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To wonder what the hell I am supposed to do all day now I am a stay at home mum?

(128 Posts)
gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 13:51:39

I have been a stay at home Mum since DS was born (now age 2). For the first year I just met up with other mums each day who were also on maternity leave (but this actually cost me a lot of money going to cafes, soft play etc.) Now they are all back at work I have decided I would like to stay at home until DS (and I am 12 weeks pregnant with DC2) start school. But I am at a loss of what to do each day? At the moment DS wakes me up at 6am, we have breakfast, get dressed, then watch cbeebies for about an hour and a half before driving DH to work. We are back home by 9.30, I then put a wash load on, do the ironing and clean one room (I have allocated a room in our apartment to clean each day). DS just potters and plays with his toys and 'helps' me do bits of the cleaning. Then it is 11am we have a snack and I try and bake cakes or do colouring or playdoh or something until lunchtime but find it hard to stretch the activity out to last until lunch. We eat lunch, quick clean up and then I start thinking it is only 1pm, what the hell am I going to do until I pick my DH up at 5.30pm? If we go to the park I am usually bored after an hour and by the time we are home there are still at least another 2 hours to kill. What do other stay at home mums do? My own mum said I used to go to nursery every morning but she still struggled to fill the afternoons with me so she has no suggestions.

CaptainSweatPants Sun 07-Apr-13 13:54:08

You need to go out or you'll go mad
Library
Free museums that have something to catch the interest of your child
Make a network of mum grieves to go round to theirs for coffee

hwjm1945 Sun 07-Apr-13 13:55:34

Playgroup s

TunipTheVegedude Sun 07-Apr-13 13:56:12

You could waste time pissing about on the internet.

Does your ds have a nap ? Do you have a hobby or interest ? That's kept me going in the endless cycle of housework and entertain kids

MsAkimbo Sun 07-Apr-13 13:57:34

Agree, outings. My DD is much younger and I try to go out everyday.

Also, does your DS nap? If so, nap. Nap. NAP.

No no if your not tired hobby while they nap, keeps you sane

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 13:59:18

TunipTheVegedude haha that is what I seem to do for about 2 hours each afternoon after we have been to the park although DS is not very impressed, he keeps saying 'come off mummy'. So far today I have been up since 6am which seems wrong on a Sunday, already been to the shops and the park, DS has been watching tv for about 2 hours, DH is at work and I just think what on earth can we do??

Viviennemary Sun 07-Apr-13 13:59:21

I think it is possibly more difficult to be a SAHM if you need to be always on the go and only have one child. I had a neighbour like this once. Whole house cleaned from top to bottom by 9.30 and then she was bored. You could try a routine. Mondays we go to this, Tuesdays we do that and so on. I agree with network of Mums to meet up for lunch or coffee. And check out libraries for story times and activity hours and so on.

Sorry forgot you are pregnant, lie down ! please conserve your energy And get love film

Do you like arts and crafts? Maybe you could start making things and selling them online on places like Etsy?

This kept me occupied during sick leave and unemployment and with a toddler (who could do his own crafts) you could really fill your time.

Trying activity classes to; play group, swimming, library - do some local research and find an activity for every other day

Moomoomie Sun 07-Apr-13 14:00:23

Park.
Library.
Mother and toddler groups.
Swimming.
Museums.
Long slow walks, looking at ants etc.
Seaside.
Walk in the woods.
You will soon meet new friends with similar aged children.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 07-Apr-13 14:02:20

Hello OP.

I have been a sahm for 20+ years and have done many things.
Its a good time to take up a hobby or pursue your interests, distance learning, volunteering in the community.
With your dc there are parks, libraries, the beach, forests, indoor soft play. Swimming, play groups, mother and toddler, etc.
I just did everything and anything I wanted to, personally I found it empowering and liberating. I think you need to embrace the change though or else agree with the above, you'd go mad. Look at what you can achieve personally and that should keep you on the right track.
Good luck, hope you enjoy.

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 14:02:46

MsAkimbo He doesn't do naps anymore sad He sleeps 7.30pm until 6am, the days I have tried to get him to nap he will not go to bed until midnight and still wake up at 6am sad

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 07-Apr-13 14:02:59

Go to library, museums, soft play ( aaaargh), parent and toddler groups, swimming, toy shop

But make friends with someone and have a cuppa together while the children bite each other

I am very glad i had not come across MN when mine were this age because i would have been seriously addcited and possibly neglectful

noblegiraffe Sun 07-Apr-13 14:03:22

Supermarket, library, various different parks, city farm, soft play, play date, toddler group, lunch in asda cafe (cheap!). In the summer sandpit in the back garden, or paddling pool filled with toys can keep him occupied for hours. Baking, painting, craft kits, dens. CBeebies

ohforfoxsake Sun 07-Apr-13 14:04:08

Get out and about, make friends, playgroups in the morning, lunch, make dinner whilst LO naps (if still does). Picnics in the park, day trips out. Do a course, look into professional qualifications for when you do go back to work, if you do.

I did most of my socialising during the day, having friends round for lunch, going for coffee. It's the best way to preserve your sanity IMO.

Being PG again, this is the calm before the storm - enjoy it, read books, clear out the kitchen drawer.

It can be mindnumbingly dull, force yourself to enjoy it.

Backtobedlam Sun 07-Apr-13 14:04:37

I used to make sure we got out every day or we'd all go stir crazy! Walks in the woods, park, playgroup, library, scoot/bike around where we live, swimming, other toddler groups (gymnastics, baby signing, tumble tots etc), walk to shops instead of drive.

As we're then only at home for a few hours its easiee to keep them entertained without me getting bored! We do lots out in the garden, cooking, painting, simple games, build large train tracks, den building, duplo models. Once you get into it you'll be amazed where the day goes!

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 14:06:49

They are good ideas thank you, I will have a look at what activities we have nearby, maybe I could make some kind of planner each month of what we are going to do each day! I feel like we should just be content at home, my MIL said she just used to stay in every day, she said there is always housework to do, tv to catch up on etc. but I seem to have run out of things to do at home by 11am each day, and I cant spend until 5pm watching tv every day, I will go insane!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 07-Apr-13 14:08:19

Make stuff! Craft...sew....go for walks....

ParmaViolette Sun 07-Apr-13 14:08:25

I do apologise if I sound out of line, but you don't really seem terribly fulfilled being one. Which is not a bad thing at all- just most of the SAHMs I know will defend to their death their busy schedule and abundance of things to do!

