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Mums of Toddlers - How do you spend your days?

(37 Posts)
jumpyjan Wed 22-Oct-08 12:00:02

DD goes to nursery 3 days a week currently but I am considering stopping work when new baby born in May.

I sometimes find it hard to fill the 2 days we are currently at home and wondering what I would do if it were 5 days.

We do colouring etc but she is only interested in that for about 10 mins, likewise playing with toys. I feel bad that I resort to Cbeebies a bit too often! We go out for walks etc but that only takes an hour. We live in a village and I can't really afford to be driving to places all the time.

I also want to acheive a balance between keeping her entertained without it being too overstimulating for her and exhausting for me (as am currently in first trimester and v tired). Am also not sure if its acceptable for me to do housework when she is around or whether I should save it all up for the weekend.

Feel guilty at the mo that I need to ask this.

Any ideas.

beeny Wed 22-Oct-08 12:05:37

i am in your position feel the convinced my parents didnt constantly entertain me.

bythepowerofgreyskull Wed 22-Oct-08 12:08:57

I am sahm, we have a very busy day on Monday out all day tumbletots in the morning, and I run a messy toddler group in the afternoon. Tuesday is a home day catching up on domestic stuff, DS2 playing in the garden or around the house - until DS1 pick up from school when we play on the school field for an hour (weather permitting)
Wednesday is mostly out and about doing chores
Thursday we have a toddler group in the morning meet a friend for lunch
Friday we go swimming some weeks

DS2 still sleeps from 1-3pm so if we have a home based day he is asleep for a chunk of it.

we don't have the tv on very much the things we do are very much led by him.. sometimes he will play for 20-30 mins with the trains or car garage and I can drink a whole cup of coffee.. or peg the washing out without interuption.

He cooks the lunch with me, does the washing up with me, time really does fly by.

How old is your DC?

nickytwoooohtimes Wed 22-Oct-08 12:10:50

jumpy, ds is 2 and loves to 'help' me with the housework. I actually do more cleaning now to entertain him, though obviously it is not very efficient, lol!
We do colouring in, drawing, playing, reading books, but only for short periods of time as you say. WE also live rurally but have a good few frineds with los who we can go to visit and just play/chat. Also, the library is great, but possibly yo udo not have one in your village?
Do not worry about it. I'm sure your lo just loves being with you. Thjere is a lot of pressure on parents to provide 'stimulus' fo rtheir kids these days. It is important that kids learn to entertain themselves and deal with boredom, imo!

shelleylou Wed 22-Oct-08 12:10:55

Ive just started doing baking with my ds. Just simple recipes, rock cakes flap jcks etc. It really keeps his attention likes that hes helping.
He goes swimming usually at least once a week.

compo Wed 22-Oct-08 12:11:01

honest opinion here
If you aren't going to go to groups, the library, swimming etc (ie a planned activity every day of the week) I really would stay at work and keep them both in nursery if you can afford it
5 days at home with only an hour for a walk/park will drive you barmy
that is my experience anyway
unless you have a large network of friends where you're in and out of each other's houses all the time

jvs Wed 22-Oct-08 12:11:23

I hate to admit it but I get bored stupid sometimes at home with ds, I actually quite look forward to work now as when I am home with him all day we kind of get bored with each other..... it is ok if the weather is good but when it rains I just totally run out of ideas, hope you find some solutions.

phdlife Wed 22-Oct-08 12:11:27

mornings we mooch around doing chores, playing/reading books/colouring, snacking, and watching his teletubbies tape (50mins only). Then he naps (1-2hrs, usually 1), then I cook lunch and we eat.

Afternoons we go to the park (both of us bored with it now, trying to find other places to go) or do the shopping (tragically this is much more exciting than the park) or on thursdays, go to mummies' group if lunch is over in time.

Ds loves "helping" with the housework, except the vacuuming. I just don't do any that invovles chemicals while he's around.

nickytwoooohtimes Wed 22-Oct-08 12:11:42

Oh, we do also go to playgroup one morning a week and toddlers one afternoon. Tis a sanity saver!

hattyyellow Wed 22-Oct-08 12:13:37

I get my two to help me with housework, they have those spray bottles you can get from garden centres, with just water and washing up liquid in, plus their own cloths. They bizarrely love it and will happily wipe cupboards, chairs etc for me!

They understand that after meals, I need to spend some time tidying up and that at other times of the day there are things I need to do. How old is your DD?

I find I can make a deal with them, "I need to get this done whil you go and play, after that I promise will do x with you".

Are there any mums locally you can go and visit or get round? I find that can be fun for a few hours, plus if you go for lunch you don't have to cook! Or toddler groups? We have lots locally so I tend to go to different ones on different weeks.

