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No energy to play/interact

4 replies

bamummy2 · 05/04/2017 09:15

I have a 3 year old and a 16 month old. Neither of them sleep through the night. I'm up usually 3-4 times a night (sometimes more) and always wake up feeling exhausted. My DH works shifts so I'm often alone for night shifts and because I don't work and he does I end up doing pretty much all of the night wake ups.

Trouble is I am really struggling with getting through the day. Everyone wakes up miserable because we haven't had enough sleep, I can't seem to get everyone going and get out! I want to be able to do nice activities and just play but most of the day is spent with the kids in front of the TV and pottering around them. I never thought I would be that parent 😔

We usually go to a playgroup or activity like swimming dog walk in the morning, kids come back for a nap and I get some housework done and then they wake up, usually still tired as I often have to wake them up so they will sleep at night! And the afternoon is spent much the same as first thing watching tele etc!

Any tips on easy things to do or how to enjoy time whilst we are all so sleep deprived!?x

OP posts:
DustyOwl · 05/04/2017 09:33

I feel your pain, my boys had the same age gap and they aren't sleepers. They are now 5 and 7, they still aren't great but it's a holiday compared to how it was. My husband also worked at night, it was down to me...

Disclaimer; as with all advice, take it or leave it. Do what works for you, these are not the answers, just things that helped me! Nod and smile at all advice and cherry pick what you fancy.

Tips to get through the day...

Be kind to yourself, you are doing a great job. All those people posting constant photos on Fb about the amazing experiences they are having, they are only showing the good stuff. Imagine if they posted every time their children watched CBeebies!

Have you got a park nearby? My godsend was totally wearing them out. A park is great because you can sit and they can run themselves ragged (well not the 16mnth old but they will tire themselves out.)

We went before tea and after tea sometimes, sometimes just a walk round the block, all weather.
It's about breaking the cycle, the more you knacker them out the more they will sleep, the more energy they will have to do it again, to knacker themselves out etc but it will be tough to start with though, as you say, you are tired too.

Swimming is amazing.

No sleep after 3 if you can help it.

Don't beat yourself up about some CBeebies time, but they love books too and you feel like you've given quality time as well. Libraries are great.

Play dates with people who feel the same, not mums who seem to have it all, parents who need a good chat are amazing!

Kids have much lower expectations about fun stuff. I mean, they can have so much fun with a cardboard box it's unreal. Don't feel you have to go to a play farm every day. Just sit and draw with them for a bit.

Try and lower your household expectations, mine were already rock bottom, so I had no problem with that!

This is much longer than I thought I would write but I am avoiding the washing. You are doing great; this too shall pass!

thethoughtfox · 05/04/2017 10:10

You don't have to go places. I think one outing a day can be enough. You just have to put the tv off and trust that they can entertain themselves. Even try it for an hour at a time and build it up. We have most of dd toys in the sitting room. Leave paper and washable felt pens on a wee table or mat; building blocks; small world toys; balls; books; cars etc. They just need time to break through the 'boredom barrier' and then they will be able to occupy themselves and they can ask you to play when they want it.

thethoughtfox · 05/04/2017 10:12

3 yr old can play at the sink (mine likes to play with little toys under the water) and help prep dinner and both can have fun pulling things out of a low cupboard and bashing pots with a spoon.

Hastalapasta · 05/04/2017 10:20

I am that parent! Currently supervising mumsnetting in the garden, periodically enthusing about the piles of stones appearing next to me. Had the 7 year old up vomiting last night (she is wrapped in a duvet watching the ipad) and the 2 year old was waking me up by coughing in my ear most of the night.

I second tiring them out, my younger 2 are content with a few hours activity in the morning then chilling after lunch, then its the school run and usual chaos before bed.

You will get through this! Just think of how you will need to drag them out of bed as teenagers Grin

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