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Pregnant and Struggling with a Stubborn Toddler

Community Member


Sometimes I don't like the person I have become since becoming a mum a few years ago. I was always a patient person. Now I lose my patience so quickly with my toddler who just refuses every step of the day - getting undressed, using the potty, getting dressed, brushing teeth, getting in the car seat, getting out of the car, getting in the bath, washing with soap, washing his hair, getting dressed, having a nappy change, going to sleep.. literally every step of the day is a battle and I am so over it. It's been like this for so many months. He doesn't listen to me ever, I have to say his name multiple times before I get a response, the other day we went for a walk and I was getting him to stop at every driveway but then he went ahead and almost got hit by a car reversing out of their driveway while I was screaming his name and stop, with no reaction from him but the driver of the car heard me and stopped. I'm taking him to the GP this week to have his hearing checked and discuss these things but I feel like I just have a strong willed toddler with selective hearing.

I am having my second in a couple of weeks and I don't know how I am going to cope with the struggle that is the new born phase while dealing with my toddler. I feel angry or sad more often than I'd like and sometimes I'm just not the parent I thought I would be or want to be, and just miss my old life of freedom and peacefulness.

Any coping tips/ services/ ideas would be greatly appreciated. I just want to be in a healthier mental state so I can be a better mum and not lose my patience so quickly.

Thanks in advance.

4 Replies 4

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi FlowerLover,

Welcome to the forum, we appreciate you posting in your time of frustration- we know that can be hard to do. It's great to see how self-aware you are, and that you want to be better as a person and as Mum to your 2 children. You shouldn't discount that- and you certainly aren't alone in wanting to be a better parent either, especially when things are tough. It's good that you are taking Toddler to a doctor after the near-miss with the car- feel free to let us know how that goes. In terms of your state of mind, it sounds you are suffering from a bit of burn out. Here, self-care can be useful. Do you have a support network? Someone to mind toddler so you could have an hour to yourself every now and again to do something just for you? It could be to get a massage or catch up on some paperwork, or preparing for Baby #2 in some enjoyable way. What might self-care and recharging look like for you?


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi FlowerLover,

Welcome to the forums. I think Tay100 has already given you a lovely welcome and so I'll try not to repeat that too much - I too am glad that you're here, and I think there's a strength in posting especially when sometimes there's messages out there like "I'm a mum I should be able to cope" - when in reality you're not alone in this and it's totally okay to reach out and seek help.

You're probably familiar with KHL (Kids Help Line), but I'm not sure if you're familiar with their Parent Helpline? Their contact details are here (different phone number for each state) - https://kidshelpline.com.au/parents/issues/how-parentline-can-help-you?gclid=Cj0KCQjwk8b7BRCaARIsAARRTL7ruO7hMXtV-XoTo4sY_dHP8Fm_ZYidBMBzX30k8LyYZ59VEPVYcnYaAoTYEALw_wcB

Hopefully you can find this service helpful, there's certainly a lot out there - it just depends on what you feel like you need right now and how we can help.


Community Member
Hi FlowerLover,

Well done for reaching out and keep up the great job you are doing!

Having kids is such a huge life change that no one can explain unless you go through it.

Young kids are hard, I've got 3 (2,4,6) and those first few years are really tough, especially boys and strong willed toddlers!!

It does get easier as the months/years go on and you will adapt with a newborn and toddler.

Some small tips which you many already know -

My kids like to be challenged ie, can you get dressed in 1 minute?
How quick can we change your nappy?

Try and explain why it is important to stop when you call his name (I know this seems like in one ear out the other!)

Most importantly take a few moments out and have some deep breaths to keep calm.

Keep up the great work and don't worry, the struggle is real for most of us!!

Community Member

Hi flowerlover.
Please know your not alone with your struggles being a mum. Being a mum is the hardest thing I’ve done in my life.

I have two boys 5 and 3 and another boy on the way in 8 weeks. My 5 year old sounds like he has similar challenges to yours. He was late to toilet train (4). Still has difficulty getting dressed and undressed. Doesn’t listen. He’s also full of energy and only stops when he’s sleeping. We’ve been struggling with his emotions. My brother in law is a child physiologist and recommended Montessori. There is a good video called meltdowns and tantrums - dealing with big emotions. We’ve found applying the methods works. We’ve also been seeing an occupational therapist who diagnosed My son with mild sensory issues and a developmental coordination disorder which she believes is why my son has difficulty with certain things and explains his behaviour. It might be useful to also see an OT in addition to the GP. As there could be some challenges which are causing him to behave the way he is behaving. If he does have hearing difficulties an OT would be well placed to help. We have just enrolled in a program with the OT to help my son overcome his challenges. So hopefully we’ll have some success with that before he starts prep next year.

As for you my dear. My advice to stay sane is find something you like doing and try to get some support to allow you to do that. My me time is swimming. I do laps at a local pool 3 times a week and they look after my kids in the kids club. My mental health has improved a lot since I started doing this after having 2 kids. Sometimes you just need a break and to do something you enjoy so you still feel human. Find your ‘something’ and try to make time to do it. I also find putting on some music helps me to relax.

Find things to do with your son you both enjoy that will keep him occupied and entertained and allow you time to care for Bub. There are some great fenced playgrounds around. The mess stays outside and you can let your child run free. I’m not sure if you live near water but we live near a bay. My boys might play there happily for 1-3 hours supervised but it gives me time to play with them but I can also have a rest and sit down and chill.

Two is easier than one in some ways. Your child will have a buddy in time to play with. You will naturally become more relaxed because you have to, to deal with two kids.

All the best with the arrival of your baby and your toddler! It’s an exciting time!!