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Does it ever ease up?!

(96 Posts)
okthen Sun 20-Oct-13 19:16:53

We have a 3yo and a 12mo. Today went like this:

4.30am 3yo wakes up (uncomfortable as she has worms)
Wakes 12mo up, he cries (he has a cold and is teething)
Feed baby
All back to sleep
5am, 5.30am- baby needs settling
6.30am all up and hungry
Breakfast, get kids dressed
Can't tackle massive pile of dirty clothes as have to wash all towels, sheets etc because of worms.
8am baby does massive liquid poo. Goes on high chair, his clothes, my clothes
Change his clothes
9am I have bath. 3yo comes in, needs a poo. Wants to get in bath with me, upset that she can't. I get out, wipe her bum.

And so it continues, we crash from snack to meal to more explosive shit, via nose-wiping, tantrum-calming, wrestling the baby away from the 3yo as she drags him round by his neck, dropping everything to take baby for a nap walk as he won't sleep, etc etc.

Now it's bedtime and me and dp are like shell-shocked soldiers staggering off the battlefield. There are literal mountains of washing heaped at every turn, the kitchen is pebble-dashed with grated cheese and pasta, we haven't washed up the lunch dishes, and it's Monday again tomorrow.

Surely weekends won't always be like this?!

I'm sure I don't need to add that I adore these children, and they bring immeasurable happiness to my life. I know we are so lucky, too, to have no big problems eg serious illness to deal with.

But... But, I'd really like to have a relaxing weekend, to sip a leisurely cup of coffee and read the weekend papers (without it being a scheduled 'me time' with the clock ticking...), to sleep all night for weeks at a time. To not deal with shit and nits and worms on a regular basis. To not be screamed at, by anyone. To want to stay up past 10pm.

Parents of older children, will I ever reach this holy land of tranquility, or is it a foolish dream?

wakemeupnow Sun 20-Oct-13 19:30:16

IMO between 7 and 9 are the easiest years... living with teens can be a whole lot more stressfull.

The spaces of calm between the action get longer as they grow up, but the action just gets more and more complicated !

JimmyCorkhill Sun 20-Oct-13 19:39:06

I spat my coffee out at wrestling the baby away from the 3yo as she drags him round by his neck grin.

Shouldn't laugh but you've made me feel better as you've described my life weekend. At least you know you're not alone cakeflowerswine.

BotBotticelli Sun 20-Oct-13 20:02:05

I have heard that years 4-10 are quite good?? Waiting to see if it's true as I only have one child, a highly spirited 10mo...

CreatureRetorts Sun 20-Oct-13 20:05:17


It's getting easier (4& nearly 2). Youngest still naps, oldest will play by himself for a bit.

Looking at your day, there's no way I'd have a bath with a toddler around! We have quick showers in the morning while the other is in charge of the kids. In fact we're sad and try and have a routine but it's not until kids' bedtime can we properly tidy up. The key is to give each other a break in the day!

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 20:05:35

Hmmm I've 3 ages 8-11 are pretty easy tbh as were 6-9...

Not keen on the teen stage that I've been through with my eldest though!

ToddlersRFab Sun 20-Oct-13 20:24:53

Hang in there okthen.

I only have one, and I had weekends like that. It does get easier, and they get better the older they get too.

The staying up past 10pm is still a struggle and my DS is nearly 6... but hey ho... its great fun (unless they are poorly).

Try and get half an hour R&R for you and then get your DH to have 30 mins. It makes all the difference. Hugs and keep going - it won't always be as hard.... and more wine

okthen Sun 20-Oct-13 20:25:45

creature the bath was a daft idea- but I felt contaminated by the liquid poosplosion and idea of possible worm eggs collecting in every crevice, so dp told me to go and have a soak.

