My son is 3, and he has a little sister who is 8 mos and so far they're getting along well. I used to have them both in day care for 4 days a week, but my original "vision" was to have them in day care 3 days a week, and me home with them the rest of the time. I wanted my children to know their home and their family. I was lucky enough to be in a position with work that would allow that, and just last month I pulled them both to 3 day care.
Here's the kicker. I'm not loving it as much as I had envisioned I would. In my mind my children would grow up in a happy, gentle environment ruled by attachment parenting. We would do fun things - play, cook, clean up even (which they actually like to do!), and together we could build the foundation of a beautiful home together. In reality, while the mornings are usually quite nice, as the day goes on it tends to get stressful. When they're free playing or watching tv we have a harmonious time, but when we need to do something such as go out into public, that's where it usually ends. I had an idea of trying out some homeschool lessons with my 3 year old, but we just sit and butt heads constantly. Same with just about any project we work on! I find myself getting very frustrated with him, which carries over into our happy home, and before I know it our home has become something that I don't think anyone would want to spend their free time in. I try to start over every day fresh, but it just seems like the common thread as of late has become my son wanting to do as he pleases (go figure, he's 3), my daughter just observing it all, and me fast losing inspiration. I'm afraid if I don't turn the tide here fast, even if this is all a stage, we're not going to have much left!
Any help you could offer would be great!
I agree with doing public outings and activities in the mornings, my kiddo is always so much better then than later in the afternoon. And I'd hold off on the home school activities until he is older and more willing and able to focus - he's probably learning plenty just by playing and helping with everyday activities like cooking.
I stayed at home with my daughter full time for 2 years, and going on bike rides quickly became one of our favorite activities. I get some exercise and it is stimulating for her too, so it is stress relief for us both, and healthy fun. Other more physically focused activities might be a good idea if you are't up for bicycling, even just going for aimless walks at a local nature preserve or spending a couple of hours at an indoor baby/toddler gym. Or whatever other activities that you think of that will be fun and low-stress, don't feel the need to be too structured and productive really, just focus on doing things that you all enjoy and everything else should fall into place
3 houses - 2 blocks in the old neighborhood = 1 eclectic/traditional tribe!