The reality for me right now is that there is no good childcare options for me to drop off my 2 and a 1/2 year old anywhere right now. In a year- in september of next year, when he is 3 and a 1/2 there is a preschool I am absolutely happy with so I feel great about that. But until then, there is nowhere I can drop him off to play for a few hours in the morning with a daycare type situation as there are no daycares near me that even accept them 1/2 day- and I javen't even looked ot see if they are good since I would only want 1/2 day.
And I can't find a babysitter! I guess because I am not eager to leave him with someone I have just met, so I keep trying to find a friend or someone I know and to try to make a good fit- but no luck yet. And now he is in that in between stage where he is not still a baby but he is not quite a kid- aka toddler- and I am generally happy to have him with me all the time still (or he is with dh)- but dh and I are also burnt out.
So I have been feeling pressure from myself to get some childcare- because I want it but can't find it so accept that I am with him all the time now and it can ge tiring for sure!
But I finally just came to the conclusion that there IS no good childcare option for me right now. So rather than beat my head against the wall I am just going to see what comes up for options. But until then I feel like dh and I are still in this intense parenting phase where we are with ds constantly- and we are bot craving some space away from him. So it is kind of hard!
I wonder about other parents of toddlers this age- pre preschool- do you have your kids in what I ideally want- a few mornings a week with a nice teahcer/careprovider and some other kids? or another ideal that I don't have is weekly play gropus. I finally do have some play dates! But no groups yet.
So I am still living mostly how I have been sicne ds was born- totally focused on him and waiting for another year to get back into the rest of my life- is this normal for a 2 and a 1/2 yr old? he went so quickly from being a baby and next year he will be inpreschool- so I think on some levels it is okay to still hold the baby cocoon- howevr exhausting it is- around us a while longer.
how do other sahm's with this age do it?
I have this mixed feeling of- oh I need help! (childcare, a break) but then this weird guilt when ppl tell me I should get help, ppl need a break- beause I feel like I have tried and not found it so on some level accept it.
I think it feels wrong to me that dh and I are still with ds this much at age 2 and a 1/2 and don't have childcare. So then when ppl say to me- you should really put ds is childcare- you guys need time to yourselves- it feels like- oh, on top of already feeling exhausted I now feel guilt that it is bad for us and for ds-
but I jast havent found anywhere I feel safe leaving him yet! So is it normal to still be this involved exclusively at this age?! he sees his granparents once a week but other than that is with us
I think it is totally normal to be that involved at that age. When my dd was 2 and a half I think she had only been away from me a couple of times for a couple of hours each. I am a bit of an over protective type though . I felt the same as you about not having a safe some one to leave her with. I did and do a lot of playdates with friends so she can play and I can have some adult conversation. The first time she was really away from me for an extended period of time was when she was 3 and a half and I was having her brother. She got to stay with her grandma and it was awesome for them both. I hear you on the guilt thing. I think its just a mom thing. Maybe ask grandparents to take him for and extra evening so ya'll can go on a date. Then before you know it he will be in pre school. Good luck and I hope you get the 'me' time you would like.
Yes, I think it is normal to for a 2.5 year old to spend most of his time with his mother. Being a stay at home mom isn't for everyone, but certainly isn't abnormal or developmentally harmful (was this part of what you were asking?) for toddlers to be with their parents. To the contrary! :-) Research shows that children benefit greatly from the consistent presence of their primary caregiver, so you have been doing a good thing for your son! If the constant one-on-one time is getting draining, maybe there is an intermediate step between that and childcare, like a toddler class he could take or you could take together? Do you have a local rec center, library, or other place that offers music and movement classes, story times, or arts and crafts hours? Those would allow you to get into a group setting that might provide for your toddler to interact with other children and the teacher/activity leader so that you have a moment to breathe while your ds has fun.
Also, toddlers can learn a lot from exposure to the adult world--going to museums, restaurants, performances, and other places/events their parents like--so it is just fine not to do *only* child-specific things. I am with my two year old full-time, and while we usually do hang around at home, the park, etc, we have a great time going to art museums, cultural events, and interesting restaurants. Maybe you could do some more things that are enjoyable for you?
