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My life just feels hard, is it?(22 Posts)
This is a bit of a moany thread. I have a dd of 2 and a ds of 7 months. My routine goes like this
7ish: wake up, breakfast, nappy changes, clean up, dress children
10am: get outside for toddlers/park/friends house (something cheap)
1pm: back home for lunch
2pm: dd naptime, ds plays and I try to do some housework
4pm: dd wakes up, playtime, read books, watch telly
7.30pm: dp gets home, start cooking tea, eat tea
8.30pm: bedtime routine starts
9.30pm: get ds to sleep by cluster feeding
10.00pm: watch 1hr telly then sleep.
Looking at it written down it doesn't seem that bad, but it just feels endless and very little in the way of variety. Am I just being unrealistic? Has anyone got any tips? My ML ends in September and I don't know how I'm going to fit work in, I just feel so drained all the time.
Standard life with kids that age I'm afraid. Going back to work should give you a break from the monotony which can make you a bit depressed. Can you afford a cleaner when you go back? Will your dc be out of the home being looked after? It will help a lot if you don't have too much tidying up to do after work and on the weekends.
Yes with those ages and no help it will be hard. It just is.
Any chance you could afford a cleaner? When will DD start nursery?
Also, in your shoes I'd be trying to get the DC to bed earlier (cutting back naps to aid this) so that I had a child free evening. But that makes the day harder, so it's a matter of preference
Until recently I felt exactly the same! My 8mo is my first though. I felt like my days were empty and I would feel stir crazy, but I was sure I didn't have PPD.
Would it be possible for you to find something else to occupy your time/brain? Something that doesn't involve your children or cleaning? Maybe sign up for a part time course that you can do from your laptop in any free time, or work part time whilst someone looks after the children (although you may think your baby is still too young). What about exercise? Could your partner look after the kids for an hour an evening whilst you either do the course or go out for a run or go to the gym? If your partner is tired from work they may still give you a few hours every weekend to do something like that
Ah just saw about returning to work. I would definitely be working on cutting back naps, at least DD's, so you get more of an evening.
I missed you were returning to work, sorry, ignore me, but until then you've got a couple of months that can be filled by exercise or doing yoga or something. The hard part is finding childcare for those times if your husband won't help
Doesn't sound hard, but boring maybe?! What are your weekends like? Could you go for dessert/a walk etc with a friend once or twice a week once kids asleep?
Thank you so much everyone, you've made me feel a lot less alone. In regards to getting the dc to bed, I really need my dp to be there so I can get dd to sleep without ds moaning, and he gets back late-ish
I would do kids tea much earlier and get them to bed earlier, but that wouldn't be any less boring, just would suit me better! It would mean you get an evening though.
Is the baby sleeping through the night?
The good thing is that you are in charge of your day, so if you want to change things up you can! Look into different playgroups/activities/parks etc. for a change of scenery.
I'm a nanny and I think one of the reasons that childcarers don't get bored is because we know in detail about child development and so notice little changes and achievements that parents don't always notice. We know what they indicate is coming next/what they're building towards. We know what activities to do to encourage an emerging skill or prompt something that is lagging behind. It gives you something to think about. Child psychology really is quite interesting. With all that in mind, I often recommend parents bored of being at home with their kids look into child development/psychology a little bit. It just makes everything a bit more interesting and their development seem like tiny puzzle pieces rather than just endless drudge! Also, you can get ideas for new activities, a change from TV/books etc.
Also, don't underestimate a bit of time away. That's the other reason nannies don't get bored; the weekend! Use a nanny/babysitter/family member/gym creche/friend/well trained St Bernard to watch the kids and try and get a bit of time for yourself.
I would definitely get them to bed earlier so you can do more with your evening or just have a bit more time for yourself. 9.30 seems very late, youre not getting a break at all. Also book in a few days or nights with a babysitter or grandparents and organise a few things you really want to do- so important to have things to look forward to to break up the monotony.
I put my kids to bed at 7pm when they were young, My day was just like yours, but at least I had the evening, or i would have gone mad! Do kids tea at 5pm and have them in bed by 7pm.
Like PP have said, if there's any way you can try and gently introduce an earlier bed time, that will give you some me-time back. Your DP may need to miss the odd bedtime or make an effort to come home earlier sometimes. It shouldn't all be you doing everything.
Also (embarrassed to say this but its true), getting back to work for me helped. I go into work for a rest as running around after small one all day is knackering! I guess it depends on the kind of job you have whether it will be the same for you.
