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The kids winge and cry

(681 Posts)
BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:01:03

I have two very demanding young children. A toddler (2 years) and a baby (9 months). They winge all day long (I really mean: all. day. long). Aside from look after the kids on my own all day (7am till 6pm) I have to keep the house clean, make their food, make sure all the dishes are washed, make sure all the clothes are clean, take them to baby & toddler groups, AND run an online business. I'm at the end of my tether because of the constant winging all day long. My friend has suggested using an ipod and turning the volume up full so I can't hear their winging. Is this reasonable? I don't know how I would get all my chores done otherwise, but I feel terrible. I read that if you leave young children to winge/cry, you can lower their self esteem and make them more anxious (due to elevated levels of cortisol). I really hate leaving them to cry but I don't know what else I can do? I don't want to put them into daycare/nursery until they are 3.

MrsKeithRichards Thu 11-Oct-12 16:04:33

Define whinge? Or do you mean cry?

No to the iPod idea, that's stupid and will only teach that you are ignoring them.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:05:13

proper winge.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:06:38

what else can I do? I literally can't humanly take the winging all day. I end up snapping and shouting at them (which is surely worse than an ipod?) I've tried ear plugs but they just pop out.

MrsKeithRichards Thu 11-Oct-12 16:08:45

So they aren't crying, just being 'moany'?

Does the 2 year old play independently? Have you tried the whole engaging her in an activity then retreating and letting her play alone or does the 9m old get in the road and annoy her?

Could you use a play pen for him and give them both a little bit of their own space?

Kalisi Thu 11-Oct-12 16:11:33

As a general rule I always ignore whining but never crying. If it's all day though I'm guessing they are bored. Sod the cleaning get the jelly out have a play grin
I wouldn't use the ipod approach because you can guaruntee that the day you do that is the one day they are genuinely ill and you will feel terrible. Either that or put em in nursery. Get them out your hair!

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 16:12:04

If you had an iPod on loud how would you know if one of them was genuinly crying?

imperialstateknickers Thu 11-Oct-12 16:15:07

Errr... why are you so determined not to use any sort of daycare/nursery until age 3? Plan A is clearly not working as you are going demented, so you need a plan B. A couple of hours a day to get the online business done plus anything where you need 100% focus on what you're doing not what the moany monsters darling angels are up to.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:16:03

The 2 year old is way better than the 9 month old. He never seems satisfied with anything. Kalisi - I guess he's bored as you say. He's at that stage where he can't crawl yet wants to explore everything. He's not satisfied sitting with toys. He always ends flat on his face, which means I'm picking him back up literally every 2 minutes. I'm at the end of my tether. I always make sure we go out at least once a day regardless of what chores there are to do.

Sirzy - I'd know by the look on their face? I'd be in the same room.

missymoomoomee Thu 11-Oct-12 16:16:36

If you had an ipod on then one of them could choke, fall or anything. Sounds like they might just need some more activities. To be honest I never bother to clean until my kids are in bed.

Kalisi Thu 11-Oct-12 16:16:39

Plus it will probably be better for them if you are busy all day

ScaryBOOAlot Thu 11-Oct-12 16:16:47

Playschool better than ignoring them.

Find out why they're upset.

MrsKeithRichards Thu 11-Oct-12 16:18:30

You've actually used ear plugs?

What about walks, trips to the park? What do you do with them all day? Like how do you engage with them? Sorry I just have this horrid vision of you with ear plugs in doing your best to ignore your children.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:18:34

imperial - I don't really want this to turn into a 'daycare right or wrong?' thread. Suffice to say, I've done the research and a daycare environment can be damaging to the under 3s (having to compete with some many other children, being away from primary carer without sufficient understanding, etc). I wouldn't feel comfortable with it. I'm a WAHM. I just need to develop some sort of stratergy here. That's why I posted this thread.

MrsKeithRichards Thu 11-Oct-12 16:19:38

Duct tape?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:20:10

missy - my kids never settle in bed until 9pm. By that point I'm exhausted. So should I then spend hours cleaning and doing my online business? Even if I attempted that, I don't think there would be enough hours, unless I just gave up sleep.

I had whingy kids. I know how irritating it is.

Everyone was happier when I returned to work part time and they went to nursery. Neither have ever known any different.

Being stuck inside was a form of torture.

imperialstateknickers Thu 11-Oct-12 16:20:44

Okay, understand you don't want to go that road. What about getting someone in to share the chores with you? Au pair? Or take the cleaning burden off with a cleaner. Maybe worth the money to save your sanity.

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 16:20:56

So if you would always be looking at them (Ye right!) what do you gain?

Btw I would check your research, full time childcare in under ones in some cases can have long term impacts but beyond that it is actually shown to be pretty beneficial in a lot of ways.

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 16:22:21

You seem to be trying to do to much. You either need to use a small amount of childcare or get a cleaner and be more realisitic in what you can achieve in a day.

I would imagine being bored while mummy cleans and works in much worse for a child that a few hours a week in nursery.

X posted. Your research might back up your theory but if you're all miserable then isn't it better to have a rethink about plan b otherwise you've got at least another 2 years of this?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:24:20

imperial - love the cleaner idea. How much do they charge these days?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:25:20

Sirzy - the livingroom and kitchen are joint (openplan) so I can see them from any point in the room (and the 2 year old is my shadow of course).

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:26:21

Sirzy - read the book "How Not to Fuck Them Up" if you're interested in the daycare topic. I really don't want to debate it here. I'm not comfortable with putting my children in daycare until age 3.

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 16:26:27

I am sorry I find it hard to believe ANY parent constantly watches their child, especially when there are 2 children.

Why you would purposely restrict one of your senses I don't understand?

EMS23 Thu 11-Oct-12 16:26:45

I don't understand how you can be so sure about the harm nursery could do to them yet you're considering ignoring your own kids using loud music.
At least a nursery worker is paid to give them attention.

If you're working, your kids should be looked after properly by someone else, IMHO. Otherwise the stress on you is untenable, as evidenced by how you're feeling.

Could you afford help in the home, if daycare out of the home is not an option?

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 16:26:59

I have read plenty of proper scientific research on the issue rather than one book!

ScaryBOOAlot Thu 11-Oct-12 16:27:33

You're anti them competing with other kids and being away from their primary carer, but you've actually used earplugs so you can ignore them.

Know which one I think is more damaging.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:27:55

curiosity - another 2 years? My 2 year old will start nursery next year(?), then I will only have 1 kid to deal with, which will hopefully make things considerably less stressful?

cantspel Thu 11-Oct-12 16:28:07

If they dont go to bed until 9 then they are probably wingeing as they are over tired.
Try getting a routine of a day time nap and into bed by 7. They will be less tired and so will you.

Kalisi Thu 11-Oct-12 16:28:10

Ooh yes! Hell I might even look into that!

MrsKeithRichards Thu 11-Oct-12 16:28:33

To be honest I'd say spending days with a stressed mum who is doing her best to ignore them might have a detrimental effect. I'd say nursery was the lesser of two evils in that case.

Tailtwister Thu 11-Oct-12 16:28:54

Whinging is torturous. It's such a horrible noise and if children are going through a phase of it there's very little you can do apart from take them out and hope that stops them. As you are working at home, you do need some peace.

I know you really don't want to, I would seriously look into some nursery or childminder sessions for your 2yo. Also, are there any family members who could help you out? IME 9 months is a classic whinging time (so many developmental things going on) and you may well find things improve as and when milestones are achieved.

The only other thing you could try is to run them ragged all day so they are asleep by 7. That has saved my sanity time and time again. I couldn't survive without some peace in the evenings. If you did that you could maybe do some work in the evening?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:29:08

"Why you would purposely restrict one of your senses I don't understand?"

- so I can't hear the winging? I thought that was obvious.

So day care is damaging for under 3's (with trained carers, child friendly equipment and surroundings) but it's not damaging to them for you to be in the same room wearing earplugs ?! hmm

A 9 month old is not old enough to be amusing themselves all the time, they need interaction, that's why they are whining for attention.

Get some help in.

Nobody will actually be any happier with plan A though will they? I have pit ear plugs in to deal with a SCREAMING child to take the edge off, but going about other chores listening to an iPod still doesn't sound like a great plan.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:30:37

EMS - what sort of constant attention is a mother expected to give? A genuine question, as I feel clueless. I read books, rotate toys, take them to baby & toddler groups. What else should I be doing?

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 16:31:55

But you can't hear anything else that way, you can't communicate with your children which certainly isn't going to improve anything.

How can ignoring a child be good for them?

I meant another 2 years until the little one can start nursery. I guess on their own they might be better?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:32:26

cantspel - they do nap. But at different times. baby naps at 11. Toddler at 4 - hence why I'm here typing this - toddler is napping, and can you guess what the baby is doing? Oh yes - winging his head off. I swear I'm going to cry.

Ephiny Thu 11-Oct-12 16:32:57

If you are working from home, I think you need to use some kind of childcare. If you worked for an employer, they would probably insist on this, and for good reason - it is not easy to work and care for small children at the same time, not if you want to do a good job of both things.

It doesn't have to be 'daycare', if by that you mean a nursery. You could consider a childminder, or even an au pair or nanny in your own home. I think it's possible to nanny-share with another family if you only need part-time hours.

For a cleaner you would probably be looking at about £10/hour, depending on where you are.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:33:09

To those who say ignoring whining is wrong - what is the correct approach to wining?

amistillsexy Thu 11-Oct-12 16:33:16

It sounds as though the daily outing to soft play/mums n tots or whatever isn't enough for your2. They are whining because they want your attention. I suspect they get it, too, of they whine long and hard enough!

If you are trying to clean, tidy and run a business with two little ones around, you are likely to be driven mad. Daycare would be a child centred environment. Better that than everyone at home feeling bored, shouty and resentful.
At nursery, the staff play with the children all day long. Your children would be kept occupied, you could get on with your stuff, and they would be asleep by 7, guaranteed!

poopnscoop Thu 11-Oct-12 16:34:11

I hope you don't mind me sticking my oar in as a childminder... I have children from ages 6 months till they go to big school.

The whinging is from boredom.. social interaction is vital. What about taking the 2 yr old to a childminder a couple of mornings a week? He will have lots of activities (learn other things like sharing, difficult to learn at home where sharing isn't needed with a much younger sibling), he'll have a ball, it'll give you time to concentrate on your business - you'll probably get more done in 1 morning (and make more £££!!!Nullifying a CM cost) than two full days with total concentration. He will come home, tummy full, knackered, and have a good afternoon nap.

If there is no two year old whinging, the likelihood is that the baby will stop whinging too.. kids feed off each other.

Probably not what you want to hear. But ignoring the situation is only going to make him feel ignored and at a loss, when all he wants to do is play with mummy smile

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:35:04

tail - running ragged sounds good. Any ideas? I go to groups and soft play.

But alas, I think DH wouldn't like a 7pm bedtime, as he gets in at 6pm and so wouldn't have much time with the kids.

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Thu 11-Oct-12 16:35:48

Is there no one else in the area who could take one of them for a 'play date' once a week? I have an 18 month and a nearly 3 yr old so know where you're coming from.
Do you have a partner who could muck in later on in the evenings? Do you structure play with them? If you don't want to think about nursery fair enough (although I disagree grin) but they seem to like the structure/routine it gives them. Spend proper , full blown, undivided attention time with them for a couple of hours, go and play out, then encourage them to play alone watch Disney films whilst you get your bits and bobs done.
It IS hideous at times though isn't it grin

EMS23 Thu 11-Oct-12 16:36:02

I wasn't saying you should be giving them more or different attention but you need, and seemed to be asking for a solution for when you need to be working and doing chores and IMO, child care is the solution because children need attention and its tough shit that you've got something else to be getting on with.
It's not your kids fault you're trying to be 3 things at once and if you can afford it, I think you should consider getting some help in.

MrsKeithRichards Thu 11-Oct-12 16:36:05

You sound very resentful of the attention your children need. It also sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Do what you need to do to make life easier.

Viewofthehills Thu 11-Oct-12 16:36:15

You don't get extra marks for martyrdom as a mother.
Decide on your priorities.
If the house and business are important to you: Either get some outside help
or let the housework drift and work on tiring them out until you get back to a 7pm bedtime. Then you can do the rest once they're in bed.smile

I wouldn't dismiss childcare so quickly.Going to a playgroup for a short period is a whole lot better than staying home with a Mum who is trying to ignore you all day and can actually be a very positive experience. Or try a childminder if you want a more family like environment.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:36:28

"A 9 month old is not old enough to be amusing themselves all the time, they need interaction, that's why they are whining for attention."

- constant interaction? Can you give some examples please

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 16:36:46

Ignoring will only lead to them doing more whinging until they get the attention they want.

Does your 2 year old play alone?

I would try to bring bedtime forward as much as possible so you get your evenings to yourself so you get some time to relax.

Gatorade Thu 11-Oct-12 16:36:50

You sound worn out, if you can afford it get a cleaner and get some help with the children at home (mothers help, au pair etc).

Please don't use earplugs or an iPod, what of one of them hurts themselves or is ill and you don't hear them.

In the meantime try something like a door bouncer (for about 15 mins at a time) for the 9 month old of you need to do some urgent tasks whilst the toddler is napping

cantspel Thu 11-Oct-12 16:36:52

If they wake at 7 then get them both to nap at 11, waking them just in time to eat lunch then an afternoon of activities or go to the park, play centre ect. No wonder you cant get them to sleep if you allow a nap at 4.30. Stop all afternoon naps and bring forward bed time to 7. You will then have the evening free to catch up on your business.

imperialstateknickers Thu 11-Oct-12 16:36:57

Cleaners ... depends on part of the country you're in, and whether you go for an agency or try to find one using the advert in shop window method. Round here they expect £10-£12 an hour if you employ directly, expect to pay more like £20 per hour if you get an agency in. Agencies tend to send them in pairs, they take care of issues like vetting, tax and NI. A good self-employed cleaner will be all legit and taking care of her/his own tax and NI. Personal recommendation is by far the best way to find one.

I decided not to even try to work at anything other than motherhood until the twins were at school, and completely changed the type of work I did when I did go back. But there are miles of threads about this sort of thing!

Witchesbrewandbiscuits Thu 11-Oct-12 16:37:05

Totally agree that the environment you are currently providing could be more damaging than nursery. However, how about a childminder? You can pick the hours and they offer a home environment with only a couple of other children so they get the love and attention they need, and will be taken to groups etc. I personally wouldn't use nursery either but childminder yes.

NellyBluth Thu 11-Oct-12 16:37:05

For the 9mo, could you maybe look at a door bouncer or baby walker? I know they aren't everyone's favourites because of the pressure on their hips/pelvis, but my 9mo is quite happy to bounce or zoom around in my sight for half an hour while I get something done as long as I am chatting to her the whole time.

However I do agree with onthebottom (fab name, btw grin) that I'm confused as to how you see being ignored by mum at home is more beneficial to them than having the attention of a nursery nurse or a childminder. Have you thought about a childminder for a few hours, if you don't like the idea of a nursery? Or definitely a cleaner, someone to relieve a bit of your time.

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 16:38:03

But alas, I think DH wouldn't like a 7pm bedtime, as he gets in at 6pm and so wouldn't have much time with the kids

Thats fine if he comes in at 6, takes over with the children at least every other night and does his fair share of the housework. Otherwise you need to do what makes life easier for you!

louloutheshamed Thu 11-Oct-12 16:38:54

See when I read stuff like this it reinforces that I am happy with my choice to put ds in nursery as how can it be worse than being deliberately ignored all day?? V odd thread.

cantspel Thu 11-Oct-12 16:39:25

If he comes in at 6 he can take over and do the bed times. It will give him an hour of bonding whilst you can get on with other things.

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Thu 11-Oct-12 16:39:30

Just seen that your toddler is napping now-that seems quite late-even for a 9pm bedtime, is he tired do you think? My big one moans incessantly when he's tired.

NellyBluth Thu 11-Oct-12 16:40:32

X-posted with a lot of people there... but honestly, a CM could be your saviour. DD adores her CM, and I'm happier knowing she is in a 'home' environment doing something similar to what I would be doing at home (no disrespect to nurseries meant there)

Hopandaskip Thu 11-Oct-12 16:40:37

Sounds like the kids aren't getting enough attention. It really does, especially with all you are doing and how close in age they are. Kids that age generally do not amuse themselves for very long and you have a bunch on your plate. Sounds like you either need help of some variety or you need to let things go and just get the basics done and do them while involving your kids.

It is a lot slower getting a toddler to help you, but it entertains the toddler and is beneficial for them to help, improves communication and motor skills. I used to get mine to help me load the washer for instance, or if I was hanging wet clothes up I'd get my kid to pass me pieces while we chatted.

I think part-time daycare is a way better alternative than children that old being expected to entertain themselves for good sized chunks of the day. What about going to a childminder in the morning and being home with you in the afternoon?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:41:16

poopnscoop - i didn't think 2 year olds were capable of understanding sharing? not developmentally ready for it?

"Do you structure play with them?" - can you give some examples of structured play for a 9 month old?

2 year old does crafts, lego, books.

ksrwr Thu 11-Oct-12 16:41:25

I should imagine they're just bored, can you get someone else to do the household stuff while you play with them?
or send them to nursery a few days/mornings a week?

monkeysbignuts Thu 11-Oct-12 16:41:51

do you have homestart in you're area? They are amazing, I had severe pnd after my first baby so my health visitor set homestart in place when my second was born.
They send someone to your house who has similar personality to yourself (called it profile matching or something like that lol) anyway I was matched with a lovely lady who would spend 3 hours one day a week with me and the kids. It was invaluable to me and gave me that little break (someone else distracting my kids) i was desperate for.

McKayz Thu 11-Oct-12 16:41:56

I'd rather put my children into some sort of childcare for a couple of hours instead of put music on and ignore them. Its cruel.

Children whinge, sorry but that's what they do! You need to find things to do that they enjoy. A 9 month old isn't really old enough to be left to play on their own.

Ephiny Thu 11-Oct-12 16:42:19

This is the same OP who's DH has to climb through a window instead of using the front door, and isn't allowed to wee in the morning, isn't it?

OP, if you are for real, I think your mental well-being might well benefit from getting some childcare sorted out.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:43:48

"children need attention and its tough shit that you've got something else to be getting on with. "

Do they need constant attention?

ThalianotFailure Thu 11-Oct-12 16:44:00

it seems that on the basis of one book you have decided not to explore any kind of childcare as it's 'damaging'. Yet it doesn't sound like either you or your DCs are having a great time at home. If you don't want to go down the nursery route, why not look at a childminder or nanny?

Also, get a cleaner.

Your DCs bedtime is about what is best for them, not your DH - they sound very overtired. My DH gets in at 6, DD's bedtime is between 7.30 and 8, and DH does all of it so he has a good hour and a half or so of quality time with her, plus, of course, the weekend.

Finally, I can't see how you can ever focus on your work properly if you are simultaneously doing everything else. I think you need to work out how many days a week you want/need to work and arrange childcare (childminder at their house, nanny at your own) for those days. I honestly believe that your whole family will be so much happy for it.

Good luck!

McKayz Thu 11-Oct-12 16:44:47

Ephiny, What?? That is crazy.

Yes OP of course they need constant attention when they are so little.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:45:33

"You sound very resentful of the attention your children need."

no. i resent the other things that prevent me from being the best mother i can. I'm sitting here with baby on the breast and tears streaming down my face. i don't know what to do.

ScaryBOOAlot Thu 11-Oct-12 16:46:22

Yes they need constant attention biscuit Still don't get how you can insult daycare yet feel happy with not only ignoring your children, but risk not being able to hear if something goes wrong with headphones and earplugs.

NellyBluth Thu 11-Oct-12 16:46:22

Yes, they generally need constant attention. Even if they have found something that will amuse them by themselves, they still need you having half an eye on them - certainly too much of an eye to concentrate on anything work related.

Is there a reason why you aren't liking the childminder, au pair suggestions?

PickledFanjoCat Thu 11-Oct-12 16:47:10

Curious. Sorry I think it's odd you find a nursery would damage them yet ignoring them working with earplugs in us a bus me option.

Childminder or nursery two mornings a week would sort work, you sound a bit stressed. Ds bloody loved nursery, I work from home and I don't know how I'd do it under those circumstances.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:47:19

"If the house and business are important to you"

- the house certainly isn't. but i cant let them live in a dump can I? or let the plates pile up? or have no clean clothes for everyone to wear?

PickledFanjoCat Thu 11-Oct-12 16:47:28

A viable option sorry!

Ephiny Thu 11-Oct-12 16:47:32

Sorry, I know it's not good form to bring up other threads, but this is the second one I've noticed today by this OP where she sounds very odd and, well, not quite right.

I don't know what to make of it tbh.

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 16:48:33

You need to accept that you can't do everything. Using some childcare and accepting help won't do them any harm, a mother who is struggling to cope might.

Please take on board peoples comments on this thread, talk to your DH and find a way forward which means you and the children are happier.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:49:11

"Does your 2 year old play alone?"

- yes she does. some of the time. But the 9 month old never stops winging and it irritates and upsets the 2 year old so she starts too.

PickledFanjoCat Thu 11-Oct-12 16:49:35

You cannot look after two children with no help, run and online business and keep high standards of housework unless you have two angelic babies who sleep loads.

