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Anyone share care of small children with DH/DP?

(14 Posts)
cbcb Wed 05-Sep-07 15:44:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chirpygirl Wed 05-Sep-07 15:48:25

Dh looks after DD once or twice a month on his day off so I can go into work and do KIT days as I am on a career break.
He does naff all on those days, occasionally he takes her to the bike shops or the park but he won't go to the playgroup, even though he knows at least 3 of the other mums as they are round mine a lot and has got pissed with 2 of them.
He feels the same, he is uncomfortabel with talk of BFing and womens problems and thinks thats all we talk about.

Sounds like he needs to find a SAH Dad really and hang out with him, or male nannies, but I wouldn't know how he could do that...maybe the mens room could help you?

Gumbo Wed 05-Sep-07 15:50:35

My DH was a full-time SAHD to my 21mo ds until recently. Now he works a couple of days a week, and looks after ds the rest of the time. But he's more than happy to go to toddler groups etc (despite never having been exactly welcomed with open arms - we're pretty rural too). Otherwise they go to playgrounds, the library, grocery shopping, parks, picking blackberries in the lanes (at this time of year), or generally playing outside. Winter is harder - they spend more time in soft play areas.

But I appreciate twins would be a lot more challenging!

elliott Wed 05-Sep-07 15:52:10

My DH has always done one day a week with our kids - the same as me. He does tend to socialise less than I do, but he did take them out to activities (classes and toddler group etc) - mainly arranged by me admittedly! He also did manage to hook up with one or two mums he gets on with - and has found one other dad as well - but on the whole has less need than I do for adult company (that's my main driving factor).

In your situation though I suspect having you hanging around trying to work isn't helping either of you. I'm quite glad I'm not there to witness what dh is up to - and better for him to be left to it too. Is there no other option to working at home?

sandyballs Wed 05-Sep-07 15:52:21

My Dh used to do a 4 day week when our twin girls were 2, so he had one day off a week with them whilst I worked.

He did find it quite difficult and was reluctant to go to any groups. A kind friend from my ante-natal group used to ring him and cajole him into joining her on trips to farms and soft play but I don't think he really enjoyed it.

That was only 1 day though - with your DH doing 3 it must drive him nuts being at home with two 2 year olds!! Difficult stage, as you say. I always found it much easier to get them up and out, rather than being stuck in.

Sorry, not much advice, but lots of sympathy and reminicising - mine are 6 now and it does get a lot easier.

UnquietDad Wed 05-Sep-07 15:58:33

I did a couple of days a week, a few years back when DD was very little. I didn't really go to the toddler groups and stuff - well, I did once but I knew some people there so it was OK. Usually just met up with other parents or played at home. And I'd make a point of having the house looking clean and the dinner cooked - just to annoy DW. grin

I do the school run now for both children as I work from home.

SpacePuppy Wed 05-Sep-07 16:06:12

I look after ds 21months, Monday to Friday, he thrives on routine so he goes down for a nap every day at 1pm. Usually i get 3 hours out of an afternoon to do my work. I take him to structured events in the mornings, we are rural too and I find I don't need the friendship of other mums more than he needs to interact with other children and learn at the same time, so our week looks like this:
Monday morning: Grocery shopping,
Tue: Messy monsters (he paints and play and someone else deals with the mess)
Wed: swimming lesson (you'll need an extra pair of hands with two)
Thurs: local gymnastic club has a toddler group, he gets to play on the equipment
Friday: Jo jingles (music group)

All these are only 45 min sessions, it takes us at least 30 min to travel there and back, by the time we get home he is ready to watch some tele (I record things like in the night garden and little red tractor etc.) while he watches I get lunch ready, he eats around 12:00 and by 12:30 he gets a clean nappy and by 1pm I put him down, he sometimes chats with his toys for half an hour or so and then doses off on his own, and the afternoon is mine!

DH (a gem) looks after him both Sat and Sun, that includes taking care of nappies and feeding him. They go for long walks on the public footpaths and pick up things etc. At first he was reluctant, but now they both love it. On rainy days they "camp" in ds' room, have juice and a biscuit and play rough or build blocks etc.