We do try to get housework etc done during day at weekends, and sometimes it feels like trying to scramble up an incredibly slippery muddy slope (and we end up just as filthy)

MaryAnnTheDasher Sun 20-Oct-13 20:30:20

OP you are describing my weekends. I've only just come to terms with the fact and mine are 1.8 and 3.8. I agree with other replies about scheduling in a break for yourself. We do whoever did the morning shift gets a lie down / break reading papers in bedroom away from kids mid afternoon so there's some breathing space to look forward to at some point. Keeps us sane! I just keep telling myself one day weekends will be enjoyable again. When that day will be , however , is anyone's guess.

CreatureRetorts Sun 20-Oct-13 20:36:43

I think to survive the early years, lower expectations are necessary. No baths while the kids are awake, no quiet coffees etc etc!

<sigh> I'm sure I'll miss these years when they're older.

RemindMeWhatSleepIs Sun 20-Oct-13 20:49:38

Okthen, I'm sure it must get better at some point. Maybe I'm not the best person to ask.

I have a 3 yr old DD and an 18 month old DS. DS has vomited all weekend (has milk intolerance and managed to climb up and pinch a friends baby's almost empty cup of milk from my sink). DD managed to wet her bed and our bed last night! confused I didn't hear her sneak into our bed and when I went to bed at 10pm the whole bed, duvet and mattress was soaked. I wanted to cry! DH and I then slept in the lounge with 2 single duvets. At 5am she wet her own bed so I had to donate my duvet. So DH and I shared a single duvet for 15 mins till DS thought it was morning. DS was up around 1am for a bit with tummy ache too.

I must keep my sense of humour! I think I lost it somewhere amongst the piles of wee and vomit soaked laundry! grin

I hope your week improves OkThen.

okthen Sun 20-Oct-13 21:07:13

remindme that sounds hideous! I am having panic in advance about having no clean sheets tonight in case of bed-wetting (dd has NEVER wet the bed until the past few weeks, having been dry day and night for 18 months) or another gastric explosion from baby.

I've had a few nights under a duvet sleeping on the actual floor in ds's room of late . Fantasise about being and staying in bed, my own bed, for nine hours at a time. Tbf that does sometimes happen now (ds has slept through a whole six times in his life) but when they are ill or otherwise unsettled, I lose all sense of perspective and believe that we doomed forever.

spookyskeleton Sun 20-Oct-13 21:11:23

It really does get easier smile my 2 are 7 and nearly 5 and life is just SO much better! I just have to step in to stop the fighting every now and again and provide food and drink occasionally wink

okthen Sun 20-Oct-13 21:18:40

Ooh, excellent reply spooky! Though I fear once they get more independent I'll go into maudlin 'where did my baaaabies goooo?' mode grin

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 21:24:02

Yes when they start school you're all tearful and feel like you hardly get to spend anytime with them sad

RemindMeWhatSleepIs Sun 20-Oct-13 21:26:41

Spooky sounds very positive!

Okthen, we're much like you really, on the whole it's improving. DD goes weeks without a wet bed and DS is a much more settled baby than DD ever was (though i have pretty low standards as far as "settled" goes!) It's just so hard to remember that things are on the up when you have a bad patch.
I'm convinced there's a 9 hours of sleep night waiting for me one day. smile

AllDirections Sun 20-Oct-13 21:39:51

When my elder DC were small people used to tell me that these were the best years and to make the most of it because it only gets harder. I nearly slit my wrists!!

The DC are now 17 and 13 and I have a 6 year old too. The teen years have been an absolute breeze so far. Life changes I think when the youngest gets to about 4, maybe even 3. Much, much easier.

I've had a friend staying with me for 6 months with his DS2 who is 20 months. It's taken me right back to those 'war zone' years. Give me teens any day grin

okthen Sun 20-Oct-13 21:39:54

I'm sure ours have a team meeting each evening to plot their night of terror. 'Right, you do the night shift and I'll do the early morning'....

3yo sleeps through 90% of time, baby 10% of time- but always, it seems, on the nights when 3yo doesn't. Similarly, baby likes to sleep pretty late and 3yo is a 5.30am merchant; but the moment she decides to have a 'lion' (as she calls a lie-in smile), baby is up at crack of dawn.

