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Being a decent SAHP ?

112 replies

MommaGee · 17/07/2017 14:27

So a SAHP with a 2 yo IMO should be able to:
Look after and entertain said toddler, keep on top of the day2daY housework (lunch, washing up, keeping the floor swept, toys etc) , have time to teach them animals, colours etc each day, get a load of washing done and a load on the line, and cook a proper dinner every night.

So why can't I?

Shopping half put away. Washing in the machine. Washing up and sides half done. Living room a bomb. Bedroom not ventured near since 8 am.
He's currently in the pushchair pretending he might nap. I'm having lunch.

He won't sit still including when he has his tube milk so I end up following him around with his pump. He's pretty good on his o2obut can get in a knot and a mess with it. He climbs on EVERYTHING so needs to be within my sight and would prefer me to be in the same room watching him, cuddling him or playing with him.

As I tidy up one set of toys he has something else out. His toys being accessible in the living room is the only place we have for them and I like him being able to play freely with them. But all of that is a lane excuse isn't it because everyone else manages. I have WOHP friends in very prestigious jobs with lots of stress and they manage.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm depressed and that's whyti find it hard to get going and do stuff but then I think maybe that's an excuse for being lazy.

DH is great and does his fair share and doesn't say anything but I just feel like I don't want to move if were in the house besides supervising the toddler

So not sure what my aibu is - to be so useless? but know tough love is over here

OP posts:
KarineAimee · 17/07/2017 16:04

I hear what you're saying about antidepressants, but still worth talking to GP. It sounds like you have a lot going on and little or no time to think about what might help you. A conversation with the gp may allow them to suggest a route for support that you haven't thought of because thinking can be tough when you're a mum (and even tougher when your child has additional needs).

Please don't beat yourself up - apart from anything else it makes everything even harder! Keep up the good work you're doing already. You rock!

eeniemeenieminiemoe2014 · 17/07/2017 16:07

I have a asd 2.5 year old and a 9 month old. I survive by having a monica cupboard for when people come round!

DeleteOrDecay · 17/07/2017 16:09

Op I could have written your post as I am exactly the same. Before handing in my notice at work to become a sahm I had all these grand ideas of keeping on top of everything, having a healthy meal cooked every night and having most things done during the week so only minimal housework had to be done at the weekend.

Oh how I laugh at myself now. It's literally the complete opposite, and I don't even have dc with extra needs. Cut yourself some slack you're doing brilliantly. I second maybe having a chat with your GP about how you're feeling.

People sometimes underestimate how hard it can be being a sahm. It's not the actual 'work' involved that's hard per-se, but the sheer relentlessness and monotony of it all.

WankYouForTheMusic · 17/07/2017 16:10

He's tube fed and non verbal? My dear, none of the usual metrics apply here! Your task is about twice as hard as it would be for the SAHP of an NT toddler. And that's hard enough at the best of times.

SnugglySnerd · 17/07/2017 16:14

This time last year DD was 2. I often used to take her out in the car purely to get a bit of peace!
It would be easier now she's 3 but she has new twin baby siblings. At the moment they are sitting outside the back door looking at the weeds flowers while I have a cup of tea. I am ignoring the house which is filthy.
You're doing fine.

SnugglySnerd · 17/07/2017 16:18

I'm sitting with them btw I haven't just left them out there!

MommaGee · 17/07/2017 16:20

@kateyjane I missed your post. That's great you got somewhere that was happy to have him. I'll be honest I've not even looked until now because of hospital. I expect t something like a similar age for us getting off o2 but it just seems like nothing is changintire o2 and we're stuck. If one more person tells me "he just has to grow" I will throttle them with tubing haha. Trying to convince DS to pull his feed bag on his little truck. Everyone wants to know when he'll be old enough to carry the o2 himself haha

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MommaGee · 17/07/2017 16:22

Awww twin babies snuggly Flowers sooo broody. Clearly not about to have more haha

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MeltorPeltor · 17/07/2017 16:27

Some days we do, some we don't!

