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Struggling to be a good a family....

(12 Posts)
wellsie Wed 18-Jul-07 19:53:38

I wasn't sure where to put this but figured "Parenting" seemed to be the best place.
I have 2 DS's aged 3.5yrs & 1yrs, a wonderful DH and a very tolerant dog . I work 3 days a week whilst the boys go to nursery. But on the days we are at home we all seem to be pulling in opposite directions. DS's are at different stages in their development, whilst DS1 wants to paint/draw/build DS2 wants to destroy it and as DS1 won't do anything unless mummy or daddy are watching him it's easier not to get the paints out as it feels like too much hassle. Needless to say he gets bored quite often and tends to be quite naughty.
Then there's the housework that has to be done so rather than spending time with DS's I'm avoiding them to clean. I also feel so tired on my 2 days off that when DS2 goes down for a nap I tend to stick the TV on for DS1 and let him watch that whilst I close my eyes, when really I should be spending quality time with him.
I don't know what I'm trying to say here but I guess this isn't how I imagined it all to be. I sometimes think that DS1 isn't happy and as I watched him the other night drift off to sleep I found myself wondering what he thought of his life because if I was him I'd think it was pretty crap.

MaloryTowers Wed 18-Jul-07 19:56:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Desiderata Wed 18-Jul-07 19:58:15

Wellsie, there's nothing remotely unusual about your family dynamic (or lack of)

Honestly ... I just have the one, but it all sounds familiar. And your DS1 does not think his life is crap ... OK? <little affectionate slap on the cheek for good measure>.

If it's bothering you that much, set one day a week aside, gird your loins, and do what you think you ought to be doing.

Exhausted, at the end of that day, ruminate on whether your ds's benefited hugely or not. If you think they did, do it again. If you think it resulted in the status quo, then go back to your previous parenting style, and give yourself a break

hotbot Wed 18-Jul-07 20:00:07

could you put them in nursery for 1 more am and 1 more pm separately so you can spend some indvidual time with them?
perhaps one night a week you could also just go to bed the same time that they do? so you can try and catch up on your sleep
I know where you are coming from with the cleaning btw,, icant stand living in an untidy house either.
I think everyone feels that there just isnt enoguh time

<hug>

wellsie Wed 18-Jul-07 20:10:35

Thanks for your messages so far, its so good to get some reassurance, DH is here as well reading them.
We've tried to get a recommendation for a cleaner but we got no where. I think we might have to just try some cold calling on this one and see where we get.
I have mother's guilt about working & putting the boys in nursery so I don't think I could handle putting them in for an extra session, although your idea about spending time with each child individually is something we've just discussed and I think DS1 would really benefit from this. His behaviour of late has been quite bad, even my parents remarked on it when they looked after them both for a weekend.
I think our other issue is that DH & I have no time together. We have no family nearby so there is no let up and no distractions for the children.

Desiderata Wed 18-Jul-07 20:29:45

I live in Bristol, Wellsie. It's not a million miles away.

Listen, there are a million parents in this country who wouldn't even think to answer the question. Is my ds1 happy? The simple act of asking it means that you care very much.

Small children are difficult ... loveable, but difficult. Every day, I resolve to be a better mother to my ds (2.8), and every evening I feel that there was something more I could have done.

If you feel like a chilled meet-up in Bristol one weekend (all the family), then give it some thought and catch up with me on another thread.

We could run around on the Downs, walk across the Suspension Bridge, go to the Zoo. Don't feel obliged to answer that on this thread!

Desiderata Wed 18-Jul-07 20:30:25

<also agree with you about the nursery situation ... I'm also a cleaner!>

wellsie Wed 18-Jul-07 21:26:23

Thanks Desiderata, your words are very kind. A trip to Bristol Zoo has been on the cards since DS1 turned 1 but as yet we haven't made it - now I have more guilt I think this weekend when the boys have gone to bed DH and I are going to think about what we are actively doing with the children and set some wheels in motion about making the family work better and ensuring that everyone gets their time - I'll let you know how this goes

HairyToe Wed 18-Jul-07 21:32:34

my 2 DDs are almost exactly trhe same age as your boys and I know where you are coming from. So many things that DD1 wants to do are not compatible with DD2. I'm hoping that as DD2 gets a bit older and more able to join in we'll be able to all do stuff together more (drawing, painting, listening to stories, playdough, playing in the park)

Doodledootoo Wed 18-Jul-07 21:37:27

Message withdrawn

KezzaG Wed 18-Jul-07 21:37:34

Hi Wellsie, I am interested in this thread as I have ds age 2.5 and one due in 10 weeks. My biggest concern is how I will cope with 2 and how I will balance both of their needs and give them both time. They will also be in childcare 3 days a week.

Does ds1 go to bed earlier than ds2? Could that be the time when he gets an hour totally dedicated to him for reading/colouring etc.

If you have 2 days with them could one of them be cleaning day and one be a day dedicated to them?

It really sounds like you and your dh are good parents or you wouldnt both be posting here, and I bet your ds1 doesnt think his life is crap at all

WestCountryLass Wed 18-Jul-07 22:03:51

Is there a playgroup that does painting and arts and crafts one of the days you are off, you could take them there to do the painting?

I tend to set up painting in the garden on an easel, it doesn't matter if they make a mess out there. Usually I let them do it before bed time and I run a bath ready so I can plonk them straight in the run bath when they've finished. If the weather is crap, I let them do painting before I do the cleaning, that way they can make a mess as I am going to be cleaning anyway!

I find with my kids if we do one activity and get out of the house once in the day (park,swimming, softplay, friends) then everything ticks over fairly well at home.

I am sure your boy does not think his life is crap!

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