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help what to do with a toddler all summer

(38 Posts)
gingernutlover Mon 30-Jul-07 16:56:33

i teach 3 days a week and normally fill my 2 days off esily with toddler groups and visiting friends but help, 6 weeks off work and i am really not the most naturally maternal person, dd is lovely but at 23 m her conversational skills are nil and I hate to say it but a couple of days in and i am tearing my hair out at home

any ideas of things i can do to keep her busy, i really really want to enjoy this summer but at the moment feeling a little fed up and tiny bit resentful at the fact that i cant enjoy the summer hols the way i used to before baby - dont shoot me down please

had severe pnd when dd was tiny and i find it so hard to spend time with her just the 2 of us in the house

Saturn74 Mon 30-Jul-07 17:00:46

get out and about a lot.
walks in the park.
storytime at the library.
check out the website of your local council for family activities in your area.
collect a box full of bits and bobs for sticking and colouring.
make cakes.
paint each other's faces.
make playdough.
make bubbles.
read stories.
chat to each other.
book a babysitter and plan a night out or two with your friends.
have fun!

TheBlonde Mon 30-Jul-07 17:01:36

Can you aim to get out of the house each day?

You could go to the park, playground, high st, library (might have storytime)

TheBlonde Mon 30-Jul-07 17:01:57

HC beat me to it with better ideas!

MaloryTheExciterTowers Mon 30-Jul-07 17:03:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

handlemecarefully Mon 30-Jul-07 17:03:32

Lovely weather this week. Just take a picnic lunch each day and kept going to different outdoor spaces. You would be surprised how much time you kill that way

gingernutlover Mon 30-Jul-07 17:25:42

thankyou everyone, lovely ideas, i know ui just need to get off my bum and do some things, even a walk to the shop i am sure would take a long time since there are swings there too

also just jopined a sports centre where there is a pool, lovely and warm would it be a bit of a silly to take her swimming everyday or at least 2 or 3 times during the week?

gingernutlover Mon 30-Jul-07 17:27:24

and my nan mentioned going to the market tomorrow, might see if i can tag along, i bet she would love going and looking at things

just feels a bit of a cop out going out everyday, i feel (maybe wrongly) that i should be a ble to enjoy her company ihn the house but i am coming to think that we are both quite easily bored and this is never going to be the easiest way to spend the day

JudgeyMcJudgeson Mon 30-Jul-07 17:42:05

going out si good for them - fresh air and exercise.

WHat I try to do (I suffer from depression - low level mostly) is go out first thing in the morning - to park, soft play, walk whereever and try and tire out my ds.

Then in the afternoon I do

making things (I keep a selection of junk, card, glue, scissors, tissue paper etc) and let him run riot on that.

cooking (I keep a selection of those cake mix things in as his attention span isn't that long)

Bath fun - I stick him in with a selection of bottles, jugs, bath crayons, paints and sit down reading while he mucks about.

Games that involve finding things or counting (simon says asking him to do things like jumping, pretending to be different things, finding objects (something soft, something yellow, 3 things that are...) which keeps him busy for a while).

Jigsaw puzzles/books/tv for a bit as well.

HAving a plan for the day helps me cope and I enjoy him more.

fridayschild Mon 30-Jul-07 18:03:58

making a mess outside with water - tipping and pouring - is a good one on a warm day if you have a garden or outside space. Ice cubes can be exciting too, if you don't see them much

sandpits are a very popular destination in our house, bring your own bucket and spade

it is annoying though, how all the classes and groups seem to stop in the summer.

gingernutlover Mon 30-Jul-07 18:47:04

thanks JudgeyMcJudgeson you sound like you know how i feel, today has been a nightmare - dd has been near enough glued to me all day, whingy and wouldn't nap - feel really fed up and frazzled, must keep positive for the sake of my family cannot get depressed agin

JudgeyMcJudgeson Mon 30-Jul-07 19:13:46

Take it one day at a time (that's what I do).

I know things like the state of the house make me worse, so I go out to avoid them (also house stays tidier when we're not in).

Sympathies with the clingy thing, ds is like htat at mo and can now undo baby gates etc so there is nowhere in the house I can have 5 minutes to myself (which is what usually keeps me sane).

You need to find some way to have a break during the day. If she's having a problem napping woudl she sleep in teh pushchair? If so take a book, walk till she's asleep and find a bench somewhere.

Investigate local museums, boat trips, zoos or unusual things to stop you getting bored and go out whatever the weather.

I also find taking up things that make you think (whether its arty stuff, books whatever) has a good effect on me and I can do them in evening or when ds is involved in something else.

I'm sorry you're finding it hard at the moment. Have you got a dp around? Are they much help?

gingernutlover Mon 30-Jul-07 19:19:32

hiya dh is around but leave at 6.45am and gets home around 6pm and is knackered understandably, he is very very good with her and does help but the days are just so bloody long i feel like a failure as a mum because i dont enjoy my time with her. dh has this rose tinted view of how things were meant to be and i know i am letting him and dd down by not being that wonderful mummy they both want me to be

kevinsmother Mon 30-Jul-07 19:43:56

I'm sure you are a wonderful mummy, especially to your dd. Don't feel bad about going out every day, I don't think I have ever spent a full day in the house with my ds, it would drive me MAD! Most days we stay in the house for an hour or so at a time and then go out again. Depends where you live of course and what there is to do. I think most of the things we do have already been mentioned, but we like:

going to the swings
going to the shops
going to the cafe (some of them round here have nice toys to play with)
walking round the streets looking for cats, dogs, cars, bikes, etc, see how many you can see
going to the library (nice little play area)
going to the park (with great animal bit)
going to the art gallery (can't believe how much he loves looking at pre raphaelites!)
going to the pet shop
going to nanny's
meeting daddy for lunch

thegardener Mon 30-Jul-07 19:47:12

Well life isn't perfect and neither are we so stop being so hard on yourself.

