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Do I need to loosen up a bit??

(19 Posts)
kittkat Tue 23-Sep-08 19:28:05

I probably already know the answer tbh - lol! This is my first post since joining MN. I've been a regular reader of other people's threads and always found advice and similar situations to my own. I have a 2 year old ds and a 9 month old dd and I am worried that I am not giving either of them the best of my time, or what they need at their individual stages, as most of my time is taken up with just getting through the day (routines, tantrums etc!).

I'm currently a SAHM and I make sure I go out every day come rain or shine for fresh air and exercise but my ds is getting to the stage where a little run around in the garden is not enough exercise for him. When we go out for walks both are in the pram - I don't like to get my ds out of the pram unless we're in the park as he pulls the mother of all tantrums when I try to get him back in! I would love to take him out walking alongside dd in the pram, but I worry he will run off. I would also love to take them both to more classes. I used to take ds to Monkey Music before his sister was born - but I stress myself out that I couldn't take them to eachothers classes and do the two back-to-back in case either of them 'play up'.

I irritate myself cos I know children are unpredictable by their very nature so I should just chill out a bit and see what happens when I attempt these things, but I just wondered if anyone else with two under the age of two has similar worries.

Also, what do other people do to entertain their dcs when they are at different stages, so that they are getting what they need from me (and eachother)?

Thanks for reading my waffle (its been a long day!)

notnowbernard Tue 23-Sep-08 19:31:13

Have a bigger age gap than you (2.8y difference)

But found that dd2 got most of her stimulation from dd1

And still does now (and she's 2.1)

Don't stress about groups. If you're getting out the house once a day you're doing a grand job, IMO smile

nickytwotimes Tue 23-Sep-08 19:34:44

Congratulatons on posting!

I have only one ds aged 2,2 and am a SAHM. I do think that a lot of people get too wrapped up in providing stimulation for their kids. Now, I'm pretty up tight about most things, but when it comes to ds's development, I don't care! Well, obviously I do care, but I have never set out to do specific things for his age group as prescribed by books, etc.. We play, go out and about, hang around coffee shops and libraries with other kids, but nothing very structured. I don't think it is necessary.

I don't know what it is like to have 2 (yet!) but it must be very hard work to keep them both happy. I guess from my friends with 2 or more, there is always one of them not entirely delighted and often one of them is restless or plays up, but if yo uare at kid-centred activities, then other parents and carers will understand.

I think you love your kids loads but need to chill out and not expect so much from yourself!

Overmydeadbody Tue 23-Sep-08 19:37:32

Parenting is hard sometimes isn't it? When you're not exhausting yourself with all the day to day physical stuff you are worrying and feeling guilty!

I thin i might be a good idea to get your DS walking more, that way he gets his exercise and starts learning about staying with you, not running off, and things like crossing the road etc. I know he is still very young pobviously but if you start with very strict rules (like holding on to the buggy) and consistantly put him into the buggy if he tries to run off you can train him to stay with you.

I guess he's too small for a buggy board?

How about looking for some sort of group that is mixed ages so you can take them both and it is an informal way of them burning off energy?

Overmydeadbody Tue 23-Sep-08 19:39:48

And stop worrying about 'entertaining' them, children are perfectly capable of entertaining themselves, all you need to do is provide a stimulating, rich, stable and loving environment in which they can do this. You are merely a facilitator, not the entertainment itself. Step in when they obviously need you, to guide and help and encourage, but back off at other times (i.e put the kettle on and do more MNing grin)

nowwearefour Tue 23-Sep-08 19:41:02

pretty sure all mums of 2 go through this thought process. my advice is to stop feeling guilty. meet their needs is hard enohugh. your second will def be getting stimulation from the first and your interaction with him. Things will get easier- can your ds go to a preschool for a couple of mornings a week any time soon? i found that solved a few probs- burning off her energy whilst giving me time to focus a bit on dd2. pretty sure you could use a buggy board though as i did when my dd1 was 2. go to park both in pram do run around thing then put on buggy board on way home. or just get to walk home pushing something of his own? are you against reins?

EffiePerine Tue 23-Sep-08 19:44:45

I was going to suggest reins - we've started using them for buggy-hater DS (nearly 2 and a bolter) and they have made a big difference. I unclip him once we get to the park so he can run about, we only use them on the road or in shops when I need to make sure he doesn't kill himself or anyone else!

The big plus for us is that DS needs a lot of exercise and the reins mean he gets more for the time taken IYSWIM - walk to the park, run round the park, poss walk back rather than spending half the time in the buggy. He really likes exploring en route as well and pointing out stuff: House! Hedge! Car! as we go along.

DC2 due Dec - have a feeling it's going got be fun...

LoveMyGirls Tue 23-Sep-08 19:45:42

I think they would both enjoy toddler groups, osft play, baby yoga, music classes I don't understand why you would take them to a class each when they will both enjoy one? Maybe you could go for one aimed at baby one day and one aimed at 2yr old another?

I'm a childminder and we go to a variety of groups for this reason.

Eg..

Monday is aimed more for the older toddlers it has ride on toys, painting, sand, big climbing frame and slide, kitchen dressing up and song time as well as a baby area where the younger ones can play with rattles as well as watch the older kids getting messy and enjoying the big toys.

but friday is aimed more at the younger ones with a lot of soft toys, play mats etc while still having a few toys for the older ones.

LoveMyGirls Tue 23-Sep-08 19:46:08

I think they would both enjoy toddler groups, osft play, baby yoga, music classes I don't understand why you would take them to a class each when they will both enjoy one? Maybe you could go for one aimed at baby one day and one aimed at 2yr old another?

