Advanced search feel envious towards people who actually ENJOY looking after young children/babies?

(211 Posts)
PacificDogwood Tue 16-Aug-11 17:43:48


Well, am I?

I am very lucky to have the size of family I hoped for.
So, ok, I don't go gooey at the sight of a newborn, but still kind of thought I would enjoy looking after babies/toddler/school aged children.
Not all the time, but sometimes.

I just don't.
I find it a relentless slog of repetitive nonsense, and I don't mean the washing/dressing/feeding etc, but the dealing with older kids' fighting, 3 year olds insanity temper tantrums and active 1 year old's.... well, active/climbing/teething/ 'normal' behaviour.

And I know all this will pass and I will mourn its passing.
But I still don't enjoy it.
And am envious of parents it seems to come to so much more effortlessly.
How do others cope with the total loss of control over their lives??

KatieScarlett2833 Tue 16-Aug-11 17:47:50

I loathed the baby stage with my two.

However, every 2 weeks or so I babysit a 5 month old overnight to give her mum a break and actually look forward to it. I think the key is being able to hand her back, sweetie pie that she is.

ChippingIn Tue 16-Aug-11 17:49:06

By hiring a nanny grin

I guess it can be like a lot of other things in life - not quite what you thought it would be.

If you don't enjoy it then you need to change something - whether that's doing more activities so you are spending more time with other adults and children or whether that's working part or full time and outsourcing the childcare.

minipie Tue 16-Aug-11 17:51:48


But I suspect far fewer people enjoy it than you'd think...

However, some people enjoy it so much they make a career out of it (nannies and nursery staff). Could you WOH and pay someone else to do the weekday childcare, or wouldn't finances allow?

ChippingIn Tue 16-Aug-11 17:52:35

Oh and I think one biggie is - are you trying too hard?

Some people, for whom it doesn't seem to come naturally, try too hard. Maybe a more 70's approach to parenting would suit you more - or as I think it's more often called on here benign neglect grin

If you are racing around trying to entertain them and make every day lots of fun and 'a learning experience' it's bloody draining - if the kids are fitting in around you most of the time with some time spent doing stuff together it's far more enjoyable and not so 'hard'.

I think it's a matter of finding a style of parenting/rhythm that suits you.

The 3 year olds tantrums need sorting though - but I wont give you my 70's cure for them grin

PacificDogwood Tue 16-Aug-11 17:53:07

Yep, finding a nanny is at the top of the list of 'Things to Do' - however I seem to do some much firefighting I never get to the point where I can actually change something.

I have just reduced my work committment by half a day to spend more time with my children and now I wonder why....

Callisto Tue 16-Aug-11 17:54:04

So do you enjoy any aspect of your children?

KatieScarlett2833 Tue 16-Aug-11 18:02:03

I enjoy them most when they are asleep. wink

PacificDogwood Tue 16-Aug-11 18:05:41

I love watching how they discover the world, learn, do new stuff. I also find it fascinating how they were all very distinct, different personalities from the very start (in DS2's case from 10 weeks before the predicted start as he was prem wink). Doesn't mean I necessarily enjoy every not-so-charming aspect of said varied personalities...

I love it when they are happy, play alone or together or with me, but all too often they seem to go out of their way to find a way to start a fight.
Why?? How does this make their lives better if there is always the threat of being yelled at/hit/kicked/scratched?? By their brothers, mind you, not me - not that I have not been tempted.

How on earth to you who are happy mothers do it??
Gawd, I make 'Happy Mothers' sound like some kind of inane religious group, but I am really quite envious.

trixymalixy Tue 16-Aug-11 18:06:52

Last week was my first part time week, I spent the whole day wondering why I wanted to spend more time with the kids, they were both being little horrors!

Callisto Tue 16-Aug-11 18:07:29

I only had one... wink

halcyondays Tue 16-Aug-11 18:10:53

I enjoy spending time with my children but I find that looking after them is often very stressful and exhausting. I envy people who seem to take everything in their stride, to be unflappable and have endless energy.

Chestnutx3 Tue 16-Aug-11 18:11:48

I've only just started enjoying it at 4 and 2. I've sort of accepted the chaos, mess, lack of time on my own, the fun. I still hate the housework and repetitiveness of meal times and planning them, but it has got easier and I've got more relaxed. I've realised its only as hard as you make it out to be, plus why not enjoy it than spend years hating what you are doing day in and day out. However, I don't enjoy it enough to have a third grin.

