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What to do when they all go to school

(18 Posts)
Janus Tue 03-Nov-15 13:35:21

I have 4 children, the last one has just started school. I feel a bit lost really. I don't quite know what to do with myself all day! I knew I would find it difficult when the last one started school but it doesn't seem to be getting any easier.
We have a bit of a hectic life, my husband works away all week so I do all the running around in the week of looking after the 4 children and about 15 animals (literally!) but the good things is my husband is usually around at the weekends and in the school holidays so we spend lots of time together then.
Because I have 4 (and no family nearby) I find it hard to think about going back to work as if one of them are ill I would need to stay home and that is quite often with 4! I would also need to arrange cover for the 4 children in school holidays and that is the time we enjoy as a family.
Has anyone got any ideas? I'm sorry if this sounds a bit self obsessed but I think I'm feeling a bit low and don't know quite what to do sad

WorkingBling Tue 03-Nov-15 13:39:15

Bless you.
First, enjoy some downtime. You deserve it!

Then think bout how you can use that time to make the time with the children easier. Eg batch cooking, general shopping and housekeeping, pre- planning events like Christmas etc.

Then, if you stillfeel you need more to do, maybe consider volunteering or similar? Even just at the school? Our school would bite off your hand with enthusiasm if you said you could come in twice a week for an hour to help with reading or similar. Ditto helping with the pta.

But externally you could look into programmes that need volunteers at hospitals or care homes for example?

BathshebaDarkstone Tue 03-Nov-15 13:45:59

I go to Sainsbury's on the way back from school, we now have a big one with a cafe so I have breakfast there and MN, come back home, do any housework that needs doing, don't usually have lunch but have started having soup as it's been getting colder, watch TV and MN until it's time to pick them up. That does me. smile

geogteach Tue 03-Nov-15 13:47:47

I second volunteering. I started just before DS3 went to school (while he was at pre school), for me it eventually led to a job but just having a reason to be somewhere was good, as well as having colleagues. I still work (very part time ) for the same organisation and we have volunteers in lots of roles including gardening and grounds maintenance, helping with school groups and office jobs. There are loads of different roles out there your local council should have a volunteer brureau who can point you towards opportunities.

Bipp Tue 03-Nov-15 13:49:52

Honestly, I bet it won't be long before you can't imagine how you had time to look after the DC.
I'm still a sahm and my DC are all away at Uni wink. Sine the DC first started school I've always done a bit of charity work maybe 1/2 a day or a day a week. I've always made sure it's something I've enjoyed doing though. I've also done a lot of sport - tennis, gym, biking or walking - whatever I'm into at the moment. I've also enjoyed keeping the house and garden nice. I have a cleaner and a gardener to do the boring stuff but I still have plenty to do.
I like to see my friends too although we all like to combine our meet ups with an activity such as a big walk.
When the kids were younger I used to help out at their schools (overseas so different to the uk)
I sort of see it as my duty to enjoy myself and appreciate having the luxury of being a sahm. I couldn't work due to immigration issues so I didn't have to have any faux guilt over not working

SummerHouse Tue 03-Nov-15 13:56:33

I would do whatever you enjoy. I would run, make jam, do more yoga, and reading. Any time enjoyed is not time wasted.

Janus Tue 03-Nov-15 19:39:23

Thank you everyone! Your responses make me feel better and I think I'm struggling with feeling guilty for being home but not having anyone to 'look after'!
I already volunteer at 1 school and told the teacher at another that I'd start helping next week so that's 2 things. I'm also helping at one of the schools with another project.
I really like the idea of volunteering and it's what I keep coming back to. Geo can I ask what sort of voluntary work you do/did? My nearest hospital is 20 miles away so that's about an hour each way so I'd like to maybe find something closer. I do enjoy gardening and like the idea of helping either new mums (if that exists?) or some elderly person with shopping, gardening etc. Maybe the council would know do you think?
I do a fitness class with a friend once a week but could probably squeeze in another!
I walk the dogs each day and must try and start doing that with some others as I think I need the company!
I usually meet up for lunch with a group of friends once a week, we take turns in cooking, and I find this very much keeps me sane!
I think I just need to mix with some adults a bit more now!
Thanks again x

yeOldeTrout Tue 03-Nov-15 19:52:38

If you have 4 children don't one of them have a club that needs a secretary or treasurer?

There are charities that help elderly people specifically, like the Cinnamon Trust (since you are good with animals) or V-work with Help the Aged.