I'm certainly not insinuating you to go out and find one of those gold dust school hour jobs- but maybe 2-3 days evening or daytime shift work would be good? Or maybe a college course? Start a new hobby or join a gym just for a bit of me time or something to do?

Raising your child is an amazing thing, but if park and soft play bores you (don't blame you!) then don't be a martyr to it. Use your free hours to be you not just mummy!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 07-Apr-13 14:10:08

Also, when both mine were just over 2 they started at a community playgroup 2 or 3 mornings a week). Very necessary for sanitym eespecially when i had a baby and toddler. Look out for one of these. They are ususally parent managed but you leave the child there.

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 14:11:21

ParmaViolette I am doing a OU distance learning course which I do in the evenings after DS goes to bed, although I do find I am exhausted by the time he is in bed from being up at 6am and like to just crash some nights. I do want to be a stay at home mum, I just feel like I have no idea what I should be doing to fill these long endless days?

Maybe make friends with other SAHMs with DCs of a similar age to your DS? Have a look at your local local Mumsnet board. The Netmums meet a mum board is good (regularly updated) and they're not all 'huns'.

Meeting up needn't be expensive or just revolve around sitting in cafés...
Find out what's going on locally - your library may have rhyme time or story time session. Your local cinema might do toddler friendly screenings. Is there a theatre nearby? Or a sports centre? Go swimming or put your DC in the creche for a hour and join a class. Take your DC to toddler dance/gym/rugby/whatever. You'll meet other mums there and they'll be able to suggest other things you can do during the day.

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 14:12:04

Also we do not have a garden which I think makes it harder, if we did I would just stick DS out there for a couple of hours each day while I did some reading, or maybe started gardening or something.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 07-Apr-13 14:12:15

I agree with ParmaViolette.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sun 07-Apr-13 14:12:52

Gosh, are you me? Also have a toddler, also pregnant with DC 2 and also sometimes bored out of my mind! Doesn't help that we moved abroad when DD was 9 months and I'm in a country where I'm not allowed to work due to visa regs, so no respite there!

I think the thing that helps most is routine, so I try and make sure we have an activity on each day - Mondays, music class, Tuesdays, playgroup etc. I try and make sure these things are in the morning so I have something to get up and out for - I hate the feeling of 'killing time' moping around indoors (granted, it's more difficult in the winter).

The other thing I did was to find a group of other SAHMs and organise that we meet up one afternoon a week eg to go to the park or somewhere indoors if it's colder. I've also learnt to invite others over/for coffee etc even if I don't know them so well - its surprising how many mums were reluctant to do this (me included) but we've all become pretty good friends. (This may be cultural - it's America and there isn't really a SAHM culture.)

I often think back to the halcyon days of maternity leave when I'd be with my NCT group in the local cafe most days but do you know what? That wasn't real life and even if that situation were possible now and most people weren't back at work, the toddlers are not good cafe customers. My DD won't sit still for more than ten minutes - no more huge cuppas and cakes whilst baby sleeps for a couple of hours!

Gosh - this has turned into a bit of an essay! The other thing I think will change is that as DD gets older, she'll need less entertaining and be more able to play on her own. At the moment she is into everything but wants me there with her to build towers etc and it feels like I never get a moment to myself. Finally, once the new baby is here, you'll wonder why you didn't make more of all the free time!

The grass is always greener too, remember. I've got friends who would give anything to be a SAHM!

Earlybird Sun 07-Apr-13 14:14:10

Softplay (as a special treat)
Find a music class for ds - often held in church halls during the week
Walk to the station to watch the trains arrive/depart
Plant something from seed and watch it grow with ds
Go feed the ducks
Fingerpaint / play dough with ds

For yourself:
learn to do something new, and then practise it (knitting, sewing, craft, scrapbooking, etc)
Read a new book every week (maybe even join a book club)
Try at least one new recipe per week
Do crossword puzzle/sudoku/etc
Read a serious newspaper everyday
Write poetry, haiku, short stories, etc
What have you always wanted to know more about? Do some reading. Also, many universities now have lectures online that can be viewed.

I understand it is easy to get 'stuck' in the mundane routines of daily life with a young child, but see this as a time of exploration and discovery. No doubt, you still have to do the shopping/cooking/laundry - but you also have the luxury of time to do things you couldn't do when doing regular paid work.

378 Sun 07-Apr-13 14:16:18

Playgroups, activity classes, playgrounds, parks, painting, outside play, reading, 'quiet time' if no naps - my 2 year old won't watch tv and I am pregnant so doing lesd than usual but I try not to mumsnet when dc not resting or sleeping. Playdates with other mums with toddlers great too we get to chat while they play. Having a plan for the week helps with motivation I found.

Chandon Sun 07-Apr-13 14:17:42

In all honesty, I wept when Ds started playgroup, he was 2.5 I think...

He was happy going 3 mornings a week, and it gave me a bit of time off.

You need to try and see other adults during the day, I found that essential, find other sahms locally and meet up in the park.

ohforfoxsake Sun 07-Apr-13 14:19:42

I've made some cracking friends through MN, worth starting a thread in your local page maybe?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 07-Apr-13 14:21:50

I used to take DS1 to a couple of classes, one of those was with a friend and we would have lunch at one another's house afterwards and have a natter.

I agree that a garden helps, mine have always spent a lot of time out there when the weather allows

I can always find things to do - reading, looking at new recipes, planning a trip away and so on, while DS1 played if he didn't want my input.

Once you have two it is a totally different ballgame. I have far less time, but I still take DS2 to a couple of classes/groups each week, we help out at school and so on.

Library/zoo/lunch out/visit family and friends.

It somewhat depends on what you have locally, and what your finances are like. I've always been able to spend some money on keeping myself and the DCs amused and it does help.

Ragwort Sun 07-Apr-13 14:24:51

There is loads of voluntary work you can do, even with a child in tow, I used to deliver meals on wheels, visit elderly people in homes, helped to run a community toddler group, organise fund raising, coffee mornings etc etc etc.

I've been a SAHM for 12 years and never been bored and never spent much time doing housework either. smile

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 14:25:01

I have a gym membership we use to go swimming a couple of times a week, I have the car (most days) unles DH needs it to go to a meeting in work hours. In terms of finance I only have about £5 a week spare at most really sad

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 14:25:46

Thats £5 a week left for entertainment I should mention, not food and everything else, it sounded a bit like that when I read it back!!

