Anyone else find days with toddler very long

(30 Posts)
iheartshoes Fri 14-Aug-15 10:26:28

I do. I love her so much but we are struggling at the moment. She's up at 6.30 and has no real nap anymore (if she does she goes to sleep way to late so then DH and I don't get an evening) and I'm just finding it hard to fill the days. We have had play dates three days this week two of them were at mine, love having people round while they're here but now my house is a mess and that gets me down. Today we have been swimming and am thinking of going to the library later and the shops. Trouble is no matter how much I try to drag it out mind of these activities take that long ! It feels so boring and relentless some days and I'm struggling now. I'm almost wishing the time away until I go back to work (when DD starts school am studying now). I try to get DD to play with her toys and things so we can have a quiet day and I can get some things around the house done but she always wants me to play with her. So to get anything done I have to get her to watch TV and I know she's watching more than she should. She's such s lovely little thing I know how lucky I am but the monotony of it sometimes is soul destroying. I feel guilty and rubbish. Anyone in the same boat and got any tips ? Sometimes I think I should just have another baby so she could have a playmate but the thought of that makes me go cold, it's hard now but infinitely better than it was even a year ago. DD is 2.4.

iheartshoes Fri 14-Aug-15 10:34:05

Everything is s battle now too. Getting her dressed, brushing teeth and hair. It's exhausting and I get so fry started with her.

GnocchiGnocchiWhosThere Fri 14-Aug-15 10:42:07

I can't offer any constructive advice but I didn't want to read and run. It sounds really hard and like you're coping brilliantly.

I don't think you would struggle so much if you had time off, it doesn't sound like you do - do you have any childcare at all? Nursery or a playgroup anything?

iheartshoes Fri 14-Aug-15 10:56:16

She's starting preschool in September two mornings a week and if she gets on well there I think we'll try to up it. I sometimes book her in to the crèche at my gym for an hour. I'm a lot luckier than most people and I still don't cope very well I know I'm ashamed of myself.

Scotinoz Fri 14-Aug-15 11:27:45

Hell, yes!! Days with a toddler are unbelievably long. I love my little people to bits, but the days are long.

I've recently decided a bit of telly is fine, as is putting them out in the garden. Bathing her dollies seems to keep her busy for a while, and books seem to be a consistently good activity. Oh and PlayDoh.

notquitegrownup2 Fri 14-Aug-15 11:38:25

You sound so much like I was with ds at that stage. He was lovely but very very hard work, and I had no family around and few friends, living in a new area.

I went back to work part-time (having planned to be a SAHM). DS loved his nursery most of the time - he's a very active, sociable little soul - and my working covered the cost of the nursery and gave me some adult time.

On our home days, the thing that kept me sane was splitting the days up into shorter slots - 30 mins or so. I had a menu of activities on the fridge and picked different activities to fill the day. There was nothing unusual on there, but after an hour of lego/tellytubbies whatever, I found that my brain ran out of the ability to think of anything. Eg list

TV time
Breakfast
Play dough time
Snack time
Puddle jumping/playground
Book time
Feeding ducks
Swimming
More TV time
Jigsaws
Crayoning
Gardening
Bath
Papier mache
Train set
Another bath
Etc etc

I got flamed on here for suggesting this, as some people think it is over organised, but it worked for us. We didn't do every activity every day of course, but if we were looking for something new to do, we could go to the Fridge of Inspiration! (It also helped to keep toys out of sight. It's more exciting to go and get the jigsaws out of the cupboard, for 'jigsaw time'.)

One of our favourite activities was to get ds1's baby bath out and fill it with an inch or two of sand - I kept it in the conservatory, but being so deep it made very little mess. It was a great indoor sandpit!

(Oh, and I also had ds2 when ds1 was 3.5, but at 2.5 like you I was dreading the thought. You need to have a second child because you want one, as well as to provide a playmate for ds1. )

I'm sure you will get loads more ideas here. And remember, the summer holidays is the hardest time, as so many toddler groups etc close down in August. You can get a new routine going in September.

Best of luck.

