Here's some advice for you. If you work from home and are thinking of having kids, reconsider one of those options.

Either hold off on having kids 'til you don't work from home, or get yourself some office space.

Working from home and having young kids at the same time are not two compatible things.

When they hit the terrible twos (somewhat inaccurately named as they start before the age of two), EVERYTHING they don't want to do results in a screaming fit, and not just a small screaming fit, a full blown raising the dead style wailing and thrashing around style tantrum.

They try to assert control over every aspect of their lives, and with limited ability to express what they actually want, they use whatever method they can.

The eldest is currently screaming that she needs the potty again because it's now bed time. The last 5 times she went in quick succession, she didn't need it. She just doesn't want to go to bed and that is the method she is using to try to take control.

I have about 3 hours work left to do or I'll be starting tomorrow behind where I need to be.

I had about 3 hours work to do at 6:30 when the bed time routine began.

It's likely that when she's cried herself out in about 45 minutes, I'll still have 3 hours work to do.

If you have a young child, seriously, invest in some office space.

Ask a friend if you can borrow some space at their house, find somewhere that you can hot-desk, but seriously don't bother trying to work from home.

You will spend hours with your head in your hands knowing that if you try to comfort them, you are just enforcing the pattern of behaviour that you have to break before it becomes all encompassing.

There is nothing as soul crushing as hearing your child cry for the attention they want, knowing full well that this particular tantrum is them trying to take control of a situation.

The more worked up they get, the harder it is for them to stop and trying to help just fuels it.

My patience is so stretched, but if I go in to cuddle her, she'll demand to go to the potty so she's out of the cot, I'll say no, and we start the cycle all over again.

Being a parent is incredibly difficult, and pretty much every parent will have to deal with something like this at some point, but if you can make sure you don't need to concentrate on something critical at the same time, I can't recommend it highly enough.

To be clear here, I absolutely adore my kids. I would very willingly sacrifice my life, my sanity or my wellbeing for them if it called for it, and I wouldn't need to debate the prospect.

It's the very fact that I adore my kids that this is difficult - I know that for her sake, we have to break this pattern of behaviour.

If I didn't give a fuck, I'd just ignore her and crack on. Hearing her scream like that is like being punched repeatedly in the stomach. It's a gut wrenching, hellish sensation like I've never felt before in my life and every fibre of my being wants to go in there, pick her up, and cuddle her so she doesn't feel sad.

Some instincts are very deep rooted and very hard to subvert.

  • 9
    Absolutely well written rant!
  • 7
    about the potty and not wanting to sleep, tell her the story about "the boy who cried wolf".

    Next time she wants the potty and you suspect it being false alarm again just ask her if she is calling wolf.
  • 12
    @Codex404 When she gets into this state, she's not receptive to it at all.

    She's actually gone to sleep now, with a combination of white noise and a night light.

    She's only 20 months old, so trying to reason with her isn't the most workable option. She's got amazing language skills for a child her age, but I suspect the issue isn't to do with the potty at all.

    Last night, she spent several hours in a state of absolute misery which I think was caused by a nightmare. She was crying for the potty as it meant she was able to get out of bed.

    That's what makes it all the worse - I'm pretty certain she's frightened of having a bad dream, but doesn't know how to tell us as she hasn't got the right words to describe it.
  • 0
    @oudalally ah, i suspected it being. A tactic just before going to bed. I had that as kid as well and after I was in bed I didnt want to get out xD
  • 0
    @Codex404 It's just that she's being a toddler.

    I got a good 40 mins of work done before she started up again.

    So, now another hour of hell.

    At this rate, I'll probably be done about 1am.
  • 0
    @oudalally are you working with a close deadline? Otherwise I would say to take your rest as well. If she is sleeping you might be able to put her in the same room where dad is working, that way she is safe when she wakes up.

    Im gonna be an uncle in two months, and have some experience with little children. But im still a bit scared
  • 2
    @Codex404 I need this key point signed off by tomorrow morning as I'm demoing the current state of the application tomorrow, so sadly I need to keep going.

    Unfortunately, there's not much I can do at this stage to calm her.

    My wife is being quite frankly superhuman in her patience with it all!
  • 0
    So... exactly like working in an open concept office?
  • 0
    @monkeyboy Not too far removed...
  • 2
    And off she goes again. This is going to be an incredibly long night :(
  • 3
    My condolences. I know exactly what this is like. Baby crying and whining also gives me a headache, and I have no office or other quiet places to work at home.

    It's hell.
  • 2
    @Root The thing is, I'm very aware that this is a phase, and it will pass.

    It's just very difficult to function when you're so sleep deprived.

    Thankfully, I don't need to drive today.

    She started again at 4:50 this morning and I went in to talk to her. She stopped crying, I sat on the floor and pointed out that I was very tired, Mummy was very tired, and we needed to sleep.

    She asked to get out of the cot, I told her that she couldn't, she didn't need the potty, and that she had to go to sleep.

    She then told me she was happy, but it was quite evident that she wasn't.

    When she started to whimper again, I tried to point out in a firm voice that she had to go to sleep and stop crying, and that I was going back to bed.

    She whinged for about 5 minutes when I left the room, then went back to sleep.

    She's been like this when she's had a significant developmental milestone in the past (learning to crawl, first word etc). It's probably just that.
  • 1
    @Root And thank you, knowing other people understand the frustration makes it a little easier to handle somehow.
  • 1
    @oudalally I've noticed that as well. My monster is always worse right before/during "gaining a talent point" 😅. He also eats a lot more.

    Knowing the awful things are normal really does help. Even the terrible things like not listening, abysmal pronunciations, and shoving, or the horrible heartburn/nausea, not being able to pee, legs separating, etc. from pregnancy.

    But we'll get through it.
    And it'll all be more than worth it.

    Edit: I wrote this while listening to "yay! It's a wight." Ad nauseam. While my monster was -- very loudly -- playing with the hotel room's phone. Pardon any poor wording!
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