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Help me stop being a crap parent to 15 month old DD

(14 Posts)
NinkyNonker Tue 25-Oct-11 11:36:00

I'm finding it hard going at the moment and feel like I am letting her down. I'm 3 months pregnant, feeling crap and now waiting on test results about the new baby which isn't helping my motivation.

I am just finding it hard to entertain her! Some mornings after DH has gone to work we go and sit in the living room while I wake up and I just put Cbeebies on while she potters round destroys the room, I feel like I'm not entertaining her enough. She is a happy, independent, energetic little soul and I feel like I am letting her down.

Please give me a boot up the bum and help me interact with her more and be a better parent, I'm driving myself mad.

Our day looks a bit like this normally:

0500ish: She wakes up, we bring her in with us, she has a feed (BF) and then sometimes nods off again until 0645 when DH's alarm goes off. Sometimes she won't go back to sleep and will just want to play.

0700: Get up, nappy change, see DH off. Play in living room for an hour. She plays with stuff with Cbeebies on in the background while I have a coffee and MN/email/recover.

0800: Breakfast

0900: Shower with me, put washing on, tidy clean washing away etc etc.

1000: Nap. Up to 2 hs, but at the moment wakes after 30 mins and needs resettling.

1200ish: Lunch

1300: Go out somewhere normally. Supermarket, walk into town, see friends, into shops or something.

1600: Home. Potter in kitchen, I tidy and get stuff ready for dinner while she empties cupboards.

1700: DH home, he takes her and plays etc.

1800: Dinner, then bath.

1900: Bed.

I just feel distracted, like she isn't getting the best of me and I am worried that she is bored. Just feel crap. sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 25-Oct-11 11:40:22

Why would you feel crap? What you describe is totally normal. There's really no need to go to great lengths interacting and entertaining toddlers. Just talking to them as you go about your daily jobs, or change their nappy or give them a bath etc. is absolutely adequate on the interaction. And giving them time and space to explore toys, cupboards and even CBeebies is also great. After all, when you have a new baby a few months from now you'll be quite tied up looking after their needs and it'll help if your eldest is used to entertaining themselves rather than needing you to 'do something' all the time.

I've met kids whose parents have overmanaged the entertainment their whole lives, completely at a loss what to do if they haven't got someone providing stimulation. I don't think that's a good thing.

winnybella Tue 25-Oct-11 11:41:43

Sounds fine to me. Do you play with her at all? If you do a 2 15 minute bursts before lunch, that would be nice, I guess, but other than that I think it's good for children to learn to entertain themselves. As long as there is a lot of interaction between you two- you talk to her while tidying up, while walking etc, it's fine.

NinkyNonker Tue 25-Oct-11 11:48:11

I think I just feel like my mind is elsewhere and sometimes I resent her for distracting me or something. sad And she is such a lovely little girl. I do talk to her, all the time, I just dont want her to feel neglected or something.

Maybe I'm overthinking it, maybe the prospect of another baby is making me worry she'll feel left out.

<slaps self round face>

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 25-Oct-11 11:57:15

You described her as happy, independent and energetic so she's obviously fine. I think everyone has times when they resent their children, don't worry about that. We don't just flip a switch, going from 'slightly selfish individual needing a bit of space' to 'all-embracing self-sacrificial motherhood' when they cut the umbilical chord.... or at least that's my experience. Small children can be tiring, infuriating and time-consuming... as well as loveable, wonderful and lots of fun. Don't be worried at acknowledging there are downsides to being a mother. Just means you're human and doesn't mean you're doing a bad job.

