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Am I doing enough? 2.3 year old dd.

(21 Posts)
WilliamHerschel Sun 30-Oct-16 13:51:00

I have a two year old dd and I'm a sahm. We go out most days to playgroups, the park and for walks but we still spend a fair amount of time at home. During this time I usually leave her to play with her toys and watch cbeebies but I feel like I should be doing more with her.

So average day, we get up, potter around a bit, have breakfast. Usually out the house by 9/9.30 and go to a playgroup for a couple of hours then maybe spend 30 mins to an hour in the park or going for a walk.

Home for lunch. Then dd may be watching cbeebies and playing with her toys for an hour or two.

Back out again usually about 3. Go for a walk or to the park or library.

Back home 5ish. Dd eats. Then back to cbeebies/playing. Sometimes we'll do some crafts or colouring together. Or sometimes I do things like get out a bowl of water and some cups and let her play around with it for half an hour or so.

We usually read a book or two (or sometimes more) at some point in the day.

Dp gets home at 7. She'll talk to him about her day (the best she can for a two year old!) and plays with him for maybe half an hour then I aim for her to be asleep by 7.30/8pm.

I think it's all the in between bits I worry I'm not doing enough. I often go upstairs or in the kitchen (checking on her of course) and get on with a few things. Or sometimes sit and do things on my phone or the laptop.

I just feel like I'm not doing enough. I feel like she's playing on her own too much. I have depression and I'm finding each day a struggle at the moment. I worry this is affecting my dd. I feel like I'm just going through the motions but I'm not really present if that makes sense. I just want an objective view on whether this sounds ok.

user1477282676 Sun 30-Oct-16 13:54:17

I think you're doing too much actually. I have two DDs now aged 12 and 8 and our days were nothing like yours. I took mine to one playgroup a week and we'd stay there for an hour.

Library once a week for storytime and to maybe read a book with her.

Park around twice a week.

The rest of the time it was the house...maybe someone would visit...or not...we'd do the food shopping once a week too.

I let both of mine do a bit of crafting...maybe twice a week...I'd help them obviously...they played in the garden and a lot of their play was unsupervised as in I'd be watching but not actively joining in.

I think you could spend some more time doing things you'd like to do yourself.

Gyderlily Sun 30-Oct-16 14:01:48

It's good to learn to play alone... The new style 'helicopter parenting' where every minute is structured and parent led is proven to be very damaging! As long as they are getting outside everyday for a decent period and lots of reading that's all that's really important imo. Sounds like you are doing great op.

LillyBugg Sun 30-Oct-16 14:02:18

Your day sounds like mine that I have at home with same age DS. I think it's fine. He's happy, I'm happy. We do various things and I make sure we go outside every day. They are still only little, don't have such high expectations on yourself. They learn lots through play and books. I think you're doing fine. Or if you're not, I'm not either!

Stormwhale Sun 30-Oct-16 14:03:08

I think you are doing plenty, perhaps too much as you have depression. It sounds a bit like you might be putting too much pressure on yourself to be the perfect mother. That isn't good for you or your dd. I agree with the pp that you need to do things you enjoy too or it will all seem like an endless slog.

Before dd started preschool we would pop out most mornings, not always for a specific child activity, then have the afternoons at home. She would have a nap and i would chill and would not feel guilty for it either. Then after her nap she would watch beebies and play with her toys.

Just take the pressure off of yourself. It is ok for them to watch telly, its ok to be at home just pottering about, its ok to not fill every second of the day with activities. Just relax and enjoy the time you have together before the rush of school starts. This is the most peaceful and least pressured it will ever be.

WilliamHerschel Sun 30-Oct-16 14:06:46

All I want to do myself at the moment is sit in a room alone. I can't concentrate on anything. When I'm out with her or doing something all I think is 'how soon until I can leave?'. I just feel like if I'm not actively doing things with her I'd just be leaving her alone (not actually leaving her in the house alone but not engaging with her enough. I'm finding it hard to think properly at the moment.

GoofyTheHero Sun 30-Oct-16 14:07:13

It sounds almost exactly the same as my day with 2.11 year old and 15 month old DD's. It's exactly the right amount for me, not too much to be exhausting but any less and I think I'd go a bit stir crazy at home (I like fresh air and adult company!).

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 30-Oct-16 14:09:34

Your doing fine.

I used to go to the park every day without fail and everything else was a bonus.

WilliamHerschel Sun 30-Oct-16 14:10:01

Thank you all for replying. I don't know that I have depression, it hasn't been diagnosed, but I have in the past and I think I'm feeling the same way again. I'm usually quite a relaxed, easy going person. I don't mean to come across like a helicopter parent. I'm just constantly on edge and I'm scared of ruining her life. My own dm is great in many ways but I have some awful childhood memories. I'm scared of my dd turning out like me.

mymilkshakes00 Sun 30-Oct-16 14:15:11

Well from what you have described you are doing a great job.
Wanting her to be happy have fun and create good memories.
You being with her and caring for her like you do is what will stick with her.
Also dont forget to take care of yourself. When she's busy playing or watching. Take time out for yourself and relax.

