to resent the lack of time I get with my DC?(155 Posts)
I have three, soon to be four DC. They are 2, 6 and 8. I recently went part time because of childcare difficulties due to DP working unpredictable hours. I was looking forward to having more time with the DC but I still feel like I hardly get any quality time with them.
Yesterday, for example:
7 - I get up, make packed lunches, shower, feed dogs.
7.35 - wake DC, get 2 yo dressed and ready, then begin the battle to persuade school hating 6 yo to get ready.
8.10 - downstairs to breakfast
8.30-9.10 - walk to school and back
9.30-11 - toddler group
11.15 - 12 - food shopping
12.15-1.15 - put shopping away and lunch
1.15 - 1.30 - stories with DD
1.30 - 2.15 - walk DD to sleep while walking dogs
2.15 - 3 - hang washing out, hoover, tidy while DD sleeps in pushchair
3-3.40 - walk to school and back
3.40 - 4 - get kids snacks and unpack bags
4.10 - leave to collect DD from after school club
4.30 - dentist appointments for DCs
5.00 - exercise dogs while DCs play at park
6 - arrive home and Cook tea
6.30 - 7.15 - eat tea and wash up
7.15 - 7.45 - get washing in and put away, get uniforms ready for the next day
7.45 - 8.15 - get all DCs showered
8.15 -8.35 - bedtime stories
9 - all DC asleep
This is typical of a day though 9 was actually an earlier bedtime than usual. So in total I probably had half hour quality time with my two year old during the entire day, and none with the older ones. Yes, I see them more but I'm always busy and never have time to just focus on them like I want to. DP thinks I'm lucky to be part time but actually he probably gets more time with them even though he's full time. Am I really badly organised or do other people find they have little quality time with their DCs?
Ditch the dogs?
Most working parents have similar schedules. I work full time I see dd an hour in the mornings and three hours evenings and I make up for it at weekends. You are lucky to be able.to work part time. A privelidge not possible for many of us.
I have four children and get up at 6:30. I wake the children at 7am. Seems early to most but actually they seem happier having more 'home' time before school than being woken up and rushed about. With breakfast, getting ready and the walk to school is all good quality child time. Walk don't drive. Chat, stay relaxed and enjoy your time with them then. Sounds like you spend good quality time with your DD during school hours too. Before I leave to get the children from school I lay out an activity, playdough or colouring so they are with me in the kitchen diner so I can be with them and get dinner on. They also have jobs to do and help with dinner (toddler washes the veg etc) older children peel the veg and stir stuff. That's all great child time. Maybe you are just struggling to see it because it's not as structured as you think it should be?
Food shopping, hoovering and dentist arent daily tasks though are they? Can you chuck something in the slow cooker in the morning after playgroup to save cooking later?
To me what you are describing is quality time. Perhaps get the children more involved in chores by making it a game to a) lessen the burden of chores on you and b) spend time working as a team.
Hoovering is daily because of the dogs. Tonight we had gymnastics for two hours instead of the dentist; there's always something. The walk to school isn't relaxed quality time because my 6 yo hates school and has to be coerced all the way there while the other DC are ignored.
I think this is a typical day tbh.
Don't rush from one thing to another, and make the most of the small things. For instance, walking to school and back is a lovely time for chatting/singing/jumping in puddles/ collecting insects etc.
Remember, whatever you're doing, you're always making memories. For them, and for you.
No offence but maybe try ignoring the 6 year old and focus on the others. Praise the good and ignore the unwanted behaviours could work a treat.
My days are back to back too. It's non stop. Small things that help. Getting up earlier so that it's less pressurised first thing, making simple meals and prioritising time with the kids above the hoovering/sweeping/mopping/bathroom cleaning.
Well, you get a lot more time with your DC than most working parents.
Yesterday - up at 5am, train to london, work all day, train home, back at 10pm, DH did drop off and PILs collected kids
Today - up at 6, shower and dressed, wake kids at 630, do breakfast/ nag them to get dressed, leave house at 730 to take to breakfast club, go to work, collect from afterschool club at 6pm then have around 2 hours for homework and tea before bed at 8
Yes and enjoy the walk to and from school.
To a certain extent you chose to have this kind of schedule, if you don't like it change it e.g. cut back on activities, order groceries while kids sleep, cook simpler, don't have pets. And spend more time doing whatever you see as quality time - for us that's cuddling the kids on the sofa or chatting about the day.
Your situation seems typical for a working parent. I work full time with 2 DC and feel like I am on a permanent treadmill.
I think if you chose to have a large family then to some extent you opt in to this sort of life. Most people I know who've stopped at 2 children cite ability to have quality time with each of them as a key reason. You've obviously felt able to for #4, so think you need to embrace the craziness!
Isn't the toddler group quality time with the youngest? And could some of the household chores be done once the older ones are in bed to claw back another half hour or so before bed?
Yes I agree, I only have two dc because I didn't think I could give more dc enough time. Can you regime dog? Ditch some after school activities?
6 yo would stop moving if I ignored her so sadly isn't an option.
The DC love the pets and activities, I don't think they feel they're missing out on anything regarding quality time as they all get on and play well. It's just my own guilt and feeling that I want to spend more time with them. They were all ecstatic when I told them I was pregnant and seem to love the craziness, I just feel like I'm always on the move and have something to do. It's all very well saying prioritise the DC over jobs but there's always at least one DC with me and if I don't do the jobs they won't get done.
With your 2 years old, that 8.30 - 1.30 could be quality time. Asking your DC to help with the shopping, e.g. carrying something (maybe not eggs!) - turn it into fun stuff rather than viewing it as a chore. And could you skip toddler group for fun together at the park or something else you'd both enjoy? I had to play naughty witches today at the park - not my real idea of fun but DD2 loves it, so she thinks it's quality time.
It may be a case of changing your mindset. That's 5 hours time so you could enjoy it.
I'm not trying to be arsey, but why on earth are you having a fourth dc then?
Toddler group isn't really quality time with DD as she is sociable and goes off to play and I take my baby neice too to give my sister a break. Once the DC are in bed it's hard to do any jobs because 6 yo wakes at the slightest noise and then is difficult to resettle so I can only really do admin jobs.
Like I said upthread Haggis, the children are happy with how busy life is and don't resent it. I just feel guilty.
Ditch the dogs
Do the washing, shopping, pre prepare meals etc once kids are in bed
Don't have more kids
Seems fairly straightforward to an outsider tbh
But that doesn't really answer the question I asked. Hope you resolve your guilt-I once read that guilt is an utterly useless emotion as it doesn't solve anything. I try to adopt a 'that's the way it is' attitude and not feel guilt, especially if dc don't seem bothered.
why do you keep having kids if the responsibilities involved mean you don't get to spend enough 'quality time' with the ones you've already got?
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