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To ask how the hell you cope with a toddler and LIFE?

(42 Posts)
SisterSage Sat 08-Aug-15 09:09:22

I have a one year old and I just cannot cope. He's still waking multiple times a night. Cosleeping once he wakes sort of helps with this but I don't sleep well when he's in bed with us. If DH goes in to resettle him he just screams for me and wakes up properly.

Then during the day he's into everything, constantly. Except his toys. He has about a three second attention span with those, but will happily sit destroying things for hours
hours. Really he's not a problem though - he's just being 1, and I get that. The problem is me - I cannot summon the energy to get anything done other than a minimal level of feeding, clothing and preventing him killing himself. Our flat is a midden which is really getting me down as I'm actually naturally a tidy person. We just never seem to fix it -just move the stuff around as there's never time to properly finish anything with DS around. He's starting nursery three days a week soon, but I'm going back to uni so.Although I'll get a break from him I'm actually going to have less time to do everything. At the moment I don't even have a chance to wash my hair as he runs away, or bangs his head if j trap him in the bathroom with me. DH does.lots but works shifts and is also permanently exhausted.

I just cannot cope and would love to know how other people do. Let alone with more than one. I feel utterly pathetic.

SisterSage Sat 08-Aug-15 09:10:27

Fgs typing on phone with DS attached to me (obviously) - apologies for typos.

Happytuesdays99 Sat 08-Aug-15 09:12:44

One thing to do is remember this year and when you are getting all broody about having another, remember it and dont!

It gets better after about 3 years!

Fairylea Sat 08-Aug-15 09:15:12

Playpen. TV. Not all the time obviously but when I needed to get things done that was the only way!

goodnessgraciousgouda Sat 08-Aug-15 09:17:25

Not sure what to suggest, but have you tried any form of sleep training?

I get that he wants you in the night, but you have need as well, and if you aren't coping, then things need to change. Imagine you were in hospital overnight (god forbid obviously) - he would HAVE to cope.

Since the weather is good, could you take him to a park to let him burn off some energy during the day, rather than destroying the flat?

SisterSage Sat 08-Aug-15 09:19:15

He won't watch TV any more!! Putting it on for a little while to get stuff done was my saviour until about a.month ago but now he's just not interested. Also screams if I try to leave him in his cot.or the playpen with toys. And I don't mean grumbling - I mean full on shuddering sobs with tears rolling down face stuff. I don't know how to leave him even for two minutes.

Disclaimer: he's perfectly happy to be left if eg actively engaged in ripping up a
book. Not a magazine, or a random wad of paper substituted for the purpose. It must be an actual book. confused

Albadross Sat 08-Aug-15 09:19:49

Strap him into the high chair?

BettyBitesBums Sat 08-Aug-15 09:23:00

As long as he's not at the climbing out stage you can put him in his cot while you have a shower with a few safe toys. My DD screamed the bloody place down when I did it but it didn't kill her and I needed to wash!

Soon he'll be at the stage where he can 'help you'. Obviously it's no bloody help at all but it might keep him distracted longer than toys. DD liked to move clothes from one basket to another or to the washing machine etc.

Buy one of those big cabinets from ikea with loads of storage boxes in and then at the end of the day tip all the crap into it and close it. It isn't a long term solution for sorting things out but definitely makes you feel better not being surrounded by clutter for the small amount of evening you have.

Take him out somewhere in the fresh air at least once a day and let him run about to try and tire him out a bit. Have you got a park or some other open space near by?

Does he watch any TV? I know it's contraversial on MN but a bit of down time in a day for you both is no bad thing and I think Peppa on the ipad in bed for an hour in the mornings that started with a 4 or 5 saved my sanity.

I hated the baby stage, it improved a bit at 12-14 months but now DD is 2.5 and funny and chatty and although still exhausting it's so much better and even though it's probably still as tiring it's nowhere near as wearing so I've got so much more energy.

I hope some of that might help slightly or if not at least you know you're not alone in it!

SisterSage Sat 08-Aug-15 09:24:23

goodness I did have to go into hospital for two nights for an op and DH didn't sleep. DS eventually passed out with sheer exhaustion from yelling at about 4am, on DH. Both nights confused. He had to get his dad to come in the day and take DS out while he slept. We have tried gentle sleep training but it's mostly useless as he literally sobs as soon as you put him down, and can now get up and walk around his cot.while screaming. But all the 'comfort without picking up' advice is bollocks. I'm not sure if I'm desperate enough for cc but getting there. Part of the problem is small flat so would literally have to listen to full volume sobbing.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 08-Aug-15 09:24:44

What is a midden?

Yes to getting a playpen for your son. Then if you need a shower or to take an important call etc just pop him in there with his favourite toys.

You say he is one, is that exactly twelve months? He sounds like a 18 month old with his constant busyness, lots of energy to burn. I reached a point with all of my DC where once they got to a certain age they just weren't content with staying home all day.

They had to go out to burn energy and stimulate their growing brain.

The amount of outside time depends upon the child. My son for instance just needs a walk around the block with his reins for twenty mins and he's shattered but at least when we get home he's calmer and more content.

BettyBitesBums Sat 08-Aug-15 09:25:38

Cross post OP. Have you tried different types of programmes etc for TV? Or music videos DD has always loved a Taylor Swift vid blush

Achooblessyou Sat 08-Aug-15 09:26:21

Someone once said to me, and I found this incredibly irritating at the time, that it's only for a short period relatively, but it's true. When you look back at it it won't seem so bad!

It will end, you just have to get through it.

