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Struggling to cope with two under 5s

(6 Posts)
strawberryfields973 Thu 06-Feb-14 15:28:13

I have a 4 year old ds and my dd is 19 months. I work 4 days a week and my kids go to a childminder after nursery. I pick them up at 6.15 and we are home by 6.30 – 6.45. I then arrange and give them their dinner and they love playing a little after that. By the time all this finishes it is already 8 PM. I then do some reading with my ds (phonics based) after which I read them both a bedtime story or two and put them to bed.

I am really struggling with managing both of them together around bedtime. My dd likes full attention by now and would not let me talk. She would pretend to have a conversation with me and I don’t get enough time to read with my ds. I get very snappy by this point with my ds.

Any advice on how to keep the younger sibling busy whilst you deal with the older one will be appreciated. I know a lot of us must be in similar situation and must be handling this a bit better. But I have had a rough couple of weeks with them. I feel guilty of loosing my patience around them. Just wish there were a few more hours in the day.

WLmum Thu 06-Feb-14 15:38:23

Yep, bedtimes are hard when everyone wants your attention. How about having a box of special toys that she's only allowed while you read with ds? Quiet things like a sticker book, dressing up dolls.

Tbh I couldn't manage to make dd2 (and now 3) stay quiet so I get dd1&2 into pjs, read dd2 a story, and then dd1 looks at her reading book while I get dd3 in her pjs, then I feed dd3 into submission while dd1 reads to me. Then I put dd3 down and read dd1 a story.

Could you get dd into bed first?

Artandco Thu 06-Feb-14 15:49:10

I would read bedtime story together to them and then put youngest into bed. Eldest goes into bed at same time whilst you settle younger then you go in and read/ phonics with 4 year old in bed by himself before he goes to bed. So in the end one goes to sleep at say 8.15pm and one at 8.45pm.

strawberryfields973 Thu 06-Feb-14 18:23:26

Thanks a lot with the suggestions.
WLmum I might try the sticker book when I need some quiet time.

Artandco I like your idea of putting the lil one to bed before and then spend time reading. I will try that, I just feel it is too late a bedtime for a 4 yr old. You can't win it all eh!!

These suggestions really help when you are short of any ideas to make thingsbetter. Thanks again!

WLmum Thu 06-Feb-14 20:00:24

Afraid you can't have it all ways. I sometimes feel that mine could do with an earlier bed time (and me too) but then sometimes I wouldn't see them.
It's all about finding a compromise that everyone can live with!
Don't forget, they will get older and it will get easier!

Ktay Thu 06-Feb-14 20:06:37

Is there any option for the CM to give them their tea? That would ease the pressure when you get home and give you a bit more of an evening too!

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