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Why is looking after two small children so knackering

(25 Posts)
Fiddledee Mon 06-Dec-10 15:21:45

I'm a SAHM with a 4 year old and 2 year old. 4 year old goes to pre-school 3 mornings a week but otherwise they are with me all the time and I often single mum like as DH travels so much for work.

I had my first day off since my youngest was born and I realised how less tired I felt. Why am I so knackered now even when they both sleep so well.

I was just a relief to just think about myself for 36 hours and nobody else.

roseability Mon 06-Dec-10 18:40:14

Hi there

I am a SAHM to a 4 year old and a 17 month old and I am shattered (yawns)

Mine sleep well too but my dh also works long hours. I have many long days on my own with them all day. We have a lot of snow at the moment so we have been cooped up and I feel even more exhausted.

I think it is very tiring this age group. I hang on to the hope that it gets easier and I will get my energy back. I don't want to wish it away too much but I want enough energy to do some things for myself in the evenings. At the moment I crash in front of TV, fall asleep in a bath and then drag myself to bed!

purpleturtle Mon 06-Dec-10 18:41:59

I think it's to do with not being free to make a plan and stick to it - in the minutiae more than the overall. Small children make constant demands - not unreasonably - but they have an attritional impact and make you tired.

JamieLeeCurtis Mon 06-Dec-10 19:32:30

I think it's just being on alert all the time and having to think and plan ahead. It's exhausting. I only really noticed it once mine were older.

For instance:

Not knowing when a tantrum will occur, and managing that when they do
Having to make sure you always have food at the right time
Planning trips around naps
Having to negotiate explain and listen all the time
Having to break up fights and arguments
Having to be the emotional support for DCs who have very little self-control
Physical demands - running, picking them up etc

This all sounds a bit obvious now I type it out, but when they get older these things lessen a lot. Then are replaced by other worries.

Meglet Mon 06-Dec-10 20:19:04

Because they are random, noisy little pests. You can plan all you want to but unless you have beautifully behaved little cherubs they will throw a spanner in the works every chance they get.

Thank goodness they are cute and funny.

sneakapeak Mon 06-Dec-10 20:24:45

>THUD, Sneak falls onto keyboard and weeps.

BUT they are 2 and 4, it must be easier surely?

Mine are 3 and 1 and I keep saying to myself, never mind, next year she will be running around and it will be easier....NO?

TheUnmentioned Mon 06-Dec-10 20:26:45

I dont know, I keep telling myself I must try harder to have more energy.

Ds is almost 4 (so should be easy but is not) and dd is 10 weeks.

Why am I so tired?! Dd is a 'good' baby as babies go but never gets put down during the day but as dh says 'whats exhausting about holding a little baby?' hmm

Meglet Mon 06-Dec-10 20:33:56

sneak I have heard it gets better when one of them goes off to school confused, mine are 4 & 2 <<drinks wine>>

HumphreyCobbler Mon 06-Dec-10 20:39:36

I have a two year old and a nearly four year old.

I agree, my brain is gone to mush.

I very nearly hurled a plate against the wall today, so at least you are coping better than I am sad

Being stuck in the house all the time is making it pretty hard.

And don't get me started on the hell that is getting them strapped in the car angry

I also find it bloody boring pretending to be under the sea. Which is all DS wants to do ALL DAY.

Fiddledee Mon 06-Dec-10 20:41:12

I have 9 months sentence before the eldest starts school and youngest starts pre-school, at least she starts full time from the word go. How much wine can I consume in 9 months, and how much weight will I put on, stuck at home I just snack.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 06-Dec-10 20:41:17

What's exhausting about holding a little baby??

I would not be responsible for my actions if someone said that to me. I mean really.

JamieLeeCurtis Mon 06-Dec-10 22:45:52

I feel for you all. I found it hard when mine were 2 and 4. It does get better when the older starts school. And better and better. Hang in there (and when they are 7 and 9 you will miss all the funny things they used to say)

tryingtoleave Tue 07-Dec-10 07:37:46

Mine are 4 and 2 and I think it is exhausting because of the emotional toll. My two are always demanding stuff of me and it is impossible to meet both of their demands at once so someone is always crying or whining or angsting. They are always climbing on me, wanting to be carried and the 2 yo breast fed. All the things that were pleasant with one child are stressful with two. Eg, reading a book is lovely with one child but when I have both they fight over the book, fight over where they sit and now fight over what charater they are in the book. I find the constant noise and stress immensly frazzling and can't think straight by the end of the day.

