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I don't think I'm enjoying my children...

(31 Posts)
tostaky Thu 25-Oct-12 22:03:01

Is that normal doc?
They are almost 4, 2.5 and 5 months, Dh is with us only at the weekend but I do have a part-time nanny.
But all I do is fire-fighting, rushing from one to another to stop them crying or do silly things (like putting a whole loo roll down the toilets)... I don't have the time nor the energy to actually play with them. Everything I do feels like a chore... Endless washing (gastro this week + potty training), endless cooking, endless bickering, endless whining.... Baby is not a very good sleeper either.

When am I supposed to enjoy them? Do I need more childcare (including the nanny/mother help, combined I have 50 hours
a week now)..??
Should I have stopped at 2?

Mosman Wed 07-Nov-12 14:17:02

I used lots of childcare to help me cope with three under four and looking back I wish I'd got a cleaner in every day and eaten more easy ready meals and played with the children instead.
Try and live in the moment it goes by so fast childhood

Beatrixpotty Wed 07-Nov-12 18:31:24

Oh dear read your post with interest as could be me in a few months with DC3 and will have very similar age gaps and nursery/pre-school time but without the nanny in the day!My first thought was sympathy though.Breast fed my first 2 until 7 months and until they were properly weaned they were up every 2-3 hours during the night too and no matter what help you have in the day broken nights are knackering and make you go a bit mad.All I can say is that the broken sleep may only be for a couple of months longer if DC3 is already 5 months old.If you can get baby sleeping through the night everything else might seem easier in the day.Good luck

tostaky Wed 14-Nov-12 21:56:02

Thank you for your support! I had two very rough weeks but I'm delighted to say that everything is much better now and much more enjoyable now!
Baby is still waking up hourly at night but with the fresh air and sunny weather it doesn't seem so bad! Seeing friends really helped too!

backpackingfamily Fri 21-Dec-12 08:30:18

I too have had periods of feeling like I am not enjoying my children. It doesn't help when it feels like every old woman in the supermarket stops to say "^oh these years are so precious...enjoy them whilst you have them^"

I'm an only child of an alcoholic mother and workaholic father so didn't have the greatest childhood, or role models.

Hubby and I sit down every now & then to discuss how we can make our lives easier, and enjoy our children more.

A couple of things that have really helped us (they may not help you but I thought it was worth sharing):

- dramatically reducing the number of things we had to be at "^on time^". We noticed how stressed I got a good few hours before had to be somewhere, so now we try to only go to things where you can turn up within a certain window which reduces my stress levels and means we can go at the pace of the kids to some extent rather than constantly nagging them to hurry up. Or warn people that "^we'll show up when we can^"

- rather than trying to do chores and then spend time with the kids I try to include the kids in the chores. My 3 year old DD has turned out to be a wicked little sous-chef so helps me cook. Yes it takes 3 times as long, but we are doing it together.

- I have really reduced my standards in terms of housework and tidiness. And if I find that the strawberry stained finger marks smeared on the bathroom door as DD went to wash her hands, are stressing me out, I check-in with myself to reduce my standards some more!

- We try to only hang out with friends or at places that support our parenting style. Very little time is spent with the grandparents because they expect the kids to "behave" a certain way. So this goes back to point #1 somewhat of avoiding people who judge you for being late.

Just reading your post, for me personally, I would find needing to get the older kids to preschool / nursery for certain times and then back again to pick them up 3 hours later way more stressful

Anyway, good to hear that you've had a better time recently.

Pinkchatz Sun 23-Dec-12 08:06:24

Honestly, you get a lot of help and when the children are out of the home even for only a few hours that's a break in my opinion.

I think people either cope or they don't, no matter how many kids you have. Some women are naturals with the day to day chaos or they aren't. You don't sound like you enjoy the reality of dealing with small children.

I had 3 under 3 with my first few and it didn't bother me at all. I actually prefer small age gaps. I went out with a double buggy and eldest on buggy board.

Maybe stop breastfeeding if you don't like lack of sleep, they sleep for longer with bottles and someone else can do it. You don't have to go out all the time, it's possible to occupy them at home and less tiring. Your kids don't sound naughty just like normal children. It sounds more like you are not coping very well than anything in your life or circumstances. PND doesn't always mean you sit in a corner crying.

BlackholesAndRevelations Sun 23-Dec-12 15:20:19

All going well, I'll have three under four by the end of the year! I found it hard having two under three but I'm determined to learn from my mistakes this time.

Is there any chance you could put the preschooler into childcare two full days, the same days as the other one? Then you'd have two full days with baby and less running around. For the days when you have all three you could spend the day in the park/ stay and play at surestart centre again with no running around stress. I do sympathise!

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