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I struggle with bigger families and I know its probably just me. ..

(25 Posts)
maenfantunique Sat 13-Dec-08 21:46:31

...and that I am probably being completely unreasonable.

I have an only by choice and I have no intention of having any more to the point where I have considered sterilisation. However, my DD's friends from our original baby group now have one or more siblings. Prior to the arrival of all these lovely new babies (and I do think they are gorgeous and wonderful, I'm not bitter and twisted or anything!) it was always ok to meet at each others houses and this has continued. Fair enough, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to tolerate several toddlers and babies tearing round my house causing envitable chaos. It's making me feel resentful and put upon and I feel obligated. The thing is I don't know how to get out of it without sounding like the strange mum who only wants one child so that her house doesn't get messed up. Also it is usually my house because of convienence for everyone. I'm happy fcr my DD's friends to come round and obviously do what they like to do, and my DD causes a ton of mess herself but this is just taking the biscuit. How do I get out of it without sounding like I am putting down the mums who choose bigger families?

BreevandercampLGJ Sat 13-Dec-08 21:48:44

You dont.

psychohohohoho Sat 13-Dec-08 21:49:36

not well I am afraid, unless you just keep them to the one room and tolerate it for that short time for your DD's sake.

FWIW. I have 5 and I struggle with mess made by lots of kiddies tearing about, so it is not just confined to you having the just have to accept it for the short time it happens, or stop doing it so often at your house.

and lets be honest, it won;t be for long.......they grow very quickly you knowwink

bran Sat 13-Dec-08 21:49:53

Make it less convenient to meet at your house (invent a mouse problem or something) and meet somewhere else. It'll probably be less of an issue when summer comes around anyway as you'll probably all meet in the park.

I do find it a bit of a pain to have to re-baby proof the place when my friends with smaller children come around. Mind you I'll have to do it properly again before DD comes along. smile

maenfantunique Sun 14-Dec-08 09:39:29

Thanks for the replies. You are right Bree and psychohohoho in a way, I don't have much chance of coming out of this without sounding like I'm putting down larger families. It is honestly not my intention and I'm not some militant onlychilder, I'm just not happy with the situation anymore, its not what I signed up for IYSWIM.

I suppose I just need to stop doing it so often at my house as you say. Maybe I will have to get some mice! Or hopefully we will have a summer next year so they can all tear round the park.

BoccaDellaNativita Mon 15-Dec-08 10:14:09

Perhaps you could tackle it differently?

What exactly is the chaos they create? If it's that you can't see the floor through a six inch layer of toys, why not put all but a few of the toys away before the children arrive? Or cover the kitchen table in newspaper, provide some paper and potato shapes (or something else that's age-appropriate) and confine them to one place with an engrossing activity so they don't run amok?

To be honest, I'm quite envious that your original baby group is still going - all of mine have relocated and now live miles away. I think you need to evaluate what you get from having some long-standing friends nearby (I assume they're fairly long-standing if the group's been together long enough for some to have two more babies) and whether a bit of occasional mayhem is a price worth paying.

TotalChaos Mon 15-Dec-08 10:18:03

agree with bocca - if they are good friends it's worth grinning and bearing it, it won't last forever.

TotalChaos Mon 15-Dec-08 10:18:05

agree with bocca - if they are good friends it's worth grinning and bearing it, it won't last forever.

alors Mon 15-Dec-08 10:25:39

I just have to say this as it grates (pedant emoticon)

it is MONenfantunique (enfant is masculine in french).


Nothing to do withthe fact that I have six children, btw! grin

BoccaDellaNativita Mon 15-Dec-08 10:27:37

Now, alors, I had decided to let that one go.

Zut alors indeed!

alors Mon 15-Dec-08 10:28:57


TsarHumbug Mon 15-Dec-08 10:32:33

I have three dc and I do know where you are coming from about this.

I can just about manage my own indoors, but any more in the house, especially when they were toddlers and it was total chaos and created a lot of clearing up which I found pretty heavy going tbh. I used to dread meetups at home.

I can see why as you have elected to have a smaller family you must feel swamped by it all, really I can.

Maybe you could suggest to meet up in a soft play place for coffee. The children will feel less restricted and your home won't get trashed.

It's the only way to go once children in any quantity start wanting to explore and tear about. I can't see anyone would be offended at that suggestion. As a mum of 3 I honestly wouldn't; I'd be relieved grin.

You could maybe 'find' such a place and visit with your dd and then enthuse to your friends about what a fab new venue you have found to meet up in 'now the children seem to need a bit more space' wink.

MONenfantunique Mon 15-Dec-08 17:36:53

I am suitably ashamed at my French grammar but blame the merlot I had consumed before the OP [fbnlush] grin

Occasional mayhem I could do quite happily, but its more often than that.