Lavenderhoney Sun 07-Apr-13 14:27:01

You could plan out your week so you have somewhere to go every day. I used to go to a swimming class or just us, a toddler group, walks in woods , friendly garden centres and a bit of gardening, play dates etc etc. feeding ducks was very popular too, blackberrying etc

In the afternoon I would invite someone round from 2-4 most days, or just go for a walk. Puddle walks are very popular and great funsmile

Even if pregnant , you can still do the above but super slowsmile and keep one day for being home and a tidy day, where your ds gets to amuse himself ( its good for him! ) whilst you tidy or await the cleaner if you get really exhaustedsmile

I also did an ou course but gave up for a year on 2nd pregnancy. Too knackered. Scrap booking might work, with a memories book for your ds?

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 14:28:28

If you do one activity per day how do you stretch out the rest of the time? At the moment we go to swimming two morning a week at about 11am but we are back in time for lunch and then bored the rest of the day? Same as if we go to the park after lunch, we are normally back by about 2.30pm and then still have until 5pm to fill, I cannot seem to make activities even last half the day sad

KateDillington Sun 07-Apr-13 14:32:05

I agree that having a garden makes it MUCH easier.

In all honesty though, I couldn't hack it for very long. I had to go back to work!

Ragwort Sun 07-Apr-13 14:33:46

Are you involved in your local community? I used to take my DS out for a long walk in his pushchair every single day and inevitably meet other people, that would involve stopping for a chat, sometimes an invitation to coffee/local place of interest etc. We would also just mooch around the church/shops/gardens - anything in fact.

Not saying this is you but I have noticed a lot of people just hurry about their daily lives without just stopping and seeing what is happening locally, check notice boards & your local newspaper, you never know what might be happening. I used to deliver local newsletters, (voluntarily) - it got me out, fresh air, exercise, meeting people.

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 14:35:01

Lavenderhoney yes it does get tiring with the OU in pregnancy doesn't it? I think I may put mine on hold when next DC arrives as I cannot imagine being up with a newborn and trying to do the work! We also have a day where DS has to entertain himself, either a Saturday or a Sunday each week (DH works one day each weekend so I use that day just to potter about and just leave cbeebies on all day for DS and get his toys out, not sure if the cbeebies on all day is a good idea but it is the only way I can get him to stop stalking me and asking me to play trains all day long!!). It is nice to do nothing for one day each week, but I cannot handle any more than that I would go insane so am loving the ideas on here, I think I will spend this afternoon looking up some activities and making a time table.

MIL thinks I am crazy as she said she was always super busy doing things at home like cleaning, but I just cannot make the cleaning stretch that long, plus I would not want to or DS would be so bored and I do not even like cleaning!

GingerPCatt Sun 07-Apr-13 14:35:16

Gettingolder I know what you mean. I take DS to an activity most mornings but struggle to find stuff to do in the afternoon. At least if its not raining we can go in the garden or out for walks. It's difficult since there isn't much where I live so to go to anything we have to take the bus. DS is 22 mo so doesn't play with anything for more than 30 min tops.
Sorry I'm moaning, I'm finding being a sahm very difficult. I'm looking for pt work, but no joy.

ipadquietly Sun 07-Apr-13 14:39:30

I think I'd have missed the company of adults (without children) if I'd been a SAHM. I've always been a bit bored with talking about dcs (accomplishments, 'good' schools', catchment areas, comparing milestones, 'necessary accessories', aspirations, etc, etc) ad infinitum.

Kat101 Sun 07-Apr-13 14:40:26

I wonder this. I was ok when I had my first child as had friends from NCT and postnatal group. When I had my 3rd, all of my friends were going back to work / kids going to preschool and they left the toddler groups. I spent a good year with no friends and was so miserable and unhappy. I never found a niche and got a job as soon as I could. It transformed my life. But then my kids weren't interested in tv, it didn't even buy me 1 minute before they were bored, same with baking and crafts, so maybe that was why.

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 14:41:00

Also DS will be 3 this summer so will be starting nursery in September, so then I will only have afternoons to fill (although will have the baby in the mornings once it is here), do those of you who have DCs at morning nursery still do stuff in the afternoons or is it too tiring for the DC to be at nursery in the morning and then out in the afternoon? I just cannot imagine what we would do all afternoon if DS is tired after nursery but does not nap??

janey68 Sun 07-Apr-13 14:41:16

I think accessing as much free stuff as possible is the way to go, as you're on a tight budget. Library, free or very low cost mum and toddler groups (if they're your thing- I know they're the kiss of death to some people!) walks.... Also, there's a lot you can do with your ds which doesn't cost anything extra but if you can involve him they're fun activities. I was only at home full time on ML, but one thing I did was go to the local market, pick out cheap veg etc and then come home and make a veggie crumble for evening meal. Most people tend to think of baking cakes when you're cooking with kids but actually it's far more real (and economical) to just involve them in what you'd be cooking for a real meal. Maybe link your morning walk to an afternoon activity- eg collect pebbles, leaves and then do a collage. Mine used to love hiding games- have a collection of objects which you hide around your apartment and then he finds them. Then swap over.
If you feel money is really restricting what you can do, it may be worth doing an evening shift or two a week at a bar or something...I know youre tired but sometimes doing something totally different has the same impact as resting.
I think when you have another baby you'll be pretty busy anyway so look on this period as a time limited phase

Mashedupbanana Sun 07-Apr-13 14:44:17

My routine is to get out of the house by 9:30 (maybe have a list of things to do and pick one per day eg library story time, music with mummy, swim, walk, park, free museum). Netmums local is good for finding what on in your area.

I then get back home at 11:30 for lunch. If yours doesn't nap then perhaps have a cuddle up and book read between say 1-2pm. Then in the pm maybe do an activity or two at home. The Pinterest app is really good for free ideas (type 'toddler ideas' into a search) - things like pushing pipe cleaners into a sieve, making dens, obstacle course, make playdoh, sand in a tray, play musical bumps, washing toys in bowl of soapy water etc. Perhaps decide which activities to do the evening before (I wish I did this, but I dontgrin) followed by a bit of play on their own while you do your own bits and bobs.

How about getting out of the house for a bit in the evenings once your Dp is home to do a class or something that is just for you with no kids involved?

I'm full of ideas but in reality my Dd spends far too much time watching cbeebies while I browse Pinterest thinking 'that's a great idea' and then not doing it blush

Primrose123 Sun 07-Apr-13 14:45:21

Getting older, you mentioned that you don't have a garden. Is there any way you could get an allotment? I don't know how easy or expensive that is, but if it was possible, it would be your own little patch of outdoors where you could sit and read, and let your DC play, or start him planting seeds, digging, raking etc. Do you think he would like that? You could even put a little sandpit there if that was allowed.

