Does it ever ease up?!

(96 Posts)
okthen Sun 20-Oct-13 19:16:53

We have a 3yo and a 12mo. Today went like this:

4.30am 3yo wakes up (uncomfortable as she has worms)
Wakes 12mo up, he cries (he has a cold and is teething)
Feed baby
All back to sleep
5am, 5.30am- baby needs settling
6.30am all up and hungry
Breakfast, get kids dressed
Can't tackle massive pile of dirty clothes as have to wash all towels, sheets etc because of worms.
8am baby does massive liquid poo. Goes on high chair, his clothes, my clothes
Change his clothes
9am I have bath. 3yo comes in, needs a poo. Wants to get in bath with me, upset that she can't. I get out, wipe her bum.

And so it continues, we crash from snack to meal to more explosive shit, via nose-wiping, tantrum-calming, wrestling the baby away from the 3yo as she drags him round by his neck, dropping everything to take baby for a nap walk as he won't sleep, etc etc.

Now it's bedtime and me and dp are like shell-shocked soldiers staggering off the battlefield. There are literal mountains of washing heaped at every turn, the kitchen is pebble-dashed with grated cheese and pasta, we haven't washed up the lunch dishes, and it's Monday again tomorrow.

Surely weekends won't always be like this?!

I'm sure I don't need to add that I adore these children, and they bring immeasurable happiness to my life. I know we are so lucky, too, to have no big problems eg serious illness to deal with.

But... But, I'd really like to have a relaxing weekend, to sip a leisurely cup of coffee and read the weekend papers (without it being a scheduled 'me time' with the clock ticking...), to sleep all night for weeks at a time. To not deal with shit and nits and worms on a regular basis. To not be screamed at, by anyone. To want to stay up past 10pm.

Parents of older children, will I ever reach this holy land of tranquility, or is it a foolish dream?

wakemeupnow Sun 20-Oct-13 19:30:16

IMO between 7 and 9 are the easiest years... living with teens can be a whole lot more stressfull.

The spaces of calm between the action get longer as they grow up, but the action just gets more and more complicated !

JimmyCorkhill Sun 20-Oct-13 19:39:06

I spat my coffee out at wrestling the baby away from the 3yo as she drags him round by his neck grin.

Shouldn't laugh but you've made me feel better as you've described my life weekend. At least you know you're not alone cakeflowerswine.

BotBotticelli Sun 20-Oct-13 20:02:05

I have heard that years 4-10 are quite good?? Waiting to see if it's true as I only have one child, a highly spirited 10mo...

grin

It's getting easier (4& nearly 2). Youngest still naps, oldest will play by himself for a bit.

Looking at your day, there's no way I'd have a bath with a toddler around! We have quick showers in the morning while the other is in charge of the kids. In fact we're sad and try and have a routine but it's not until kids' bedtime can we properly tidy up. The key is to give each other a break in the day!

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 20:05:35

Hmmm I've 3 ages 8-11 are pretty easy tbh as were 6-9...

Not keen on the teen stage that I've been through with my eldest though!

ToddlersRFab Sun 20-Oct-13 20:24:53

Hang in there okthen.

I only have one, and I had weekends like that. It does get easier, and they get better the older they get too.

The staying up past 10pm is still a struggle and my DS is nearly 6... but hey ho... its great fun (unless they are poorly).

Try and get half an hour R&R for you and then get your DH to have 30 mins. It makes all the difference. Hugs and keep going - it won't always be as hard.... honest.wine and more wine

okthen Sun 20-Oct-13 20:25:45

creature the bath was a daft idea- but I felt contaminated by the liquid poosplosion and idea of possible worm eggs collecting in every crevice, so dp told me to go and have a soak.

We do try to get housework etc done during day at weekends, and sometimes it feels like trying to scramble up an incredibly slippery muddy slope (and we end up just as filthy)

MaryAnnTheDasher Sun 20-Oct-13 20:30:20

OP you are describing my weekends. I've only just come to terms with the fact and mine are 1.8 and 3.8. I agree with other replies about scheduling in a break for yourself. We do whoever did the morning shift gets a lie down / break reading papers in bedroom away from kids mid afternoon so there's some breathing space to look forward to at some point. Keeps us sane! I just keep telling myself one day weekends will be enjoyable again. When that day will be , however , is anyone's guess.

I think to survive the early years, lower expectations are necessary. No baths while the kids are awake, no quiet coffees etc etc!

<sigh> I'm sure I'll miss these years when they're older.

Okthen, I'm sure it must get better at some point. Maybe I'm not the best person to ask.

I have a 3 yr old DD and an 18 month old DS. DS has vomited all weekend (has milk intolerance and managed to climb up and pinch a friends baby's almost empty cup of milk from my sink). DD managed to wet her bed and our bed last night! confused I didn't hear her sneak into our bed and when I went to bed at 10pm the whole bed, duvet and mattress was soaked. I wanted to cry! DH and I then slept in the lounge with 2 single duvets. At 5am she wet her own bed so I had to donate my duvet. So DH and I shared a single duvet for 15 mins till DS thought it was morning. DS was up around 1am for a bit with tummy ache too.

I must keep my sense of humour! I think I lost it somewhere amongst the piles of wee and vomit soaked laundry! grin

I hope your week improves OkThen.

okthen Sun 20-Oct-13 21:07:13

remindme that sounds hideous! I am having panic in advance about having no clean sheets tonight in case of bed-wetting (dd has NEVER wet the bed until the past few weeks, having been dry day and night for 18 months) or another gastric explosion from baby.

