It was all going so well…
I’ve been struggling a lot recently with sheer exhaustion from being pregnant and trying to look after a toddler. I’ve spent time at my parents where they looked after Reuben while I slept all day. I’m also struggling with the stress of the thought of being a mum to a newborn as well as this active toddler. And moving house. And birth. Oh birth. Arrgh birth. 😦 So I’ve been a bit down for a while and getting to the point where I just want to hand in my day to day life and escape to a spa where I can sleep for a week.
Then today everything went well! It all just seemed to ‘click’. Until nap time.
It started well because Roo was at my mother-in-laws. So I got a lie in and a proper breakfast and a shower! Bonus!! At 11am the day was half gone, and I picked Reuben up and decided to make the most of it not raining. We went for a local walk to see the ducks. We played collecting leaves and climbing on a wall. We went for a run along a path, spotted planes and pretended the trees were making tunnels. It was all completely Reuben-led and I relaxed and enjoyed the ride. I didn’t worry about his dirty nappy, or what we were going to have for lunch, or even what time it was. For his part, Reuben didn’t run into any roads and was generally a lot slower than usual so I could keep up!
He found his own way home (with me prompting “where’s home?”) and chose to play with some threading beads. He didn’t thread them BUT he didn’t throw them either! (Yay!) He very carefully carried around a string with beads on the end investigating what happens when you sway it and trying to get it in a pot. I enjoyed watching him work like this so much! I wondered how I could ever be bored when there’s such a cute little creature investigating the world and learning things in front of my eyes!
Lunch was bliss as well! No cries of impatience and while I was still eating Reuben picked up all the food he had dropped on the floor and, piece by piece, carried it in a little pot to the bin. We then swept the floor together with our mummy and toddler sized brooms. Yes, it was as idyllic as all those Pinterest families make it look! I was so happy 🙂
Next was nap time, and I was looking forward to up to 3hrs of blissful sleep. Except…it didn’t happen. Reuben was wide awake and happy and wouldn’t settle. I took him to my bed where I promptly fell asleep while he played with daddy’s headphones. I got woken up with screams of “Up! Up!”. Roo doesn’t like it when I rest. So I moved to the sofa, plonked him in front of “Room on the Broom” and immediately fell asleep again. I wasn’t just tired, I was exhausted. Other anemic pregnant mummies of toddlers might understand. It’s a kind of paralysing exhaustion where it feels like all my muscles have disappeared and are no longer able to lift or move my limbs. Unfortunately I also suffer from “TV guilt” so after 30mins of Room on the Broom, and 2 episodes of Pingu, the TV went off and I resigned myself to no more sleep.
It was 3:30pm. Only 2 hours until Daddy is home. I dragged myself off the sofa and woke myself up, ready for a couple of hours of (hopefully) lying on the floor while watching Reuben play. It wasn’t to be. Instead, in these 2 hours Reuben was very active, and needed a new activity every 10 minutes. So we got up to:
– pushing dolly in her pushchair
– pushing Roo on his wheelybug
– playing with a toy dog pretending to take it for a walk
– tidying up the threading beads (mummy). Throwing them everywhere again (Reuben). Tidying them up again (mummy).
– doing the washing up
– climbing on windowsills
– cleaning the kitchen cupboard doors (mummy and Roo helping)
– cleaning the bar stools (mummy and Roo hindering)
– hoovering the sofa cushions
– jumping on the sofa
– throwing sofa cushions off of the sofa and back on again
– learning how to open and close the toilet door
– playing under a blanket. being a blanket monster. catching little Roo’s in a blanket
– being a horse (mummy). riding a horse (Roo) (probably shouldn’t do this while being so pregnant)
– putting away the clean washing
– putting on a load of washing
– reading books
– making ‘chicken’ in the ‘kitchen’
– making real sausages in the real kitchen
Seriously….2 hours in the life of a SAHM is BUSY! No wonder I’m so exhausted. I don’t think I’ve even listed everything we did. I have to constantly think up things to keep myself and Reuben busy. It’s hard to keep him entertained. He doesn’t get bored quietly. If I’m washing up (for example), he will come over and grab my legs, sit right in front of me and moan and moan and moan while I wash up. He’s only happy playing by himself if someone is watching him!
I love Reuben to bits but I am finding life at the moment both exhausting and boring. Exhausting because I’m growing a little alien inside me and my day to day life is physically very active. And boring because although I am busy all the time, I am not using my brain at all. It’s not the most intellectually stimulating of jobs.
So I need help. Can anyone answer:
– What can I do to teach Reuben how to play by himself for long durations of time?
– If that fails, what can I do while he plays that means I can still be nearby that isn’t just cleaning?!