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DH going back to work tomorrow, how do people cope?

(31 Posts)
puddytats Wed 08-Jun-05 18:28:10

DH is going back tomorrow after 4 weeks off as paternity and holiday. Am really worried how I will cope with 18 month old and 4 week old all on my own. DD (4 weeks) is really demanding and hates being put down. Ds is really good but worried that I will not be able to manage.

How do other people cope, really need some advice to get through the day? I don't want to end up taking it out on Ds by being short with him but can see it happening.

puddytats Wed 08-Jun-05 19:19:23


lapsedrunner Wed 08-Jun-05 19:28:54

Can only offer encouragement as I only have 1 x ds (2.8)'ll make it work

cadbury Wed 08-Jun-05 19:31:45

I remember feeling exactly the same after dh went back to work when I'd had ds (dd was 2 and a half).
What I realised was that you shouldn't push yourself to do anything too adventurous at first. The routine thing will fall into place in good time.
Maybe try to leave the house (if only for a short walk to the shop or the park) each day.
Most of all, don't beat yourself up because you haven't done as much as you think you should have by the time your dh gets in. Housework, laundry and stuff like that won't do any harm if it isn't done all the time.
If you happen to get A rare few mins when both kids are asleep, don't try to rush round doing everyhitng straight away, give yourself 5 minutes to sit down with a cuppa and relax, then do what you need to.
You'll all be fine

milward Wed 08-Jun-05 19:40:10

Are you bf? - try bf whilst walking around and doing activities with 18 month year old. I found that this helped me get on with everything. Could be good to get ready before dh leaves and once he comes home hand over the kids so you can sit down & rest awhile. Lots of luck

puddytats Wed 08-Jun-05 20:49:48

Unfortunatly DH works 50+ miles away so will be on my own from 7-7. Have to get to health visitor am and the hospital by 12 for ear check for dd. Have sinking feeling in my stomach and really don't want to cry when dh goes tomorrow but can see it happening.

dot1 Wed 08-Jun-05 20:54:05

I think one thing is to try to be up and dressed before your dh leaves - if that's possible - so that you can have a shower/dress before he goes. I'm the one that goes to work in my relationship but dp and I have found this works really well - although I must admit I rarely have to leave the house before 8am.

Could your dh also try to finish early once/twice a week for a few weeks at first? It helps dp knowing that sometimes I'll be home an hour early!

Very tough and I don't envy you - hope it goes OK.

emily05 Wed 08-Jun-05 20:58:44

Can you think of loads of things to keep the 18 month old busy!? ds hated being put down - in the end though I had to as otherwise he would have had me carry him around all of the time! Dont feel bad if you have to put her down and she moans - she will get used to it. Can you involve dd in looking after dd?

Do you have a baby sling that dd can go in - so that you can give ds some attention and not feel like you are neglecting dd?

Really feel for you as I have 1 toddler and find that hard work! Goodluck - let us know how you get on x

helsi Wed 08-Jun-05 20:58:57

My advice is to establish your own routine on a day by day basis by maybe planning in front in the early days. For example (and it is just that as you know your kids and I don't but...)

breakfast - while ds is eating put washing in
get dressed and kids too (18 month could "help" with baby eg bringing you clothes, wiping with cotton wool etc)
a walk with buggy and/or pram round the village/to park/round the block etc
back home and nap for 18 month old.
While he is napping, put washing in dryer/on line plus bit more housework


Get ds up and maybe do some drawing/playdough etc

lunchtime then ask ds to help you wind dd after her milk

after lunch a bit of TV while you finsih some chores etc.

other activities like playing in the garden for a while

tea time

then bed routine

DD should really fit in with you and ds as at this stage she won't need as much ahnds on attention if you know what I mean.

puddytats Wed 08-Jun-05 21:09:32

Thank you for advice, will try and remember it tomorrow when I feel all is being lost!

Going to go and have an early night and let dh do the 10pm (then just the 1am and 4am to go!) feed so not too tired tomorrw.

Orinoco Wed 08-Jun-05 21:14:47

Message withdrawn

Gobbledigook Wed 08-Jun-05 21:15:18

Definitely echo Dot1's advice to get yourself showered and dressed before your dh leaves - it just puts you in a good frame of mind for the day. If you leave it till after he's gone, you might slop about in your PJs for hours before you get a chance and you'll feel rubbish.

Otherwise, just encouragement from me - it'll be fine, you'll work out a routine honestly. I had ds2 when ds1 was 19 months so I've been there. Had ds3 when ds2 was 21 months so more fun and games then! Honestly, you'll be fine and you can always come on here and scream!!