HemanOrSheRa Tue 03-Nov-15 20:02:07

Age UK offer a befriending service Janus www.ageuk.org.uk/health-wellbeing/relationships-and-family/befriending-services-combating-loneliness/. I work with older people - certainly in our area, Age UK and organisations like them, are desperate for lovely volunteers in order to run these services. I refer people on to them and there are always very long waiting lists.

PennyHasNoSurname Tue 03-Nov-15 20:06:35

Oh gosh, my dream week with dcs all at school and no job:-

Monday "big clean" day
Tuesday coffee and mooch round the shops day
Wednesday reading and gym/swimming
Thursday big shop and cinema
Friday nap!!!!

5BlueHydrangea Tue 03-Nov-15 20:09:49

Last year I wasn't able to work for health reasons, and so got very involved in DD's school - class help - cooking, reading, gardening, and also the PTA.

Having to curtail it a bit now I have a part time job but I found it really helped with the boredom, and feelings of being a bit useless! (probably just me that one..)

Do-it.org has lots of local volunteering options on it. Worth a look.

cheapandcheerful Tue 03-Nov-15 20:19:44

Ooh! This makes me excited for the future! My youngest starts nursery TOMORROW for 2.5 days per week. This thread is already giving me ideas and I'm excited smile

Pixi2 Tue 03-Nov-15 20:20:45

I'm decorating the house. I volunteer. I went to college last year.
Fridays are 'my days' after the housework is done. I usually curl up with a book and a hot chocolate (and a blanket as the weather gets cold).

BusShelter Tue 03-Nov-15 20:30:59

Gosh, don't go overboard on the volunteering front. confused It's pointless making life complicated for yourself. Ive known a lot of sahm end up as busy and stressed as some working parents. It's kind of missing the point. grin

I just used to help out at the kids school when they were little and then as they got older and less prone to normal little kid illness I committed to other things.

I've loved being a sahm. I'm sure I would have been happy working too but due to DH working abroad it wasn't an option. I've always made an effort to have my own 'life' and not just be my DCs mum. It makes me happier and more interesting and I think it's a good role model for the DC. I would not have wanted them to grow up thinking a women's role is just to be a mum.
I may not be Xenia approved but I think it's ok. grin

Pixi2 Sat 07-Nov-15 15:24:22

Agree with the volunteer thing. It can get a bit much. I just volunteer one day a week as a reading mentor and I love it. Some of the children I work with have been with me for three years, either English as a second language or their parents don't have time/inclination to help so they have fallen behind their peers. It's very rewarding to see someone who couldn't read a word to go to reading a full book (maybe only of 6 pages but they're reading a book!).

Panicmode1 Sat 07-Nov-15 15:31:14

I have four and my youngest started last September. I play tennis, volunteer at my local hospice, help in school one afternoon, ride every so often (would love to have my own horse but funds/time aren't available...!), read, potter, make cakes, cook, see friends...and I got a dog, so that I have to go out at least once a day and walk - where I meet all sorts of people. I actually don't walk with anyone else because I really like the peace and solitude, but sometimes I will arrange to go with a friend.....

I have started looking for something to do that would pay me a little bit, but not had any luck so far - and every time I think I'll go back to my surveying career in some form or another, they all get sick in succession or something and then I realise that it's really tough with four! I have stopped feeling guilty though - DH couldn't do his job (very pressured lots of travelling) if I was also doing my old job, which involved lots of travelling and being away from home too....so now I do this 'job' - it's just the pay and perks aren't as good!

Buttercup443 Tue 17-Nov-15 12:55:02

Hi Janus,

I will be where you are now except that my youngest will go to nursery from January.

First of all big congratulations for the huge job you do on a daily basis. 4 kids is no small feat and as they get older they still require time and the issues they have to deal with change.

We are moving to a very rural part of the UK and. I plan on getting my own horses which will keep me busy as we already have a bit of a menagerie anyway. I also plan on doing up parts of the house, going to the gym regularly and just looking after myself and organising our 6 head family.

I feel after several international moves and raising 4 little ones without much help I have deserved a break and put myself first.

I will also ask the kids' school if they need a parent helper so I think that suggestion is really good.

Have you thought about taking up a new hobby or setting up a home business like making jams or chutneys, etc?

Will be following this thread with interest :-)

Branleuse Tue 17-Nov-15 12:59:54

volunteering or an OU course?

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