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AIBU?

To not know how to entertain the kids anymore - hols, weekends...

17 replies

millionaireshortie · 28/10/2018 17:55

I have a 3 year old and a 7 year old and have been the default parent all those years as DH is out 12 hours x 5/6 days. We have little family around us and not many close friends. I am simply losing the will to live and would love to know how I can stop counting the hours to bedtime each day and start enjoying them more?

School holidays and weekends are the problem - I can just about cope with our little routine through the week. I'm really struggling being the sole adult responsible for them ALL the time. Any single parents out there have any advice? I don't get a break and feel totally burnt out. i just don't know how to pass the hours any more and feel I'm wasting my life away. How can I change my mindset? How can I keep sane?

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ragged · 28/10/2018 17:57

wrap up warm & wear them out at playgrounds, or soft play if too cold outside.

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jjemimapuddleduck · 28/10/2018 18:02

Aw OP! You sound really down.

I love the days mine are off, especially when DH is at work (doesn't often happen as he's a teacher so he'd usually off when they are off) as we can laze about then please ourselves.

I'm assuming you've exhausted the following ideas but I'll list them anyway:-

  • Baking
  • Playdoh
  • Painting/potato printing
  • Chalking outside
  • Playing in garden
  • Park (try other local ones)
  • Local walks (collect autumn leaves to make a collage)
  • Day out to farm park or similar (budget permitting)
  • Soft play and lunch (again depends on budget)
  • Library
  • Visit family for a few days


It is hard being the only one in charge and doing all the meals/clearing up/discipline/bedtime etc. Good luck!
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millionaireshortie · 28/10/2018 18:02

I do do that but after years of doing it I'm finding it so utterly tedious! I'm just really struggling to find the joy in any of it now having done it so long. Standing in a playground or soft play is not enjoyable for me. It's hard being selfless 24/7.

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Labradoodliedoodoo · 28/10/2018 18:04

You need to work out how to get some time to yourself. What time does DH leave/return? Does he have a lunch break? Do you meet up with friends?

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niceupthedance · 28/10/2018 18:06

I joined a single mums group on Facebook as we were all in the same boat and i met up with a few people that way so at least I had some adult conversation at the weekends,

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PinguDance · 28/10/2018 18:08

Does your 7 year old like reading and if not can you encourage them to like it? My mum was a single mum and she must have been delighted that from about 7 onwards I just wanted to be left alone to read. I also watched tv more than MN would probably advocate 🤷🏻‍♀️ What I mean is I don’t think you have to be actively entertaining your kids all day all weekend, at least not at 7.

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PinguDance · 28/10/2018 18:11

But long term I agree with PP that you need to work out a more sustainable approach with your husband- I’m not surprised you’re fed up, There is only so interesting the park can be. Can he Chagos working hours?

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Madasahattersteaparty1749 · 28/10/2018 18:24

National Trust Membership is how I get through the holidays along with walking the dog with my sister and her ds. Woods are great as well they love doing den building.

Does the 7 year old have friends with similar age children? Perhaps seeing if other parents fancy joining you? I have done shouts out on middle dds school year fb group not always successful but sometimes it has meant there was another adult around so not just me and the children.

I find if they have had a really long run around/walk/burn off energy then they are calm for the rest of the day.

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ragged · 28/10/2018 19:30

I read a book while we're in playground.

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Girlicorne · 28/10/2018 19:39

It does get easier, mine are 9 and 10 now and easy to entertain but its hard when they are younger. As someone up thread suggested, National Trust Membership keeps us entertained and costs low, we also have membership to a couple of small local theme parks. I always found the park soul destroyingly dull but take your phone and come on here or read a book? We also have a rock hunting fb group here, you paint rocks, hide them, find others and share them on the fb group, that's also great low cost outdoor fun. It does sound like you need some adult company though, any school mums you get on with or friends with kids??

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Ploppymoodypants · 28/10/2018 19:42

Yep I agree, need to find a friend with similar age children. Then you can chat while the kids play.
Makes going for walks and soft play etc much more bearable.

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suitcaseofdreams · 28/10/2018 19:46

Ah it’s tough with that age gap as presumably they don’t yet play well together? I’m single parent with 7yr old twins and they mostly entertain themselves now - I have to intervene to break up the odd argument but they will happily spend hours with Lego, Playmobil, fancy dress etc with minimal intervention from me and have done since starting school pretty much.
Some light at the end of the tunnel for you as the 3 yr old gets a bit older perhaps?
Meantime I’d def try to find some similar age friends for them to play with - ideally you have the kids one day, other parent the next so you even get a day to yourself....

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fluffycatinahat · 28/10/2018 19:56

I totally get it. My DH used to frequently work weekends and I used to find they dragged as my friends were busy with their husbands etc. I also used to get totally depressed standing around in the park (mostly observing divorced dads entertaining their kids!)

I booked swimming lessons Saturday mornings then lunch and a play and a bit of tv & that's sat done. Could you pay for the 7yo to have a lesson and take the 3yo in with you?

Or Sat am cinema?

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jjemimapuddleduck · 28/10/2018 19:59

Can you look into going back to work part time OP?

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BestZebbie · 28/10/2018 20:02

If you can afford the petrol, head out in the car - an hour's drive to someone else's playground/soft play/free country park walk for the afternoon and milkshake at the services on the way home.

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Bluetrews25 · 28/10/2018 20:06

Leave them in their rooms and encourage them to play with their mountains of toys. Let them learn to occupy themselves. They do not HAVE to be entertained every minute. Downtime and boredom are good. If they moan about being bored, give them housework to do.

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millionaireshortie · 28/10/2018 20:13

Thanks for all the ideas. I do agree that getting them out somewhere to burn off steam in the morning is the answer and helps the rest of the day run smoothly. I do encourage them to play independently, read and entertain themselves but they will only do so for so long. I find the winter harder and less opportunity to socialise with other families.

I make use of friends and school mums when I can but people are often busy on the weekends and holidays. Ideally I'd be working 3-4 days and it would be a nice change to spend time with them 😂 We do just spend too much time together!

I long for the days of being able to lie in bed and binge watch Netflix 😆

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