Down time?

(5 Posts)
AGrandUsername Mon 08-Feb-16 12:24:37

At the moment just a 3 yr old and 4 month old at home, 6 yr old in school (may change).

Even taking the 3 yr old out of nursery means zero downtime. Realistically dh works long hours so I'm on my own with the shopping/ cooking/ day to day tidying- adding the older one in the mix...

I adore time with them, love acitvities, just sometimes....I want half an hour in a place where noone says 'mum

How do others get a bit of downtime? Or do you?

ommmward Mon 08-Feb-16 12:32:24

Scheduling so that they all sleep at similar times - if they sleep 11 hours a night and you sleep 8 then bam, you have 3 hours (probably doesn't work with a four month old, but that stage won't last forever)

I work out of the house. When I am at home, I am on duty. My partner sometimes hangs around with the family, sometimes goes for a walk, goes off to read a book. I work a 45 ish hour week. There is plenty of time around that for me to be fully engaged with the children. What it actually means is that we don't have a huge amount of everyone together family time - but it's a matter of finding the balance that works for your family, and revisit regularly as the children grow.

I don't think anyone with a four month old really gets "me" time much. Patience!!!

AGrandUsername Mon 08-Feb-16 12:39:22

Actually the 4 month old is golden! It's the lack of pre school thats the toughie. When the other two are out I can slob all day.

I think the difficulty is that financially we have a very traditional model, one wage earner working long hours. Both teachers and in very all or nothing positions (senior, involves late night governors meetings etc.) I'm very very happy giving up work and I love teaching my own, but I can't think how to get more slob down time. I'm wondering if it will be easier with them all here, if it's that the 3 yr old only follows me because there's noone else. We go out loads, but I wouldn't mind a few half hours a day. She's a non-napper. Well and a non-night sleeper. SN, she thrives with our groups and balance we've found compared to the mute child at preschool, but it's a little tough

Nigglenaggle Mon 08-Feb-16 21:26:43

HE groups can be downtime in a minor way, depending on the group! But when my kids were very young there was just one group where I could go and have a coffee and chat to the other parents while the kids played with the other children or toys. It was a relief! Then they get older and more used to playing alone and they need you less and eventually you miss them needing you all the time smile I sympathise with the non-sleeper, neither of ours have been great (actually they've both been abnormally bad) and it skews your perception of how things are going otherwise. I think parenting is just a case of going with the moment and just when you think it'll never get any better, boom, all the bad stuff is gone grin

Saracen Mon 08-Feb-16 23:01:34

"I'm wondering if it will be easier with them all here, if it's that the 3 yr old only follows me because there's noone else."

I was just thinking along those lines. When I had just the one child, a very demanding socially driven little kid, it was intense and exhausting. Having a friend round was actually easier than just having her. And then you might get even luckier and have yours invited round to the other child's house! If she wants to go, of course.

Besides the obvious same-age playdates, here are a few other ideas.

It's easier having a slightly bigger kid (not so needy as an additional little one!) and they may play just as well together, or even better, because the older chid is more tolerant. Some older kids adore small ones and love the responsibility and being admired, especially if they themselves have no younger siblings.

If you have friends with older children, offer to look after them sometimes. Parents will be delighted if you can occasionally help them out by picking their 8yo up from school and bringing him back to your house for the afternoon. They'll think YOU are doing THEM a favour rather than the other way round!

You could hire preteen "trainee babysitters" to come play with your children while you are in another room. Some kids this age are thrilled to have a Real Job and like the idea of getting experience and a reference for when they are old enough to babysit solo. If you might perhaps want teenaged babysitters in a few years, this is a way to train them up to your way of doing things. The kids I used to use loved it so much they kept saying I didn't have to pay them! (I did, of course, but less than I would have paid a babysitter who can be left in sole charge.) If there are home ed kids in your area, that would be ideal because they'll be available during the day and will generally have more time on their hands.

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