I've had a few nights under a duvet sleeping on the actual floor in ds's room of late . Fantasise about being and staying in bed, my own bed, for nine hours at a time. Tbf that does sometimes happen now (ds has slept through a whole six times in his life) but when they are ill or otherwise unsettled, I lose all sense of perspective and believe that we doomed forever.

spookyskeleton Sun 20-Oct-13 21:11:23

It really does get easier smile my 2 are 7 and nearly 5 and life is just SO much better! I just have to step in to stop the fighting every now and again and provide food and drink occasionally wink

okthen Sun 20-Oct-13 21:18:40

Ooh, excellent reply spooky! Though I fear once they get more independent I'll go into maudlin 'where did my baaaabies goooo?' mode grin

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 21:24:02

Yes when they start school you're all tearful and feel like you hardly get to spend anytime with them sad

Spooky sounds very positive!

Okthen, we're much like you really, on the whole it's improving. DD goes weeks without a wet bed and DS is a much more settled baby than DD ever was (though i have pretty low standards as far as "settled" goes!) It's just so hard to remember that things are on the up when you have a bad patch.
I'm convinced there's a 9 hours of sleep night waiting for me one day. smile

AllDirections Sun 20-Oct-13 21:39:51

When my elder DC were small people used to tell me that these were the best years and to make the most of it because it only gets harder. I nearly slit my wrists!!

The DC are now 17 and 13 and I have a 6 year old too. The teen years have been an absolute breeze so far. Life changes I think when the youngest gets to about 4, maybe even 3. Much, much easier.

I've had a friend staying with me for 6 months with his DS2 who is 20 months. It's taken me right back to those 'war zone' years. Give me teens any day grin

okthen Sun 20-Oct-13 21:39:54

I'm sure ours have a team meeting each evening to plot their night of terror. 'Right, you do the night shift and I'll do the early morning'....

3yo sleeps through 90% of time, baby 10% of time- but always, it seems, on the nights when 3yo doesn't. Similarly, baby likes to sleep pretty late and 3yo is a 5.30am merchant; but the moment she decides to have a 'lion' (as she calls a lie-in smile), baby is up at crack of dawn.

Having said all this, dp and I have spent this evening waxing lyrical about how cute and good they are... It's fucking batshit crazy, this parenting business.

sydenhamhiller Sun 20-Oct-13 21:43:00

I have 1, 7 and 9 year olds and i remember days/ weeks/ months OP!
Life is much easier... I think once they were about 4 and 6.and even the addition of DC3 hasn't been toooooo bad. I think we're resigned to no lie-ins/ coffee / reading.

Am depressed to read I only have a couple of years to enjoy it before DC1 enters the teen years :-(

BR44 Mon 21-Oct-13 07:49:08

I just wanted to say I feel EXACTLY like you with my 3yo and 6mo DSs. Days start between 5 and 5.30 and the following 14 hours are nonstop activity, juggling, negotiation, madness. I have about 7 grades of laundry, all artfully distributed around my house in bags, baskets, buggies and toy boxes. Occasionally it gets put away. On the plus dude I quite like hinging random items if my own clothing I'd genuinely forgotten I had.

Like you I, of course, adore my children and at the moment I have to say they're both pretty damn gorgeous but MY GOD it's hard work. By the time they're in bed by 7 I often find I have not had one directly-related-to-child care thought all day. Thank you so much for posting this OP. It's really nice to hear its not just me who finds things so utterly relentless!

MorrisZapp Mon 21-Oct-13 10:10:36

It's easy to forget that kids actually get bigger and stop being babies/ toddlers.

I was visiting my SIL recently and noted that the bath/ bed routine for her primary school aged kids went like this:

SIL puts down gin and tonic, pops her head out of the living room door, shouts upstairs, 'boys, are you having a bath tonight?'

Two small voices reply in the negative.

SIL: 'ok, night night then!' . Sits back down, resumes quaffing. The end.

I was like, omg. It is out there! Hang strong x

mummyxtwo Mon 21-Oct-13 10:32:59

Eloquently put, OP! I laughed at your descriptions whilst also feeling sympathy. Mine are 4.10yo and 12mo. 90% of the time my life is like that too, but 10% (maybe even 25% - I might be feeling negative today) of the time I get glimpses of a life that is starting to become easier. Then dd2 cuts another tooth plus more steaming snot and sleep becomes a distant memory again. It does make a difference that ds1 is older - he is mostly a help with dd2, plays with her and shouts me from the other room if she is putting something pointy and tiny and baby-hazardous inappropriate in her mouth. Ds1 has always been a poor sleeper but has recently been able to take himself to the toilet at night and generally sleeps better. Dd2 used to be a great sleeper but then decided to start waking repeatedly and wanting to get up at 5.15am. I recently googled baby 'wonder weeks' though and discovered that she is in her 8th and final 'wonder week' where she has poor sleep, fussy with food, tantrummy and a bit jealous, clingy velcro-baby - which all fits and so I am hoping that will all improve! To quote Black Adder - "If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through."

okthen Mon 21-Oct-13 10:38:45

Morris that's classic! I'm picturing you friend as the posh blond lady from Gogglebox, if you watch it.