Another SAHM of a 2.5 year old. He won't start preschool (a couple of hours a day, three days a week) until 3.5. Right now it's the toddler/mama/mommy show at our house. We rarely get a sitter and have no family close. I had sort of assumed this was normal for this age until ALL of my SAHM friends starting signing up for part time day care. But, we can't justify the expense of part time day care unless I'm working--in which case we'd need full time day care. We are expecting a baby in the spring, so when DS starts preschool next fall that will allow him to hang with some kids and in a place where he gets to have his developmental needs prioritized a few times a week (while baby/mama are doing the non-mobile yet baby routine). Until then...we go to museums, parks, playgrounds and on play dates. Recently we found a young teen (13) who lives across the street and since DS goes to bed early we had him come over after DS's bedtime (while his, the "sitters" parents were home across the street) and hang out at our house while DW and I went out to dinner nearby--I hope to use this option again soon!
In general, I think this parenting phase IS still intense...and 2.5 is kind of a rough age IMO...I certainly have felt more needs for breaks lately!
My own mom was a SAHM and we were home with her (no sitter ever, but occasional overnights at grandparents) exclusively until we started K.
Two moms and two boys enjoying the truth that love always wins!!!
These responses are exactly what I needed! To be reassured that we are doing okay and it is normal to still be this intense! I have been practicing giving over completely to it as much as possible knowing that when he is in school I will have some time to myself again. But dh and I were starting to doubt oursleves a little and wonder if we were on the right track! This helps a lot actually to kind of get back into the fullness of the giving over without resisting it by knowing it is age appropriate thing.
One great thing I like about it is being able to teach my ds so many things as he is such a sponge soaking it all in- I like to be able to instill my and dh's values into him now by being with him so much. But oh boy is it exhausting and this age is hard for sure as he can be quite disagreeable at times (and adorable at others).
My 26 mo is with me full time though we tend to do a lot of activities out of the house. Tuesday morning is normally LLL or a Meetup group get together, Wednesday morning is storytime at the library, Thursday is my chiro appointment in the morning and then we spend the rest of the day at my sister's house with her and her toddler. DS won't be going to preschool though since we're planning to homeschool.
I think some time off would be delightful every once in a while! I do have my 18 yo sister come and stay with us 2 days a week to keep an eye on DS or help around the house. We pay her a little and as a high school graduate who is mildly mentally handicapped, it gives her a job and something she enjoys doing. I can't leave her alone with DS but it is very nice to have someone here to help out!
We also can't find a babysitter we trust but DS does spend time every week or two with a grandparent or aunt while we/I go out alone. We are lucky to have lots of family members who live close by (30-45 minutes away) but it would be great to have someone closer.
Me: Sarah, married to: J, mommy to: C (8/10) and E (11/12)
The only other idea I had would be to join a gym. I think most or a lot of gyms have childcare options. I did this when my son was a year old and it has worked out well for the most part. Of course it was an adjustment for him and if we skip a few weeks then he has to re-adjust somewhat. But I felt much better being in the same building as him and knowing that the ladies who work there could and would come get me if he was upset, etc. It gave me a much needed break and stress relief. The cost for the childcare was minimal, it doesn't even compare to having a sitter for a few hours/week.
I certainly think it is good for her but I find it difficult. We are fortunate that DH works shift work and only 4 days/week so he takes her out often to give me a break. We don't get much alone time together but, if he's not working we get an hour or so during her daytime sleep and an hour or two after she goes to bed at night.
Could you and DH alternate taking him out for a couple of hours at a time to give each other a break?
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
oh yes dh and I take turns absolutely! It is shared parenting and I do get alone time because dh takes him tons. But still dh and I would love to spend alone time together sometimes and just generally have some help with ds!
Yeah, that's the hardest one. We really only get time together when she's asleep. Although sometimes my parents have her when he's not at work. Today actually my dad texted and offered to take her to a local wildlife place so we could have a break. I think they were gone about 2 hours so not ages but we got a lot done.
Would your parents be open to that sort of thing?
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
With my dd2, my oldest babysits a ton. Makes life very easy. I also have the toddler in a 1day/week program at a church.
I agree, 2yr olds don't have lots of options.
I would suggest the gym option. Lots of times they offer parents night out, might have to be potty trained. My current YMCA atleast has free wifi and free coffee so even if you aren't exercising, you can possible get some busy work done or make a few phone calls. Mine offers free childcare for 2hr a day.
Look for middle school girls in your area. The are a great source of cheaper care and truly love playing with toddlers. Start off as a mothers helper
I'm studying, so my 2.5 year old has been in daycare 3 days per week since 18 months. We have been totally lucky to find a daycare that is RIE-based, has a big focus on the natural environment and is a part-time forest school. However, there are plenty of SAHMs where I live - being close to mama is what is natural for small children.
Maybe you and your husband could each look after your son for a few hours a week while the other does an activity they enjoy? My fiance and I do that swap sometimes too. I've also just joined the gym and can highly recommend it if you want some time alone!