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To leave toddler twins

(50 Posts)
Toddlerwhatwhywhat Wed 05-Oct-16 10:12:33

Having a bit of a confidence crisis... Does anyone leave their 18 month olds to just play with their toys whilst doing housework etc in the morning? We live in a tiny flat and have twins so it gets messy / dirty so quickly. I can't do it evenings as they don't sleep well and can't leave it until the weekend as we wouldn't be able to move for toys and debris!! I just feel so guilty leaving them for a few hours every morning just playing and looking at books whilst I tidy / clean / prepare food etc. Is this selfish / not good for them? Thanks!

Excited101 Wed 05-Oct-16 10:14:43

It's absolutely essential for them and you to do this! You cannot and must not play with them all the time. How have you managed without doing this so far op?!

And when you've done the housework have a sit down and a cup of tea too, everyone needs 'me time' 👍

acasualobserver Wed 05-Oct-16 10:18:55

That actually sounds like it might be good for them. (I'm not a parent though.)

MoonfaceAndSilky Wed 05-Oct-16 10:22:49

Of course it's ok, as long as it's not all day, everyday <looks at sil, who obsessively cleaned house everyday whilst DNiece was plonked in front of t.v, for the first three years of her lifeangry>.
How have you got anything done for the last 18 months?

kensausage13 Wed 05-Oct-16 10:23:36

Absolutely! I leave my DS (2) every day to play alone for at least an hour or 2 while i do jobs around the house. Have done for a really long time. He actually takes himself off to his room to look at books/play with cars etc now. Its normal to him.

Enjoy your me time smile

Pisssssedofff Wed 05-Oct-16 10:26:35

Short periods though not an hour at a time, wash up, play for 15 mins, vacuum, play for 15 mins. I assume that's what you mean anyway ?

Sleepinghooty Wed 05-Oct-16 10:33:06

gosh yes. My twins are much older now, but I used to all the time. I found they tended to play better in the mornings on their own. So we would probably do something like get up, milk they play for 15 minutes I do housework, breakfast, 15 mins housework, go upstairs get dressed and do some bits up there whilst they play and then they might watch tv for 20 minutes or so so I could finish the last bits. Then we were set to go out or do whatever we wanted for the day. It also meant I could have much needed rest when they napped later in the day!

BigSandyBalls2015 Wed 05-Oct-16 10:35:25

Def ok to do this. One of the benefits of having twins, IMO.

quasibex Wed 05-Oct-16 10:35:51

My children have always entertained themselves when I clean and they only had themselves for company (5 year age gap). The eldest was all about her play figures and the youngest was all about copying me but in her room (I love that she thinks tidying is fun!).

It does not hurt your children to play independently under general supervision whilst you get on with things.

usual Wed 05-Oct-16 10:38:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WindInThePussyWillows Wed 05-Oct-16 10:40:12

My twin boys turn 6 months at the weekend and I leave them playing/rolling in their cot for 15 mins at a time whilst I do housework, but understand they can't get out or do much damage as they are confined and immobile so as long as your home is reasonable baby proof and they are secure and happy I see no harm

Girlwhowearsglasses Wed 05-Oct-16 10:43:50

Absolutely- get as big a playpen as you can or use a room divider. When my DTs were toddlers I made one end of the living room childproof and put a room divider right across the room. How do you make food/shower/go to the toilet/ breathe otherwise.

One of the plusses with twins is they have each other - I think they are lucky: mine really enjoy each other's company

ElodieS Wed 05-Oct-16 10:47:36

Absolutely! I'm sure I wouldn't have survived DTs if I hadn't done this! The playpen or something similar is a good idea too.

catsofa Wed 05-Oct-16 10:48:22

Mine is 17 months. I feed him in bed when he wakes up and then put him in the play pen next to my bed. He entertains himself for up to an hour while i get a bit more sleep. I suppose i could get lots of housework done in that time instead, but sod that i prefer sleep smile.

Realhousewivesofshit Wed 05-Oct-16 10:49:12

Good grief yes children need to be able to instigate and manage play and to amuse themselves.

I find it strange when parents feel the need to constantly interact with their kids every waking moment and fill the day with constant activities. Kids do need to learn independent play and with your two they will enjoy the interaction between themselves.

I also think it's nice fur kids to grow up in s clean and tidy house to be honest. I used to housework in the morning and then out or activities in the afternoon.