mummy yes I have the Wonder Weeks too. Me and DP have been known to mutter drily 'it must be a magical leap forward' as ds's plaintive moans ring out in the middle of the night...

okthen Mon 21-Oct-13 10:39:22

Sorry morris, SIL not friend

okthen Mon 21-Oct-13 10:45:11

BR44 so glad to know it's not only us who have not just 'clean' and 'dirty' piles of laundry, but whole families and herds of mini laundry piles breeding across house, from 'dirty with poo/poss worm eggs' (for boil wash); to 'dirty, urgent needed for nursery on Monday'; to 'clean, wet but no room on drier so mouldering next to it'; to 'items gathered in a moment of high stress from all bedrooms and simply tossed to bottom of stairs'; to the largest pile 'everything else we own, clean, dry, not put away, and threatening to swallow the bedroom into its endless depths'

Scunnilingus Mon 21-Oct-13 11:39:06

OH GOD! SO glad to have read this thread! This is STILL my life. DS1 is 6 and actually pretty manageable and nice to be around. DS2 is 21 months and like a mini whingy tornado who tears through the house whining and moaning and WIL NOT sit and be entertained! He's lovely but my goodness, my house looks like a bomb's hit. Clothes and toys everywhere and I don't even know where to begin. I am stuck in the house with it being awful weather and it's half term so both the boys are squabbling and whinging and it's only Monday!!!

MaddAddam Mon 21-Oct-13 11:48:16

I have found it's got easier all the way from 3.5 years onwards. 5-10 were good years, moving on from those tempestuous pre-school years, but actually my 13 and 12 year olds are even easier than at primary, and easier than my 9yo - not all teens and pre-teens are bad.

I'm waiting for the teen hormones to hit and it all come crashing down but we've had a long spell of calm since those toddler/preschool days and it has felt increasingly easy.

BerstieSpotts Mon 21-Oct-13 11:54:34

I have a theory that children between the ages of 3 and 12 NEED other kids or they're really hard work!

So it should get easier once DC2 is old enough to play with (rather than be mauled by!) DC1.

You don't need to boil wash worm eggs BTW. They're not very hardy. You can wash them at 40. If there has been a tummy bug then 60 is recommended.

I hate worms. Evil wiggly fuckers.

ghostonthecanvas Mon 21-Oct-13 11:57:46

Yes it gets better. We have enjoyed the calm. My youngest is a pre teen. Teenage years have different challenges. I now enjoy watching my eldest struggle with the challenges of babies. Karma I believe grin

jumperooo Mon 21-Oct-13 11:59:03

Sympathies OP, this sounds hideous! I only have one and its stories like this that confirm I don't want to have any more!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 21-Oct-13 12:06:07

Yes it gets better.

Ours are 5 and 7 and there are more and more spells of them getting on, being able to pay well together and concentrate for longer periods.

Both are now dry at night, and sleep 7-7 except when ill or on curbs night when ds1 has to make do with 10 1/2 hours of sleep instead of his usual 12!

Even holidays are fun again!

OP - have you got a nearby launderette that you can use (service wash and dry) to catch up with your washing mountains?

BerstieSpotts Mon 21-Oct-13 12:09:21

See, I am a bit jealous because of you all having two. I have one and he is 5 and it is still relentless. He needs someone to play with and I always have to be that person sad

okthen Mon 21-Oct-13 12:41:02

Thanks for all the heartening messages about having older kids! The mad thing is, I know I will miss these days and yearn for the simplicity of them (yes, simplicity wink), when they are exploding with hormones and angst instead of just liquid poo and snot. Hate to wish the time away... But I reckon from reading these posts, that we are due some relaxing weekends in about, hmm, three years time (unless we have another one...)

bertsie I hear you. It's exhausting it is to be 'on' for a child all day, whilst still trying to get all the house stuff done etc. Yes at least when dd is terrorising ds, she is entertained!

cory Mon 21-Oct-13 16:44:09

Mine are 13 and 16. Not very explosive at all, lots of pleasant chats, lots of laughter round the dinner table and the occasional hand with the washing up. Worms and nits a distant memory.

okthen Mon 21-Oct-13 20:05:38

cory that sounds amazing!

It does get better i have teens and the do not wake up in the night , in fact at the weekend they would sleep until afternoon if i didn't wake them up at lunchtime, oh and the don't poo or vomit on me. Have to say they still want my attention
as soon as i get in the bath though..

tumbletumble Mon 21-Oct-13 20:22:43

Mine are 4, 6 and nearly 8 and it is so much easier now!!

MuffCakes Mon 21-Oct-13 20:30:36

It really does get better, mine are 6 and almost 8 and its lovely. I don't really have to tell them off, they tidy up behind themselves, actually are quite good company and I get quite a lot of peace considering how loud and hyper they can be.

My sofas stay clean now, I don't find manky bits of food their got away with stashing somewhere, toys have been relegated to their bedroom for years and bath time is so easy and not a chore. I don't even need to mop every day like I did back then, once a week that's all it's actually rather lovely being a mum now.

notwoo Mon 21-Oct-13 20:34:47

sympathies okthen - I've had a very similar day with my 2 -DD 4.5 & DS 18months. DD woke up in a foul mood not helped by fact I had to wash her hair before school as she was too tired for a bath last night. Screaming stroppiness before 8am not welcome.
Absolutely torrential rain on school run.
DS has tail end of stomach bug (DD had it last week so we also had piles and piles of 60 degree washing to get through) and produced a total of 9 revolting nappies in the space of 3 hours.
More torrential rain on school run
Tried leave children playing together to make dinner - DS repeatedly hit DD with his toys and pooed.
I do find the bodily excretions one of the worst parts - they seem to really kick you when you're down!
But there are glimmers of hope with DD. She will now sit by herself and draw or do crafts (or at least would do if DS would leave her alone and stop eating the small components of whatever she's doing or destroying her latest creation)
So I'm hunkering down for another 18 months (man that sounds like a long time!) and hopefully things will start improving then.

