it looks like the links above might be helpful. You’re doing great! xoxo

  • Reply Jan March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    We all have these challenges but what I have found is that consistency is key. If you back down after already setting up a babysitter you will always get push back because A knows she can get you to change your mind if she screams loud enough. That is not something you want to reinforce. Of course there are times when plans need to be changed but if you know it is a power struggle, walk out the door. If your babysitter just can’t take it she can always call you. There should be consequences, though. You are doing a good job parenting – I can see from your other posts that you are a good Mom. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply Ana March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I read lots of articles & books and at the end of the day, nothing really helped because each child is so different and by the time its "helping" they are probably growing out of it and onto something else. I think you are amazing for solo parenting all weekend and working out every day. Just amazing. Don’t read too much advice, more fodder for feeling like you are "doing it wrong" (and notice that all the advice is somewhat different? because there is no right way!)
    But yeah, bribes. Bribes work pretty well—until the novelty of that bribe wears off, and then I need something new. And really really picking the battles—this is actually easier when you are solo parenting, i feel like the two of us often disagree, aside from the obvious. When you are on your own you can let things slide that you otherwise would not. I think that is OK.

    • Reply oldmdgirl March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

      Haha. Can so totally relate to this. My husband and I also have conflict over which battles to choose. Case in point: Last night I overheard my husband criticizing the job whomever at daycare did with helping Dyl wipe as he changed her into her pajamas, and I yelled from the other room, "IT DOESN’T MATTER! LET IT GO!! RELAX SWEETIE!! WE DON’T WANT HER TO THINK BODILY FUNCTIONS ARE GROSS! A LITTLE POO WON’T HURT HER!" I’m sure he loved that.


    • Reply Zenmoo March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

      Per one parenting podcast I listened to – don’t think of it as bribing your child, think of it as incentivising them. Standard economics! Apparently:-)

  • Reply Ali March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I have no real advice, but wanted to offer some solidarity. My almost-3 year old is 90% super sweet (am angel according to most), but the other 10% is a hitting, kicking, screaming maniac. Sometimes it correlates with him being tired or hungry or something, but most of the time it’s just because…so all that to say, the best way we’ve figured out how to deal with it is to ignore it. We praise him a LOT for his good behavior and ignore the bad with the exception of things like being deliberately mean, hurting others, etc. I don’t know if that’s "right" (though it was our ped’s advice), but that is the approach we have taken and it is keeping me a little more sane than trying to rationalize with a madman. 🙂 I liked Happiest Baby on the Block, and tried the toddler book-but has ZERO success with its techniques. If you figure out the magic bullet, let us all know. :). and thanks for admitting it! I think so many people gloss over these really rotten moments of parenting! (Says the person who was called "bad mommy!" Yesterday)

  • Reply denise March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I’m so living this with Clark right now and my nanny just left the country for a week with no notice. It’s been a loooong week!

  • Reply Anne March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Janet Lansbury blog and book.

  • Reply Hannah N. March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I am glad you posted this! I’m a new mom to a 3 month-old and it’s nice to read things from other moms about how hard parenting is (at various stages). It definitely keeps it real and I think makes others (at least me!) feel better that all moms have moments where they are counting down the time. 🙂

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