I Want Wine, Not Whine!

The whining. Oh, the incessant, non-stop whining. It is slowly quickly killing me.

All three of my kids have developed the lovely habit of whining instead of talking to me. Honestly, they whine more than they speak. I have come to hate the sing-songy, cry-like words that come out of their mouths. If they want something, they whine. If they don’t get their way, they whine. If they are tired, they whine. If they are hungry, they whine. They whine to communicate. They whine and repeat over and over what they are whining about. They.Just.Whine.

All of this makes me want to wine.

I have even caught myself whining back at them, but not in a good way. It’s like I’m developing the habit too.

It’s gotten to the point where I am wondering whether my decision to go off of my anti-depression medication was a bad idea – if I can’t handle being a mom without it.

It has gotten to the point where I feel like I’m just a terrible mom. Like I’m not cut out for this job. Like I’m not good at it.

It’s gotten so bad that I lost it the other day. After a morning full of “no” and “please stop whining” and “please use your words” and “please be quiet” and “JUST STOP” and “I am soooo done” and “you guys are driving me crazy”, I finally lost it. While having to clean up one mess they made by eating on the couch even though I specifically told them not to (this occurred when I went upstairs to do more camping laundry), they decided to dump water all over the kitchen table and spread their lunch on top of it. They decided to do that little number while they were whining because I wouldn’t give them a treat.

And I just lost it.

I started crying uncontrollably. I just couldn’t take anymore. I hit my limit. And I stood there crying, watching them watch me. They were all so quiet, with wide-O mouths and eyes to match. It was the quietest they had been all day.

I walked into the bathroom and locked the door, and I could hear Ethan whispering to them. I don’t know what he said, but once I got control of myself and cleaned myself up, I walked out of the bathroom they all apologized.

I tried to explain why I was so upset – how their whining and not listening and bickering hurt my feelings. I thought they got it.

But within 5 minutes the whining had already started up again.

The next day, I needed to talk to a friend, so I called Nichole from in these small moments. Gratefully, she answered and we had a nice chat. I know she has little ones close in age too, and she assured me she understood completely and mentioned some things that helped her deal with the whining. She reached out to another blogger, Melissa at Confessions of a Dr. Mom, and ended up writing an article full of Melissa’s advice (Winning Against Whining…easy tips and worth the read!) Just knowing that someone else was dealing with the same thing made me feel better.

Last night, while getting ready to go to my weekly bowling league, the whining was so bad I went upstairs to take some prescription ibuprofen to deal with my headache and major neck cramps (where I hold all my stress). Inadvertently, I took two Somas instead of ibuprofen. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I didn’t feel right – I felt loopy and tired and drunk. I went back upstairs to make sure I had just taken ibuprofen, only to realize that I took twice the dose of major pain medication.

The stress of the whining is getting to me. I could have seriously hurt myself. I need something to change.

I asked friends on Facebook about how they deal with whining and got the typical funny responses like “Benadryl” and “duct tape”. I got some serious ones too, and I’m willing to try them all. So far, they are not working any better than me screaming at the top of my lungs.

I guess what I really need reassurance about is whether or not this constant whining is normal. Do all kids do this? Is it something I’m doing (or not doing) that’s making it so bad? Am I a bad mom?

I’m kind of asking these questions rhetorically, but you know that misery loves company. Knowing I’m not the only mom who feels this way would actually make me feel better about the situation. And of course, if you have any suggestions on how to deal with the whining, I’d love to hear them!

And send wine. I could use that, too. Or maybe I’ll just make my Banana Icebox Cake recipe and eat the whole thing.


