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Finding 2 toddlers relentless - how do you enjoy your time with them?

(6 Posts)
lannook Sun 14-Aug-11 09:07:23

We have 2 children 3 and 2 yrs old and I find it a struggle. We have recently moved from one european country to another so I have not yet found afternoon activities that I can take them to. The older child is in a nursery in the mornings (no chance to extend hours possibly for another yr).

I am sleeping badly at the moment so tired and irritable and have lots of things to .do - unpacking to finish, want to start on my language course, paperwork etc etc.

I feel I am pushing them away - particularly the older child. The children do play well together some of the time but the bickering and squabbling gets me down really quickly.

I find being with the 2 of them hard work and I need to change my attitude - I know I will miss this age when it is gone but right now it feels bittersweet

phdlife Sun 14-Aug-11 12:21:54

you know, it IS relentless. My two are exactly two years apart and we moved to australia in between, so I vaguely remember how it was (sleep-deprivation = memory loss!).

I don't know if it'll help you, but the way I coped was to drop everything else except the kids. Partly I didn't have much choice, my two being v high-maintenance; partly it was that consciousness that they are only little for a little while. So I just did very little except care for them, feed them and do laundry. Bugger all the other housework, the garden died, I didn't get anything published (should've been trying, according to career mentor). I didn't even try. Many, many days I didn't even shower. Now (they are 2 and 4) I am only just getting started, slowly, at sorting the mountains of hand-me down toys and clothes that were dumped on us when we moved in and have been lying in drifts round the house for the past 2 years. tbh I'm sure my ILs (well, PiL) wonders what I do with my days, but I realised dc's are only annoying if you're trying to give your attention to something else. I still have days where I forget that, but it's just one day at a time, isn't it?

lannook Tue 16-Aug-11 12:38:57

I know what you are saying is correct (as she responds when the children are meant to be watching tv).

I find I am never refreshed with them - always tired, have other things to do and resent having no time to myself (well 1 hr in the evening when shattered before going to bed).

I drag through the days and long for them both to be in kindergarten from 9-3pm - hopefully this time next year.

I need to stop seeing things as a chore but do not know how to change my own thinking.

Stopping doing anything all day feels impossible.

phdlife Tue 16-Aug-11 12:47:20

I'm sure - esp hard as you'rerying to get settled in a different country. could you just give yourself a few days off? declare holiday in the lannook household, eat freezer meals or takeaway for just a couple of days, slouch around as much as possible, go to be at 9:30? (this never works with me, either, she says at 9:45pm blush) but it's the only way I find to crack the over-tiredness that makes me sleep poorly and then makes me SOOOOOO tetchy with the kids and dh. And I find if I really work at getting myself to bed early, regardless of what else needs doing, after a few days it starts to work and I start feeling human again. maybe fixing that would help change your thinking?

Janeymax Tue 16-Aug-11 13:41:25

Can you put them both in nursery and get some time off? My toddler is also responding well to a star chart to improve some of her less attractive behavior. I try to make sure I have regular time without the kids or I go a bit mad! Dad, nana and Childcare all help. We do lots of outings to the park to burn off energy and I find her lower maintenance outside than in the house where she gets bored. There are also other people for me to chat to at the park. All the best

lannook Tue 16-Aug-11 15:27:07

thank you for your replies. Yes going to bed earlier except gets negated by one of both of them waking virtually every night.

No prospect of them both going into a nursery yet - older one is adjusting to a foreign language so second week of nursery I am leaving her there maybe 2 hrs, younger one does not get a place as I am not working - I am looking into a private nursery when I get the chance but it will then take her some time to adjust to being there so realistically it could take until Xmas for me to get possibly 3hrs in the mornings.

being overseas there is no family or friends around (our choice I know) and having just moved we have no support network here. We rely on people visiting (PIL's in 3 weeks - mixed blessing).

I am frustrated and tired and I am being mean to the older child - just snappy and irritable - I feel when she is with me she wants/asks me things all of the time - it is constant and draining. Even going up the slide it is a constant stream of "there is a spider's web, I need a cloth, I need to hold your hand etc etc etc".

I feel she is pushing and I am trying to run away - just to get some peace and quiet, never mind get things done so that I don't feel everything is getting on top of me.

I cannot change my circumstances apart from trying to look after myself a bit better. So I need to change the way I see things - I know it is unhelpful but I don't know how to.

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