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how to make life more fun?

(49 Posts)
ocelot41 Sun 18-Jan-15 13:19:49

OK so this may just be PMT talking, but I am currently feeling worn out with the treadmill of work, cooking, tidying and finding constant entertainment for DS (4). He is a very high energy little boy who needs a LOT of physical exercise every day, never really plays alone and is currently going through a bit of a boundary-pushing stage. All of which I know is totally normal for his age.

But I keep thinking that this level of grind is ridiculous because we only have one child, he is fit and healthy and I am not a lone parent. I have absolutely NO reason to complain and know so many people who have to cope with much, much more.

Yet I am just knackered and feel like life is... not that much fun really tbh. I have fairly average to low standards re household cleanliness but I do work ft andand have a long commute. So I get up at 5 ish so I can manage to get enough done to pick DS up by 4.30 so he doesn't have a long day in childcare. I can't remember the last time I did something fun for me and I really, really miss quality time with DH because by the time DS is asleep we are too tired to do more than turn the telly on.

Have any of you experienced this? If so, what did you do to reintroduce some fun? All work and no play makes ocelots fed up cats!

Misfitless Tue 20-Jan-15 10:00:30

Do you have anyone who is close to your DS who could have him for the weekend, so that you and your DH can just have some time to yourselves?

Or, could your DH have him and you meet up with friends some weekends, even if only for lunch?

DuelingFanjo Tue 20-Jan-15 10:02:33

what time do you need to leave the house? 5 am seems ridiculous and does your DH get up at that time to help?

sparkysparkysparky Tue 20-Jan-15 15:08:58

Sounds familiar with the odd difference here and there. Our Dc is 7. As he gets older you can exhaust him with extra curricular stuff like Cubs/Karate/Football till he finds one he likes. Trouble is: more exhaustion for you. Going to school will open up his social circle. I can see it's really hard to find a moment for yourself / yourselves.
Every now and again we do a "do we really need to do things this way?" with our home/work/dc wrangling routines. Sometimes a good idea pops up. thanks to you 'cos it's tough when you can see no let up.

ocelot41 Tue 20-Jan-15 16:43:02

Thanks so my much for the replies, and flowers not brickbats! I think I might look to do a swop with friends who are in a similar situation. No relatives nearby alas.

The 5am starts are to do with my job, not cleaning! I wake early, knock off urgent emails until DS wakes about 6.30. Cuddle with DS and am out the house by 7.00 to get to my desk by 8.10. DH gets DS up and to school and cleans kitchen.

I work through lunch so can leave at 4ish to get DS by 5 ish. Then start cooking tea, doing laundry and play time with DS. DH is home about 7. We both tag team over bed time which is about 8 so each one can sneak off to finish the odd thing for work. Then collapse for an hour in front of telly and start again.

Usually I count myself blessed that we both have jobs which allow us so much flexibility so our DS doesnt have to do massive hours of childcare on top of school at such a young age. But my workload is just getting heavier and heavier in my job. I started work at 4am this morning! It just feels like ft job bears no resemblance to 8 hours any more. Sorry, am whinging....

ocelot41 Tue 20-Jan-15 16:46:51

Sorry, just realised I have contradicted earlier OP. To make it clearer: I try to pick DS up by 4.30 but lately it has been more like 5

DuelingFanjo Tue 20-Jan-15 17:03:19

it sounds really tough sad

I don't have a high pressure job but DS (an only child) will start school in September and I will probably jig my hours like you have so that I can pick him up from school.

ocelot41 Tue 20-Jan-15 17:05:35

Oh I really appreciate the support. Was just wondering if I was a big wuss.

sparkysparkysparky Tue 20-Jan-15 17:07:49

Any opportunity to work from home? I ruled it out then, with a couple of tweaks, found I could. Even one day makes a massive difference to energy levels. No dreary commute sucking time off you.

sparkysparkysparky Tue 20-Jan-15 17:08:00

Any opportunity to work from home? I ruled it out then, with a couple of tweaks, found I could. Even one day makes a massive difference to energy levels. No dreary commute sucking time off you.

DuelingFanjo Tue 20-Jan-15 17:08:47

I have often heard people say these early years can be a bit of a drudge.
Wish I had more ideas on how to make it more bearable but watching with interest as my whole life also seems taken up with kid stuff or work stuff.

I don't envy your early starts though, I am usually able to stay in bed until 7am for a 9.30 start (for now)

DuelingFanjo Tue 20-Jan-15 17:09:24

plus - I don't think just having one means you can't find it hard sometimes.

VenusRising Tue 20-Jan-15 17:10:34

You need lunch. Take your hour
Have a walk and breathe deeply lying down with your feet on your chair for at least 10 minutes.

Your DS won't die or explode or anything if you have lunch and take some time for yourself, and pick him up later.

You sound very wound up, and you MUST look after yourself. Fwiw I think you're nuts to get up so early and not have a break, you're not a beast of burden or a slave, you're a human being, and time to start living your life with respect for yourself.

kate1516 Tue 20-Jan-15 17:13:54

You sound a lot like me but my starts are 5:30 so easier. My husband and I were thinking of trying to put a date night in once a month (or once every 2 months maybe). We are lucky in that DS has lovely grandparents who have offered to have him overnight. Do you have something similar or anyone who could babysit?