Just try and take little steps at doing things and if all else fails get out and go for a walk i always find this a blessing as we always see someone to say hello to.

JudgeyMcJudgeson Mon 30-Jul-07 19:58:57

Ds is nearly 3.

This is the first holidays I have actually at some points enjoyed being with him. He has no idea. Remembering yesterday is a struggle for him. He's unlikely to remember tomorrow whether I lost my temper/cried/shouted whatever today.

Your dd really won't remember. Getting up each morning and making sure her basic needs are met (food, shelter, clothing and changing)and throw in a few cuddles during the day and that is enough. Anything else is a bonus.

The days are long (I know I count down the hours) so you need ot break them up into smaller pieces of time. Activity A will take up X amount of hours leaving Z amount of hours. Then work out how to fill those hours and keep breaking it down.

Cbeebies/dvds are on for probably more than recommended here, but it keeps ds entertained and lets me sit down and switch off for a bit. It makes me a better parent because I am calmer and better able to cope then, so is a force for good.

JudgeyMcJudgeson Mon 30-Jul-07 19:59:24

This week me and dp are living off ready meals in an evening. We don't usually, but it makes life more copable wiht for me, so it ain't going to kill us.

Cut back on anything you are finding difficult that isn't desperate. Practically nothing is worth making yourself ill over.

iblue22 Mon 30-Jul-07 20:09:38

gingernutlover, please don't worry about feeling a failure or that you're cheating by going out every day. If my two are anything to go by, they would go mad if we didn't get out at some point, even just for half an hour. Your swimming idea is a great one.

I also find that if I stay in too long with them I get bored and grumpy and the time passes an awful lot slower. Going out gives them and me stimulation, fresh air, and a bit of a social life!

And listen, kids are hard work and we wouldn't be human if we found it fantastic and wonderful every day - try not to beat yourself up, and I'm sure if you do manage to plan some activities you'll start to enjoy things a lot more.

I too rely on CBeebies - it's a godsend in the evenings when they're tired and I'm trying to get their tea ready, or even to let me sit down for a bit and read a magazine.

Also, try and build in a break - DD naps after lunch usually and I try and get DS to have a bit of quiet play in his room at that time. It helps him to wind down and me to recharge my batteries!

Hope some of that helps. Hugs
Shereen, Haydn (3.9 and Eve 19 months)

FrayedKnot Mon 30-Jul-07 20:28:04

If I was at home with DS all day every day I would have to go out at least once if not twice during the day. I hate being cooped up and panic at the thought of it, tbh.

You don;t always have to be doing stuff that is child-centred - do something you enjoy and take her along.

DS loves going to our local garden centre & pet shop, or just pottering in town with a stop at teh library, toy shop & cafe with toys.

I cna;t see why swimming 2-3 times a week would be a problem at all, if you both enjoy it.

We have several parks nearby and I rotate them so we don;t get bored

We also have an annual pass to our local English heritage place (a castle) where they have aviaries, gardens, ducks, play area, grounds to walk through, etc which DS loves

gingernutlover Mon 30-Jul-07 20:54:06

hi all thankyou so much for all your wqords of support and advice, it is great to finally realise thati am not the only one who feels like this. I am going to make an effort to go out every day and do somthing even if it is just a visit to the library or a cuppa round my nans

handlemecarefully Mon 30-Jul-07 23:07:58

Oh blimey - I consider a full day in with the lo's tantamount to 'mother abuse'

LongDeadMotherofHarryP Mon 30-Jul-07 23:13:55

I used to find train stations and local airports or flying shools fantastic sources of amusement for my tiddlers. Repetition just doesn't bore them - take a good book if you can't handle too many trains yourself though!

Imaginary tea parties with dinky tea sets also provides lots of fun after reading The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

Put on waterproofs (both of you), put big bucket of water in garden, provide receptacles to small child - sit back and read the paper.

hotchocscot Mon 30-Jul-07 23:29:20

gingernut, of course you're not the only one! i imagine we ALL feel like that. My ds is only 14 months and we always go out twice a day, he gets really grumpy by around eleven if we're still in the house, but the minute he's outside bowling along in the buggie looking at the cars, trees, people, dogs etc there is a miraculous change of mood! Sometimes its just a trip to local shops, or a walk to the swings and back, before lunch, but even that is fresh air, a change of scene, other people's faces, seeing other babies in buggies. I've met a couple of nice mums at the park and we go to each other's houses - they definitely enjoy just playing with different toys from their own usual ones! and exploring other people's bins/DVD shelves/shoe racks ........

TheArmadillo Tue 31-Jul-07 19:16:04

HOw you doing today?

Walnutshell Tue 31-Jul-07 19:31:09

And of course - WHAT are you doing today!

I understand where you are coming from as for the last 3 months have been SAHM where previously worked 2 (long) days a week in a job which provided at least adequate brain cell stimulation and while ds was at his doting Grandmother's house... The adjustment is proving a complicated mix of enjoyable and - mostly - frustrating and tiring.

Anyway, before I vent, hope you are making the most of the weather Gingernutlover! We have spent several hours in a local country park today and I feel much better than if I'd stayed around the home/garden where even when we find things to do, ds is at an age (or stage) where everything has to be mess, mess and more mess. Oh, and chaos.

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