What do you do to occupy yourselves? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 24 Old 09-22-2006, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
Lohagrace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Headed for he** in a handbasket
Posts: 493
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi. I was a SAHM from when dd was born until she was about 17 months and then i went back to school and got my teaching masters. that all finished up in june (with a few extra classes over the summer) and i've been a SAHM again since then. we are expecting #2 in two months. We live in oregon where it tends to rain every day for like 8 months straight starting in a few weeks. i'm terrified of feeling cooped up all winter long with a toddler and a new baby. I'm also worried that she will be bored.
I'm just wondering what kinds of daily/weekly activities you guys do with your kids to keep them entertained. since dd is now 2.5 i feel like she needs more stimulation/social interaction than she is currently getting. maybe that's just mommy-guilt though.
do you do activities in a scheduled way (like swim lessons this day, playgroup this day, always go to the childrens museum this day, etc.) or do you just kind of hang out at home and do activities or what? thanks!

L married to J 8 years. Parents to 6 y.o. dd and 3 y.o. ds :nana
Veggie Family
Lohagrace is offline  
#2 of 24 Old 09-22-2006, 06:41 PM
 
skueppers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Takoma Park, MD
Posts: 1,750
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I participate in a structured playgroup two days a week with 8 other moms and their kids, a playgroup with most of the same families on another day, a playgroup every other week on another day with a different group of moms, and sometimes another playgroup on the fifth day!

We also go to at least one la leche league meeting a month, sometimes make it to library story time, go to museums, etc.

Basically, I try to have some kind of activity planned every day.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
skueppers is offline  
#3 of 24 Old 09-22-2006, 06:42 PM
 
InstinctiveMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: OH
Posts: 519
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm just wondering what kinds of daily/weekly activities you guys do with your kids to keep them entertained. since dd is now 2.5 i feel like she needs more stimulation/social interaction than she is currently getting. maybe that's just mommy-guilt though.
do you do activities in a scheduled way (like swim lessons this day, playgroup this day, always go to the childrens museum this day, etc.) or do you just kind of hang out at home and do activities or what? thanks![/QUOTE]


Hi! I am a SAHM to my 3-year old little boy. I learned this past winter that it was easy to get overscheduled, even at this age! All of a sudden we were doing a scheduled activity every day of the week (swimming, two playgroups and something else I cannot even remember). It was actually ME getting overscheduled as I was trying to meet new moms and keep my son active. After a few weeks I realized I missed the spontaneity of being able to just go to the zoo or something.

My son started preschool two mornings per week this month. When he has adjusted to that, I will put him back in swim lessons again. I am considering adding kids yoga or Spanish class but don't want to get over-zealous again.

I like having at least one or two regular activities (storytime at the library every Wednesday has been great, for example) because it adds some routine. But I also like having lots of open time.

I recently made a list of activities we can do out of the house and stuck it on the fridge. I included the zoo, our local nature center, the art museum, another museum and a local park. The list helps on those days when I cannot think of anything to do.
InstinctiveMama is offline  
#4 of 24 Old 09-22-2006, 07:33 PM
 
Ceili's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Bliss
Posts: 1,666
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I belong to the local MOMS club and a pre-school moms club at a local church. Between the two of those we have a schedule activity available to us everyday. We don't always go. Sometimes it's nice to just stay home for the day, but most days I'm ready to get out of the house by 9 or 10 am.

ds is a social kid. He likes to be around other people and starts getting really clingy if we're home alone for too long. Most of the activities around here are in the morning and we're usually back home by lunch time. We spend most afternoons at home, so I don't feel over-scheduled.
Ceili is offline  
#5 of 24 Old 09-22-2006, 07:38 PM
 
Greenie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 2,365
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You mean, other than MDC?

I paint. I play with DS.. And hang out with my other Mommy friend. :
Greenie is offline  
#6 of 24 Old 09-22-2006, 07:38 PM
 
Tawnykat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 98
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Making forts is always fun. Have picnics under the table. Have pj day. Fingerpainting is always fun too. Do crafts. snuggle up in bed with them and read or watch a movie.
Tawnykat is offline  
#7 of 24 Old 09-22-2006, 07:42 PM
 
wifty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Kansas City, KS
Posts: 800
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When DD was 2.5 (she is 33 months now), I felt that she needed more stimulation and fun then what I could give her....so enrolled her parttime in daycare/preschool. She loves it and has learned a bunch. It allows her to be happier when she is home too since she is getting the play that I can't provide (I simply can't be a gaggle of peers! lol).