Try reducing the number of toys. Box them all up in curver boxes and have one box out a day, variety will keep them interested and you just have one box of crap to tidy at the end of the day.

Also I find half an hour of ceebebies great for sorting the kitchen in the morning and an afternoon bath great for giving you 10mins on your phone whilst they splash about.

MommaGee · 17/07/2017 16:31

Try reducing the number of toys. Box them all up in curver boxes and have one box out a day, variety will keep them interested and you just have one box of crap to tidy at the end of the day hahahahahahaha this is like my continuous life mission. You are right. Then I try to chuck toys and I can't. There is HappyLand off to one side, upstairs toys, etc etc. I just agghh I cant lol

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kateyjane · 17/07/2017 16:41

Oh MommaGee - I feel for you! I too wanted to throttle everyone with the 'wait till he grows' comments - even more cross that it was actually true!

Be kind to yourself. Not many parents (thankfully) have to go through this and they will never truly know how hard it is. We were lucky, we got early years funding from our LA. It's worth looking into, though you can't get an EHC Plan before 2 there are usually lots of other things available. I know how hard it is to try and trawl through it all though.

Don't worry about what he is or isn't doing yet (and don't compare). Just enjoy him for him.

I'm a SENCo, so have an insight into special needs and like to think that I always put parents first, as many people just don't get it. The more you just chat/play/go to the park - or Costa with an iPad Grin the better. I always find a glass of wine with tea helps (jacket and beans with a twist of black pepper, chilli and Parmesan = posh!)

Honestly, no one cares about your house & your partner really shouldn't care about tea. I ended up ordering one of those recipe boxes. They really helped on the bad days -everything weighed out ready to cook with the recipe & no waste.

Days like today, sit in the sun and everything feels better Smile (even picking sand out of the oxygen tubes).

I've got depression and am medicated. For me it really helps, though I understand it's a really personal choice. Also just recovering from cancer - life really likes to kick you in the teeth - but we'll get there I know. At the end of the day, my husband and gorgeous dc's are everything. I don't care if we have a crappy tea and watch tv together some days - because some days that's all you can do.

I truly believe I've reached a level of happiness. It wasn't what I expected- but I am lucky and wouldn't want my life to be any other way.

Good luck 🍀

willymcwill · 17/07/2017 16:46

I definitely echo everyone else in that you are doing brilliantly, try to take the pressure of yourself, 'cause it sounds like you are the only one putting the pressure on.

In terms of clutter/cleaning I found the Marie Kondo and Fly Lady tips really helped me get on top of the amount of stuff that I have (the less you have the less tidying/cleaning needed!) and to give myself a break with thinking that I had to clean everything every day. 15 mins clutter removing every day (concentrating on one zone per week) and then some very basic daily tasks.

I'm on early maternity leave with dd in nursery and older children at school and I still struggle to keep on top of it all - the kitchen is my bête noire at the moment! And Dh does the cooking. So try to get out of the house (so that all of the unfinished tasks don't drive you crazy) and give yourself a pat on the back for dealing with all that you are dealing with. A trip to the dr may help; there are talking therapies available and CBT, it's not all ADs (and not all ADs are the same if you have specific issues with certain ones).

Splandy · 17/07/2017 16:46

What everybody else said. Other people definitely don't have it all sorted. I have a 9 year old, (so he's out at school all day and not causing mess) and a 21 month old who has no additional needs. I do sometimes feel that everyone else copes loads better than I do but I know than in reality, I'm quite normal. I only do proper cleaning while my husband takes him over to see his nan. It gives me a few hours and I get most things done in that time, except for the kitchen. I cook maybe half of our meals from scratch but they are all very basic ones. He destroys the kitchen while I do this and I have to just let him get on with it. I do usually manage to keep on top of laundry because he loves being out in the garden but wants to mess with everything he shouldn't so it takes a lot longer with frequent breaks to sort him out. I don't bother tidying up until he's in bed. I attempt to get him to do tidy up time before bed but I'm usually rushing to do bed and bath so it's left for me later.

