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How can I get through the last few weeks while looking after a maniacal toddler?

(30 Posts)
bohemianbint Tue 29-Jul-08 18:34:03

Am now 37 weeks and am really struggling. It's boiling, which doens't help, and I have to look after DS (23 months) which is proving to be an absolute killer. I'm physically finding everything a struggle (SPD, the usual bending and lifting business etc) and DS is a handful at the best of times.

Usually I take him out to do something every day, which involves him running off some energy. But all the toddler groups are off for the summer, and all the things we normally do are now, quite frankly, not do-able, because I can't keep up.

For example, we used to go to the library once a week, but the last time we went he threw all the books off the shelves, and while I was struggling to pick them up he grabbed a chair and sprinted off across the library. What made it worse was that the main door is always open and leads right onto a very major road. I had to put him in his pushchair to keep him under control, at which point he kicked off and we both left in tears. And a usually fail safe trip to the park ended up being a nightmare, as it was full of broken glass, and DS kept figuring out ways to fall off massive drops, or run into people on the swings, or generally attempt suicide and I physically can't keep him from doing himself an injury, so that too is off the menu for a bit. Soft play etc all out of the question for the same reasons.

I feel very sorry for him as he's just not really getting chance to let off steam. We haven't got a garden, although we did just get him a water table for the yard as an early present, which is going to be a godsend I think.

Do other people struggle so badly or am I just a bit useless? DS is particularly boisterous, and I'm finding this pregnancy much worse than the last one in terms of energy. And to make matters worse I could theoretically stay knocked up and getting bigger by the day - FOR ANOTHER 5 WEEKS!! sad sad

Any suggestions what I can do to entertain DS without all the stress and drama?

waitingtobloom Tue 29-Jul-08 19:47:34

I really feel for you. I am in the same situation - 35 weeks pregnant, ds is 25 months. I have been suffering with hyperemesis the whole pregnancy and although am only sick a couple of times a day now I feel exhausted and could sleep standing up.

To be honest I have chickened out and am staying in work as long as possible and have ds in nursery full time. I literally cannot cope otherwise. However I still have saturdays on my own and really struggle there.

Some indoor toys which have been a lifesaver have been play dough (sod the carpet im past caring) and duplo. They seem to be a big hit.

Outdoors - we go to the local wetlands centre and I keep him on reigns. He feeds the ducks and I waddle like one lol. He also loves farm parks. Do you have friends with toddlers the same age - invite them around and just let them run around and trash the living room together? Can someone come around and help you for a bit? Are there no clubs on at all? What about swimming - would that be too much effort ( i know it would for me)

Im really sorry I cant help - as I said Im absolutely exhausted and knew no way out of this apart from having him in nursery full time - even though I feel so guilty for it. Am really crossing my fingers that you have baby a little early!


constancereader Tue 29-Jul-08 20:00:16

Only 30 weeks pg here, with an 19 month old and am finding it really hard too. I invited some friends with dcs round yesterday to try and distract ds, but he decided to find it totally UNBEARABLE that any other child would pick up one of his toys and threw the most massive tantrum which lasted until I went and sat in the bedroom. I then cried blush.

One friend who isn't pg has been a great help to me at the park and soft play, chasing my ds around. Is there anyone you could ask?

One thing that works is to throw all the sofa cushions on the floor and let him rampage around for a bit.

And there is always television. smile Not a lot of use for letting off steam, I know, but good for a bit of peace.

CantSleepWontSleep Tue 29-Jul-08 20:02:45

Empathy bb. I'm struggling already managing 2.5yr old dd and being 31 weeks pregnant.
We are watching far too much TV/Peppa Pig blush.
We do have a garden though, which is a godsend. Do you have a friend with a garden and another toddler? I find it much easier when there are other children about to help entertain dd/keep her in line.
Is there an outdoor swimming pool near you that you could go to with a group of friends?
Basically, anything with friends with toddlers!

meglet Tue 29-Jul-08 20:28:13

You're not useless, I'm 34 weeks and feeling shite too sad. DS is 20 months and today I have been on the verge of tears as I am no longer my usual active self. When he zips off while I am sitting down / doing a nappy etc then it takes such an effort to get up and get him back. He is running rings around me and I can't bear it. Getting him dressed for the day is a task of epic proportions and takes ages, it's a miracle if we are out the house by 10.