KittyandTeal Sun 30-Oct-16 14:15:22

I was reading an article today about the importance of letting children get 'bored'. It allows them time to think and be comfortable with themselves, gives them lots of time for their imaginations to wander.

I did a fair amount with dd1 as a baby, usually one thing like group or swimming a day. Then pnd hit and we did swimming and a class if I was feeling up to it. Otherwise we we're home, on our own. Usually dd1 was playing alone as I sat, like a zombie, feeling shit about how bad a parent I was.

Dd1 is now 4, an only child, and will happily entertain herself for hours. She has an imaginary friend, sometimes 2 who she play with, she occasionally needs confirmation orfor me to sort out an arguement between her and Lily, her imaginary friend (that's fun out in public!) but she's happy in herself. I think that's been the silver lining of my pnd and then subsequent grief where is couldnt always be there and do stuff with her. Some days it has been a case of functioning.

It sounds like you're doing brilliantly

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 30-Oct-16 14:17:25

The fact she can play on her own happily means her needs are being fulfilled and she feels happy and relaxed, it's a good thing.

Try not to worry but a trip to the GP is probably a good idea if you're recognising depressive feelings again x

WilliamHerschel Sun 30-Oct-16 14:22:30

Thank you all you've made me feel much better about what we do. When I talk to other mums in real life I get the impression they are constantly doing things with their children. I feel like I'm abnormal in leaving her to play/watch TV. It's really reassuring to know I'm not the only one. We don't go to a playgroup every day so we have a couple of days with more time at home. Now she doesn't nap I really miss the time that used to give me so I suppose I'm getting used to that too, although I should be used to it by now! Thank you for saying I'm doing a good job.

WilliamHerschel Sun 30-Oct-16 14:29:57

I probably should go to the gp but I assume they'll give me sertraline and maybe quietipine(sp). That's what I was on before I got pregnant. I just want to be 'fixed' not temporarily get ok then go back to being like this. I get like this to some extent every year around this time. I thought maybe it was SAD but the lamp didn't seem to help when I used it previous years. I try and get out each day partly to make me better and I take vitamin d and a b complex which i thought helped. I'm annoyed at myself for getting like this again. A lot of my worst memories are from this time of year so maybe that's why. Although I don't really think about my past now. Sorry this is probably the wrong place to go into it.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 30-Oct-16 14:31:47

There's options apart from anti depressants, chat to your GP x

KittyandTeal Sun 30-Oct-16 14:40:07

William I have bpd so suffer depression and anxiety fairly regularly. I was medicated pre dd1.

I am by no means a 'woo meditating, juice drinking, aloe will solve all problems' type but I have found that modifying my diet so I eat less treat foods and more fresh stuff, running, getting decent sleep (dd1 didn't sleep through until 2.2yo) and reducing my stress by working part time have helped my depression. I have also had some brilliant talk therapy to help me come to terms with things in my life as well as my diagnosis. I am much more mindful now and can find happiness and contentment in small things.

Maybe talk therapy would be a good option?

WilliamHerschel Sun 30-Oct-16 14:45:03

Maybe talk therapy would help me. Is there a way to get that without seeing a gp? I'm glad you're doing better.

KittyandTeal Sun 30-Oct-16 14:47:11

If you can afford to ay privately. The bcap website has a list of therapists in your area who are qualified. They usually have a profile that tells you their specialism or what they are interested in. Contact a few and see who you get a good feel from.

All of my decent therapy has been private, I've spent a lot but I think I'd be in a much worse place if I'd not been.

Stormwhale Sun 30-Oct-16 14:50:41

You can ask for talking therapy not medication, but from personal experience I would say they can work very well together. The medication acts as a plaster and the therapy works long term. I used to be on ADs and quetiapine, came off them when I fell pregnant with dd. I have never taken them again as I had a year of psychotherapy and it sorted me out. I have blips, but I am not on medication. The therapy was the long term solution, but the meds made me much happier and more able to cope and think clearly until the therapy got going and started helping.

WilliamHerschel Sun 30-Oct-16 15:12:21

Thank you. Tbh I don't feel comfortable talking to my gp about this. I am registered at a new practice (due to moving house) and did not get a good feel from them. I could look into paying privately. I should be able to afford it.

LetsPlayBamboozled Tue 01-Nov-16 19:18:07

Your day sounds very much like mine with 2yr old dd except you do more. Other than the dog walk and running errands, one group a week is all we really do. At home though I judge it by how 'busy' she looks. Today she was so intently wandering back and forth grouping balls on the sofa and washing up sponges on the chair that I knew she was perfectly happy. Mine stopped napping too and I'm desperate for me time. We watch tv a LOT and mine will only let me wander off for short amounts of time and I find that quite hard when she gets needy. I sometimes wonder if I am depressed but I also think it's quite normal to find such an intense experience as being a SAHM so difficult? I hope you find a way to help yourself feel better. I don't have any family nearby, friends all work, dh has been off work a few days and that has made a big difference.

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