You need to accept you need help, or you need to get a cleaner, or you need to outsource laundry, or employ someone to run business, or a nursery.

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Thu 11-Oct-12 16:50:10

Structuring play as in painting with them for a hour, play doh for an hour then snack then out for a walk to feed the ducks etc rather than just letting them wander round moaning.
Yes the baby will probably sit there eating paint but s/he'll be enjoying themselves, even if it's watching their elder sibling have fun.
I am just speaking from experience that the more 'proper ' time I spend with them-the better their temperament when I want a bit of time to catch up on stuff later in the day.

imperialstateknickers Thu 11-Oct-12 16:50:23

BurntToastSmell I'm beginning to get worried about you. You're not seeing the wood for the trees because you're too tired, physically and emotionally. Get off MN and get onto researching some sort of help in your home before you end up having a breakdown. Nobody's enjoying your current model of work/home/life balance, not you, not the children, and quite possibly not your DH.

Proudnscary Thu 11-Oct-12 16:50:46

They don't need constant attention but they do need a lot.

You cannot work all day and look after your kids.

It will be far, far more beneficial for them to go to nusery/playschool/childminder than be with a stressed out, distracted mother.

Then when you are with them you will be less frazzled and more focussed.

Nursery etc is very good for kids anyway, imo - good for social skills, learning to share, stimulation, not being too clingy with parents.

It's just patently obvious to anyone from the outside. Your set us is not working.

Proudnscary Thu 11-Oct-12 16:51:12

Set up, not set us

PickledFanjoCat Thu 11-Oct-12 16:51:32

Why not start with a cleaner? See where that takes you?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:52:08

regarding being ignored - I obviously don't ignore them constantly. I'm always talking to them, but when they start winging - i think I ought to ignore that. isn't that what you're supposed to do? ignore undesirable behaviour??

SecretCermonials Thu 11-Oct-12 16:52:14

burnt whilst I appreciate you have your own views on your children remaining out of childcare the balance here is off. Children whinge, they whinge more when unwell bored or tired. If your children are up until that late then they are overtired which means when they do sleep the quality is not good enough. My DS is 3 he has never been to bed later than 7 regularly and currently is in bed by 6 ish - he literally takes himself to bed. So id say your children need more sleep.

If they went to be earlier that would hive you a break. As would a cleaner.

Id also look into a childminder or other childcare - that you are comfortable with. As to give you a check you have asked if ignoring them is ok... Thats surely a bit of a sign at how things are?

DinosaursOnASpaceship Thu 11-Oct-12 16:52:27

Yes, children that young need constant attention - of course they do. They are babies. They don't understand why they are being ignored, they just want your attention and they deserve it too. I know it's a cliche but the baby years really do pass so quickly, you need to make the lost of it whilst you still can. I know you think nursery is damaging - but I think what you are doing to your children is even more damaging. You are teaching them that they are so far down your list of priorities that you wear ear plugs to be able to ignore them more efficiently!

Let some of the house work slide. You won't look back in years to come and wish you'd done more cleaning.

I think you need some sort of help to do your job. No one would be expected to go out of the house to work and have to take their babies with them, it's no different to working at home - you can't do both, either get some help or drastically scale back the hours you are trying to do.

Do you get any time to yourself? Could your DH take care of them on a weekend day whilst you get some child free time?

Hopandaskip Thu 11-Oct-12 16:52:33

My kids could amuse themselves for up to about 10 minutes max at 9 months if I remember correctly, sometimes it could be a lot less than that. They could do longer than that if I sat on the floor next to them while they played. However, they learn so much from you talking to them and doing stuff with them. At two years I want to say that they could spend anything between 5 and 30 minutes at a time without needing me in some way, but sometimes it was as little as 30 seconds.

Really, with a baby and a toddler just over a year apart getting anything done other than clean, nappies changed, dressed and fed is an achievement.

EMS23 Thu 11-Oct-12 16:52:40

Ok, I suspect you're feeling a bit low at the moment. You're doing far too much, please give yourself a break and throw money at this problem, if you can afford to.

Talk to your DH, get help from somewhere. You're doing too much and it's making you miserable. Motherhood is hard, I have 2DC's plus DSS and I find it so so tough. Admitting that and asking my DH for help saved me.

FWIW, kids that age do need 'constant' attention unfortunately. It's exhausting and relentless.

ScaryBOOAlot Thu 11-Oct-12 16:52:42

Do you have a sling? Put the younger one in that whilst you do the chores - and even then do the bare minimum.

Think you need to also stop expecting to be able to do everything. Playschool saved my sanity, and DS wakes up most mornings asking if he can go because he loves it so much.

How much support do you get from your OH?

is this thread for real? seriously youd rather ignore your children and obviously not meet thier needs because you are spread too thin than put them in childcare?

Ignoring them at home is more damaging and you are worried about thier self esteem by leaving them to cry yet you think nursery could damage them?

I am flabbergasted. FGS your 9m old is a BABY-he's winging because he needs you to meet his needs. Your 2 yr old is tired and needs your attention too. No amount of baby groups is going to make up for time with a loving caring individual be that thier mother or a nanny/nursery worker.

Your priorities and concerns are skewed. Get a grip. Your children are young they need love and attention. Not ignoring.

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Thu 11-Oct-12 16:53:40

I'm sorry you're feeling shitty OP-I have had days like that-It DOES get better fwiw unless you're a glutton for punishment and are pregnant again blush <whistles>

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 16:54:11

But what is ignoring doing? Is it getting the response from them that you want? it would appear that ignoring them simply isn't making the situation better.

Perhaps try to figure WHY they whinge is better? You said the baby only had one nap a day and goes to bed late - that doesn't sound like a lot of sleep for such a little baby

ScaryBOOAlot Thu 11-Oct-12 16:54:11

Winging isn't undesirable behvaiour at this age though, its their way of communicating with you.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 16:54:46

"does his fair share of the housework"

would would you say is 'his fair share'? I texted him today asking is he could take on one more chore as I'm finding it hard to cope (he currently makes the kids dinner in the evening and gets the shopping in). He texted back saying no. that he already works. sad

Marzipanface Thu 11-Oct-12 16:57:00

Hi

It sounds like you have a lot on your plate. I echo the other posters in considering a cleaner or some childcare.

An earlier bedtime would probably help as well. The fact you take them out to toddler groups is great. Do they whine on these days?

I found when my 2 year old whined it tended to be because she was tired, hungry or teething rather than just bored. Might be something to consider. Your little one may be teething as well. Can you isolate when it happens? Is it a particular time of day? My 2 year old would whine at about 3.30 ish so I would pop the telly and give her a snack.

A bouncer or a jumperoo would be great for the 9 month old.

Like another OP said, you can get your 2 year old to help you. If you are doing the laundry, give them the basket to play with or some clothes to hang. I found it was the only way to get things done.

Also ignoring the whining is pointless. It needs to be addressed. Occupy the child with drawing, lego. toys then slowly back away!

imtheonlyone Thu 11-Oct-12 16:57:50

Sounds like you're having a rough time! Being a SAHM is very stressful - it's the hardest job I've ever had to do as there are no hard and fast rules and you don't get paid!!!!

It does sound like you are trying to do too much - you are only one person and you sound like you are being pulled in many different directions every day which is inevitably stressful. If you are stressed the kids will pick up on this as well .... I know this from experience and the more stressed you become, the more they will whine! I know you say that your DH would not like them to have an earlier bedtime, but I'm afraid I agree with what has been said in trying to get them to bed earlier. Personally I wouldn't let my children nap that late in the afternoon as they were then not tired for bedtime. Someone once told me a well rested child rests well and I've found it to be quite true. Children are so active and taking in so much information daily they need sleep. What time to they get up in the morning? I really would chat with your DH and try to get them to bed earlier - they need a routine that will take them through as when they do start daycare/school/nursery, a bedtime of 9pm really is too late and you will find them to be over tired. I appreciate it means your DH won't see them as much but I truly believe children need their sleep and are far less whingy if they've had a good nights sleep.

I would defo think about getting some help too - perhaps a cleaner for a couple of hours twice a week will take away a lot of the cleaning pressure from you - you can't be expected to do everything!

I do sympathise, I have been a SAHM for nearly 7 years now and feel like its Groundhog Day every day .... Sometimes!! Mostly I love it but it is like I said, the hardest job I've ever done!

Good luck! Get some help and perhaps try to get them to bed earlier? I think you will find it will help smile

SmilingandWaving Thu 11-Oct-12 16:57:51

I work from home and look after DS who is 21 months, I've done this since he was 6 months. I do find it very stressful at times although it's got easier since I decided to cut myself some slack. You need to minimise the amount of house work and cooking you do so you can concentrate on the important things.

Get a cleaner if you can or just live with the fact that your house will be messy mine is a tip

Try to cook in bulk so you can just take things out of the freezer and heat them up, then you don't have to worry about spending ages cooking each day or thinking about what to make.

I work 25 hours a week which I can split however I like, at the moment DS naps for about 3 hours a day so I work then. When he wakes up we do the usual SAHM things like park, groups, painting etc and then when DP gets home from work he takes over with DS and I get another couple of hours of work in. I also work at the weekend if I need to make up hours. This way DS always has either DP or I to with him, although I do do the odd bit of housework as well as he doesn't need my full attention all the time.

I wouldn't just ignore them though as in the end it'll just upset all of you I'm speaking from experience there

PickledFanjoCat Thu 11-Oct-12 16:58:53

You should really get a cleaner then. Tell him if he can't help more that's what will have to happen.

Some of the things you are saying sound a bit confused because you are stressed!

You will make yourself ill if you don't look after yourself.

Proudnscary Thu 11-Oct-12 16:59:08

Ok so sounds like your oh is a big part of your problem <wonders whether to bother writing what I always write> <takes deep breath> OK I work FT out of home, dh does lionshare of housework during day but I do my share when I get home and on weekend because I do NOT consider my working day to be any more stressful or busy than his at home. And because I respect and love him.

SmilingandWaving Thu 11-Oct-12 16:59:20

How many hours a week do you have to work OP?

I think you're being given a very hard time here by the way.

baskingseals Thu 11-Oct-12 16:59:41

burnt. i am on mumsnet now. my 3yo is playing some complicated game with a very sweet teenage girl who comes once a week and who i pay £4 an hour to pretend to be a power ranger.

my 10 yo and 5 yo are at my sister's. i am telling you to get some help. you have a very small age gap. it is unbelievably hard work. i think people forget just how hard it is. you need some back up.

your children are fine. and you are a better mother than you think you are.
don't sweat the small stuff. you CAN do this.

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Thu 11-Oct-12 16:59:54

See that would get my DH back up if I texted him at work to ask him that. Some things need to be discussed face to face. Does he ever have them both on his own? Mine didn't and waltzed in to play superdad at bathtimes but then he had to single handedly wash, dress and entertain them for a day and he now doesn't dare moan about a messy kitchen etc wink
It's harder still when you think someone is going to come home and criticise you after you've had an awful day.

ThalianotFailure Thu 11-Oct-12 17:00:05

OK, on top of all this your DP is not pulling his weight - a man who can't take on one more chore because his wife is struggling is a twat. I would start spending his money, TBH - dishwasher, cleaner, laundry service, childcare. What are his views on childcare, btw?

NellyBluth Thu 11-Oct-12 17:00:08

If a cleaner isn't an option, could you maybe take a look at the tasks that need doing around the house on a daily basis? For me, when at home, it would be do a wash, do the washing up, maybe run the hoover or a broom around the main rooms, a cook meals. Anything else could wait until DP was around, either in the evenings or weekends.

Then once a week I'd take about 2 hours to run around like a blue-arsed fly and dust, change the bedsheets, that sort of thing.

Maybe there is stuff you think you need to do on a daily basis that could be done less often?

PickledFanjoCat Thu 11-Oct-12 17:00:25

If you don't want to use childcare don't, get help with your business and housework so you enjoy the kids more.

onyx72 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:01:12

Everyone is telling you what to do, but you seem hell bent on ignoring any advice.

Get some help in, for goodness sake!

ScaryBOOAlot Thu 11-Oct-12 17:01:21

So the first thing you need to sort out is that your OH is a tit, then. You work too.

Ephiny Thu 11-Oct-12 17:03:07
dixiechick1975 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:04:15

There was an episode of supernanny - american lady trying to work at home - no childcare. Children playing up through lack of attention. She was also putting the child 3 or 4 yr old down for a long nap so she could work and then wondering why they wouldn't sleep in the evening.

Watching the video helped them see the madness of it all and get some childcare in place.

You can't work and give proper attention to small children.

If you are dead set against external childcare how about an au pair or mother's help. Even paying a tenenager eg a childcare student an hour a day would give you chance to work and the children some interaction.

baskingseals Thu 11-Oct-12 17:04:22

op are you ok?

most of us have been where you are - to a greater or lesser extent. it does get better, honestly.

MrsKeithRichards Thu 11-Oct-12 17:04:48

How about making a list of what you need to do in a day? What's your bare minimum for the house? I know mine and I can get through it surprisingly quick. Dishes, one load of washing on, hung up and the day before's put away, quick wipe of bathroom, bed made,kitchen surfaces clean, living room squared up and if I get through that a quick Hoover! I can fly through that in about twenty minutes. Mentally I feel much better knowing that all that is done. If baby is settled and I feel like it I might Hoover the stairs or something a bit more demanding but I don't beat myself up about it.

How much time do you have to dedicate to your on line business a day?

Hopandaskip Thu 11-Oct-12 17:05:21

well then he is an arse. Seriously, two kids in two years you don't get to 'just' work and cook dinner unless your partner is a martyr or you have domestic help.

wanted to add to my last post, the bit about being able to play for ten minutes tops... I didn't mean that a baby can play for ten minutes, then you chat with them, give them another toy and they play another ten minutes. They really should be involved in your life. I'm of the opinion that kids don't need lots of specific play, that they can turn regular chores into play if you work it the right way, for instance, wash dishes when the baby is napping and have your two year old standing on a chair next to you putting the wet dishes in the drying rack for you, or have baby in sling while you do it.

Seriously though, kids can live in a dump, it is more important to spend large chunks of time with them than to vacuum and when you vacuum give your two year old a dustbuster to do the edges and hold the baby on your hip and sing with him/her. The room may not get that clean under things and around things but it doesn't matter that much. Use paper plates if you have to. I'm not a huge fan of the things but needs must.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 17:07:40

"with a baby and a toddler just over a year apart getting anything done other than clean, nappies changed, dressed and fed is an achievement."

- thank you. I'm glad someone thinks that. I don't think my DH does sad he gets pissed off if the house is a state or theres no clean plates.

Really ?

Childcare is worse and more damaging to a child than being at home with a parent that ignores them and has earphones in ?

Are you sure ?

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 17:09:15

I would sit down with him and explain that you are not coping and that he needs to provide more helP and support

Hopandaskip Thu 11-Oct-12 17:11:24

- thank you. I'm glad someone thinks that.

God, I think EVERYONE thinks that.

Did you read the post from the mum who works 25hrs from home and has ONE kid the same sort of age as yours and says her house is a tip.

SmilingandWaving Thu 11-Oct-12 17:11:24

I think you're wrong dixiechick, you can't work 9-5, have a spotless home and give proper attention to your children. But if you structure your day properly and are willing to sacrifice your own leisure time then it is entirely possible. Although that does depend on how many working hours you are trying to fit in.

baskingseals Thu 11-Oct-12 17:11:43

i look back to when dc3 was a baby, and i don't know how i did it. what did we eat? what did we wear? did people brush their teeth? did they have baths? perhaps it is for the best that i just don't remember.

i can remember the bloody loneliness and slog of it though.

i'd say you are doing well if everyone is still in one bit at the end of the day.

Hopandaskip Thu 11-Oct-12 17:13:10

I think DH may be the problem here.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 17:13:19

"Do they whine on these days?"

I take them out every day. Either a toddler group, the park or soft play. They winge all the rest of the time.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 17:16:24

"dh does lionshare of housework during day but I do my share when I get home and on weekend "

it's bizarre, but DH doesn't take on anymore chores at the weekend, although he takes the kids out from 10am till 12 on Sat. Then for an hour or so on sat afternoon. That really helps. But still, I can't get everything done.

God this baby just won't stop winging. I've just fed him, he's still l;aying on my lap and he's winging over and over. He's on my lap FFS.

Hopandaskip Thu 11-Oct-12 17:16:29

Perhaps he needs to take a day's holiday and try it himself. Tell him if he takes a day and manages to do all of what you are doing without running himself ragged and have a clean house and happy, rested kids (WITHOUT using the TV as a babysitter) then you will re-evaluate. However, if he struggles to get it all done or is worn thin or worse still, won't even try then he needs to re-evaluate.

Hopandaskip Thu 11-Oct-12 17:17:20

Burnt, turn some music on and dance, or go put the kids in the bath with bubbles.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 17:18:00

basking - thank you. I'm touched by your words (they've made me cry more but at least it's good tears).

Vagaceratops Thu 11-Oct-12 17:20:50

They are whinging because they are bored.

Engage with them or use childcare imo.

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 17:21:10

If he tired?

If not I agree with with idea of music on and a bit of dancing, tickling, bath anyuthing like that!

Haahoostory Thu 11-Oct-12 17:21:18

OP. Ignore the books and follow your gut. You know that children want attention. You know you can't give them 100% undivided attention all day (no one can). You need to send your 2 year old to a childminder for a couple of mornings a week. They'll make new friends, have loads of fun, learn to share and return in need of an early afternoon nap. So you'll have most of the morning to get on with work and chores and another hour or two after lunch whilst they are napping. Bring bedtime forwards a bit and try and get a bit of time in the evening relaxing with your husband. DO NOT become an 'i need to be a perfect mum' matayr. You are a perfect mum to your kids - they love you. Also the house can just be good enough - who cares if its not a show home. Its the lived - in look.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 17:26:32

"Does he ever have them both on his own?"

- he takes them to a dad's group for 2 hours on a Sat. Then to his dads for another hour. He takes them to do the supermarket shop.

"I would start spending his money"

I DO spend his money - on the kids. Clothing and toys. 90% of everything I buy is for them. (As it should be).

MrsKeithRichards - I love the idea of getting it all done in 20 minutes (naturally). But re: dishes and mess. I wash all the dishes - more appear within an hour. I clean up the toys - more appear immediately.

"Seriously though, kids can live in a dump"

Would a health visitor say that? I've got one (she's a bitch) coming tomorrow.

Hopeandski9p - great idea. I would have done it before, but I'm breastfeeding.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 17:28:15

"You know you can't give them 100% undivided attention all day (no one can). You need to send your 2 year old to a childminder for a couple of mornings a week."

But not everyone uses childcare. So if all kids need undivided attention, yet not everyone uses childcare - how do the people that dont use childcare keep their house in order AND the children entertained?

MainlyMaynie Thu 11-Oct-12 17:29:28

OP, you are clearly struggling and upset. The posters who can't see that should be ashamed. I'd advise you not to post in AIBU, stick to parenting or something like that. Lots of people don't want to put their children in nursery, it's a personal choice.

There's nothing wrong with struggling, it's bloody hard work. Do the kids watch TV? Try putting Baby TV on for a bit. I don't understand people's obsession with early bedtimes, as long as the children get enough sleep it doesn't matter what time it is (as long as it fits with your family). My DS was asleep at the same time as your toddler, bit later than normal but he now won't fall asleep till 9.30. That's fine, he normally sleeps 9-9 and 2-4. What are their sleeping patterns?

I think from another thread you all live in a 2 bed flat? Can you afford to move? Having a garden and a bit more space would help you all.

Do you need the money/want the stimulation from your online business? If not, drop it for now.

Have you got a dishwasher? If not, get one.

Get a mother's help or a cleaner if you can afford one.

Have you spoken to your health visitor or Dr about whether you have signs of PND?

ScaryBOOAlot Thu 11-Oct-12 17:30:07

You say on your other thread you're on AA and ADs. Are you recieving any mental health support as well, or just pills? Because some counseling may be helpful for you to just off load if nothing else.

Going on both your threads, you and your OH seem to have an odd and rather unequal relationship, frankly. Maybe some sit down discussions with him are needed.

You need to stop expecting so much of yourself.

givemeaclue Thu 11-Oct-12 17:32:42

They are bored and ignored. You are stressed. At nursery they would be playing with others, singing, doing water play, art, dancing, being outside, cooking, enjoying stories etc etc . If they were to go do, half a day each day you would be able to get what you need to done so you have the rest of day to enjoy being wi I then. Everyone's happy.

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 17:33:23

Your not just trying to run a house and stay at home though, that is possible with realistic expectation but you are also trying to run a business and do all of that with very little support from your partner.

givemeaclue Thu 11-Oct-12 17:36:19

Think your kids could be picking up on your stress levels. Time away from each other must be better than the current situation. You all sound miserable. That is not good for kids. Regardless of your feelings about nurseries there are some great ones. Go and have a look? Or what about a nanny or mothers help?

twofalls Thu 11-Oct-12 17:44:22

Why do you think having them at home and ignoring them would be better than sending them to nursery. Honestly, u think it would do you all some good. I am self employed and work from home and there is no way I could do it if my dc were in the house too.