  1. First off, hang in there! My understanding/hope is that it is a phase and they will grow out of it. I have twin toddlers who just turned three and a six year old. My daughter (the six year old) whines sometimes, but we make it clear that if she whines, she won't get what she wants. After she realizes that, she talks in her normal voice. My twins are a different story. I do my best to stick to the "mommy doesn't listen to whining" line, but sometimes I just need to get them to stop. I'm doing my best, as we all are, and some days that has to be enough. After I have recovered from my mommy meltdowns, I pull myself together and start back with my hard line on no whining. Side tip, hide a stash of chocolate and sneak handfulls on hard days ;)
  2. Having a similar situation here (and the fact that I have a 4yo girl and twin almost 3yo boys), I can completely relate. It's like one day someone flipped the whine switch and now I can't find the off button. Most days I can get through it, but like u I have those days that I just lose it. It's normal, ridiculously annoying and tiring, but normal. I've tried lots but nothing is helping. Hoping that this too shall pass, if not, pass the wine :). Good luck to you!
  3. Oh. My. Lord. I could have written this. Except I didn't get to talk to Nichole or take the wrong pills (I'm so glad you're ok!) I don't have words of advice, just commisseration. Mine are in the midst of some serious whining/ignoring me. We talk, it gets better for a brief interlude of three point seven seconds, and then it starts again. angela recently posted..Forging Family TraditionsMy Profile
  4. Oh man, I hate whining from one kid - I can't imagine it in three way stereo! I just want to give you a huge hug right now. Hopefully it's just a phase and they'll outgrow it soon! Betsy recently posted..NothingMy Profile
  5. No, they don't grow out of it, if you let them get away with it. I've heard 13-yr-olds whining and the mother looking helpless. From the beginning, you simply don't let them get away with it -- and it's incredibly simple. Look them straight in the eye and tell them you can't understand what they're saying because they're not speaking properly. YOU speak correctly and make a suggestion. Example: child:(whiney voice) "I want some more ice cream!" Parent: Very calmly say, "I'm sorry, I really can't understand you. Can you say it clearly like we usually talk in this house?" AS SOON AS the phrase is said in a normal non-whiney voice, give them what they've asked for (this will stop before long so it won't kill them to get an extra cookie, or whatever). Whatever they say in the voice you want them to use, honor that request and give it to them. NEVER respond to a whiney request. EVER! My children each tried the whiney stage and it was gone in less than a week. It's after they've stopped whining that you can remind them of the rules about one cookie, or whatever. The point is, they are not allowed to whine for what they want. You're not punishing them, you simply can't understand them because THEY've chosen to change the way they speak. Let me know how it turns out. Come visit when you can. SharleneT recently posted..Cabbage Rolls on Spaghetti Squash - Doggie Bag BonanzaMy Profile
  6. When I was a teacher I had one class that whined all.the.time. It was dirving me nuts! And I lost my temper one day and taught an entire math lesson while whining. It was totally childish, but it did drive the point home to my second graders that whining is annoying. My kids don't quite get this lesson when I whine back at them. The only thing that works for me is to ignore them and say that I cannot understand then when they whine. Eventually, (as in after 5-6 times saying it whiney) the will say it in a normal voice. It doesn't stop the whining all together, but it keeps it at bay. You're not alone, it makes me nuts! And it makes me lose my temper, more times than I would like to admit. Twingle Mommy recently posted..Be. Wines ReviewMy Profile
    • Losing my temper is turning into the norm around here. Sigh. I started telling them yesterday that I can't understand whining and I couldn't believe how quickly it worked. Now let's see how long it lasts...
  7. I feel like my kids go through whining spurts. My daughter is a particularly horrific offender. My common anti-whining tactics include: 1. Telling my child that the whining is hurting my ears but I would very much like to hear what they say. When they can talk in a normal voice I will listen. 2. Asking my child to go to her room until she can talk without whining. 3. Telling my children that for each time they whine, they will go to bed 5 minutes earlier, because clearly they are tired. And then I follow through on it. 4. On days when I'm not being patient (but I want to be fair), I tell the kids they have a 3 strikes and you're out policy. Each time they whine I put an X on our fridge. If they get 3 Xs, they spend the rest of the day in their rooms (playing, reading, listening to music, etc.). 5. Sometimes I lose it too because it is mind numbing. I take a long shower and have a drink. Phew! Where is the ME in Mommy? recently posted..What I Think About: What the Aurora Guy DeservesMy Profile
  8. Remember, it takes at least a month to change a behavior! Being a mom is tough! Hang in there! If my kids are whining I make them ask me with their "big kid" voice and then praise them when they do! Michelle http://normalchaosforamultitaskmom.blogspot.com/2012/07/its-all-about-perspective.html