CognitiveIllusion Fri 14-Aug-15 11:41:24

The days are long but the years are short!

iheartshoes Fri 14-Aug-15 11:55:16

notquite that's a lovely just thank you I might try that. The trouble is we are just so disorganised at the moment she has two big boxes of toys which are just in a big jumble and it all comes out and then massive tantrums when I say no. It's my fault really because I probably am not strict enough.

notquitegrownup2 Fri 14-Aug-15 12:01:01

I was a softie too - and with a very small house so it was hard to hide things away.

Could you cover the boxes in different coloured wrapping paper, and then have 30 mins or an hour with the red box, then tidy them up for snack time, or garden time or whatever, then later on have the blue box . . . or even treat yourself to a set of littler boxes, and have a dolls box, a lego box, etc etc. If you get the flat cardboard boxes which Tesco/Sainsbury's sell their fruit and veg in, they slide under beds really easily. Getting them out, and tidying up can then be part of the game.

notquitegrownup2 Fri 14-Aug-15 12:04:56

Just remembered that we cooked a lot too - fairy cakes, chocolate rice crispy cakes, scrambled eggs, half baked potatoes, with funny faces on (carrot pieces for eyes, nose mouth etc . . . ) Cooking then washing up together, then eating together is great fun, if a bit messy.

Hah - it all sounds very easy and great fun now! At the time, I couldn't wait for ds1 to get to school!! I still prefer having a teenager around to a toddler, anyday - and at least I get enough sleep these days!

(I have to add that it did all become much easier once ds2 arrived. DS1 was much more content, having ds2 around, and ds2 was not nearly such hard work, and he had ds1 to toddle around after.)

LastOneDancing Fri 14-Aug-15 12:37:57

I hear you OP. I found being at home full time really hard. I know it might not be an option but could you consider bringing your return to work forward?

My days off with DS are 1000 times more precious and enjoyable since I went back (although I spend the whole day missing him smile).

On our days together we go swimming, to the library, do the big shop, cook together, play, visit people and always always get some fresh air. We both need to be walked daily, rain or shine, to stay sane.

I really hope getting a couple of mornings to yourself helps.

And notquite I am making my list immediately!

iheartshoes Fri 14-Aug-15 13:02:03

Hi LastOne I'm due to start teacher in training in January, it's part time over two years and I'll get study days and be on placement so in really looking forward to it. I'm generally quite good with other people's children (older ones!) . It's just the guilt I guess though, I feel guilty because I actually am looking forward to being out of the house and studying when I know there are lots of people who would love the opportunity to stay at home. If I have another one I'll definitely go back to work full or part time. DD is such a poppet but I had her relatively young I suppose and sometimes feel impossibly jealous as vast majority of my friends are child free still in great careers doing glamorous things. My "mum" friends are all lovely but all slightly older and seem so much calmer and better at parenting than me. Then I regret we didn't wait until I was older before starting a family and feel horrible and guilty because I am not wishing DD away at all it would be the end of my world if anything happened to her.

ch1134 Fri 14-Aug-15 21:39:58

I'm a teacher so have 6 weeks off with my toddler. Most days we get out in the morning. Ideally to the park or lots of walking to tire him out! Then home for a nap and lunch. In the afternoon it's garden or walking into town with the buggy to go shopping or to the library.
In the rubbish weather we've been:
drawing
painting
baking
play dough
going to cafes
skyping friends abroad
playing with duplo/ trains
swimming
For both our sakes we have to get out every day no matter the weather. It is hard if it's pouring though, as I get a walk but he's mostly in the buggy.
I just break the day into morning/ afternoon and work out where we're going for one of them and what we're doing in the house for the other.

notquitegrownup2 Sat 15-Aug-15 08:30:25

Don't feel guilty OP - looking after a toddler who has given up their nap, without any help, is the most exhausting thing I have ever done. You clearly do love your dd, you are just reeling from the energy that a 2 year old has.

I am a teacher (and was always brilliant with other people's kids too.) Don't feel guilty about wanting to be out of the house. You will be setting your dd a brilliant example, training for a new career, working hard, and still having time for her.

