to ask what you do when you need a break from your kids, but cant get one

(50 Posts)
wontletmesignin Tue 14-Jan-14 17:08:56

I am having such a hard time at the moment.
Bare in mind, i am usually ok to handle all of this. There is just a lot going on in my life atm.

I have 4 kids between 3 and 10. I have no way of getting a break.
I have a short time while my youngest is at nursery, but it takes me ages to get home. By the time i have had a cuppa and squared up,its time to head back to get him again.

By this point, he is tired but refuses point blank to have a nap, and so becomes a little more whingy and demanding.

After this battle - it is then time for the school run. Which LO decides to go as slow as poss, which results in me pulling him along which pulls my back.

By the time we get there, his tiredness gets the better of him. Collect child 1 and when waiting for child 2, LO decides its time to kick off and lay on the floor refusing to move. Picking him up pulls my back further and then i have to keep hold of him while waiting for child 3.

Cries all the way home, and deliberately ignores. Demanding that i get off him and things so he can run off. Which sends me in a panic.

By the time we get home i am stressed to bits.

I am fed up of being stressed when i finally have all my kids back home.
I want to be happy and calm for them coming home.

I feel a break is what i need, but i have no idea how to get one!
So i wondered if any of you had any tips? On a break or just handling the stress better.

I have even thought of anti ds as im really struggling atm

CailinDana Tue 14-Jan-14 17:11:46

Will LO go in a buggy?

Do you have a partner?

ChippyMinton Tue 14-Jan-14 17:14:24

How do you travel around? Would a bike or scooter be an option for your youngest?

lilyaldrin Tue 14-Jan-14 17:14:42

Could he do 2.5 days at nursery instead of mornings? Then at least on 2 days you'd have more of a break.

Definitely sounds like you need a pushchair for the school run.

Even if he won't nap after nursery, maybe enforce an hour or two of quiet time? Put a DVD on?

Awkwardsis Tue 14-Jan-14 17:15:17

I feel a bit like you do. I have 3 dc, the youngest is a few months away from being two and I am worn out. I have no one to watch them all at once and not even a nursery to give me the morning off. I adore them but I have been to the dr this month because I know I am depressed. I'm very much an introvert and just crave some time alone but as a single parent, it ain't gonna happen. I'm on my second lot of antidepressant as the first lot made me a zombie. Practically, I am going to start looking if I can afford to send ds to nursery for a day a week. The respite, the quiet would do wonders for me.
So practically, for you. There's no shame admitting you are depressed. Get to the doctors if you need to. It sounds like he'd benefit from being strapped into a buggy tbh, Gumtree would have some cheap secondhand ones if you have got rid of yours. Is nursery just too far away? Do you walk home? Perhaps look at getting a bike with a seat on the back off the littlest to get you there and back quicker?

Middleagedmotheroftwo Tue 14-Jan-14 17:15:43

I would get them all play dates/sleepovers organised (at friends houses obvs) on the same night.
It will mean reciprocating the favour, but you could do that one child at a time.
I find that the kids bother me less when they have mates round anyway, so wouldn't be as bad as you think.

Chocotrekkie Tue 14-Jan-14 17:17:32

What about a trike/push along thing for the school run if he won't use a pushchair ?

Some most days I used the buggy and lollipop combination on occasion

jacks365 Tue 14-Jan-14 17:18:32

Pick lo up from nursery in the buggy then he can fall asleep on the way home saving you all the battles that him being tired causes it also gives you a bit more peace.

Jinty64 Tue 14-Jan-14 17:18:59

Get a pushchair to collect him from nursery and/or do the school run. Is their any provision for him to stay longer at nursery? Could you afford a childminder to collect him 2 days a week and have him for the afternoon. Could you share the school run with another parent so that you don't have to go every day?

