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Help. My so-called life, It's all a bloody mess and I don't bloody know how to fix it. Long and profane, sorry.

(55 Posts)
phdlife Sat 31-Oct-09 04:04:49

Don't know where to put this but it's all vaguely parenting-related so here goes.

I have a 2.6ds and a 6m dd. I am SAHMing and the problem is, I cannot find any time for me. As a result I am stressed out of my tiny fucking nut; this is making it hard for me to sleep which is making me more stressed, which is costing me more sleep, blah blah. I have lost all sense of humor and spontenaiety (also my ability to spell, remember things and construct sentences), don't get done half what I'd like to (more on this later) and am rapidly losing the will to live. Please help me see how I can fix things...

Dh gets up at 6 and leaves for work at 6:50. Usually by then ds is up too and dh has given him some flakes. Dd is usually up then too but lately she's been having some shocking early starts (teeth?) - 5:30 or so.

I get everyone dressed and fed, ds watches ITNG and Playschool 9-10am. At 11 I go to make a smoothie and if all goes well (ha fucking ha) all 3 of us go down for a nap. Ideally before 12. (Is this too late??)

If I can't sleep I get ds up by 1:30, if I do sleep sometimes he sleeps til 2.

Dh home at 5:25. I aim for dinner at about 5:45 (hfh) and if I don't allow them to watch tv we might be away from the table by 6:45. (ds takes a loooong time over his dinner, but then he eats loads so I'm not sure this is a complaint.)

The bath/bed routine takes forfuckingever. Ds comes out of the bath as though he was soaking in pure caffeine and it can take a while for dh to get him nappied/pj'd and storied. I do dd at the same time - like ds she is in no mood for settling but wants to party. Usually done around 7:15-7:30.

Now, IF ds is looking quiet, I take him into his room and try to get him to sleep. Despite several attempts I've never managed to sleep-train him so I sit with him until he goes off to sleep, with or without dd feeding and going off to sleep in my arms. If ds isn't sleepy he gets some quiet <snort> play-time because I'm fed up with trying to bed someone who is literally pinging off the walls. Either way, getting me away by 8pm is increasingly rare - last night was 8:45 (because we were out for dinner so home late), the night before was 9:15 (because late nap, because I slept too).

By now I am absolutely desperate for some quality time but lately all I've been doing is shower, snack, re-settle fussy dd, some dire soporific reading, and going to bed, completely unrelaxed at 10:30.

Fuck creativity, fuck corresponding with friends/rellies, fuck making any progress on the recently-moved-into house, fuck having a chat with dh, fuck reading blogs, tv, MNing, keeping up with any form of current events, etfuckingcetera. Fuck, in fact, any activity that might let me have some form of personal identity. (I'm a wee bit fed up, you may be able to tell).

And then, just for kicks, dd will be up at least twice, once settling with a feed and once, hey, remember that party she missed after her bath? well maybe we could have it now? huh? huh? does 3:30am work for you mum?

This can't be right, can it? I'm sure I'm missing something obvious but braincells are so few and far between these days they ain't rubbing together often enough for solutions, let alone the will to implement them.

Help, please help...

oh and it's lunchtime here, so I have to disappear now and not sure when I'll get back.

CheerfulYank Sat 31-Oct-09 04:17:53

Aw, honey. If I didn't live cross the pond I'd bring DS over for a playdate and we could watch them ping off the walls together.

Could you try getting DS up earlier so that he could get an earlier nap and then an earlier bedtime? Does bathtime seem to rev him up rather than calm him down? My DS used to be that way so we did a morning tub time. Also we do calming (lavendar scented) lotion and give him warm chamomile tea at night to get him more relaxed. He does not always fall asleep quickly but we have just started saying "bedtime is bedtime" and putting him in his room around 8-8:30. He has a gate up so he can't leave his room. Where do you live? Can you get outside, even just for a walk with your DCs in a stroller? When DS was little the fresh air would make him sleep easier. Sorry, this is a lot to throw at you but I'm just trying to think of ANYTHING that might help. Can you afford to send them to daycare for a few hours a week just so you can relax alone? Hmmm...if I think of anything else I'll be back. Best of luck to you and let me know how it goes.