I felt like this with my first child. All my friends worked, and I found it difficult to meet other mums with similar interests. When my second came along, it seemed easier. When your little boy starts school, there will be playdates, you will meet other parents, and all of a sudden your days will be so busy you won't know what to do with yourself!

When I just had the one, we used to go to the library, park, beach, swimming, anything that wasn't too expensive! I got a season ticket to a local animal park, and we would often go there for a few hours. My DD loved anything crafty though, so was quite happy painting, doing play dough or glueing, so I was lucky in that respect!

jojane Sun 07-Apr-13 14:46:53

Why don't you theme each week
Eg farm week - visit a farm, make farm pictures, make sheep from cotton wool, make carrot cake, read books about farm from library etc.
helps to keep the week in focus.

As money is a factor try your local library, they will have a story time or rhyme time once a week, toddler groups are mostly a £1 or so a session and you get to meet other mums.

To be honest (and not much help I know) but I would enjoy this time as once you have two chaos will descend. We have 3 and I think back to the days of just one and it was bliss, I can barely go to the toilet by myself nowadays and it's a constant stream of school runs, toddler group, washing, cleaning, cooking, ballet, swimming, gymnastics etc etc!!

jojane Sun 07-Apr-13 14:48:03

Realised that last paragraph wasn't very helpful, my point was that this period isn't going to last forever and it might help you if you realise this boredom won't last forever and it's something to enjoy

OP... "If you do one activity per day how do you stretch out the rest of the time? At the moment we go to swimming two morning a week at about 11am but we are back in time for lunch and then bored the rest of the day? Same as if we go to the park after lunch, we are normally back by about 2.30pm and then still have until 5pm to fill, I cannot seem to make activities even last half the day"

Try to find a couple of afternoon playgroups or invite someone over for lunch or arrange to meet them at the park and take lunch with you.

ohforfoxsake Sun 07-Apr-13 14:54:18

Could DS go to afternoon nursery? If that's possible, you will get an hour or two to yourself when your new baby sleeps. You get the best of DS, keep doing your morning routine (playgroups are always in the morning aren't they) and have some time to have lunch/rest/prepare for the evening onslaught.

Yes, agree with Jojane. Once the new baby arrives and there's double the amount of washing, ironing, running around after a child to do you'll hanker after these carefree days. Make the most of them and enjoy them while you can!

BeaWheesht Sun 07-Apr-13 15:00:17

I've been a Sahm 6 years. Ds is 6 and dd is 2.5.

We are normally confined by constraints of school run but on school holidays we go to the zoo / museum / play in the garden / aquarium / soft play / feed ducks and squirrels etc etc / bake / make masking tape tracks on the floor / build dens / have bubble baths etc.

Sometimes we do nothing and just chill put grin

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 15:04:55

jojane a theme each week is a fab idea! I had never though of anything like that. That would be really educational too as I worry we never seem to do anything educational although DS seems really bright, I just do not push it and usually find activities like playdoh and colouring a bit boring and end up leaving DS to do them alone while I browse the internet! But having a theme I could pick things that I may actually find interesting!

janey68 I love the idea about going shopping for the evening meal and then getting DC to help making it, much better than the endless fairy cake making!

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 15:12:15

I am actually getting excited about the theme week idea, I have been wondering for a while how to do some educational stuff with DS and this seems such a great idea, like maybe have a week about vegetables, colour in vegetable worksheets, visit the market, cook different veg. Then an animal week, read books about animails, visit the pet shop etc. Thanks jojane I think this may actually be the best idea anyone has ever given me in my life as a mother!! x

AmberSocks Sun 07-Apr-13 15:56:37

it will be difficult as you only have two,that would be a bit boring.

the same as you did before but with new people?find a hobby?

AmberSocks Sun 07-Apr-13 15:57:18

Sorry didnt mean boring,just mean you will have a lot of time on your hands.

jojane Sun 07-Apr-13 16:07:26

I find it really helps to focus activities rather than trying to desperately think of something to do out of hundreds of possibilities. Also I then get out relevant themes toys for them to play with so toy farm will be set up, we would do the farm puzzle as opposed to another puzzle etc, then the next week the buzzlightyear puzzle will be done for space week and the elc rocket will be out out to play with (obviously I allow them to play with other things if they want!!)Mand I have lots of weeks where don't theme it as too busy/I'll/tired etc.
Other themes I have done are
Space
Transport
Rainbow
Circus
Beach
Fairies
Music
Obviously December is pretty much Xmas theme all the time! Likewise leading up to Easter. I also try and 'celebrate' different festivals etc such as Chinese new year (Chinese food and dragons etc, valentines day, etc etc. other ideas are to have one meal a week from a different country eg, Mexican, indian, Chinese, Greek, Italian etc etc etc obviously works best if you like cooking. But you can make some paper table decorations etc, country flag etc. (I have a 6 year old obsessed with geography and different countries so he likes doing this)
Do you have any museums near you, they are often free.

jojane Sun 07-Apr-13 16:12:12

Also don't be afraid to let a child be bored! I have a 6,4 and 2 year old and as they get older (mostly my 4 year old) they make up
Their own fun, building dens, making ambulances out of cardboard boxes, etc. last summer they did lounge Olympics -diving was jumping off the sofa, long jump was over the cushions, swimming was running around waving your arms around etc etc. totally made up by them. Was really funny. They also like to put their onesies on (shark, cow and dinosaur) and make up plays.

pinkladyslipper Sun 07-Apr-13 16:25:24

Hi, not a SAHM but a teacher so I get time off. Things I do with my 2DC are (now not all the time as they are a handful at 22 months and 10 months)
Grocery shopping, they love people watching and I get the shopping done, usually results in a nap on the way home which may be handy when your second comes along
Walk - anywhere!
Library. Ours has a huge space for kids and a toddler group, musical group, colouring books
Feed the ducks. DC1 runs around lots so when we get home its snack time and usually Peppa Pig time so I get a little break too
Housework, has to be done but my LO loves to help so its an activity for him too
Visting family, one day during the week I visit(when on hols) so thats a whole day gone as they live a fair distance away
Gardening. dH bought some toy gardening tools so thats a bit of outside time too.
I found it tough being home as I had extended maternity leaves and it can be difficukt to fill days. I admire anyone who stays at home. My job is so much easier in comparison and its not an easy job at times!

amicissimma England Sun 07-Apr-13 16:33:31

There are lots of low-key educational activities you can do.

Jig-saws, of course -get lots from the Summer and Christmas fairs at local primary school(s), 'pairs' using those sets of cards from ELC etc (school fairs have lots), putting a few items in a group, looking then covering them and trying to remember all the items (good for your acting skills!), etc. All good for concentration development.

