Brace Yourself. The Terrible Twos’ Are Coming.

I remember watching a friend of mine battling with being a mom. Her vacant haunted eyes terrified me and I never knew how to help her. She made parenting seem awful, and hard and I was terrified that one day I would find myself in a similar situation.

Then Carter was born, 2 years and 11 days ago, and he’s been a 99% wonderful human. All conscientious charm and manners. He slept well, ate well and basically made life pretty freaking easy for us.

Until 2 weeks ago when – true to the textbooks – he turned 2. Holy hell in a hand basket, it has been rough AF. Not only did he start potty training, he moved into a new bed and also decided that to get dressed in the morning was not for him. And not in a ‘no thanks mum, this isn’t for me’ way. In a “I will beat your motherly compassion out of you with a hockey stick until you want to strangle me” way.

Guys. I am at my wits end. I spent the majority of my 90-minute (because also, fuck you traffic) drive to work in guilt-ridden state. Never mind the 2 hours this morning just trying to actually get him dressed for school. Will I ever be on time again? When I dropped him at crèche this morning I was truly happy to palm him over to anyone who wasn’t me, and up until about 10 minutes ago I would have very happily left him there for a week. Because I actually don’t even know if I’m cut out for parenting, let alone parenting a 2 year old.

Newborns by comparison are possibly the easiest you will have it. I’m sorry to break this to you. It gets really hard, like really hard. Granted, it’s adorable when they start to talk and engage and participate in real-life activities – but the down side of their newfound abilities is the realisation that they have an opinion, limbs and a really, really strong will.

Keeping him in his bed at night (which entails 4 stories, strawberry milk, 75 pickups and bed put-back-ins and about a gallilitre of wine), getting him dressed every day, taking him home from a fun environment and trying to prevent volcanic meltdowns on a daily basis – along with juggling two demanding jobs and trying to also not look like a heroin addict have me absolutely farging exhausted at the end of every single day.

It also doesn’t help that t’s been a pretty rough year culminating in my Mothers Day ending with me leaving work (because yes, money doesn’t grow on spouses nor trees) and being hit by a taxi. Not only did he hit my car but he then proceeded to verbally assault and intimidate me, along with several of his charming taxi driver buddies. It was a horrific and terrifying situation and by the time I got home from the police station, shaken and drenched in rain, I was determined to emigrate and leave this ‘hell hole’ of a country.

I am so angry lately, and I suspect that my son is picking up on my emotions. But then he screams like a hadeda with a grammar phone and wrestles me with his 18 limbs and I can’t help but get more and more stressed out. I’m surprised I’m even able to make conversation at the moment. And I have only one human, only one. How are the moms of 2 or more actually coping?

I’d like to point out – one page into this rant – that I desperately love my son and that he has only been like this for 2 weeks. And he’s also only an asshole for a few hours a day. The other 22 he’s a delight, and then I forget about the asshole phase and go ‘let’s make another one!’. So no, I’m not really going to actually take him to school naked, or throw him out with Pickitup, but I do need to know, from other well oiled and experienced moms that this too shall pass. And before you come to me with your tricks, I’ve tried them. They don’t work

  • Bribery
  • Putting him to sleep with school clothes under his pyjamas
  • Naughty corner
  • beating Smacking
  • Ignoring
  • Hugging
  • Shouting
  • Wine
  • Distraction
  • Protein laden snacks
  • Mommy groups
  • Vodka
  • Rescue Remedy (for him)
  • Xanax (for me)

Help. Please.


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  1. So frustrating for you, he’s out of routine and he’s trying y communicate but does t have the words to express himself. Try and start with him in your bed for a few minutes, hug him, tell him you love him and eventually it will all come right.

  2. They say that 3 is worse than 2… so take this as practice for the threenager. My little bug is turning 3 in July. I smother him with loves and kisses, smack him when he is misbehaved, call santa and the easter bunny (this works quite well), put on his favourite show when I dress him or brush his hair and teeth (when he is being difficult, also works touch wood), try reason with him, scream and shout, count to 3 in a very stern mom voice (normally only get to 2 but its a long stretched 1 and 2),incentivise (bribe)… And then sometimes I hide in the bathroom for a few minutes and try regain my sanity all the while reminding myself that 1 I am the adult, 2 I am the mom, 3 he does not understand he is small, 4 he will only be small for a short time, 5 all the amazing and great things he does and 6 he will choose my old age home. PS sorry to hear about the accident, must have been super scary.