TakeYourPick Tue 14-Jan-14 17:21:12

That sounds tough, i have a friend who has 4 dc and have no idea how she copes. Do you have a DP? If you do then could you get a few hours to yourself on his days off? Maybe ignore the housework once in a while and have a nice hot bath or something when LO is at nursery, i do this sometimes and even though i feel guilty i know it's important for my well being.
How about a buggy for the LO on the school run or a scooter/bike? Or do you have any mum friends local who could watch LO whilst you do the school run? you could maybe pick up their kids in return.
Sorry if none of this feasable, just thinking out loud!
Sounds like the main problem is the LO's tiredness, would he sleep if you lay down with him maybe?

JanetAndRoy Tue 14-Jan-14 17:26:55

Duct tape and the understairs cupboard.

grin JOKE grin

Seriously, my hat comes off to anyone with 4 kids. I'm too selfish to have more than 2!

wontletmesignin Tue 14-Jan-14 17:28:14

I think i may have to invest in a buggy. I stopped using it when we had the car and he was doing really well with the walking.
That was when i had a partner. Now im a SM. The car has gone also as i dont drive.

Ive tried the scooters, he goes even slower lol. He will walk along with it, sometimes he will go fast but then i end up carrying it and end up with two dead arms. Him being pulled along by one, and the scooter killing my other one. I am weak, i know.

I am quite a loner when it comes to socialising. I dont really have friends that i could ask for help from.

I have one day a week where my ds3 df will pick him up, so my older two walk home themselves. That is my favourite day lol.

Thanm you all for your helpful suggestions xx

wontletmesignin Tue 14-Jan-14 17:30:11

Lol janetandroy dont tempt me grin

crescentmoon Tue 14-Jan-14 17:32:36

could you put them to bed earlier? or give them dinner, brush teeth, pjs on and send them to their rooms earlier in the evening? 'today, no kids downstairs after 6.30'?

wontletmesignin Tue 14-Jan-14 17:41:07

I have that rule crescent.
Its teeth brushing time at half 6, getting all ready for bed. Im sorted by 7, older 2 are then settled doing what they have chosen to do and come down every now and then, which i dont mind. They just have a quick chat and back up they go to continue what they are doing.

I am just getting youngest out of shouting of me every 5 minutes.

I ask for nothing more than me being allowed to watch hollyoaks at 7 with a cuppa and a ciggy. But i am not allowed lol.

The past couple of nights, he has shouted of me twice. Which is fantastic compared to what it was.

It was every 5 minutes for at least an hour, then he would finally fall asleep. But then ds3 would then need to shout down for the toilet instead of just taking himself. Then he would finally drop off. Then the older two would come down "whats for supper"

Which all in all is nothing. But when it takes almost 2 hours to watch a 30 minute episode hmm

I am so pleased i am getting somewhere with bedtime though.

I think its just after the holidays and getting back into routine and things. Its finally taking its toll on me. Hopefully in another couple of weeks ill be back to my best. If not, i will head to docs for some anti ds

jacks365 Tue 14-Jan-14 17:46:31

It's still early days for you being a lone parent and it will get easier so hold in there. You and your dc have been through a lot so it's hardly surprising that they are currently unsettled it won't last though. If you are anywhere near me in the north west then I have a pushchair going spare that you can have.

SugarplumKate Tue 14-Jan-14 17:49:14

I do understand how you feel as I have 4, ages 2 3/4 to 13 years.

My youngest is very tired after pre-school (he does 2 school days which does give me a break - though I have to work most of that time) so I usually bribe him into the buggy after pre-school with chocolate or crisps (needs must) and he then falls asleep which makes the school run much easier!! I would be seriously stressed out with his whinging and walking slowly and we'd never get to school in time. I don't trust him onthe scooter as it is busy roads so he will be in the buggy for school runs for a while yet... Could you pick up a second hand buggy off freecycle or one of the fb groups?

