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How do people manage with a 2yo and get anything else done?

(31 Posts)
SophieHatters Thu 11-Jun-15 10:15:12

I'd forgotten how hard this is!

He's my third and he is lovely and sweet but he is so determined and so curious.

I spent yesterday unable to do almost anything at all, because he needs me to distract him or play with him constantly and I have a birthday to prepare for as well as various DIY projects that are not getting done, tidying up, even just washing a plate becomes a nightmare as he grabs all the cups and breakable things from the sink (there is a little stool there, I took it away in the end but he got very cross) and I have to keep saying no all the time sad

I ended up shouting...awful I know...but what do you DO? Do you just let go of trying to do anything else, give your other children unwrapped presents, leave everything in a tip?

I mean it's normally a tip anyway but he's trying to climb the FRIDGE FFS grin


tumbletumble Thu 11-Jun-15 10:22:41

I remember this age! My best advice is to lower your expectations of what you 'should' achieve during a day spent at home with him. It's not that you've got nothing done - you've spent the day looking after your son and that IS doing something!

Can you let him 'help', even if his help makes the task take 10 times longer, at least it will get done in the end...?

Damnautocorrect Thu 11-Jun-15 10:30:04

Lower your expectations and take them out to wear them out so when you get back you can get your stuff done.

RobotHamster Thu 11-Jun-15 10:46:36

22 month old here. Usually it's school run, out for the morning, lunch, and then he sleeps. Sometimes. If I get stuff done, that's when it happens. Otherwise it's after school when I bribe ask the older ones to entertain.

Also - 10 mins blitz after they're in bed gets the kitchen sorted. 10 mins when DH is bathing them to sort laundry, or quick tidy, and anything else just has to wait until the weekend. I spent a long time getting stressed about everything that wasn't done. Now I just do the minimum, and anything else is a bonus.

SophieHatters Thu 11-Jun-15 11:22:22

Thank you so much. I do feel under pressure. I am on my own and there's no one to help - I have palmed ds off on my mother this morning as yesterday was so desperate. She is bringing him back now and I expect he will go to sleep (phew)

Yesterday he slept on the way back from the school run/supermarket (which was a rush round trying to find birthday cake sort of trip, though we needed so much more, I just couldn't face it) and I had to wake him to go back in the house...still overtired and cross...then after a dreadful few hours having the Crazy Frog and Gummi bear on youtube non stop (I know, I can't stand it but the older ones showed him and he is addicted - only thing he will have on, CBeebies makes him scream 'turn it OFF!!') he finally fell asleep on the boob, meaning I had to then put him in the car, having been unable to bend down and put on my shoes properly, it was hit and miss that we made it to the car and then of course he woke up on the school run after another paltry 20 minute nap sad

Poor little sod was exhausted.
He does sleep but it is always at the wrong time, and he usually wakes up crying in the morning, I think it's wind but he's been like it since he was born.

I hope it will pass. No idea how I'm going to study let alone go back to work with this going on.

Newtobecomingamum Thu 11-Jun-15 11:46:05

Do you have a safe secure back garden? I know this sounds crazy but I collect piles of sticks up from local trees and lay them all over the grass in my garden.. I then give my son a bucket and he absolutely loves collecting them and putting them in the bucket. I bring all my chores, sorting washing etc into front room and watch him from the back doors. Works a treat and once he's collected them I tell him to close his eyes spread them out again and off he goes for round two until I get everything done! Plus wears him out!!

Please please don't be tough on yourself, you're doing an amazing job and like you said... All on your own!! Don't be so hard on yourself! And if he's got to watch youtube TV for a bit for you to get things done so be it... We all do it!! My one loves these stupid egg videos on youtube (he found it don't know how as he's only 2!!) and it's episodes of people's fingers opening kinder eggs (very odd) but the eggs go on repeat if I need to get things done too!!!

Give yourself a break and think what a bloody great job you are doing!! X

museumum Thu 11-Jun-15 11:49:27

I nearly spat my tea out at 'DIY projects' - no chance with ds in the house, but then I see you've got three children and you're on your own. That's really tough sad
I assume they don't ever go to visit their dad? Are you going to use your free nursery hours when he turns 3? In your position i think i'd be leaving any DIY till then blush

SophieHatters Thu 11-Jun-15 12:03:24

I LOVE the stick thing grin also like the sound of the kinder egg videos - will try and get him hooked on those instead of this Godawful rubbish we're forced to watch atm!

