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Is it normal to have no child free time?

(175 Posts)
Forfrigssake Thu 17-Nov-16 21:53:56

In a nutshell...

I have an 18 month old and a 7 week old. I went back to work in-between but I'm on maternity leave at the moment. My 18 month old gets up around 6am everyday, rarely naps (gave those up at 10 months old) and we have to fight to get her to bed. We've tried everything! I won't bore you with details but after a struggle she goes to bed between 9.30pm and can be as late as 11pm. We literally keep the same waking hours as she does! We don't have any toddler free time at all and it's wearing me down.

Obviously having a new baby means we have round the clock every few hour feeds too etc.

Does anyone else have every waking hour occupied by their children with no child free/adult time at all ever? I'm finding I have to sort washing/pay bills/have a bath at ridiculous times like 3 or 4 in the morning! Is this normal?

Floofborksnootandboop Thu 17-Nov-16 21:56:18

Mine are 14,16,18 and 19 and I barely get a "child free moment" confused

Butterymuffin Thu 17-Nov-16 21:56:36

That sounds very tough. Does your older one spend any time in childcare? Could you get her in somewhere for some hours every week, even if you need to cut back to afford it?

SalemSaberhagen Thu 17-Nov-16 21:59:17

I have a 2 year old who will not contemplate sleep before 9 15pm, usually 10pm. Doesn't matter what time she wakes, whether she naps or not, how active she has been in the day. She just won't sleep earlier.

So I have no advice, but I feel your pain!

Afreshstartplease Thu 17-Nov-16 21:59:25

smile I feel your pain op

Mine are 8, 7, 3 and 4 weeks

Currently on mat leave and have 3 year old at home with me as well as baby

Occasionally I get half an hour in the bath to myself!

Chickpearocker Thu 17-Nov-16 22:00:56

I think most people do get child free time in that grandparents or family tend to help. Also ppl use childcare. Sounds very full on to me. You could really do with getting your 18 month to bed much earlier mine goes around 6.30 pm. I would literally crack up if I didn't get evenings to myself.

Sparlklesilverglitter Thu 17-Nov-16 22:01:33

My baby is around 3 months and I am on maternity leave at the moment I get baby free time by;
Leaving DD with DH and going out for coffee/a look around the shops
My Mum/dad often take her round the park for a walk while I have a nice soak.
Me & DH get alone time by in laws or my parents baby sitting while we go for a meal or something

Could you leave your DC with there Dad a few hours a week and do something for you?
Or would you consider a baby sitter once a month so you and your partner get out just you?

lapsedorienteerer Thu 17-Nov-16 22:01:47

In my experience it is indeed 'normal to have no child free time'....sorry

Camomila Thu 17-Nov-16 22:02:22

That sounds tough.

I've never had more than 2 hours away from DS (7 months, breasted) but at least he naps fairly reliably.

I think I'm starting to miss my DH though...and he's only in the kitchen washing up! But the baby insists on sleeping in the middle of the bed with mummy and tbh I'm ready for bed by 9.

MouldyPeach Thu 17-Nov-16 22:02:35

It's normal for me, I have a 13yo, 7yo who is homeschooled and 8mo baby, along with no local family and dh grappling with a pgce we get zero time to ourselves. I try to do things like housework & other boring domestic shit with the kids either helping or entertaining each other, I bathe with the 7yo and the baby, co-sleep, and have had to let things like personal grooming and having a lovely (looking) home slide. I'm planning another baby soon so won't get any me time for a looooong while, to me it is worth it but of course sometimes I just want to lock myself in the bedroom and starfish on the bed for a couple of hours.

BackforGood Thu 17-Nov-16 22:02:44

I'm finding I have to sort washing/pay bills/have a bath at ridiculous times like 3 or 4 in the morning! Is this normal?

No. You do it whilst your dh / dp has them.

But unless you have one of those dc that is ready to sleep at 7pm, then, yes, it's pretty normal not to have child free time at this age.

Learn to repeat "It's just a phase. It's just a phase." - it comes in very handy over the years wink

NewlySkinnyMe Thu 17-Nov-16 22:03:20

At 18 months, my DD was like yours. 3 months later and she has consistently been going down by 7:30.

You will get your evenings back. At exhausting as it is.

Manumission Thu 17-Nov-16 22:04:31

It's normal at the start if you don't have helpful family nearby.

