Ok, How do I deal with the guilt of going to work? We've got a 7 month old who is crawling about the place getting into everything and a 3.5 year old who needs a lot of entertaining. At the moment to deal with the end of maternity pay we've got some foreign language students. At the moment about 1 morning in 3 as I leave for work DW gets really upset since she is finding everything too much, I feel like there's nothing I can do to help during week days. I pull my weight in the evenings (cooking/shopping/cleaning) but that still leaves DW with a lot to do on her own during the day plus two demanding kids. Right now work is a nightmare and I can't get any time off so I really don't see what I can do. This leaves me feeling guilty and stressed. Help!!
We were in the opposite situation - I left dh at home while I went to work. It was only one day a week and only one dd, but he did find it a struggle to keep her entertained.
I wrote, and keep adding to, an "ideas" book so if he was in need of inspiration he could reach for it and find a new game to play, craft activity etc. I also filled a basket with all the bits and pieces they would need to do the ideas. For example junk mail from the supermarkets, pritt stick and the idea was to cut and stick food on paper plates for a pretend teddy bear's picnic.
Sounds like you are helping lots at home and your dw needs daytime help/toddler distractions. My dh found getting out and about really helped pass the time - I had to be open to longish coffee/lunchbreak visits with them, because this really broke his day up and allowed him to relax for a while. I also encouraged him to meet up with other parents, go to toddler groups, swimming, library etc. Little things like making sure the changing bag is stocked, packing a picnic for them the night before, etc might all help the days go easier.