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Please help me with the chaos that is my evenings!(20 Posts)
Today my evening has gone like this:
6pm bath time, dd (14months) currently bath phobic so I tried getting in the bath with her, she still got in a terrible state (screaming, shaking) so both got out. Ds (3.5) screamed because he didn't want to get out of the bath. Got everyone in pjs, tried to do stories, was drowned out by crying. Dh got home at 7. Both of us really hungry so took everyone downstairs and made our dinner. Tried to eat, both dcs climbing all over me trying to share. Ended up with my plate smashed on the floor. Ds has been screaming for 20 mins, dh is with him. I'm with dd, she won't go to sleep.
My evenings are always a similar chaos, I never get any time with dh, and I'm constantly knackered. I'm also recovering from serious illness and have just gone back to work. I've always been horrified by the thought of 'crying techniques' but they've been crying for hours anyway! What do I do? Please help me I'm getting it all wrong!!!
Ok. Firstly, dont even think about dinner til after the LOs are in bed. Of you manage to shove something in to cook earlier, great, if not, tough. Dont eat til you can sit and relax with your meal.
Dd - just bathe her once a week (on a night when dh is at home so he can be with ds). Every other bathtime, have a special box of toys for her to play with in the bathroom while ds bathes. Leave them as long as they are happy. Pjs on asap.
Cup of milk and a snuggle on the couch with a cartoon.
into the bedroom and story time.
Agree with MyName about dinner - either eat with the DC and leave some for DH or make a big batch of something DH can heat for you both while you do bedtime (or vice versa). Making two meals is madness and keeping DC up while you eat is a recipe for disaster,
In our house bath time = bedtime and you don't come downstairs afterwards except in a blue moon. I can count on one hand the number of times DS has come downstairs after his bath. It's bath, teeth, story, bed. (Milk used to be at story time). If they're crying they're probably knackered so it's a cue to rush and get them into bed. They're old enough to cry in bed for a little bit while you have a breather and assess the situation - I would guess 9/10 times DC would fall asleep within a few minutes in this sort of situation and if they don't you can at least go back up in a slightly better frame of mind.
Thanks Ken. So once they've had stories.... Usually rock dd to sleep whilst ds sobs about not wanting to go to bed, as they share a room this bit sometimes takes hours
Fewer baths, maybe just at weekends. Dinner after kids are in bed.
Sorry Brian missed your post. Thanks, that sounds sensible. It's just they crying i can't handle
I agree with as few baths as possible for the time being. There's no point in this extra stress of a screaming child. Couldn't you try this. Get DD ready for bed. Then put son in bath and read the story in the bathroom to both of them. Agree with special toys for bath and in bathroom and try and change it to a time they might even look forward to eventually. It's not easy. Could you DS not stay up a little bit longer as he is older.
Honestly, if you're faffing about upstairs for an hour and they're crying anyway, I can't see the harm in leaving them for a bit and seeing what happens. Maybe I'm hard hearted but it seems to be a surefire way of keeping you in the room and getting continued attention and that's not really helping them get to sleep. I'd do a ten minute rock/story routine, do kisses and then close the door and go for a cup of tea.
Can you eat something with the children, so that you are not hungry. I always found bedtime harder when I was hungry.
Only bath your dd a couple of times a week.
Have a really structured story time - we had three stories, and then a song each. Then no more interaction (I might potter around upstairs, or even sit by the cot and read if they were going through a bad phase), but no going back downstairs. Only exception was when ds2 had night terrors.
Do you work fulltime? What time do you get in?
Bed at 7. Bathe kids every other night. In fact, you could bathe them seperately e.g. DD Mondays, DS Tuesdays viceversa whilst dh plays wuth other child?
Eat with them, you'll feel stronger when you aren't hungry. Have a snack or drink with your DH when he eats to be companionable.
Fewer baths - flannel washes are fine for most of the time.
Routine is your friend. When they know what is coming they will kick off less
so you can leave them to whinge for a bit in their beds whilst they learn to self settle
I think you need to get out of rocking youngest to sleep. I would put in cot and sit next to her. Can stroke hand/ say shh shh if needed but don't pick up. She might cry but you are right next to her so she isn't being left to cry at all as you will be soothing her from at her height with hand/ gentle sounds.
Either you or dh do this and the other keep eldest up downstairs until youngest has learnt to sleep this way
Then you can adapt this to gradually moving away from cot so just in room. This way you can be there for both children.
Hopefully once eldest sees both youngest and him both have to be in bed rather than one rocked and one not then r will be happier and easier to settle also
Don't insist on bathing her, humans don't have to be immersed in water every day. If she really hates it don't force it unless she's really filthy. She'll get over it eventually. My dd at that age was terrified of getting her hair wet so we just didn't wash it unless it was caked in food or mud. Have snacks early in the evening & proper dinner after the kids are in bed. I think you would benefit from a calming routine for the evenings that doesn't involve scary baths & no getting up again after going upto bed. You'll be fine, its hard right now but they'll calm down.
DD was both phobic. A plastic bowl and much sponging down was fine for many months
except for hair washing - can't even remember how that was achieved
Any way she survived - she's nearly 16 now and never out of the bathroom
Thank you all so much, wasn't expecting everyone to be so nice ! Feel better now that they are both asleep and I'm on sofa with cereal. Ok starting tomorrow it will be proper routine and getting dd to fall asleep in her cot, no bath obviously! Really appreciate everyone's help, seems obvious now I've read all your replies
We had some awful bath times with our three under-5s - it's ridiculously hard sometimes!
Can your DH change his work schedule for a week or so, so he can get home earlier? Then you can get things on an even keel for a few days and break the cycle of screams.
I found my boys all wanted one-to-one time with me at bedtime, and got very - ahem - emotional when they didn't get it.
Start bedtime routine before they're really knackered (5.30pm sometimes, but then I was a SAHM), then you have a chance of giving them lovely soothing stories.
And yes, eat something at their suppertime so you have the energy you'll need for the crying and stalling they'll be doing. Although, I found if they had some eye contact and proper hugs and lots of love, the crying/panic/refusal to settle really disappeared.
for you though - it's bloody hard and you need the patience of a saint.
Fast forward 2 years and mine are all asleep, happily, no whinging, in their own beds by 8pm…and the evening is for me and DH.
Ha, fast forward another eight years, and mine are up reading, and watching sky sports news, whilst I'm in bed mumsnetting!
Agree with above. Just wanted to add a couple of tips.
With my DS also 3.5, when he won't get out of the bath, I say, ok, you can stay in the bath another 10 mins but that's your story time, so there'll be no story tonight. Or you can get out now. He always gets out.
DS likes to watch this turtle which plays music/wave noise and has a great water-like light display. He settles really well on his own watching this. Might be worth trying something similar?
When I'm doing bedtime for both alone, I get them both ready and then leave DS in our room watching in the night garden and I take dd (10m) to settle her to sleep. Then short story for DS, 5 mins max, lights off, turtle on and I go downstairs. He's asleep within 5 mins every night.
You could also stagger their bedtimes if it helps dd outgrow the rock to sleep? Take dd in and sit with her tilshe goes to sleep while dh does stories with ds I your bed, then pretend to be ninjas getting him into the room once dd is asleep
At the ninjas. Will try that! All so helpful thanks
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