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Three children under 4

(16 Posts)
TiredMummy2 Wed 23-Dec-09 22:41:05

I have three children under 4, a 5 month old, a 23 month old and a 3.5 year old. I keep finding myself really losing my temper with them over little things and shouting, also sometimes smacking (to be honest more of a tap, but still feel really guilty). It is really because it seems that I can't go 5 minutes without one of them crying or moaning that they want something (drink/food/toy/toilet/milk/tv etc), and even when they aren't asking for things I am still busy doing their washing/cooking/cleaning/tidying. Even at night I don't get a break because the baby doesn't sleep well, and often ends up in our bed so I don't sleep properly. My husband does help a lot, but isn't around during the day, and even if he takes the kids I am always doing housework etc. I even feel guilty if I leave him with the kids for too long while I'm doing the weekly shop at the supermarket.

I feel really bad for being so unfair to the kids, especially the eldest as the things I end up yelling at him for are often minor, just the last straw. How do I cope with this? Sorry it's such a long message.

lou031205 Wed 23-Dec-09 23:23:56

Bumping for you. I have 3 girls, 4.0, 2.4, 0.8. It is hard, so no advice here.

Fitzy72 Wed 23-Dec-09 23:33:56

I had 4 under 3 and only advice is get out of the house on your own when you can to switch off for a while. don't feel guilty about leaving your husband with the kids - you have a 24 hour a day job looking after them and he only has a day job !! also keep telling yourself that this stage will pass and it will get easier

TiredMummy2 Wed 23-Dec-09 23:47:10

Thanks Fitzy, I know this is what I should do, but is hard to fit it all in, plus my inlaws who live nearby and I would normally ask for help are dealing with very difficult family problems, I feel I can't really complain to them or ask them for help as they are dealing with much worse. Thanks though, I will try to remember it's a phase, I'm sure that when the baby gets bigger I will cope better. For now I'll have to try to count to ten.

whyme2 Wed 23-Dec-09 23:52:20

I feel your pain, I have 4 children close together and it is relentless.
I managed to work half an hour of me time into the day with the help of Cbeebies and getting the baby to nap.

Tbh I don't think there is an answer but things will get easier.
Also make sure you dh has the children and you go out for some me time either window shopping, cinema etc. Do it without feeling guilty.

becky7000 Sun 27-Dec-09 20:46:20

I have 3 under 4 (soon to be 4 under 4!) and I spend a lot of time looking for threads that tell me it gets easier. I think we just have to accept that the first few years are a bit of a slog but as thay get older it will get more easy.

If anyone is reading this and and has been there and come out the other side can you give some encouragement!

SleighGirl Sun 27-Dec-09 20:48:30

THe way I coped was good day time naps for the younger 2, TV time for the older one whilst I prepared tea. Housework etc shared between DH & I in the evenings.

I did thing that were very local ie walking distance.

Nap time after lunch was sacred tbh

thatsnotmymonster Sun 27-Dec-09 20:57:46

I had 3 under 4 (they are now 4.8, 3.5 and 19mths) and it does get easier but I totally know where you are coming from.

I used to be a really calm, patient person but now I am on such a short fuse most of the time because I am tired and have loads to do and the constant whining, moaning, demanding, fighting etc.

In particular dd1 (dc2) is very hard- constantly cries- she's hurt, she's stuck, she's hungry, whatever it is- she cries and it does my head in!

However, I have noticed that now the wee one is walking and (sort of) talking, they do all play together sometimes which is lovely.
DS can now play with lego for up to an hour, do lovely drawings, play with hotwheels or on his Gameboy and it is great so within a year 2 of them should be like this!

I find some days are great and others all I do is shout morning till night and then I feel really bad. The winter is especially hard as we are stuck inside a lot (dd2 sleeps a lot) whereas in the summer they amuse themselves outside for hours on end!!

geogteach Sun 27-Dec-09 21:07:31

It does get easier! Mine are now 8, 6 and 5 and for the most part are best mates. As they are close in age they like similar things so trips out and holidays are great whereas friends with bigger age gaps have problems entertaining different age kids. Mine also all go to the same school now so that saves time having them all in the same place.
Whoever said number 2 is the most difficult that bit i am afraid hasn't changed (or not is this family anyway!)