  9. I don't have any good advice here, and I'm sorry for that. Because I feel like I'm in your shoes . . . my two kids are just learning to talk, and I expected whining to come through a little bit with it -- kids who don't know how to ask for what they want will whine. Alas, even after they're learning, they're stick with what works. And I give into the whine far too often, because, well, if I don't, I go crazy. Seriously. All I can tell you is that you're not a bad mother. That's impossible. I'm starting a "selective deafness" when the whining starts -- the problem is that my kids seem to exhibit more patience than I do these days. John recently posted..Where I hop over to Lisa’s placeMy Profile
  10. Hey babe! I am so sorry you are going through this. I know I read something recently about whining though I can't remember where (maybe baby center? They still send me emails). I'm sure you've gotten a ton of advice already so I don't want to overwhelm. When the frog princess gets whiny we ask her to use her words. And I will likely not respond to her attempts at communication until she stops whining and speaks to me. I have also put her on time out over this (might sound harsh but if I can't understand what she needs then we both end up frustrated. Wait, am I a bad mom for putting her on timeout?). I also think they are testing your limits which is totally normal. And I understand how you feel about getting off the meds. A LOT more than you think. I've been gathering the courage to write about it because I know I'm not the only one and I'm tired of feeling like I have to hide it. More on this later. Call me if you need me! I am always only a tweet, skype, FB, email or phone call away! {{hugs}} Sili recently posted..Do You Remember the First Time Your Baby Moved?My Profile
    • Writing about my battle with depression was liberating - if you are comfortable doing it, I absolutely recommend it! And like you said, Call me if you need me! I am always only a tweet, skype, FB, email or phone call away! {{hugs}} Time outs are commonplace around here, for sanity's sake!
  11. I'm sorry you're having such a rough time... hang in there though. Things get better! We all go through this and even when they get older they still whine but finally get it (mostly) when you tell them to stop. I'm sure though that it's all selective hearing.... maybe that's just my kids! Jackie recently posted..Simple Green Laundry Detergent Review & GiveawayMy Profile
  12. Well, first of all, are you still doing your butt-challenge with that sexy Cuban guy from the video? Because like it or not, exercise does help us all cope with stress. However, I have this to say. I'm pretty sure my children (who are also very close in age, but I don't have twins, so I can't compete with that) but my children surely whinned. The great part about being a mom is that once the kids outgrow the stage, we are programmed to forget it. I have no idea what my kids were like when they were little as far as I'm concerned they were perfect because I can't remember a f*#%ing thing about those days. However, I did have a friend who kept peach schnapps on her counter top in case of emergencies. When the whining would get too bad, she'd shoot back a mouthful. Her kids are still alive, and I attribute it to the booze. So I think you're on to something with the wine. Hang in there Darling. I know I'm not much help, but honestly, they outgrow one stage and grow into the next. My kids are currently liars. They lie about everything (the oldest is 16)....actually I think there's a post in that...take care! I'm so glad you have such a terrific support system though, and ...just to make this the longest comment in history.... I think breaking down in tears right in front of them is genius! I'm totally trying that next time! ~hugs sweetie~ Sandra recently posted..The power of prayerMy Profile
  13. Honestly, yoga has helped me the most to deal in times of stress. Sometimes the yoga zen feeling can last up to 4 hours! Though this high lasts longer if no kids are around. Seriously, though. Yoga will help with the stress you carry in your neck. I have same issue. As for whining, you should try reward and punishment for whining. Reward for no whining for one hour = treat. Also, excessively whining gets priveledges taken away. Have a clear tally sheet and have your kids self police. Maybe you get 5 whines a day or some number. At dinner, talk about what the treat will be for tomorrow, and if they can reduce the number of free whines. I think the whining has become a habit for them, so you just have to find incentives to help them break the habit and eventually that habit will go away. PragmaticMom recently posted..Olympic Games and Books for Kids GIVEAWAYMy Profile
  14. The whining makes me whine. I try to wait to answer them or even to ignore them and tell them they have to speak to me in another tone of voice if they want me to answer. Other times, I try to figure out why they are whining. Like if I got caught up with work and they've been inside all day- they are just tired and want to go play. So, I get them out of the house. And that helps. Sometimes, when I know they'll whine(like when we leave the pool), I warn them that we are going to leave in x # of minutes and that they need to be nice about it and not complain or we won't come back the next day. And still other times, I lock my bedroom door to get away for a minute. Or I pour a drink or two. Good luck, girl! xo Shell recently posted..Things They Can’t Say: With Just a Bit of MagicMy Profile
  15. I am a full time nanny for a family that I've been with for five years this summer and their recently turned three year old daughter has the worst case of the wines I have ever seen. Her parents and I are both trying to work on it but it is certainly challenging and makes you want to pull your hair out. I've reached the point where I simply act like I can't hear them if she wines at me or asks something in a winey voice.
  16. Whining is the worst. I have ZERO advice. Sorry, friend. Tonya recently posted..This Time It’s PersonalMy Profile