SoftFroggie Wed 08-Jun-05 21:16:32

I ahve a slightly bigger gap (25 months). I coped. we all do. Remember:
- It does get better. You just have to survive the first month or two, then all falls into place;
- not much really matters. It doesn't matter if DD stays in her night clothes all day, unless really pukey. Doesn't actually matter if DS stays in pjs all day. She doesn't need a bath. You do all need eat at some point and nappies need changing, but that's about it.
- watch TV / vids with DS while feeding DD, esp if breastfed.
- actually a lot easier if you have to go out, as getting in car / going to appt takes time.
- sing a lot. they'll both enjoy it.

Set really LOW standards for a few weeks.

Sax Wed 08-Jun-05 21:23:02

You will manage, a lot of your preconceived ideas won't occur, it will be instinctive - honestly. I have three, ds1 to ds2 (2and a half yrs) ds2 to ds3 16months - days were pretty busy at the beginning but you can only do your best and it will be good enough. Summer is here so if all getting too much just go out for a walk for half hour, does everyone the world of good. All the best and you'll be fine

helsi Wed 08-Jun-05 21:24:34

puddytats will you post tommorrow and let us know how you got on please?

Honestly - I'm sure you will find it better than expected.

Lonelymum Wed 08-Jun-05 21:28:11

The only advice I can give is, don't expect to get anyhting done except the things that have to be done eg changing nappies, feeding both children, feeding yourself, etc. Nothing else has to be done tomorrow. Take each day as it comes and try to do what you can when you can. If you can get both of them to nap at the same time you will be laughing! Hope you manage. You have been lucky to have dh at home for 4 weeks. My dh was bearly off work for one week after each of my babies.

puddytats Thu 09-Jun-05 07:37:38

Well I have managed to not cry when DH left this morning which is a miracle! Can feel the bubble there but so far refusing to give in to it.

A fairly calm morning so far but it is only 7.40!!

jessicasmummy Thu 09-Jun-05 07:41:13

im right there with you puddy... my dh has just gone back after 8 weeks off.... ive got a 10.5 month old and im 21 weeks pg, just want to curl up and sleep but no, i must plod along.

she is currently playing on the floor quite happily so hopefully the signs of a good day?!

puddytats Thu 09-Jun-05 07:42:32

Good luck jessicasmummy, it is a horrid feeling isn't it!

Sax Thu 09-Jun-05 07:51:01

Well bloody done Puddytats thats a really excellent start to the day - you'll be OK really, just keep posting throughout day if it helps and tell us how you are going and we'll be there for you on and off.
Well done, keeping calm is the main battle! You are going to be OK and you will cope, believe me..

jessicasmummy Thu 09-Jun-05 08:00:24

it is horrible yes..... its like "oh my god, what am i going to do - ALL DAY!"

hoping to get out for a little walk today as the weather is nice, but no doubt ill spend some time here too!

Sax Thu 09-Jun-05 08:02:47

All the best to you too jessicasmummy, sorry I didn't acknowledge you in my response. You will both be OK but come on here for a chat if you fancy, that can be 'your own time' which is very important for keeping calm. Don't forget to have food and drinks and keep positive!

Satine Thu 09-Jun-05 08:08:15

Puddytats - we did talk about meeting up, I'd love to and I know just how you feel, my two are 19 months apart and I just couldn't imagine how I was going to cope. I love the advice about setting really low standards!
Let me know if you do want to meet - I can go wherever! Would love to be able to help if I can.

puddytats Thu 09-Jun-05 08:10:37

Hi Satine.

Am trying to sort out a meet up on the west sussex thread that you possibly started. Don't know how to link but i will bump it up for you. That would be great.

basketcase Thu 09-Jun-05 08:12:53

I know how this feels too -the dread when Dh went to work, wodnering what on earth I would do to fill my day and how I would survive with two children.
I had three main strategies -
1. to be up and dressed and fed before DH left in the morning - stopped me slumming it all day and gave me a little mini target to get organised.
2. to go out every day at some point - even if it were only a short walk round the block, just physically leaving the house was brilliant. The local swings were a godsend.
3. to make good use of DD2s naptime. We alternated them so that the first was DD1s playtime with me 100% focussed on her, then the next baby nap was her independant play time with crayons, video, playing with her dolls - me in the same room watching but with my feet up and a cuppa! Knowing that I was getting regular little rests and still finding time for DD1 helped it all seem manageable.

Oh - I also agree with all that have mentioned getting into good baby routines. Your baby will hate being put down at first - they all do but they can gently get used to it. Try a gradual approach such as lying her on a playmat/junglegym type thing with you next to her but not touching, just talking. When she is more relaxed and used to you putting her down there knowing you aren’t about to leg it and abandon her, she will stop protesting at being put down there. Then you can start to put her down and move away a little. Might not work for you, but the gradual withdrawl worked for me so might be worth a spin.

Good luck - hang in there. Loads of us can really empathise with you and know you can do it

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