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AIBU to feel utterly deflated re. my parenting?!

(22 Posts)
pastaandpesto Tue 09-Apr-13 21:52:20

I have a friend who is going through a very, very tough time, and to help her out I thought I might put together some little parcels of ready-made activities for her to do with her 2 year old DD when she is feeling particularly overwhelmed. I looked online for a bit of inspiration.

I started out at a blog called Chasing Cheerios, and 1.5 hours and seemingly endless pinterest posts and homeschooling blogs later, I can only conclude that and I am failing my children miserably.

Seriously, how do people find the time and energy to come up with all these activities, every day? I thought I was doing OK by keeping a pot of felt tips on the table and rustling up a batch of fairy cakes for them to decorate once in a while...

stargirl1701 Tue 09-Apr-13 21:56:33

Do they? Or, is it for 'show' on the Internet?

Mind you, I did teach a class of 30 children every day and found the energy for that.

I don't know. It could be either. Do you work FT?

Zatopek Tue 09-Apr-13 22:01:25


You are clearly a caring friend with a lot of empathy so I have no doubt that is also a reflection of your parenting.

You might not describe yourself as a cabaret mum (not many are cut out for this role anyway) but for all we know you might be doing any number of wonderful things for your children, cooking, reading, administering love, cuddles in spades.

WeDigUpTheRoad Tue 09-Apr-13 22:12:01

Well it could be that they have one child who is very low-maintenance.
Maybe they were a primary school teacher and so have lots of ideas from then?
Maybe they have a full time live-in nanny?
Maybe they drink a bottle of vodka every day?
Maybe their child(ren) hates doing all this stuff and is in the corner eating haribo while the blogger does all the craft?

Seriously, don't ever compare to nonsense bloggers. If my dc's were all like ds1 I could do all sorts of this frippery. However, ds2 and dd1 are not as laid back so every now and again I try to do a Christmas snowman with cotton wool. I end up doing it as they wander off to eat soil.

Don't be so hard on yourself. You are the mum you are and I'm sure your kids are loved and looked after.

AgentZigzag Tue 09-Apr-13 22:15:20

I go through phases of doing stuff with the DDs, but because the activities are tediously dull messy only keep their attention for two and a half minutes mostly done by them elsewhere (school/nursery) I don't like to overload them smile

HoneyDragon Tue 09-Apr-13 22:15:39

If everybody was doing it all the time than there wouldn't be Cbeebies.

Op if you have fun with your dcs and they have fun with you it really doesn't matter what your doing smile

SimLondon Tue 09-Apr-13 22:22:00

I don't think you can compare, kids need free play time to - so dont feel bad that your not constantly entertaining thtem.

Tesco btw have lots of pots of glittery paint, paintbrushes, thick paper, sticky stars. messy mats etc, i think you could put something together quite easily - im thinking about doing something similar for a relative undergoing treatments.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 09-Apr-13 22:26:24

Many don't really DO all those things...or if they do they're not as wonderful as they appear on a photo. I could park my DC next to an amazing mural "we'd painted" together...when in fact I'd let them at a wall in the garden for half an hour with some Wilko's poster paints, then smiled next to them, took a pic and waxed lyrical about it for ten minutes on t'internet.

MsAkimbo Tue 09-Apr-13 22:33:16

Ugh Pinterest...bane of my existence.

Yabu and a great friend wink

All that's ever pinned is the finished product. Not the failed attempts that preceded it.

MyShoofly Tue 09-Apr-13 22:40:00

HA! Are you my twin OP?

I was googling some activities to do with my own 2 year old and happened upon site after site of stunning blog pages of crafts, sensory activities - all beautifully documented via professional quality photography.

I have since become obsessed. I ran out and purchased a hundred dollars worth of crafts supplies, have fashioned a magnet wall in my living room, have bought bins of rice and pasta all waiting to be dyed bright colors....(when does one find time to dye bins of food stuffs?). I have a book on my coffee table as we speak - "the creative family", where I am reminded that I do not sow, make my own playdough, lay on my lawn at night with a telescope or have vintage furniture to offset my child's wooden, natural fibre playthings.

The problem is I have been flooded with so many ideas that I don't actually know where to start. All I can think is I am clearly substandard and my children are clearly missing out whether I am at home or at work.


SavoyCabbage Tue 09-Apr-13 22:48:34

I've a friend who is 'doing project life' we went to a park in the holidays and ignored our children.

Halfway through she gathered her dh and three children around somebody else's BBQ. He held some tongs and she held the baby. Then they threw their heads back and laughed charmingly for the photos.