Kingcyrolophosarus Thu 11-Oct-12 17:45:09

if you had an office job, and you wanted to work at home for the day, you would be expected to find child care for your children

My point being, you cannot work at home with children around

you can't get either job done properly

you are resentful cos the work is not being done, and you are resentful because you know the children need attention

they are whinging, whining for your attention
yes, some children do need/want constant attention

givemeaclue Thu 11-Oct-12 17:49:46

It's really upsetting that the,e kids are being ignored and called whingeing when they are just babies needing some attention. Please get some help.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 11-Oct-12 17:52:23

For now, use your iPod to put something on and get your children to dance. Clap your hands and do things your 9 month old can imitate, and get your two year old to properly dance. If you don't have any music, look through the TV. There is always some loony children's channel with music and dancing. They'll feel better for tiring themselves out a little, and once they've got going you can sit down if you need too. You'll get a hormone release from the exercise, and feel a bit better, too.

Then find some interesting things to make a picture with. Doesn't matter what - if you've got nothing else, look for sweet wrappers, pretty packaging, cling film, kitchen foil. Lots of textures. Let your 9 month old play with them, and make a picture with them on the floor for daddy/grandma/next door - whoever. Choose what to do - a house or a train or something, and then get some glue and make the picture. Sing some related songs, and help your 9 month old stick clouds in the sky with cotton wool or something.

That should keep them busy for the next few hours. If you get nothing else done, don't worry. If it needs tidying, at the end of it all, play the "tidy up" game, even if you have to bribe your 2 year old to help. Do it minutes before Daddy gets home so it's pretty tidy when he walks in. Who cares what happens afterwards. If it gets messed up again, he can help to tidy it.

When they go to bed tonight, take a few minutes for yourself. Have a glass of wine/hot chocolate or something and just take a second to recoup. Stop thinking about what needs to be done, and calm down for a minute. Then build this calming-down time into your day. 20 minutes to read a magazine between the children going to bed and you putting a wash on or something is essential to your wellbeing.

Finally, if your DH complains, tell him that you will prioritise the children over everyone else. They are unhappy, so they are whining. You've set impossible standards for yourself. If you can't get things done while entertaining them, look at other options, like getting a cleaner. At the end of the day, it's not important. Being a happy, engaging mummy for your children is.

PS - I always found a schedule helped with whining. It might be too early for your 9 month old, but your 2 year old could help. Print pictures of different activities - playing in the garden, going to the ducks, playgroup, nap time, making cakes, blowing bubbles, drawing pictures, watching a film, doing nursery rhymes with all the moves etc, and then laminate them. Stick velcro to the back and to a piece of paper, and after breakfast in the morning help to choose an activity. There is a reason they do this at nursery - it lets them know what to expect. Any free time you get, put books out and read a story. When baby whines, change the game, or sing a song, or do dancing. Anything to distract him and stop the noise, so it doesn't drive you insane.

I hope this helps a bit. Look after yourself. You don't need to be superwoman - and the HV will know that most people clean the house seconds before she arrives. Your children being happy is the most important thing, and you feeling human and happy too. Then the house.

trixie123 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:57:30

have read about half the thread so sorry if I've missed a few bits but it does sound like there are some elements that could help you immensely. Why is the baby only having one nap a day and going to bed at 9pm? My 17m still has two naps most days or one 2 hr one at about 11 and they both (other is 3) go to bed at 7pm. Most nights DP isn't home until 5.50-6 and tonight its 6.30 but their bedtime is important so he has a short time with them but we try and spend the weekends all together. His tiredness will almost certainly be a factor in the whinging. Just before they crack crawling / walking is really tough because they DO get frustrated and I'm afraid, yes, you do need to be with them most of the time at this point. Why is a HV coming out to you at this stage? Has she identified specific issues? I know you don;t want a childcare debate but it really doesn'y sound like your "research" is terribly comprehensive and you have a LOT of people on here suggesting it might be a way forward. Could you afford an au pair or nanny who works alongside you?

CailinDana Thu 11-Oct-12 18:00:44

OP you sound totally overwhelmed and at sea. It is just not possible to work full time or nearly full time with two children in the house, while at the same time keeping on top of all the housework. You're essentially trying to do three jobs at the same time and no one is capable of that. I only have one toddler and work from home 16 hours a month and at times I find that a struggle. And the house is a mess most of the time. It's clean, but messy.

Your children need your attention. They are whinging because they can see you there, in reach, but they can't get you to interact. That's not healthy for a child, especially one that's under one. Over 18 months a child can be left to their own devices for some of the day, and should be able to entertain themselves a fair amount but a 9 month old just can't do that. They're far too young. They need to be held and played with because they don't have the coordination or mobility to entertain themselves. You say your 9 month old isn't great at sitting up - so why are you leaving them to sit on their own? Why are you expecting a tiny child to do something they clearly can't do? It doesn't make sense. A baby that age just can't be left on their own for any great period of time - it's a fact of life.

I'm not entirely clear on what you have against childcare. Surely a CM/nursery where their job is to entertain your child is better than being at home with a mum who has so much on her plate that she's considering wearing earphones so she can ignore them better?

As for housework - cut that right down. Bathroom needs regular cleaning, as does the kitchen, for hygiene purposes. However, don't get into the trap of spending endless hours in the kitchen - try to clean as you go if you can and reuse plates and cups if possible. It might be worth putting out a plate, cup and set of cutlery each in the morning and absolutely restricting yourselves to those till dinner time, so you're forced to rinse them each time you want to eat/drink something rather than getting something new out of the cupboard. Throw clothes in the machine first thing in the morning, every morning, as part of your getting up routine and deal with them when you have any free moment. Hoover a couple of times a week. Beyond that a bit of mess isn't going to kill anyone. A house just have to be liveable, not perfect.

From what you say about your DH he doesn't sound very helpful or supportive, is that fair?

Kalisi Thu 11-Oct-12 18:09:00

Sorry if its been said but tell your DH if he's not willing to split housework then he needs to take the kids to work with him because that is essentially what you are doing. It winds me up when people can't see that being a SAHM and working from home is the equivelent of doing two jobs..At the same time! No wonder your kids are moaning

PickledFanjoCat Thu 11-Oct-12 18:12:27

They generally don't try and add running a business into the mix with NO childcare whatsoever burnt toast! That's how!

fothergill Thu 11-Oct-12 18:22:41

Don't beat yourself up about it. Could you do the house work with your youngest whilst the baby sleeps? My little one can spend hours at the sink washing up non breakables whilst I try to knock back the stuff that I don't know what to do with but is too disparate too easily put away. Slightly broken toys waiting to be fixed near where the glue lives, a clothes peg, a battery (is it dead or alive?) bills that we have no problem paying but for some reason I can't physically touch, drawings and paintings too shit for the wall but yet with some sentimental attachment stopping the cull to the recycling, and the inevitable entropy of grips and bobbles.
I am curious as to how people upkeep the level of stamina to keep their house showroom neat. I probably just don't care enough - it's all clean just in disarray. I met someone recently and I just knew her house would be spotless. Whilst I was right when I did go round, it was spotless but she seemed to have achieved a pristine look mainly through not actually actually owning anything. Literally, empty shelving. Maybe that's the way forward.

HiHowAreYou Thu 11-Oct-12 18:26:39

Could you get them to nap at the same time do you think? You sound worn out. sad

Haahoostory Thu 11-Oct-12 18:26:42

My wonderful childminder also runs a crèche 9 - 1. It's in a big hall with loads of toys and they also do painting, singing and dancing, trips out to the park, games etc. it's £2.50 an hour. Much cheaper than a cleaner. So I get to clean in peace and my ds1 gets to have a wonderful time. And it only costs £10.
I can then do something nice with him in the afternoon after his nap.
Happy mum, clean house, happy son.
Get some child care! This is the most realistic answer to your problem.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 11-Oct-12 18:28:41

You can't work from home with a baby older than 6 months not to mention a toddler. F. A. C. T. Send at least ine to the nursery for a couple of morning/ afternoons (at least) and the child will be grateful to you as they will pay him some attention there which you can't as you're trying to work.

Haahoostory Thu 11-Oct-12 18:29:27

Oh and I have a baby, but he is happy to amuse himself in the same room as me whilst I clean. And he naps some of the morning anyway. I use the crèche 2 mornings a week.

baskingseals Thu 11-Oct-12 18:34:38

i am fantasizing about empty shelving now. grin

burnt - hope you are okay. as i have said before i found the first two years of dc's life fairly traumatic, and i wasn't trying to work as well.

i think you are doing the 'ten impossible things before breakfast'. NOBODY could do or attempt to do what you are doing and be tralalaing through the meadows.

it is a sign of strength, not weakness, to ask for help when you need it.

Witchesbrewandbiscuits Thu 11-Oct-12 18:35:24

Just been reading some of your other posts and considering you suffer from anxiety etc I am wondering if you might have pnd? You really need to seek help from a gp, health visitor or such like and seriously consider some childcare before things spiral out if control. Sitting at home alone crying whilst breastfeeding is not healthy. I really feel for you. Really hope you can act on everyone's advice and seek help. Pnd and anxiety etc are so common and can be overcome with the right input. Think about how great things will be when you come out the other side. Pls pls see ur gp op x

MainlyMaynie Thu 11-Oct-12 18:35:31

I work from home with a 15 month-old, but only when he's asleep. I couldn't do it if I had another child who slept at a different time.

Fairylea Thu 11-Oct-12 18:35:44

How can you be concerned about sending your children to nursery or a childminder when the alternative is being at home with you while you work from home and effectively ignore them ?!! How can that be less damaging !? Really confused by your attitudes.

As someone else said you cannot expect a 2 year old and a 9 month old to amuse themselves for more than 5 minutes. It isn't fair on them.

And as for plugging yourself into the iPod and turning the volume up words fail me !!! If a childminder was doing that it would be called neglectful in all honesty.

The cleaning will have to wait. I have housework ocd believe me but since having dd now 4 months everything has slipped because I am determined to put him first and spend the days chatting singing and cuddling him. I sit with him and show him toys and generally just keep a running dialogue. He will sit under the play gym for the odd 15 mins but I still talk to him.

I also have dd aged 9 who I had terrible pnd with so I know it's difficult. I was on citalopram for 2 years of her life... very strong doses and nearly hospitalised mainly due to trying to be superwoman.

Don't be superwoman. Just be a mum first and everything else second for now.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 18:41:26

"your OH seem to have an odd and rather unequal relationship, frankly"

- can you explain what you mean by 'our relationship' being odd?

"Why is the baby only having one nap a day and going to bed at 9pm?"

- the baby naps when he feels like it (which at the moment is once a day). I've tried putting him in his cot for naps, but he cries and cries and is inconsolable.

Kailisi - if I said such a thing, he would go off on one. His typical response to me asking for help is: "Oh you must think my job is a walk in the park; you must think I sit around all day"

Fairylea Thu 11-Oct-12 18:43:27

So dump the tit of a husband, have a messy house and happy kids. Life is too short.

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 18:45:23

What does he think you do all day?

Does he think faries appear when he leaves and do all the housework and running around? and if so can he tell me where to find said faries!

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 18:49:17

"What does he think you do all day? "

I have no idea sad I really don't.

recall Thu 11-Oct-12 18:51:16

I have placed all of my children into a pre school as soon as they turned 2, for 26 hours a week. They have all thrived. There is an initial settling in period of about 2-3 weeks, once that is over, they seem to love it.

Name7 Thu 11-Oct-12 18:51:35

9pm is too late. Your DH's feelings are not more important than your DC's. Lack of sleep must be a cause here, esp if you say the baby won't nap any more. They are over tired. It will take time to readjust but please for the sake of your children put them to bed at a reasonable hour, I'd say between 6.30 and 7pm.
Whining is a form of torture, I have whiny children but 99% of the time you can see its due to tiredness!

recall Thu 11-Oct-12 18:52:45

I let my babies nap on me, having a cuddle, and then gently placed them down to sleep. They don't like going into a cot, I guess they feel abandoned.

recall Thu 11-Oct-12 18:53:56

whining usually means tired or hungry ( in my experience )

imperialstateknickers Thu 11-Oct-12 18:54:03

BurntToast, please get out of AIBU, you're getting some unhelpful comments from those of us who are here for the bunfight, and stopping you from focussing on the helpful stuff that you're getting as well.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 18:54:57

Name7 - you're definitely right about the baby. He looks tired a lot. But if I can't put him down, what can I do?

Inneedofbrandy Thu 11-Oct-12 18:55:52

I think you need to switch some cartoons on

PickledFanjoCat Thu 11-Oct-12 18:58:03

Is the baby getting good naps in his cot in the day?

Mind was grizzly until i started putting him up for proper daytime naps.

PickledFanjoCat Thu 11-Oct-12 18:59:36

Burnt can't you engineer a situation where your dh has then for a whole day night?

Or has he? He needs to realise how much you have on your plate.

Fairylea Thu 11-Oct-12 19:01:48

Will the baby watch cbeebies? Even my 4 mo will watch that for a while... worth a try...

I don't think any of the replies have been unhelpful. I think people are just as concerned for the children as they are for the op.

Honestly I really would consider daycare. Everything will seem better for you all.

bigkidsdidit Thu 11-Oct-12 19:02:02

You sound frazzled, you poor thig. Agree a childminder would be a good solution - my toddler adores going, and it wears him out

But whether or not you do childcare, I would really really recommend an earlier bedtime. All three of you sound knackered. I'd do a morning nap for both and bed at 7pm.

Perhaps of you take the toddler out in the afternoon the baby might nap again in the pram? He might be less grumpy then too.

BumgrapesofWrath Thu 11-Oct-12 19:02:13

Do you kiss and cuddle your children when you are paying them attention? Seeing as you're obviously a fan of Oliver James maybe some intense "love bombing" for an hour a day will help.

PickledFanjoCat Thu 11-Oct-12 19:03:18

I do as well to be honest. What have you read that says its so bad? I'm having a brilliant experience with it.

But if you really don't want to work needs looking at, could you get a partner? What type of business is it?

Hopandaskip Thu 11-Oct-12 19:08:50

FWIW, neither of my two would have ever gone to bed before 8pm and stayed asleep. They also usually woke up between 8 and 9am and weren't overtired. Not all kids need to be in bed by 7pm.

Can you put your business on hold? That would help some...

JoInScotland Thu 11-Oct-12 19:09:13

I recommend "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". I would buy one for every pregnant friend, if I could afford it! My son was just coming off 3 naps a day and onto 2 naps a day at 9months old. One sort of before lunch and one in the afternoon. Your DS is crying because going into the cot isn't as much fun as being with Mum! But he needs the sleep. It is so, so hard to hear them cry, but you wouldn't let him stick a fork in an electrical outlet would you? You have to do what is best for them, and when you've all had more sleep, you will all feel 100% different.

I agree with the other poster who says she had PND and was on citalopram for 2 years of her daughter's life. I was the same - had emergency C-section and then a massive hemorrage (sp?) and developed PND and have been on citalopram for 2 years of my son's life. And a big factor in it was my child was not a great sleeper, and had undiagnosed reflux, etc.

I digress. There is help out there! Have you contacted HomeStart? http://www.home-start.org.uk/homepage I used to have a volunteer come to the house for one hour a week (they usually volunteer 2-hour blocks of time) and I really looked forward to getting to sew for that hour. A volunteer could watch the children in your home, while you spend 2 hours on yourself. Everyone needs time to do that. PS It's free!

StrawberryMojito Thu 11-Oct-12 19:13:17

Ok, I have a whiney baby, its at its worst when hes tired. Yours sounds knackered. If you put him down to sleep when you think he's tired and he cries, let him cry even scream until he goes to sleep. That 9 month old definitely needs more sleep and I'm guessing your toddler does too. If your DH is moaning that he doesn't see much of them in the evening, tough luck, they need an earlier bed time.

Re child care, my DS, 12 months, loves nursery-really enjoys it. Forget the book, consider some childcare for at least one of your children.

baskingseals Thu 11-Oct-12 19:14:15

burnt - my dh was flipping useless. i still resent him for it. i had to dig so deep in myself to get through the days you are going through now.

i have not got rid of him. it's not that black and white.
but i think in your situation something has got to give, and for me, it would be work - at the moment. is this a possibility?

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Thu 11-Oct-12 19:14:36

Burnt what it comes down to is, a 9 month old needs constant attention. A 2 year old could be expected to do maybe 20 minutes solo play, but after that they will need at least 10 minutes of your attention.

Now you can do some bitty housework around that, but no big jobs. You can just about keep up with laundry and prevent the place being a health hazard. Stuff like mopping a floor or cleaning the bathroom just has to be done while they are asleep.

You CANNOT work from home with two awake infants in the house. It is impossible. So you must get childcare, or stop working. That's what it comes down to.

I suspect your relationship has been described as odd because your husband's response to your difficulties is very unreasonable and heartless.

arthurfowlersallotment Thu 11-Oct-12 19:20:15

Have you tried a Jumperoo ?

Posterofapombear Thu 11-Oct-12 19:21:39

I have a 16 month old who spent the vast majority of her first six months whining and refusing to be put down. No chance I could have coped with a 2 year old as well, so a medal for you. grin
That said, this has to stop because no one is having any fun in your house.

1. Tidy/ housework once a day only after the kids are in bed. If your DH doesn't like it, tough shit.
2. Cook when they are in bed and reheat the next day or use a slow cooker.
3. Get a Moby wrap or other sling for the little one, you can get more done.
4. Write a list of what you do in the day where DH can see so if he asks what you've been doing you can wave it in his lazy fucking face.
5. cuddle you kids when they whine until they squirm away. Include millions of kisses, raspberries, tickles and hugs. They are just checking you love them so love them. That is how children form secure attachment.

Better then all of that would be to kick your feckless DH out. You would have more money, more time and more sleep. But that's much harder sad

littleducks Thu 11-Oct-12 19:29:00

I must admit to finding it at bit ofd that you are so anti childcare but think ignoring them is a better option. Sounds like you are super stressed!!

My kids went to preschool/nursery at 2.5. They were old enough to tell me what was going on (in great detail when the mood took them) that they enjoyed it and they made little friends grin. If you won't consider a nursery how about a nanny/babysitter who cones to your home? I'm not too keen in CMs personally, at least if it is someone working solo in your home you can keep closer tabs on them.

At those ages when I was SAHM ing I took kids somewhere everyday so they weren't bored, playgroups/tumble tots/swimming/messy play sessions whatever takes your fancy and suits your budget.

EMS23 Thu 11-Oct-12 19:31:15

Will your 9 month old go off to sleep if you cuddle to sleep? Cry to sleep, cuddle to sleep, feed to sleep.. Pick one and do it, you'll all benefit and don't worry about rods and backs.

And your DH is a twat, lazy bastard. He must have his redeeming features, I'm sure but right now, you need his support more than ever. Get a babysitter, go out for a drink and dinner with him and lay it bare on the table. Tell him you are honestly not coping. Make him listen and make him find some way to help you.

ThalianotFailure Thu 11-Oct-12 19:31:23

OP, I just don't know what else to suggest. You are clearly in a bad place, depressed, stressed, overworked with a DH who is not pulling his weight as a member of your family. But, you do not seem to want to help yourself or your children.

The thing that would help you the most, as just about everyone has pointed out, is to get some help with the children. I would not base my childcare choices on one book, particularly one with such an inflamatory title. Speak to people you know whose children are in childcare, find out about what's out there, the different options (all of which have been enumerated on this thread). Good childcare can bring so much that is positive to a child's life, and can make a parent's life considerably better too - I know that I am a better mother for DD being at nursery 2 days a week - and she has grown so much in confidence and is making friends and enjoying herself - it's a complete win-win situation (I was at home with her for 2 years, not my finest moments a lot of the time, that's for sure. I fitted some work in during naps, evenings and weekends. but that wasn't much fun either. And the house would have been a tip if DH hadn't pitched in all the time).

I asked before and I'll ask again - what are your DH's views on childcare? I am getting a sneaking feeling that it is he who thinks they should be at home with you all day.

Also, your work - how important is it? Is it financially necessary? Or something you really want to do? Both are very valid reasons for doing it, and doing it well, which you can't do with 2 under-3s to care for. And your DH needs to respect that. And you.

recall Thu 11-Oct-12 19:31:44

If there was stuff that I needed to do, I used to put the baby in a pram when she was tired, and placed it near me whatever job I was doing. I think because she was all comfy, and relatively high up and could see me with eye contact, she would settle and eventually drop off. i still use it now when I am busy, and take it into pre school for her naps. Might be worth a try....

Fairylea Thu 11-Oct-12 19:41:40

Can I also say that if you are working - from home or outside the home - then you should not be expected to do all the housework.

If you worked a 70 plus hour week in a demanding job you wouldn't expect to come home and rush round ... while your dh sits on his arse. Because this is what is happening and it's not on.

If he wants you to do all the cleaning suggest he gives you the same salary as you earn from your job so you dont need to work and bill him for childcare too as youre doing that for him as well. He's being an ignorant pig.

StrangeGlue Thu 11-Oct-12 19:46:44

Hi OP, "how not to Fuck them up" doesn't say you must have your kids with you until 3 it says that there are disadvantages to daycare particularly in less then excellent settings but that being at home with an unresponsive depressed carer is potentially worse. I love that book but it can be used as a stick to beat yourself with when you're down.