The only way I am getting through this is extra help from family so I can slow down a bit on the odd afternoon. Have you got anyone who can help? I also found swimming was bearable, he couldn't run away from me there or do any damage - ha!

PetitFilou1 Tue 29-Jul-08 21:17:33

bb Saw your post on the antenatal thread but you sound really miserable so just saying hello again. I'm lucky in that my dcs are at nursery the equivalent of three days a week -and I still struggle to cope.

Do they run Gymboree classes near you? Is there a park with water play near you? My two love the water fountains in the park still where we live. Is the local leisure centre running anything (when my two were younger they used to like going to the tumble tots morning which was basically a bouncy castle with some ride on cars, toys etc around)? Also agree - anything with friends with toddlers works. Has he got a sandpit to play in or if not can you go to a big park that has one?

Also it is very unlikely you will get to 42 weeks with your second. My first was 41 weeks but second was 39... keep smiling, I know it is hard.

dinkystinky Wed 30-Jul-08 09:06:25

BB - its really hard, especially when you've got a really boisterous DS who likes to let off steam. I agree with all the other posts - see if you can find a nice friend/family member/neighbour to accompany you to the park to help fish DS out of trouble. One thing which my DS (25 months) loves to do is go to the local swimming pool and splash around in the toddler pool - works a treat as he cant get too far too fast in the water and makes me feel nice and light in the water too (only 11 weeks pregnant but could easily pass for 5 months given my current size!) - is a brilliant way of tiring him out. Is also a great thing to do in this current hot weather. The other thing you could try is a paddling pool in your yard (Woolworths sell small cheapish ones) - the splashing around in water should also tire him out abit.

I dont know whereabout you're based but it may be worth looking into if there is a local one o'clock club near you (as they're open during the holidays, in enclosed spaces so the mini escape artists cant escape and perfect to let little ones run rampage while you keep an eye on them).

bohemianbint Wed 30-Jul-08 10:07:54

Thanks for all the replies; makes me feel better just hearing that am not being feeble!

There's some good ideas here. I would love to go swimming but I can't face having to get us both dressed/undressed, just changing DS's nappy is enough to knacker me out for an hour at the mo. He's not exactly co-operative! Water in the back yard is a definite winner though, and I've also discovered this morning that letting him have a really good bounce on my bed is a good way of burning of some of that energy!

So feeling slightly better, thank you! Helps that the weather's cooled off a bit now as well. smile

woose Wed 30-Jul-08 11:18:57

It makes me feel better knowing I am not the only one. I was beginning to think I was really useless because I was finding it hard to cope with my 22 month old DS and being 32 weeks. Everything you have all said I feel the same. Also, I don't know how you are all finding it but nobody seems to recognise that I might be having a hard time. My DH makes no allowances for my lack of energy and aching back/legs. Monday I broke down on the phone to my Mum, I was such a mess and she seemed a bit surprised. However, now she has said that she will try and help and take DS out so I can have a rest. I hope she means it, although I don't think she realises what she is getting herself into.