HelloBear Mon 21-Oct-13 21:16:27

okthen I just read out your post to my DH, oh how we laughed cried in to our tea

Apart from the worms (though I'm expecting that soon) your weekend sounds very familiar. I said to my DH at 2am Sunday night 'I love my DC but I'm not enjoying this much'. <guilty emotion>

Also my 3yo daughter regularly drags my 12mo DS around by his neck.

okthen Mon 21-Oct-13 21:20:16

Oh notwoo- nine nappies in three hours, how grim!

The bodily fluids (and parasites in our case) DO kick you when you're down, because they at once strip away more layers of dignity, whilst adding layers of drudgery.

The rollercoaster of it all gets me, too- from minute to minute I can go from thinking 'this is wonderful, this is everything, my heart could not be fuller' to thinking 'oh, my fucking GOD, go the fuck to sleep, stop screaming in my face, fucky fuck I can't cope with this' smile

okthen Mon 21-Oct-13 21:33:59

hellobear the only way is to, as Bridget Jones puts it, Keep Buggering On. Embrace the magic moments wholeheartedly, and just bugger on through the sleepless, shit-splattered ones.

debbie1412 Mon 21-Oct-13 22:49:49

If this helps both of mine 3 and 1 totally favour their dad over me. I do bloody every fun thing imaginable with them but I don't even come close to his fun. I often feel like running for the hills :-(

grants1000 Mon 21-Oct-13 23:10:15

I love your,post, you are me a few years ago, I also threw into the mix a house extension and a husband away mon - fri with work. I look back now and seriously fucking wonder want the fuck I was thinking and how on earth did I not end up in the loony bin. I did flip a few times, once when naked under a flimsy dressing gown after 3 hrs sleep holding a screaming teething baby with DS1 not even ddressed for school and needing to leave the house in 5 mins to be on time for school,I told the electrician to just piss off out the house as he was waffling on about light switches.

Children are now 6 & 11 and life is much less messy, less sleep deprived, with many more moments of relaxed me time. It will come I promise. smile

Fuzzymum1 Mon 21-Oct-13 23:16:30

I've found that around 6 or 7 they get much easier but even before that it does ease off a bit. I think I've been lucky in that the teen years with my older boys have been pretty good - DS1 has just left to go to uni and while I miss him a bit he was ready to go as he had outgrown living at home and was becoming quite obnoxious in the last few months DS2 is approaching 16 and still pretty easy-going but never thinks to have a shower unless reminded and DS3 who is almost 7 is really sweet and wants to please. One of the biggest things that has made it feel easier is when they can all deal with their toileting needs independently, LOL

HenD19 Tue 22-Oct-13 03:47:06

So good to read this thread as I have been more exasperated than not since DC3 was born back in May. My DD1 (now 6) got much easier at 3 so I'm hoping DS (who's a wild one) will be the same once he's 3 in December.

My in-laws very kindly took my older two out for the day and then back to theirs for a sleepover and I have missed them so much that I cried earlier! The house is tidy and I even did some cleaning but I missed the chaos and noise so much. It's funny how when you get what you think you want it actually isn't what you want at all. So maybe these are the best days and we'll long for them back in years to come?

okthen Tue 22-Oct-13 08:06:24

Hen I think you are spot on. I have a whole day to myself today (dd at preschool, ds settling into childcare). And as well as feeling dizzy with freedom, I know I'll worry about ds all day and be really happy to see them both at 3pm.

Ragwort Tue 22-Oct-13 08:12:45

Yes when they start school you're all tearful and feel like you hardly get to spend anytime with them - I don't think so grin.

In my opinion all ages have highs and lows - they are just different glares at teenage son.

Tiredemma Tue 22-Oct-13 08:16:40

Wakemeupnow is correct- there is a 'window' between the ages of 7-9/10 where they are just blissfully wonderful.

Then they start secondary school and become 'a new challenge'

Here I am now with 13 and 10 year old boys.......and a 6 week old girl.

Im destined to be 'challenged' forever I think.

stillenacht Tue 22-Oct-13 08:21:19

Yes if you have NT children. Eldest is 14, lovelysmilesmile independent and understands concept of a lie in.

No if you have a disabled dc. DS2 is 10 but like a 2 year old in every way. Still in nappies, i feed him dinner, early rising, no concept of others.

I am destined for this forever.

Ragwort Tue 22-Oct-13 08:22:57

Tired - my DS must have missed that 'window' grin.

Tiredemma Tue 22-Oct-13 08:25:05

grin

sandyballs Tue 22-Oct-13 08:29:57

My girls are 12 now and most of the time they are lovely, good company and like to get up about 10 am on non school days. Bliss.