Cuddling up together with a book from the library - probably read it until you know it by heart! You can gradually start letting DC 'read' a common word ('the' is good) by pointing to it and letting DC say it; an instant recognition vocabulary will develop - will give confidence.

Out and about you can keep up a running commentary: 'those yellow flowers are daffodils, that car is red, the tree with the wiggly leaves is an oak,' etc. Count your steps to the next corner, read door numbers, recognise letters in a shop name or car number plates. In shops practice recognising writing, eg look for the r-i-c-e. It's amazing how much DC learn in a casual way and how a short outing can fill ages while you look at and talk about quite mundane stuff.

For yourself I'd really recommend making yourself read a broadsheet (big) newspaper every day. Maybe different ones to make yourself reflect on their style and your attitudes! The walk to buy it can be a daily morning project. I used to read out bits to my DC - it was over their heads, of course, but they had my attention!

pinkladyslipper Sun 07-Apr-13 16:33:39

Just also wanted to add that I have a little craft that I do. Do not the time or energy to read as much as I want to but my craft/hobby can be done while the DC "read" their books or play themselves. I have a sense of achievement then when my creation is made as I give them as presents. That also passes some time and I have something to show from my time.

Wishihadabs Sun 07-Apr-13 17:19:09

Agree this is the "calm before the storm". What worked for me at this stage was a busy morning and more chilled afternoon. Even if your Ds doesn't nap anymore introducing a regular "quiet time" is probably a good idea for when the baby is here. I would suggest straight after lunch, snuggle on the sofa and look at books together for an hour or so. Ideas for morning activities include swimming (great for wearing them out), playgroups, parks and library. It depends a bit on what is near you but Ds loved the city farm, there was a soft play next to the shops that cost 1:20 we used to pop into.

LadyMountbatten Sun 07-Apr-13 17:20:02

cant you go back to work?

dramaqueen Sun 07-Apr-13 18:06:37

I have tomsaybthatnifi only had £5 left per week for entertainment and struggled to fill my time, I would go back to work.

forevergreek Sun 07-Apr-13 18:11:18

I split the day into morning, nap/ quiet time, afternoon

Get out everyday

So for example swimming at your gym in morning, home for lunch,

then around 1pm either they go down for a nap, or have quiet time ( this is in bedroom or on sofa with some books to look through themselves). With your 2 year old if not used to this maybe encourage 10mins looking at books quietly alone, then you read to him for 20mins. Gradually increase time he looks alone so that eventually he is reading 30 mins or so, then you read 15 mins)- this should pass 1-2 pm approx.

Then afternoon starts around 2ish rather than 12. An hours play indoors/ snack, followed by something outside . So maybe 3.30-4.30 walk/ park/ find leafs, sticks etc. Back to house and you head out at 5ish if that's correct.

I would also do some of your ou during the day. There's nothing wrong with playing with ds for 20mins and help set up Train set etc, then leaving him to play alone for half hour whilst you read up/ type up some work. It might not be super productive as toddler chatting also, but it will help him learn to play a little alone also which will help when new baby arrives. Maybe quiet time could be you both on sofa with him looking at his books for a while and you reading your study books. You can get a blanket etc and make it a joint thing

God I waffle on....!

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 18:15:27

wow thank you for so many amazing ideas there are some really good ones and a lot of them are educational which is great as I was struggling of ways to teach DS things I just could not think of any ideas apart from counting and singing the abc!!

Wishihadabs having a filled morning and a quiet afternoon is a great idea, I am always tired after lunch even if DS is not!

jojane Thanks for letting me know some more of the themes you have done, the different celebration ones will be really good, and I do enjoy cooking so the meal idea is great too. I like your way of thinking, you must have a good imagination, I think my DS will learn alot from doing theme weeks and it will make things more interesting for me.

I am feeling positive about next week now which is great!

LadyMountbatten I don't want to go back to work until they start school, I just want to find ways to make staying at home more interesting for myself as I get bored easily.

BlackMaryJanes Sun 07-Apr-13 18:24:52

Question for those saying 'find a group of SAHMs' - How?

maddening Sun 07-Apr-13 18:32:30

Until recent incarnation with hernia (not really incarcerated just limited what I can do) I had 3 regular groups and swimming class and 1 day of no plans to go visiting.

I had a farm toddler group, toddler dance group, nornal toddler group and swimming - all in mornings as ds still naps so home for lunch and nap and an hour of play before dfiance got home at 4.

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 18:32:42

forevergreek Thanks that is a really good layout routine wise!

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 18:39:35

dramaqueen I think that is a bit rude. In our budget I have decided £5 a week should be plenty for activities for a child not at school, soft play is £1.50 per hour near me, swimming is free as I have a membership at the local gym, parks etc do not cost anything, there is a childrens cinema (that I just found online after doing some searching today) that is £1. While I was on maternity leave I spent a lot of money going to cafes, soft play, browsing (and buying!) toys in toy shops, anything just to fill time which I realise now was wasteful of me while my DH was at work working hard I was wasting all our money when instead we could be saving for a deposit on a house with a garden for DC. I think it is better to think of free activities or low cost ones and use imagination rather than DC expect expensive activities all the time. And thanks to lovely Mumsnetters on here I have got some great ideas that are free or low cost, thanks guys!

Anyway even if I did go back to work I would be out of pocket after paying for full time childcare for 2 so would not have any money at all to do activities and would not have time to do any activities with them either!

quoteunquote Sun 07-Apr-13 18:41:38

Grow your own veg, if you don't have a garden,get an allotment, toddlers are brilliant weeders, they learn really quickly.

Walks in woods, on the beach, by the river.

Start a toddler group, either go to what is available, or start one to suit you, walking ,swimming, local village hall.

swimming, you cannot give your child enough swimming practice,

Join the local zoo, farm.

Teach your child to read,count, write letters, numbers.

Children love making bread, cakes and dinner.

Build dens inside and out.

SimplyRedHead Sun 07-Apr-13 18:43:35

What about volunteering with the NCT (or similar) as a New Parent Supporter. That way you can organise activities for other local mums and always have something to do and somewhere to go.

You may need to use your house as a meeting point or you could use local cafes or libraries etc.

You could organise activities like:

Baby massage taster
Cooking
Finger painting
Baby sign taster
Story telling
Mums massage (other mums babysit when it's your turn)
Trip to local farm etc etc

NCT would be grateful and you will meet lots of people. You could even specialise in toddlers and pregnant mums.

