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For those with 2 or more LOs - how much help did you have (if any) once your DP had gone back to work?

(22 Posts)
Thankyouandgoodnight Mon 04-Aug-08 14:14:29

DH will have had two weeks off after the birth of DS and we have a 19 mo too. I was just wondering how other people manage - get outside help in or wing it??

2point4kids Mon 04-Aug-08 14:20:11

I'd wing it and if you struggle have something up your sleeve (list of contacts etc) to call in to help.
You will most likely find you are ok on your own and you will feel better for doing things your own way.

DS1 was 2.4 when DS2 was born. DH had one week off work and then MIL helped for a couple of days. After that I was on my own and coped fine. Being on my own got me back into the swing of things much quicker I found.
I have a friend with the same age gap and she hasnt been on her own with the 2 children for over 3 weeks now and she cant imagine being able to cope taking both to the park etc because she hasnt tried to do it yet.

Does your older child go to nursery at all? If you do struggle a bit, then a half day a week at nursery will make the world of difference to you both. Give you time to have a nap/bath or do some cleaning while baby naps.

dinkystinky Mon 04-Aug-08 14:46:28

I had a difficult birth with DS and couldnt move easily for several weeks after coming home and DS was a difficult baby - DH was off work for 2 weeks and then we got a postnatal doula to come and help me for a couple of hours each day for another 3 weeks (doing cleaning/looking after baby etc. so I could shower/eat/sleep). I found the doula an absolute lifesaver. Think she was about £13 an hour.

Am now pregnant with no2 (DS is 2 and a half) and dont think weill be needing doula this time round as am hoping birth will be better and will be ok to get out and about with DS and baby (to park etc as DS goes stir crazy when under house arrest) - if we do though, wouldnt hesitate to get our doula back.

Twelvelegs Mon 04-Aug-08 14:51:12

You'll be fine. I had some help as I had c-secions each time and couldn't move well!! However I can't see why you'd need anyone really as long as you're not madly house proud. Would you really want a cleaner in the house whilst you're getting used to a new baby???
Doula idea sounds nice though.

RubyRioja Mon 04-Aug-08 14:54:03

No help
Was also clearing my late mum's home and arranging probate.

Lower your standards. Think things through. SOunds nerdy, but I had a timetable in the morning to get dd1 to school. Had routine for getting everyone in the car in safest formation. Idenitified supermarket with least hassle car park (also undercover so good when it rained).

Hard, but do-able.

Twelvelegs Mon 04-Aug-08 14:56:20

PS remember your body will feel so different that things won't be so hard!!

scarlettskye Tue 05-Aug-08 14:14:50

When My 4th was born, I had 4 children under 6. each has about 18mths gap between the next. Yes its hard work but you make your own routine- I think I found it easier once dh was back at work tbh. hardest bit was getting to school on time but if you dnot' have school age children then you are less pressured for time :0)

Just be organised and like someone else said, let particularly high standards drop for a bit.
how about contacting Homestart? see if they volunteer in your area?

Oumasrusks Tue 05-Aug-08 14:38:07

DD1 was just under 13 months old when DD2 was born and my DH went back to works two weeks after the birth. I don't have any family in the UK so I was totally by myself and it was fine. It is a lot of work, but is definitely do-able.

reban Tue 05-Aug-08 18:45:28

If you have any family that can help i would accept any offers, but for things like taking your eldest to the park or doing your ironing etc. Most of the time you will manage but sometimes a bit of a break is very much appreciated!

PInkyminkyohnooo Tue 05-Aug-08 18:55:39

I had my MIL and my mother coming to help lift DS (16-17mo, only just walking) etc. for a few weeks.

I had a cs so needed help with lifting. It's a bit of a pain having people coming round- esp my mother, but I needed the help. DS was not in nursery at all.

I didn't feel confident I was coping until I was on my own properly.

I'd love a cleaner but we can't afford it-I may spend some of mY MA on one this time around.

findtheriver Tue 05-Aug-08 19:27:43

Wing it - at least that way you know that you can cope!
My dh had 2 days off after dc3 (no two week paternity leave then) and I was then on my own with 3 little ones. Hard work to begin with but you soon get into the swing.

BigBadMousey Tue 05-Aug-08 19:48:54

Wing it - you'll be fine. I'm a seriously crappy mum but DH didn't take any time off when DC2 and DC3 came along and I managed not to have too many disasters.