My intention is to go out every day but that mostly doesn't happen around school pick up and drop off, lunch and naps. The only outings I do are very simple ones - walk to playground and little walk around estate, walk to local town for either soft play or library or go to either the music group at the library or the playgroup at the community centre two streets away. So that's how local they all are and I usually only manage to do that kind of thing twice a week. Don't beat yourself up about it!

MommaGee · 17/07/2017 17:18

Proof I'm sitting in the garden lol

Being a decent SAHP ?
OP posts:
MommaGee · 17/07/2017 17:19

kateyjane FlowersCakeWine

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BertieBotts · 17/07/2017 17:39

Erm, nope, I certainly did not manage about half of that! I think you need to lower your standards Grin

Mine were/would be:

  • Everyone fed at (vaguely) appropriate times. Certainly NO requirement for complicated from-scratch cooking every day. Shortcuts are FINE.

  • Cleaning up after self ie not contributing to overall mess in house aside from ordinary toddler madness, but no, the bulk of the housework can be done at the weekend or in the evenings with the help of the other parent. If you rotate toys, there will be less to pick up at the end of the day. But I just used to pick them all up at the end of the day.

  • Yes to one load of laundry but probably not needed every day. For DH, DS and I, I worked out we should do about 4 loads a week, so every other day plus an occasional extra if it's building up or if I have extra time.

  • Look after toddler. At this age yes to entertaining them because they get into trouble otherwise, but from about 3ish, definitely encourage playing alone too, so you get some rest time. You can start this by getting them onto some activity that you'd normally do with them and then slowly get them used to you sitting further away and interacting less until you can sit and drink a cup of tea or go in and out of the room. I don't think that overt "teaching" is helpful at this age, what's better is just talking to them, while they're doing things, while you're doing things, when you're doing things together, just basically when you have the energy and will to spare.

  • Get out of the house or do something different (craft, baking, whatever floats your boat, friend/family visiting) at least a couple of times a week. "Getting out" can be a walk around the block, or visiting the park or running a boring errand. I used to go to toddler groups or the library most days. The more time we were out the less time we messed up the house!

IMO you don't sound either depressed OR lazy, you just sound like you're expecting way, way too much of yourself. Two year olds are hard work. Two year olds with special medical needs even more so!! I don't know ANYBODY who does everything in your list. I promise!

Lastly, don't forget that your resting time is important. If you think about what you'd get in a full time job, you'd have a lunch break and you might have a 15 minute break or two as well every couple of hours. Toddlers don't really give you nice chunks of alone time so it's okay to take advantage of it when you can. Naps, when he's really into something (sit nearby but don't exactly join in) and even TV, it's okay to take time for yourself, and not go "Oh God I've got to get the washing" etc when he's finally quiet for five minutes, take some time out, you're doing a tough job, and it's important to acknowledge that.
MistressPage · 17/07/2017 17:40

I heart this thread. Don't worry too much about keeping on top of it all. I've lowered my standards to one good tidy/Hoover/clean a week, so it's nice for the weekend and the rest of the time I focus more on taking 2yr old DS out for fun at the park/zoo/farm etc. These tiny demanding years will be over in the blink of an eye xx

BertieBotts · 17/07/2017 17:52

And no, it doesn't matter if he knows his colours. He will get there. What does he know? IMO two year olds should be learning things like what happens when you pour water from one cup to another, or tip it on the floor (outside!). What it feels like to have grass between your toes or sand between your fingers. That Mum/Dad will always be there to make everything better. That books are exciting because they contain stories. What songs or kinds of music are their favourite. How it feels to be tickled. That bedtime is a safe calm happy time.

