5 Stages of Toddler Meltdown: Staying Sane at Home

Being at home full time with both kids has been a challenge on a level I have no shame in admitting I was probably only half prepared for. When I was working full time, I’d always empathised with my SAHM mum friends, knowing full well that what they were doing must be bloody hard (understatement of the century much?!) When I left my career and took on a part time role, I understood a hell of a lot more what those friends had been talking about. Making the decision to stay at home full time wasn’t an easy one, and I knew that I’d find aspects of it seriously tough.

What I hadn’t taken into account was the effect it would have on my patience levels. One of the advantages to leaving the house to go to work, whether its a day a week or 5 days, is having the chance to allow you patience levels and general tolerance of toddler shit to refresh. The reality of this hit hard last week when I felt like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

It wasn’t funny at the time, but looking back I suppose I’m able to see the (mildly) funny side of it…

The Stages of Toddler (and Mum) Meltdown

Stage 1 – Minor Indiscretion

“Oh FFS… How have you managed to spill that drink?! It was miles away from you, seriously. Please pay a bit more attention to what you’re doing.”

*15 second cry* “Sorry Mum, it was an accident.”

“I know, never mind. Let’s clear it up shall we?”

Stage 2 – Again? Are you for real?!

“Are you kidding me?? I just cleared up the last drink! We put this one even further away, how the hell did you manage to spill another drink??” *deep breath*

*45 second cry* *shouts* “It’s not myyyyyyy fault!”

“Well who’s fault is it then, the tooth fairy’s?!” *another deep breath* “Ok, ok. Let’s not cry over a spilled drink, just pleeeease try to be careful next time. Ok??”

Stage 3 – Deep breaths can do one

“Really??! Reeeally?! Play dough. You’re stamping play dough into the carpet? Have we never EVER spoken about what not to do with play dough?! You know that’s not ok, don’t you? Well??”

*Screaming and yelling* “You’re a mean mummy! You’re not using your nice voice! Noooooo! Don’t take the play dough awaaaaaaaaay!”

I'd like to say that parts of this are exaggerated. But who am I kidding, you guys know that! The toddler meltdown is just as real as the mum meltdown!

Stage 4 – Hiding in the bathroom

“Mu-uuuuuum! Mum! Mummy! Mama! MUM!!!!!”

“What??!! All I want to do is have a wee in peace, is that really too much to ask? What is it now??”

“Look at my bogey… did you know I have bogeys in my nose, and now there’s some on my finger too and… Hey! Don’t shut the door, I’m talking!”

*screaming and stomping* “You’re a mean mummy, I WANT DADDY!”

“Yeah… Well you’re not the only one!!”

Stage 5 – Might as well write off the whole day

“NO! I’m not putting the other shoe on! You can’t make me. I’m not wearing that coat, I want the other one! The one with the pink elephants! Arrrrggghhhh!!! I. Want. My. Pink. Elephant. Coat!”

“The pink elephant coat that hasn’t fit you for almost an entire year! Don’t be so ridiculous! Put your damn shoe on, you don’t want to wear a coat then fine! Don’t wear a coat!! Freeze, see if I care!”

“You’re horrible! I won’t freeze!”

“Here, I’ll help you with your other shoe.”

*screaming as though being murdered* “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” *flailing and kicking, might even crack you a good one, kicks off the one shoe that was already on*

“FINE!!!! I give up, do what you like! All I was trying to do was get us out for some bloody fresh air! I try to do a nice thing for you, take you to the park and this is how you behave! Well I give up. I’m not going anywhere, you can stay in the house all bloody day for all I care.”

*Crying. On both parts*

Bad Mother Disclaimer

I’d like to say that parts of this are exaggerated, but the reality is that there are genuinely days when it just is this difficult. Aside from the sweary bits (which are mostly under my breath) life at home full time isn’t all roses and laughter. But who am I kidding, you guys know that!

It goes without saying that of course we care if our kids freeze. We wouldn’t be so emotional about everything if we didn’t care. While these days aren’t every day, the odd one here and there is enough to send mum guilt raging through our veins for days upon days afterwards.

So to the lady who sympathised the other day, and offered the very (un) helpful “Awww, it’s the terrible two’s eh?” I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I muttered “Yeah well she’s NOT two!” before storming away. It was just one of those days.

How do you handle your toddler meltdown on a bad day? Tell me I’m not the only one?!

21 thoughts on “5 Stages of Toddler Meltdown: Staying Sane at Home

  1. I loved this post and it really resonated with me as I am now a work from home Mum and do find that I don’t have the chance to escape and let my stress levels/patience levels return to normal! I have many ‘write off the whole days’ at the moment so I am quite glad I am not alone.  Today was one of those, why does my one year old feel the need to beat up her sister with duplo?! Thanks for linking up to #thursdayteam

    1. Ah yes the well known Duplo stealth attack – or in my 16mth-olds case anything that can be used as a weapon against his big sister 🙈🤦🏻‍♀️. X

  2. What is it with them and coats, don’t they want to go out and have fun!? I feel your pain and absolutely all us parents know this is reality! It has gotten easier now they are all school age, but ask me in a few years when my eldest will be 15-16, I may be writing about a whole new set of tantrums! Thanks for sharing with us #ablogginggoodtime

  3. Don’t get me started. We have these happen all the time. My carpets are ruined with playdogh that i just cannot remove and I feel like I’m a broken record ALL THE TIME! I’m such a nag. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassymama

  4. There’s something about toddler meltdowns that seem to turn me into a toddler too and my patience levels plummet and the shouting starts. Sometimes I have to just walk away and ignore them until they finally calm down so we can talk about it in a slightly lower decibel range 😂

  5. I am with you mama, and mine are 9 and 7! I have written below, in this very linky, a similar post about my Little screaming like a banshee and asking for advice… maybe between both our posts, we will have the info we need… or they will just stop, as quickly as they turned on, and life will feel much better. Sending big, empathetic hugs your way! <3 #bigpinklinky xoxo

  6. Oh man totally feel your pain those toddler meltdowns – makes me feel like having a meltdown of my own just thinking about it! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

    1. Same here, I totally get where you’re coming from! As an early Years Practitioner, 2yo meltdowns we’re EASY! I guess we’re more emotionally invested in our own kids?!

  7. I no longer have toddlers as my kids are now 11 and almost 8. But I understand where you are coming from. You not a bad mom to think and blog these things. This is reality and there a days when you just feel that you need time out. All the best.#DreamTeam

  8. Totally relate to all of these stages! Especially demanding coat (in my case shoes) that don’t fit anymore. It’s a nightmare. This made me chuckle though x #bigpinklink

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.