What's wrong with their sleep?

Toddlerwhatwhywhat Wed 05-Oct-16 10:54:23

Thanks so much everyone! I was starting to feel really down about it and guilty that I was letting them down. Basically they play on their own for 2 hours each morning whilst I get on with little bits of me sitting doing a few stories / songs then going off and doing jobs. I'm not obsessive about cleanliness at all, I just do the basics - the flat is still a pig sty but perhaps not a health hazard!! Thanks!

CatNip2 Wed 05-Oct-16 10:54:47

If people play with their kids all the time then I must have done something very wrong with mine. Unless you live in a massive house or have a hearing impairment then it is more than acceptably to leave them to it and in a different room.

If you can't hear anything then bob your head round the door and make sure they aren't up to mischief - if you hear crying go to them. Otherwise let them get on with it.

Butterpuff Wed 05-Oct-16 10:55:30

I wish I could leave my 18 month old to play while I do housework, but she just follows me around destroying things as I work.

Maybe when her sibling arrives I will have more luck.

knittingwithnettles Wed 05-Oct-16 10:56:58

The thing is, you might leave them to play, and they might actually start screaming and fighting sad and you might feel worse than ever...

I seem to remember it was a nightmare getting anything done. Perhaps the answer is do less housework? Simplify clearing (throw things into baskets or something like Ikea Trofast) cut down on clothes, make food simpler (cut up apple pieces of cheese, sandwiches, big batch of pasta reheated, mashed potato etc) Clean bathroom whilst twins are in bath perhaps? Hoover with them as a game? The lower your standards the easier it will be to involve them. I found tryign to get something done efficiently with twins was setting myself up for despair. Aim for things to take longer and be done less effectively, and you will feel less stressed..confusedsmile

The answer is to get out of the house as much as possible - playgroup etc, and cut down the number of toys etc you need indoors.

I found the best toys were some wooden blocks, some wooden trains, lots of nursery rhyme tapes, and lots of sofa cushions on the floor to jump on. Fiddly toys, toys which required supervision or too many small bits (I am talking kitchen sets here and dolls clothes and duplo) will actually drive you insane and should only be brought out when it is a special occasion and you can get involved.

knittingwithnettles Wed 05-Oct-16 10:58:47

cross post, it sounds as if you are doing a great job already if they are happily occupied for TWO hours, wow!

slowandfrumpy Wed 05-Oct-16 11:02:10

What? Don't feel guilty! Far better than having them in front of the television. I remember when my twins were four I left them all day (apart to get out of bed to give them food) because I was ill. They trashed the house, but I got to have a brilliant rest and they were perfectly happy (they even attempted to make me breakfast in bed!).

My kids are, apparently, excellent at play! I find this very bizarre but I have been told it twice by teachers. They can instigate their own games, and get lost in their own world, and whenever I come into a room there are always lego cities or a child reading a book or complicated sylvanian singing competitions going on. I think it's because they are 1) left to their own devices and 2) don't have any screens.

So don't feel guilty. Count yourself lucky. It is one of the blessings of having twins.

Also: I have a double reception room and I bought a baby dan gate and put it across the centre. The kids had their own half of the living room (child proofed) all to themselves, precisely so I could wander around the house and do stuff without worrying about them.

Toddlerwhatwhywhat Wed 05-Oct-16 11:03:20

Thanks! Yes, for 2 hours they are happy but it's not 2 hour solidly, I break it up by playing with them for a few mins every 15-20 mins or so. We do a group / park / activity every day and often go out all day but we are all full of colds hence being in more and flat getting dirtier / messier and needing sorting.

slowandfrumpy Wed 05-Oct-16 11:04:38

If you're in another room and they are 18months check on them regularly or put a baby monitor in there.

Toddlerwhatwhywhat Wed 05-Oct-16 11:08:54

I check every 5 mins or so but I can hear them and am never far (tiny flat). Have child proofed the best I can so think they're pretty safe. Although some things you can't predict, I mean, I came in after 1 min and boy twin was sucking the cats tail........

FontSnob Wed 05-Oct-16 11:09:12

My 13 month old is more than happy to potter around by himself, he lets me know when he doesn't want to anymore. He also plays with his 6yr old ds very, very happily whilst i do stuff.

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