To be tired of the monotony.
Stickworm · 26/09/2022 21:30
I feel awful writing this, but I’ve been really unhappy lately and while things get a little better here and there I’ve realised one of the things I find so difficult. The after school monotony. My daughter is 5 and my son is 2. My day consists of getting them up, making them breakfast, making oldest packed lunch, getting them dressed and then taking them to school and nursery (husband and I do all of the above together). I work from home (which I love and always have loved to do) then pick up smallest at lunch time. We then have an hour and get eldest from school.
We come home and I’m accosted with requests for snacks 😂 then the smallest is shouting at me to play trains and eldest wants to play every game of ‘pretend’ under the sun which I just can’t bear especially as I’m constantly told how to do it and that I’m doing it wrong 🤣. If I don’t play with them they just plonk in front of the tv for a few hours which makes me feel utterly useless and terrible. Then I make dinner and husband has usually then finished work so the bedtime battles begin, they finally get to bed and then I’m just exhausted and don’t want to do anything. This is by far the hardest stage of parenting I’ve ever been through- I just find the incessant requests to play so boring 😓 I feel terrible for it but it’s just me being honest! We’re very lucky that they both adore each other. I put a request in for my eldest to go to after school club a couple of times a week with her mates but it’s full and even then the guilt of knowing she doesn’t NEED to be there and I’m sort of just palming her off.
Does anyone else feel like this? I honestly don’t want this to come across the wrong way, I adore my children and am very patient and non-shouty but I just don’t know how to get out of this funk. I’m hoping it’ll just get easier as the smallest gets older and they can play together a bit more.
Am I being unreasonable?AIBU
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WagathaChristieMystery · 26/09/2022 21:37
OP I really feel for you. I totally understand about the energy and time needed to entertain two young kids under 5! I’ve got close relatives with toddlers, who have soooo much energy and are always so full of beans - it’s relentless!
You sound like a really lovely and dedicated mum, and it sounds like you’re trying to work out how you can find some time for yourself, but understandably that is difficult to organise!
It is so important for you to look after your own needs and ‘fill up your own cup first’ (sorry I find that phrase a bit bleurghh, but couldn’t think of anything better!)
Could you perhaps book in a couple of evenings a week with a childminder for your DD, if after school club is full? Or would a friend or relative be able to look after your DD for a bit too? And do you know if you could go on a waiting list for the after school club maybe? Sorry for the endless questions from me, just having a think through what options there might be!
You are doing a brill job though!
Stickworm · 26/09/2022 21:47
thank you. I feel like a terrible mum for not enjoying this stage more. Being a ‘crafty’ mum who loves painting and baking and doing all that stuff all hours of the day, it makes me feel like there is something wrong with me as I know many parents love all that. I think I find the toddler stage a lot easier when it comes to play - stacking blocks, doing jigsaws, playing trains. It’s the ‘now you pretend to come into my shop and buy a cake but NO you can’t have that cake it has to be the chocolate cake - NO you can’t pay with money you have to use a card - NO you said it wrong!’ 🤪 and yes you’ve hit the nail with finding time for myself, I’m either working or looking after children I think. My husband feels the same a lot of the time, I suppose it’s part of working from home. I think I need to invest in some more evening activities to start with.
WagathaChristieMystery · 26/09/2022 22:03
That sounds like a really good plan, to look at doing some evening activities and to do some stuff just for you. It sounds like your DH is being supportive too - is there any chance he could do a bit more to help take the load off you?
FrodisCapering · 16/11/2022 16:04
Mine are 3 (4 next month) and 2. I feel exactly the same. It can be boring and relentless. Ours keep waking us up between 1-3am so we are both knackered.
My saviour has been the gym (go at 6am) and netball one night a week. Before kids I would've been saying I was tired and reluctant to go, now I skip out of the house!!
It's physically hard work right now, but it can only get easier. I know every stage has its challenges, but it must be easier when you don't have to shower/dress/wipe bums/clean teeth etc.
takealettermsjones · 16/11/2022 16:28
I wouldn't call it palming her off to send her to after school club - new experiences, different toys, and time with her friends all sound like they would be good things to a five year old!
Could you do the morning run on your own a couple of days a week, husband starts work early on those days, so that he can finish early and give you a break later on? Or could 2yo stay at nursery for full days maybe once/twice a week?
I'd say try to get them outside for a bit after school but it's so hard this time of year. Could you do anything active in the evening like dancing or musical statues etc? Doesn't solve the energy issue but might stop you getting shouted at in the pretend cake shop 😆
takealettermsjones · 16/11/2022 16:31
Also sorry forgot to say, my 2yo is like this with wanting me to play constantly, so I've been getting her to play by herself for short periods with a big kitchen timer. So I'll say "I need to do some washing/laundry/cooking whatever so I'll be in the kitchen for ten minutes. You play by yourself and I'll be back when the buzzer goes." Obviously I duck my head in to check but after a few goes she got the idea pretty quickly.
RandyMandyy · 16/11/2022 16:42
I totally understand, been there!!!
I'd recommend booking activities eg swimming lessons one evening a week and/or inviting a friend to play after school if 5 year old has the energy? Even if just for an hour.
I also hate pretend play, as far as I am concerned that area of expertise is best left to other 5 year olds!
Emmacb82 · 16/11/2022 17:00
I have 6 and 2yr olds so I completely understand the monotony! After school is probably the worst time of the day, they are both tired, sometimes the eldest just wants to come in and chill but the youngest won’t leave him alone. They end up fighting and I end up getting cross as I’m trying to cook dinner etc! Add in working night shifts and not sleeping afterwards and it’s a recipe for disaster.
I think you have to stop feeling guilty. Not every parents does things with their children every moment of every day. And actually it’s good for children to be able to entertain themselves for a little while too. I don’t get much time to myself either but occasionally just a meal out with a friend or some other kind of break is just enough to recharge for another day.
purplemama1990 · 16/11/2022 17:17
Just wanted to say that you're not alone. Parenting isn't always easy and we're not all craft mums. I'm definitely more similar to you, I love my kids and want to play with them... but honestly, after work and getting dinner on the table I'm too exhausted to play. Sometimes I play (and get told I'm playing wrong same as you!) and end up counting down the minutes to bedtime... and sometimes I just let DS sit infront of the tv until bedtime because I want some wind down time too, and then I end up feeling guilty he was watching tv for so long. But honestly I think it's ok to do this, we need to be taking care of ourselves too, otherwise we just burn out and we won't be able to care for the kids in the long term. I'm definitely not the type of involved mum doing activities and crafts etc like you see on social media. I wish I was, but I'm just not. Also, I think this time when they need us so much will end eventually, or so I've been told!
CookieDoughKid · 16/11/2022 17:21
Can one person prep and cook dinner in the morning whilst the other parent get the kids ready for school? It means meal times isn't such a battle.
And I used to plonk my kids in front of tv a few times a week after school. No guilt there!! You're hardly going to stunt their growth doing that!
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