MrsTittleMouse Wed 30-Jul-08 14:38:07

I wish I knew! I'm lucky that at least my family understands that it can be really difficult. So DH will often take DD for a walk before dinner to give me 10 minutes to sit down before all the bedtime stuff (and to burn off a little more energy and get her to sleep). And my parents have come to visit and taken her out to the park for a couple of hours. I could do with help every day though <selfish emoticon>. Just on Monday I had to lie down with a combination of backache/nausea/exhaustion while DD pulled my hair and shoved books into my face, due to doing stuff in the morning. I'm not sure how I'm (or DD is) going to cope with the next 10 weeks...

thehouseofmirth Wed 30-Jul-08 18:49:07

Do you have any friends with older children who could play with him? 12 year old girls are incredibly helpful, I have found! Failing that could you pay someone to go to the park with you for a couple of hours each day to play with DS while you sit and supervise from afar? As it's the holidays there mmust be lots of teenage girls looking to earn a bit of cash.

woose Wed 30-Jul-08 22:16:49

That is a good idea House of mirth

accessorizequeen Wed 30-Jul-08 23:55:27

I thank god that my younger ds is not at that run away from me stage (he's 19 months & only walked at 17)! I'm 31 wks with dt's. Is there a local toy library attached to the children's centre that you could use, paying nothing really to hire some more interesting toys to keep him happy? I also rang up yesterday to register the boys (older one is 4.7) for some summer events that the children's centre is running - they had MAD academy (singing & dancing) etc. Some of the 'groups' will do special summer 3 week courses etc round here. Where are you based? Have a look on netmums?
I was also thinking that fruit picking might work really well for my two (although not in the absolutely boiling heat!) - netmums had a list of places the other week I think.

meglet Thu 31-Jul-08 14:42:35

hope everyone is having a better day today, it's not so sunny in most places I think.

I cracked yesterday and got my sister to pop round at tea time so I could tidy, shower and get DS's food ready without tearing my hair out. It made the world of difference and we had a nice bedtime because of it smile. Can't wait to feel normal again, only 4 weeks to go!

bohemian we are off to songtime at the library tomorrow, I think it will be madness going as DS won't stay still but am going anyway out of pure stubborness - and because it relieves my guilt grin. Have you had a 'breakthrough' yet and found something to occupy your DS?

MummyToOneForNow Thu 31-Jul-08 15:00:46

lots of sympathy - am 32 wks with a 20 mth old dd and already finding it hard (and she is not excessively boistrous). dh occupies her outside for 30 mins or so when he gets home so I can sort dinner and am hoping my mum will be able to come down and stay for the odd day or two when she gets back from holiday to help out. Am resorting to cbeebies much more than I would like blush

MummyAnnabella Thu 31-Jul-08 15:02:40

i am 27 weeks and have a 12 month old ds. i am struggling with carrying him about and am shattered. will it get better or worse if he starts to walk?

plus what will i do if he isnt walking in 2/3 months when new baby comes? how can i carry 2??

accessorizequeen Thu 31-Jul-08 15:12:27

Anabella, if he does walk it will get a lot better, my back was dreadful in the 1st trimester or so because ds2 didn't walk until 16 months. Made it so much easier now he's walking. Do you have a trike? That was/is a godsend as he still doesn't like to walk round too much but happier in it than a buggy. Don't think about carrying 2, do you mean around the house? Maybe get him used to not being carried round so much now walking or not?

TreadmillMom Thu 31-Jul-08 17:49:54

Tell me about it!

MummyAnnabella Fri 01-Aug-08 14:39:12

aq - that is why my back is killing me in this pg then. wondered why so much worse than last time.

dont have trike - he was only 1 last week and would fall off it. he is great crawler and can cruise furniture so is fine when on one floor it is when i have to carry him up and down stairs like in the morning and evening and when i want to get changed or do anything on the other floor.

how will i go upstairs say for a shower when i have 2? carry one up and leave then go back for the other? 1 year old can hardly be let out of my sight or he will cause havoc!!