It's now in her Project Life album with some guff about spending time with family and friends being the most important thing in the world.

olivertheoctopus Tue 09-Apr-13 22:53:10

I hear you. I get feeds from The Imagination Tree blog on FB and whilst I do pinch the occasional idea, it makes me feel utterly inadequate. However my boys prefer playing Ben 10/Star Wars to making mini gardens in old buckets plus they have worse attention spans than goldfish. Don't sweat it.

WeDigUpTheRoad Tue 09-Apr-13 23:01:01

Today I wanted to bake something. I'm quite keen to extend my current quite limited repertoire. I found a great recipe and made the dough (feeling guilty as I did it when dc1&2 were out and dc3 asleep) but thought I'd leave the rolling and cutting out shapes to do with them.

They were utterly uninterested. I did it myself and thoroughly enjoyed it, I didn't get stressed about them butchering the dough with the rolling pin or choosing cutters the wrong size or not using the space efficiently. I sound like a bundle of fun don't I?hmm

They ate the results.

We were all happy grin

GettingGoing Tue 09-Apr-13 23:05:47

You have to wonder about the mentality of the sort of mother who goes to all that effort and then photographs it for pinterest. I wonder if the child features in this at all.

DangerousBeanz Tue 09-Apr-13 23:06:18

I buy the cbeebies mr maker magazine and we make whatever is in that... all set out with all the stuff to make a proper thing that she later plays with.
When I try to do things from scratch, and I am a primary school teacher and have shit loads of .stuff to use, it just ends up as a fluff covered glitter festooned explosion. I feel your pain.

currentbuns Tue 09-Apr-13 23:13:50

You have to wonder about the mentality of the sort of mother who goes to all that effort and then photographs it for pinterest. I wonder if the child features in this at all.


DontSHOUTTTTTT Tue 09-Apr-13 23:23:03


It depends on the kids.

'Crafts' were my DS'es idea of hell. I did try a bit but they can't even draw for love nor money let alone 'crafts'

My 15year DD posts photos of her immaculate and perfect baked goods on DeviantArt website. She sews, does beautiful origami and makes things out of wood. She is self taught.

Same family totally different kids.

MyShoofly Tue 09-Apr-13 23:30:18

I will add that the activities I have managed to do so far since my great blogging discovery have gone as follows:

-finger painting with special sparkle paints = my son spent 5 min painting his hand then demanded that I wash him up because he was "dirty".

-cloud dough (cornstarch+veggie oil) = my son refused to touch it because it was "icky"

-baking = gave him his own bowl of flour/water etc and assorted utensils which he dumped on the counter (then all over the floor) refusing to touch anything because it was "messy" hmm

-homemade goop = cornstarch and water in the tub = he poked it with a spoon for 15 min then wanted out becasue in his own words "I dont like it"

So its not all going to be a surefire success clearly.

nokidshere Tue 09-Apr-13 23:32:01

Crafts are the bane of my life. I hate doing them. But as a childminder I do because i have no choice the children like them for all of 5 minutes

My own boys have spates of wanting to cook but any other creative stuff is thankfully sneered at.

steppemum Tue 09-Apr-13 23:47:49

most crafts on the internet are not actually what small children need

In fact I would go so far as to say that any craft that has a pretty end result is not doing the 2 year old any favours.

2 year olds need to explore. So making a huge lump of playdough and let them loose for as long as they want. At 2 that may be 2 minutes, at 4 it may be 2 hours, but being let loose to explore and play is the thing.

So pot of pens and big pile of paper = brilliant. Colouring in books to get pretty pictures on the wall = for parent not for child.

The easiest craft I do it birthday cards. I cut out a shape eg a 2, or an initial letter and then let them squirt glue all over it, and then slap any torn up bits of crap (tin foil, sweet wrappers, bits of tissue paper) all over it. They love the sticky mess it is totally free and random and in the end you have quite a cool card.

been there done that with coloured rice and pasta. Held their attention for about 2 minutes, doesn't stick to the paper and then paper is too heavy to hang up.

steppemum Tue 09-Apr-13 23:52:18

I do encourage all of mine to cook though

They can all make a basic cake, and it is easy, they like tipping things into the bowl, holding electric mixer (together until about 3/ 4 and then on their own) and breaking eggs into the mix.

The first 2 or 3 times was messy. Then they got the hang of it, and now are all amazing. ds aged 10 does it entirely on his own and makes a cool cake.
this is an easy fool proof recipe that i am confident with though.

I think cooking is a life skill, so will make more of an effort to do that

Icelollycraving Wed 10-Apr-13 02:18:16

Yabu. I don't really remember my mum doing much in the way of so much entertaining. I played happily.
My dsis has been a teacher,nanny etc & always has done a lot of creative arty stuff. It can be quite dazzling what she can come up with.
IMO being a good mum is so many things,being handy with a glue pen.

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