I'm a childminder and we go to a variety of groups for this reason.

Eg..

Monday is aimed more for the older toddlers it has ride on toys, painting, sand, big climbing frame and slide, kitchen dressing up and song time as well as a baby area where the younger ones can play with rattles as well as watch the older kids getting messy and enjoying the big toys.

but friday is aimed more at the younger ones with a lot of soft toys, play mats etc while still having a few toys for the older ones.

LoveMyGirls Tue 23-Sep-08 19:46:50

I think they would both enjoy toddler groups, osft play, baby yoga, music classes I don't understand why you would take them to a class each when they will both enjoy one? Maybe you could go for one aimed at baby one day and one aimed at 2yr old another?

I'm a childminder and we go to a variety of groups for this reason.

Eg..

Monday is aimed more for the older toddlers it has ride on toys, painting, sand, big climbing frame and slide, kitchen dressing up and song time as well as a baby area where the younger ones can play with rattles as well as watch the older kids getting messy and enjoying the big toys.

but friday is aimed more at the younger ones with a lot of soft toys, play mats etc while still having a few toys for the older ones.

LoveMyGirls Tue 23-Sep-08 19:47:35

whoops! sorry!

Cocolepew Tue 23-Sep-08 19:47:49

Is there any Parent and Toddler groups nearby? It would be cheaper and less structed than classes and your 2 yo could let of some energy.

luckywinner Tue 23-Sep-08 19:51:40

My dc are exactly the same age gap and I remember how difficult it was at that in between bit. Mine are a bit bigger now, nearly 2 and 3 and the 3 year old is at nursery in the mornings but I took my 2 year old to a drop in today and there were lots of parents with similar age gap where there were things to do for both of them. Is there anything similar near you?

It does get a lot easier. It is full on with that age gap when they are smaller but mine are starting to play more with each other and it is really lovely. It also makes a massive difference when the youngest can walk and you are not clutching a baby under one arm, desperately trying to stop a toddler from doing a runner, while trying to open the front door with the keys in your mouth.

kittkat Tue 23-Sep-08 19:53:08

Hi - thanks for all the posts so quickly! I feel better already.

nowwearefour - I'm not against reins. We have some in fact and he is pretty good with them on (except for swinging on them when he wants to come off - and boy is he strong!) I have considered a buggy board, I just thought he was too young for it, but maybe I could give it a go now if others have found it works for 2 year olds. He is actually not quite two yet (next month).

I do think sometimes that if I didn't spend so much time worrying about what I'm not doing I would get an awful lot more done!

The weekends are so lovely as my dh comes out with us and, with two pairs of hands, ds gets so much more freedom in the outside world. I just feel like weekdays with mummy are boring by comparison.

hazeyjane Tue 23-Sep-08 20:01:50

I've got a 14 month difference between my dd's, they are now 2.6 and 16 months. I find toddler groups are the best thing to go to, as both of them enjoy it, and i find it easier to chat to other mums, in that environment. I think that 'music with mummies' does a class which covers both age ranges, so if you have one of those locally, you could try that. I used to live in a village with not a great deal to do, and every journey had to be an event, the library, coffee shop, even a picnic in the cemetry. I recommend the 'little life' backpack with reins, it was the only way I could handle dd1 for a while, but now she is pretty good at walking beside the buggy (it does get easier - honest!), and sometimes we even go out with a light stroller and dd1 walks (am thinking about getting a buggy board).

I know what you mean about just getting through the day, we've had a lot of those!

This thread www.mumsnet.com/Talk/67/574206 is a pretty good place to let off steam and have a general whinge about life with 2 under 3 (it used to be 2 under 2, but everyones dc's started growing up!). Good luck smile

beforesunrise Tue 23-Sep-08 20:10:39

hi there, i have dd1 2y7m and dd2 4m. what can i say- yes you do need to loosen up, but yes it is SOOOO HARD!!! i think you just need to accept that a certain amount of tantrums and chaos are par for the course, and go with the flow.... your ds is quite young, but i think you could try and get him to walk a bit alongside the pram.... i have a buggy board and dd1 absolutely LOVES riding on it, would that be too much for your buggy?

i also pretty much stopped groups, i find that with 2 at home they do entertain themselves a bit, and too stressful for me to mind them both while trying to "do" things, but i take dd1 to softplay regularly cos she loves running around and going mental, and to the library.

good luck!

Smithagain Tue 23-Sep-08 20:20:08

Regarding the walking, coming up to two is a great time to start getting him to walk, while still having the buggy as back-up. Reins are useful. Yes, he will probably play up/try to run off/slow you down. But he'll also get more exercise and find all sorts of interesting stuff to look at.

Choose a day when you have loads of time, go for a walk with him on foot and see how it pans out. Go somewhere quiet if you're going to be too stressed walking near cars. Be brave and let him explore a bit. He'll love it - and the little one will probably love watching him!

Othersideofthechannel Tue 23-Sep-08 20:33:59

Have you got a tricycle? We got one when DS was 2. He learnt to pedal soon afterwards and by the time he was 2.6 we could go out with DD in pushchair and DS tricycling alongside.

Othersideofthechannel Tue 23-Sep-08 20:36:25

Or if he is into cars you could do "red light, green light". He runs ahead a little and then you shout 'red light' so he stops until you catch up, then you say "green light". Much more fun than 'stop'. Practice in a safe place first.

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