You could also help organise local sales and all sorts.

I'm on week 2 of maternity leave and already planning my escape!

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 18:43:39

amicissimma wow thanks some really good learning ideas there!!

CheshirePanda Sun 07-Apr-13 18:49:32

As well as the other suggestions. I would say walk. Walk. Walk. I've recently swapped the baby bjorn for a backpack style carrier. Now I am free to take my 1 year old pretty much anywhere. It's great exercise, and fresh air is tiring for them. Exercise is good to ward off depression and then you can enjoy sitting on the sofa watching Housewives of Atlanta/new York/orange country Etc!!

abbyfromoz Sun 07-Apr-13 18:49:55

I haven't read the whole post but i have felt the same OP.
DD is 2 and wants a lot more from me but it does drive me a little nutty and started feeling quite low lately. I have started comprising a list of what's on in my area on certain days. For example monday library storytime at 4, There's a tactile play at the local soft play from 2-4, or a music class or theres the option of swimming pool, 1 o'clock club at the park.
I fid myself sitting alone at coffee shops a lot.
I set myself a mission for the day- eg finding a halti collar for dog... Cooking a special dinner (which requires me to purchase ingredients) etc etc

gettingolderandoutofstyle Sun 07-Apr-13 18:51:37

I am so glad I posted on here all the ideas have given me a new enthusiasm as a stay at home mum smile I am looking forward to putting them into practice next week smile

LadyMountbatten Sun 07-Apr-13 19:02:42

Meh. I think a part time job would make you relish the time you have together more. And make you less bored.

I was at home for 5 years but sheesh reading this stuff back would make me want to slit my wrists now.

formicaqueen Sun 07-Apr-13 19:06:39

You need to make some stay at home mummy friends. Make it social. Invite people to your home or to met up.

Every day has an activity for us for us and also some home based time. Some days we do things that cost (cheap toddler group, swimming etc) but actually most of the time we have group picnics, paddle in the local streams, coffees with at friends houses, meet friends in the park, free library story sing along sessions. We live out in the sticks and so pop to friends farms or even just a garden center sometimes. If we lived in the city we would visit art galleries and museums. Then there's all the theme based cooking/creativity you can do around the theme of Xmas/Easter/autumn etc.

hugoagogo Sun 07-Apr-13 19:08:44

I haven't got time to read the whole thing (I should be doing a TMA) anyway, do bear in mind if you give up your OU course now; if you want to pick it up again later you will no longer qualify for the transitional fees.(assuming you do at present)

Fudgemallowdelight Sun 07-Apr-13 19:08:52

I used to do toddler groups and toddler classes and meet with friends with children that i had met at toddler groups. You won't like everyone you meet at a toddler group, but with any luck you will find someone you hit it off with if you try a few different ones.

Fudgemallowdelight Sun 07-Apr-13 19:10:21

You might find a list of local toddler groups and classes at your local library. We have a local publication with them in. Churches and schools often have them.

dramaqueen Sun 07-Apr-13 19:13:25

Just because it's my opinion and you don't agree with it,modes not make it rude.

LoveSewingBee Sun 07-Apr-13 19:13:28

Watch Sewing Bee and start making your own (children's) clothes?
Ebaying stuff you no longer need?
Spring clean
Long walks

LadyMountbatten Sun 07-Apr-13 19:19:38

Oh God! She wants fun not a time travel to 1961

You must talk non stop about how busy you are. wink

LoveSewingBee Sun 07-Apr-13 19:22:33

hmm
it is fun, at least I think so and my dc think so ...

Fudgemallowdelight Sun 07-Apr-13 19:22:52

Sorry didn't see the bit about £5 per week. Toddler groups are about £1 per session which includes refreshments for you and child and crafts for kids though, so well worth it.

nellyjelly Sun 07-Apr-13 19:23:29

Every toddler class and group going, library story times also good.

Fudgemallowdelight Sun 07-Apr-13 19:24:25

Just ignore the bitchy comments LoveSewing

tholeon Sun 07-Apr-13 19:39:04

Have you checked out your local children's centre for free activities?

And bubbles. I used to blow a lot of bubbles when ds was 2.

Make nice cards for elderly relies with ds and have jolly walk to post box to post them?

I love being at home but do need adult interaction too, so as others have said, cultivate other sahm friends.

Viviennemary Sun 07-Apr-13 19:39:38

But being a SAHM is not for everybody. There are people who do prefer to go out to work. And maybe that would be a better option for the OP if she is always bored.

I am so jealous of parents who can get out and about; am SAHM to a toddler with SN in hot country and it is too hot and humid to walk outside 10.30am - 4.00 pm for nine months of year. It drives me mad. If I was in UK I could walk about for free and look at things and get on buses to places.

abbyfromoz Sun 07-Apr-13 19:51:02

Trucks- it's too cold here! It hurts to breathe the air!!

BsshBossh Sun 07-Apr-13 19:51:35

Vivienne the OP wants to be a SAHM but is seeking advice on making her time with her DC more fun for him and for herself. She doesn't want to return to work yet. I work and find some aspects of my work quite boring but it doesn't mean I will jack it in!

Viviennemary Sun 07-Apr-13 20:02:52

I wasn't meaning that she shouldn't be one only that she should think is that the best option for her as somebody else suggested. DH is boring sometimes but I'm not looking for anyone else. And I hope vice versa. grin

MDA Sun 07-Apr-13 20:35:43

Wine. You need to develop yourself a nasty little habit.

Then your DH comes home at 6 and says "how about a nice glass of wine" and you slur OOH HOW LOVELY and start on your 3rd bottle.

And that, is how its done.

ohforfoxsake Sun 07-Apr-13 20:41:45

Oh FGS MDA you'll give us SAHPs a bad name.

everyone knows its only the cooking sherry before midday.

Beatrixpotty Sun 07-Apr-13 20:46:41

Go to some toddler groups and make friends with some mums with DCs the same age.Netmums & Surestart was good for finding out about local things.I'm on mat leave again now but when I was working pt I always did something sociable on the days I was off.Some of my friends are SAHMs and I met them on my free days. I planned every day almost as I would if it was a job but with social stuff taking priority.I never got any ironing done,or much housework!Easiest way to entertain toddlers is whilst they play with someone else & you & their mum chat over coffee

MigGril Sun 07-Apr-13 20:47:21

I've read the whole thread and can't believe only one person has mentioned childrens centres. If you have one near bythey are fab. Run lots of free seasons and with my eldest we'd often do two a day.