Remember this will not last forever and you are not alone in feeling this way!

Hattie05 Sat 31-Oct-09 04:24:07

oh poor you! you sound like you are having a really tough time.

You do seem to have a good routine going on there which should help. Can you try tweaking some bits?

What about trying bath times in the morning? - i know they are meant to be calming before bed, but if thats clearly not the case for your dc's then perhaps a morning bath would help and relieve pressure in the evenings. I do this sometimes with my 2 when i can't face the evening rush. Also i realised sometime ago that if they skip a bath its not the end of the world - i aim for every other day now.

Another suggestion i have is that you bring the children's dinner forward a bit (i know its nice to have a family meal but ....) perhaps the fact your ds takes longtime to eat this would help allow him to digest meal before bedtime also.

Do you get out with you dc's? I find getting out of the house each day whether to the park or the supermarket really helps to avoid the couped up feeling.

HTH and wish you all the best. Have you spoken to your dh about how you feel? You definitely need some emotional support from someone close by right now. Just remind yourself how quickly children change and in 6mths time the things that are hard now will be blips in you memory (and you'll have new ones to find hard!shock)

Hattie05 Sat 31-Oct-09 04:25:08

posts crossed! but similar suggestions there!

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 31-Oct-09 04:50:04

I sorry things are so hard. I have a friend with a similar age gap, she's extremely capable but the whole thing drove her to tears frequently when they were little.

From what you've written it sounds as if you're not getting out that much during the day. If this is the case is there anything locally you can go to, do you have friends with children of a similar age, they are what kept me going when mine were smaller.

Also, will your DS be going to a nursery or playschool at any point soon ? I'd be tempted to skip the bath for a night and see if he is still so awake at that time. Also, what about seeing if he will listen to a story CD at bedtime. I think the time has come for you to be pretty firm about it now. Maybe get your DH to deal with him for a few nights to get
him out of his current routine.

At weekends we used to take it turns to have a lie in which I found helped a lot and I used to get time to go off and spend time on my own which helped a lot.

I found baby/toddler years very tough, it honestly does get much much easier- I had 5 children and a dog to look after yesterday and still got time to sit down for half an hour which would have been unthinkable when my two were younger, things will improve for you, honestly.

TanteRoseFromTheDead Sat 31-Oct-09 05:13:57

another vote for "things will get better"..!
My two are only 17 months apart and when they were tiny, it was just never-ending - like an awful horror movie some days/weeks, just the same things over and over again...sigh.
I agree with others, you MUST get out of the house - playgroup, park, indoor play etc. And also to getting your DP to step up on the weekends.
I know it seems like it will never end, but things slowly get better and you DO find time for yourself eventually smile

ClaudiaSchiffer Sat 31-Oct-09 05:22:21

Poor you, it's awful at times. Today I nearly burst into tears in the supermarket because mine were being so dreadful (aged 2 and 4).

Anywaaaaay, I think the others have some great suggestions. Remember it is very tough when they are little and if you could get at least your ds into some kind of childcare for a couple of mornings a week it might give you enough breathing space to feel that you can tackle the rest of it.

One suggestion - we don't have family meals at the moment (dh not home from work until 6pm - 7pm). So I feed mine at 4.30/5 then straight up for a bath at 5/5.30ish out of the bath by 5.45 in pjs with some supper if necessary by 6pm. Then little one (who has more or less given up her sleep) in bed with some stories by 6.15 and the older one in bed by 6.30 with stories then all lights firmly out by 7pm. I honestly cannot cope if they hang around longer than this.

After the bath they tend to have a good 15/20 min bounce on the bed, I like this as although it destroys my bedroom it does wear them out.

You do have my sympathy though, it is very wearing. I seem to remember that I had a complete meltdown when mine were about the same age as yours (baby may be slightly older) and dh sent me off to Sydney for a glam weekend with my girlfriends. Huzzah for dh, it did help enormously.

