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How did our mothers do it?

(21 Posts)
Gobbledigook Tue 12-Apr-05 09:06:50

Or anyone who has all their kids at home 24-7??

Being at home all day, every day with 3 ds's (4, 2 and 7 months) is soooo exhausting and I'm just relieved that playgroup starts again tomorrow!! It's only 9-1pm but that break from the older 2 is sooooo precious even though ds2 is only there 3 mornings (ds1 every day).

These holidays have really brought it home to me how hard it must have been for my Mum who had 3 of us with the same age gaps plus no money, no car, no soft play, no group of antenatal friends...

So here's a big well done for JT and any other Mum that manages kids all day, every day!! I'm going up the wall after 3 weeks!!

For the first time ever I think I know why people with older kids panic about the summer holidays!! Heeeeeeelp!

NomDePlume Tue 12-Apr-05 09:11:04

Lol. A big up to Mum's in general !

Mine went back to work f/t when I was 2, so I've stuck it out longer than she did - my DD is 2.8

FastasleepTheInsomniac Tue 12-Apr-05 09:15:43

Mine gave me to my Gran! *Difficult child obviously*

Frizbe Tue 12-Apr-05 09:34:31

mine used to stick me in the garden a lot! for the fresh air of course!

FastasleepTheInsomniac Tue 12-Apr-05 09:35:26

Yeah I've though of investing in a big pole and some reins for the garden..

Twiglett Tue 12-Apr-05 09:47:20

whilst not wishing to dispute how fabulous our mothers are, especially JT of course <simpering smile> childcare was very different when we were small

- we were wheeled to the bottom of the garden and left there a couple of hours to get fresh air .. come rain, hail or snow

- playpens were utilised a lot more

- there was less one to one interaction .. we were left to develop imagination (something which I try to instill in my own)

- I think there was less 'competitiveness' and a lot more coffee and fags

enigma Tue 12-Apr-05 10:16:50

Mine use to stick me in front of the tv with a tube of smarties and some crisps.

sallyenglebertstrawberry Tue 12-Apr-05 10:30:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gobbledigook Tue 12-Apr-05 10:35:34

Twig, I agree - I don't think our mothers felt so much pressure to 'perform', i.e interacting and 'teaching' 24 hours a day!! I know my Mum certainly didn't stress so much about what we ate either (though sweets and crisps were very strictly limited due to the fact that she didn't want fat kids and was also very poor back then!) - I think we had chips with everything!!

Still, she did have 3 of us in the house a lot of the time and she must have been climbing the walls I reckon! Don't forget, they didn't have all day CBeebies back in the 70's either - an hour of kids TV and that was your lot - no videos or DVDs either!!

Mind you, I think we played out a lot - in the summer holidays we all played in the street (a little network of residential cul-de-sacs - so very few cars) from the moment we got up to the moment we were called in for a bath!

Gobbledigook Tue 12-Apr-05 10:36:19

I still think my Mum deserves a medal and it's only now I have my own that I can really appreciate what she went through!!

Gobbledigook Tue 12-Apr-05 10:37:52

Enigma - I'm ashamed to say that my older two have had a big bag of buttons this morning while watching a Bod DVD!! I never give them chocolate during the day (maybe only after tea if they eat it all - which is rare!) but today I just thought 'sod it - won't kill em for one day'

enigma Tue 12-Apr-05 10:39:36

Well it didn't kill me!

Or make me fat!

Marina Tue 12-Apr-05 10:41:04

Twiglett, sounds like our upbringing was very similar. I agree, I think my childhood must have been purgatory for my mother (who did indeed have a 30 a day habit and had me trained to go out for her fags from aged 8 upwards). She was obsessed with housework and although I know she loved us very much, we were left pretty much completely to our own devices. Good for developing the imagination, sure...but I have no warm memories of playing with her. At all.
But, as you say, playgroups, no disposable nappies, no child-centred activities like soft-play areas, no parenting mags and NO MUMSNET.
She often says she envies the way I ignore dust bunnies and ironing in favour of painting, Lego, etc. Doesn't stop her also criticising my sluttish ways though

beansprout Tue 12-Apr-05 10:41:22

I remember my mum reading with me but not much else. Most of my memories are of watching her doing housework!

Mothernature Tue 12-Apr-05 10:42:49

I used to 'help' with the housework and then spend the afternoon in the garden with a spoon digging mud pie anyone?

ThomCat Tue 12-Apr-05 10:45:26

Yes I'll big up my mum, and my nan. However I'm sure nana (who had 5 boys and 1 girl - my mum)wouldn't mind me saying that my mum bought up her younger brother and the older ones ran riot!
And I'm sure my wonderful mum wouldn't mind me saying that I'm sure she was very grateful for the back garden, the front green, our vivid imaginations and the fact that in those days we would disappear after breakfast on our bikes and just about make it home in time for tea.

Gobbledigook Tue 12-Apr-05 10:46:29

Well my Mum had childcare down to a fine art - she used to get me to play 'hairdressers' so basically she'd lie down on the sofa while I 'washed', 'conditioned', 'brushed' and 'styled' her hair She also used to get my brothers to pretend her legs were roads so they'd run the cars up and down them - free massage!!

She was great though and did do things with us - played games etc but mostly I remember playing with my friends and brothers and my childhood was fabulous - loved every minute

motherinferior Tue 12-Apr-05 10:48:03

I remember my mum being a bit bored and miserable, actually. I think she would have been a lot happier with decent childcare instead of trying to do a PhD with two small children around.

sallyenglebertstrawberry Tue 12-Apr-05 10:52:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JoolsToo Tue 12-Apr-05 10:52:44

That's my girl! thank you KTkins

ah Twiglett - that may have been the case generally but in my case - yes they were outside in their prams for fresh air but not in rain, hail or snow

there were about 2 kids programmes a day, no videos or dvd's so there was stimulating play more of the time (not that I was always involved

Never had a playpen or a walker or any other contraption for that matter (couldn't afford them for one thing! )

but certainly no pressure like today about bfing, food, school tables etc etc - we just enjoyed it (most of the time!)

PS- I don't drink coffee or smoke either

suedonim Tue 12-Apr-05 15:06:53

My mum obsessed about the housework and didn't really play with us. But tbh, she had to look after a massive old, falling-down house, four children, my dad who worked varying shifts and worst of all, my cantankerous old grandad, who was an interfering misery-guts of the first order.

For myself, I love being at home with my children. I can't think of any better way to spend my time and, big-headed though it sounds, I don't think anyone else could look after my children as dh and I want them looked after. One of my most cherished memories is of cuddling up with them on a wet winter's afternoon, listening and singing along to an LP (anyone under 40 won't know what that is, lol!!) of the radio programme Listen With Mother. Bliss.

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