Four is really hard work, no question. Sometimes I feel my brain is going to explode with all the things I have to remember. xxxx

This was me last year except I wasn't a sm
I started not going home every time and going for a potter or doing the shopping
I used to get incredibly tired because I would stay up late to get some alone time. I had a bike with a trailer which I used for the youngest a lot.

This year dc4 started school (this is you in two terms?) and I recently passed my driving test. Wow life is different

I know money will be tight but could you get a regular babysitter once a month and go and do an evening club or something?

wontletmesignin Tue 14-Jan-14 18:10:32

Thanx you all. You are right, jacks they will still be unsettled. Also thank you for the offer of the pushchair. I am in the north east.

I will have a look around on gumtree and the likes, and if that fails i will just buy one.

I have no idea how he would react to one. It has been that long since he has used one.
He may love it. Fingers crossed.

As for childminders and babysitters, i dont have the money.
I will be fine if i can get this tiredness of LO under control.
Hopefully a buggy really is the way forward.

It is also good to hear that im not alone!

Yes sugarplumkate - i know the feeling lol.

Its the four times of everything that gets me
Mam whats for tea x4
Who was at the door x4
Everything you do is questioned x4 haha

wontletmesignin Tue 14-Jan-14 18:40:46

Will have a buggy in two days time woohoo. LO said he would love it too. Hopefully he still feels this way when it comes lol

Sparklymommy Tue 14-Jan-14 18:49:45

I have four children too, aged 11, 7, 6 and 4. Let me tell you it does get easier as they start school and you get some decent time to yourself!

How many mornings does you lo go to nursery? Would it be possible to change his sessions to two full days and a half day (assuming he does five mornings). This will give you more time to yourself on those days so you won't be getting home and then going straight back out to pick him up again. You may also find that he is then tired and easier to settle to bed In the evenings.

On the days when you would have him at home perhaps you could arrange activities like swimming to wear him out and he would have your undivided attention which would be nice for him.

I am not a sm, and my heart goes out to you struggling with four on your own. I know I struggled to get through the day when my six year old was at home all the time. He is a real handful and I was constantly shattered trying to keep him safe and out of trouble!

Does your ex have the children ever? Could he maybe help with picking up the youngest from nursery? Or have him one day a week to take the pressure off you? Or is it contentious?

Could you go and do something for yourself one day a week whilst he is in nursery rather than trekking all the way home? e.g. is there a park, library, cafe or swimming pool nearby.

wontletmesignin Tue 14-Jan-14 19:11:21

My oldest 2 have the same dad. He doesnt bother with them at all.
My oldest youngest dad takes him 1 day through the week and weekends.
My lo dad is not allowed contact.

So i only ever get a break from 1.

I didnt even know it was possible to get full days in nursery. I will have a talk with them tomorrow to see if that can be arranged.
He is in nursery 5 days a week.

He is a handful. Always on the go and so fast paced (until it comes to walking), he has me a nervous wreck all of the time. You need eyes in the back of your head for him.

Hopefully the nursery can do that. Even just one day. That way i would be able to recharge and do something nice together.
I am so drained atm it is hard, and i hate it.

As for doing something for myself one day a week. That is possible. I like photography, and the park we walk through has some nice spots. I always just take quick snaps as we walk through. I have never actually gone to just take photos. So there is an idea.

Sparklymommy Tue 14-Jan-14 19:23:40

Your little one sounds like my 6 year old. He was such a handful. And still is alot of the time but he is getting better. His the irritant in our house and winds all the others up too.

Maybe ask your hv for some suggestions too. They often run workshops for parents (fun things like crafts etc) and run a crèche. There are often groups for single parents that can be a way of having an hour or so to recharge your batteries, whilst the children are having fun in another area. These are usually very low cost or even free.

forceslover Tue 14-Jan-14 19:59:22

I hide upstairs with a cup of tea and chocolate, I tell them I am sorting washing and tidying up and they can help me if they wish. I can get at least 15 mins peace!

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