MrsDobalina Tue 25-Oct-11 14:36:43

Hey it sounds like you're doing a great job. Honestly! When I was pregnant and had a 15 month DC I laid on the floor in his bedroom all day and let him scrabble around me while I quietly groaned. I'm not even sure I talked to him blush. He doesn't seem to have held it against me grin. Do you know anyone with similar age babies? Can you meet up and let their DC entertain yours while you relax and drink tea? Good luck with the results x

AlpinePony Tue 25-Oct-11 14:40:23

Sounds totally normal to me (6 months pregnant + 16 month old). Instead of berating yourself for not being an all-singing, all-dancing, face-painted, children's entertainer - why don't you give yourself a pat on the back for having raised a sweet little girl who's happy to wander off and play with her toys/empty a drawer/go through the clean washing and knows her mum is on the sofa but doesn't need to be sat on you! smile

I think we've all inwardly screamed as we've had yet another toy smashed on to our keyboard...

Rogers1 Tue 25-Oct-11 14:59:30

ninkynonker. I could have written this exact thread!! My DS is also 15 months & the last week or so I have felt just as you are describing. We do everything together... He loves to help me tidy etc...& we talk all day long. But I often also feel I'm letting him down as I don't always have lots of activities lined up each day or even leave the house...which results in us pottering around & playing on/off.
I have made a daily 'flexi-routine'...which now consists of activities (I chose 1 or 2 to do a day) & the options of - running errands..shopping...walk...park etc.
It has made a difference already to motivation & mood. However...with you feeling so crappy right now...don't be too hard on yourself. Your little one isn't missing out.

Daisy1986 Tue 25-Oct-11 19:40:05

Have you got a sure start centre near you? They offer free groups which will help break up the monotony you might feel and DD will be stimulated. They often offer messy play session which are good so you dont have the mess at home.

Familydilemma Tue 25-Oct-11 20:58:09

Don'tangry waste time worrying about this-I did! Then it dawned on me that by four I had the sort of child who woke up and said "can we do..." instead of "what are we doing today?".

Familydilemma Tue 25-Oct-11 20:58:45

Sorry angry got in by mistake-breastfeeding and phone typing!

boglach Tue 25-Oct-11 21:37:48

your day sounds lovely smile

I love these threads where someone describes a typical day, and it involves pottering and the quiet intimacy of motherhood. This to me is the bread and butter of life

I worried like you op with my firstborn, when he was this age. I am more relaxed with number 2. My eldest is at school now and dd and I (she is 2.4) just potter a lot too. Now she is a bit older I do a couple of things a week - jumping beans and toddlers that kind of thing. But when she was 15 months I did very little planned activities with her.

My favourite moments with ds at that age, were when he would run his dinky cars up and down my arm while I dozed on the sofa (he would pretend my arm was a track and my hand a ramp)

bliss

Stay123 Tue 25-Oct-11 21:47:08

Don't worry, I had bad morning sickness when I was pregnant was my second DS and my first DS was 1.11. I remember being stood in the garden one cold morning playing diggers then being sick in the bush. He got so used to it that he'd announce to my DH when he got home from work that "mummy sick". I couldn't play with him properly at all and relied on CBeebies for which I felt awful but when I did go out in the pram we both felt a lot better. I remember locking myself in the bathroom once to get some peace as felt so sick and exhausted and lay on the bathroom floor for about 30 minutes with him knowcking on the door outside. He doesn't hold it against me and I certainly think it is a good thing that children learn to occupy themselves.

myhandslooksoold Tue 25-Oct-11 22:03:46

Yes I also could have written this post OP. I also have a 15 month old and she's my third dc. The other replies have covered what I would have said.
In addition- what has saved my sanity during this age is to have a friend who's baby is the same-ish age and we've sat around and chatted while the kids pottered. Also its a bit difficult to let them do anything other than potter at this age- you're wasting your time setting out any structured activites as attention span is so short.
I really look forward to the school run to break up the day and siblings to help entertain. Its a long old day isn't it- especially when pg. It will so so be worth it and better when she gets a bit older though. By the time my eldest was 2- 2 1/2 we would do lovely activites while the baby slept and we had so many giggles.
Oh ps that waking up 30 mins into nap time SUCKS doesn't it! It's caused by the end of the first sleep cycle. It was the bane of my life when I was pg with no 2 and wanted to rest too.

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