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If you have no extended family to help.....

(31 Posts)
nonsense0name Wed 29-Jul-15 09:27:42

If you have no extended family help (for whatever reason) and no spare time away from the home/children what things lift you up?

For us it's making sure the kids are in bed on time and watching what we want on the telly
Taking them all out for a walk and making sure we hang back so we get a little bit of space
Saying no to some things like kids parties so that we are not always running around after them

but recently this is not always enough, I did think about hiring some child care this summer to have a couple of days off but never done this so wouldn't know where to start....and the kids would be very confused.

A family holiday also just seems like more of the same but without the comforts of home....

Please share your thoughts, thanks

ch1134 Wed 29-Jul-15 11:12:40

My friend and I take turns to have all the kids, then we can have the odd day/ evening off.

JaniceJoplin Wed 29-Jul-15 11:19:54

How old are the kids? Do you get any sort of break with school or nursery. I've only just got to that stage when my eldest is at school and my youngest starts nursery after the summer. I'm literally at the stage when I am ready to explode for the want of extra help. I'd try not to let it get that bad. A good quality childcare person will enrich them. You need to look after yourself otherwise therein madness lies.

fabuLou Wed 29-Jul-15 11:23:28

How old are they? I got to the point of needing a break so starting putting ds in creche at gym at 18 months then nursery for 2 days at 26 months. I have 4 from 13 to 2 and often tern up after me so don't always get much time.

BrianButterfield Wed 29-Jul-15 11:27:39

Our day nursery does holiday club for school-aged children.

Toooldtobearsed Wed 29-Jul-15 11:28:07

When mine were young, I was living 250 miles away from any family and when DS2 was 1 week old, DH was working away Mon-Fri every week.
I made 2 good friends at toddler group and we practically lived with each other. The children were almost interchangeable at one point!
I never got a break from mine until they started nursery at 3yrs 10mths old.

I do miss those days smile

Artandco Wed 29-Jul-15 11:31:11

We just take ours with us to where many deem adult events. So if we want to go to the cinema and out for a meal in the evening we all go. We have no strict bedtimes.

Holidays and travelling we do a lot. Never go anywhere catering particularity for children as whilst I can cope with my children, others on my vacation would drive me made. We go somewhere we can see some sights, have late dinners casually on beach whilst kids play with local children, grab a boat trip for the day, lie ins as everyone's had late nights out.

starlight2007 Wed 29-Jul-15 11:38:24

I have no family support and am a single parent...

It does get easier as they get older..He is out with the cubs today so have a day to myself. He will meet up with friends and actually is better complany as he gets older..The TV he watched is not so mind numbing, the games better.

I find meeting up with friends help as the kids play together and I get adult conversation...

Despite looking forward to my day alone. I am looking forward to him coming home tonight

turkeyboots Wed 29-Jul-15 11:51:40

I work so get a break that way. But have regular periods where DH is away for a weekor two which can be hard going. Playdates where you can either chat to another adult or dump and run are helpful. Holiday clubs around a specific interest are good too, of sport or drama ones about here.
For a micro break when putting DC into the car, I shut their doors and walk v v v slowly round to my door. And then stand there for a bit. That moments peace is very valuable.

Nolim Wed 29-Jul-15 12:03:09

My oh and i took a day of from work while the dc were at the nursery to have a day for ourselves: lunch and movie.

We will probably hire a sitter to see a few movies in the summer.

Sometimes my oh goes out with friends in the evening. Today is my turn. grinwine

Damnautocorrect Wed 29-Jul-15 12:05:58

Mines the same as artandco, we all go places, concerts, dinners out, festivals. Drop the bed times and all go out on adventures.
I can't wait until they are old enough for comedy clubs and stand up.
Our relationship isn't as strong as people who get to spend time together alone (we don't get to in evenings either).
But as a family we are rock solid, I do wonder what will happen once they've left home though. But it is how it is with no support and no baby sitters.

Enjoyingthepeace Wed 29-Jul-15 12:23:25

No family around us whatsoever.

I have a close knit of friends, that helps.

Holidays are enormously important. The children go for a few sessions at the kids club, which they love. And indeed we love! We swim, read just chill together when they in kids club.

We are the opposite of artandco. My two are in bed and asleep at 7 every night, so we have the evenings to ourselves. We socialise quite a bit, not that the children know because they are on bed by the time we head out.

We don't fund it that hard to carve out time for ourselves despite no family around. It does involve babysitters though. The baby sitter we have found is heaven sent though

SylvanianCaracal Wed 29-Jul-15 12:33:41

Late night telly sessions with wine are essential. It can take a while to get ours to bed so we are often up at midnight because that adult time is so important.