I also work 2-3 days per week but am due to go on maternity leave next month so am wondering how to fill the week as well! My girls go to nursery 2 days and pre-school one morning so that should help.

timewaster Wed 22-Oct-08 12:20:00

Ds is 14months next week. He can entertain himself for a little while with his toys/exploring things in the flat. I try to play with him a little bit everyday but do the housework if I get the chance and provide things for him to look at/play with in the room I am in, so that I can still see him/talk to him while he is playing. I do feel like I should be playing with him all the time, and feel guilty if I am busy with adult stuff, but then I remind myself that my mum did housework when we were around, I think me and my brother entertained ourselves a lot. I wonder if this guilt is a modern thing because we certainly never went to constant classes/baby centred activities when we were little.
I have started taking him out a bit more in the last couple of months as I have discovered a nice toddler group and also a parent's coffee group/craft group. He also goes to nursery 2 days a week when I'm at work. In fact since I started making friends at the toddler group and going to the park with them afterwards I wish I could be a sahm as it is much more enjoyable with other people around!! Do you have other mum friends? Can you get to any groups and make more friends? The children enjoy being amongst other children and it breaks up the day nicely.
I do let ds watch tv, it is something I worry about too, and I try to ration the cbeebies. I think that the problems with tv probably arise when children don't get ANY interaction with adults/children, and don't get any fresh air or exercise - rather than tv being a bad thing in itself iyswim, although I could be wrong! But I think most parent's will use the tv at times to help entertain/calm their child. All things in moderation I suppose.

jumpyjan Wed 22-Oct-08 12:20:04

Yes, think I would give toddler groups another go if I were at home. DD is 21 months so by the time baby born will be approaching pre school age. I would def do something which involves them being around other children (even if im not so keen on toddler groups!)

We have done all the baking/painting thing etc which is great but doesnt really take up that much time and I spend longer cleaning up afterwards then it takes to do the activity which is quite boring for dd!

I think if I were at home DD and baby would have to integrate into normal life a bit more i.e. I never take DD to do the weekly shop or go into the city centre with her etc and at the moment I rarely do any house work when she is around - apart from doing the dishes and she tends to get bored when I am doing that! Perhaps the mini dustpan and brush etc is a good idea to get her "helping"!

jumpyjan Wed 22-Oct-08 12:23:33

In answer to questions re other mums - I don't really know that many. I have a couple of friends I meet up with once a week or once a fortnight.

Thing is I think I do want to be at home full time I am just not sure I will be any good at it.

ohdearwhatamess Wed 22-Oct-08 12:26:00

I have a 2.5 yo and a 8mo.

After breakfast (and the hellish hour of getting everyone clean and dressed) we take the dog out for a walk, whatever the weather. That takes about an hour.

Then most mornings we go somewhere - mother and toddler group, friends' house (or have them round to us), shopping (less of that now as ds1 is too much of a pest).

Both dcs nap (thank goodness) giving me chance to eat lunch, tidy the house a bit, MN, do admin etc.

Afternoons we go to the playground, play in the garden, cook things, or just do stuff around the house. Ds1 loves to help with dusting, tidying, etc. One afternoon a week we go to a msuic class.

Mine isn't keen an arty craft stuff (although actually did do colouring this morning). I don't try and entertain him every minute of the day. He'll spend a happy hour or two most days plating with cars or trains.

I find that most days I only have 2 hour and a half segments where actually we need to find something to do. The rest of it gets taken up with dressing, nappies, feeding, eating etc.

jumpyjan Wed 22-Oct-08 12:40:20

Yes I too am lucky in that DD naps between 11 and 1 and that helps as gives me a chance to cook her lunch etc.

I don't want to entertain her every minute of the day either. I think it is important that she can play on her own too.

I think I am just feeling guilty as I have no energy at all at the moment since I have been pregnant and am not as up for doing stuff with her as I was before. Hopefully my energy levels will pick up in the second trimester and I can stomach baking again!

Amani Wed 22-Oct-08 12:48:58

Got 2 DDs, exactly 2 years apart. DD1 now 2 yrs 10 m and DD2 10 months.

When I started ML I got into the habit of 2 monrnings a week drop DD1 off to in-laws house (grandad, grandma, uncles) loved having her around, kept DD1 2 mornings a week at nursery and one morning a week mother and toddler group. DD2 was just a baby so not demanding.

Weekends DH was at home so he took them out etc.

In the afternoons from 2-4pm they both slept so that gave me time to do household chores, 'me' time or sleep myself!