I think that ignoring your kids and blocking their appeals to you with an ipod would be much more damaging than some childcare. Do you have family or friends who can help?

I think expecting yourself to do a job, look after two kids and clean is unrealistic. Would you expect a cleaner to simultaneously do child-care? Would you except an employee doing childcare while also working? I think you can have it all but maybe not simultaneously.

I also think you're DH wanting time with the kids cannot trump a sensible bedtime for them, if they're up before 8.30 they aren't getting enough sleep.

In response to your question about whether kids need constant attention the answer is basically yes. They'll play or pottle but do need to have you engaging on and off while they do that.

Give yourself a break! You sound like you're run off your feet - your schedule makes me feel tired just reading it!

wheresmespecs Thu 11-Oct-12 19:55:53

I'm gobsmacked at this thread.

OP - yes, children are generally better off not being in full time nursery until they are over 3 years. Unless the parent/carers are abusive or neglectful.

You don't have to put your kids in full time nursery. you can do it part time, or look into using a childminder, again, part time. It might give you enough of a break to just breathe and get yourself back together again.

You write about your children as if you don't like them very much. We all have moments like that - but I don't believe that your kids whinge ALL DAY. No kids do. I think you are globalising your feelings and only seeing the bad in them.

If you decide they are just whinging, and therefore you can legitimately put headphones in and ignore them (!) - that's really not going to end well.

It will be a few years before both of your children play independently enough for you to get on with work uninterrupted for a meaningful length of time. So you do need to think about this problem of working with small children at home now.

I am self employed, work from home full time and my DS has not gone into nursery either (he is 2 and a half now). But I only have one child, my partner also works from home and is willing to share parenting duties equally, I employ a cleaner once a week AND we have approx 9 hours spread across the week from a very local nanny.

and I would still say that is manageable but tiring! and I struggle to keep on top of shopping and laundry and cooking. FWIW, i also have a history of depression, although am well atm.

You do need to make changes but turning up the music and leaving your children to cry is not the way forward.

Sorry, I didn't see if anyone had already suggested this, but could you consider a soft sling for the 9 mo, maybe carry them on your back while you do the minimum housework? I think you need to seriously rethink your priorities and lower your standards a bit though - that, or get a dishwasher and a cleaner! You're trying to do way too much - looking after two very small children at home, FT, is plenty. Housework on top of that, and then your business ... I'd see if you could put the business on the back boiler for a while. That, or re-consider childcare.

BlueSkySinking Thu 11-Oct-12 20:31:06

Lack of sleep? Lack of attention? Boredom? Teething?

Buy a book called playful parenting. Make the day fun and be silly. Enjoy the kids. Give them your full attention. After a while they will feel happier and more willing to play on their own, but it will take time and effort.

Get a cleaner so you can concentrate on the kids. Let the house be messier. Use a slow cooker. Keep meals simple. Work when the kids are sleeping. Use a sling for the baby.

I do think if you are happy, they pick up on it and are happy too. They are presently getting the attention they need through this whingy behavior. Negative attention is better then no attention.

BlueSkySinking Thu 11-Oct-12 20:31:28

we have all been there by the way. it does get better

BlueSkySinking Thu 11-Oct-12 20:34:22

I also think you need some 'me' time. Your partner needs to help out too.

Iggly Thu 11-Oct-12 20:35:03

Whingy 9 month old sounds like a tired grumpy one. Did you say 9pm bedtime... No wonder. Can you fix that? (I have a 10 month old and 3 year old)

My 10 month old likes to be carried a lot. She's awful when tired/grumpy.

Seriously, get some part time childcare or sort out naps so you can work while baby is asleep.

BuffyFairy Thu 11-Oct-12 20:44:59

OP, I've read the same book and he doesn't say that all childcare, or even all nurseries are detrimental to the emotional health of under threes.

Most of us can manage childcare and a bit of housework. I don't know anyone who could look after 2 children with different nap times, keep a spotless house and work full time. So don't beat yourself up about it. You need to accept that you can't do it all.

Have you been to see some childcare providers? You might be surprised. If you want them at home then look into a nanny share or maybe a local college could help with finding a teenager who'd welcome the extra cash and experience. A few mornings a week would make all the difference.

If possible try and work on them napping at the same time. Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with a later bedtime providing they get enough sleep overall.

My dd loved her jumperoo at that age. Ours is set up near the kitchen so dd can bounce and talk to me while I wash up. We don't watch much TV so In The Night Garden buys me 20 mins of peace.
Your DH is being very unfair. He needs to do a greater share of the housework. Looking after children is a full time job. Will your youngest take a bottle / cup of expressed milk? It sounds as though you need to go out and leave him to manage them and the housework.

LiegeAndLief Thu 11-Oct-12 20:55:54

When my youngest was 11mo I started working 10 hours a week from home. I also had a 4yo ds who was at school. I did ALL my work when they had gone to bed, or occasionally when ds was at school and dd napping, but spent most of that time doing housework (just loading dishwasher and things, she was a terrible sleeper). It is impossible to work with two small child hanging off your legs. They are now 3 and 6 and it is still impossible to do any meaningful work with them around without parking them in front of the tv.

The only way I managed this was with the full support of dh who did loads when not at work. I managed to get things like hoovering, dusting and bathroom done in the day but he did things like bath, bedtime and clearing kitchen at night. Even then, as dd was still nto sleeping very well and I couldn't leave the dc in a room together for 5min without some major trauma, it was the hardest year of my life. You are trying to do far too much and your dp sounds like a bit of an arse.

You have my utmost sympathy as I would have cracked long ago trying to do all that on my own. There's some great advice on here that I can't really add to - hope you find some of it helpful and you manage to get a bit of a break soon.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 21:05:59

"Your DS is crying because going into the cot isn't as much fun as being with Mum! But he needs the sleep. It is so, so hard to hear them cry"

so I just leave him to cry?

Also, if I put them down at the same time, the baby would disturb the toddler (they share a room).

HoldMeCloser - what type of constant attention would you give a 9 month old?

MrsKeithRichards Thu 11-Oct-12 21:11:11

Another thing to consider toast, if you were an employee you probably just be going back to work after your 2nd lot of maternity!

maddening Thu 11-Oct-12 21:12:31

DN started preschool just mornings at 2.5 and loves it - it might be worth seeing if your Dc likes it. you could take him at 9 and run any outdoors errands and a baby group foe dc2. get home for 11 and dc2 goes for a nap and you have your time till lunch - pick up dc1 then all 3 have lunch and pop to the park, back for a play and dc1 naps and you only have dc2 to occupy for a bit. if dh takes over when he gets home at 6 you can have more you time?

other than that - if the current situation isn't working then the au pair idea sounds good and they can deal with things when you're busy but around and do stuff like lunch and light cleaning?

I think 9 mths is a key time for separation anxiety so it might be worth investigating techniques for dealing wIth that.

it may also be that dc2 is at the brink of crawling (lots of frustration which drives the want time crawl) so it might get easier soon - but makes it tough right now.

a paddling pool full of balls might be a good toy for both dc right now?

NellyBluth Thu 11-Oct-12 21:17:44

For my 9mo, I am pretty much always in the same room as her (or if popping in to the next room for something, chatting away at the same time). It doesn't have to be something overtly stimulating or playing with her, but she wants me/DP in sight at all times. Sometimes we do some properly interactive, like play a game or read a book, and other times she plays with her toys and amuses herself - but she needs me sitting with her, talking and singing to her, generally pretending like I am involved. I find I can do odd tasks with her around and I can read a book or MNet, but nothing like work or a decent bit of housework.

I guess that's what people mean by 'constant interaction'. They might essentially be playing by themselves, but they need you there, chatting away, seeming to be involved with what they are doing.

maddening Thu 11-Oct-12 21:19:58

ps at 9 months definitely 2-3 naps a day (skeep has been my cross to bear haha ) it's more to do with awake time and how much they can manage. ds is 20 months now and dropped to 1 nap at 14mths which was earlier than they usually drop to 1 nap. he can manage 5-6hrs awake so naps after lunch.

jamdonut Thu 11-Oct-12 21:20:24

I have 3 kids..oldest 20,youngest 12.
My house has looked like a dump since the first one was born! It's just starting to turn a corner now, they are almost all grown up!
They have all survived...as have I . Dishes and stuff...wait till just before your husband's due...then do them. wink that's how I have got away with it for so long.
Don't let them go to bed so late...you need adult time. It is just tough if he's in too late to see them for long. Bedtime is Bedtime... 7 - 7.30pm is quite late enough!
And my husband is far more domestic than me anyway, I just let him get on with the grumping about it and the cleaning....and I used to stick to looking after our children. That's not to say that I was glued to them,far from it, but I did play with them and read books and sing songs a lot.
And then I went to work part-time too, and a friend took my youngest to mother and toddlers , with her little one, whilst my older two were at school,twice a week.
I think you need to give yourself a bit of a break and stop worrying . It's not easy,being a mum, but it's not rocket science,either.

Softlysoftly Thu 11-Oct-12 21:27:14

Op you sound depressed and you need help, The way you speak about the little one worries me your workload and mood are affecting your relationship which could have serious consequences not a judgement, experience.

I've tried WAH for an employer plus a small business us all the housework plus one now two children, it does not work, something needs to give and I honestly believe child are is our best option. An in home nanny would cost the same as nursery and mean you can be there but not "on duty".

1 day of proper focused work is worth 4 of stressing and failing at everything with kids in tow. Trust me my own business has suffered.

Then the other days you can be focused on your kids all bar two hours when baby naps and toddler is engaged with a craft project where you can get cleaning done.

With more structure you will feel more in control but I would also seriously seek help at the gp because it already sounds like you are on the PND slope.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 21:36:38

oh my God. Just had a huge argument with DH. He said I'm being unreasonable to expect him to do one more chore. He said I need to see a doctor if I'm not coping. I said that it's the circumstances that are leading me not to cope. He said that's bullshit; loads of other people cope. Loads of people have two kids and clean. He also said that if I didn't spend so much money I wouldn't need to run my business.

I feel so alone sad sad sad

OxfordBags Thu 11-Oct-12 21:39:22

OP, it's clear you are stretching yourself too thinly and it's all getting on top of you. You sound like the stress is causing you to diconnect somewhat from your children. It is fine to be anti-nursery - me and my Dh choose not to put our Ds in any form of childcare either - but you simply cannot be a full-time SAHM AND be a WAHM too, as well as keeping the house to a high level. Because being a SAHM is a full-time job in itself. You cannot do it properly if you're working as hard as you are, that's the stark truth.

The principles you believe in and are adhering too sound like the 'Hugger' in How Not To Fuck Them Up (basically Gentle or Attachment Parenting to anyone who hasn't read it), but you are putting those princiles into place without the most important factors - the emotional ones. Your Dc are not whinging, they are showing you that they need you and want you. It goes against all the principles you profess to be invested in to keep ignoring them by telling yourself that it should be ignored. Meeting children's needs is what makes them less whingy, less clingy, less needy because they feel safe and secure that their needs can be met when expressed. Ignoring them will create a vicious circle of more and more whining and whinging because they know they are being ignored and feel insecure about having needs met. It is only through feeling secure about having needs met that a child can have the emotional space in which to work out what are true and immediate needs and what they could fulfill for themselves or in another way, etc.

The stark truth is, that in your situation, it's the work and the housework that need you to have the metaphorical earplugs shoved in. It also sounds like your Dh is not particularly supportive and maybe expects you to keep up this impossible Superwoman act.

The most important thing is that those children get a lot of attention and love from someone who is truly present. You clearly aren't present right now and it's easy to understand why. Their needs can't be put off and put off until you hopefully get on top of things, not least because you never will overworking yourself like this, not to mention the damage it will cause them. Something has to give. You need more support and help from your husband, for a start. Being a SAHm and a WAHM means you are working harder than he can dream of. Working out of the home and possibly earning more does not mean he is The Big I Am who is excused from being involved in the running of his family and home.

You have to make a choice between being a SAHM or a working mother. You cannot do both simultaneously without help no more than you could simultaneously work as a teacher and a computer programmer.

littleducks Thu 11-Oct-12 21:39:31

He is being an idiot.

Keep posting, don't feel alone!! Its easier to clean if the kids aren't there all day, when they are it's a continuous cycle of clearing up their mess.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Thu 11-Oct-12 21:39:44

Ok, one example.

You could put the two year old at the kitchen table with playdoh or crayons, and ask her to draw you things. You put the 9 month old on the floor with a saucepan and a couple of things to bang it with. Every minute or so you will need to attend to him, handing him back something, showing/reminding him what to do. Your toddler will also need lots of chatting and encouragement "Are you drawing the ears now? What colour are you going to use next?" etc etc. Meanwhile you work around the baby to tidy the kitchen. You ought to be able to do a bit of washing up, wipe down the surfaces, and maybe sweep the floor in a very interrupted 15-20 minutes before they get fed up and you need to move them on to something else. And that something else will need to involve you playing with them directly.

At their age that is the absolute most you can expect from them. They are just too little to do anything else.

MainlyMaynie Thu 11-Oct-12 21:42:35

Can you afford to give up the business? You really need to let something drop.

Softlysoftly Thu 11-Oct-12 21:43:46

Oh and spotless doesn't exist, aim for 1 room cleaned a day, you can maybe get a tidy round but clean? No. He's being a dick.

If you get 1 room a day done then your house is untidy not dirty, big difference.

littleducks Thu 11-Oct-12 21:43:55

Sorry just read that back in not suggesting you chuck them out all day or anything blush just saying its far easier to keep a clean house when they aren't there, mine are now at school and the house we cone home too is lovely and I clean and tidy far far less

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 21:45:05

When I said to DH that I do three jobs, he said that his work requires him to do several jobs at once; and that he doesn't get a break either.

How do people be full time SAHM to two very young children and keep the place clean with clean clothes, clean dishes, the lot? DH seems to think this happens all the time?

OxfordBags Thu 11-Oct-12 21:45:10

Just read the crap your Dh came out with and am very angry on your behalf. When he says that hurtful shit about other people not coping, he is entirely and probably deliberating missing the point: it does not matter one shiny shit whether other people or even everyone else in the world copes under the same circumtances - YOU cannot cope and this needs addressing and alleviating urgently. He should want to support you and care for you. Not only because he should love you and want the best for you and care if you are struggling, but also because he should want the mother of his children to be happy and well so she can be as happy and attentive a mother as she can be. He sounds like he is shaming you into just shutting up and putting up, so he doesn't have to bother engaging with your needs and emotions and also so he doesn't have to do any more. No wonder you feel alone, you poor thing. Also, what is that crap about you spending too much? Does he expect you to support yourself financially whilst being a SAHM? I suspect that the problems here are not actually your children whinging and being needy...

Ironically, if you do go to a GP, if you tell them how hard you are working with no support, the first thing they would probably suggest is that your DH do more to help!

PickledFanjoCat Thu 11-Oct-12 21:45:58

Poor thing sad

Yes could you afford to give it up? Or scale back?

He is talking shit. I work from home. I could not do it without any childcare, well I'd have to work every night without cooking a meal or cleaning.

Don't let him make you feel shit about that, it's normal !

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 21:47:51

I'm a wreck and he doesn't care. He's just sitting on his chair away from me, behind his computer screen, eating.

What am I going to do? sad

Iggly Thu 11-Oct-12 21:48:32

Your DH does one job. Yes that involves different tasks but it is one job.

I know one SAHM who runs her own business and has two kids under 3. House is tidy, she does all the cooking. However she has a cleaner and kids go to a CM once a week. Have done since they were 10 months old.

I was on mat leave with two under 3. Did all the cooking. Had a cleaner do three hours a week.

Ask him to name all these people he knows who do it all the time.

Oh and he is also a parent so he needs to actively parent his children not palm it off to you. Otherwise how has his life change since having kids???

Iggly Thu 11-Oct-12 21:49:01

Leave the bastard.

I'm only half joking

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 21:49:28

"He sounds like he is shaming you into just shutting up and putting up, so he doesn't have to bother engaging with your needs and emotions and also so he doesn't have to do any more"

Or perhaps he really believes what he says? He really believes I'm being unreasonable?

PickledFanjoCat Thu 11-Oct-12 21:51:09

He might do burnt toast. He might not appreciate what you do, as he hasnt done it, and we all have which is why we agree with you!

Is he a nice person, reasonable normally?

McKayz Thu 11-Oct-12 21:51:51

Burnt, other people do it because they having loving, caring DH/DPs that help out.

He needs to pull his finger out and help.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 21:53:07

Oxford - I spend 'his' money and then top it up with my pitiful earnings. I do buy the kids lots of clothes and toys, but no more than my friends buy for their kids.

Iggly Thu 11-Oct-12 21:54:07

You spend his money?!

Jesus wept. So the money he earns is for him, not his family? Why the fuck did he have kids?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 21:54:50

sorry, I used the word 'his' because he earns it.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 21:56:02

So it's because I spend 'his' money on toys and kids clothes - thats the reason why I need to make money to top it up.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Thu 11-Oct-12 21:58:06

Why is hiring a cleaner/using some paid childcare his decision? You are the one doing it at the moment, you are there, you are the family "expert" in these areas, your opinion should hold sway.

If I told DH we needed a cleaner one morning a week or that I wanted DD to go to a childminder a couple of mornings a week, he would accept my opinion as the correct because I am the one who does this work, I know what is needed. If he doesn't trust you to know what is needed why the hell is this your domain? Why doesn't he do it if he's not interested in trusting you with it?

Would you show him this thread? Over 200 messages and very poster is unanimous, what you are attempting to do is impossible, something needs to give.

MainlyMaynie Thu 11-Oct-12 21:58:26

Do you have any family close by?

whatsforyou Thu 11-Oct-12 21:58:30

I have just read this whole thread and started feeling so sorry for your children but now am crying for you sad
I don't know if your DH is trying to shame you or if he really believes what he says, I don't actually know what is worse an it doesn't sound like he is going to change much. I won't tell you to leave him but I wouldn't look to him for support as he seems to make you feel worse.
If your HV is a bitch could you talk to your GP about how you feel, or have you any good friends? I think you need to be honest with someone about your DH and how unsupportive he is.
I agree that something has to give, I've worked in loads of nurseries and if you find a good one putting your child(ren) in for a couple of hours twice a week won't damage them but it will make you a better mother. Please think about it.
Would your husband take your children into work with him and expect to get a full days work done? No of course not. And you might spend a lot of money but children do tend to be expensive, pesky little things.
You are miserable OP and your children are miserable and whinging because of this, I don't mean to shove (more) guilt onto you but you really need some help, for all your sakes. Please take care XX

MrsKeithRichards Thu 11-Oct-12 21:58:31

I don't think you should give the business up, I think it's important you have your own means to earn.

He hasn't got a clue what you're juggling. You need him to understand your days are manic. I have a 5m old and a 6 year old who is at school. I can just about keep it together domestically and dh knows he needs to chip in. I couldn't imagine adding a business into the mix and a toddler!

How much time to you need to dedicate to your business? What is it you do?

whois Thu 11-Oct-12 21:59:02

I feel for you BurntToast

What you are doing is rediculosly hard, and something has to give. Be it getting a cleaner, stopping working, or getting some child care.

It would probably do your sanity a lot of good to get the kids into child are for just 2 mornings a week.

Fakebook Thu 11-Oct-12 21:59:49

Deary me. I've just skim read this thread and I am shocked!

I have a 9 month old, and yes he whinges. BUT ONLY when he wants attention for something! He will happily potter around the room if he is fed and clean and most importantly HAPPY. All babies and children are different OP. Yours are obviously craving attention but you're unable to give them this.

Suffice to say, I've done the research and a daycare environment can be damaging to the under 3s (having to compete with some many other children, being away from primary carer without sufficient understanding, etc). I wouldn't feel comfortable with it.

^^ This comment is just so silly! You're damaging them by not giving them attention and obviously getting stressed out if they whinge. At least in daycare, they will actually be kept amused for a few hours. As a primary carer, it doesn't sound like you're having much fun with them and neither are they. Is that fair on them? To see a stressed out unhappy mother who is at the end of her tether because of them?

Please re-think about this view you have of daycare.

SirBoobAlot Thu 11-Oct-12 22:00:09

The man is a twat. His behaviour is enough to make anyone depressed, let alone dealing with everything else.

OTheHugeManatee Thu 11-Oct-12 22:04:20

OP you sound really miserable sad

And your H sounds like a dick.

MainlyMaynie Thu 11-Oct-12 22:05:50

I agree his behaviour sounds awful. Do you think this is the real issue? Is it possible you're both working really hard and have got into a cycle of blaming each other for your exhaustion? I only say that because a man who climbs out of the window to reduce morning noise doesn't sound completely selfish.

MrsKeithRichards Thu 11-Oct-12 22:08:10

Burnt don't do anything tonight, it's late you sound frazzled. Take yourself off for a bath and into bed.

Raise the subject with him face to face when you feel calm and strong.

I was stuck in a cycle of ranting and raving at dh for being a lazy shit once every few weeks. It turned into white noise for him and it usually came to a head late at night when I'd be pissed off at him lying on the sofa whilst I was doing stuff. It was a totally ineffective way of raising the issue.