I think it's easy to forget how it was though and the OPs description is hilarious. I wonder if it's only mums that forget and look back with rose tinted specs. Occasionally people will say to me " oh twins, bet that was hard when they were babies/tots" and I get all wistful and start to say how adorable they were and what a breeze it was, until DH cuts me short and reminds me what a bloody hard relentless task it all was, most of the time.

6yo dd is an utter delight. She needs me for very little. All of her essential needs she could manage herself if necessary. She can make a basic meal, bath herself, plait her own hair, tidy up and all the other things I found myself having to do for her a million times a day just a few short years ago. And they start becoming actively involved in their own families. They choose to do things for you instead of creating work for you. DD will get up before me and make me breakfast in bed. She'll tidy up mess as she sees it. She keeps an eye on the time and motivates herself to be ready. Having a child of about 3/4 and above is brilliantly rewarding after the sheer monotony of the first couple of years when you merely exist each day, achieve v little that anybody else would measure as remarkable and truly discover the meaning of doing just enough to get by. It's very hard to express to anybody who hasn't had children, the sheer relentlessness of caring for every little need a baby and toddler has. Ohhhh and the exquisite juxtaposition of loving them with utmost ferocity but also wanting them to just bog off for an hour.

Of course, I also have a 2yo who spends an alarming amount of time posting smallish things into things marginally bigger than they are in such a way that you can never un-unite the now useless objects. And drawing on things which aren't paper. And making so many indescribable, inarticulate noises at such volume that you feel like being declared as a rural cousin to the London zoo. Plus talking incessantly about tractors and combine harvesters and steam rollers and expecting me to join the feck in. And did I mention waking up seventy billion times a night just to sing/spin round the room/whinge/chat.

It does pass and becomes much easier.

And you do miss it. Eventually. But you have to reach the nadir of being so frazzled you can't quite remember the depths to which you sank and you replace the reality with lies memories of summer days and beatific smiles.

BTW, washing? I have two children with a spectacular vomiting/diarrhoea bug. Everything we own is in different piles, ranging from, bagged up because it's fetid to normal washing which I've hidden behind the laundry basket because I can't even imagine washing non-essentials for the next 8 weeks. Obviously I'm ill too having been vomited on spectacularly no less than 5 times in 4 hours on Saturday so I'm managing the piles of washing whilst clinging to a bucket and groaning.

okthen Tue 22-Oct-13 11:03:22

show I feel like shaking my fist at the basket of 'normal' washing, taunting me with memories of how I thought we'd get it done on Saturday morning... Poor you being sick, feel better soon.

okthen Tue 22-Oct-13 11:04:30

sandy I think there is more pressure on women to preface every -massive slight whinge with 'of course I adore my child/ren but'

NoComet Tue 22-Oct-13 11:15:19

2&5 to 12&15 are fine

Beyond that I don't know grin

sandyballs Tue 22-Oct-13 12:40:33

~Show of bloodystumps, I'm very jealous and impressed with your 6 year old watching the time and motivating herself to be ready. I'm still waiting for that to kick in with one of my 12 year olds.

I am the first to admit that I have the most biddable, thoughtful, people-pleasing child in the world. She never tantrummed, doesn't complain and is generally the easiest child in the world to parent.

I also have ds who is parented in exactly the same way but is a whirling dervish of a boy and can out-tantrum any other child in the world. He does the opposite of what he is asked and cackles with the sheer pleasure of it.

okthen Tue 22-Oct-13 14:45:38

They both sound lovely, show

juneau Tue 22-Oct-13 14:56:22

Yes, it gets MUCH easier. Mine are six (next week), and 2.5 years and I feel that in the past few months we've finally passed into a new, easier phase. A child under two is hard bloody work, and a 3-year-old and a baby is hard bloody work, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I now get to read again, sleep all night long, get up at 7, and have some down time at weekends and on holiday. I'm recently out of the trenches, so I can totally relate to your description (though not the worms, thank goodness - yuk!). Hang in there OP.

chocolatecrispies Tue 22-Oct-13 17:57:20

Hasn't got easier here and mine are 5.5 and 2.5 sad. Full on relentlessness, never play together without violence resulting and today dd pooed in the Lego box. Everyone told me 5 year olds got easier, they were wrong in our case.

AllDirections Tue 22-Oct-13 18:29:57

I am the first to admit that I have the most biddable, thoughtful, people-pleasing child in the world. She never tantrummed, doesn't complain and is generally the easiest child in the world to parent.

I've got one of them. I've also got 2 who are not at all like that. Life is fun....

princesspants Tue 22-Oct-13 20:15:04

I've just sat down and had a good cry. Shit day.

Mine are 6, 3 and 1. I think you go through days, weeks when you feel like you are drowning and other times when you can almost keep your head above water.
In saying that my 6 yr old DS is easy. The work comes from my very, very intense DD age 3 and my DS age 1. So yes, I already know, they do get easier. Some days are still shitty even with that knowledge!

HenD19 Tue 22-Oct-13 22:31:59

Poor you princesspants as its dreadful when you feel like that. Having 3DC has definitely tipped me over the edge. DD1 is 6 and no trouble except that she tells longer stories than my mother,DS is nearly 3 and is a massive tearaway who drives me to the edge every day, DD2 is 6months and luckily an angel so far. Heaven help me when she starts moving and talking too......can't even see a pin prick of light at the end of the tunnel for the foreseeable future.....

okthen Tue 22-Oct-13 22:40:14

Ah princesspants- I feel for you. We definitely want a third, and some days I think we must be insane... But there's no escaping that We're Not Done.