LittleSilver Sun 27-Dec-09 23:04:17

Nothing very helpful to add but didn't want to ignore your post. It's hard isn't it? Hang in there.

sillybillymummy Tue 01-Jun-10 22:29:16

It's bound to get easier...just keep thinking of all the pro's of having them so cloase in age. You are making me nervous - I have:
2.11yo DS & 16month DD and really broody, but 3 under 4 must be very hard going.

Paddingtonblue Wed 02-Jun-10 05:19:52

Tired, I have a 1.5DS and a 2.5DS both of whom think sleep is for the weak so I understand where you are coming from. We are also TTC as I am moderately geriatric - on long shouty days I also think that we are insane, but three feels like the right number to us. I just wanted to say I understand about the guilt about the eldest, it feels like DS1 really gets it in the ear for things that aren't a major problem but are the last straw. Like you, I have slapped him on the hand a few times and just felt sick with guilt. I am trying the count to ten thing when I can feel myself bubbling up.
Also, I absolutely get the guilt about going out even though DS is the most doting father and encourages me to go. I don't know the answer to this - would love to though.
I suppose I just wanted to say you are not alone and it WILL get better. My two already play together properly and it melts my heart that they have each other and that part of their closeness is that close age gap. I certainly want the third to be part of this.
My mother had 4 under 3.5 and used to lock herself in the bathroom when it got too much. It must have gotten better or she wouldn't have had me 7 years later hmm

sillybillymummy Wed 02-Jun-10 20:57:27

Thanks Paddingtonblue, you have just made me remember why i want another!

CassiMJ Tue 18-Nov-14 14:48:28

I am right there with you!
I come from a large family, but I am the oldest grand child. I have seen many of my relatives go through this, but their kids are teenagers now. They tell me that as soon as my youngest is four, it will be like living another life. Then the whining won't be so bad, communication and mobility will be present for all kids... I just have to survive till then.
I have a fem 3.5 yr old, fem 2 yr old, and male 6 month old. The whining kills me. Here are some things that have helped me: put your toddlers in the bath a couple times a day while you nurse. Put your crawling baby in an inch of water in the bath while you do the toddlers teeth and hair at the sink. Pick one toy a day that they can all play with to leave out(balls/ animals, mega blocks). Put all others away. They will play with what they have and it's less cleaning for you. Color code everything. There is way less fighting. When my toddler whines i tell her that she is using monkey words or hippo words or hyena words, and i can only talk to her if she uses people words. It makes her so and think about it and honestly makes it a little more endurable for me. Also, face time or video hangouts with daddy on his lunch break or grandma can distract a toddler from a tantrum. Also, singing one two buckle my shore works way better that just counting to ten. It puts your kids at ease and they start singing along, then eventually start helping while singing. Do easy meals. We live gluten/ hormone/ and artificial sugar free, but the health food stores still have healthy microwave foods, and the crock pot is a mom's best friend. Also, use paper plates. Till the kids can wash their own dishes, it can make the difference in your day that you need.
Every day gets a little better. Just hold on. And as far as the yelling goes. I have a real problem with it, but I found that accountability helped me. I told my kids that every time I yell at them I have to say I'm sorry and they get to tickle me. It really works. It helps them know I still love them and I really don't want to pretend to be ticklish all day long so I learn to hold my tongue.
Sorry this was so long. Every kid and every family is different, but maybe some of the things that help me can help you to. Good luck. You're doing great. smile

lilyanna812 Thu 15-Jan-15 09:34:27

Hi I am expecting my DC3 in the summer, my DS1 is 3 and my DS2 is 2.

I am scared what its going to be like......because I work full time and I cant imagine being a SAHM

marmaladegranny Thu 15-Jan-15 10:28:14

Three children close together is fantastic, though I would have liked a fourth! Hard work when they are small but the rewards are great - my three are now in their early 30s but all their lives they have discussed major life decisions with each other, as well as the minutiae! They have worked together to support each other, me and their late father as adults.
It certainly gets easier as they get older - though juggling various school runs and evening activities can be a logistic challenge!

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