I think those are all much more important things to learn when you're 2 than some names of colours and animals, don't you?

MommaGee · 17/07/2017 18:02

What it feels like to have grass between your toes haha this tickled me. Put snadles on his and let him out into the garden. He came inside, got a slipper and handed it to me. Grass feels better when it isn't touching. Never sure if its sensory issues or just a particular child but sand between your fingers is also no. But yea you're right. He knows how to arrange his toys into intereatijg configurations, that hugs are always available. That Mummy will lick food off his dummy if he doesn't like it.

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Winterview · 17/07/2017 18:18

I don't know anyone with a toddler who has a tidy house!

My DD is very active and a climber. She rarely sits still.

I cope by having a basic routine- breakfast, empty dishwasher, load washing machine, make beds, shower and dress, wipe kitchen surfaces. Outing (something energetic). Home, TV on, meal prep on-going (e.g. Chop veg or make salad in stages in between playing). Hang up washing together. Put another load on. Quick wipe of bathrooms. Dinner. Tidy toys at bedtime. Once she's in bed, quick tidy and sweep floor. Load dishwasher. Hang up washing.

I only vacuum and mop once a week. Change bedding and towels weekly. Clean oven and fridge every few months. Deep clean bathrooms every fortnight (use Dettol wipes and bleach in between). Dust surfaces when they look dusty!

CheshireChat · 17/07/2017 19:56

Thank you, thank you for this thread. Normally all you ever hear on MN is that you are an utter failure if you're a SAHM and can't manage everything and have time to spare and honestly, I was starting to wonder if it's just me Sad.

I only have one feral toddler, but no help other than DP who works shifts so I get so, so fed up with it all.

I've been cleaning the damn kitchen for a week and it's only today it looks presentable, but definitely not perfect.

And I hear you about the toys. That's just the pile behind the couch!

Being a decent SAHP ?
MommaGee · 17/07/2017 20:03

This has been a lovely thread to all share how messy our houses are but how loved and happy the kids are. It is the main thing. And we are all awesome.

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2littlemoos · 17/07/2017 20:11

It is tough OP and even more so for you!

My DP gets home at 4.45 which I am very lucky for and at 4 I start having a quick tidy and start dinner.

I try to get out everyday. We have a couple of pre-paid groups so I HAVE to go but on the other days I find myself really forcing myself to get out (or not and just staying at home drinking coffee!) but when we have been out we all thrive on it, the girls nap on the way home and I get time to listen to music and grab a coffee to go and the house stays tidier.

A load of washing is not done everday and although my home looks tidy I have a whole cupboard piled high with laundry Blush and one under counter cupboard in the kitchen

As for teaching animals and numbers etc. my DD2.5 is very good at all these but I rarely sit there with her and "teach". We sing lots of songs... while we eat, while we get ready etc. and read books. But yes, a LOT of singing!

Don't beat yourself up. We all hide what we don't want others to see! And make sure you focus on YOU!

PerspicaciaTick · 17/07/2017 20:16

So a SAHP with a 2 yo IMO should be able to:

There is absolute no "should" about being a SAHP.

Do what works for you. The end.

I thought I would rock at being a SAHP. Turns out I'm more than a bit crap at the housekeeper bits.

CryingMessFFS · 17/07/2017 20:21

Don't be so hard on yourself! It's tough!

I think a lot of it comes down to the child - my eldest is 3 and he's always been like a tornado. Since he was tiny he hasn't sat still, he is into everything and generally wears me out. So with him I've never got much done. Even when he was about 4 months he learned to roll and that was it - he was unstoppable Grin

OTOH my DD is 20months and she is so laid back and enjoys tidying so when my eldest is at preschool for his 15hrs I get shitloads done. If DD was my only child I'd probably be one of those SAHMs with a super tidy house and who gets a lot done every day, but with the pair of them I struggle a lot!

Anyway, it's not easy to juggle so much so don't be down in yourself

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