Mummy do it

August 20, 2012

Both of my blogs are a little neglected at the moment. Time is a factor but also I am stuck in one of my blogging loops where I am late posting something I want to post, but I don’t have the time and mental space to do it. So it becomes like a traffic jam in my head. I must not do anything to do with blogging before I write such and such a post.

Well I am giving myself permission to just forget about it and write instead. I will get to writing the letters to my children and doing something to mark the passing of Piran’s third birthday too. But for now, this is the post that I NEED to write.

Piran is a cautious and very particular soul. In true two or three year old style he wants things to be done in a certain way or he is not happy at all. I know that this is him testing boundaries and making sense of his place in the world, learning to be independent as well as sticking to me like glue!

The problem is that he insists that I do almost everything for him. If Mr C tries to do anything, make his drink, read his story, put him to bed, sit with him, get him a snack then all hell breaks loose.

Once again I find myself wishing there was a bloody manual for this sort of thing. It is incessant and is having a bad effect on all involved. Mr C is hurt and frustrated. I am overworked (ha!) and unable to get anything done when I need to do it.

Please, has anyone been through this before? How did you deal with it. Should we pander to it and wait for him to forget and just grow out of it or is it time to knock it on the head? Is there a way of doing that that doesn’t involve screaming all day because I am not sure that I can take it.

Oh we love the boy so much but things like this get me all twisted up in parental guilt and unable to think straight and make a plan of how to handle it. Mr C starts being away all week again in a couple of weeks and obviously when I am alone there is only me to do it anyway, but Mr C still wants to do things with Piran and I don’t want the 48 hours a week that he will be home to be full of battles and upsets.

All advice gratefully received. I will send you a biscuit for your time.*

Is it any wonder when Daddy does things like this?

*I am not responsible for any treats that may get lost in the post.**

** Eaten by me before posting.


  • Reply Launna August 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Unfortunately I don’t have any good idea, I have been a single mother twice and had to do it all… Getting a break is key, which is difficult at times. Being consistent is the key… ahh.. that’s what I lack consistency… I wish I had better advice:)

  • Reply Lucia August 21, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Hmm, tricky. My 3.5 year old is sometimes like this, and what tends to happen is that most of the time my husband quietly does the thing in the end. Other times we give in for a quiet life. But it sounds like Piran is going for it more than my toddler – she is loud but I wouldn’t say it’s screaming all the way. Might it help for Mr C to take Piran out for some times for just the two of them? Good bonding and all that. Then at least when they get home and you ‘have’ to do everything you won’t feel so desperate or so annoyed because you’ll have just had a break… I know this would only be occasional so it doesn’t really constitute a proper break for you….but I had 2 hours ‘off’ this morning and it was so unusual it felt like a whole week, so maybe it’s the same for you.
    I’m rambling terribly here, sorry. Good luck whatever you do. Hell hath no fury like a kid who wants something ‘just so’!

  • Reply Simona August 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Hi Kelly
    I have 2 boys 4 years and 2 years. The older one started doing this when he was about Piran’s age and still does it occasionally now. The little one is now copying him (%!£%&^%) …. but only really to be cheeky and can be convinced to ‘settle’ for his dad.
    Sometimes we would give in, especially if he was tired or it just was not worth it to fight him, but other times we would stick it out, tears and all. As he gets older it is easier to reason with him or set up some sort of system, that is today mommy does this for you, tomorrow it is dad’s turn and so on. He’s really into odd and even numbers now and has some theories about mom putting him to sleep on odd dates and dad on even dates….
    Outings alone with dad can help (especially for dad if he’s feeling rejected) and of course Mr C has the advantage of having a daughter and from what I hear daughters become very attached to their daddies…so in a while the tables might be turned and Mr C will be required to do everything for Kate ! 🙂
    Good luck

  • Reply Transatlantic Mom August 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    We went through something similar with our guys (ages 4 and 6) Like some commenters when exhausted we gave in, but other times we just did it regardless of tears, preferences etc. What we found is that while upsetting to us, that the preferences seemed to change over time. One year it was Mommy only the next it would be Daddy only. It’s tough – keep trying to do it equally and hopefully things will even out soon.

  • Reply Lisa September 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Hi Kelly, catching up on your past blogs! I had this issue with my children and tried to do things as a joint venture, mum puts juice in cup dad fills with water, both read an alternate page, one runs a bath, one shampoos, one washes one dries!! You get the idea!! It worked for me, now 12 and 10 I am way to embarrassing to do anything more than chauffeur!! Hope this helps x

    • Reply Kelly September 2, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      What a great suggestion, thank you. Will definitely try that.

  • Reply Solveig September 5, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    My little boy (my second child – he’s now my middle child) was exactly like this. I had to do everything for him, he didn’t want anyone else. He would even throw a fit if he realised that it wasn’t me pushing his pushchair!

    To be honest, we kind of just went with it, though a few things we would insist on such as his daddy doing stories at least once or twice a week (partly so I could have some time with his big sister), and his daddy doing bath time.

    It was really frustrating at times, not to mention not v nice for his dad – I’d say it lasted from when he was about 18 months to around 3 and a half. He is now coming up to 4 and half and we have moved on so much from this ‘mummy do it phase’. It may partly be because I had another baby when he was 3 and a half, but I honestly think he just grew out of it. In fact my husband is around less than he was (new job) so I do have to do much more for him myself (most bath and bedtimes which we used to share), but my boy is now much happier to have others do things. He still has a preference for me to do stories at night but even that is getting better.

    I really feel that as he has matured he has just felt more able to let other people do things, not just me. And he is getting more keen on aligning himself with daddy too – recently he said something about daddy taking him somewhere and me taking my daughter, something he would never have done a year ago!

    It is frustrating but hopefully your boy will slowly start growing out of it over the next year or so. I agree that insisting there are some things that daddy does, so it is not always mum, is probably helpful.

    • Reply Kelly September 5, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Mr C is away with work Mon – Fri at the moment and so the fact is that I do have to do most things. I have started trying to insist on certain things like you said, the odd story etc and he is coming round a bit. I shall just give him time and see what happens. It is good to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel!

      Oh and Piran does that with the pushchair too. We have to sneakily switch who is pushing if I want a break!

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