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4 pm slump

(32 Posts)
Bluebellsandsunflowers Mon 10-Jul-17 20:06:35

I was wondering if anyone experiences similar or has any advice?

I'm a sahm to my 12 month old dd. From the moment we get up we are playing and expoloring; looking at books, singing songs with instruments, practicing her walking, building blocks, rolling balls, and doing sensory/messy play (such as gloop, flowers and water, play dough etc). I also love making her little toys and activities for us to explore together (like sensory bottles, ribbon hoops, ball drop games etc). After lunch we like to take a walk or go to the park, but there isn't much to do in our village and I'm still learning to drive so can't take her out by myself.

Some days she has two naps, but some days she only has one. On the days she only has one nap though, I'm finding that I get in a real 'slump' by 4 pm. I don't have the energy or inclination to do much, and I find I'm relying on TV before dinner which I don't like doing. Then especially when my husband is working, I feel I'm just going through the motions of dinner/bath/story/bed, rather than truly enjoying it.

Does anyone please have any advice? Thank you

BrieOnAnOatcake Mon 10-Jul-17 20:07:21

I don't know bug I'm the same!

Bluebellsandsunflowers Mon 10-Jul-17 20:08:48

That should say - dinner/bath/story/milk/bed. Not that it really matters, it was just bothering me I left milk out!

Bluebellsandsunflowers Mon 10-Jul-17 20:10:27

At least I'm not alone! I just find that dd seems to be getting a bit bored by during this time, while I'm ready for the day to be over!

Letsskiptothegoodbit Mon 10-Jul-17 20:10:38

Same here... I have a 2 yr old and after a walk, playing with toys together and drawing I struggle to find other things to do other than play in the back garden! Or tv blushhmm

Letsskiptothegoodbit Mon 10-Jul-17 20:11:14

I don't drive either and also live in a village with nothing to do!

Bluebellsandsunflowers Mon 10-Jul-17 20:14:08

Yeah I also find I sort of run out of things to do, and I also don't even want to do much. We can't even play in the garden really as it's not very 'baby/toddler' friendly, but we are moving soon so looking forward to having grass for dd to play on.

Bluebellsandsunflowers Mon 10-Jul-17 20:16:28

letsskip I do love our little village, but it does get a bit boring doesn't it? There is one group a week I take dd to, other than that there's a coffee shop, post office, a few pubs and a co op. We sometimes just pointlessly meander around the co op for something to do.

HotSteppa Mon 10-Jul-17 20:16:38

Personally I think late afternoon is the perfect time for an hour or so of TV. Everyone is knackered and you may well have stuff to get on with , dinner etc. As long as she isn't plonked in front of it all day, it sounds like you have a pretty busy schedule, I wouldn't worry about it.

Bluebellsandsunflowers Mon 10-Jul-17 20:21:04

Thanks hotsteppa, I've been feeling a bit guilty about the tv. I've been reading things online about how it damages their little brains - and as much as Dh re-assures me that won't happen with an hour of tv as day, I can't help but feel bad. Dd does look a bit like a little zombie as she just stares at the screen.

Caterina99 Mon 10-Jul-17 20:29:49

Op I'm a sahm to a just turned 2 year old, but he dropped to one nap around 12m. I appreciate you live in a village and your activity hooves are limited but I'd go completely mad if it was just me and him all day every day. Can you get out and do stuff or meet other mums, that always makes the time pass more quickly for me. We usually go out and do stuff on a morning and then that saves the playing for the afternoon. I find the playing pretty tedious personally, so I try to encourage DS to play independently as much as possible. Hard at 12m though. DS loved putting balls down a track and taking things in and out of boxes. Also toys he could push around or ride on. I also think a bit of tv doesn't hurt and allows you to get on with stuff or just sit with a cup of tea for 10 min.

I also think the nap transition is a hard time cos you don't have such a set routine and then they are tired/grumpy because they skipped a nap or whatever.

And I'd be surprised if many people truly enjoy the bedtime routine (apart from the knowledge that they'll soon be asleep!), especially if you've actively parented your child all day by yourself. It's tiring and repetitive and I always get DH to put him to bed if he's home in time.

Caterina99 Mon 10-Jul-17 20:31:04

Hooves? Choices

Bluebellsandsunflowers Mon 10-Jul-17 20:40:43

caterina thankfully we are moving to a nearby town in about a month, which I'm really excited for. We moved to this village while I was pregnant (rented, but just bought a house) as I thought what a lovely place to have a baby, not knowing the boring reality of not having much to do! I meet with other mums after group once a week, but most of them work part-time so I don't see anyone other than that as we don't live near family.

And yes about dropping the nap - she often ends up so grouchy as she wouldn't have a second nap. I also miss it, as I feel I really need her to have those naps for me to relax. When Dh is home he always does the bedtime routine, but as he works shifts he often isn't there. Everyone just always says "they grow up so quickly, so enjoy every moment" - most of the time I do really looking after dd, but I think it's impossible to literally enjoy every moment.

NannyOggsKnickers Mon 10-Jul-17 20:50:41

I would say that 12 months is still the tough phase- not mobile enough to entertain themselves but mobile enough to want to explore loads. It does get easier once they can busy themselves with activities. DD is 16 months and now loves to colour, flip through books, build with her blocks and just fiddle with things. But it took some effort to introduce her to this. I've been making some time recently to let her get on with stuff while I read a book or cook (as a hobby. I find it relaxing). She's fine.