No time with father and that's fine with me, my parents have all of them for a couple of hours on a Saturday which is properly useful. Sometimes I'm too knackered to do anything but at least it is quiet time iyswim.

It will be easier once we have a kitchen which ought to be happening next week, apparently, so roll on that!

Thanks for being so nice.

Artandco Thu 11-Jun-15 12:09:14

Always set them little tasks first so you can get on

Washing up - give them wet wipes and let them ' clean' own toys on kitchen floor. Gives you time to wash up and tidy kitchen

Diy - give him safe things like spare tape measure and masking tape and let him fix and measure his play stuff ie toy kitchen

Otherwise set him up with activity like play dough/ aqua draw / train set depending on where you are.

Get sandpit for garden and his own pots he can ' plant' dig in whilst you do the actual garden

Repeat in various ways for anything

Midorichan Thu 11-Jun-15 12:10:57

EVERYTHING pretty much gets done either before he wakes up, or after he's gone to bed. IMPOSSIBLE otherwise because he's such a high needs toddler. He doesn't, and never has done, "normal" things like "stickers", sitting and drawing for more than 5 seconds, playing with a toy for more than literally a minute etc. He's an outdoors kid through and through but yeah, nothing at all can really get done during the day but that's ok, I just wake up before he does to chop up veggies or whatever for the day's meals, then do tidy up etc after he's in bed. I'm looking forward to him going to school, ha.

SophieHatters Thu 11-Jun-15 12:19:21

Yours sounds like mine, Mido - it's so hard when all he wants is to be picked up and carried around, sit on my lap and fiddle with the computer keyboard, or climb my chair or just randomly break stuff grin

Great ideas about giving him projects. I can see I'm going to have to be proactive and actually think of things for him to do, which I hate doing but it might just solve the problem. That sounds awful doesn't it! I'm just not terribly creative blush

I will definitely give it a go though. Otherwise yes it is before he wakes and after he goes to sleep, when I pretty much fall asleep myself most nights!

HoggleHoggle Thu 11-Jun-15 12:28:52

I have an 18 mo old like this and have spent the last few weeks feeling like a really awful mother. Blaming myself that he always seems bored, which of course it is, but I'm also now telling myself that trying to entertain someone from 5.30am-7pm is almost impossible, especially at this age where their comprehension etc is still developing.

I've by no means cracked it - ds climbed the bookcases this morning then biting me when I kept saying no angry - but I just try to stay outdoors lots. Like going to a field where he can just peg it about. We're going to a farm this afternoon. I would love to have a chilled day but it just doesn't work.

Your mention of climbing the fridge made me laugh grin

SnozzberryPie Thu 11-Jun-15 12:32:05

You have my sympathies! The only way I get anything much done when I am alone with dd is with the help of cbeebies. She does quite like 'helping' me to hangout the washing. Another good one is asking her to put coins in a money box, for some reason she finds this quite entertaining.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 11-Jun-15 13:25:40

Watching with interest - I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old and am 18 weeks pregnant. Fortunately they both sleep at the same time which helps a lot. On days that DS doesn't want to sleep, I've made it clear that it's still "quiet time" and he's quite reliable at lying den for a bit so I can get some stuff done.

We got a TV for the kitchen and they will both sit in thee high hairs and watch a Thomas the tank engine while in clean up after breakfast. Plus, DS will watch one after tea so I can bath DD.

DS also goes to nursery two afternoons which is a life saver. Plus, he loves sorting toys cars. So I've got him a basket for them and he sits and lines them up for about 20 mins or so.

The stick idea is inspired!

SophieHatters Thu 11-Jun-15 13:27:14

I will try the money box thing! I think he would love that smile

Hoggle, you have hit the nail on the head - just wanting a 'chilled day' and it not being possible at all! If only they could entertain themselves for ten minutes now and again!

My Mum says what about nursery/preschool, but I think he is too clingy at the moment. I'm allowed 15 hours free but I daren't even try, he is so attached and clingy right now.