Because of having no family help, my DC are quite clingy, like to be with me, aren't used to spending nights elsewhere etc and I find that can make it hard to encourage them to go on sleepovers etc. But the older one has started to at 9/10. They don't like to be away from us on holiday either. I have never, apart from a couple of work trips on my own, had an overnight break without the DC since they were born.

But I do book occasional days off when the DC are in school and nursery, and just go shopping and out for lunch on my own. It's bliss. Your standards drop, so going to Costa and sitting there in peace with a copy of Grazia and being able to spend half an hour in Boots with no distractions becomes the best day out ever grin

nonsense0name Wed 29-Jul-15 14:00:24

Thanks for the replies...

We have 4DC's youngest due to start nursery Sept and others in school. I work so have colleagues to pass the time of day with but no friends. Moved to a new area when the DC's were small and never really found friends. DH is SAHD, happy enough but no friends here either -nursery group things were never his scene.

I feel like we are our own little island, it's lovely but no-one comes to visit and we never seem to leave...

nonsense0name Wed 29-Jul-15 14:43:34


Janice - I think maybe the madness has already set in
Artandco - I like your style and maybe we could all do with a (tiny) adventure...I am not a good traveller but should be braver

We had a babysitter once/twice, the kids didn't settle, we were stressed, it was £££

I need to chill out....

Peppasmate Wed 29-Jul-15 14:50:12

I just get through it. I'm a LP. I have no friends locally or family. 2 Disabled dc so very limited.

I was thinking the exact thing this morning but didn't find an answer!

QuietIsland Wed 29-Jul-15 14:59:58

We haven't extended family support as ever one lives abroad. Sometimes we organise a day off on school days and have lunch or catch a film. It does feel a bit relentless but as a previous poster said even being in Costa coffee for a while with a man is a real treat. I remember when ds was a baby I read a children's book called "Five minutes' peace" about a harassed mother elephant seeking quiet time amongst her small herd. I am that elephant now!

JimmyCorkhill Wed 29-Jul-15 15:04:25

We have 2 DC. One aged 5 and one aged 2. The 2 year old still has a nap after lunch. On the weekends we take it in turns (one of us on Sat, one on Sun) to have 3 hours to ourselves (12-3 ish). The other parent does lunch and watches tv something quiet with DC1 whilst DC2 naps. It's not onerous for the SAHP because it's only entertaining one child. I generally walk to our city and mooch around the shops/library and have a treat of a coffee. DH usually goes to the pub with his laptop. It's so nice to know that this tiny little break is coming up. The day/time is not set in stone so if we have a family day out on Sat I'll take my break on Sunday morning.

lotrben17 Wed 29-Jul-15 15:06:26

i think you need a babysitter. We needed time on our own together, we got to the point where we no longer even tried to do things together because of the childcare issues and that was the tipping point for us. DH goes out a lot & travels for work but that isn't couple time. We've accepted that it's very expensive to hire sitters and then go out and we left it too long - 4 years without going out together and DH working long hours left us in a bad state. Like anything, you hire a babysitter once, the kids fuss, you make it part of their routine. Parents go out once a week etc. and x comes. Let them have a special treat with the sitter too - new film/popcorn etc.

QuietIsland Wed 29-Jul-15 15:06:56

Sorry - I meant being in Costa with a Mag! Not a random man!

nonsense0name Wed 29-Jul-15 15:11:42

Peppasmate - you deserve a gold star

and I should count my blessings instead of worrying about myself

everyone I work with has super grandparents to help, loads of friends, nights out, free time and it just felt like I was the only one - which obviously I am not!

Just feeling a bit lonely and as neither DH or I have any friends we spend all of our time together....meaning we will never find any friends....

I really appreciate the replies, thank you

morethanpotatoprints Wed 29-Jul-15 15:14:27

I made sure I waited up for dh at the weekend when he came home from work, so we had during the night. As a sahm I caught up sleep on monday/ tuesday.
It was the only way we had time together.
Also would take turns with friends to have all the kids, then they had a break too.

lotrben17 Wed 29-Jul-15 15:26:38

i try not to behave too bitterly when I hear about involved grandparents smile i hear you - my dh is allergic to non-work related socializing, I'd love to have one or two places to go! Joining things helps, and I've met people through having a dog. People borrow my dog for similar reasons, to get out, meet people etc.

fabuLou Wed 29-Jul-15 16:30:32

How old are your school age dc? Could they be asleep when sitter comes?

fabuLou Wed 29-Jul-15 16:31:04

I find sitters good

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