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to not be 'available' to my DS?

(77 Posts)

I'm struggling a bit with an inner conflict and I need a MN jury verdict on whether IABU or not.

Basically I play with DS (14 mo) in the mornings, take him out to a baby group or meet with friends. We have lunch, he has a story, he goes down for a nap, then I get on with housework and work work (WAHM). When he wakes up he plays around me whilst I try and continue housework and/or work work and if he directly approaches me I will respond, but don't actively play with him unless I need a break, then we have a cuddle or a play.

Normally I feel OK about this. I've heard about benign neglect and how children need to learn to be self-entertaining, but recently his naps are all fucked up and he's constantly tired and grizzly and needy because he won;t sleep when he needs to, or he's slept at the wrong time and I still need to get these things done, so I've been sitting on the sofa trying to work and he's just been driving me to distraction trying to get my attention, but I needed to sort a bunch of stuff out before the weekend started.

I feel dreadful that I wasn't available to him, but I didn't have the time or the patience, tbh. I'm so tired and feel really snappy and I resented him for wanting me whilst I had other things I needed to do. And now he's asleep I feel ashamed for ignoring his needs to do work and for shouting at him (that was U I know. I apologised straight away and cuddled him).

AIBU to be getting on with my own thing like this, or should I just save it for when he's actually asleep?

And has anyone got any tips on keeping patience when tired and beset by a very whiny toddler?

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 15-Mar-13 16:06:18

Housework you can include toddlers. Let them 'help'. It tales longer but is great for them and easier for you. Can't help you with the home working. I only do it when DD is asleep.

GloriaPritchett Fri 15-Mar-13 16:06:18

With the best will in the world, I think you need to make new arrangements.

HerrenaHarridan Fri 15-Mar-13 16:07:29

Don't be hard on yourself, sometimes you actually have to do something else even if it means they're going to cry the whole bloody time you do it.
YOu will still feel bad about it.

As long as he is getting healthy doses of your attention he will be fine!

You could try
Scheduling a 5/10 min break every x mins to take an interest in what ds is up to.
Giving him his own little desk and stuff so that he can play at copying you
Taking him to park and making him run round crazy immediately before you need to crack on
A trampoline!

TheSeniorWrangler Fri 15-Mar-13 16:09:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wowsers. Childcare. Now why didn't I think of that? <smacks self on forehead with sudden realisation>

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Fri 15-Mar-13 16:12:26

At that age I worked out the way forward was go out for a few hours park, feed the ducks, puddle jumping. Something like that. Wear them out then you get a few hours. But be prepared the naps get shorter so its not a long term solution. But should get you through a few months.

JeffFaFa Fri 15-Mar-13 16:12:56

I know the feeling op, i have a 17 month old and cant sit on the sofa to read something or ds grabs it off me i even have to hide the remote, cant sit at the table as he just climbs up on it and starts grabbing things, he doesnt seem to understand the word 'no' and removing him repeatedly doesnt work either he just screams or laughs at me, i actually cant even leave the room or hes into all sorts He also seems allergic to sleep, its very draining.

Normally we do out to wear him out, but he's so tired from these stupid nap mess-ups that he doesn't really want to, plus it's bitterly cold and raining which makes it even harder. Roll on summer.

Tee2072 Fri 15-Mar-13 16:13:39

I agree, you need childcare. Sounds like he might be getting ready to stop napping and then what will you do?

malteserzz Fri 15-Mar-13 16:15:07

I think expecting a 14 month old to entertain themselves all afternoon every day is a bit much really couldn't you work in the evenings when he's in bed ?

greenfolder Fri 15-Mar-13 16:16:29

benign neglect is my parenting style- my kids learned to entertain themselves pretty well and have grown into sensible kids. housework and stuff got fitted in. i could not constantly entertain a toddler- invest in decent toys, and keep a few episodes of a favourite programme on standby. and stop being so hard on yourself.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 15-Mar-13 16:18:56

You can't change him, so you can only change what you do or how you feel about it.

It won't harm him to have a to wait, but if you can't tolerate that without getting stressed then you will have to change something. Either put him in a travel cot/playpen while you get on with the stuff wholeheartedly, or focus on him 100%.

When you have 2 children this stuff happens all the time - one or other or both is unhappy sometimes.

wisemanscamel Fri 15-Mar-13 16:20:05

greenfolder beat me to it! Your answer is Peppa Pig. Isn't that what kids' daytime tv is for? You might need to go in a different room though - I always found Peppa distracting when I was trying to work.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 15-Mar-13 16:21:15

yy to DVDs. Again, no experience of being a WAHM, but experience of a baby and toddler. DVDs/TV saved us

We have loads of toys and he's generally fine about playing by himself for an hour and a half, so I feel OK about letting him. It's just at the moment with him being so needy that it's making me doubt myself. I need to get this work up and running though, or it's full-time SAHM for me and that would mean I needed to do more housework (so he wouldn't get any more time from me) and I wouldn't have anything for myself (a chance to use my brain) or be working for the future (because even though this isn't earning money yet it's keeping my CV ticking over).

Should I just jack it in and be a slave to my toddler until he's old enough to pack off to pre-school, because I'm not sure what else I can do.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 15-Mar-13 16:22:02

re: my above post - of course it depends how unhappy they are and for how long ...

Heh. He likes Nina and the Neurons I think. We don't often have the telly on, so he hasn't expressed a firm favourite yet. Do I need to let Cbeebies babysit more often? <wry grin>

TheSeniorWrangler Fri 15-Mar-13 16:23:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 15-Mar-13 16:23:55

If something's changed he's probably teething or sickening for something.

Why would you need to do more housework if you are a SAHM - that makes not sense

SolomanDaisy Fri 15-Mar-13 16:24:37

It's not really possible to work while looking after a toddler. You need to work only when he's asleep.

I think he has mostly been miserable because he was so tired.

He has been trying to drop his morning nap, but is tired and grouchy without it, so he goes to sleep anyway, but then won't go to sleep in the afternoon and having my attention doesn't really seem to make him any happier when he's tired like that, it just makes me feel better that I'm trying.

wisemanscamel Fri 15-Mar-13 16:25:28

Do you know any other mums in a similar position? It's just as hard to look after two whiny toddlers as one, so maybe take theirs for an afternoon one day in return for someone having yours? Might be worth asking a few friends at groups.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 15-Mar-13 16:27:54

Good idea wisemanscamel

Jamie - atm DH chips in with the housework because he knows I'm trying to get this business up and running and he's a decent husband and father. If, however, I stop trying to do this then it's only fair that I take up the slack on the housework as it's a bit rum to expect him to work all day and then do an equal share of the housework when I'm not working.

I would feel better about this arrangement all round if I was earning more than the twenty quid that's come in so far.

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