One day, perfectly calm and serious, we spoke about it. I explained every time he left his plate it was disrespectful to me. He couldn't understand why, he didn't see it like that. I told him everything he choose not to do, he was passing down to me to do. I didn't have that choice. I clearly explained the drip drip of resentment over such things would be the thing to split us up.

We've came through some serious shit together and that did give him a fright and I meant it. Feeling, on a daily basis, like a disrespected hired help was demeaning and a major issue for me. It was breeding a lot of resentment.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 22:10:15

I love my kids. I guess the business has to go. It will mean spending much less money on them though, which is hard when they grow so fast.

However if I didn't wash their clothes, hang them to dry, hang them in their wardrobes and fold them and put them into drawers, wash the dishes, wash the surfaces, tidy the toys, write the shopping list, sort out cards and presents for their little friends, no one else would.

HanSolo Thu 11-Oct-12 22:13:43

He is a twat- it's not his money, it is for everyone in the home.

Leave him alone with the children for a whole weekend- after all he doesn't work then does he? Look around and see how clean/tidy your flat is then (oh- and don't shop for weekend food or put the laundry on before you go out!!)

Remember- he can only earn because you enable that to happen. If he had sole charge of 2 children he'd have to pay childcare, cleaner, laundry service etc etc.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 22:14:22

"a man who climbs out of the window to reduce morning noise doesn't sound completely selfish"

- that's a good point, and as I said elsewhere, he takes the kids out on Saturday.

MainlyMaynie Thu 11-Oct-12 22:15:17

Do you have a dishwasher and tumble dryer? If not, get them. What jobs does your husband do?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 22:15:28

I called it 'his' money to distinguish it from the money my business generates. He's never called it 'his'. Although he tells me off for spending too much of it blush

OHforDUCKScake Thu 11-Oct-12 22:15:56

Burnttoast My best friend is in a very very similar position to you at the moment and it broke my heart to see her this week as she too is at the end of her tether with two very young children.
I cannot suggest anything that any other people havent already suggested tbh.

My friend hasnt reached a good place yet either but she has asked her MIL to come round to help this weekend.

Do you have anyone that can do that?

Its very hard to be away from the baby especially if you are bf, I know that one.

Also can I ask, you said the baby has 1 x 1 nap, how long and at what time?
I think working something out so the babies are both in bed earlier, is really key here. I would be suicidal if it wasnt for my evenings. I cant imaging my two young children keeping me up at 9pm.

I admit though, I set me alarm at 5.45 am (which is not exactly early tbh) so the baby is up early, thus naps early, so then has bedtime early.
He woke at 7am the night before last, then didnt go to bed until 8.50pm that night and it nearly killed me. Its no wonder you are struggling.

Sarae2201 Thu 11-Oct-12 22:16:58

It sounds to me like they are whinging because they are bored.My 21 month old goes to a lovely nursery 2 and a half days a week whilst im at Uni and I can honestly say it is one of the best things I have ever done, she has come on loads since being there and is actually quite bright which ibelieve is due to her going to nursery for a couple of days a week. Like alot of children her age when shes at home she can become bored so I try taking her out as much as possible, even if its just for a walk. I understand you have your business to run, with you saying your house if open plan, why dont you put some newspaper down whilst your working and let your children do some messy play using ingrediants which are safe for the 9 month old such as squirty cream on a tray, jelly or custard. kids love anything messy and usually keeps them entertained for a while. Try using your imagination and i'm sure you can find ways of keeping them amused, the ipod and ear plugs idea is a big no no in my mind.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 22:17:20

mainly - Id love a dishwasher. I've been asking for one for years.

Jobs he does (do you mean chores?) He makes the kids dinner every evening and gets the groceries in. He says that's more than most fathers do.

shewhowines Thu 11-Oct-12 22:17:31

You have too much on your plate. Full stop.

It is hard enough keeping on top of chores and looking after 2 small children on it's own. It is impossible adding work into the mix.

You have several options.

1. Keep trying to do it all and fail. You will be constantly stressed and you will not enjoy the children. They will pick up on this and be miserable.

2. Give up work and get out of the house more. Meet friends, do more activities. Tire them out in the park.

3. Get help with the housework and meet friends more etc.

4. Employ some form of part time childcare so that you concentrate on work/housework, even spend some "me" time. You will then look forward to spending time with your children. They will have your undivided attention and they won't be picking up so many "stressed" vibes. They will also be getting positive attention from their nursery/childminder/babysitter/au pair.

Option 4 is the no brainer for me. They will be more damaged by spending all their time with a miserable mother who is not enjoying them, than they will be in a few hours of childcare.

flow4 Thu 11-Oct-12 22:19:48

I was just thinking what whatsforyou said, Burnt: I started out feeling sorry for your children, but now I feel very sorry for you.

To be honest, I think your children are whingeing because they're unhappy, and they are unhappy because you are unhappy sad

And no wonder: you are breastfeeding, you have two tiny children under 2, or possibly three, if you count your husband you are trying to work, you are trying to keep the house under control and you have an unsupportive and unkind 'partner'. You're exhausted and over-stretched and you might have a touch of post-natal depression too.

You need to be kind to yourself. Cut yourself some slack. Work out what you enjoy and do a little bit more of it. Work out what you don't like, and do a bit less of that. Find a way to get a break, even if it's just for an hour, and do something nice.

My ex, Ds's dad, has a twin sister who is a health visitor. She'd been doing the job for 15 years when I had DS1. She told me perhaps the most important thing anyone has ever told me about parenting: children are happy if their mothers are happy. Looking after your own well-being isn't a self-indulgence: it's what your children need.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 22:23:11

shewhowines - you didn't include an option for giving up the business, and simply spending less money.

Even if I give up the business, I still have £50 per week to spend (on the kids and myself). That's the agreed amount I get off DH.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 11-Oct-12 22:23:41

Childcare for under 3s is damaging? hmm well, but being unstimulated and ignored by you all day is great for your kids? More hmm.

Listen to yourself. I run 2 businesses from home(ish) and my DD us at the nursery 3 days a week from 9 months old (initially it was 2 days(. She's confident, thriving, stimulated and defo not whinging from boredom there. I could not provide her with the same level if attention at home.

Hope you don't end up resenting your kids when you will have finished with your business. When the youngest one is 3 who's to say you will have the sane opportunity to have a job, self- or otherwise employed. You say you live your kids and your business has to go; of course you love them but how can you think a daycare setting is more damaging than you ignoring t and snapping at them all day? confused

BoffinMum Thu 11-Oct-12 22:25:22

(Professional hat on) The research actually says that poor quality institutional childcare is damaging to young children, not that institutional childcare for under threes is automatically damaging.

There is some good quality research done in Scandinavia where they mapped friendship groups of children in school, and the ones who had been in daycare from a young age were the best at making friends. So it can actually have advantages for children to have experience of childcare.

This all says that if you find childcare you think is good quality, it may well be good for your children to spend time there on a regular basis.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 11-Oct-12 22:25:57

Or just get a cleaner. She can also iron, wash up and tidy not just actually clean. I really wouldn't give up on the business, esp. when your husband is less than suppotive.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 22:26:29

flow4 - I had terrible PND after I gave birth to my first child. I was very ill indeed. I'm no where near as ill as that. I can actually find periods of happiness every day that I could never find back then.

MainlyMaynie Thu 11-Oct-12 22:26:39

It's less than my DH does. Can you do online grocery shopping and get him to do another job instead? Do you cook separately for adults and children? Could you all eat the same thing?

Just order a dishwasher, they're not that expensive and if you do all the washing up, your DH doesn't get to veto.

flow4 Thu 11-Oct-12 22:26:41

Burnt, what does that £50 need to buy?

Flicktheswitch Thu 11-Oct-12 22:26:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OxfordBags Thu 11-Oct-12 22:26:57

Sweetheart, if you are sat there devastated and in tears and he is surfing the net whilst stuffing his face, then yes, he is choosing to ignore your needs and that he need to change, as opposed to really thinking it. Because if really thought that, seeing you break down and admit you can't cope would make him realise he's got it wrong.

You need to ask yourself one simple question: if the tables were turned, would YOU be treating HIM like this? You know that you wouldn't even dream of it. So now ask yourself another simple question: why are you accepting this shit? I don't mean that you are responsible for his behaviour, not for a second, btw.

Having read more, I see that you are in a complicated position. If your Dh was okay about the shared cash, then I'd say give up the business, because a happier and more attentive mummy will be far better than any amount of clothes and toys BUT, from your description of his attitude, he is already mildly (or not) financially abusive, and if you have no money of your own, he'd no doubt get worse until you become an unpaid skivvy who can't do things right or well enough.

I think your Dc's whinging is symptomatic of what's going on in your home. Mummy is sad and stretched too thin, Daddy doesn't care and just wants to ignore or shame Mummy for having any needs or not being superhuman. They're alerting you to things being wrong with their behaviour. Listen to their behaviour.

shewhowines Thu 11-Oct-12 22:26:58

I did burnt - see option 2.

I still think option 4 will save your sanity the most.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 22:27:32

"You say you live your kids and your business has to go; of course you love them but how can you think a daycare setting is more damaging than you ignoring t and snapping at them all day?"

So as I said, the business has to go, and I have to spend less money.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 11-Oct-12 22:29:41

And I u derstand you're at the end of your tether. Today my DD was at home and it was impossible for me to do anything. 3 emails took me half a day and I ended up snapping at poor DD. if I had her at home all week, I wouldn't be able to do anything. I hope you can see your kids are worse off with a permanently snappy mother than at a good nursery or childminder.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 11-Oct-12 22:30:54

If you want to be dependant in a husband who doesn't respect your input...

flow4 Thu 11-Oct-12 22:31:29

X-posting (that happens with short posts a lot, doesn't it?)
I suspected the PND... Just didn't want to assume.
I'll say it again (imagine I'm smiling but talking a bit louder so you don't ignore me this time smile ) ... I think your children are whingy because you are unhappy.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 22:40:39

"The research actually says that poor quality institutional childcare is damaging to young children, not that institutional childcare for under threes is automatically damaging. "

The research shows that high-quality day care can increase the cognitive skills and academic performance of children of low-income parents.

However numerous studies have shown that the quality of the vast majority of care provided by UK and US day care centres falls far short of high.

Some sources for this:

Leach
Daycare Trust
UNICEF

The book I referred to earlier talks about how middle class mothers leave their children in the company of substitutes who usually have much less education and a lower IQ than them. This is likely to be the case for me.

Also:

“Babies and toddlers do not need education and stimulation, rather, they want the security of knowing there is always an adult nearby who is familiar and responsive. Routinised group care is what they do not need” (www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/009192393X/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=codedev-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=009192393X Oliver James).

Yes, I know, I need to work on the 'responsive' part. And that's what I'm going to focus my energy on.

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 22:43:41

I don't agree with the idea that toddlers don't need stimulation at all!

OTheHugeManatee Thu 11-Oct-12 22:45:43

Since you seem to take Oliver James seriously, OP, have a look at this:

www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/may/22/oliver-james-worker-mummy-parent

The key quote, talking about the decisions mothers take about balancing work and care of children:

Abundant evidence shows that what is most harmful to a mother's mental health is when she is wanting one arrangement and living another. A life of quiet desperation soon develops, as she constantly has to hide behind a patina of rationalisations when talking to friends and colleagues.

The real solution is going to be men starting to feel – every bit as much as women – that it is up to them how the baby is cared for.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 22:47:09

MainlyMaynie - what's your setup? Are you a SAHM? What chores does your DH do?

flow4 - the £50 per week is for: the kids clothes, the kids toys, entry to baby & toddler groups/softplay, food & drinks at these venues.

"Could it be they're not sleeping until late due to lack of stimulation?"

Not sure what you mean by that? Do you have an image of them sitting in a dark room with no toys, no human contact, no other kids to play with? Or are you simply trying to wind me up?

shewhowines Thu 11-Oct-12 22:47:16

You are so focussed on the negative aspects of childcare that you can't see the positives IN YOUR SITUATION. You need a break for your sanity. And I say that even though I agree with you. I think it is preferable for a child to be at home with it's mother. BUT not if that home environment is miserable because the mother is stressed and unhappy. You need a break.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 22:49:18

OTheHugeManatee - I actually want to be a SAHM. I want the children to be my main focus, but the other chores are getting in the way. They are preventing me from being the best mum I can be.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 11-Oct-12 22:50:12

Hmmm, i just read about your previously serious and now managed PND. I think it's a recipe for a disaster for someone with a delicate mental health to stay at home full time plus with less money coming in. I have suffered on and off with depression a d I know how damaging it were for me. Yes, i know you are not me but the GPs and psychologists I spoke to couldn't stress enough how important it is to have something you can do (work or a hobby) that takes your mind off children, gives you space to improve yourself.

And yes, toddlers need to be stimulated. No one says you need to do quantum physics with them but they need something to tire challenge them. A toddler is usually 'naughty' because s/he bored.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 11-Oct-12 22:52:16

Sorry about the grammatical and spelling mistakes. On my bloody phone and knackered.

flow4 Thu 11-Oct-12 22:53:25

Burnt, you said the £50 was for you and the kids. All the things you list are for the kids. What about your clothes, toiletries, magazines, swimming/exercise classes, chocolate and bottles of wine, coffee with a friend... Do they come out of that 50 too?

ImagineJL Thu 11-Oct-12 22:53:46

Kids that age really don't need that many toys or clothes. What they need is lots and lots of adult input. They will be much happier with a Mummy who can sit on the floor with them for two hours playing peekaboo or making a den or banging saucepans with wooden spoons, than with a Mummy who's trying to find a moment to do some paid work so she can buy them a pretty outfit and some plastic tat toys.

No-one can run a house and a business and look after two young children without some help. So you need a housekeeper, or a business partner, or a child carer. Or you need to give up your business, which is what I would do personally.

You're trapped in that situation of trying to do lots of things and feel that you're not doing any of them properly. So you have to give something up.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 22:53:52

Drink - can you give me examples of activities I can do in the home which will tire/challenge the kids? I've got some finger paints right here. I could put down a wipe-clean mat and those? Baby and toddler could both have a go?

But as I have the kids on my own for 11 hours straight, I need more ideas confused

Flatbread Thu 11-Oct-12 22:56:18

Burnt, the £50 a week sounds like quite a lot for just clothes, toys and entertainment.

Could you possibly buy the children less and use £20 towards a cleaner? Or save that for a dishwasher? From gumtree/ preloved, you could afford one from just a month's savings.

Wish you all the best!

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 22:56:59

Baking is always a good one DS is nearly 3 and last week helped me make a Christmas cake and loves making little fairy cakes and things which can then be decorated.

DowagersHump Thu 11-Oct-12 22:59:47

BurntToast - your kids are unhappy because you are. I know that's blunt but it's patently obvious from your posts. You are trying to do too much and you and your kids are suffering. The washing and the tidying and your business aren't going to complain if you don't attend to them but if you don't, the evidence is right there in front of you (business not done, dirty plates and piles of laundry). But that kind of stuff is really not important. What is important is the emotional well-being of you and your kids and that's what's going on the back burner with your current set up.

I don't care what your research says. You are considering wearing an ipod so that you can't hear your children. That is Not Normal. Please, please get some help. If your toddler went to a nursery 2 mornings a week I think you'd get your sanity back.

Obviously you would have to ask your DH to pay for that because there's no way you could do that on £50. Is money an issue or is he just tight?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:01:11

flow4 - yes my things have to come out of that £50 per week (it's really £200 per month so some months it has to stretch further). Somehow I'm always struggling to make it last. I always thought it was because I love buying things, and I love to see my kids faces when I surprise them with a toy of their favourite character.

MainlyMaynie Thu 11-Oct-12 23:03:46

I'm mostly a SAHM, but do freelance work when DS is asleep. DH and I do bicker about chores, but we share pretty well really. I tend to do the washing and drying, he folds the clothes. I fill the dishwasher, he empties it. I cook the tea, he washes the pans. He takes DS out at the weekend and I am out one evening a week at a language class. We don't have particularly high cleaning standards, we used to have a cleaner before we had DS. We co-sleep and I breastfeed, so deal with nights, but DS isn't really awake at night. I think it's a reasonable balance.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:04:51

"Kids that age really don't need that many toys or clothes. What they need is lots and lots of adult input. They will be much happier with a Mummy who can sit on the floor with them for two hours playing peekaboo or making a den or banging saucepans with wooden spoons, than with a Mummy who's trying to find a moment to do some paid work so she can buy them a pretty outfit and some plastic tat toys."

- Very true, and logically I know this. But there is huge pressure at the Baby & Toddler groups, where each child's outfit is scrutinised (I'm not joking). It makes me feel very uncomfortable, so I always make sure my kids pass the test, so to speak.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 11-Oct-12 23:05:06

Activities, hmmm. Music, mine loves music and dancing. We have a couple of CDs from ELC and the do the job. Dancing in front of the mirror. Baby should enjoy it too.

Doing laundry. Your toddler should be able to put items of clothing in the washing machine (I'd sort the clothes first before directing him to the right pile grin).

At the nursery they do messy play. <faints> Actually at home we do waterplay too in the bathroom sink. Well, sge just stands a d washes her hands for 20 minutes or moves stuff from bathtub to the sink. hmm

Tbh I mostly go outside.

Flatbread Thu 11-Oct-12 23:05:17
MainlyMaynie Thu 11-Oct-12 23:07:02

How much does your DH have to spend on himself?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:11:58

Surprisingly, making sure everyone has clean clothing is the largest, most time-consuming chore. Here's the steps:

1. Load the washing machine.
2. When washed, take clothes from washing machine and hang on two clothes horses (we have a tumble drier but DH says it's too expensive to run; he deals with the bills not me, so he knows).
3. When the clothes have (eventually) dried, sort them into piles (mine, his, DDs, DSs).
4. Put the clothes away in everyone's correct place.

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Thu 11-Oct-12 23:14:33

Activities- entertaining the big one in a way that's fun for the little one to watch is key wink
Painting, crayons, stickers, wall stickers, chalks on the pavement, hand and foot printing, splashing in puddles, water play, pretend cooking with dried pasta and spuds etc, water beads, music CDs, making cakes, hanging washing out dragging it through mud angry
Is your business something that can be put on ice for a while or will a lot of hard work vanish if you stop it now?
I feel like you a lot of the time. I WANT to be be a SAHM, a good one- I was great as a full time working mum but feel like I'm always flying by the seat of my pants at this lark.....

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:15:03

Drink - dancing in front of the mirror! Nice one! I have a large mirror I could remove from the wall and put side-ways at the kids level. Will do that tomorrow smile

MainlyMaynie - I don't know how much he spends on himself. He's not really into buying material things (clothes, etc), but he does like his beer.

MainlyMaynie Thu 11-Oct-12 23:16:09

Use the bloody drier. Is your DH's salary very low? I thought you were both just stuck in small child tiredness, but I am losing any sympathy for him. With babies you need to be using the drier.

MainlyMaynie Thu 11-Oct-12 23:16:20

dryer

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:16:26

AndFanjoWasHisNameO thanks for the ideas. Like the idea of chalks on the pavement. I used to do that when I was a kiddie smile

shewhowines Thu 11-Oct-12 23:16:36

sure start used to do "stay and play". You meet people and the kids get interaction and stimulation. Does this still exist?

I would have gone crazy if I hadn't gone out for large chunks of the day. Do you have friends in similar situations? Coffee mornings gave me a sounding board to offload my frustrations and gave me a break from the kids as the kids played.

Do you let them watch cbeebies? I suspect not, as research says tv isn't great. And you seem to be trying so hard to be the perfect parent and researching everything. Well tv isn't bad in small doses, and it saves your sanity. My kids learnt quite a bit from carefully chosen programmes which stimulated their curiosity.

Don't try to be the perfect parent. Relax, Be a "good enough" parent. Nobody is perfect.

Your children want quality time not material things.

Give up work or use childcare.

What about setting a timer for ten minutes to get chores done in small chunks so that when the buzzer goes off your 2 yr old knows that you will be available again?

Research activities to entertain young kids.

If DH doesn't want the children to go to bed so early, then let him take over responsibility from 7pm completely. Then it's his choice, but you need to switch off in the evening. This isn't a desire. It is necessary to stop you from going under. If you are not depressed now, you will be soon unless you make big changes now.

Relax and DON"T TRY TO BE PERFECT. You will make them anxious if you are constantly striving for this. It is not possible.

If you give up work, less materiel things will not make them unhappy. If you use childcare this will not make them unhappy. Do what will make you the happiest. As flow said. A happy mummy makes happy children.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:17:53

His salary is £52K but bare in mind, we are practically a single-income family. My income is a pittance and just tops-up DHs. It's too low to even get taxed.

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Thu 11-Oct-12 23:18:12

I hear you re: washing, everyone's room looks like its been ransacked-huge piles of clothes to sort, fold, put away but I just can't get it done in the day and am conked out once the kids are so we're living from the piles this week grin

OxfordBags Thu 11-Oct-12 23:18:43

If their outfits are scrutinised either learn to not give a shit what snooty twats with ass-backward priorities care about or go to different classes and groups or none at all. Is worrying a out that shit helping your kids? They don't care about their outfits so long as they don't restrict their fun/mayhem and you should not be setting them the damaging example of seeing that sort of thing as important, either.