accessorizequeen Fri 01-Aug-08 20:16:41

Annabella, I think carrying around an extra 20 pounds or so some of the day definitely makes an impact when you're pg! I stopped getting that horrible ache at the end of the day a few weeks after he walked. Can't suggest much as they walk when they darn well want to, but try to do as much downstairs as you can or get your dp/dh to carry him when he's around. If he's waking at a reasonable hour for instance, get showered & dressed before he's ready for breakfast & take his clothes & toothbrush downstairs with you so you don't have to come up again. If that would work, anything that means one less carrying up and down the stairs! It just about killed me doing it today as I'm 7 mo pg, the twins are HUGE and my back is still out from Weds. I did put ds2 in our trike before 1 as it has a harness, so he was safely strapped in & he learnt pretty quickly to hang onto the handlebar too!
I have always had my shower & hopefully got dressed before dp leaves in the morning (he usually goes at 7.30) so he can mind both of them (and now gives them brekkie) whilst I'm in the shower. I get clothes out the night before so I can do it as quickly as poss. Makes life a lot less stressful in the morn. Only way I've ever been able to manage it.

yousaidit Fri 01-Aug-08 20:25:19

aM 29WK PG WITH DC2, DD is 20m old, luckily ( i may regret this soon) dd is just starting to walkm=, so we have very leisurley sedate plod alongs which kills plenty of time and as dd is finding her feet, so to speak, she's quite happy to do this. When dc2 arrives, they're both going in teh double buggy and we are walking everywhere!!!!!! But sympathise: the hot weather makes tyou feel absolutely knackered and as though you just cannot move, while the dcs just get to roanm round in the nip!! I agree with accesorize queen, i have to get showered on a morn while dh plays with dd and dressed then whizz downstairs to get breakfast going or else i would never ger=t ready. And the quality / me time after dd goes to bed is now just even more housework time, wasking up and tidying up so i get a head start the next day. Dh, however, cannot understand this and offers that really crapo advice of 'Oh, just do t later' Later? Which opart of later when i get chance to fart would that be then?? Not 'I'll do it instead love, you sit down'??

Joeymac Fri 01-Aug-08 20:28:47

I sympathise - am 38 weeks and have 23 month old DS who thankfully is in nursery 3 days a week. Luckily mine is generally compliant and not too suicidal however whenever I say 'mummy tired, mummy sit down' he just shouts 'No lie down - mummy wake up'. Thankfully he has developed a Thomas obsession and I have recorded all the episodes on V+ so that ensures a 20 minute sit down twice a day.

I'm basically trying to fill my days meeting friends or having them round so he can play with the other toddlers and I can get a sit down.

Also have you tried going out to mothercare/toys r us/early learning centres? We can spend about 2 hours in those places with him walking round the toy aisles and they're usually air-conditioned. The only trouble is the leaving part.....enter tantrum left!!!

ThingOne Fri 01-Aug-08 20:30:51

Get the TV on, woman!

reban Fri 01-Aug-08 20:41:14

mummyannabella if he can cruise and crawl have you thought about letting him crawl up the stairs with you right behind him. I have 14 months between ds1 and ds2 but luckily ds1 was walking when his little brother arrived. However i badly sprained my ankle when i was pregnant and ds1 was only 9 months old, i really struggled to carrying him around and a pregnant hoping woman is no laughing matter! Anyway i had to encourage him to get around a bit more independantly, which was great for his development and also tired him out a bit!.

Also on the point of how do you manage with showering and getting dressed when you have little toddler and baby. I found that i learnt to shower very very quickly but also a good idea is to get into the shower with your toddler whilst baby is having a sleep in moses basket or cot. That way you get to be clean and your toddler gets some fun time with you

naturalblonde Fri 01-Aug-08 20:44:34

I'm 34 weeks with a 22 month old DD. I have to take her out somewhere everyday as she has so much energy. I sympathis bohemian, it's difficult trying to find something, although my dd doesn't run off TOO much, she doesn't like reins and I'm trying to get her used to walking more as baby will be having buggy!!

Toys r us/mothercare is a good idea, will try that.

I always find that most soft play/adventure farms etc are too busy in the school holidays, and overrun with older kids, but I guess I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and deal with it.

I find meeting wih friends with same aged kids is great, i get coffee and sit down and the kids play together.And the other mum's are usually happy to deal with my dd to save me getting up grin

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