The other times when she is home, we go to the park or indoor play park, or just have unstructured time at home. She gets structure at school which is good because I am not a very structured person. :-) We pretend play, color, read, play computer games, etc.....whatever the urge is.

with smiles
wifty is offline  
#8 of 24 Old 09-22-2006, 08:14 PM
 
BornInSeptember's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow, I would LOVE to be cooped up all winter with a toddler and a new baby. Sigh. It sounds so fun! Currently, I am cooped up in the winters with just lil-ol-me! These are things I do:
Knit or crochet gifts for coming babies or friends
Scrapbook (yes, I admit it, I am a scrapbooker)
Bake, either for my husbands lunches, or to give to friends
Clean, organize, purge junk, do laundry, find odd jobs to do (like vacuuming around baseboards- I can't imagine the junk that is shoved into that carpet.)
Visit friends. When I know I have to drive to a certain area for something, I try to find someone I know and call them to see if they are busy. Usually if I invite myself, I try and bring snacks or baking with me too.

With two babies, I would think I could definitely keep busy!
BornInSeptember is offline  
#9 of 24 Old 09-22-2006, 08:24 PM
 
scheelimama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Ft. Sill, OK
Posts: 5,317
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, we have playgroup every Tuesday and Thursday morning and storytime at the library every Wednesday morning. We go to these things pretty religiously, just because it provides structure for the kids. They really look forward to these activities. Besides that, we may hang out with friends after playgroup or after naptime on any day, but mostly, we have unstructured playtime at home. We'll ocassionally go to the park across the street or another larger park about 10 minutes away. Sometimes we go for walks (I have a nice double stroller that I feel has been well worth the expense). We do art activities. The kids love to just play babies (their favorite), little people, blocks, Mr. Potato Head, dress up, and have tea parties. They play well together. They also just hang out in the back yard (fenced in and locked) and make up their own games. I like to socialize and stay somewhat busy, but I also like to have a lot of unstructured down time. I go crazy if we are constantly on the go. And now that my dd is a little older (3.5 yr), she really likes to help me with my chores. She'll even rinse the dishes and load the dishwasher for me. She loves to help me cook and fold clothes. I think, aside from playing babies, she enjoys this stuff even more than playing.

Alisha, Army wife to Nathan , Homeschooling mama to Scheeli (May 2003) , Bronwynn (Nov. 2004) :, Piper (Nov. 2007) , and Wesley (January 2010)
scheelimama is offline  
#10 of 24 Old 09-22-2006, 11:55 PM
 
Peony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 25,331
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Mondays once or twice a month is LLL day. Tues afternoons is dance class. On Wed we go to a wonderful Waldolf storytime at the library, on good weather days we met other moms at the park afterward for hours, in the winter we'll head to someone's house for the rest of the day. Some Thursdays we go to a different storytime followed by another afternoon in the park with a homeschool group. And we are trying to get together another homeschool group that will met on Fridays. We do ALOT of park time, it's not unusual for us to spend half the day or more at the park, when it gets really cold we just move inside to someone's house. I'm in a very small town, I know most of the moms and dc here, we just pack lots of food and chat while dc climb trees and run wild. I find that I stay pretty busy. I try to take dd to the children's musuem a few times a month, and we go swimming on the weekends with DH. On the rare day that dd and I are home all by ourselves all day, we'll bake, do crafts, organize the house, dd loves to help me do things. If I get bored, there is usually another mom home I can call and we'll get together or I'll just head to the park, I always find people I know there.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
Peony is offline  
#11 of 24 Old 09-23-2006, 01:17 PM
 
mummy marja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ontario
Posts: 1,052
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I found the winter difficult with a 2.5 yr old and a new baby as well. It was difficult to go anywhere, but in many ways that was better than staying at home all day. That winter we started playgroup once a week and I made a point of making more mommy friends. Even if you can't accomplish anything, at least you can do that in good company!

Now that the kids are 4 and 2, everything's a lot easier. They can both participate in many things and I know it will get even easier as they get older.

Marja: consensual-living, unschooling, piano-teaching, doula and mom to 3 creative, independent people:
DD, 8, DS, 6, and Baby DS born July 1, 2010 Married to DH for 10 years!
mummy marja is offline  
#12 of 24 Old 09-23-2006, 02:32 PM
 
Mama Poot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Youngstown OH-Gotta Live Somewhere!
Posts: 6,151
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have no car and I loathe cold weather and rain, so I am forced to make things interesting here at home Now that my oldest is 13 months, I think we're going to start doing "craft" type things like finger painting- anything that makes a mess
Mama Poot is offline  
#13 of 24 Old 09-23-2006, 07:42 PM
 
LolaK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sitting on my new Vatanai
Posts: 1,330
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I like structured activities in the morning because I find it really hard to motivate us to get out of the house if I have not committed to be someplace. We do LLL and API meetings, playgroup and a music class. Other than that often we will have an extra playdate once a week. Everything I schedule is in the morning so that we always have afternoons free to play outside or lounge around. I need to get out of the house and I find that my daughter is happier as well not being stuck inside.
LolaK is offline  
#14 of 24 Old 09-23-2006, 07:44 PM
 
mamamilkers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: In Seattle, but searching for home
Posts: 3,201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I am finding hard to ever do anything with a toddler and a newborn. Sigh. My older DD goes to pre-school co-op twice a week (her dad takes her on our work day) and that's the only structured thing. I would freak out if I had to do any more than that, it's just so much work to even get out of the door right now. Sigh.