I think the thought of having to cope with two young ones is far worse than actually having to do it.

BetsyBoop Tue 05-Aug-08 19:55:00

DD was 23 months when DS was born by c/s

DH had 2 wks off work & then went back (he works away Mon am to Fri pm) The hardest bit was finding ways round no lifting for a few weeks, but hopefully you won't have to contend with that.

MIL had made loads of "I'll come over & do cleaning, cooking, washing, shopping, take DD out" etc, but eventually got round to visiting us for a couple of hours when DS was 10wks old shock (She's last seen him in the hospital...)

My parents are both dead & we've no other family local so I was basically on my own.

It's hard work, but like others have said you will find a way of coping & a routine that works. DH used to laugh at me when I got the breakfast pots out the night before, but it's surprising how even tiny things like this can make a difference.

DD also started preschool 2 mornings a week when DS was 2 months old - definitely worth considering, it made a huge difference to me.

Also as some one else said, let your standards slip a bit & if anyone comments hand then a duster!

Just wing it, don't stress, take any help that is offered, it's one of those "you will cope because you have to" situations grin

barnsleybelle Tue 05-Aug-08 20:06:01

My dh works overseas for 8-10 weeks at a time. He had 2 weeks off when dc2 was born in September and then didn't return home til Christmas.

I have no help with the children, my mum too old and frail and dh has no family. I do have a cleaner once a fortnight however.

It was and is still very hard, but i get by.

I'm lucky in that dc1 is a very good little boy and dc2 is a very contended baby.

Thankyouandgoodnight Tue 05-Aug-08 21:05:08

Thank you all - you are very inspiring!!! Your replies have moved me from panicking to thinking 'bring it on'!

PInkyminkyohnooo Tue 05-Aug-08 21:12:48

I'm so glad- yes it's hard but I can honestly say I enjoy it, too!
If things get tough, just lower your standards, accept any little bits of help, and if you get to hoover at any point then I consider my house to be cleaned!
ps Toddlers really enjoy dusting and washing up. They are not very good at it, but it keeps them busy, and they are better at that than laundry folding!grin

sarah293 Tue 05-Aug-08 21:14:57

Message withdrawn

PInkyminkyohnooo Tue 05-Aug-08 21:23:17

eek Riven! I'm so glad DS will be starting nursery school in Sept before number three arives!

Elasticwoman Tue 05-Aug-08 21:49:24

When my No 3 was 2 wks, dh went out for a bike ride and came back with broken arm.

Heigh ho. Not much help from him thereafter. But I had a v supportive network of friends and my other dc were nearly 4 and 6 - v much easier than Riven.

Poppycake Tue 05-Aug-08 22:12:15

If you are a leeetle bit housepround tho, and can spare the cash - it would've been nice, I think, to have had someone in once a fortnight or so to hoover round and clean the bathrooms. A neighbour's teenager might be grateful for the cash! And if someone you can trust, you can take the los out for a couple of hours while it's happening.

I didn't have help, but used to get a bit stressed by the grime at times!

When bfing, I used to let dd1 basically do what she wanted re watching TV, eating snacks etc just to get some peace, or she'd start playing up for attention.

Apart from that twas a doddle!! grin

MonkeyLover Tue 05-Aug-08 22:22:46

There's 17 mo between my 2 and I've no family nearby. I was a bit worried but it was OK. Much easier than 1st time around, actually. Maybe because I did a tiny bit of preparation before the birth (Made some meals for the freezer, had a cot & nappy stuff upstairs and downstairs for the new baby) I also didn't stress about every little thing with the 2nd so everything seemed easier. If all else fails, only do the stuff that keeps you all alive and healthy and screw ironing.

reban Wed 06-Aug-08 15:42:41

Pinky thats a good idea re cleaning and i have always got my children into a routine of helping as soon as they could walk. They all know they have to put dirty washing in washing basket (although ds2 sometimes thinks this is the place for wet nappies too). They are great with getting wet washing out of machine and putting it in tumble dryer and good at putting things in the bin. I think if you make a game out of it as well that helps, and all of mine love being mommy's helpers.

Just re-read this and it sounds like i have a house of mini-slaves which is not true blush and they are no way near perfectly behaved but if they can do anything to help you it should be encouraged

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