(I am assuming, because you haven't mentioned it, that you don't have a parent or inlaw, just around the corner, with whom you can leave your dd every now and then. Some people do - they always seemed to be much saner than me, to me! And they used to be able to go to the dentist/hairdressers etc occasionally!)

Honestly, bringing up babies/toddlers is exhausting. Hang on in there - and when you feel particularly exhausted, go for a tickling session. A giggling toddler is much easier to live with.

Have just remembered the 5pm disco (or 4.30pm) - a great way to get through that last ghastly 30 minutes before tea/bathtime, when your toddler is too tired to behave. Put on your favourite dance tunes and bop away together.

LastOneDancing Sat 15-Aug-15 10:39:31

That sounds like a fantastic oppertunity OP!

Its easy to say, but try not to feel guilty. Yes of course some people would kill to be a SAHM but that doesn't mean it's the only way and every mum and every child is different.
For me it was important to retain some financial independence and keep my work momentum going and I think DS has gained from being at nursery.

And the age thing - when you have your second lease of freedom with independent teens in your late 30s, I will still be changing fecking nappies. God I wish we'd started earlier but that's what you get for falling in love with Peter pan wink

There's no right age and no right way thanks

PolyesterBride Sat 15-Aug-15 10:44:09

It is incredibly tiring and boring and it's all coming back to me reading your post. I was an older mum and was impatient and bad at parenting as well.

What helped me a bit was not focusing everything on the toddler but doing some things that you like too. Even if it was having a nice takeaway coffee while at the playground, that helped make the swings a bit nicer. Or insisting on browsing the adult books at the library as well as the kids books. Or just going shopping (with toddler trapped in trolley/buggy) for an hour. Or bringing a book to the park, finding an enclosed space and letting her run around. Even watching what you want on TV for a change! My DDs did complain about these adult-focused things but I thought it was good for them to learn that the world doesn't revolve around them and also even just five minutes of doing my own thing was helpful.

Have you got a car? Sometimes I used to go to places quite far away just to have some peace while driving.

Outside of school holidays, I would go to one playgroup a day if poss, and as many play dates as possible - I found it all so much more bearable in the company of other adults.

And I would be using that gym membership very often!

iheartshoes Sat 15-Aug-15 11:16:08

You're all so kind, thank you. Think it's just been a low week this week. I am going to keep coming back to this thread and rereading all your advice. It helps knowing it's not just me.

ijustwannadance Sat 15-Aug-15 11:47:06

Its's the thing that no one tells you before having kids. It's mindnumbingly tedious and so exhausting it's like torture sometimes, especially with a child who doesn't nap. (My DD stopped napping during the day at 9 months! I used to be so jealous of mums who still got their hour break in the afternoon)

Some mum's are content being sahp but I would've gone insane if I hadn't gone back to work. With nursery starting soon it will give you both a break, those extra hours will be magic, even if all you do is go back to bed for an hour or watch crap telly. Once you start your training it will be even better.

It will get easier.

And having another child so close, for me, probably would've finished me off! No guarantee they would play together or even like each other.

iheartshoes Sat 15-Aug-15 13:33:20

justwanna thank you. That's exactly it it's the boredom some days and the feeling of being worn out but not mentally stimulated. I almost have too much time to think sometimes which isn't always a good thing. I do feel guilty she hasn't got s brother or sister to play with and maybe long term it would be better but for here and now I just think it would be too much for me, I have in my mind Sibling = instant playmate but like you say there are no guarantees

ijustwannadance Sat 15-Aug-15 15:28:48

In my mind sibling = holy shit another few years of mr tumble etc and losing what is left of the brain I used to have!

I craved adult company and conversation, and missed the social and responsibility aspect of my old job. Like you said, it is being worn out but not mentally stimulated.

My DD starts school in a few weeks, phew. Maybe after i've finally had chance to get over the years of tedium and sleep deprivation I might consider DC2.......maybe..... but not anytime soon!

iheartshoes Sat 15-Aug-15 23:43:04

ijust yes yes and yes ! I have done really lovely friends but the constant talk about when they / we are having number two is getting me down. I take my hat off to those with two young DC but it's just not for us

holeinmyheart Sun 16-Aug-15 08:42:21

I know it is tempting to wish that they would grow up so you can get some semblance of your old life back, but you can't.
Once children are in your life, they are in it for the duration of your life. Also as they age, each stage of their life throws up different problems to worry about.
Exams at 16, wanting to stay out late and possibly drink, the influence of friends, sex, going on the pill, smoking, leaving home, tattoos, etc etc.