My suggestion is to not schedule too much but try to have things you can do whenever you want, that way you aren't stressing yourself out because you're having a hard time staying on schedule, KWIM?

I live in the PNW, as well, so I hear you about the rainy season! I find it's best to just invite a friend over with a toddler and let the kids play. It's simple, the kids have fun, I get mama time with another adult, everyone's happy!
mamamilkers is offline  
#15 of 24 Old 09-23-2006, 07:48 PM
 
Leilalu's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SW Washington
Posts: 7,916
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I try to keep projects going at all times for myself

I like to play it by ear, mostly. We watch movies(I know, for shame!) we go shopping, we go to parks. HAve playdates. Go to the museum(trying to keep faithful with that at least once a week) We go to friends houses. We go to the downtown for farmers market on Thursdays, plus the park after, maybe a bit of shopping and the bookstore. On Wednsday we go to the library and then usually the fabric store, and pick up our CSA veggies and go food shopping. On Sundays we do church, and usually a fun outing. We sometimes go to the trail. I go joggin with them in a jogging stroller. We go swimming. We clean stuff. We paints, draw, Zoe helps me with crafts.She cuts with scissors while I sew.

Just some of the stuff we do. I also just let them entertain themselves . I think it is good to get to the point where you aren't so busy all the time that you don't take the time to sit down and think or figure stuff out. Kids especially need this time

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
.
Leilalu is offline  
#16 of 24 Old 09-23-2006, 08:00 PM
 
uberwench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: somewhere between sturm and drang
Posts: 324
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Errands in the morning (or as we call them, "adventures" ). usually back by lunch unless we hit Einstein Bagels. When it's not full-on summer here, it's playground a few times a week. Float around in the pool. We putz around the house alot, really. i read, or surf the web, play on the computer, DS draws and reads and plays with whatever is the current interest at the time. We chat about what we're doing alot - or DS does a running commentary on his adventures, mostly to himself. I talk to my mom for an hour or so once a week.
I have an afternoon glass of wine, make some dinner.
I really want to start baking some more - DS has so few things he likes to eat, but he loooooves biscuits (aka "Flour circles").
uberwench is offline  
#17 of 24 Old 09-24-2006, 11:04 AM
 
sparkprincess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: St. Louis MO
Posts: 3,482
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Errands.
Library.
Playdates.
Walks.
Baking.
Crafts.
Reading.
DVDs.
Local Barnes and Noble has a train table that ds loves.

I knit and scrapbook and blog and read.

I stay busy enough.

Good luck - I think you'll get the hang of it quickly!
sparkprincess is offline  
#18 of 24 Old 09-24-2006, 05:31 PM
 
phathui5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Oregon
Posts: 17,474
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
First, don't worry about her being bored. Boredom is not evil. It's the gateway to imagination and creativity. Also big messes, but those aren't always bad either.

Now that we're homeschooling and ds1 is older, I don't really have to do anything to keep them entertained. My job is to say "yes" when he asks to invite friends over, which on out street is almost every day. We have a big backyard and a playroom and a half in the house, so dd finds lots of ways to entertain herself. Ds2 is amused by chasing around big brother and sister.

We do have two kid-related outside of the house activities scheduled for the fall. On Wednesday mornings, we're trying to meet up with our AP playgroup at the Science Center. On Thursdays, we have our neighborhood homeschool co-op.

For myself, I take care of the house, which now that we've bought a house I find that I really enjoy doing. I subscribe to a wide variety of magazines and get lots of books from the library. I have a latch hooking rug kit from the craft store waiting for me that I need to get started on. Dh and I just bought the board game Risk and are going to learn to play it together.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
phathui5 is offline  
#19 of 24 Old 09-24-2006, 09:13 PM
 
Leilalu's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SW Washington
Posts: 7,916
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
First, don't worry about her being bored. Boredom is not evil. It's the gateway to imagination and creativity. Also big messes, but those aren't always bad either.
I agree!

I think it is good for kids o just tinker around with stuff and learn how it works. And I feel it is really good for them to get hands on with the world around them. I let my kids run around our backyard a lot, if I have to stay home and do stuff.