Also I made lots of great friends through our local NCT branch, by going to coffee mornings again free. And further down the line volunteering.

Enjoy all the time while you can because once you have one in school, you don't seem to get as much time to do stuff as when they are at home full time.

BlackeyedSusan England Sun 07-Apr-13 21:48:56

toddler groups
walk round town to look at the pigeons/fountains/old buildings/new buildings/church/cathedral/castle/walls/river/mosque/statues/bridges
parks/different sorts of traffic/canal
find a building site and visit regularly to watch the builders diggers. blush
frree museums look for paintings with a boat, /sunny day/flowers or do some of the hands on stuff.
painting and bubble bath to follow. (take photos so that the red/blue fint marks can be proved to be paint!) (or is it only mine that painted herself)
building tents/picnics inside and out
playdough dd straws/plastic knives/cutters
teasets and squash water to pour/drink then washup in the sink with lots of bubbles and mop up.
helping with the washing/hoovering (one patch of carpet about 8 inches wide and a foot long) cleaning the windows with vinegar/dusting
looking for ladybirds in the garden and other minibeasts
kick up leaves in autumn, snow, frost, dewy cobwebs in winter, spring flowers, daisies and dandelions. make collages with the things you collect. (sugar paper packs from the works are cheap)
get some cheap msking tape to make models with the recycling.
draw with paintbushes and water on the fence/path. jumbo chalk.
cheap sand tray from sda at £15 and £2.25 for a bag of sand. (or get a large cat litter tray from pound shop etc
do scribbling on paper on different surfaces outside and look at the patterns.

WafflyVersatile Sun 07-Apr-13 21:52:36

Can you vol at a old folks home or community centre maybe. They'd love to have a toddler visit.

Maybe..

GreenEggsAndNichts Sun 07-Apr-13 22:02:07

Definitely try a playgroup once a week. It helps to meet other mums in the same position. The church-affiliated ones seem to be cheaper than others (they get the space for free as opposed to say, many NCT groups which have to pay to hire a hall).

I volunteered (still do) with the local NCT branch and met some very good friends there. Your mileage may vary, ours isn't full of the stereotypes everyone seems to have about the NCT but then, we're not in a posh area. wink

Playgroups btw, you don't need to be everyone's friend. I went to a few different groups over time. I met one woman I really clicked with, and through her I met her friends and we meet up once a month for drinks. It's great.

Same with the NCT. I'm not everyone's friend. I've just met and kept in touch with some more than others. I update the local website and have another role as well so I have things to put on my CV when I go back to work.

BTW, I focus on my interactions at playgroup more than DS's because as he got older, his ASD tendencies started to shine through and we dropped down to just one group a week which suited him (their play space was larger and not as crammed full of children). That particular group was one I didn't meet great 'outside of playgroup' friends but it's very local to our house and school so I now know many people to say hi to and comment on their children etc. (I did have great conversations at that group, fwiw, and many of the regulars were so supportive of me when I had health problems. We just didn't take the friendships past that setting. Which was fine for me!)

Good luck OP smile

Skiffle Sun 07-Apr-13 22:21:20

There are lots of good websites with ideas, I like The Imagination Tree. Although with a not-quite-2yo DD2 I wonder how the mum there manages to get her younger ones to actually do the activities rather than fling all the bits onto the floor within two minutes like DD2 does.

I find planning my week really helps, all the things that people have suggested - I find what to do locally and then write it on the calendar, I feel a lot better at the start of the week when I can look and see what we're going to do so that I don't have the "what shall I do today" panic.

specialknickers Sun 07-Apr-13 22:30:51

Haven't read the whole thread, but I can sympathise and just in case no-one's mentioned it, life does get more fun when kids hit 3. Not only do they get free childcare, but they really have lots of stuff to say for themselves and stuff they're interested in so hanging out with them is way more fun.

I also think the key is to plan out a whole week so it's more manageable.

Here's mine or next week for example:

Monday: am: chores, planning week etc, pm: trip into city to see exhibition that I want to see

Tuesday: am: nursery, pm: trip to library

Weds: am bursary, pm play date etc etc...

For me it helps that I'm welsh very gregarious so always strike up conversations with randoms. This is how I end up with the play dates factored in, those are with other SAHMs I've clicked with. We drink tea and chat whist the children tear our houses apart.

Sure beats working for a living smile

WaterfallsOver Sun 07-Apr-13 22:35:25

Are there any nice gardens near where you live? I know some, such as Wisley, Kew etc offer annual membership which is wonderful with a toddler, they get to run around and you get a nice stroll in beautiful surroundings smile you could do that one day a week?

Permanentlyexhausted Sun 07-Apr-13 22:48:15

There are loads of websites packed full of ideas for crafts and activities. Try

hht://www.activitykids.co.uk
http://www.first-school.ws/
http://www.underfives.co.uk/
http://www.toddlertoddler.com/

Or just google!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 07-Apr-13 22:54:00

Ipadquietly

Did you mean to be so rude?

DontSHOUTTTTTT Sun 07-Apr-13 23:06:00

Gosh, that does sound really dull.

I have never been bored being a SAHM but I admit the most lonely time was when I just had my eldest. It takes time to build up a circle of friends. I enjoyed it but it was a bit quiet sometimes.
I went to playgroups or whatever activities I could and was fairly proactive about making friends. I seem to remember using the slightly desperate sounding line 'I am new here and I don't know anyone and I would really like to make some friends'.
It was hard not to wish away the time sometimes. sad. I slowly made friends and by the time my second was born I was plenty busy enough.

Clary Sun 07-Apr-13 23:15:31

You need a schedule of stuff to be doing. Somethign every day at least. Doesn't need to cost £££.

Toddler groups - meet mums and chat while smalls play - a couple of hours in the morning in a church hall, costs about £1. Do 2 of these a week if you find them pleasant.

Find a pool that has a baby swimming time and go there once a week.

Library story time - usually FoC.

Craft stuff at local museum - ours does a monthly pre-schooler activity which is also free.

Ditto at local Nat Trust property?

NCT baby groups where you meet at each others' homes once a week.

Once you have something in the diary you may find the rest of yr day slots into place ie cleaning, cooking, nap time, activities at home.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Sun 07-Apr-13 23:16:58

This makes me feel truly depressed. I'm struggling to understand why anyone would choose to be a SAHM (assuming there is a choice) without any idea of WHY - why do you want to be one, what do you want to do with your child? If you have no idea, then why do you assume your child will be better off at home with you 24/7 than at nursery/day-care some of the time while you work?