Shorter or no nap for toddler and in bed by 7.30pm! Evenings are a little chink of hope at that stage.
Things will move on. I discovered that I was a very miserable sahm during dd2's first year and with dc3 went back to work (part time) at 4 months in.
Feed kids at 4.30 ish and get dp to cook for you and him post bed time.
100% get them to bed earlier. I often make my DS dinner about 5, bedtime at 7/7.30. DH gets home at 7, we do bedtime and then have dinner together. I then get at least a couple of hours of winding down time.
Agree with feeling deflated about the day routine though. I find we do the same things all the time, I think I'm going to start seeking out new play centres / toddler groups etc. If you don't already then meeting up with other mums will be a life saver.
DS doesn't start preschool until January, and I'm sure that will make things easier for us (have another DS due in a couple of months time).
It sounds like you don't have much/any time to yourself!
I have similar aged children and have now managed to get them to nap at the same time. (10mo has brief power nap around 10 and then joins toddler for long afternoon snooze). If I'm out I time it so that I have a latte in hand and my headphones for the walk home. And if I'm home I don't do much at all. If I'm feeling productive I will tidy. If not (90% of the time) I just chill. Mumsnet. Telly. Coffee. Etc.
However, mine go to bed late too. Partly because of the nap but I cannot give it up! But partly because DD1 naturally takes a while to drift off, like me, and DP and I would get fed up and stick the telly on etc. However, I've had enough and I don't feel it is fair on the DC either so I have just made them go to bed when it's been 5hrs since nap (i.e. wake up at 3, bed at 8). We co-sleep so I will read to the girls in my bed, DD1 has bottle of milk still, bf DD2 etc. and so far they've been asleep in 20mins and so I feel I've had my evenings back! Touch wood! I do bedtime on my own now and DP has some time to himself (my idea).
So definitely definitely work on getting them to nap together. As your DD wakes at 4 maybe you could force her to nap earlier, or cut her nap short and wake her at 3. That way, eventually you may have a bit of time to yourself in the day and have a couple of hours in the evening too.
I promise once you have some valuable YOU time you will honestly feel better
Obviously you can't force a toddler to nap earlier but encourage it is what I meant!
I would be trying to bring that nap forward or shortening it/dropping it. One of mine stopped naps at 2 but at least we got our evenings back!
Re doing bedtime on your own - at those ages I would stick the 2.5yo in front of the TV at 6.45 (will your 2yo stay put if watching TV?), BF the 6 month old to sleep, put in bed and then get the 2.5yo to bed.
However this only worked as my baby had an earlier bedtime thany toddler. And I accepted that the baby would need feeding overnight. For me it was worth it to get evenings back.
I think an earlier bed time would help. I aim for my two to be in bed between 6.30pm and 7pm (they are 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 now, but when youngest was a baby i would put him in the playpen, cot etc and get the eldest in bed. Now I let the oldest watch TV/play downstairs whilst i get the youngest in bed. Or i carry one and let the oldest walk up and juggle it like).
I tend to get them napping for two hours at the same time after lunch as well so I have some peace/time to do things around the house etc. Would that work?
Other than the above, your days sound exactly like mine OP. It just is hard . I find it's getting easier now though as they get older and they've starting playing together (almost!)
Work will seem like a break. Book the odd annual leave day when the children are in childcare and do something on your own to re-charge a little bit.
I work from home now and my two go to nursery for two and a half days and it probably sounds awful but it's bliss! x
Move lunch back to 12, then aim for them both napping 12.30 - 2.30.
Little one will probably grab a 30 min nap at 4ish in buggy or car seat.
Then aim for bed by 7/7.30.
You NEED your evenings!
My two are the same age (2.2 DD and almost 6mo DS) and there's no way I could do the late bedtime. We have a broadly similar routine in that we go out every morning and generally potter at home in the afternoon.
My DH leaves at 7am so we're all up by 6:15 but he often works late as well. Nap time for everybody (including me!) is about 12:30-2:30 and then we eat dinner at 6, start bath at 6:30-6:45. If DH isn't home, I bath them both, read stories on DD's bed sometimes feeding DS then I have to say goodnight to DD so I can feed DS to sleep. She lies and chats for a bit but soon drops off.
It's not easy but it's what I expected with a 21mo gap really. I find it easier to tidy/hoover in the afternoon when both of them are up and I always go for a lunchtime nap with them so I get sometime to rest. We do big cleaning jobs and batch cooking on the weekends but I'm very excited to possibly be getting a cleaner next week!
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