It shines out from your posts that you want to do the absolute best for them, but it also sounds like you are approaching this from a very intellectual approach. Your heart is saying be a Hugger, but your mind is stopping you. You talk about various books and studies, which is all very well - I am academic and read lots of books amd research on childrearing too - but there comes a time when you forget all that stuff and just go with what FEELS right for your children and you. Stop being hung up on how others see you and judge you. You will always be lacking in the eyes of silly people like that, because their behaviour reflects the lack they feel within themselves, which can't be healed by transferring their ishoos onto others. Your Dh is also making this worse, by constantly telling you how other people do what you do (they really don't, or not without massive suffering and detriment to either the kids and/or themselves) and cope fine. I think you need to take a deep breath and step off the hamster wheel of Keeping Up With The Joneses. You sound like you override your natural reactions because you worry about what certain books and studies say or what your Dh will say or what other mums will say and so on and so forth. £50 is a very high amount weekly, and I think you would all be happier if you rolled about in the mud together in some Tesco trackie bottoms or rompersuit, rather than throw money at what you see as a problem. Kids need attention and stimulation, but they need it most from their mum. I think all these classes are yet another way of overriding your own instincts. I think you could do with examining where that comes from within you. Calm down with seeing the kids and their needs as problems to be fixed and constantly given to (that includes classes as well as material goods) and give yourself to them instead.

If you like reading about theories, etc., look up the theory of the Good Enough Mother. And give yourself a break. As I said before, kids need a happy, present mother, not toys and outfits and whatever.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:19:14

Mainly - earlier you said that you and your DH bicker about chores. Can you give some examples of the bickering? Does he get pissed and thinks he does too much? Does he compare you to other women? Compare himself to other men?

DowagersHump Thu 11-Oct-12 23:19:32

Oh FGS what is the point of having a dryer if you can't use it? You are in a tiny flat (from your other thread) and having a load of wet laundry hanging all over the shop can't help matters.

Is money really, really tight? The £50/week you're getting isn't much more than CB so effectively he is only paying a tenner towards all the time you're at home, looking after his children. sad

ImagineJL Thu 11-Oct-12 23:21:03

I think it's s sign of your rock-bottom self-esteem and exhaustion that you care what people think about your kids clothes at the toddler group. I only care that my kids don't snatch and hit, and that they're enjoying themselves at toddler group. As long as the kids and their clothes are clean, it really doesn't matter of they're not in coordinating colours or whatever. Anyone who is shallow enough to judge on that basis is a sad and pointless human being in my opinion!

My advice would be to quit your business, spend more time dancing around like an idiot with your kids, building a tunnel out of cushions, collecting pretty pebbles and painting them pink etc, buy a baby sling to keep the little one quiet while you do essential housework (the basics), and sit smugly at the toddler group knowing that although your kids may not be straight out of the Boden catalogue, they are happy and stimulated.

DowagersHump Thu 11-Oct-12 23:21:18

£52K??? FFS he really is being an utter twat then. I'm really sorry - you sound like you're at the end of your tether and he's being massively unsupportive.

You shouldn't need to earn money - you're raising the children that you both made

OxfordBags Thu 11-Oct-12 23:21:30

PS £52K! We live on half that and my Ds doesn't go without fun or want for anything. Bloody hell, it might be virtually single income, but it's a cracking one. You need to tackle DH on that money being for all of you. He couldn't earn it
if you weren't looking after his children and the house all day, after all.

shewhowines Thu 11-Oct-12 23:22:15

Try some different groups if they scrutinise kids clothing. They are not people I would want to be friends with. Are you sure you're not imagining this - with your - I must be perfect head on

BustyDeLaGhetto Thu 11-Oct-12 23:22:41

If he earns 52K and won't let you use the drier because of the expense then he is a bell end.

ilovesooty Thu 11-Oct-12 23:24:06

So he earns 52K, deals with all the bills, lets you have £200 a month and you have no idea where the rest of the money is spent?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:24:14

" You are in a tiny flat (from your other thread) and having a load of wet laundry hanging all over the shop can't help matters."

It's depressing really. I've hidden the two clothes horses in the bathroom, so the HV can't see them when she comes at 9am.

amverytired Thu 11-Oct-12 23:25:45

Do you have no other access to money - apart from the 50 quid/week?
I see your (d)h gets the shopping done and pays the bills - is he controlling all the money then? btw - I'm a sahm (not wahm like you) to 3 and my dh does LOADS more than yours, so his argument is pants really.

DowagersHump Thu 11-Oct-12 23:26:19

Your husband is taking home around £4,500 a month. Your flat can't possibly cost more than just over £1000 if it's tiny and that's being generous. So that gives an awful lot to play with. You can afford:
- a dishwasher
- a tumble dryer that you turn on
- a cleaner

All of these would make your life a much happier place to be than it is currently.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:26:49

DowagersHump - I'm not clued up on ecomomics, but DH tells me that £52K as a single income family, is bellow the national average that a duel-income family would earn. So we have less than most other people.

MainlyMaynie Thu 11-Oct-12 23:27:55

No, he doesn't compare me to other women or himself to other men. That's a bit of a twatty thing to do IMO. It just tends to be stuff like, 'did you put the rubbish out?', 'no', 'blah blah blah, not my turn', one of us puts rubbish out. I think it's because we share jobs, so it's not always clear who should have done what. We do not fight till I cry and he ignores me. Your DH is being unkind.

On £52k your DH is taking home, what, £2800 a month? Unless you have a ridiculous mortgage, you can afford to use the tumble dryer and should have more than £200 a month for you and the kids. He does not sound reasonable about money.

ilovesooty Thu 11-Oct-12 23:28:19

He's talking bollocks then.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:28:39

"Are you sure you're not imagining this - with your - I must be perfect head on"

I wish I was imagining it. One woman said to me at a group last week, "Don't you hate it when some people dress their kids in rubbish"

cestlavielife Thu 11-Oct-12 23:28:57

Ypu cant be online running a business with two small dc.
Get child are so you can do it then

You should know what the bills are. And passwords etc to manage them nline. Anything happens to h eg illness or accident and where would you be?

So he gives you 200 a month.
And thatsit ? Who pays for the shopping? Don't you have some kind of jont household account ?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:29:45

"So he earns 52K, deals with all the bills, lets you have £200 a month and you have no idea where the rest of the money is spent?"

groceries (I'm a picky eater), mortgage (it's a tiny flat but we have a crap mortgage deal).

NapaCab Thu 11-Oct-12 23:30:43

That Oliver James should be having sleepless nights thinking about the misery he's put so many mothers through with his inane ramblings. Is he even qualified to comment on how people raise their children? Has he ever been a full-time caregiver for an under-3 himself?

Don't live your life by someone else's rules. Do what works for you and your family. You have a very small age gap, anyone would struggle with a 2 year old and 9 month old and it doesn't sound like you're getting any family help either.

Most people I know who have 2 under 3 either get family help or use childcare for some time for the older child. It's just normal. Daycare is only an issue if it's full-time and even then that's debatable. Occasional daycare is fine, especially if it helps you to cope.

shewhowines Thu 11-Oct-12 23:30:53

I wouldn't want friends like that then. Spread your net wider. If you are confident in yourself you don't need the designer stuff to validate yourself.

Name7 Thu 11-Oct-12 23:31:34

You're exhausted, so every chore seems insurmountable. You are also allowing your H to make you an unequal partner. I am a SAHM. I have a cleaner and once a month when things get too much she will iron for me in top of her normal 3 hours per week. I budget for her but I am also in control of all our finances. We don't have allowances just the joint account.
You must must must do the early nights first though. Do pick up put down, do sitting in the room, whatever works for you. Change the habits, at this age with both your children, the better the sleep or naps they have in the day, the better they sleep at night. I have never been one to do cry it out and my 2 aren't perfect but 7 pm is bed time, no arguments. You then get some time to yourself and chores can be done by you both in a fraction of the time. I'll iron for 20 mins whilst DH clears the kitchen after dinner. Get him away from the computer or tv until its done.
You are not housekeeper and nanny, you are his wife and mother to his children and deserve to be treated with respect.
But get sleep sorted first. Pm me if you want more tips. My dd(2) was and still can be a horrific sleeper, but I have many and varied methods that work at various times! Good luck.

DowagersHump Thu 11-Oct-12 23:31:46

Well, I can tell you he's talking bollocks. The average family in the UK survives on about £25k.

The more you post about him, the more he sounds like an abuser. I'm sorry, that's a horrible thing to say but you're utterly miserable, he's withholding money from you, he's critical and he doesn't have any respect for how hard it is to do what you're doing. You sound so horribly anxious sad

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:33:19

"Do you have no other access to money - apart from the 50 quid/week?
I see your (d)h gets the shopping done and pays the bills - is he controlling all the money then?"

- yes he controls the dosh. No joint account (even though I've asked for one many times). sigh what can I do?

amverytired- what chores does your DH do?

ilovesooty - he's talking bollocks about what?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:34:05

"The average family in the UK survives on about £25k."

Isn't the £25K the average income of one person?

Name7 Thu 11-Oct-12 23:35:41

And also find better playgroups! Not all are like you describe, you don't need to be talking to mothers like the one you described. Most of us are normal!

shewhowines Thu 11-Oct-12 23:35:46

£200 is a lovely amount to spend on yourself and Dc just as you wish. You don't need more.

The secret to happiness is being content with what you have. if you always aspire to more then you will never be happy. Stuff what other people think. That is their problem.

£52k is a lot of money, but depending on your outgoings, your DH may not be being mean. You should really be party to your finances though. MY DH deals with our finances but I am definitely in the picture.

wheresmespecs Thu 11-Oct-12 23:36:45

There is a lot of good advice here, OP. And if you google activities for toddlers and babies you will find a wealth of good ideas out there too. Everyone has the 'what do I do with them all day when it's raining' days, and there are lots of cheap and inventive activities.

But what I most want to ask is -

What would you most like people responding to this to say to you? You sound, forgive me OP, as if you want someone to give you permission for something. What might that be?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:38:46

shewhowines - we spend a lot on groceries for sure. I'm addicted to ready-meals and diet coke. It's basically my only pleasure.

DowagersHump Thu 11-Oct-12 23:39:19

I just checked it out - 62% of families in the UK have a lower income than you do.

(ps sorry my earlier figures were incorrect, was working on gross, not net. Your DH's take home is just over £3k/month)

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:40:25

"What would you most like people responding to this to say to you? You sound, forgive me OP, as if you want someone to give you permission for something. What might that be?"

I need ideas on how to cope, and I've received some great ones. Also 'permission' to suggest a cleaner, and to suggest DH helps out more. It's hard for me to know whether IABU or not. Hence why I chose this forum.

shewhowines Thu 11-Oct-12 23:41:01

What do you think to the kids watching TV? Am I right? Is it not part of your perfect parenting regime that you are judging yourself by?

DowagersHump Thu 11-Oct-12 23:41:37

But another thing, assuming you're in London (because of your tiny flat), childcare for my DS was around £1k/month so that I could work. So you are saving an awful lot of money by caring for them yourself. So don't ever, ever think of yourself as a drain on finances - you're a net contributor to your family income smile

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:45:26

Dowagers - thanks for that link! wow! But it doesn't appear to take into account that the £52 (before tax) is a single income. This is important, as the tax is not split between DH and me, like a duel-income household would be. So we pay much more in tax.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:46:38

shewhowines - I have to admit, my kids watch mickey mouse. Their friends all have the TV on when we visit so it feels unfair to prevent my kids from watching it when they see all their friends doing it.

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:47:09

Dowagers - we're in the north east (South Tyneside).

wheresmespecs Thu 11-Oct-12 23:47:53

Do you want to leave your husband, OP?

BurntToastSmell Thu 11-Oct-12 23:51:57

wheresmespecs - no I love him, and it would breaks the kids hearts.

ilovesooty Thu 11-Oct-12 23:54:30

In the North East and he earns that amount of money, and you seriously think the rest goes on mortgage and groceries?

And you ask for a joint account, and ask for other things? And he tells you that the tumble drier costs too much to use and you never see any bills?

I'm not one to do "leave the bastard" and I even felt a bit sorry for him when I read your thread yesterday, but seriously, you are allowing him to disempower you completely.

DowagersHump Thu 11-Oct-12 23:54:36

You are utterly fixated on the fact that he's the only one earning. That's a fuckload of money for Tyneside - he must be in the top 20% of earners where you live.

He really has done a number on you hasn't he? sad

shewhowines Thu 11-Oct-12 23:59:02

Do the kids whinge so much when DH looks after them? Do they whinge when you are at the play groups?

If it is only when they are with you then it is your state of mind affecting them or they are bored. If you stop working and/or use childcare this should change.

If they whinge in the other situations too then maybe it's just habit/a stage they are going through and you'll just have to grit your teeth and get through it. Try distracting them. Talk in "oh look at that lovely flower" or "what shall we have for tea later" or what's happening now on teletubbies or whatever.

flow4 Thu 11-Oct-12 23:59:51

OK Burnt, it sounds like you are very sure about what you want to do. So below are some ideas for things you can do with your baby and toddler...

Bear in mind that they do need almost constant attention at that age. The whingeing occurs because that is the most exciting thing happening for them at that moment. sad If you turn your attention to them fully, they won't whinge.

You can expect maybe 5-10 mins uninterrupted, a few times a day if you're lucky. Plus one longer period if you work hard to synchronise their naps and you are very, very lucky.

It is difficult and tiring to do this all day long. It feels hard because it is hard. It is harder if you are depressed (as you already know). It is easier if you get a break from them and can come back 'fresh' (because your partner or another relative has them for a bit, or they are at a childminder's). It is, funnily enough, less hard the more you throw yourself into it. If you can really have fun and play, it will be easier smile

Also remember that mostly all the baby wants at that age is you. S/he will be happy doing more or less anything you do with your 2 year old, if s/he is in a sling or on your lap.

Everyday chores: give the baby a clean duster to suck play with grin, or stick him/her in a sling. The 2yo can sweep with a dustpan and brush; help with the hoover; wipe surfaces; clean the bath by climbing in it; pick up; hanging up clothes; wash pots and plastic things, etc. The trick is to turn it all into a game. Put on some bouncy music while you do it. We often used to listen to this one while we did jobs.

Cooking together: the baby can prob just bang pots and smear grin. The 2 year old can 'help' with quite a bit: mixing; rolling pastry and bashing dough; putting toppings on a pizza or pastry slice; cutting cheese and mushrooms and other soft stuff with a butter knife, etc...

Playdough: play with it: chop it, roll it, make models, use the machines that extrude it in sausages... If you make your own using a recipe like this one you can be confident that when the baby puts it in his/her mouth, it won't poison him/her smile

Finger paints: spread the kitchen floor with a plastic sheet or loads of newspaper. Get paints, brushes and paper. Prepare for mess!

Singing songs with hand actions: Wheels on the Bus, Incy Wincy Spider, Wind the Bobbin Up, etc. There used to be collections like The Singing Kettle when mine were young, so if you feel daft singing by yourself or you don't know songs, you can sing along to a video. But you must sing!

Dance: the more wildly the better! grin

Make music: good instruments for littlies are recorders, whistles, harmonica, drums, some xylophones... Basically, anything you bash or blow! You can make your own.

Megablocks/Duplo: build things!

Dens: take the sofa apart and make a den with its cushions, and with blankets/throws/sheets/towels/the clothes rack, etc. Hide in it together.

Watch toddler TV together. It's not a cop-out, if you do it together. Talk about it all as you watch, eg: "Oh what IS she doing now?! Look, she's riding a bike!" Anything you say - literally anything - is OK! And it is also not a sin to use the TV for a short break (like your very own in-house childminder!) if you need a breather - which you will!

Cutting and sticking: with child-proof scissors and a stick glue like pritt-stik. Different coloured sheets of paper are best. ELC sells craft packs. Not all are suitable for younger children, but some are.

Drawing - crayons and chunky pens.

Puppets: buy them or make them (from cardboard, paper plates, socks,etc.) and put on a show.

Water play: have a bath together or fill the kitchen sink (clear the draining board); use sponges, plastic cups to pour, empty bottles to squirt, etc.

Mud play: put on wellies and go out and jump in puddles! grin

Bubbles: you can blow them anywhere. I recommend the small tubs with the wands that are easier for little fingers to hold, and that contain less liquid when it spills.

Dressing up: you don't need special outfits. Your 2yo will love trying on your clothes, and dad's! You can make crowns and other accessories from cardboard. etc.

Explore: make every trip out into an expedition - even just to the local shops. Look for leaves and mini-beasts and conkers and snails and anything.

Have adventures: If you're comfortable with make-believe, have expeditions to the arctic or the jungle or other imaginary places: eg. the buses are elephants and the dogs are tigers! (MY friend and I once had a fantastic hour in the park with our kids on a dragon hunt! We found dragon poo and everything!)

Right... That should keep you occupied tomorrow! grin

(If you do a google search for 'toddler play', you'll find more ideas).

(I could say a lot about what I think of your DH, but I'll restrain myself. I would like to tell you, though, that I have raised 2 kids all by myself for years on £16-24K. We do fine. smile )

HanSolo Fri 12-Oct-12 00:06:27

£52k p.a. in the NE? shock

You need to find out where all your money is going, and then you need to sort out what will be cut so you can get a cleaner.

wheresmespecs Fri 12-Oct-12 00:09:50

Then i think you need to become totally clear about what you need to make the relationship and your situation work.

You can't go on as you are, that is clear. It's not just about 'can I leave them to cry' or 'what do I do with them' - I think you need to be totally honest about what your priorities are, for the next year at least, and then be as clear as day with you husband about how it has to work.

You could stop working if it brings in so little - but you need to know and tell your DP how much in childcare you will save by you being a SAHM for the time being. And make him understand he will need to hand over more for the care of his children and the running of his household.

Or you could keep working but work out what help you need and what it costs, and make him understand that he needs to pay his share.

It seems odd that on what is a pretty good wage, even for one earner, you live in a tiny flat in what is a relatively cheap area of the country. If moving is important to you, you need to bring this up and decide if it is a deal breaker for you or not.

Re: domestic tasks and DP doing more - again, sort your own agenda out, feel confident what you are asking him to do is reasonable - and then be very calm and firm when you talk to him.

it will not be easy. For whatever reason, you are in a relationship where your husband forbids you to use a tumble drier and you are accepting this (why not ebay it if you are not going to use it, btw?). A tumble drier you can't use in a tiny flat is madness.. That said, you have managed to get him to climb out of a window in the morning and ask him not to take a piss first thing as it wakes your babies up - so you obvs can ask him
to adjust his behaviour in some ways.

Out of interest - what is it that you love about him?

Hopandaskip Fri 12-Oct-12 00:20:51

wow...

ok you need to know where the money is going and have full access. It is not a partnership if only one person is in agreement. My DH pays the bills and manages the budget but I also have full access to everything if I want it.

*I'm not one to do "leave the bastard" and I even felt a bit sorry for him when I read your thread yesterday, but seriously, you are allowing him to disempower you completely.*

I totally agree! Why are you letting him do this? You have the right and responsibility (to you and your kids) to know what your family income is and have a say in how it is spent.

As for single vs dual income, I found this...

"Overall, the UK's mean annual salary of £35,212 a year was close to the average of the other countries" (telegraph)

and you live in a less expensive area of the country.

Sorry love, he is really pulling a fast one on you here.

100mph Fri 12-Oct-12 01:50:38

OP, Lots of interesting ideas and advice here - especially on activities with kids so I'll aim not to repeat. For me a few things stand out:

1. re. whinging - it would be good to really rule out the basics and ensure they're eating, sleeping and stimulated enough. From what you say, sleep sounds like the best one to focus on first as you've indicated their evening sleep time is partially influenced by your OH's preferences and nap times are affected by your little one's resistance/ tears. I would second those that say the whole sleep routine has to be based on their needs even if it's hard / parents miss out. I found 'The Sleepeasy Solution' book saved my sanity - it's a really easy read, very parent friendly approach that takes you though step by step and gives you the background. It will answer all your questions about what to do when they start crying. It also gives a bit of broader background about child development which I found really helpful. My DS was waking up around 8 times a night and both DS's would take an hour or more to fall asleep with rocking etc.. and could miss naps for crying until we tried this approach - first one took about 3 days to sort out night sleeps and a week more to get him to nap 3 times a day (at 5 months) - second one took a bit longer but it's made a huge difference - for our stress levels - but most importantly for the children. As soon as they began sleeping better they were more settled / started reaching development goals more quickly. (I don't know if all this not being allowed to wee at night is to do with not waking them up - but if so - the sleep training we did allowed us to walk normally around the house at night without having to worry.)

On some of the things your OH has said - My DH and I have both been stay at home parents for part of the last few years - and both worked. I've noticed it's incredibly easy to make assumptions about how easy the other person has it - what they might achieve. It's natural to see it from your own perspective. I think it helps to be as factual/ matter of fact as possible. Get a notebook and pen for a couple of days, write everything down that you do, include soothing children etc.. Be clear about some of the conclusions - pressure building up, not being able to focus on x, y, z.. and be clear about potential solutions and the pros/ cons of them - Give a number of them. Use it to start a meaningful conversation about practical steps you will decide as a family to make your collective life better - not something you want from him. He needs to know what you won't be able to do (that he likes) if you begin to prioritise without his rational input.

