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To not want to play with my children after work

(86 Posts)
lecce Thu 13-Jun-13 19:47:51

I am really struggling at the moment with being with the dc after work. I am a teacher (f/t) and at this time of year (exam classes have gone) I can usually be home at about 4pm. The rest of the year it is about 5pm most nights. So, I currently have about 2-3 hours with them until bedtime. They are 6 & 4.

The problem is, I feel like this should be the best part of my day. I am lucky to be able to get home pretty early and I should be making the most of it but I am so tired. I get up at 5am to get work done and often (though less so at this time of year) have work to do after they have gone to bed. I just ache and I can't seem to summon any enthusiasm for any activities we could do.

Dh is sahd and when I get in they are usually watching telly, having been home for about 20 minutes. I feel I have to tell them to turn it off after the programme ends, but then I can't really be bothered to lead/suggest anything else. I fee like they should be able to amuse themselves with me taking more of a passive role. They often do, sort of, but it usually seems to descend into tears before too long. Tonight was awful - they got into a stupid row over who could use a chair and, tbh, I handled it badly, without patience and made it worse.

I feel like I should have just left the telly on - at least we wouldn't have all ended up shouting, but, had I done that, I would have felt guilty. On the nights when I am home at 5.30ish, there seems to be little time to do anything other than read with ds1, and that makes me feel guilty. On nights like tonight, I find mysef wishing I had stayed at work a bit later and that makes me feel horribly guilty and sad.

Why is it so hard?

fairyqueen Fri 14-Jun-13 12:04:42

May I suggest DVDs of serials you enjoyed as a child? A long story Makes it exciting looking forward to next episode rather than yet another Peppa Pig. I loved the old BBC version of the secret garden and enjoyed it with DD. Cosying up on the sofa together is not wasted time, it's happy, loving time.

evertonmint Fri 14-Jun-13 12:19:13

I work freelance in a crazy full-on for 2 months then totally off pattern. When I'm working do 9-3 and all evenings and then full on childcare (5yo and 2yo) the rest of the time incl school run as DH is out 12 hours a day. I find my DCs watch more tv when I work and I cut them and me some slack. However if I need a break but don't want them watching telly, I have a few things I can quickly get out on the kitchen table - Hama beads, playdoh, colouring books, sticker books. I get them settled with this and then can sit and chat to them with a cuppa, or leave them to it if I need to decompress a bit. It buys me a precious half hour or so where they're not aimless, are more focused as they're sat at the table rather than being able to flit around, less able to kill each other, less likely to create havoc by chucking toys everywhere and it takes me no thought to set up. Might be worth just having a few things like that which you can grab quickly.

evertonmint Fri 14-Jun-13 12:20:34

Ah piprabbit said the same thing first grin

fromparistoberlin Fri 14-Jun-13 12:26:54

saw you will drop 5am


OP just to say, I do feel the same. I start work 730am most days and get home for 6/630, I do struggle with the washing up/kids time/bathtime when all I want is a wine and read my book

Its hard

and I also want to get home earlier so we can go to park/have a walk as its such a fun way to spend evening

Animol Fri 14-Jun-13 14:58:53

I really sympathise with you OP but I can't help remembering my own childhood when I read your post. My Dm - also a teacher - left the house before we got up then came home stressed and knackered while we watched TV. When I hear about parents who can't wait to get home to their kids after a day at work I can't help wishing mine had been like that. It's one of the reasons I'm a SAHM as I don't want the same sort of relationship with my kids as I had with my parents sad rant over - sorry if it's not very helpful for you

whois Fri 14-Jun-13 16:37:35

Oh god OP, don't sweat it! I don't think my mum ever 'played' with me in the evenings as such. Sit and have a cuddle while watching TV, set them up with some colouring while you make tea, go out for a little walk or trip to the park, get them ino bed early for plenty of time to read to/with them.

No need to actually 'play' when you're physically tired and emotionally drained.

holly47 Fri 14-Jun-13 17:19:55

I don't play with my children after work..they generally watch tv while I potter and drink tea. We are all tired by the end of the day and although its not ideal, it is what it is...

mrsjay Fri 14-Jun-13 17:21:13

when My children were small my DH didnt really play with the children when he came in from work he would sit with them or read a book but nothing to taxing wink

icklemssunshine1 Fri 14-Jun-13 18:01:04

I'm a teacher too (0.8). Leave house at 7 to drop DD at nursery before going to work. I always leave by 4pm & spend time with her before her bed. At times I feel energetic & we play or sing, other times its sitting watching (bloody) Peppa Pig & snuggling on sofa. She "helps" me cook dinner & DH gives her her bath so I get 30 minutes rest time before cracking on with school work in evenings. Sometimes I find it hard to summon the energy but I make myself do it. I don't want to turn around in years to come & think I spent more time with other people's kids thank own.

Just look forward to the summer smile

icklemssunshine1 Fri 14-Jun-13 18:01:26

*than my own

icklemssunshine1 Fri 14-Jun-13 18:09:14

Oh and married is definitely been hard.

Don't we all love a teacher-basher!! Blah, blah, blah.

(Puts on a broken record)

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