In the meantime, can you get outdoors, up hills, on beaches? My boys could spend hours getting messy exploring the huge variety of nature.

littlejohnnydory Sat 08-Aug-15 09:27:44

This is the hardest part! I used to put them in their bedroom with a stairgate on the door to play while I showered. It's easier out of the house. Take him places where you don't have to restrict his need to run and climb - soft play, baby gym, parks, big open spaces. This will be easier in September when these places aren't full of big children. It will get easier as he develops more understanding. Also, get out of the house for you, not just him.

tobysmum77 Sat 08-Aug-15 09:27:57

One is the hardest age ime and mine were both sleeping 12 hours, things sound incredibly hard.

You cope by getting out more maybe? Remember if you aren't in the flat it doesn't get untidy..... But it will get better I promise. by 2 they will at least sit and watch telly for a few minutes

CountyDownGirl Sat 08-Aug-15 09:29:04

He sounds exactly like my ds, now two and a bit, HANG ON, it got so much better for me. It is really tough. I think I got dh (or someone) to take ds once a week on Sunday while I had a mega shower MOT, scrubbed hair, scrubbed all over with exfoliating gloves, sorted nails etc, then the rest of week relied on throwing myself under shower for thirty seconds whenever I could. Put child in buggy as leaving house with toy/snack, then rushed to loo to get concealer/mascara on... Lots of playgroups. All possessions raised to head height in manner of tidal wave. Childproofed everything apart from saucepan cupboard and Tupperware/safe plastic crap and those were unpacked several times a day... Prayed for naps. You still won't know yourself when you get to college, just to have adult time etc. honestly, mine's so much easier now, terrible twos or no... A really active curious toddler can be incredibly hard work. Just keep saying 'I am doing the best I can today, perhaps 'the best' today is not that great, but heigh ho' and it will slowly ease off. The day you realise they're playing with toys for even ten minutes! Bliss!

formerbabe Sat 08-Aug-15 09:29:13

When mine were little, I'd use a playpen or highchair in front of the tv if I needed to have a quick shower or make an important phone call....or baby proof one room fully and put a stairgate on the door.

workadurka Sat 08-Aug-15 09:29:47

It will get better, eventually. In the meantime just try to accept you won't do much. I have pretty much given up all hobbies, exercise and evening socialising since having DC (DH works v long hours) and the house is a bit of a tip. Not ideal but it's not forever.

Also ask GP for blood tests to check no underlying health issues. I was really knackered and it transpired I had v low iron.

borrowedflat Sat 08-Aug-15 09:32:09

We were rubbish at sleep treating and then at 18 months he got a lot better on his own. I know that might not be the same for you, but basically our tactic was to hope he grew out of it, and he did.

Agree with pp about exercise, although in sure you're doing that too. Also, agree with pp that this is a relatively short stage, and vet soon he will have more concentration and can be left on his own. Aged 18 mo, ds said 'bye bye' and told me to leave him in his cot so he could play with his toys!

harryhausen Sat 08-Aug-15 09:33:19

Oh I hated this stage. I felt exactly the same. Completely run ragged. I was also working from home - I used to work evenings and nights. How I managed I don't know.
My housework just slipped completely. Dh took over laundry, tidying, hoovering etc. He would go the best he could at the weekend and then start again the next week.

Now my dcs are 10 and 8 and he still does it all because my work has increased x 100!

I agree, screaming in a playpen/cot won't hurt while you have a quick shower. I used to bring them into the bathroom with me and get out the bath toys. It distracted them for a few minutes. Then bring them into the bedroom while I dressed, did my hair etc.

I had one of those hippy-chic 'seats' so I could potter easily around the kitchen while holding the baby.

It's just HARD, but it will get better. When language comes in the back chat will start and then the struggle will change.

I found it got better after 3, then got worse again at 4, then better again at 5.

These days it's all psychologically draining grin

Minions Sat 08-Aug-15 09:33:19

I'm glad I'm not the only one OP, it is utterly exhausting especially if you're not getting much sleep. If I need to get something done or ten minutes peace I put 15mo in a high chair with toast and stick Sesame Street on the iPad. She loves music videos but they're too short for this purpose!

Also, I feared the same about going back to work. But actually it's been great. I'm still tired but having three days doing my own thing is great - bit of a mental break even though work is demanding etc. good luck for going back to uni flowers

Yika Sat 08-Aug-15 09:36:21

Can you get a cleaner or a babysitter (to look after him while you are there so that you can get other things done?).

Otherwise, I would actually just put him in the cot/playpen and let him scream or sob while you take a shower. Unpleasant to listen to but you need a bit of time for yourself and he'll be safe there.

ijustwannadance Sat 08-Aug-15 09:40:15

Although you will be at uni when he goes to nursery it will make a massive difference to your mental state having that break from him. Having that time to be yourself without the constant baby demands is amazing.
He will most likely come home shattered and hopefully sleep better too.
A tidy house isn't essential, you can clean when he starts school smile

mumof2oneofeach Sat 08-Aug-15 09:51:47

It gets better!!

Uni will be a lovely break (I don't mean it's not hard work, but it provides a break from childcare and so you feel happier about going back to your child).

Try some other TV programmes?

I struggled with a crier as well. It did ease off after a while and you might find he becomes a bit more independent once he's been at nursery for a few months.

Good luck with it.

mumof2oneofeach Sat 08-Aug-15 09:53:19

Cross posted with ijustwanna. Totally agree with their post!

SisterSage Sat 08-Aug-15 10:47:10

Thank you all! Will try music videos - hadn't thought of that. Agree we probably need to go out more. We do most days but it's often in the car/ errandy type stuff which doesn't tire him out.

He's only just one - not properly walking (though properly climbing) so I think in a way it might get better once he can walk as he'll be less frustrated. Maybe...

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