Did I do the right thing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 12-22-2005, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am week two into being a full time SAHM to a 4 year old and a 7 month old. I had to pull my 4 year old out of preschool to be able to afford to stay home. I knew staying home was not easy but I just can't figure out how to juggle it all. I feel more stressed and more running around now. I can't figure out how to get my 7 month old to nap while i have a 4 year old who needs attention and needs to do things. All the things I want to take him to happen when the baby should be napping. And when we stay home and I try to get the baby to nap the 4 year old just won't let it happen. I know we are all just still adjusting. just thought I would ask - it seems I am having the most troubles with balancing the needs of both kids. I worry that the 4 year old isn't getting enough play time and outside time because I have the baby too. I am just feeling down tonight like I did the wrong thing and the 4 year old is bored now and not getting outside enough to play. It is SO cold out and I don't know what to do with the baby when he wants me to go sledding or build snowmen or something. how do you do it all?

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#2 of 7 Old 12-23-2005, 12:50 AM
 
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I have a 5 year old and a 17 month old- so I know the stage you are in. It does get easier as the younger one gets bigger.

I go out around naps. It makes it hard, but naps are important for us. When I need to put the little one to nap, I get the older set up with drawing, painting or even eating a popsicle. Sometimes, the older dd plays computer games on PBSkids. When the younger is napping, I try to do the kind of play that is impossible when she is up.

It will get easier as you all get used to the new routines!! Good luck!

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#3 of 7 Old 12-23-2005, 01:35 AM
 
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Just want you to know this too shall pass.

Nother advice though...
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#4 of 7 Old 12-23-2005, 11:27 AM
 
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Don't worry - you will probably get into a routine soon. Hang-in there, these first few weeks are likely to be the hardest for you AND your older child. Resist the urge to quetion your choice after a difficult day --- there are difficult days juggling life with two little ones --- unfortunately there is no woh/sah arrangement that is a silver bullet for that

Does your older child like to color, do dot-to-dots or mazes? Those might occupy them while you are getting your little one to sleep? Rest assured these cold winter months can be the most difficult to keep bigger/little kids entertained at home...

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#5 of 7 Old 12-23-2005, 02:51 PM
 
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My dd sleeps well in a sling or other cairrier so we often go out when she is napping. We can even do winter play outside with her bunndled up in a backpack or little sleigh.

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#6 of 7 Old 12-26-2005, 07:40 AM
 
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It will get better! Hang in there.
Naps are tricky here too. And then when they are both screaming for me-oy! I often say, "Mommy has two girls and only one lap so you have to share."
It's an adjustment for your children too. Everyone is trying to get into a routine. I wouldn't worry too much about "outside time". If it's not too cold, bundle up your 7month old and sling and go outside. Sometimes, my little one naps in the swing and then the older one and I go outside to play. I keep my eye on the little one through the window. My little one has always had to nap w/ noise so I think she's used to it. It's next to impossible to have my older one keep her voice down.
Often we sit in the living room and bounce a big ball between us-that helps w/ the energy level in the winter. We go to the mall that has a play area so there's lots of running around that's free.
Keep asking your questions here. Someone will have btdt. Let us know how it goes.
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#7 of 7 Old 12-26-2005, 10:48 PM
 
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That is rough. My kids have generally been the sort that thrive on a rythm to the day and do best with naps about the same time, eating about the same time, etc. So, when we had wee ones we didn't run about a lot and stayed in during those times of the day.

One thing to remember is that kids don't need to "do" as much as you'd think. They don't need constant entertaining, constant structured activity. And 4 is old enough to understand that if the baby doesn't nap then he's not going to be able to have one on one time with Mommy. If you collaborate with him, he might surprise you in this area. Perhaps you could ask him to "read" quietly on the couch or such while you get the baby down?

I found that going out as early as possible in the AM worked well for us as I could pack a mid-morning snack and be home in time for lunch and nap. Then the older one/s could have some quiet time because they'd be tuckered as well.
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