Having said all this, dp and I have spent this evening waxing lyrical about how cute and good they are... It's fucking batshit crazy, this parenting business.

sydenhamhiller Sun 20-Oct-13 21:43:00

I have 1, 7 and 9 year olds and i remember days/ weeks/ months OP!
Life is much easier... I think once they were about 4 and 6.and even the addition of DC3 hasn't been toooooo bad. I think we're resigned to no lie-ins/ coffee / reading.

Am depressed to read I only have a couple of years to enjoy it before DC1 enters the teen years :-(

BR44 Mon 21-Oct-13 07:49:08

I just wanted to say I feel EXACTLY like you with my 3yo and 6mo DSs. Days start between 5 and 5.30 and the following 14 hours are nonstop activity, juggling, negotiation, madness. I have about 7 grades of laundry, all artfully distributed around my house in bags, baskets, buggies and toy boxes. Occasionally it gets put away. On the plus dude I quite like hinging random items if my own clothing I'd genuinely forgotten I had.

Like you I, of course, adore my children and at the moment I have to say they're both pretty damn gorgeous but MY GOD it's hard work. By the time they're in bed by 7 I often find I have not had one directly-related-to-child care thought all day. Thank you so much for posting this OP. It's really nice to hear its not just me who finds things so utterly relentless!

MorrisZapp Mon 21-Oct-13 10:10:36

It's easy to forget that kids actually get bigger and stop being babies/ toddlers.

I was visiting my SIL recently and noted that the bath/ bed routine for her primary school aged kids went like this:

SIL puts down gin and tonic, pops her head out of the living room door, shouts upstairs, 'boys, are you having a bath tonight?'

Two small voices reply in the negative.

SIL: 'ok, night night then!' . Sits back down, resumes quaffing. The end.

I was like, omg. It is out there! Hang strong x

mummyxtwo Mon 21-Oct-13 10:32:59

Eloquently put, OP! I laughed at your descriptions whilst also feeling sympathy. Mine are 4.10yo and 12mo. 90% of the time my life is like that too, but 10% (maybe even 25% - I might be feeling negative today) of the time I get glimpses of a life that is starting to become easier. Then dd2 cuts another tooth plus more steaming snot and sleep becomes a distant memory again. It does make a difference that ds1 is older - he is mostly a help with dd2, plays with her and shouts me from the other room if she is putting something pointy and tiny and baby-hazardous inappropriate in her mouth. Ds1 has always been a poor sleeper but has recently been able to take himself to the toilet at night and generally sleeps better. Dd2 used to be a great sleeper but then decided to start waking repeatedly and wanting to get up at 5.15am. I recently googled baby 'wonder weeks' though and discovered that she is in her 8th and final 'wonder week' where she has poor sleep, fussy with food, tantrummy and a bit jealous, clingy velcro-baby - which all fits and so I am hoping that will all improve! To quote Black Adder - "If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through."

okthen Mon 21-Oct-13 10:38:45

Morris that's classic! I'm picturing you friend as the posh blond lady from Gogglebox, if you watch it.

mummy yes I have the Wonder Weeks too. Me and DP have been known to mutter drily 'it must be a magical leap forward' as ds's plaintive moans ring out in the middle of the night...

okthen Mon 21-Oct-13 10:39:22

Sorry morris, SIL not friend

okthen Mon 21-Oct-13 10:45:11

BR44 so glad to know it's not only us who have not just 'clean' and 'dirty' piles of laundry, but whole families and herds of mini laundry piles breeding across house, from 'dirty with poo/poss worm eggs' (for boil wash); to 'dirty, urgent needed for nursery on Monday'; to 'clean, wet but no room on drier so mouldering next to it'; to 'items gathered in a moment of high stress from all bedrooms and simply tossed to bottom of stairs'; to the largest pile 'everything else we own, clean, dry, not put away, and threatening to swallow the bedroom into its endless depths'

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