Weegle Wed 22-Oct-08 12:50:48

We do a variety of things: structured groups - Jo Jingles and Swimming. Then he also has two half day sessions at nursery (soon to be pre-school). The rest of the time is taken up: playing as I do chores, crafty things a few times a week, playdoh, baking/cooking once or twice a week, visiting friends/having friends here, going to the station to watch trains, going to the park or playground, going to the woods, going to a local soft play, going to a local farm, going to the garden centre (he can investigate things and nice cafe for me), short trips to the shops (I don't take him big supermarket shop) or the post office, dancing to/listening to music, occasionally watch some telly, playing in the garden if the weather is ok, going puddle jumping if it's not! That sort of thing. I actively try to have part of each day where nothing is planned and we just do whatever we fancy. And he helps with chores: he loads the washing machine, he empties the washing machine, looks after ingredients for me whilst I cook - he sits on the side and we just chat etc etc. Pace of life has to slow right down though, but I like that.

Weegle Wed 22-Oct-08 12:53:55

oh and if you don't feel energic but they do: pile a load of sofa cushions on the floor and leave them to it whilst you watch!

MegBusset Wed 22-Oct-08 12:57:39

I have a 20mo DS and am 14 weeks pg. The key to sanity for me is being out of the house as much as humanly possible. DS is as good as gold out of the house but can be a little monkey at home, and we have a tiny house, so I don't stay in if I can help it.

Typical day for us is:
Morning: toddler group (I'm lucky in that there are loads near us so can do one pretty much every day). These are essential as DS can play with toys that I don't have room for and I can chat with other adults.

Lunch is usually eaten on the way home.

Nap at home 12.30-2

Afternoon: park (most days), shops, library or sometimes soft play if raining.

By the time I get home around 5 he is usually knackered so I can have a cup of tea and prep his dinner in peace while he plays with toys.

I don't have TV on at all during the day although sometimes I will surreptitiously watch Deal Or No Deal while he plays with his toys. CBeebies is on for half an hour before he goes to bed while I run his bath etc.

I do get him to help with some chores -- he loves tidying up, helping me hang washing, etc.

I would say that during the 1st trimester when I felt really sick and tired all the time, I did take it a bit easier. But even then, I find taking him to the library or a toddler group less hard work than entertaining him at home.

Wade Wed 22-Oct-08 13:10:37

Being a SAHM is really hard work and, I think like most jobs, it's sometimes really boring. But I'm sure it will get easier when you've passed the first trimester. From what friends tell me, you will never have to entertain your second lo the way you do your first cos DD1 will do that job for you! For me variety is the key. Some weeks I shop online and some weeks we go to the supermarket. Different parks, different playgroups. Visiting friends, even just for a coffee keeps the lo's entertained. I hoover the carpet, then DD inspects the hoover - fascinated for about 20 minutes!! I tidy the kitchen, she empties the pan draw and bangs lids together for a while.

Wade Wed 22-Oct-08 13:12:30

Oh and definitely do housework when she is around. They love watching and copying and are learning from you all the time. I think that is one of the nice things about being at home. They get to see how a household works.

FourArms Wed 22-Oct-08 13:21:54

I have DS1 aged 4 in school, and DS2 aged 2. I try to do lots of out of the house activities. We go to a Mother and Toddler gp, a messy play group and fun bingo (I play bingo, he plays with the other kids). DS2 does pre-school two afternoons a week. We also have membership to the aquarium nearby, so go there most weeks. If I do the school run (share with friends), I take them to the park on the way home for 20 mins or so.

We're at home the rest of the time. After school we play out, weather permitting, or at somebody's house on our street. When we're in the house, I get 'jobs' done, children permitting. If they want me to play with them, and I don't have to do anything, then I do. If they're not bothered, then I get on with things. DS2 often helps unload the dishwasher. They can paint (water based paints), play with Playdoh or with water in the sink whilst I'm cooking or cleaning the kitchen.

I clean the bathroom and put away clothes when they're in the bath - they can have an hour in there if they're being good.

I have the TV on if I want to keep them entertained when I'm busy. DH is away for a few months, so I figure I've got to do anything I can to make my life a bit easier!

They have loads of toys too, all boxed up by category, and I let them choose a box at a time. This keeps things a bit tidier, and means that they're actively playing with what they've chosen rather than creating carnage! I often help set up the toys (farm, trains, marblerun, zoo with duplo, monsters with k'nex....) then leave them to it.

toobusytothink Wed 22-Oct-08 13:27:09

How old is he?
If nearly 3 look at preschool. You probably know that term after they turn 3 you get 5 half days (2.5 hrs) free per week which will keep him entertained and that is well worth doing as it is something different.

I have 2.11 and 1.7.
We do kindergym on Mondays, toddler group on Tues and Fri and music group on Thurs.

Def get things planned. They will go mad being in house all day every day

Thankyouandgoodnight Wed 22-Oct-08 14:11:10

oh yes, this free childcare thing when they're 3 - does anyone know how it works? Is someone legally bound to take your child in and if so, who?

FourArms Wed 22-Oct-08 14:31:36

What exactly do you mean TY&GN? Do you mean where can they go for the free sessions?

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