    1. I love this Melody, thank you. I’m afraid I’ve resorted to bringing with full blown sugary sweets now, but it’s working, and I figure (pray) that it wont last forever!

  3. OMW Kate! I am so sorry for this phase. It sounds super challenging. I pray and hope this phase passes quickly.

    p.s I dont get email notifications of your new posts anymore since the big migration to your webpage

    1. HI Laetitia – Have you re-followed? You will need to do that on the home page and then all email notifications will come through to you 🙂

  4. Kate all your emotions I would like to boldly validate. I have decided that I’m not having any more children because Terrible Twos. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart. My cousin has a first born daughter who never cried, potty trainined immediately and has had an angelic aura about her ever since she hit the face of the earth. She later (thinking she’d clone her) had another girl child who is turning two in two months and I have never felt more relieved about anything but she’s a 22 month old piece of montrousness…funny this is that I like her far better. She’s fearless (and inducing) and so independent I want to be like her when I grow up. There’s just a fire about her (and maybe even all of us) that is relatively defined by the antics of this period and I find solace and great research in observing those kids that I have the privilege of seeing through this time (and also get to leave in the care of their own parents ie. run off to my house for sanity) and literally watch how everything somehow makes sense as we go along. Drink when you can sweet girl, but as a veteran of STTT (Survived The Terrible Twos), much like labour pain, the memories of it fade gracefully away and see you start thinking of having another one…another cocktail in my case. You’re absolutely fine because you’re real about it.

    1. This comment has made my day. Im going to start terming this as “STTT”. love it! Also, agree with how the ‘squeaky wheel gets the oil’, independent kids are often the ones people remember due to their spark and fire, I MUST remember this going forward xx

  5. Oh Kate, you are not alone!!!
    And hearing your all him an asshole is so reassuring – that I’m not the only one!

    Our first born was an angelic, textbook baby – never a tantrum, amazing sleeper, never got out of her bed, potty trained herself and adjusted to all situations so easily!

    Our second born is a NIGHTMARE. With everything. She has just turned three and we still have tantrums, she is still potty training (after months) and she still gets out her bed! And everything is a moaning, dramatic problem! The only things that work for us now are calm but firm voice, time out (in the shower!) and the threat of the wooden spoon (she has had it twice and now knows the wrath!)

    But trust me, it hasn’t been an easy year!!
    And now we have just had a third?!?!?!

    1. And, is the 3rd a mix of both or another angel? Hoping for the latter 🙂 GOOD LUCK! Love all your wonderful comments x

  6. Engage and tire em out then bath and quiet time activity…. give the day care/teacher a heads up and send em to school in their pajamas trust me the other kids will let them know that it’s crazy and they will not continue to do it My oldest just completed her last day of school today and is graduating this weekend it will pass I promise. This time last year I had two rolls of pennies and each week I put one of those pennies into a jar and when you realize that that’s the time you have left before your kiddo goes off to college every single minute is priceless.

    1. Wow, what a good idea. Good idea re sending them to school in pyjamas, i’ve already threatened to do it so will now follow through. Thanks!

  7. Also get the children’s book “Go the fuck to sleep”. It’s a parents bedtime story …. it plays on the classic good night moon book but with a child that refuses to go to bed

  8. Strongs my friend. No other advice, except that it does get better. Stay real and ask for help when you need it

  9. Ah Kate you have my sympathy! We had our first major melt down over here last week…. I wouldn’t let Ben take the vacuum cleaner outside to play with it in the garden… cue hysterics so intense we all had to go sit in a darkened room for 10 minutes and practice our deep breathing.

    I try remember in the worst of it that there is always a reason they are being hideous… and this too shall pass!

    Also sorry to hear about the accident, taxis and their drivers are vile.

    Good luck!

    1. Yoh, it gets real hey? No one can prepare you for the stress it can cause as well, one really has to dog deep to find strength and calm.

  10. Little N has now decided walking is for the birds so we have to lug 12kgs of cuteness on our arms. Great for upper body workout must say. Oh and the throwing herself on the ground in every public place possible…just sweep in quickly, remove screaming kid off the floor and walk briskly towards the exit..? all in the name of parenting … This too shall pass ?

  11. My neighbor said to me just last night, don’t worry you are raising an independent leader… the tantrums are driving me crazy.

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