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Keeping the couple between you when you have a toddler and a baby??!..

(12 Posts)
mummysheep Sat 29-Dec-12 21:39:34

Just that really - DH and me love each dearly but are physically exhausted and seem to spend far to much time longing for time together like the pre child days even though we love our babes. Issues are, 2 year old and 9 month DCs= lack of sleep, no time for self when awake, DH has stressful job situation + long hours. Very limited baby sitting options. No current sex life. DC2 is still waking in evening after bedtime sometimes / during night and DC1 comes in room at 6 latest. DC1 as good as gold but a typical toddler so always full of beans and so tiring in day too. Don't want to wish this time away til children are older but don't want our relationship to suffer in the long run either.

Any tips on how to keep the fires burning? Please tell me it's short term and things will improve a little as DC's get a little older?

MoleyMick Sat 29-Dec-12 21:46:16

I'm in a similar position with my dcs. For the past three months we have asked my parents to have dc overnight once a month - it's not much but really does make a difference! My DH works nights and I work from home but will be starting 9-5 work in a couple of months, so time together is quite rare - we try and have one night a week where we just spend time together, no distractions. Hard but again, worth it!
Parents of older kids have told me it does get easier, am ganging on to that hope!!grin

NeedlesCuties Sat 29-Dec-12 21:48:40

OP, are you me?

No tips, sadly, as we're going through the same thing sad But you're not alone.

GinAndaDashOfLime Sat 29-Dec-12 21:57:43

Me too .. Sigh ... What works for us is one night a week we eat together, just the two of us, no tv, at the table with candles, after kids in bed ( and before the evening wake ups start). We pick up a "2 dine in for £10" offer at m&s on way home from work which feels like nice grown up food and includes a bottle of wine! I put it in oven before I take the DCs upstairs and its ready when they're down just after DH comes in from work ... Exhaustion means we may only stay awake for 2 hours together but it makes a huge difference the next day ..

mummysheep Sat 29-Dec-12 22:12:58

Moleymick - do both dc's sleep over? That would be amazing! I suppose 1 would be too as would equal either full nights sleep or potential for little lie in after broken night!! I like the idea of a sort of date night in too. I guess it makes you make the effort more where as at the mo we just sit and watch tv when we're together and it sort of feels we are waiting to go to bed ourselves for it all at start again, if you see what I mean. Have found myself desperately looking forward to the rare night out we get but then it comes and goes and you know what high expectations result in. So do need a way to make more special time for at home, but sometimes to relentless childcare takes over,,,

MoleyMick Sat 29-Dec-12 22:35:34

Yes they take both!! It has the double effect of us getting time together, and also we really miss the kids when they are gone for 24 hours so are enthused parents again when they return, not weary robot parents smile
It is hard, really hard, and sometimes I just want to sleeeep, but we both noticed we were drifting apart a while ago, so making concerted effort really has helped.

HollyBerryBush Sat 29-Dec-12 23:00:11

I'm with you there! We had 3 under 5, both worked full time in The City and all GPs had sadly passed on/were seriously ill.

I say it every time - comminication - make sure you keep talking and communicating. Don't let every conversation be dominated by baby talk. Make sure you both follow your own interests - even something simple like a cinema evening with your girlfriends once a month whilst DH stays home.

Juggle your down time - be respectful that each of you are knackered - if one of you is naturally an early riser (me) then go to bed early - if the other (my DP) is naturally a night owl then split the feeds accordingly. You go to bed at 9 but expect to be up at 5, he goes to bed at midnight after last feed.

Sunday afternoons are a god given ideal for couple time. Children are napping - thats your private time. grin Sounds clinical but when you are both knackered with work and toddler-nights, you come to value the adult time.

When they get both into toddler stage and the nap thing ends sigh you split time according to your strengths. Personally I prefer to do the housework/shopping, DH would take the kids to the park/swimming and knacker them out so we could have our time.

In all honesty, due to lack of babysitters, I don't think we had a night out together for 15 odd years.

NeedlesCuties Sun 30-Dec-12 08:01:18

Glad you started this thread, OP.

A lot of the parents I know with kids similar age to mine (almost 3 yrs and 4 months) have a neverending stream of willing helpers and babysitters. My older one maybe is minded overnight about 3 times a year by grandparents.

The baby is still fully breastfed and she goes everywhere with me, as I'm a bit odd and think a baby should be with its mum for the first length of months.

A prob we have is that DH works looong hours, often into the evening, which means I do the bedtime routine for both kids. Because DS isn't seeing his dad before bed he often wakes during the night and will only settle if DH sleeps in the bed with him, or on his floor.

Because the baby isn't used to having her dad around to settle her she now will only settle for me, and we've ended up co-sleeping when I hadn't planned to.

Basically DH comes and goes, earns money, but the house and the kids are my domain.

sad

AmericasTorturedBrow Sun 30-Dec-12 09:18:28

Our relationship is similar (DC aged 4 and 1) despite paying exorbitant money on babysitters, we tend to save that for when we have visitors. DH works long and late, DC2 still sleeps badly all night, we're both too tired to make n effort most of the time - and when we do our needs are at odds (he wants sex, I want some decent quality chat time)

We emigrated when Dc2 was 3months old and I am sorely missing all the help I had from friends and GPs

AmericasTorturedBrow Sun 30-Dec-12 09:19:16

Needles we are in exactly the same situation....

GrasshopperNchipmunk Sun 30-Dec-12 10:13:55

OP I'm glad you started this thread too, as we're in the exact same position! Ours are 2yrs and 9months, the baby is still breastfed, we have no family around nearby, both work full time plus I'm starting another degree through work in Jan (not sure about when ill get the chance to study!) DH works weekends and I work Mon - Fri, so we barely get any time together, let alone time on our own together :-( Oh and also, the baby still gets up in the night, as does the toddler sometimes! (He's abit of a live wire and doesn't nap at all in the day!)

My plan is: ask my parents to start having either one or both overnight maybe once every 8/10 weeks (my parents both work and live about 90mins away), and I'm going to try and source a babysitter from the kids nursery so DH and I can go out for the occasional meal out smile

mummysheep Sun 30-Dec-12 22:02:17

Needles - I agree, everyone we seem to know has babysitters /general assiatnce coming out of their ears and regular hands on help (relief?!!) without having to ask for it. It's hard to not compare. If I had time to have my hair done, shop for a new outfit, a date night every 2 weeks, etc etc I reckon I'd be up for sex me often!! hmm.

An odd night with my parents annually for DC2 might be possible so I might investigate that. They would never have both and have previously thought if that was the case then what would the point be of one, but we're so full on with 2, I think at least DC2 staying the night would make the first thing morning a bit more chilled as a one off (DC2 in a cot still too so has to wait to be fetched so might help!! blush.

Have wondered whether to explore a baby sitting agency, like sitters.co.uk? Has anyone got any experience of these? Not sure though, no matter how qualified they are I'd feel comfortable with a stranger being with the children just for a non essential, desirable, time out.

Americas - it's funny as we have considered moving away with DH's work as we feel it wouldn't make a big diff to out support / social situation.

BTW - unfortunately DC2 has stopped napping and is a live wire so no chance of a Sun afternoon chill.

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