I think when you have a toddler you need to cherish what you have got so that in the future you don't feel nostalgic and guilty about the way you behaved towards them.
Yes it is boring in parts( isn't everything) However, you only have one go at bringing them up and providing them with a secure and happy childhood.

If you show little patience and are plainly bored with them and the process of bringing them up, don't you think they will know?

I have a friend who is always wishing her children ' grow up'. She dreads the school holidays and moans about what she has to do for them. In my opinion she is lazy and selfish.

The children did not ask to be born and I feel that she is going to regret not making the most of them.
They are soon gone.

I had lots of DCs and I am no Earth Mother by any means but there is no going back. I have regrets. I don't want the OP to have any. Just have more patience and do more planning.
Every bit of fun you have with your DD will be repaid in shedloads when she is older and remembers her childhood.

For instance my Gd has just come in ( I am in bed) and wants my IPad. I don't want her to have it so I have to stop and distract her by tickling her. I have a choice. I can tell her to go away or I can have fun with her by putting her needs before my own. ( I got up, chased her and showered with her)

You will rewarded, as I said. I want to be known as fun Grannie, not grumpy Grannie.

A lot of replies include words such as ' I can't wait to get back to work 'etc.
so they are intending to hand over responsibility for their children to someone else. ( before I get flamed I know some women have no choice) the words make me sad, both for the mums, but for the children as well.

When they are old themselves and get tiresome and boring,( because old people can be equally boring) perhaps their children will also hand the responsibility for them to someone else! Mmmmm
You really do reap what you sow.
It is only love that moves people to put them selves out ( or money)

HaveTeaWillSurvive Sun 16-Aug-15 08:48:52

Haven't RTFT but just wanted to say DS just turned 3 and the difference to 6 months ago is marked, I used to struggle too but he's suddenly able to imagine and play little games on his own which buys me time to make the dinner drink tea and MN or whatever and the days suddenly seem much easier.

LastOneDancing Sun 16-Aug-15 10:47:40

Holeinmyheart I think your post highlights how we are all different and have different ideas about what's best for our child.

I'm sorry that you are saddened by others wanti g to return to work and using nursery care for their children, but I think that sadness is better saved for people who leave their children with inadequate care or stay at home but consistently put their own needs and desires before their childs. I can only use my own anecdotal evidence that the time I spend with my DS is much richer for that time we spend apart and he is much more confident around others since starting nursery. Can I ask how it's different that you have responsibility of your DGC today rather than their parents? Is it because you are family?

I'm also interested in your theory that nursery could equal the parent being dumped in a care home - is your reasoning that it's prioritising a strong work ethic over the importance of family? - but that would be an interesting piece of research for someone.

ijustwannadance Sun 16-Aug-15 10:53:38

holeinmyheart you make a lot of assumptions in your post. My posts were intended to show the op that it it perfectly ok and normal to feel the way she does. Just because you have your own way and opinions does not make you a better parent.
You are in effect slating people who have to work, oh those poor children passed mindlessly onto strangers to take care of.
I HAVE to work and I WANT to work. I am a mum, but I am not JUST a mum. I am also a person in my own right.

Sorry I dont have a rich partner or can live off benefits.
Those couple of days a week i work are a break for me and my child and make me better able to enjoy the time we do spend together. She enjoys nursery but is very old headed and bright and SHE cannot wait (and is currently counting down the sleeps) to start school.

I am lucky not to have a clingy child and she loves being with others and staying over and gp's etc. I for one don't think it's better for healthy development for your child to be attached to you 24 hours a day.
I love being a parent and have a very happy, funny little girl. I have also love watching her grow and develop. Yes time flies, but i have no regrets on how she has been raised. Of course I don't show her my boredom at all but i'm definately not ashamed to admit that at times I am bored out of my fucking mind.

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