Good luck x

Tambajam Sat 31-Oct-09 06:47:27

I'm so sorry you are finding it tough. Just wondering whether DS is getting ready to drop his nap which is why bedtime has become so tough. It was the first sign for a lot of our friends. (Our nap was gone by 2.4)
It might be worth playing around with your nap routine. Maybe put DS with a DVD, put DD down properly and then you go and snooze on the sofa with DS. If you snooze while hugging him you'll wake up if he tries to wander. He may snooze too but at least his nap will start to be cut down.

What has also been a Godsend for a DS that doesn't self-settle is an iPod. You can get kiddy headphones with volume restrictors. DS listens to a story or music and I have gradually withdrawn.

When else is DD sleeping in the afternoon? If she's not sleeping again in the afternoon and having a relatively late dinner she may be waking up again in the evening as she is over tired. She may be moving more to a 2 nap model of roughly 9-10.30 and 2-3.30.

I know it might feel painful to contemplate losing that big lunchtime nap but actually it might be that separating their naps out so she is not overtired and he has his nap reduced could work out as better for you in the long run.

Earthstar Sat 31-Oct-09 06:48:34

Do you have lunch? And does your ds get lots of exercise - preferably outdoors?

littleducks Sat 31-Oct-09 07:04:42

sounds pretty hellish

why does ds get up at that time, does he wake naturally or is it due to dh alarm/shower?

I would put the baby down for a mini nap 9.15/9.30-10 and then do longer naps after lunch

If you are finding that tough to fit in do lunch at 11.45 then naps straight after, with the eventual aim (may take a while with baby weaning) aim to be lunch at 12 nap at 12.30

Then feed dinner at 5pm for kids, so bed/bath stuff starts much earlier and remember that toddlers get a second wind if bathed for too long!

This is based on GF routines which i know arent that popular but when i had two 22 mo apart and tiny it really halped to adopt that kind or routine and i had proper evening to myself whereas when i was more babyled with just dd i never had any reliable time and found it hard to fit in showering/peeing as i never knew what was coming nor did she.

Oh and check if local leisure centre has a creche, ours is very good so you could put kids in there and do aerobics/swim/sit in the cafe wink for 45 min

bigTillyMint Sat 31-Oct-09 07:06:04

It's hard work being at home full-time with two little ones - that's why I went back to work part-time grin

Mine are 19mths apart, and it does get easier, I think!

What do you do with them in the day? I always found that having at least one thing to do outside the house helped. Lots of children's stuff is free, like park, playgroups, 1 o'clock club. Do you meet up with other mums - it's often easier for the older ones to play with a friend or two, and it gives you a chance to talk with other adults which is essential for your sanity!

Also, whilst my DD needed her daytime nap till she was 4ish, DS gave his up just after 2yrs. Maybe he is just not that tired at bed-time? Perhaps you could either keep his nap really short or forgo it altogether and get him to bed earlier>

bigTillyMint Sat 31-Oct-09 07:08:07

Oh, and make sure you go out to do some exercise / see a friend at least some evenings. Leave your DH with the DC. He'll copewink

notjustanumber Sat 31-Oct-09 07:50:04

Hi - mine are 2.10 and 10 months so I sympathise completely.

Here, baths were the first thing that went out the window, I wash them only when they need one, which may only be twice a week for the older one.

The older one hasnt had a nap since he turned 2, maybe yours could go without ? As a consequence, he is tired when he goes to bed so he actually goes to sleep and doesnt wake up till 7:30 - 8. This gives me time to have a cuppa and breakfast in the morning when I only have the baby. If they both get up at the same early time in the morning, I find I feel much worse about the day, I need quiet time. The younger one has 2 naps a day, a long and a short one, and I "manipulate" them for my own purposes - if I want a quiet afternoon I wake him after 30 mins in the morning and I know he will sleep later (naps around 9-10, and then 1-3).