Thank you for your understanding Tsarhumbug, I just really didn't know how to put it across without sounding like a cow. I like your use of the word trashed, because that is exactly what happens. I'm not so anally rententive that I worry about a few toys. I think my new year resolution is going to be meet ups outside my house as much as I can manage, am off to look up some suitable venues right now. Thanks all.

edam Mon 15-Dec-08 17:43:31

I symapathise - as the parent of an only child I do find it a bit all-on when ds has groups of children round to play. Or even his cousins! It's just SO noisy and messy and I'm not used to it at all.

Wouldn't dream of saying anything to other parents, though, I grin and bear it because I want to welcome ds's friends. Even more important when your child is an only.

Tortington Mon 15-Dec-08 17:47:09

other peoples children are only tolerated in small doses. i cant STAND THEM with their whiing and crying

6 yr old nephew with the sulking " i can't do it" whilst making snowflakes that even my 15 yr old neice and dd were enjoying - oh spotlight not on you...little kid...were we having a good time and not niticing you...throw things and slam things and say "i can't do it" to make us notice.

gets on my tits

if it were my kids i would say " don't bloody do it then!"

the thing is with other peoples kids, you have to be nice to them all the bloody time too.

well i can't

MuchLessTiredNow Mon 15-Dec-08 17:52:46

well, I have 3 and I sometimes get fed up at the mess other children leave at my house too when they come to play - so I can understand to a certain extent - but I have friends with only one child who come over and they can often make as much if not more mess than some.

When I go to houes with one child, I usually make a point of us all helping to clear up before we leave; if we have tea there I will take a pudding and or do the washing up before we go, anything to try and minimise the impact of my horde; I have to say, the same is not always reciprocated at our house, maybe they just assume as I have 3 already I am more tolerant of it, which on a good day I am.

but as for the noise thing - they are just children and they are going to get loud and excited.

FrostytheSurfmum Mon 15-Dec-08 18:17:03

I wonder whether you would still feel like you do, even if you had 2 or more. I'm not sure it's necessarily a case of putting them down because they have chosen to have more and you haven't, is it more a case of why is always at yours?

juuule Mon 15-Dec-08 18:32:33

Same as Custardo. I tend to only be able to tolerate other people's children in small doses and I have 9 of my own. So it's not necessarilly because you have one.
Why not rotate whose house you meet up at to spread the load as it were. Or if the weather's okay maybe meet up at the park.

pagwatch Mon 15-Dec-08 18:44:46

agree - it is nothing to do with having one .
It is more about others having smaller ones once you have finished.

My DD is my third and i just have to 'enjoy' when her friends come around with all their younger siblings.

It is just one of those things and it is good for children to mix with a range of ages so i try to remember that DD loves playing with younger ones and babes and this way I don't have to provide them!

Acinonyx Tue 16-Dec-08 19:22:43

How many are there in the group? My baby group still meets weekly but we always take turns to host and occaisionally go to a soft play instead. They all have 2-3 children now. I really don't mind but it does get difficult if it's a really big group (there are 2-3 who come very irregularly but 4 regulars).

IIWY I would make sure you all take turns properly and sometimes go to a softplay instead.

I'd go mad without my baby group playdates - it's a small price to pay IMO.

LaVie Tue 16-Dec-08 19:37:58

juuule you have 9 children? shock

psychohohohoho Tue 16-Dec-08 20:11:41

I know I replied ealier in the thread, but I am gonna do another now......

I at the moment have a very old, very good friend overe from the states (well....when I say old I mean I have known her for a long time, not that she is old....she is younger than me!)........with her four children.

she has had to go to london today to sort out her passports etc (she is a citizen of the USA, but still holds a UK passport).....anyway, I have had the children for her all day......ages from 10wks up to 8yrs old. Her mum had the baby for a while, but she finds it hard so I currently have 9 kiddies wrecking my house playing happily.

DH and I have resigned ourselves to the mess.....they will be gone all too soon!

BoccaDellaNativita Tue 16-Dec-08 22:26:47

<<Wonders whether to institute some sort of parenting medal for juule and psychohohohoho.>>

ahfeckit Sun 21-Dec-08 19:04:42

best way to deal with this is to change the plans and meet in neutral territory, ie in a soft play centre or a cafe with play facilities??
I have an only too and that's how we meet up with DS playmates. Best for everyone.

Gunnerbean Wed 24-Dec-08 11:09:03

if I were in your shoes I'd only invite the child that your DD is friendly with over to play - why invite all the mums and hoardes of other kids too?

If it's because you're friendly with the mums too, meet up with them separately for a coffee or something when your child is a pre school/school, or in the evening for a drink.

I just wouldn't get together with them all - it would absolutely drive me around the twist too.

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