HenD19 Tue 22-Oct-13 22:45:45

Do not do it okthen unless you are 100% sure. I was coping reasonably well with two but three has completely tipped me over the edge. My house is a state, I can only deal with one day at a time and struggle to plan ahead, I get nothing done all day, I lose my temper so easily, I can't spend the time I want to with each DC and I'm mainly really miserable. I'm selling this aren't I?

okthen Wed 23-Oct-13 12:59:11

hen- I do feel 100% sure, weirdly enough- whilst knowing that it is, in some ways, mad. Do you believe the light at the end of the tunnel will emerge at some point? And do you think it will all be worth it then?

Moobcross Wed 23-Oct-13 13:18:40

I'm feeling sad for the relentlessness for all of us.

I have a 9 year old with HFA, so she's a delight but ridiculously hard work, and a 3 year old who is lovely but doesn't sleep and tantrums quite a bit.

Throw in DH away mon-fri, my full time job and a stomach bug monday night and I could have just cried. God it's shit sometimes isn't it?

DH and I say its 23 hours of utter drudgery a day with 1 hour of lovely 'my hearts so full' moments grin

Stillenacht - no words but am holding your hand smile

Moobcross Wed 23-Oct-13 13:20:28

Hen - we're thinking about a third (I know, bizarre isn't it!)

Would you say unless you're 100,000000000 sure not to? We're sort of ranging between, really want to and are we mad?!

okthen Wed 23-Oct-13 13:51:24

Stillenacht, I echo Moobcross- you must be a warrior. Thanks for some perspective x

AllDirections Wed 23-Oct-13 16:12:54

I was coping reasonably well with two but three has completely tipped me over the edge.

Same here sad

It has got better over the last year (DD3 is 6) but I'm not sure that I'll ever fully recover from the last 5 years.

notwoo Wed 23-Oct-13 16:19:06

Definitely no plans for a 3rd here.

DH and I were talking about this yesterday and saying that whilst we often get those massive surges of love for the children it rarely happens when they are together - only when we have some one to one time with them.

I'm just looking forward to a time we can be a bit more of a cohesive unit rather than having to divide and conquer all the time!

stillenacht Wed 23-Oct-13 16:41:48

Ah thank you okthen and moobcross xx

It is relentlessly hard. Literally the only improvements over the last 10 years is that DS1 is so independent now. He has grown into such a mature boy (despite his brother being such hard work and they have never played together, not oncehmm) DS1 had to grow up pretty damn fast but compared to his peers he is like an adult now. DS2 is now 'functionally verbal' and can ask for things but thats as far as language goes.

Add my work (slave...sorry, teacher) to it. My life is bleeding nuts!shock

BerstieSpotts Wed 23-Oct-13 17:34:57

I always get all paranoid on these threads, because I loved the first two years and genuinely did find it a breeze most of the time. I used to stress a bit about sleep when that went bad and DS went through a phase of eating NOTHING but I generally enjoyed spending time with him and the rewarding parts far outweighed the drudge, although of course that was there as well.

Then since he turned 3 it's gone from bad to worse TBH sad I've come to the conclusion that I'm either depressed or just an utterly terrible mother. What's worse is I constantly feel guilty that he's an only child and/or fantasise that it would be easier or more interesting if I had more than one child, and hence, I want more. Plural more.

Maybe we will. I don't know if it's utterly insane to even consider it or if it will be the thing that helps me to enjoy it again. I never saw myself as a parent of one child, which is not to say there's anything wrong with that, it's just it's not me. It's very intense.

MuffCakes Wed 23-Oct-13 17:40:07

bertie if it's any help I really dislike one on one with my dc unless we are actually doing something as I cannot cope with the intenseness and constant attention they need.

Now taking my ds out for a fry up while dd is at her dads is lovely and we natter away, going shopping with him is lovely but jheeze at home he wants me to sit with him, play with him, he follows me around and wants to talk to me argh. Where as normally they talk to each other and sit with each other and don't tend to ask anything of me apart from if they can have this or that to eat. I would find one harder then 3.

BerstieSpotts Wed 23-Oct-13 17:48:04

Yes! Exactly that, going out and doing stuff is fine, bar the odd bad day (which is generally a remnant of at-home behaviour anyway) "doing stuff" at home generally fine, but just normal being-at-home with him one on one drives me nuts. Luckily it's only about 4 hours a day at the moment because he's at kindergarten until about 2 and then DP gets home at 5 or 6. So, I tell a lie, it is actually getting better.

BerstieSpotts Wed 23-Oct-13 17:56:51

Gah, if I had had babies with someone decent instead of my shitty ex, then I'd probably have had the nice first 2-3 years, got pregnant again before the hellfire of age 3, had an utterly crap 1-2 years as dealing with both of them and then been fine by now!

Or maybe I should have got pregnant before I left like I had a fleeting thought to blush - then again, the awful newborn + unmanageable preschooler/toddler part would have come just as I started struggling on my own, so I'm not sure that would have been great either!

I think DS was sent to test me...