All I can say is as mindnumbing as it is some days, if you are sticking to looking after them, make sure that the time you do spend with them is without interruptions and they have your complete attention, after that I find ds is usually happy if I need to return calls or emails to play on his own in his room.


mummydoc Wed 05-Sep-07 16:07:27

my dh has always had some time at home with each of our dds as i often worked - i used to badger him to go to playgps etc, he always found the more physical structured things better ie swimming, appreciate maybe hard with 2 , also maybe a toddler gym , tumble tots thing where it is not just sitting around gossiping for the parents ( though i love that type of thing) we are seriously rural so had to be prepared to travel abit for these things. I also found i had to do all the leg owrk e.g find the groups, ring up, book them in and get kit ready ...good luck.

LoveAngel Wed 05-Sep-07 18:04:27

I do 3 full days and one half day a week with DS (not counting weekends). DH does the remaining day and a half, plus is very hands on at weekends. Its weird - we're actually the other way round. I can't stand toddler groups and like spending my days with DS pottering around the house / garden, with the odd trip to the park or softplay centre. I find it too stressful to 'do stuff' with him at the moment, as he is 2 and a half and bang in the middle of 'Tantrum Central' at the moment. Dh, on the other hand, relishes taking DS out and about. he takes him to clubs and classes and playdates, as well as happily having him tag along at 'adult' activities like pub lunches or trips to the football. That's my idea of personal hell, to be honest. People are differnet - their coping abilities are different. My stress levels are very high when I'm looking after my son (although I adore the little blighter) whereas DH sails along happilly. When DH has to go away for business I am usually climbing the walls by the time he returns. I went away for 5 days last week and when I returned DH seriously brought up the subject of whether I should be the one who works more hours and he should take on more childcare. Different strokes!

LoveAngel Wed 05-Sep-07 18:05:01

p.s. we both work from home most of the time, although DH does have an office to escape to outside of our home if he wants to.

PrincessGoodLife Wed 05-Sep-07 18:19:39

my DH looks after DS (now 4) most days while I work and has shared his care with me since he was about 1 yrs old. DS goes to nursery in the mornings now but DH is still his main carer the rest of the time. With time he worked out the games and toys which he used to get a lot out of as a child and enjoyed filling time with DS with them - starting with blocks and throwing a ball when DS was younger, and as DS has got older he has worked up to lego, star wars games, 'making' stuff out of wood and other bits and pieces in the garden, climbing, digging the garden, cleaning the car together (very useful wink) and so on. Perhaps there are things which your DH likes to do (and needs to do) which the girls can help him out with? Maybe he could go toy and book shopping with them and find things that he remembers from his own childhood, which may then encourage him to enjoy playing with them rather than going for expensive days out. I realise that you also need to work from home but they may behave a bit better in their own comfort zone, and as long as the 'do not disturb mummy or else' rule is enforced, you may well get your peace and quiet. Maybe you could put up a shed to work in away from the house? Or work in a local library if they have tables/computers?

just some thoughts anyway

Bugmum Wed 05-Sep-07 20:27:57

In haste - only read OP, so not sure if repeating. I share childcare with my DP, and what I've found is that men often prefer structured activities. SP used to do Tumble Tots with DS1 but with DS2 as well now, this is prohibitively expensive. Also, I have some issues with TT, but that's neither here nor there! What he does now is a singing group, which is fab; he doesn't have to hang out as such with the mummies and the kids get out. Otherwise, he's a big fan of the park, and they do a lot of stuff in the garden when the weather even vaguely allows. But for stuff to get them seeing other kids, structured is good for many men. I do the toddler and baby groups! HTH

LadyG Wed 05-Sep-07 20:43:19

Not shared care exactly as we have a nanny and I work out of the home but DH has started spending loads more time with DS since he was made redundant and started freelancing. Lego is the thing I find. That and the Brio train set keep them both out of my hair when Im trying to get stuff done whether its cooking cleaning or work stuff. yes I know you have girls but the little girls that come round seem to love it too.

DH also loves taking him on little 'adventures' the science museum zoo etc while I'm a bit more park playground cappuccino. The other thing I have found is that the more that you butt out and leave them to it the better they get at the `organisational' side of childcare and the less the little one plays up.

cbcb Thu 06-Sep-07 14:53:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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