PacificDogwood Tue 16-Aug-11 18:12:37

Chipping, I missed your post: DO please tell me your 70s cure for temper tantrums. <<begs>>
'Benign neglect' was what I was aiming for, just doing stuff round the house/garden and letting them join in or do their own thing, whatever. What is frustrating me is that I have NO opportunity to do anything (my ambitions extend to emptying a dishwasher or folding a load of clean laundry; not writing a thesis or anything) as I am going from one crisis to another.

I do however live in Scotland and school is back tomorrow!!
I am sad about being happy about that IYKWIM.

PacificDogwood Tue 16-Aug-11 18:13:56

Re numbers, I have come to the conclusion that the reason Nature gave us 2 hands was to try and tell us to have no more than 2 children wink.

Can I take a hint? Nope.

stayforthekids1 Tue 16-Aug-11 18:17:33


I have 4 dc, all under seven. The whinging, fighting, shouting, wears you down. I recommend, a large glass of wine every evening. Two if you really want grin

AllGoodNamesGone Tue 16-Aug-11 19:02:23


I have three, all at secondary school now, and, although I adore little babies, I would say I found the time from the eldest turning about 15 months (and learning the word "no!") to the youngest starting school pretty darn hard work the majority of the time and, yes, I felt bad and sad about it as I had always wanted to be a mum and thought I'd be a natural!

I'd have had at least one more child if DH had been remotely willing to consider the idea though! Maternal instinct is a strange thing!

Zimm Tue 16-Aug-11 19:07:55

YANBU. I have 1 one year old. I love her so much it hurst but the endless meals, cleaning, nappies - playing the same boring games for hours and she cries anyway. UUrrgh. Just gone back to work part time and really enjoying it.....

madmomma Tue 16-Aug-11 19:08:02

yeah benign neglect's definitely the way forward. But some children fit with that easier than others. My daughter would play for hrs on her own from as soon as she could hold a toy, but my son is a pain in the ass is far more dependent and it's harder to ignore him get him to play on his own. I think it's easier to enjoy your children when you only have one. Once you get into fighting territory it must be terribly dull and frustrating.

Xenia Tue 16-Aug-11 19:55:17

Why on earth did you get lumbered with it rather than yourh usband oand why aren't you working? Hardly anyone enjoys it which is why it's low paid low grade work and most women and men with chidlren under 5 work.

I had 5 and adore babies but only for an hour or two a day so we both always worked full time and I took 2 weeks off to have them in.

Your mistake is spending so much time at it. They do much better if you work and earn more money and then adore the times you spend with them.

There's a reason childcare and house work is low paid and lowly regarded because it's dull and awful and no one with any sort of a brain tolerates it for long periods now nor in history. Even the Romans used slaves to help.

traceybeaker Tue 16-Aug-11 20:05:56


I like my child and I like being with him, I even like going through the house and getting everything tidy.

I work part time but I am on hols at the mo and loving it.

I also have plenty of other stuff to keep me amused.......reading, I am writing a childrens book [slowly], photography, gardening, cooking, and researching the family tree and about to start a patchwork quilt.

Trick is I believe is do things for you as well as everyone else.

shakey1500 Tue 16-Aug-11 20:13:38

YANBU and I only have one. And he's an angel smile

Still find it hard and want to scream most of the time sometimes.

On the surface I'm good at it. Inside, there's the old me clawing her way out.

Tis not all bad, will pass etc.

missorinoco Tue 16-Aug-11 20:18:55

PacificDogwood I think you are me. I decided the same today. I know I will look back on this phase and regret not enjoying them when they were small, but AAAARGH!!!!

DH says it will be fun to play with them (as opposed to refereeing their fights) about the age when they will not consider it fun to play with us.

BsshBossh Tue 16-Aug-11 20:32:27

YANBU and I only have one too. She's just turned 3 and whilst she's actually a very good and easy kid she's discovered talking and talks non stop. I've been told that children start being able to internalise thoughts around 5-ish so only 2 years to go. In the meantime I will live off headache pills grin. I can't imagine more than one!

madmomma Tue 16-Aug-11 20:34:24

haha xenia your post made me laugh. Refreshing to hear someone speak their mind without tripping over nicities. grin

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