I would also say to him that everyone else looks like they're coping well etc.. but every situation is different. Pick a handful of couples you know and find out - they will all have taken different options - grandparents help/ nursery/ less clean homes/ use of tumble drier/ have older children helping etc.. The more you really talk to other people the more you find out that everyone is not doing better than you - they just do it differently with more / less success. Learn from them if if helps but find the facts - men are bad at this I think as they don't really talk detail.

Having two under 3 yrs is V.V hard to begin with - I have a 2 year age gap and had a very sticky quarter weaning and potty training at the same time. I think 9 months - 12 months is a watershed time. For me it became easier after about 11 months. I also had a mental lock against the idea of nursery before 3 - although I definitely had moments when I wondered if they were getting any value out of a frazzled, tired and sometimes uninspired mother - esp when I had too much housework to do and a DH with unrealistic expectations. Now they've both started at nursery - one I felt comfortable with and only 3 mornings a week - I wonder if my 3 year old wouldn't have benefitted just as much if he had started 6 months earlier. Don't be in this position. Have a good hard think with a dose of humility - would it be worth someone coming in for a couple of hours 3 times a week to see to the kids under your supervision if you can't abide the thought of anything else?

It will get easier over time - but you want it to be a bit more manageable now for both you and the kids - that's a great goal. Just take things one step at a time and have the hard conversations you need to.

good luck,

100

Fairylea Fri 12-Oct-12 06:32:50

I can't begin to tell you how angry this thread makes me.

Put bluntly - your husband is abusive. He has a huge wage (and 52k IS a huge wage) and pays you a pittance of that whilst taking control of all the finances himself and not "allowing" you to use the tumble drier which would make your life easier. He is emotionally abusive because he puts you down and is quite frankly about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

You know I'd never normally suggest it but you would probably be better off financially being a single parent on benefits. I did it for 6 years when I left my ex husband for similar things. The relief of not having to worry about someone else was overwhelming.

I am now remarried and we manage on a salary of 14k and tax credits. I am a sahm. We put all our money into a joint account and we have the same amount of spending money. We are a team. We both have access to the online accounts and we both have debit cards for the accounts so we can spend as we wish within reason.

Your priorities are completely wrong. If the parents are so judgemental at your groups then stop going to them and find some other ones. You don't need people like that. Incidentally I tend to find people with real money are the least judgemental in terms of children's clothes as they realise it really doesn't matter. I buy everything for ds 4 months from eBay. Nice stuff but he's in it all of 2 minutes so seriously what is the point ?

I used to work in marketing earning a salary similar to your dhs when my dd was small and I used to buy her lots of toys but all she really wanted was my attention.

I'd seriously consider leaving your dh as he is so emotionally and financially abusive and look to start enjoying your children. They are only little once.

MrsKeithRichards Fri 12-Oct-12 07:12:04

£52k? And you get £200 a month to keep youand the kids in clothes, entertained etcc? It's not a bad amount for doing all that but in relation to his disposable income it's massively unfair. Does he deliberately keep you out of all financial things? This isn't sounding very healthy by the way.

Do not give up your business.

MrsKeithRichards Fri 12-Oct-12 07:15:45

In fact why are you even letting him disallow you using the tumble? It's there I take it. Stick a load in, get all the damp washing that's about dried and use it when you need to.

jamdonut Fri 12-Oct-12 07:33:52

I think you are going to the 'wrong type' of groups if children's outfits are scrutinised and you are under pressure to buy toys!.
My kids were usually more interested in the cardboard boxes they came in, than toys themslves. But then, we were, and still are , a low income family, although we have always worked, (other than redundancy 4 times,on DH's part, when the kids were small). My kids have had to learn that they can't have everything they want,because we just can,t afford it. It is upsetting when they want something they've seen other children with,but we've always hung on for birthdays and Christmas for bigger items.
Think your DH is wrong for saying 'other people manage'. No...most people (the ones I know, anyway) muddle through.

alienreflux Fri 12-Oct-12 07:35:37

he's loaded and won't let you use the tumble drier??!! wtaf?? i would tell him laundry is his job if he thinks he can get it dry in this fucking weather without a TD. I don't have one and it's a bloody nightmare!!
Bollocks to him, twat.

Sirzy Fri 12-Oct-12 07:43:25

I have just read the rest of the thread and have to agree the more I read the more it sounds like you are in an abusive relationship. Please just take time to think about it - he is controlling, unsupportive and from what he has been telling you about finances a liar.

BoffinMum Fri 12-Oct-12 07:49:27

My instinct having read all this us that you and your family may well be a lot happier if you worked say three days a week, employed by someone else, with your kids in nursery or with a childminder for a bit. Honestly. Your world has shrunk so much that it revolves around the confined life of a small flat surrounded by wet washing. The children are picking up on the tension and you have lost your social compass as to what normal lives are like. You are making poor judgements about your children's needs based on the somewhat puritanical model of child rearing a self-selected group of professional writers continually put forward in the public domain. You are not considering other points of view sufficiently because you are over-valuing the opinion of anyone who has made it into print or into the news with their personal views, however poorly grounded.

For the record, poor television is bad for children. A dose of CBeebies every day (say an hour or so) promotes learning, particularly if the parent is in the room engaging with the child as they watch. However as the US doesn't have CBeebies, but instead more market-led stiff, this view is not represented in much of the data.

For the record, poor childcare is bad for children. Good childcare is good for children, which is why the government is funding it from 3, soon to be the age of 2. It's a no-brainer, frankly.

For the record, children of mothers who work outside the home overall do better at school that those whose mothers don't, particularly girls with professional mothers, which is where the effect is most pronounced.

I have derived all the above from mainstream research. But what you need to do is get a grip and give yourself permission to run your life your way, not how others think you should.

BoffinMum Fri 12-Oct-12 07:51:56

Excuse IPhone typing!!'

ninjasquirrel Fri 12-Oct-12 07:52:00

You need a serious talk with your husband so you have the figures for where all the money's going. Then move to a joint account. I wouldn't say he was financially abusive - except if he refuses either of the above...

Also, I personally think Oliver James is a prat, but I can't believe even he would say 3 mornings a week childcare for a 2 year old was harmful. The government is bringing in 15 hours a week free preschool for 2 year olds (may be just for poorer families?) because of its benefits for child development.

Fairylea Fri 12-Oct-12 08:00:32

He is financially abusive if he earns 52k, gives you a fraction of that and won't let you use an electrical appliance that you BOTH own in your own home because it's supposedly costs too much... and you are clearly worried about going against him.

That's not a loving relationship, that's living in a prison.

BoffinMum Fri 12-Oct-12 08:01:45

It's Kathy Silva who has done the big work in this area. Oliver James is 'just' a pundit, he hasn't run any of the big studies into this. Three mornings a week for a two year old is not only a good idea, there's a case for saying it's neglectful keeping them away from making friends with other adults and children in this way at that age.

flow4 Fri 12-Oct-12 08:10:03

I agree with Boffin and others who are saying you need to take control of your life, Burnt.

BUT, everyone, Burnt is depressed and overwhelmed and maybe in an abusive relationship too, and it's not easy just to 'get a grip' in those circumstances. Let's be gentle, please smile

I've been there (though with just one child) and remember how dis-empowered you feel. The way out and up is to feel better about yourself, and then you start to have some energy for making the changes you need to make.

Burnt, what do you do that's nice for you? That you enjoy and choose to do? If you don't do anything like that atm (and it can be hard when you've got small children) when was the last time you did?

CailinDana Fri 12-Oct-12 08:18:53

He is totally bullshitting you about money. DH and I live in a similar part of the country to you (ie an area where, if you spend a lot of money on a house, it's huge), have a three bedroom house with a mortgage, and I earn about £200 a month (ie practically nothing) while DH earns about £29k. We don't struggle at all for money. I can run the dryer whenever I want, although I do try to avoid it as it is expensive to run. But then we have a garden so on a sunny day I can hang things out - if I had no garden the dryer would run practically every day. Laundry just needs to be done, there's no point in scrimping over it, it's not a luxury. If I were you I would stop doing his laundry, let him do it, and see how against the dryer he is then!

I think £200 a month spending money is actually quite reasonable - I'm pretty sure I spend less than this a month on clothes/toys/days out, although that can vary depending on what's going on. The issue is not the amount of spending money, but the fact that he doles it out to you like you're a child and you don't have access to more if you need it. I run the finances in my house, we have a joint account, and we both just spend what we want (within reason). That's the way it should be in a friendly, kind marriage IMO. Anything else smacks of meanness and suspicion, which isn't a good foundation for a partnership.

I agree with the others about toddler groups by the way - a lot of our kids turn up to our group looking a bit crusty from breakfast and no one gives a hoot. Why would they? What sort of weirdo cares about what clothes other people's children wear?

NumericalMum Fri 12-Oct-12 08:20:07

I really feel for the OP. I believe from another post you live in a tiny flat and your DP leaves really early. Could you move somewhere that would make you happier? I don't know much about the NE but I believe houses are a lot cheaper than down here and on £50k you should be able to rent somewhere bigger?

BoffinMum Fri 12-Oct-12 08:25:38

I suppose I haven't really felt overwhelmed with children, or rather, if I do I give myself a nightie day and slob around the house for a bit to recover, while the kids pootle around nearby. CBeebies is fantastic for such days. Maybe the OP could try having a completely lazy day full of TV and magazines and grapes and tumble drying and see if it feels good?

BoffinMum Fri 12-Oct-12 08:30:15

Another thing I did one with two tinies in tow was to go on an outing with them every single day - I had a National Trust pass and would head off with a packed lunch and a changing bag to a different park/museum/stately home/walk/whatever from about 10-2 or 3 and just be. The kids got a lot of fresh air and attention from old ladies in cafes, etc, and I got a bit of intellectual stimulation.

TempusFuckit Fri 12-Oct-12 08:32:14

Burnt, I've been watching this thread with interest, and also hope you find a solution to what is clearly an unhappy situation.

I suspect you're not going to change your mind re childcare, no matter how sensible it would be, but just in case you do concede two or three mornings a week might be manageable ... can I ask what your online business is? Just in general terms, and specifically is it something that is purely a money-spinner, or something which is likely to pay off later down the road in terms of keeping your hand in a particular field of work? That should definitely have a bearing on your decision.

FWIW, our household's dual income is about the same as yours, and I also have about £200 a month to spend on me and DS, which is more than enough (I spend plenty of that on me too) - and we also don't use the tumble drier as it's too expensive. But then, we live in a 3-bed house in a very expensive part of the SE. It is possible that your DH's balancing the books is very reasonable, so don't go in with all guns blazing, but you do need to be able to see what's going on. DH and I regularly sit down and go through incomings and outgoings together. And he'd never dream of comparing me to other wives, or dictate finances to me. Or climb out of the window in the morning come to that though wink

redwallday Fri 12-Oct-12 08:37:51

It sounds to me like the oldest is bored and the youngest has other things going on, wanting to crawl, teething etc. if you say the 2 year old is better but the 9 month old is worse I suggest you buy a sling. My daughter (now 15 months) was very whingy and constantly unsettled. On her bad days I would put her in the sling on my back and clean up. In fact I still do (and she weighs 2 stone!) so no excuses about them being heavy, you get used to it. Get a decent sling though, not a crotch dangling baby bjorn. Get a beco or rose and rebellion. It will save your sanity I promise you!

PickledFanjoCat Fri 12-Oct-12 09:01:02

We own a flat and at the moment didn't want to sell it, so we let it out and rent a house.

It's about 150 a month more expensive but worth each and every penny.

Your joint income is 50k? That should be more than enough really, though it does depend if you have finance etc that eats into it.

Honestly, the difference has been great, I don't feel I have to go out each day.

I also read an earlier post about nursery staff, I really don't agree with that. All the staff I have come across have been perfectly able and they have a love for working with children, boundless energy and work with him in crafts etc that I wouldn't think to do at home.

shewhowines Fri 12-Oct-12 09:07:03

I think everyone MAY be being too hard on DH. Until the op knows all the finances, nobody knows what outgoings there are. She does need to find out. There may be debts/ holidays/furniture costs etc. £52k is a lot of money but £200 is not unreasonable to spend on the children and herself. If DH was really mean, then it would be a lot less than that.

He is not unwilling to help out either. He does work, cook and shop. He also climbs out of the window to avoid waking the children and has them for several hours at the weekend. That is not an uncaring/abusive husband. I do think he needs a reality check though. He clearly doesn't understand how hard work they are day in day out and most importantly he doesn't appreciate the emotional state the op is in at the moment. It is not impossible to cope with housework and whinging children (trying to work as well is a different matter) and he is not unreasonable to think she should be able to do that. However he is failing to take into account that she is, or nearly is, very depressed. He needs to up his game and give her more support. You need to talk to him op, to make him see the seriousness of the situation. But both of you need to understand it is impossible to work whilst looking after two small children with no childcare or help in the house.

What does he think about you trying to work too?
What are his views on childcare.

I can understand him not wanting a cleaner/using the tumble dryer, but if you continue to work, you can't do everything. What does he think you should do?

Jointly you both need to look at finances and come up with a plan to make your lives easier. You do not need more than £200. You may NEED to use the tumbledryer. How are you both going to compromise/ adjust your spending to make for the happiest household. OP you may have to not worry about expensive toys/clothes. You may need to cut down your food bill as you say that is high but he also needs to make changes too.

Communicate with your husband.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 12-Oct-12 09:10:00

My dp goes nuts about lights on and tumble dryers to be fair.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 12-Oct-12 09:10:12

Climbs out of the window?

MainlyMaynie Fri 12-Oct-12 09:11:00

I can't believe you live in South Tyneside. I'd assumed you were in central London to be even thinking about whether to put the tumble dryer on. In a 2 bedroom flat in South Tyneside, however bad your mortgage deal, you should have a lot more spare money than you have access to. So what if you like ready meals and diet coke? Even if you're buying one for you every day in M and S, your grocery bill is not taking up that much of your income. You can easily afford a house with a garden. You can afford to buy a dishwasher.

I think your lack of access to money and control over the household finances. Have you noticed how many of the things he takes responsibility for involve controlling the money? Why don't you shop online? It doesn't matter how many people on here say £200 is fine, it's not a fair proportion of your household income. Is your name on the mortgage?

Have a look at this and bare in mind that in South Tyneside average household income is about 11k lower than the national averages:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/datablog/interactive/2012/jun/22/how-wealthy-you-compared

OxfordBags Fri 12-Oct-12 09:17:54

£52K is a HUGE amount for a family to be living on, especially in your area, regardless of whether one person of six people are bringing it in! My love, he is bullshitting you BADLY. The majority of the Uk's families live on less than half that and yes, that is also with both parents bringing in wages. In fact, £25K is massively over the poverty line also!

He is financially abusive. Seriously.

BurntToast - no, plenty of families survive on an income of 25k a year.(Especially in the North) One working, one part time, actually. I'm a bit saddened but alas not shocked that more affluent mumsnetters are ignorant of this fact.

As your dh is on a good salary it's a no brainer isn't it?? - start researching good nurseries in your area and get them in one a couple of days a week if you want to continue your business. I would because i wouldn't want to be totally dependent on your husband.
Or if you do stop your business get them in a good nursery anyway for half the week. Chores are chores - meaningless, repetitive and never ending. Maybe get a cleaner in for a few hours a week.

Then you can concentrate on your kids and you will miss them like crazy and actually look forward to collecting them from nursery. They will make new friends and you can then associate with them instead of the arses at that tots group - and cahnge your tots group!

Flatbread Fri 12-Oct-12 09:24:22

OP, please don't give up your business. It is the one thing that you have for yourself and your own identity.

Regarding finances, I would hesitate to say DH is abusive. Some men like to control finances. Doesn't mean there is something sinister about it. I think OP should do two things -ask DH to show her one months income and outgoings, so she understands what is going on.

OP, I am sorry to say, I would be hesitant to have you control/equally participate in spending, based on this thread. It seems you just buy things willy-nilly for the children, and spite dh grumbling about it, you have not cut back. If you don't respect his wishes on how the money is spent, why should he respect yours?

And it seems you are succumbing to peer pressure about spending, rather than doing what is right for your family, e.g., spending some of that money on a cleaner.

I am sorry if this is being harsh. I do think you are in a very difficult situation. But fighting on all fronts won't help. Just look inside you and see what you can change to make your life easier, instead of trying to change dh.

Flatbread Fri 12-Oct-12 09:26:55

Oops, I meant the two things is understand where dh spends money, and have a close look at how she herself spend money. And figure out where there are savings to get a dishwasher and/or cleaner etc.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 12-Oct-12 09:30:58

200 is a load to spend on toys groups and clothes.

If that's all it's for.

I wouldn't want my dp to spend any more than that..

Is he trying to save etc?

MainlyMaynie Fri 12-Oct-12 09:53:12

200 is for all spending on her and the children. And it's not a reasonable proportion of their household income. Her DH is financially controlling at best.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 12-Oct-12 09:57:58

She should have access to the money of course, but as a budget for spending like that, I would be happy with it. My partner is not controlling but if I regularly spent over 200 on toys clothed etc he would think that was a bit excessive.

Where is the rest of the money going op? Because unless there are significant outgoings you should have a pretty large surplus.

BurntToastSmell Fri 12-Oct-12 10:01:04

"You need to find out where all your money is going"

Bare in mind that £52K is a sole income for a family of four. Because it is a sole income, the tax man screws us. DH maintains that our household income is lower than the average household income for 2 working people. Can anyone refute this?

Sirzy Fri 12-Oct-12 10:04:33

Irrespective of the number of people working your income is higher than average, quite a lot higher. Add to that living in a small flat your household expenses (mortgage bills etc) will probably be lower than average I really do think your DH is trying to make you think the situation is worse than it is financially.

IvanaNap Fri 12-Oct-12 10:05:43

52k?
You appear to have put a lot of effort into researching childcare/child development.
Consider putting some time towards researching:
Average wage
Household costs
"economics"
Running costs of a dishwasher, tumble drier
Joint bank accounts
Financial abuse
What you would be entitled to as a single parent from tax credits, HB, CSA (who gets the child benefit at present?)

Your whole set up sounds untenable. You have the potential to be a fantastic sahm (looking for ideas to engage, keen to structure their day) and a strong savvy woman (running own business) BUT your DH is actively obstructing that - and you are too, by letting him.

I would-
get a dishwasher (counter top one from Argos could do)
Put the tumble drier on
Get an at-home help for the children, or get a couple of hours with a childminder
Address the imbalance in the relationship with DH kick his ass out the useless fucker
Look at self confidence courses / books /online resources

Sorry, was trying not to let the red mist descend. You seem to care too much what others think- your toddler group mums, your DH's unfounded and unrealistic demands, peoples opinions on this thread. I know you must be feeling defensive but, if you can step back you may start to realise that we have yours (and your children's) best interests at heart.

Finally, I think this is merely a band aid and activities with the babies are the least of your worries, but try this link - www.babycentre.co.uk/baby/development/letsplay/

Good luck.

OxfordBags Fri 12-Oct-12 10:07:20

Well, common sense refutes it! No single income is going to have so much tax on it that it amounts to having over £25K take off it, which is what would have to happen for you to be worse off than a dual-income family on £25K!

You need to not hide the clothes horses from the
Hv and tell her your Dh earns what he does and won't let you use the tumble drier and won't let you have a joint account or access to or knowledge of his finances and see what
She says.

Ephiny Fri 12-Oct-12 10:08:21

I agree that's not a bad income for the North-East - I don't know how it compares to the average, but your cost of living is probably lower than average given where you live. I would have thought you'd be able to afford some help with the children and/or the house so you can focus more on your work.

BurntToastSmell Fri 12-Oct-12 10:08:37

"It seems odd that on what is a pretty good wage, even for one earner, you live in a tiny flat in what is a relatively cheap area of the country. If moving is important to you, you need to bring this up and decide if it is a deal breaker for you or not."

It is incredibly important to me. I'm too embarrassed to invite any friends round, as they all live in houses but I do not. I would kill for a garden! I would kill for the children to have their own rooms (especially as they are different sexes). But we have a crap credit record. What can I do?

"why not ebay it if you are not going to use it, btw?"

its a combined washer/drier. DH says it costs about £3.50 to dry a load.

"Why are you letting him do this?"

What alternative do I have? I can't make him do anything. Or should I blackmail him? (If you don't do X, then I will do Y). I don't like that approach. It's childish and he'll just call my bluff. If I ever threatened to leave, he'd just say 'fine'. And then what?

IvanaNap Fri 12-Oct-12 10:09:50

Exactly, Oxford the very fact they are hidden (and the root cause) speaks volumes.

Fairylea Fri 12-Oct-12 10:11:34

Can I suggest you put your income into a separate account that he doesn't know about and save to move out on your own should things not improve ? If he ever found out about it you could say it was a ssurprise holiday fund.

Flatbread Fri 12-Oct-12 10:12:05

Burnt, if it were two incomes of £2600 each, your family would get roughly £200 more a month take home pay.

You can calculate various combinations here
www.thesalarycalculator.co.uk/salary.php

Flatbread Fri 12-Oct-12 10:12:42

Sorry, I meant £26k.

