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How to entertain adopted toddler when you are ill and they can't play on their own and you can't use babysitters? l

4 replies

Tattiecake · 01/07/2019 09:25

Anyone have any tips on how to entertain a very energetic adopted 4 year old when you are feeling ill? Any toddler is exhausting when you are feeling rubbish but I'm just realising that there are some extra things to consider when your child is adopted. Illness is a trigger (both BM and BF both had troubled pasts) so I have to down play it anytime we are ill or we end up with an anxious, hyper child. Unfortunately, we are also too early in the adoption to use family members for babysitting although we can visit them now which gives me a bit of a break. All the online tips for activities seem to involve huge amounts of cleaning (messy play), or a level of inventiveness that's a bit much for a poorly head. My daughter can't really play on her own and she gets extra clingy when she is feeling a bit anxious. Any book, game, toy or photo album will involve her wanting me on the floor next to her joining in so there is no chance of rest. Tv works for a bit but as soon as she gets restless again it's 'mummy I'm hungry' every 5 minutes or 'mummy I want a toy/watch something else/go to the park' . The regression we see because of the adoption means she needs very physical parenting too - she needs to be carried (often kicking and screaming) to change every nappy, she wants to be carried on walks, and wants to be picked up for comfort, hugs and spins. My husband helps when he can (single parents you have my undying admiration!) but he's already taking chunks out his working weeks for swimming and SW meetings so unless I'm dying I'm reluctant to use him too much. Any miracle tips on the perfect restful but absorbing activity??

OP posts:
jellycatspyjamas · 01/07/2019 09:55

How early on in placement are we talking? Does she have a good relationship with grandparents or extended family who could look after her at your home while you get some rest?

While get the regression thing (my DS was 4 when he was placed), she’s not a toddler as such in that she can move independently, play on her own etc - she may not want to but 4 year olds are a wee bit less dependent which can make it harder to care for them when you’re ill because you can’t just cuddle on the sofa. Can she use crayons or pencils to draw or colour, sticker books can be good too for keeping her attention for a while. If you’re watching tv go for younger programmes (we were still doing Peppa Pig etc), the younger programmes are good for kids with no attention span and may be better pitched at her developmental age.

I also found that popping mine in the bath worked well, he’d play there all day if I let him and it meant I could sit on the stairs outside the bathroom with a cup of tea and just catch my breath.

It’s so hard when you’re poorly, I hope you feel better soon.

LittleLongDog · 01/07/2019 10:02

How ill are you feeling?

Would a trip to the park but with friends/family be helpful/allowed? You could sit on the bench with a coffee and they could do all the running around.

Are friends/family allowed to visit you? Could they come and play with your DC while you lie on the sofa in the same room?

It sounds really tough. I hope you feel better soon.

Snazzygoldfish · 01/07/2019 10:31

Single adopter of a three year old here. My go to in these moments are play dough, drs kit - on me while I lie on sofa, this then turns into a vets when he gets bored, long bath time with coloured water & pots and pans. Snuggling on sofa or in bed with a movie and popcorn. Good luck & hope you feel better soon x

Ted27 · 01/07/2019 12:43

Is your illness a long term thing ? Please don't feel obliged to divulge details.
Two things I would say, sometimes the practicalities of life have to take priority over the theory ( and funneling can be taken too far). If you have willing relatives that your child knows, rope them in.
Secondly, there is an element where you just have to crack on. I'm a single mum, family too far away to help.Fortunately I was blessed with reasonably good health when he was younger, but there were times when I just had to get on with it and collapse when he went to bed. I found it helpful to lower my standards for things like housework and healthy eating. Do the bare minimum and what's easiest. It is one of the harder things about adjusting to parenting I think. When you don't have children you can focus on yourself and getting well. Sadly no days off when you are parents.
Hope you feel better soon.

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