Notenoughtime123 Thu 17-Nov-16 22:04:47

I have a 17 year old and a 3 year old and I have one hour a week where I volunteer at a youth group without my children. However, clearly it isn't working for you. Do you haveany friends or family who could help out at all, could your 18 month old continue with whatever form of childcare you used whilst working so you can potentially do your own thing whilst baby naps. Really hope things get easier for you soon. 16 months is a hard gap at least in the short term. Also can you and your husband tag team a little so you both get an hour or 2 each week where the other is responsible for children.

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Thu 17-Nov-16 22:04:50

I'm afraid at those ages, yes it was normal for me to have no child free time. I had a bigger age gap so would expect even less with a smaller age gap. I also used to pay bills etc at 3am.

Pinkheart5915 Thu 17-Nov-16 22:06:09

Mine are 15 months and roughly 3 months.
I own a small business but I currently have a manager in charge as I'm taking a few years maternity leave

I get free time as
Once a week mil takes both DC for the day ( they go to soft play/round the shops etc)
I often meet friends for a coffee/ cocktail and just tell DH he is alone with DC that night

We get time as a couple because
Mil baby sits over night once every 2 weeks
Mine are both good sleepers so we get a lot of evening time together

Would you consider a baby sitter now and then?
Leave you DC with there Dad and take some time out for yourself?
Nursery a day or two a week for the older one?

TreehouseTales Thu 17-Nov-16 22:10:25

Wow pink. Completely envy your set up! How lucky to have so much help.

Artandco Thu 17-Nov-16 22:12:05

I would at least start leaving them alone with Dh a bit. Even breastfed baby you can leave an hour. Just leave them both and go for a walk and coffee an hour at least

Time alone has always happened here. We have two children, 15 month gap, now school age. From days old Dh or I both left each other for a basic hour to ourselves. A coffee out, meet friend for an hour, gym an hour etc.

Mine also have always had late bedtime. A 18 months bedtime was 10-11pm, but then they slept until 9am at least. So would often wake at 7am ourselves and have a few hours to get whatever done at home. They also napped 2-3hrs

Can you implement quiet time if not napping? Every day at 1pm get him to sit in his bed ( take side off if it's a baby cot still), and listen to story tape and look at books himself an hour. He might fall asleep also

Lelloteddy Thu 17-Nov-16 22:17:33

It is if you don't have willing grandparents or other family members nearby.

NickyEds Thu 17-Nov-16 22:18:31

Like Artandco we have both always had child free time (ours have a 19 month gap)because we have left them with each other. When dd was tiny it might only have been half a hour whilst I walked around the village. When she got a little bigger (from around 3 months) I woukd go out once a week (still do) and leave her with dp.

MrsNuckyThompson Thu 17-Nov-16 22:23:25

This might not sound helpful but your DD must be chronically overtired. You couldn't get someone in to help you with that? I know it is trite to say but sleep begets sleep and the fact she is getting so little must be impacting the level to which she's 'wound up'.

I could not cope - mentally, physically or emotionally - with what you're describing. DS is in bed by 7.30 and I relish my 3 hours of time off before I go to bed...

Ruprecthepanbasher Thu 17-Nov-16 22:23:45

Not normal here, sorry. At that age, my two were in bed by 7pm although up early but we both said that we would rather put up with early starts and have some evening to ourselves. Sounds horrendous to have your toddler up with you til 9pm or 11pm!

Now they're older, we get less of our evening as two nights a week the nearly teenager goes to bed when we do. However as kids get older, they need much less entertaining so it isn't really an issue.

Can't you have any time to yourself? Leave the kids with your OH for an hour or two? Creche at the gym? Friends taking the kids for an hour?

MistresssIggi Thu 17-Nov-16 22:26:55

If you have a partner you can run out the door for an hour. Go to supermarket to buy something "essential" and have a latte in their cafe.
Go for mini-recharges if there is no likelihood of a night off.

Finelinebetweenchaos Thu 17-Nov-16 22:27:38

At those ages, particularly 7 weeks, yes, totally normal - especially if you breast feed! My youngest is 13 months and just now am I starting to get my evenings back.

I know it's hard, take all the help you can. Ask DH to do the chores while you snuggle / feed your babies.

tinytemper66 Thu 17-Nov-16 22:28:48

I have a disabled 31 year old and a 21 year old who live with us so no child free life unless who go away. Luckily I can leave them home alone as it were!

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