MuffCakes Wed 23-Oct-13 18:17:09

Playdates are your answer bertie, ask his friends round a lot and they will play together while you can do their tea, well sit down MN and eat chocolate wink

okthen Wed 23-Oct-13 19:29:39

So you have a threenager too, eh, bertsie? I felt super smug about how un-terrible my dd's 'twos' were- but Three is much more challenging! I agree that play dates are the answer. I share pick-ups with other mums from preschool, and can honestly say that the days when I have extra three year olds with me after school are easier than those when I just have dd and ds. 3yos are absolutely hilarious, brilliant and entertaining- but also such hard work that I frequently break out into a sweat.

BerstieSpotts Wed 23-Oct-13 20:44:06

Oh I did DEFINITELY have a threenager, he's 5 now though. We've just moved to Germany and I don't speak German well enough to invite other kids over without their parents which kind of defeats the point grin Maybe I should network a bit more vigorously with the other expat mums, the ones I've met mostly have younger children.

princesspants Wed 23-Oct-13 20:48:14

bertiespotts Don't be put off with a bunch of tired mums having a bad day!
Even though im having a tougher time than usual just now id never have wanted to stop at one just through fear. Your DS is 3. 3 is a very Shit age!! My DS was lovely until he hit 3 and my DD, well, got much harder grin when she hit 3. It is a real 'testing the boundaries' phase and IMHO the hardest age.

henD It's middle child syndrome isn't it! Also, age 3 as im just saying. I feel so guilty that I haven't put into DD the effort I put into DS1. Mainly because as he went to school, the time I should have had with her is now filled with DS2. I don't know if you feel the same with your only son but I feel sad that i haven't got proper time with my only daughter. Am I ruining our relationship from here on in? Probably not, but the guilt eats me up.

Would I have 3 if I had my time again. Yes, most definitely without a doubt. I love the dynamics and seeing my little gang together. I grew up with just my 1 brother and it was dull. My kids look like they have more fun!

Allegrogirl Wed 23-Oct-13 20:48:59

BerstieSpotts I have a challenging one who was always 'spirited' and energetic but was reasonably easy from 6 months to 3. Since the threenager stage it's been a constant challenge. Luckily for me I had DD2 just before it all kicked off (much later and DD1 would have been an only). DD2 is less complicated and easier to deal with. I now have proof that it wasn't my parenting at fault. Actually DD1 can be lovely and great fun but very strong willed, lacking in attention, impulsive, emotional.

My two are now 3 and 6. Sometimes they play without me for an hour at a time and it is wonderful. Luckily they adore each other 90% of the time. Makes up for the hellfire toddler and cling on perma feeding newborn stage. I do wonder how the hell I survived.

HenD19 Wed 23-Oct-13 22:09:31

okthen there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel as I may as well give up now and run away! Not sure of what you mean by 'worth it'? Mothers with older children often tell me to 'enjoy these precious days as they'd fly by' which just adds more pressure as I'm only enjoying off bits of it and will I have regret?

princesspants my middle child acted like a middle child before he even was one! I think I'm still grieving for the fact that I can't spend as much time doing things with DC2 as I did with my PFB. And now DC3 is here I'm beating myself up even more. An extra load of jobs so less time to spend with more children.....

HenD19 Wed 23-Oct-13 22:20:22

moobcross one of my reasons for having three was not having regret in the future about not having three. Not sure if that was a good enough reason? DC3 has completely changed the dynamics of our family and I feel like it has changed me as a mum. I used to be so patient and I now lose it at least once a day. I suppose it's probably as I'm so much more exhausted.

I think you need to decide if you can care for your older two whilst being exhausted? Is your DH/P willing to get even less of your time? Can you cope with living in chaos?(I hate losing things and messiness but am slowly having to get used to it) Are you ready to have less quality time with your DC and let them get on with it on their own and watch a hell of a lot more TV? Are you prepared for loads of extra laundry? Could you cope without having a minute to yourself? Can you handle heightened sibling rivalry? Can you bear to put another coat and pair of shoes on for the school run??!......just a few of the things that I wish I'd thought about..,.,poor Dc3 who I do love lots and lots!

okthen Wed 23-Oct-13 22:44:41

Thanks for your honesty Hen. By 'worth it', I suppose I meant: do you believe that in years to come, things will be easier and you will come to consider the chaos and drudge of the early years to have been worth it, in order for you to enjoy the calmer waters that you will (hopefully) find yourself in?

I'm certainly not in the 'treasure every precious moment' camp. The precious moments are plentiful, but my OP was rooted in my own mild panic that if these are apparently the most magical and best of years, why do I find it so bloody hard?!

HenD19 Wed 23-Oct-13 23:01:52

Yes I suppose this will all seem worth it as time goes on but it doesn't make each day easier and makes me feel guilty for not enjoying it. If I try and relax with my expectations I would enjoy most of life more but it's so hard to let go of what I imagine a good mum to be. I want to play with my DC rather than sorting washing etc and make lovely home cooked, healthy meals and tasty cakes instead of stopping my DS and DD arguing about who the baby is smiling at......the list goes on and on...... I suppose that I mostly want order rather than the stuff of your original post.

This too will pass though I suppose......

headoverheels Thu 24-Oct-13 07:26:36

I'm another who has 3 and finds it a LOT harder than 2. It's worth it in that I love them all to bits, but I don't think it's a case of putting in the hard work and chaos earlier in order to find it easier later on. IMO 3 will always be harder than 2! (although I agree that 2 is eventually easier than 1 due to the playing together thing). Mine are 4, 6 and nearly 8 btw.

