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When did you start really enjoying spending time with your DC?

(45 Posts)
BotBotticelli Thu 20-Feb-14 21:54:21

Ds1 is almost 15mo now and I still find most days wth him a real hard slog. Yes I have had PND but I feel much less anxious/down just don't really find the constant battles and meltdowns fun. DS is so 'spirited' that everything with him is a fight (teeth, clothes, nappies, in buggy, in car seat etc) and he needs so much from me in terms of stimulation and playing. He has never been one of those babies to play by himself or sit contentedly. He won't even watch bloody Ceebeebies for more than 2 mins before he comes and starts moaning and hangin off my legs again.

Please can someone with a similarly demanding child tell me when it started to get more enjoyable? Please??

scurryfunge Thu 20-Feb-14 21:59:25

Honestly? Around 2 years. They can interact better and language is developing so that you can actually converse with them and they understand.

Olivegirl Thu 20-Feb-14 22:33:21

I remember someone telling me the best years are between 3yrs and 10yrs

Mine are older teens now and I kind of agree
They interact as little people
You can go to nice family places with them
They get excited about picnics etc.
I'm enjoying them still but in a different way
Obviously a lot more independent and breaking away from parental ties sadenvywine

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 20-Feb-14 22:44:59

Honestly, from about 5yrs.

WhispersOfWickedness Thu 20-Feb-14 22:57:31

3 years for me. DD is 2.5 years and I am counting down the days until August grin
DS is 4 and lovely to spend time with when he is not doing a remarkable impression of a huffy teenager smile

offblackeggshell Thu 20-Feb-14 22:57:46

For me it was about 18 months. Hang on in there!

QTPie Thu 20-Feb-14 23:16:15

I would say that "by 2 years" I think that I "clock watched" a lot less - so less of a "drag".

About 3 years or so things became a lot more "fun" (DS a late speaker): activities/conversations more interesting for an adult.

At 4 years things are really quite good/fun, but also DS is much more "mischievous"/obstenant (which I could do without)

Chocolateteabag Fri 21-Feb-14 05:40:22

Truthfully from about 2.5years.
However I did record specific programs and get the DVDs for Ds1 to watch (peppa, Timmy time, Shaun the sheep and later into 2 Tractor Ted Ds). They kept/keep his attention for longer than the actual Cbeebies channel (too many breaks and pieces to camera by the presenters which younger ones won't get)

Also the more you put in now, the quicker they develop to be able to "give" you more back. So that does mean watching the programmes with them, playing games and role plays etc

BeaWheesht Fri 21-Feb-14 05:59:38

I loved spending time with them until they were 2, from then until 3.5 was a right pain in the arse but I see I'm not normal in thinking this!!

MrsTowMater Fri 21-Feb-14 07:18:26

Oh bless you, I think most people do feel like this if they're honest. Babies and young toddlers are beautiful but I found it mind numbingly boring. I would be climbing the walls with frustration. The thought of a full day to fill filled me with dread with both of mine. I should add that I also suffered with anxiety and PND after both of my babies. Counselling helped a lot with telling someone how I truly felt. It didn't hel that both of them (in particular DS1) was extremely high needs and very prone to crying and whinginess so I relate to him hanging off your leg! They both needed a lot of interaction and neither of them would have watched TV at that age either. Their attention spans just aren't long enough.

Anyway, I'd say from when they start talking fairly well, which obviously varies. By age 2 with ours I have felt that clock watching and the real hard grind was over. DS1 is 6 now and amazing, funny, sweet, interesting to be around. DS2 is 2 and we're just about out of the woods now. I find it much easier to be around them when the understand you and talk back to you instead of whinging and crying! Also you can do more with them. DS2 likes baking and singing, playing with cars and talking about what he's doing so he's getting more interesting by the day. Hang in there. It's really hard and no one in real life admits that. sad BUT it gets SO much better!!! grin

MrsTowMater Fri 21-Feb-14 07:21:37

...and definitely from 3...they are AMAZING! I remember by age 3 looking at DS1 and just being amazed by him, utterly wonderful creature who talked in full coherent sentences and fascinated me. So much so that we thought 'Aww wow this parenting malarkey is amazing!, let's do it again!!' Hmmmmm!!! grin DS2 was much planned and is much loved but it has been a slog!!!

Haroldplaystheharmonica Fri 21-Feb-14 08:27:01

Really? From day one. I loved being off with them and meeting friends and family. Then from 10 weeks we went to various baby groups where I met new friends that I still see regularly 10 years down the line. I can see I'm on my own here though!

Bonsoir Fri 21-Feb-14 08:28:37

Right from the start. Still love it.

Taffeta Fri 21-Feb-14 08:29:22

About 5 yrs old. Mine are 7 & 10 now and I do enjoy most of the time with them.