SophieHatters Thu 11-Jun-15 13:50:25

Wow Gobbolino - crossed posts with you! I am seriously in awe. You sound super organised, I would have fallen off my trolley by now with such an age gap as you have flowers

Your Ds sounds lovely and compliant!

Dottymum2 Thu 11-Jun-15 21:17:52

Every now and then I would treat myself to pay for someone to iron a big pile of stuff as this seemed to be the hardest job fore to get done at that time. It really took the pressure off and was worth every penny!!!

RobotHamster Fri 12-Jun-15 09:15:40

Sophie - my DD is very attached and clingy too, always has been, but surprised me when she started at nursery. Was waiting for me at the door this morning impatient to get there grin just loves it.
All kids are different, obviously, but you might be surprised. Worth a try, anyway.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Fri 12-Jun-15 09:32:50

sophie - thank you! Any loveliness and compliance is pure luck. That said, he did throw a bowlful of porridge across the kitchen today as I had the cheek to go and hang the washing out <sigh>

I'm also not super-organised and I do admit to having a cleaner. I know that's not always possible but would really recommend it. I'm not sure how I would do all the cleaning myself if I had to. Not mumsnet I suppose the horror!

LostMySocks Fri 12-Jun-15 22:47:19

Does he like helping? DS loves helping with the washing - putting ot in the machine, pressing start, passing me clothes to hang up not peg out, carrying clean clothes to put away. He also likes standing on a box watching me cook or wash up or helping with the Hoover. Yes it's a bit of a pain and takes more time but he's happy, I get things done and he's always in sight.

McWeedie Fri 12-Jun-15 22:52:40

It's very hard, I'm on my own with 2.9 year old DTS, it drives me nuts sometimes trying to do stuff, it took me 40 minutes to change my bed the other day because they decided to 'help me'.

So you need to find things to distract your DS that involve minimimal or zero involvement on your part. DD is obsessed with the Kinder egg videos on YouTube - I really don't get them but she would watch them for hours if I let her. DS I have discovered has a thing for garden gnomes! Again, really not my thing but I invested in a number of small ones and hide them around the garden, keeps him occupied for ages. I can usually get a fair bit done before anyone notices I'm not around at which point I stick on Sarah and Duck or Hey Dugee and off I go again grin

McWeedie Fri 12-Jun-15 23:02:35

I forgot a couple of my favourites - I get them to wash the plants in the garden or if I really need a long break I give them little paint brushes and water and get them 'painting their playhouse grin

mammmamia Fri 12-Jun-15 23:21:22

I was coming on here to say give him a few paint brushes and some water and let him paint the outside wall, paving stones whatever if you have a garden.
I have twins. They used to do this for ages at that age. They still like doing it aged 5!
You sound like you're doing well. Don't be so hard on yourself.
I worked 3 days a week when mine were that age but the other 5 days the rule was we just had to be out of the house by 10am. Doesn't matter what. Errands, soft play, park, toddler class, play group. Picnic lunch or sometimes cafe. Home for their nap which was 1-3pm and my saviour.
After that, play at home - toys, water, playdoh. Dinner 5pm. Then maybe out again for a bit before bath. Park etc.
I just think that young children are like puppies and need to be walked at least twice a day grin

mammmamia Fri 12-Jun-15 23:24:39

Oh yes and I had no qualms about putting the TV if it got too much.
I did have a cleaner but that's cos I work long hours in the City - only 3 days a week at that point but still about 30 hours.

LetThereBeCupcakes Mon 15-Jun-15 10:38:32

You have three children, you're on your own and you have no kitchen?

I am in awe! I have one DS - aged 2.4. Very little gets done. I cleaned the bathroom on Friday. It took two hours and went something like that.

1. Take everything out of bathroom
2. Clean floor
3. Retrieve contents of bathroom bin strewn across floor by DS
4. Retrieve cleaning cloth from toilet (also thanks to DS)
5. Get new cleaning cloth
6. Put DS in his bedroom to stop him flicking water at me
7. Spray cillit bang on bath
8. Let DS out as he's HOWLING
9. Wrestle cillit bang off of DS
10. More howling...

And so on. In hindsight maybe a deep clean of the bathroom when he was clearly in "a mood" wasn't the best plan...

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