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to not get it when people talk about 'relaxing family time'

(150 Posts)
deliverdaniel Sun 05-Feb-17 19:36:08

I've seen lots of threads on here where people talk about relaxing family weekends, or various where people have suggested that the OP just 'relax' at home when (usually) her partner is out pursuing a hobby or similar.

Do these people have much older children than ours? Am I doing something wrong? Family life with young kids can be many lovely things- joyous/ fulfilling/ rewarding but IME almost never 'relaxing.' We have 2 active DS's aged 6 and 3. Looking after them is fun but almost constant hard work. They need very careful supervision not to break anything/ hurt themselves/ start fighting etc. they constantly need help with things. they want to play boring, repetitive games with us. We encourage them to be self sufficient and the older one can play on his own for a while (esp w legos) but even then it isn't particularly relaxing as we are constantly looking out for the younger one and often to maek sure he doesn't break his brother's lego creations etc. Occasionally we resort to TV and now sometimes films although the younger one won't concentrate for long, adn putting on kids tv doesn't really count as a relaxing family activity for us. We are usually exhausted.

Don't get me wrong- we adore our kids, have some great days out and times with them. But it's certainly not relaxing. What does the 'relaxing' that everyone else seems to be doing with their young kids consist of?

Genuine question?

ScarlettFreestone Sun 05-Feb-17 19:38:08

It gets easier as they get older.

early30smum Sun 05-Feb-17 19:40:40

I think you are right to some extent but I also think you have to give them a bit more responsibility. Mine are 7 (nearly 8) and 4 and we do 'relax' a bit at weekends. Going to the park, letting them run around is relaxing (sometimes!) in the mornings we sometimes get a short lie in as they can work the tv and DD is sensible enough to watch out for her brother and come and get us if any dramas. Sometimes we will both be reading or listening to music and our 2 will amuse themselves playing etc. We do LOADS with them and it doesn't do them the slightest harm to realise we need some downtime too. This all makes me seem smug- we do have some very very unrelaxing times too when it all goes wrong!

LilacPeony Sun 05-Feb-17 19:41:45

Yes easier as they get older. Mine are 9 and 12 and it's felt relaxing for a few years.

AllGone Sun 05-Feb-17 19:42:02

YANBU. I have 2 DS and whilst being with them and doing things together can definitely be fun and fulfilling, relaxing is not a word I would use to describe it! Think we're more tired than they are by the end of the day!

AllGone Sun 05-Feb-17 19:43:36

Mine are only 3.5 and 18 months though so hoping we can do some relaxing in about 10 years time. grin

RainbowBriteRules Sun 05-Feb-17 19:44:24

I could have written your post OP (and in fact have written similar before). While it is undoubtedly easier than when they were younger, I have no idea when this 'relaxing' family time happens either confused. We are looking at booking a family holiday this summer and, while this will probably make me sound really ungrateful, I cannot imagine it being in the slightest bit relaxing.

kilmuir Sun 05-Feb-17 19:45:21

Spot on OP

Rooiboscz Sun 05-Feb-17 19:45:26

I would expect a six year old to be able to entertain themselves for long periods of time and a three year old to sit through a film.

Maybe you're 'busying' them - trying to entertain them and perhaps you could leave them to play on their own more?

Wolfiefan Sun 05-Feb-17 19:46:17

My youngest is 7. We can have relaxing family time. With young kids? Forget it!

RainbowBriteRules Sun 05-Feb-17 19:46:24

My 6 year old can entertain herself pretty well. The problem is my 3 year old wants in on the act and then the bickering starts. To be fair it has got better and they do play together well at times.

maras2 Sun 05-Feb-17 19:48:47

Relaxing family time for us was sacking the kids off to the GP's then DH and me going back to bed for either a good kip or a good shag <or both>
Now we're the GP's so know exactly what DC's mean when they sack the DGC's off to us saying that they need 'relaxing family time'. grin
Could be lost in translation.