While DC2 is napping I will prepare food, and have some downtime while DC1 entertains himself, or watches a bit of TV. Outside of naptimes we will go for a walk at least once a day, I find after they have been out they are willing to entertain themselves for a bit longer. If I am at a loss, DC1 is usually very willing to "help" with chores.

It probably isnt a popular suggestion but I might give up trying to nap myself. I never could after DC2 was born, I wonder if it makes you more, rather than less stressed, trying to get that extra bit of sleep, rather than just having a "lull" in activites like we do.

Finally I started a babysitting circle. You may feel knackered in the evening but its an incentive to get out and start to talk to your husband about un child related things.

I hope things improve for you soon ! My DH wants a third child, I think he is nuts...

foxinsocks Sat 31-Oct-09 08:03:32

I think it is hard with 2 younguns (mine were just under 15 months apart, what was I thinking!)

but but but

you have dh there from 525. FIVE TWENTY FIVE. So you have 2 adults there all evening, for dinner, bath time and bed!

You must must sort the evenings out. That's when you are missing the child free time. And with 2 of you there, if I'm to be honest, it really should be a lot easier.

The 6 month old, well, you'd expect that baby to be feeding at nighttime I think but I guess, now is time to crack the 2.6 year old going to bed. You and dh need to decide on a strategy (with respect to ds going to bed) but if he's getting away by 8, I don't think that's too horrendous though maybe you want to try and push it back to 7? but you can probably only start doing that once his afternoon nap is cut back? because adding all his sleep up he's probably starting to get to the age where you cut the afternoon nap and get a longer night time sleep.

and you know, you only had a baby 6 months ago! so be easy on yourself....

RumourOfAHurricane Sat 31-Oct-09 08:13:24

Message withdrawn

Jujubean77 Sat 31-Oct-09 08:16:14

It sounds mad and you have my sympathies. But your DH is home nice and early, can't you do dinner time earlier and maybe each put a child to bed each.

6 months is so young, I am sure things will improve so much...

llaregguBOO Sat 31-Oct-09 08:26:08

I second dropping the nap. We've just been through a hellish period similar to yours and dropping the mid-day nap has improved things tremendously.

You really need to sort out the falling to sleep aspect, too. He your DS too young for bribery? Oh and definitely get out more during the day. I run DS into the ground to make sure he gets enough sleep at night.

You have my sympathy. I have a 6 month old and a 3 year old and some days I wonder where I am.

GibbonWithAnAppleBobbingBibOn Sat 31-Oct-09 08:27:54

Oh phd petal - hard to hear you sound so stressed and not be able to help. The suggestions already made are what I would do. Change the bath to morning times and see how GCSE is without a nap? I know that break at nap time is a Godsend for me when DD still has one but the days she doesn't she may be hard work the last hour but she is out for the count by 6.30. She is an early riser too and it's tough at times, especially if you have been up in the night with DD [exhausted]

Wish I had more suggestions to help but I am sure wiser folk than me will be along smile

lilysam Sat 31-Oct-09 08:38:46

Oh you sound so down. Do you have any 'mummy'friends that you can get together with?? Playgroups etc can be a lifeline - kids play you have a cuppa and chat. Softplay etc

Your day sounds alot like mine except some of the timings, and i don't feel sad like you do? Is there more to this? (FWIW my kids are hopeless sleepers, there's always someone up in the night and 6am is a lie-in in this house too)

When does the baby nap?? At 6 months surely she's not just having one nap? I also think before 12 is a bit early for the afternoon sleep and dinner is too late. I always had the idea of family meals, but only tend to do this on a sunday now. Kids eat around 4.40-5 then bath at 6.30 bed by 7. DD is 4 and we only bath her every other night. DS still has every night as its still part of his bedtime routine. When the next one arrives DS will not be having a bath every night. I tend to see to DS and DH deals with DD. Get your DH to settle you eldest. If find both kids mess around less when daddy steps in sometimes. I'm a bit soft where as he can be a bit more persistant with them. It's the worst time of the day cos everyones tired.