Having said that, I think it is getting slightly better because dd can play with ds sometimes without destroying what he is doing. And ds is at preschool which has made a huge difference to my life.

tryingtoleave Tue 07-Dec-10 07:40:44

What is really exhausting is when I get back from some outing where I've worked incredibly hard to keep them happy, stop them from running away or getting hurt or misbehaving, put dd down for nap, and try to sit down for a few minutes peace when ds starts hassling me to play trains with him. Arrrgh!

Chandon Tue 07-Dec-10 07:46:25

because it is really intense! And hard work! It is not you, it is them! Even sweet kids are hard work.

It gets loads better soon.

3 and 5 is much easier already, and having one in school and one in playgroup even better.

Just have my 2 in school now, and it is bliss, I feel I can finally BREATHE somehow.

Chandon Tue 07-Dec-10 07:47:26

...and the luxury of going to the loo ALONE without someone trying to break the door down, or sit on your lap whilst weeing grin the sheer luxury!

Fiddledee Tue 07-Dec-10 08:09:24

I'm so glad its not just me - sometimes I think I need to pull myself together and just get on with it. I try to enjoy my time but the days especially at the moment are so long

Undutchable Tue 07-Dec-10 08:19:06

2 and 1 year old here. I have to admit to going to sleep when they do in the afternoons - I'm so shattered by that time!!

I get tired because every trip out is a little battleground. Last week, to my eternal shame, my neighbour rode past on her bike just as I was trying to get DS1 into the pram. Somehow the pram tipped up (with DS2 in it too) and we ended up with all three of us crying on the pavement.

I've had finer moments sad

MickyLee Tue 07-Dec-10 08:19:34

tryingtoleave funny you said that about reading books. DD loves me reading to her and we used to read lots. But now DS is 18 months, reading is impossible! DS just grabs the book, turned the pages, making DD angry and tbh easier not to bother with him around. The only trouble is they go to bed at the same time and DD is a playschool for 3 hours every morning which is when DS naps. So he is always around when DD is! Can't wait until DS enjoys books too.

It is very hard with small children and sometimes I have to leave the room and count to ten, then come back in as 'happy mummy'

I do love them though but Yay when it is their bedtime grin

CrispyTheCrisp Tue 07-Dec-10 08:30:02

Oh yes, a 4.1 yo and 2.3 yo are most definitely exhausting, especially as DH is away a lot too confused

We go out a lot as mine don't do well stuck in all day, but the getting in and out of the car and all the 'stuff' (esp for Swimming & the like) is knackering. Then before we are even in the door, more demands for craft stuff, food, etc etc.....

sneak the problem is that when they can both move, they tend to move (very fast) in opposite directions hmm

Meglet is right about cute and funny though smile

tryingtoleave Tue 07-Dec-10 09:15:00

Mickey it is a bit easier now dd is two but I have to choose books that suit her, which is a pity because sometimes I would like to read something more advanced for ds.

sneakapeak Tue 07-Dec-10 16:57:15

>>would it be wrong to drink wine at 5pm. Do I really have to wait until 7 becuse I think it would make the worst time of day a little brighter.

Lozario Wed 08-Dec-10 13:16:04

Oh man, I have an 18 month DS, who is VERY energetic, and I'm 6 months preggo. People keep asking me if I'm excited about the new baby. I look at them as if they are insane and exclaim "Excited??!" I am SO tired already and I haven't even had it yet!!!! confused

aBrightStarWithFestiveWays Wed 08-Dec-10 13:25:38

<feels the fear as she reads this thread (pregnant with DC2 and have v boisterous 2yo DS>

<weeps with fear as she sees CrispyTheCrisp has posted>

You are always on top of everything Crisp! Don't tell me you've been faking it all this time.


Scruffyhound Wed 08-Dec-10 17:12:05

Im worried to be honest! My DS started full time school several months ago. Hes 5 in Jan. Im now 6 months pregnant and I feel very sorry for the people with two children under 4 that are at home all the time! Im so tired now and keep getting crappy colds. Im rubbish but at least I can have a nap in the day for an hour. Im out of work at the moment and cant see me working either no one wants a preggo person! Im worried about having 2 children its hard work getting DS up and dressed for school so the thought of DS and other DC ready is a bit full on. Maybe it sounds lazy? but we cant help being tired can we! smile Being a mum is tiring! Constant demands all the time 24/7 never get a break accpet school but then its time for house work and chores......... grin

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