We also take turns at the weekend to have a lie in. Doesn't work perfectly as DS still comes to find whichever one is still in bed but the rule is that until we officially get up (so sneaking to the kitchen to grab a cuppa does not count as being "up") we are off duty so I usually read a bit and my husband watches a film. Usually up by 9/9:30 but makes a big difference having even a bit of you time.

Maybe also book a long family weekend away if you can. Sometimes the change is nice and you remember how to enjoy your family again rather than how to juggle everything you need to juggle.

Sorry that isn't hugely helpful but in reality sometimes small things help if you cannot make a big change ie change careers (or win the lottery which is next on my plan).

kate1516 Tue 20-Jan-15 17:16:21

Oh also agree re the work from home. I am usually more efficient at home, get a lie in without starting later for work and so feel refreshed and also can do a couple of jobs at lunch meaning I have an easier evening.

Lioninthesun Tue 20-Jan-15 17:18:34

It is hard even without the early starts; you are not alone! Dd does swimming on the weekend which tires her out a bit (she's nearly 3.5yo) and it is nice to watch her learning without having to be in with her (although I did for the first term, be warned!). We walk there which is a nice chance to chat and also helps with the tiring out wink. Could you do something similar and take it in turns to go/relax or do it as a family - you and DH could then spend at least a little time having a nice chat alone on a weekend? It's not much but this and the ballet lesson she does in the week give me a little time to myself, even if I am in the same building!

sparkysparkysparky Tue 20-Jan-15 17:20:06

You and DH just take a day off. Go to the cinema / stay in / whatever. As other posters said, don't wait till all this mundane, sorry, delightful family and work life drags you to the ground.

Lioninthesun Tue 20-Jan-15 17:21:08

Oh and sharing sleepover night with any friends he may have - dd's bf from nursery loves having her for a night and vice-versa. They entertain themselves pretty well but bedtime can be a nightmare. Does mean you get one night of in return though grin

Lioninthesun Tue 20-Jan-15 17:21:42

*off in return

ocelot41 Tue 20-Jan-15 18:19:16

I have put in a request to work from home 1-2 days a week. Fingers crossed! smile

We do have a swimming class for half an hour at w-ends too. Usually DH takes DS and I get whichever house jobs need doing done then.

No chance of GP help. One set is Down Under and one set is uninterested. Sleepovers at friends houses a good idea when he is a bit older (at the moment he likes the idea in principle but wants me there too!)

Taking time for lunch would mean I couldn't pick him up before 6pm. That's a long day for a little one. I know lots of good people choose to do that and it works for their families and others who have no choice. I personally think my DS would a state with tiredness by then - he is only just in reception. Days off also impossible too - we have spent large chunks of our leave covering illness already and I feel bad that that means some of the next couple of school hols will involve childcare.

What is really helping most so far is knowing I am not alone in finding this hard. I am surrounded by friends coping with serious health issues (their own, parents and/or child's), divorces, losing jobs and bereavement. So I don't really mention this to them as it is such small fry compared to what they have going on. But really I would just like a bit less of a GRIND all the time, you know?

And all the stuff I thought I would be able to do like batch cooking.How the AF does anyone fit that in????

sparkysparkysparky Tue 20-Jan-15 18:53:24

Everyone has "stuff". For the moment, forget everyone else around you with heavy duty stuff. You have stuff too - exhausted Mum stuff. Your priority is you 3. Good luck with your bid to WFH.

ocelot41 Tue 20-Jan-15 18:55:53

That's such a sweet, kind thing to say sparky. I am really touched.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 20-Jan-15 19:11:28

Couple of things:
- you need to leave work at work. I know you're going to say "but that's not possible." but it is. Do it. Stop getting up at 5am. That will kill you long term. Emails can wait till you get to work. They truly can.
- Ditch the guilt. It is pointless. Your DS is fine.
- get a cleaner. Seriously. Cut something else out to afford it if you are stretched
- try and get some babysitters sorted - swap with another couple so you get a night out once a fortnight
- don't turn the TV on. Put som musis on and talk. Or get an "early night"
- don't worry if DS doesn't have a bath every night. He won't expolde

God it's hard, you have my utter sympathy. (2 kids though older, own business, lone parent) but you need to stop being a slave to it all and look for the cuttable corners.

Have a thanks though, you sound knackered!

wannabestressfree Tue 20-Jan-15 19:21:19

I agree with bitout. Nothing is that important It can't wait until you get to work. And delegate a bit more.

sparkysparkysparky Tue 20-Jan-15 19:27:05

One more thing, just occurred to me mid bedtime wrangle (DH on duty at mo) . Check out any country parks or stately homes near you, preferably with a fancy play ground for children - he gets to play and burn off energy, you and hubby get chance to chat. Or get dragged onto stuff yourself. Good reason to be knackered not dreary reason. Maybe even with an ice cream.

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