Beachcomber Fri 12-Oct-12 10:15:58

Are you paying off debts?

MainlyMaynie Fri 12-Oct-12 10:18:16

Look at that Guardian link I posted, it is for after tax income. You are better off than about 65% of households. Probably nearer 90% in South Tyneside. Who gets paid the child benefit?

Unless you are running your tumble dryer on melted gold, it does not cost £3.50 a load. They cost between 17 and 49p per load, depending on energy rating:

http://www.which.co.uk/home-and-garden/laundry-and-cleaning/guides/tumble-dryer-energy-costs/

MainlyMaynie Fri 12-Oct-12 10:20:37

What has caused the poor credit rating? Do you have debts? Have you actually checked your credit rating with Experian, or are you just taking your husband's word for it?

amverytired Fri 12-Oct-12 10:21:38

Burnttoast - did you say you are on anti-ds for depression?
You do know it's more common for women with unsupportive partners to get PND ?- I'm speaking from personal experience also.
Can you discuss this (not in a confrontational way) with your dh? Let him know that your mental health issues mean you need more support right now. It doesn't matter what other dh's do, you need more support. Perhaps discussing this with your HV or GP may convince you that you actually deserve more support.
I know as well that when depressed, the opinions of others become more important than your own. I used to beat myself up all the time comparing myself with other mums/families (though they probably have had their problems too, I ignored that).
I also spent too much on toys/tat for the children when depressed. I was trying to make up for being a bad mum. I see that now very clearly. Now I have cut all that out feel better for it. My children prefer spending time with me rather than being fobbed off with plastic crap. Spending time on the sofa snuggling while watching a movie is nicer for them and me - and has the benefit of being much cheaper too.
It's great your dh takes the dc out at the weekends, but that doesn't mean he gets to dismiss all your feeling/opinions.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Fri 12-Oct-12 10:22:39

How does your DH feel about paid childcare?

Flatbread Fri 12-Oct-12 10:23:23

It is incredibly important to me. I'm too embarrassed to invite any friends round, as they all live in houses but I do not

Honestly, I think this is part of the problem, your desire to keep up with the joneses

You are very lucky to own a flat, not be at the whims of a landlord. Your dh might be overpaying the mortgage like mad to get out of the bad mortgage deal you both have. And if you guys have bad credit history and messed up financially in the past, I can see him wanting to be extra careful about finances going forward.

I honestly don't see what the dh bashing going on here is going to achieve. I think you should be fully aware of the financial inflows and outflows of the who family, and then decide on what meets your families actual needs, rather than spending with a desire to impress others.

Talk to your partner, not as a way of trying to get more money out of the budget for spending, but in a supportive way to see how you both can save more and perhaps reassess your priorities regarding the current expense budget.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 12-Oct-12 10:31:14

It's impossible really to know without you seeing the outgoings. I know couples with joint incomes higher than this that are brassic due to loans, cars, credit cards and a high mortgage.

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Fri 12-Oct-12 10:32:08

Hope you're feeling a little better this morning Burnt
It's hard in a flat- we were in a basement swamp flat with the boy and girl sharing a room until recently.
Would your DH consider moving? Even to a tiny house rather than a tiny flat? Just for you to have a bit of outside space would make you feel a bit less stir crazy.
I use my dryer each day and am married to a proper tight arse-it is nowhere near £3.50 a cycle. Just use it and dont tell him.
I meant to say yesterday too, don't bother trying to clear up until the afternoon. I used to fanny about mopping and tidying the toys just for them to be slung everywhere, DH would then walk in and look at the living room like it was a crack den hmm I just do a quick whizz round in the late pm now.
If you were nearer I'd make you drop them off here to play and make you cups of tea smile

EasilyBored Fri 12-Oct-12 10:32:47

Your husband is possibly bullshitting you about how tight your finances are. We are a two income family (I work part time, DS who is 9months will be going to nursery three days a week. Hope it doesn't fuck him up too much hmm ) and our combined income is a bit less than what your DH is earning. We are comfortable; we don't have money to chuck out the window, but we can afford nice things like a spontaneous night out, or new clothes if we fancy them etc. And we manage to have a three bed house, in a middle income area (prob more expensive than the north east) and substantial savings. I'm not saying this as a stealth boast, just pointing out that your income should be more than enough to eithe rlive in a bigger place or have a cleaner or hire some childcare. The fact that you don't have a clue about the finances worries me. DH does 'deal' with the finances in our relationship, but we discuss them (ie, when it's time to renew the insurance, or make a big payment etc) regularly, and I'm completely in the picture about how much money we have and where it is going, and I have access to it (although we do have seperate accounts, which some people are horrified by). With regard to the tumble drier. Use it in secret for a few weeks and see if he even notices.

As far as the whinging; there are loads of brilliant suggestions on this thread for how to entertain your kids (I will be stealing some of them). DS is the same age as your youngest, and it is a hard hard age. But they whinge at this age because they need something. I just try and distract him; start a new activity, swing him round the room, go out for a walk etc, and if the whinging continues, I put him down for a nap because it generally means he is tired. 9pm bedtime is mad, DS would be a hysterical wreck if we kept him up that late. Bath and bed by 7 here, and no napping after about half 3.

If you want to continue your business (and given how controlling your husband is, I would too), then you need to get some help with the kids. There is a reason people don't generally take their kids with them to work.

And lastly, your husband sounds like an arse. He doesn't do 'more than most fathers'. Most husband and father raise their kids and support their wives, because most of them are decent human beings. He's a whiney man child who needs to grow the fuck up.

EasilyBored Fri 12-Oct-12 10:35:07

Random bit missing from that post; meant to say that if there is a reason your income is not going far enough - be it debt or overpaying the morgage etc, then that's fine, but you should at least know what is going on with the finances.

Ephiny Fri 12-Oct-12 10:37:05

You do seem overly concerned about what other people think. You don't need to dress your children up in expensive clothes to impress other mums - as long as they're clean and comfortable and appropriately dressed, they'll be fine.

Your health visitor will surely not care whether you dry clothes on an airer or in the tumble dryer. You have no obligation to let a health visitor into your home anyway.

As for being embarrassed about your flat - for me, my home is my home, it was chosen and is cleaned/tidied/decorated etc according to what suits me and my family. If anyone doesn't like it, they don't have to come in.

I know it's so difficult to do when you're tired and depressed, but you really need to start taking some responsibility and action to improve your life, no one is going to do it for you.

Fairylea Fri 12-Oct-12 10:41:23

I wonder if everyone is judging you as much as you think or whether perhaps some of your depression could be causing paranoia? Just a thought.

Unless your friends are horrible people I can't see anyone judging you for living in a flat and what your children wear... it really is a non issue for most people.

IvanaNap Fri 12-Oct-12 10:45:07

I was going to suggest you post in the 'Relationships' section but, for AIBU you are getting rather bloody good advice. Whether you choose to listen or not is another matter. You are with someone who would say "fine" if you left. sad You are worth more than that, and I think you know it. Your children want happy parents, they don't have to be together. That is possibly another facade you think you have to maintain, though.

Well I don't have statistics but I know that 5 years ago me and DH combined were earning 40k We were living in rented accommodation with 3 DCs. And a lot of my friends are earning the same or less.

I can also say that I wouldn't have taken a toddler and a baby to work with me as I wouldn't have been able to do my job and IMO the same applies to working at home.

Deux Fri 12-Oct-12 10:47:13

Poor you, it sounds like you are completely overwhelmed. I don't really have much to add but just a couple of things spring to mind.

You need an earlier bedtime for the children, perhaps even more of a structure to your day, a consistency so that the kids know what is coming next?

Finances. Depending on any other deductions 52k is about 3k take home. I think you need to find out where your household income is going.

Tumble dryer. Yes they use lots of electricity but it depends how you use them. Hang up a load of washing on the clothes horse in the evening and then put it in the dryer in the morning for 20 to 30 minutes to finish them and then fold and put away. Repeat. You don't need your H's permission to do this.

Is the baby eating solids? Could he be hungry do you think?

Do you have a car? If you do, could you give them lunch then go out for a drive and they sleep in the car? Just until you get an earlier bedtime sorted? My DD was terrible at having naps at home. I used to put her in the car then drive to a park, park in the car park and remain in the car read a book when she was napping. Not ideal for the longer term.

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 12-Oct-12 10:47:54

OP, does your husband disagree with using formal childcare?

MrsKeithRichards Fri 12-Oct-12 10:50:37

Isn't the national average (taking into account serious high earners, the south east etc) about £24k?

Deux Fri 12-Oct-12 10:52:50

Oh, and don't give up on your business.

If your DH wants to spend time with the DCs when he comes home from work, the he can do bath, stories and bed by 7pm, no? Then you can have a bit of time in the evening to work on your business.

Remind him that you are supposed to be partners, not master and servant.

MrsKeithRichards Fri 12-Oct-12 10:54:05

And FWIW dh and I don't earn that between us now.

A few years ago dh was bringing that in on his own and I about 8k working part time.

I don't think there are that many couples both pulling in an above average wage. I don't think your dh's assumptions are right.

BlueyDragon Fri 12-Oct-12 10:54:05

But Burnt, you're not in a 2 income family so the comparison with 2 income families for tax purposes strikes me as pointless. I don't want to add fuel to the fires of your domestic arguments - and it seems to me from your requests for detail about what others' OHs do/don't do that this is in fact part of what you might be looking for from this thread - but the fact that you are a SAHM means you don't have childcare costs and that is a net return to the household.

You seem to look for a lot of validation from others - comparisons of kids' clothes, being ashamed to have friends round because your flat is too small. If people make you care about this stuff they are not friends. I can understand your desire to move from a small flat to a house, but surely not just because other people think you should have a house?

The best advice I've ever seen on here, the bit that beats every book to death and stamps on their heads, is happy mummy (parents) means happy children. If what is going on is making you unhappy - trying to run a business, keep the perfect house, be the textbook perfect mum, be a team with your DH, constant keeping up with the Jones' - then something has to give. At the moment it sounds like it is getting dangerously close to being you that gives. The meds will help, but can't make it better all on its own. Work out, with your DH, as calmly as you can, what your priorities are as a family and how you both get some time off as well as offer support for each other. Work out, with your DH, how you will get there financially if that's what's needed. Use the opportunity to understand the family financials and stay away from plunging into incendiary specifics if you can. I know it is difficult to be calm especially when you're tired, depressed and feeling like you're not getting support. Work out what really is important to you and what isn't and be prepared to give a bit - tis good adult compromise when it comes from both sides.

Small children are hard work. It gets easier in terms of grind as they get older but harder mentally (my challenge is a 5 year old and a 2.5 year old who can both express themselves rather too well when they're in whine mode and I can't out argue either of them grin).

Good luck, Burnt

Ephiny Fri 12-Oct-12 11:04:30

Yes if you were a two-income family both working full-time, you'd likely be paying a lot more in childcare for two children than you'd be saving in tax.

There's never much point comparing yourself to other people anyway, it's more productive to focus on what can be done to improve your situation.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 12-Oct-12 11:05:43

You really need to get under the bonnet of the finances. You should know everything, mortgage, bills, what's in savings etc.

No one should ever leave it fully to their husbands, however lovely or not they may be.

osterleymama Fri 12-Oct-12 11:08:35

OP I read the same Oliver James book you referred to early in this thread and came to a lot of the same conclusions. I work from home and have been looking after my DS in the daytime and fitting work in at night and sometimes in naptimes. I only had one and it was impossible to work. I'm now nearly due with DC2 and have finally put my 2 year old in nursery 3 mornings a week from 8-12, something I agreed to TRY on the understanding that if I saw him becoming anxious or otherwise affected I'd take him out again. It's changed my life! He loves it, he's interested and engaged with other kids, he comes home worn out and happy and having been fed already, I can then put him down to nap and feel guilt free if i don't take him out. I get about 5 times more work done because I have space and peace and am not shattered so work faster. I really think its worth trying for your 2 year old.

soverylucky Fri 12-Oct-12 11:09:36

Ok - there are a few things running through my mind here.
1. Plenty of women do have the sort of age gap that you have and manage to keep on top of things. They have different ways of doing this. For me it was about routine and not being bothered about keeping up with other people and not being too house proud. I would get up a bit before the kids woke up and get washed and dressed and do a chore. It might be loading the washing machine, cleaning up, mopping a floor or whatever.
I took the children downstairs for breakfast and then washed and dressed them. Any mess went on pjs that could then go in wash basket and didn't mean I was dressing them only to change them again.
Once they were washed and dressed we always went out. It was either to toddler group (imo you have to shop around and find a good one - bitchy women who comment on kids clothes sounds terrible to me) We could go for a walk, to a friends house, to the library, to the supermarket. It didn't really matter where as long as we went out.

On returning the baby would have fallen asleep in her pram - later her pushchair and older one and I would get lunch ready. We always had lunch quite early - 12 ish. The toddler liked to help. Sometimes if she wasn't in the mood to help I would put her in her high chair with books or something to play with. Baby would wake up and then we would all have lunch. Older child always napped after lunch so I would then try and do the washing up of both breakfast and lunch dishes. Sometimes the baby would be happy to play in their play pen - I also had one of those things they sit in that spins round - it was called a baby einstein - hope you know what I mean. On bad days I would put baby in the back pack carrier whilst I washed up or sometimes - I just left it till dh got home and no-one died from it being left. I would play with the baby whilst toddler slept and then when they both woke up we would all play. we would watch tv together - they haven't suffered from a bit of television viewing, we might paint, do play doh, in the summer we would go in the garden, we might go out again, we would read, do some craft type activity. I used to put the baby in the high chair for this.
The hardest thing was trying to cook the evening meal ready for when dh got home. Usually the baby had another nap so the older one would just play on their own while I did this. In our old house which had a tiny kitchen I used to sit and chop the veg in the lounge where the toddler was playing. She just liked me being around.
This is just what I did. Note that I did hardly anyhouse work in the day and nor did I try and run and online business. If you do not want to use childcare then the business has to go.

2. You are spending far too much money on toddler groups and toys. Fact.

3. Your Dh needs to help out more or accept the house will be a bit of state. I have always been very strict about bed times. tired children = whiney children. Late bedtime for kids makes it impossible for you to get any chores done. Once they were in bed I would clean, hoover etc.

4. You need to look after yourself better. Eat well and make sure you get enough rest.

cestlavielife Fri 12-Oct-12 11:16:24

so you hav a tumble drier?
but wont put it on even when h not here for fear of what he might say?

that my dear is nuts

Is there no way you can at least try a few mornings at nursery for the DCs, or even just the older one?
There are many many happy DCs who have not suffered from being in childcare. I know you have your reasons for not wanting to do so and I'm not trying to invalidate those at all. But sometimes the reality of something is completley different to the theory IYSWIM

Not all children suffer from being in good childcare, and I say that as a mother of 3 who all went to nursery at under a year.
2 are now at selective schools, 2 happy, well adjusted, confident teenagers.
It's not really fair to dismiss childcare on the basis of one book when there are also benefits.

I also think your DH needs to do more around the house but that is something only you can deal with, in terms of explaining he either helps or the washing up etc doesn't get done.

I would also be much more involved in the family finances and wrt to the tumble drier, ask him how he would like you to get stuff dried in winter?
Is he prepared to wear the same clothes 3 days in a row?

I think you need to thrash this out once and for all with him.

What would he prefer - a couple of days paid childcare per week or a depressed, miserable stressed wife who is unhappy?
Plenty of people earn far less than your dh and may have bad credit too - it is not insurmountable.
He needs to listen to you.

justanuthermanicmumsday Fri 12-Oct-12 11:25:59

I've got 4 kids at one point three were at home together, now I've got a 5 month old and 2 yr old.

I know u may not want to hear this but If you want your sanity and happy content kids then you will have to ditch your online work until the kids are settled. do you have nap times for the kids. With the 9 month there will be more naps I'm assuming, maybe get some house chores done then. do your online work in the evening?

If the online work is a must for your income then I guess you will have to get some in house help, friends? Family? Nanny?

I've never had any help I can't afford to pay nannies and I do t want to put my kids in the crèche. I don't have a business, but getting house chores done can be hard with kids, I take the kids along with me, the 2 yr old helps me well she thinks she is but I'm keeping her occupied . Some days I leave it and do it quickly as soon as the kids are in bed, its the only way. The kids are moaning because they need you.

BurntToastSmell Fri 12-Oct-12 11:30:35

Look, screw you guys and your activities. I feel even more depressed than I did before, now that I know I'm expected to be an all-singing, all-dancing Mary Poppins children's entertainer 24/7. Furthermore, if I don't act as a mary poppins, then I am a neglectful, incompetent parent - screw you. Here's what just happened.

After the health visitor left (no problems with baby's 9 month check; hitting all milestones; weight gain spot on) I cut a bin bag in half and layed it on the floor to use as a splash mat. Then I got out the finger paints and stripped both babies down to their nappies. So far so good. I take the tops off the paint and start naming the colours, cooing enthusiastically. At this point, baby begins his usual grating winging. Toddler is enjoying herself. Baby is interacting with the paint but the winging turns to full-on crying within minutes. I try to distract him. Toddler still enjoying herself. Very soon, the crying turns to full on screaming. Baby's face is bright red. At this point, I'm cursing you guys. Thinking of you sitting there smugly behind your laptops on your ivory sofas.

Toddler now getting irritated by baby and starting to whine. Paint getting tipped onto the carpet. My blood pressure rising. Tears welling up in my eyes. I decide it's time to end this stupid fucking exercise. I calmly put the tops back on the paints and explain that we're tidying up now. I go and run the bath. Baby screaming more and more now. Toddler starts crying. Bath is taking so long to run.

I take off babys nappy and put him in the bath. He seems to calm down a little. He sits in the bath just doing his usual grating winging and looking at the rubber ducky. Toddler follows us into the bathroom. I remove her nappy and put her in. She starts screaming and trying to climb out (normally her dad would be getting in with her). So I quickly wash her as she screams and fights me, then get her out and put her dressing gown on. After all this drama, baby is now screaming. His face is bright red. I quickly wash him and get him out.

Now I'm sitting here, drying baby and thinking FUCK YOU GUYS.

If not being mary poppins makes me a fucking abusive parent, then you better call the SS! My kids were even more miserable after following your advice than they were before. Baby winges whatever I do. So whoever said that he was winging because I'm a neglectful bitch - fuck you. He winges even when activities and stimulation are present.

I will stick with talking to my children about what they're doing, and taking them out once a day. If that makes me a shit parent, so be it.

tryingtoleave Fri 12-Oct-12 11:30:44

Op, I was like you and didn't want to use childcare when my dcs were small. But it was clear after dc2 was born that I couldn't get anything done. I took two years leave from my phd and for the first year at home with two dcs the house was a tip. It got better after ds went off to preschool. But being home with a baby and a toddler is incredibly hard.

One game that they both liked at this age was 'stormy sea'. I would pull the duvet up around them and they were on a boat on the sea. Then a storm would come and I would rock them and bounce them. That would keep them happy for a bit.

(I am so happy that stage of my life is over).

tryingtoleave Fri 12-Oct-12 11:34:15

Sorry, x-post.

I let my children paint about once a year, then remember how hellish it is. It takes me about a year to forget, whereupon I pull out the paints again only to realise why I had hidden them...

justanuthermanicmumsday Fri 12-Oct-12 11:37:36

:Tryingtoleave
I think she's very upset right now and doesn't want any advice

amverytired Fri 12-Oct-12 11:38:20

Burnttoast - you are being to hard on yourself. Taking out dc once/day is brilliant and more than I managed with mine most of the time.
I'm worried though that your depression is not as well managed as you think it is. All you seem to see in peoples posts are negatives about yourself. Most posters know how tough things can be with two los and that's without wfh.

So OP don't do the activities suggested. Do what you want to do. But you asked for advice.
No one called you abusive or a bad mother.

But it sounds like you are struggling on a lot of us have been there so are trying to help.

tryingtoleave Fri 12-Oct-12 11:40:48

I posted before I read. I'm sorry, the timing was bad.

tryingtoleave Fri 12-Oct-12 11:43:10

But I am not smug. I found two little children very very hard. So hard that I won't be having more. I think most posters have agreed that it is very hard.

MainlyMaynie Fri 12-Oct-12 11:43:15

You're not a shit parent and the Mary Poppins posters have not read the thread. I find that any 5 minutes of activity for DS involves 20 minutes of sorting out at either side.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 12-Oct-12 11:44:37

Just calm down op and read your post back when you have. Some of the things your saying make people a bit worried about you.

No one is telling you to be Mary poppins at all, just to get some childcare so someone else can be for a bit.

Flatbread Fri 12-Oct-12 11:45:55

Oh, Burnt. Poor you. Did you see the link I had up thread about getting children to play independently?

While your younger one might be too small for some if the activities, but a free big cardboard box might be entertaining and lead to free form play between the two?

Some most mums are not cut out for 24/7 play, nothing wrong with that. Just do what makes you happy. Stop worrying about what your friends, books and mum netters think and just do whatever keeps you sane and happy smile

PickledFanjoCat Fri 12-Oct-12 11:46:20

Ps

I would not even attempt a painting session in a flat for my toddler, that's part of what I expect the nursery to do with the space and equipment. Your a braver woman than I am.