When my DCs were pre-school, we'd all have gone bonkers if we'd spent the entire time home-based - they needed to do things that nurseries are better at than I am (finger-painting, messy play, all that kind of stuff), and it meant that the time we had together was much more appreciated and easier to fill.

This isn't an attack on SAHMs: just a question about why being at home with your child is seen as intrinsically superior to any other arrangement if you don't have a clue what you want to do with the time and how the child (and you) will benefit.

MsMarple Sun 07-Apr-13 23:20:28

When it was just me and DS1 I scoured the local papers/surestart centre info/family grapevine magazine and made a list of toddler groups so I had something to do every day, if there was no-one to meet up with/trips etc. There were even a few afternoon ones. The other thing is that you don't have to be doing things with them every waking hour - would he play with his toys by himself whilst you got on with whatever it is you like doing?

Now the day revolves around the school run and time goes too quickly!

specialknickers Sun 07-Apr-13 23:25:05

Small children don't need messy play, or finger painting, or even trips to the library.

They need love and attention. Whether they get that from their parents or from professional child minders is up to you to decide. As someone who's tried both, it's a clear choice for me.

MsMarple Sun 07-Apr-13 23:31:52

Lightthelampnottherat - in answer to your question, I stay at home because I think that my children, whilst they are still young babies/toddler, get stabilty and security from having a parent around all the time. Personally I feel that their having to put up with my frankly poor finger painting skills is a small price to pay!

Not knocking other people, who do whatevers best for their own families. Just trying to answer your question about choosing to be a sahm.

AmberSocks Sun 07-Apr-13 23:32:44

i disagree,i think small children do NEED messy,sensory play,not quite as much as they need love and attention but i do think it is important for them.

Either do it at home or find somewhere you can take them to do it where you dont have to clean up afterwards,ive heard good things about the creation station.

plus,as someone who knows tons of childminders ad comes across others on a daily basis i would never leave my kids with one,ime they are totally different without the parent there.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Sun 07-Apr-13 23:33:10

But specialknickers they need to do something while love/attention is being given. You can't spend all day just hugging them! (Or maybe you can - mine would have protested!) Activities are necessary - and it can be hard to do that all the time by yourself at home. Obviously not hard for everyone - some mothers are great at it - but not all of us are.

AmberSocks Sun 07-Apr-13 23:35:32

I am a sahm but i can see what light is saying,there is no point you being at home full time if you are only doing it because you think its for the best,you have to want to do it ad enjoy it.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Sun 07-Apr-13 23:36:34

Thanks amber. That is what I was trying to say.

AmberSocks Sun 07-Apr-13 23:39:33

op when i had 3 under 2 i used to get them out in the mornings-to toddler groups,library,parks,meet up with other mums etc-then either take a picnic if the weather was nice,or eat out a cafe,or go home for lunch,then we would all have a snooze till 1 or 2,then he afternoon they would just potter around and play,ad i would get on with general baby care and the odd bit of housework,and reading them stories,put cbeebies on for a little while,then it would be dinner,bathtime and if they were tired they would go to sleep.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Mon 08-Apr-13 00:04:24

Please, please PLEASE don't turn this into yet another. boring . SAHM Vs Working Mother debate. The OP has asked for some advice not a debate.

orangebuccaneer Mon 08-Apr-13 00:43:20

There's a book called 'The Big Activity Book For Kids' or some such thing. It's got lots of little activities you can do with toddlers in: cooking, arts and crafts, outdoor stuff. I dip into in when I'm feeling really desperate.

Doubtitsomehow Mon 08-Apr-13 07:23:09

As some have said....the only way I could manage it was to have a timetable for the week. It gave me a structure so that I knew we had stuff to fill the time, and I knew what was coming next.

Some fantastic ideas here - good luck op!

specialknickers Mon 08-Apr-13 10:24:32

Well I've not done much on the finger painting side if things anyway. I tried it once and neither of us seemed to enjoy it so now we just sort of hang out and do stuff we both like. For eg the trip to the exhibition this afternoon, which although child friendly, is something I'm really looking forward to seeing, and we have to get the train there and back which is wonderful for ds. We're also meeting a friend and her 5 year old for coffee and may even treat ourselves to tea at wagamama's afterwards. This morning we have mostly been emptying and loading the dishwasher and dancing around the kitchen.

Not a typical day, and an expensive one, but helps balance out chilly trips to the same old park / playgroup etc and will be great fun.

I think it's hard with a two year old and no garden though, we used to walk and walk then go to a cafe (on our own mostly) when ds was that age.

OP you are pregnant too (congratulations) don't be too hard on yourself.

AmberSocks Mon 08-Apr-13 11:23:27

well if neither of you enjoys it then obviously dont do it!there is more than figer painting though,and 2 is quite young,one of my 2 yr olds still used to eat play dough and paint if it was anywhere near him at that age.

op-think of stuff you like to do ad fnd a way to get the kids involved,i like cooking so we do a lot of that,i like doing stuff to the house and garden so they help me do that,i like going to cafes and i like reading ad drawing so we do that too.build them into your life not the other way round.

whenitrainsitpours Mon 08-Apr-13 11:34:55

Hi Op, Read through first page and here is my best advice: take a nap in the afternoon with your DC. Especially that you are pregnant, you need the rest before you have two dcs. Once you have two loads more work. Also you mentioned doing a course in the evening and feeling exhausted so yes, nap nap nap when you can. If not tired how about reading a book with your feet up!

RevoltingPeasant Mon 08-Apr-13 12:00:34

OP only read first page, but - have you considered becoming a member of your local Wildlife Trust?

I ask because if you are, they send DC a magazine and activities every month (which is exciting when you are 3!) and also they tend to have a programme of events for little uns, like rockpooling, finger painting, nature walks etc.

They also run nature reserves round the country which you can access free as a member, which tend to be good for walks, with buggy-friendly paths. It costs around £2 a month so affordable for nearly everyone.

http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/

I bought my friend a membership and her little boy really likes getting the pack every month!

mammalion Mon 08-Apr-13 20:06:27

I don't have much to add. I'm on maternity leave with my 2.11 yr old ds1 and 5 month old ds2 and also found getting out to local toddler groups to meet other mums and starting a SAHM group of friends essential to my sanity. Lots of great ideas shared here! Will put some to use myself.

GingerPCatt Tue 09-Apr-13 13:16:54

I too find it hard to think of things to fill the time. So inspired by this thread, I've gotten a bunch of notecards and have written an activity in each. Some indoor stuff like making an obstacle course for DS's cars and some outdoor stuff like walks. Hopefully these can inspire me when I've run out of ideas.

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