Some people are excellent with babies and toddlers, I wasn't.

Parliamo Fri 21-Feb-14 08:33:14

Do you ever get any time on your own? I always find I enjoy my family much more from a distance grin

Seriously, a bit of time to relax helps me to reflect on the good bits. Maybe that would help.

bunnymother Fri 21-Feb-14 08:35:27

I think it depends on how many DCs you have. When DD1 was an only, I enjoyed her company from about 9 months' onwards. Her twin sisters arrived when she was 17 months' old, and it's been hard work ever since. Taking all 3 anywhere or doing anything with them involves a lot of energy and planning and patience. I am seeing that DD1, at 4.5, is much calmer than DTDs, who are 3. I think when they are all 4.5 and above, it will be fun taking them places and doing things. It's what I chant to myself, most days...

BotBotticelli Fri 21-Feb-14 08:35:35

Oh god thank you thank you so much kind women of MN. It is such a relief to hear that other people have felt like this ad that it has improved.

I think at the moment part of the problem is DS is very frustrated at not talking. He doesn't have any words yet but is very clever (ha ha everyone thinks that about their kids right?!) - he understands pretty much everything we say (ye gods) and his vocab of understanding seems high to me (knows all the animals in his books, can differentiate between car, tractor, train, bus, helicopter, plane etc etc).

Hopefully once he starts talking a bit the constant moaning will die down a bit.

The worst thing is: I am back at work now 3 days so only have 3 days on my own with him sad I feel like I should be breezing through this bit, but the truth is I am so much happier and less stressed out on my days in the office. I feel like I am doing something I am good at there, and which I understand. At home with DS I feel like I am always two steps behind trying to work out what he needs, I never have time to brush my hair, the house is a state, he only has one 45-60 min nap per day (has never been a great day sleeper but sleeps 12.5 hours at night so shouldn't complain!) so I don't get any down time on those days. I feel SO guilty that I enjoy being at work more than I enjoy hanging out with my son. This wasn't how I pictured motherhood sad am really hoping that as he gets older and easier to engage with/less utterly dependent on me, maybe I will enjoy it more.

lechers Fri 21-Feb-14 08:36:40

I'm totally with Olivegirl. Three to ten years has been the best.

I'm not naturally a baby person, and whilst I enjoyed my DDs' babyhood, it was hardwork and the thought of going back to those days does feel me with utter dread.

But they get easier as they get older, and I have loved having my older children as they can do so much for themselves (get their own breakfast etc). But, my ten year old is starting to get hormones. I think there may be a few bumpy years ahead grin.

bunnymother Fri 21-Feb-14 08:38:19

Lots of working parents say that their working days are easier than the days with their young DCs. It does sound like your Ds is going through a tricky stage - don't feel bad about finding it oh so hard and not much fun. Thank goodness these phases pass!

missmapp Fri 21-Feb-14 08:39:28

Three to ten? Am in the middle of that now with my two and agree it is great- Ds1 is 9, so clearly I need to make the most of these times!!!

Don't be so hard on yourself OP, there are plenty of us working mums ( and dads) who find 'work' much easier than home!!

MrsBennetsEldest Fri 21-Feb-14 08:40:35

I'm with Harold and Bonsoir. I've enjoyed every age and if I could rewind those years and do it all again, from the beginning, I would. Mine are 19, 17 and 15. Don't be thinking the teenage years are terrible, it's not always the case smile

misstiredbuthappy Fri 21-Feb-14 08:41:21

3 ..... the terrrible twos realy are terrible !

Eletheomel Fri 21-Feb-14 09:25:00

I'm with the minority here, I've loved spending time with them since the day they arrived :-) Each phase of their development brings something new and I just love it. There's no way I'm wishing away these under five years, I want to enjoy every minute so I have no regrets when I'm older, I don't want to be looking back saying, 'if only I'd spent more time playing with them when they were little...'

Having said that, doesnt mean there aren't 'challenging days' e.g. days when they can be a right pain in the arse but that's par for the course, and even on those days there are always little rays of sunshine :-)

cheminotte Fri 21-Feb-14 09:42:19

age 2 1/2 to 3. Much less guesswork as they can tell you they are tired / hungry. Can have conversations with them. Are your non-working days back to back OP? Do you have activities planned for them or at least one or at least one of them?

kawaii Fri 21-Feb-14 10:49:17

Good to hear it gets better and I will look forward to 3-10. I thought I would enjoy it from the start but DD is 20 months now and it has been very much a hard slog.

She had terrible reflux and had to be held vertical at all times for the first year so that wasn't a good start but even now that has resolved I find it such hard work, very very demanding, with so much whining, moaning and general difficultness. Not how I imagined my much longed for baby to be like.

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