Hope things get better for you - hope i'm not speaking out of turn but i actually thought your day was reasonably 'normal' for a family with 2 small kids but you just sound so miserable....I think you need to allocate yourself some me-time when dh is around, go to the gym, shopping etc. Its bloody hard being at home with the kids all day but i don't think it means you should be so down on yourself...

CarGirl Sat 31-Oct-09 08:54:49


Huge sympathies it sounds very tortuous at the moment!!!!

Echoing what has been said above....

Unfortunately your ds probably doesn't need a nap anymmore so knock it on the head completely. I would also start the bath time earlier of make it shorter - it sounds like he could be overtired and hence the whole hyper tired thing.

Have you got a slow cooker or large casserole dish? I'd start hving meals that you can prepare during the day so you can all eat earlier as this may be why your ds can't sleep - he's eating late & too close to bedtime so is on an energy rush high? Some evenings you could feed ds something quick and easy and then eat later with your dh?

Your baby probably needs a morning nap like half an hour around 10 when you are perhaps on your way out to toddler groups or something and a lunchtime nap but probably not until 1?

By losing the lunch time nap it means you don't get a break but I always found tv or favourite DVD could for half an hours peace - you could cuddle up on the sofa together and perhaps you can have a cat nap?

Hi, I only have one ds (2.3) but pg with my second. I have put him in a little playgroup thing for two year olds, he only does four hours a week over two days, but that will increase once he turns three, ideally I'd like to get him in for at least four mornings a week, if not five!

Is there anything you could put your ds into like that?

CarGirl Sat 31-Oct-09 09:20:35

Thinking back we went out every morning to a toddler group or play date or toy library then home then lunch then baby nap. I had a 14 month gap and then a 2 year gap so I had 3 in virtually 3 years but dh did bath & bedtime for the older 2 whilst I did the baby. I also have an older one but she could sort herself out & was at junior school IYSWIM.

bigchris Sat 31-Oct-09 09:21:30

sorry if this has already been mentioned but drop the 2.6 ds ' nap and he might sleep better at night.

go out to toddler groups in the afternoon, dd can sleep in the pushchair

then you will all hopefully sleep better at night

phdlife Sat 31-Oct-09 10:30:12

wow ok thanks for that, a lot to take in there.

dh is great (mostly) - he comes in gets ds and dd out from under my feet, cleans hands, sets table, brings in laundry, baths, dresses and stories ds. Then does dishes. Ds Absolutely Will Not go to bed for dh, never has done. But I can see having to figure some way of sorting his bedtime routine, if only I can find two neurons to rub together.

I can't see dropping ds's nap tbh, even with it he is knackered most evenings (the "hyper tired thing" rings a big bell for me) and without he's absolutely feral by 4pm. But we could def do shorter naps.

dd naps 9-9:30 (ish), with us if we go down close to 12, and usually around 5. I hadn't thought of her being overtired too but it makes sense - she keeps herself awake if there's anything at all to do or see and I often can't keep ds away long enough for her to settle. (we lack technology, it's a recently-moved-no-money thing.) But tonight we did them in separate bedrooms and that (plus short nap) worked well - both out by 8. phew.

getting out is an ishoo for me. I've been going to a playgroup which is 9:30-11:30 once a week - there aren't any others that I can find - ds doesn't last and we have to go by 11 otherwise it's meltdown city. And no, I don't know any other mummies with similar-aged dc's - see the "recently-moved" thingy above. Damned if I know how to fix that one.

We do go to the park every once in a while but it is fucking hot already and just going to get worse. For the same reason I do want the dc's bathed every day, we are all sweaty little piggies here.

will have to do some more thinking on this, thanks for suggestions all. <<feeble wave to gibbon>>

CarGirl Sat 31-Oct-09 10:34:17

Living somewhere new and hot - I don't envy you that!

Bath before tea?

Seems like you need to shift your day to an hour later all around to fit in with toddler group etc but that could be tricky.....

Can you do the leaving the door open for ds and coming back to give him a kiss in 1 minute, then 2 mintes etc etc etc then try alternating with dh?

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