I also agree re feeling guilty about my DD who is the middle one. DS1 had 2 years with my full attention before the others were born, and DS2 gets lots odd time with me now the other two are at school (he goes to pre-school in the mornings), but poor DD never had any regular time at home alone with me.

HenD19 Thu 24-Oct-13 09:28:37

Nooooo! headoverheels! The end of tunnel light is extinguished.....

juneau Thu 24-Oct-13 10:00:39

You couldn't pay me to have a third child. It is literally one of my biggest fears. I think I'd have to terminate (though I absolutely hate the idea), because I simply could not go through it all again. Now that we've finally got through that initial bit with DS2 I feel like a weight has been lifted and we can start to look forward again and make some plans that might actually be fun. The past few years have been almost solid drudgery. People who go on and on having babies I think are completely mad.

Tiredemma Thu 24-Oct-13 11:30:22

My DS2 (now 10) was the one that broke my spirit literally. Just wouldnt give me a moments peace- I cant even say 'from the moment he woke up till the moment he went to sleep' because he actually never slept for longer than an hour at a time (until he was three).

He really put me off having anymore children.

Quite by 'surprise' I found myself pregnant again this year and the 'fear' of having a child like DS2 actually sent cold chills through me, and I have to admit to spending a lot of time thinking negative thoughts about the unborn baby, I had just got my life back, and now it will be 'taken' from me again etc etc. I couldnt bear the thought of another child like DS2

DD is now 6 weeks old and so far has been the literal opposite of DS2 - im in a state of bliss. DP did say last night though that maybe DD will become the 'monster' at three (when DS2 became 'angelic')

Its all a challenge- every part of it.

StickChildrenTwo Thu 24-Oct-13 14:02:06

I could have written this OP. I have 2 boys. DS1 is pretty good and easy to care for but I remember the early years well. DS2 is nearly 2 and is exactly as DS1 once was and it is bloody hard work. It is so tiring and mundane at the same time. I get so frustrated and snappy with them sometimes. They just always seem to need me at the same time and it drives me mental that I never get a minute of time to myself until they go to bed and mercifully they both sleep from 7:30pm-7:30am so I try to console myself with that.

I've never been so tired and overwhelmed in my life than on the days I am home alone with both of them. The need to be switched on and constantly having to micro manage how they interact in case DS2 gets hurt or hits out at DS1 is so tiring. I remember when we just had one thinking surely it would be less intense and maybe easier if there were 2 as they can play together. I think I was rather naïve to ever believe that! I am not someone who can just let them get on with it. I long to be one of those easy, relaxed mums but it's not me at all. I am uptight and anxious and feel the need to protect them both from each other constantly which I know isn't doing any of us any good but every time I do back off or have to leave the room someone gets hurt! But, that said, they do adore each other and are just starting to play for very short periods of time although I have to watch them like a hawk .

Anyway, just wanted to add my sympathies and I am hopeful it does ease up as they get older. From being around age 4 DS1 became pretty reasonable and good company. On my own with him and he's fab. Throw DS2 into the mix and it all goes horribly wrong! I found the baby and toddler years hard going with one child but with 2 it has nearly finished me off. You really could not pay me to have another baby! Obviously I do love them and worship them but I am just so tired and snappy now. It's not fair on any of us. I want them to grow up a little bit and actually get to do the slightly more interesting parts of parenting rather than just constantly fire fighting.

This too shall pass apparently! It certainly did with DS1, just can not wait for DS2 to get past the toddler and threenager phase!

headoverheels Thu 24-Oct-13 15:00:48

Sorry sorry sorry! It does get easier, much easier, sorry I should have made that clear. But it would be even easier if I only had two smile

princesspants Thu 24-Oct-13 20:01:55

stick threenager - love it. Im going to have that one!

hooochycoo Sun 27-Oct-13 06:20:56

Totally relate. I've a 4.5 year old and 1.5 year old and the last couple of years (including pregnancy) have been the hardest I've experienced. Good to know there's some let up sometime. The thing for me is the lack of sleep and the washing and housework. If I had a night nanny and a house keeper then I'd be grand I think. On days where I'm rested and out the house all day with a picnic and no agenda then it's ok. Moving close to the beach has been a life saver for me. Whatever the weather I find that the three of us can be at each others throats in the house, but if I just get us to the beach, then everyone chills the fuck out.

KiwiNomad Sat 28-Dec-13 20:44:42

Thank goodness I found this thread as me and dh have been struggling to cope with our threenager and very needy 8 m.o. I feel like we're always snapping at the dd1 (3) as she's started lashing out at her sister, biting, scratching, hiting others at playgroup etc and generally being a nuisance whenever possible to get attention. It's tough as I know she is feeling put out and trying to cope with feeling displaced but she also wants to grapple mine and dh nipples whenever she's near which makes cuddles rather uncomfortable! dd2 is teeting and very clingy to me, constantly wriggling and thrashing around since birth and between the two of them I feel like I'm going mad some days. Snapped at dd2 tonight when she wouldn't stay in bed and was messing around on the stairs and had to pretty much drag/lift her back to her room whilst holding the baby. Felt so bad and mean that I couldn't give her a proper cuddle as dh is at work and dd2 was kicking off. Snuck in after she was asleep for a sneaky cuddle and burst into tears, I don't want to be a snappy, intolerant mum :-(.
Whenever I try to relax for a minute and zone out when dh is at home he accuses me of switching off and not paying him/kids any attention - but I need to for my sanity!!

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