How much do you play with your children?

(9 Posts)
wrenster Wed 23-Jan-13 13:55:13

I am a SAHM to 4 years olds and am struggling rather at the moment!

How much do you all play with your children? I spend what I feel is a huge amount of time playing with them only for them not to behave particularly nicely IMO! For instance I'll set them up with an activity I.e. drawing, Lego and start them off and then I'll try and go and do some jobs and all hell breaks loose with arguing, mummy play, mummy play etc. I explain calmly that I need to hang the washing up for instance and then come back but that doesn't ever seem good enough and they will end up screeching a the top of their lungs watch me, come and see this, he hit me.......and it goes on.

I would never ever put the TV on to watch a programme that I'm interested in for instance when they are up as they simply would pester me and whine and whine and it would be too Unenjoyable. I don't feel like I can leave every single job until they are in bed so they have me 100% of the time as that doesn't seem right. Life seems quite different for many of my friends whose children just seem so much more self sufficient.

Is this just the life of a SAHM? I would be really interested to know how much other mums play and any strategies that might help me feel less frustrated!

Thanks

lorisparkle Wed 23-Jan-13 14:08:50

I usually have mine following around after me either 'helping' with jobs or messing up what I have just tidied! I will sometimes do an activity with them/him but if I am doing jobs I let them/him occupy themselves. I usually do jobs in the morning and play in the afternoon. At the moment I have ds2 at home as well and he is 4 but usually it is just ds3 who is 2½. Do they go to pre school?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 23-Jan-13 14:29:17

Hi, 2 four year olds sound hard work, especially as siblings are renowned for not getting on. I do think their behaviour in this respect is normal.
The only suggestion I have is perhaps try a little more informal play, where they choose their own activity out of the toys they have/ you get out for themselves. I think this is good prep for starting school too.
So one plays with lego, the other paint a picture. Then ask them to swop. I think they need to get used to doing things for themselves but understand this is easier for some kids and harder for others. Out of 3 dc I only had one who would just get on with it.
I think being direct and not budging helped me with the others.
You will play on your own/ together nicely or you will miss out on x. Mummy really needs to watch the news today, so you will let me have some peace and quiet for 30 mins or you will miss out on x.

wrenster Wed 23-Jan-13 21:25:22

Thanks guys, I think today has been a particularly bad day and I have felt very sorry for myself having triplets and not getting a minutes peace! I do actually enjoy playing with them but because they all want different things and attention I'm constantly saying 'hang on' 'just a minute' etc. lots of friends with 1 child just let them get on with it and I wonder if I should just adopt this strategy?!

They do go to preschool 2 days a week which they enjoy but all would rather have a day a home with me! I have no idea why as its very stressful and all fight for my attention and sulk when they don't get first choice etc.

I think you're right that I need to be stricter as I give in to their 3x whiney voices especially at the end of a day. Lorisparkle - are there any jobs in particular they help with - maybe that might stop them following me around?!

Thanks again

MammyKaz Wed 23-Jan-13 21:40:38

Goodness triplets, I don't know how you do it!! I have one 2.5yr old DD who is also demanding a lot of my time but THREE. I'd definitely go back to work even if I lost money grin
However, I do find she loves having a job to do so "helps" with hanging up washing; setting table for meals; clearing her plate etc after meals; matching socks (well sometimes); dusting for about 30seconds, putting her clothes away. All sorts of stuff that may need to be redone but its kinda fun.
I have started leaving her to play more on her own as we plan to start nursery in next couple of months. She's finally got that if I say I'm tidying up eg after brekkie then she needs to entertain herself for 5 mins. If you decide to go the ignoring route good luck, you might just need to also ignore the little spats & only intervene if it ramps up. some earplugs could be handy as no doubt there'll be shouting!

defineme Wed 23-Jan-13 21:53:13

I had twins and 2 yrs older ds1. I think I tended to do the formal stuff with them eg if I set them off painting I would do it too-they loved it if I did my own picture. Then when I did jobs it would be their time to mess about in the garden/ create chaos in another room rather than do a formal activity. Any 'will you play with me' was met with 'no, but you can dust, collect pegs, wipe this, pick up those..'. The problem with 4 year olds is they don't nap!

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Wed 23-Jan-13 22:00:36

My 4 year old goes to pre. School in the mornings and is at home or park etc in the afternoon. I chat with her a lot but rarely play as such -she chooses what to get out and plays herself, making up characters etc.. Very self sufficient. She isn't a triplet though. I think that's the difference.

My sister in law had twins and another all at home and put them into daycare in different combinations to ensure she got a day with each child. This worked for them.

cassell Wed 23-Jan-13 22:03:19

My nearly 4yo ds generally wants to be played with most of the time he's up but like pp he does like to help - so eg preparing lunch he will get me things from the fridge, sort out plates/cutlery for us, entertain ds2 (8mo), clear away plates afterwards etc.

What really helps though is that instead of a nap he has 'quiet time' after lunch where he has to play in his room for 1-2hrs, he has books and some toys up there and generally is quite happy to entertain himself for that time period. He knows that he's not allowed downstairs and only allowed to leave his room to go to the loo and he's pretty good about it. If I'm anywhere near though he wants me involved straightaway. My dm said she did this with me and my dsis and I started it after he dropped his nap and it is a huge help especially if I can get ds2 to nap at the same time so I can have a sit down with a cup of tea.

Because I have this time then I play with him/ds2 the rest of the time and involve ds1 in necessary chores. Anything else gets left til they've gone to bed.

Not sure it would work with triplets though...

lorisparkle Thu 24-Jan-13 20:45:03

DS3 is my most helpful but when I have all three it is more of a struggle

dusting - all enjoy running around with a duster coming for more 'spray' - I have to give them ideas of where to wipe

tidying - running around picking up stray toys when I am hoovering

bathroom - they have a cloth and wipe tiles whilst I clean

putting away clothes, finding pairs of socks, trying to fold flannels etc

tidying - we set the timer and see how much tidying we can get done

I kind of use the fly lady website to structure my housework and having short blocks with a timer is great and I often say when the timer goes off I will play with them

DS3 loves filling the washing machine and tumble dryer but this is only a one child job really!

Kitchen jobs are the worst as our kitchen is too small for more than one child but I usually do them in their TV time

I am most impressed that you get anything done with triplets. At least with mine I worked towards having 3 and usually it is just me and DS3. I get far less done when it is weekends and holidays.

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