We went to the mall today, and like always, the kids stopped at about 5 different stores and played

coffee shops can be a learning experience for manners. They just built a peets across the street from our house and sometimes we will go and I'll get a coffee and they split and orange juice, and we sit. So far we have learned~
not to exclaim loudly when someone has just come out of the potty!
how to behave in a quiet place
and how to have a nice conversation with mommy

The store is also fun for dd, because she pushes the kiddy cart.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
.
Leilalu is offline  
#20 of 24 Old 09-24-2006, 09:59 PM
Fay
 
Fay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Venus
Posts: 1,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If it rains for 8 months of the year, then I say invest in some really good rainboots and coats for everyone, even the newborn (you can wear a baby under your raincoat, too -- I've done it!). Go out and make some mud pies. Spread some old towels on the floor by the front door so that you won't track mud in the house. Then everyone gets to take a nice warm bubble bath all together.

I have to admit, I've never dealt with boredom as a SAHM (but I'm all too familiar with stress, exhaustion and burnout). There is always something happening, and we can make any activity fun, even a series of necessary errands. My 5 year old LOVES the post office, LOL...and you can play "post office" at home.

"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?" - Andy Warhol
Fay is offline  
#21 of 24 Old 09-24-2006, 11:53 PM
 
janerose's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: my little house in the woods
Posts: 1,918
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm finding it works best if I choose just a couple days a week to have "set" activities planned. I agree with the pp who said it's easy to fall into overscheduling yourself!

We regularly go to the park, library, check out the hobby/toy/book stores at the mall, walk down to my Mom's to visit if she's off that day, and feed the ducks at the college pond, but they're not things I "schedule" in for particular times or days. Those are things we do on any given day given the weather, our moods, and my access to our van (we only have one vehicle).

For scheduled activities, lately it's been a playdate with my sister and the 3 yo & 10 mo she nannys for on Tuesday mornings. On Thursdays we visit my grandparents in the afternoon & then do the kids book fair at the mall in the early evening.

I try not to schedule reoccuring activities or appointments (or really any activities) on Mondays or Fridays. I like to save those days to prep for the week, recover from a busy weekend, get caught up on housework or paperwork, or run errands. Also, those tend to be the days my Mom is off so we can visit. I am thinking about making an exception to this though. Just found out there is a 2-3 yo yoga class being offered each Monday morning from 9-9:30. That's something I'd really like DD to do if we can afford the classes.
janerose is offline  
#22 of 24 Old 09-25-2006, 02:01 AM
 
greencurry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 112
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Okay, did anyone else laugh hysterically when you saw the title of this thread? After reading the post, I understand what you're asking, but it just sounded funny at first like, ooh I have so much free time I don't know what to do with it!

I'm in Oregon too, love that rain though! It definitely doesn't keep us inside. I pretty much try to avoid structured activities like the plague. We are committed to a weekly playdate with our babysitting co-op so everyone knows each other well, but other than that I appreciate flexibility.

My dd & I work together to plan activity ideas and either do them right away or put the supplies on our list. I love just listening to her pretend play and she'll do it for hours. She loves having friends over, so we try to trade kids fairly often.

I think just getting the housework and errands done, playing outside for a while, and maybe some messy art if I'm feeling energetic (or crayons when I'm not) is plenty to plan for.
greencurry is offline  
#23 of 24 Old 09-25-2006, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
Lohagrace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Headed for he** in a handbasket
Posts: 493
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks everyone for your great ideas/thoughts/suggestions/tips. I guess for me, its not so much "occupying" myself, but fending off feeling isolated/lonely? I don't have many (any?) friends who stay-at-home full time, so sometimes it can seem like adult companionship is the best thing around and really lacking. I've made up a list of things to do if i really need to get out of the house. I found a great indoor playpark that happens every day from 9:15-11:15 (and its only $1!) most, if not all, of the activities i've found are things that are ongoing, so its not like i have to commit, but i can always say "hey, its thursday morning. let's go to storytime at the library" without feeling like i'm overscheduled. right now the only scheduled things are a trampoline class on wednesdays and swimming lessons on saturdays. everything else i can go if i want, but don't have to. so that's nice. still, i wish i had a regular playgoup. not having found one, i've been trying to start one. i never knew it would be so hard though! i have a lot of envy for moms that have an ongoing, regular playgroup that's been meeting for a long time.

L married to J 8 years. Parents to 6 y.o. dd and 3 y.o. ds :nana
Veggie Family
Lohagrace is offline  
#24 of 24 Old 09-25-2006, 08:15 PM
Fay
 
Fay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Venus
Posts: 1,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The book "Fun With Mommy and Me" by Cindy Nurik has instructions on starting a playgroup. It may also be worth calling your local Lamaze-type organization to see if it has playgroups going or if it can offer classroom space in the morning for a playgroup. I met some wonderful moms through a Lamaze playgroup, and we still stay in touch after 5 years.

"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?" - Andy Warhol
Fay is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off