We have about 45 mins of TV in the morning and about 45 mins in the afternoon, book ending the day. TV makes more sense when they can copy the characters and do the actions to the songs. DD has a new obsession with pirates because of Cbebbies. She can even do the pirate salute from Swashbuckle. Don't feel too bad about it.

Bluebellsandsunflowers Mon 10-Jul-17 21:02:00

Thank you, that's exactly what I'm finding actually. Dd always wants to be doing something, but whenever I try to encourage independent play she just comes up to me with the toy to join in. She still needs lots of support in her play, for eg she likes knocking over towers, but can't build them yet so needs my help. She's also having a bit of separation anxiety, so I can't even go to the bathroom by myself. She's always on the go but not a confident walker yet, and I can't even turn my back for a moment or she's crawling up the stairs (we really need a gate at the bottom of the stairs!). I know it's all totally normal for her age, but it's really tiring me out.

I think I'll relax a bit when it comes to watching the tv. She's not watching it much, and it really helps when I'm cooking or just want to sit down for a bit. I've just been feeling bad as sil said her friends daughter of the same age never watches tv - I need to know their secret!

NannyOggsKnickers Mon 10-Jul-17 21:31:34

Her secret is probably an ipad! I joke, a bit, but my cousin got quite snooty about DD watching TV. But her son spends hours a day on YouTube. People just have different tolerances.

IMO it is nice for them to be independent when they can be and to see you doing things apparent from them. What will they do when another one comes along and we don't have time to play all the time any more? I think it's a balance: twelve hours day of TV isn't good but neither is the constant hover parent. I'm always the most proud when DD has worked something out by herself- like how to fasten and take off her velcro shoes!

Bluebellsandsunflowers Mon 10-Jul-17 22:06:12

Haha, yeah I suppose people have different ideas of what they're happy with; personally, I'd actually rather the tv as it isn't so close dd's eyes.

Oh bless her, I'm looking forward to dd doing things like that. Funnily enough she plays really well independently when Dh is watching her, as he finds it easier to leave her to it. On the other hand, I think I can interfere too much (which I'm working on), so dd is used to me always joining in.

Brighteyes27 Mon 10-Jul-17 22:13:58

Mine are grown up now loved them to bits but if I honest I was shattered by 4pm or before and just going through the motions. But it became more obvious to me after having children that I am much more of morning person.

NannyOggsKnickers Mon 10-Jul-17 22:15:51

It's a mummy vs. daddy thing too. DD always seems to want me to be involved but was less keen on daddy, until recently. It's nice to be wanted. But it's also nice to have a cup of tea without having to pretend to be interested in wooden zoo animals! It will get easier.

WhiskyIrnBru Mon 10-Jul-17 22:16:35

Bluebell, please don't feel guilty. You sound like a brilliant mum. Honestly, TV will do you or the baby no harm. There is such a thing as over stimulation and there is nothing wrong with both chilling! smile

Polly2345 Mon 10-Jul-17 22:24:31

We were the same at that age. It's hard when they're in the stage where they could still do with a second nap but can fight it enough to not have it.

Mine is 20 months now and it's getting easier but I do still spend 4pm-5pm clock watching and waiting for DP to come home! I often put kids telly on for 20 minutes at this time of day. A short spell of TV won't hurt them, especially considering all the stuff you're doing with yours earlier in the day - you sound like an amazing mum!

Bluebellsandsunflowers Mon 10-Jul-17 23:18:36

Thank you all so much. I have been feeling guilty for some time about my 'slump' before dinner, watching tv and going through the motions before bed - but I know I just need to relax a bit as it sounds quite normal. I love looking after dd but it can be tiring, especially when I've not spoken to an adult all day!

GreenTulips Mon 10-Jul-17 23:29:15

Our parents used to dump the kids in a pram in the garden - or outside a shop!!

A bit of TV isn't hurting her -

Play, start by joking in and then letting her play - slowly with draw - example look away so she know you're there, move up to being away from her 30 secs to 'grab' something, so she builds independent play - make tea while she plays on the floor etc

thatverynightinmaxsroom Mon 10-Jul-17 23:47:07

My kids have never watched regular TV, I suppose my secret is that we don't have one so it was never a temptation/possibility! But we do live in a city so have a lot of outside diversions available to us - libraries, city farms, playgrounds galore, etc.

It sounds like you do lots of really wonderful things with her and I'd agree with PP about trying to very gently encourage independent play - which I know can be hard.

I tend to deal with the 4pm slump by making tea and have always involved the kids with that - a few bowls of ingredients that they can play with, opening up the Tupperware drawer and letting them go wild, saucepan drums and so on. By 18 months both have been quite capable of actually helping with bits of the cooking and at 3 DD can make meals by herself with a little supervision, so I definitely recommend it.

Bluebellsandsunflowers Mon 10-Jul-17 23:54:38

Thanks, I will definitely keep trying to encourage the independent play. I have tried cooking with DD on the floor playing, but she just attaches herself by my leg and winges! She also doesn't like playing in the highchair. I often used to prep dinner during her second nap so I didn't have to do much later on, but now she's often only having the one nap I can't do this!

I will definitely include her in helping me as she gets older though, I think she'd like that.

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