Pinotwoman82 Sun 05-Feb-17 19:48:49

It does get a bit easier when they are older mine are 9, 6.5 and 3.5, the older two play really well together, although they do argue ! The 3.5 year old is getting a little easier, however I'd never describe it as relaxing

deliverdaniel Sun 05-Feb-17 19:56:01

thanks everyone. Yes my 6 year old can entertain himself for a fairly long time (in the right mood) but it's still not particularly relaxing because of the 3 year old. I guess it is a lot easier than this time last year though, so maybe that will continue.

I just don't get it when people suggest to posters that they just 'relax' at home with the kids while their other half is off doing something else. For me it feels as though childcare is basically work- often very fulifilling and wonderful work, but definitely 'on duty' and often much harder work than going out to work in any job that I've done (at least in my experience)

Penhacked Sun 05-Feb-17 19:59:24

Oh jeez I think I forgot three year olds are still a handful. I am on hour 15 of our relaxing day at home and I have hit the vino old skool style tonight. Ages 1 and 5!

busyboysmum Sun 05-Feb-17 20:00:05

Yeah. 6 & 3 probably the worst ages unfortunately. It gets so much easier. We have 15, 12 & 5 and have spent this weekend chilling as a family. Pottering about, all went to our gym yesterday and the big boys and I worked out whilst the little one played and dad had a coffee. Then we all had a swim together. Today we've hung around the house all day and a variety of friends have passed through. Everyone's now winding down ready for school tomorrow.

MrsTarzan1 Sun 05-Feb-17 20:02:00

Gets easier as they get older, probably when mine were 5&7 it became easier.

SparklyLeprechaun Sun 05-Feb-17 20:05:45

It gets easier, much easier. Mine are 6 and 8 and they play together or do their own thing quite happily. Even if they want to go out it's pretty relaxing, I can take a book to the park, I don't have to watch them every second. But I still remember how hard it used to be 2-3 years ago.

bingisthebest Sun 05-Feb-17 20:06:10

Op. I have 7, 6 and 3 yo. You're weekends/ life sounds similar to ours. I have friends who say 'I don't want the weekend to end'.., I'm exhausted after the weekends!

NotCitrus Sun 05-Feb-17 20:10:01

Once dd was 4 it got better. Also if I heard any wailing about whose turn it was to have a TV programme, then it would be My Turn. And further wailing would mean the remotes disappearing for the rest of the day (well, I might relent by 6pm...)

She's now 5 and some weekends are relaxing. Others involve way too much being jumped on...

formerbabe Sun 05-Feb-17 20:12:25

Completely with you op. Taking my dc to the park is not relaxing. That's not to say I don't enjoy it, but no, it certainly doesn't relax me. Actually taking them out anywhere isn't relaxing. I need to keep my eye on them obviously to make sure they don't wander off. I need to make sure they are not hungry, thirsty or need the toilet. I need to stop them from bickering etc! So, even if I take them out and we all have a good time, it still feels like hard work to me!

Lindy2 Sun 05-Feb-17 20:13:51

It does get easier. Age 3 and 6 is never really going to be relaxing. My children are 6 and 8 and this weekend has been pretty relaxing. We've done some household jobs and tidying up but we've also managed a bit of a lie in, watched a film together, the children have played together (mostly quite nicely ), we've sat and eaten a roast dinner together. It's mostly been quite chilled and not too busy.
Give it another 2 or 3 years and you'll notice the difference.

allowlsthinkalot Sun 05-Feb-17 20:15:43

Perhaps you need to let them sort out their own disputes as long as nobody's getting hurt?

I don't mean to sound smug at all but I don't relate to what you're saying. By three mine were much easier and family time became relaxing because they were more independent and could be left to play.

Ours are 9, 7, 5 and 2. They do play together until we get up. It gets even better when the older ones can get breakfast for themselves and the little ones. And it's brill when they can read.

But it does sound as though you're constantly entertaining them rather than leaving them to their own devices.

CointreauVersial Sun 05-Feb-17 20:17:13

Wait until your DCs are 13, 15 and 17. You'll never see them (unless they're hungry or want a lift somewhere).

allowlsthinkalot Sun 05-Feb-17 20:17:19

Don't get me wrong, they squabble and bicker! And obviously we do things with them, they don't just get left to fend for themselves. But they're not babies any more who need constant management.

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