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Thread: SAHMs of kids under 4 years old

  1. #1
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    Default SAHMs of kids under 4 years old

    How much time per day do you spend doing things with your children? Things like overseeing projects/crafts/learning activities, reading stories, taking them to the park, etc? This would also include time teaching them (ex: cleaning their room with them, etc.) Do you have a set schedule for how things will happen during the day? How much of their time is just free play time entertaining themselves while you do other things?

  2. #2
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    Aug 2008
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    This really varies quite a lot from day to day. I do have two children close in age, though, so the two of them play together a lot. I am a constant referee so generally very near by doing something else while they play. I do try to get out of the house every single day doing something and when we leave the house we are generally out for one to three hours. At home, I do not generally orchestrate their playing times but will suggest things for them to do together or for all of us to do together.

    Things will be more structured, but not that much more structured, when we start officially with the homeschool program this fall. I will plan to do that with my then four year old for 20 - 30 minutes each day while her younger siblings nap or have quiet time.
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
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  3. #3

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    A lot. Too much, I often think. She has no sibling close in age, so I'm really the entertainment. And while she's ok at playing alone for short periods, she's a very social kiddo and really craves personal interaction, so she pesters me to do something with her anytime I'm not, and we usually do most of the household chores and cooking together too. It's one reason why she's going to preschool next year, even though I'm into homeschooling and will again be homeschooling my teen in the fall. Noe is just dying to go to school. She asks me every day if it's fall yet. She loves being with people.
    But, yeah -- I spend an awful lot of time, it seems, keeping her busy and happy and enriched with projects and activities and games and the park and library and dance class and what have you. I know my parents didn't spend even a fraction of that amount of time with me and my sister -- we were expected to entertain ourselves. I feel like I do encourage Noe to do that... it's just hard for her.

    We have a loose schedule, usually based around our errands for the day (groceries, farmer's market, dance class, library...) and two or three days/week, an hour or so at the Y where she's in childwatch while I take a class. I'd like to be more scheduled with housework, but it hasn't happened yet. On days when we spend a good portion of it at home, she probably plays alone for an hour or so in the house. If the weather is nice, she spends another half an hour to an hour playing in the backyard. We're landscaping now, so when we get the grass in and it's nicer out there, she'll be outdoors longer.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Not enough but I have been distracted lately. I realized yesterday that I don't think I did anything with DD2 all day on Monday despite being with her for the entire day. Of course she had speech for a half hour and then I got DD1 at 2:30 but really we had a lot of time together and I didn't really do anything with her. She helped me with some chores and played by herself a bit and maybe we all played with the baby together? I don't even know.

    Today I spent a lot of time playing with her and had to let a lot go. It was worth it but I can't do that all the time so I need to find some balance. I expect her to entertain herself for a bit too. DD1 NEVER did that and it was really difficult.

    I would think maybe 2 hours of playing or focusing on her (of the 6 hrs it's just us) in my case. The rest would be her helping me with errands or eating or cleaning or playing alone? Not entirely sure.
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (20M)

  5. #5

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    We're not very structured at all and it all depends on the day. I read them stories randomly throughout the day when they ask and always at Jude's nap time and at bed time, and I usually end up involved in some kind of pretend game a couple times a day as well. We also physically play randomly too.. you know like tickling and being silly together. I do usually play with them in the back yard after dinner and we always take a before bed walk around the block (well Paige scoots on her scooter actually). Actual art projects we don't do that often lately.. but they do get set up with paints about once or twice a week and they are always drawing on their own. Other then those things they just play with each other most of the day.... lately with less and less of me coming and breaking up fights! I should involve them in more chores though... I do but not everyday... it's just easier for me to do it while they're playing rather then trying to involve them.



  6. #6
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    I feel like I do a lot with DD2, but somehow I still end up feeling guilty that I'm not doing enough. Does that make sense? I guess I feel like I need to focus more on whatever we're doing...I'm so easily distracted that we'll be playing and I'll jump up to do something for a minute because it popped into my head and I know I'll forget to do it later if I don't tackle it right then. Sometimes it's easier when we're out because the household distractions just aren't there.

    Our day isn't super structured but it does fall into predictable patterns. On mornings when she doesn't have preschool, we'll run errands, play/read at home, go to the park (now that the weather is finally nice!), or meet friends. After lunch she has quiet time for a bit while I try to get some work done for my business. I'm usually near her as I take my laptop out to the kitchen while she plays/watches a show in the living room, or she'll come into the office to be by me and bring her toys, or watch a show on my Kindle. We'll pick up her sister after school and then they'll play (or argue!) and I'll make dinner. Evenings are either spent with me or DH...DD1 has had activities a few nights a week until recently.

    ~ Cassie, mama to Madison (8), Ali (4) & Wesley (new dude!)


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by pepperlru View Post
    A lot. Too much, I often think. She has no sibling close in age, so I'm really the entertainment. And while she's ok at playing alone for short periods, she's a very social kiddo and really craves personal interaction, so she pesters me to do something with her anytime I'm not, and we usually do most of the household chores and cooking together too. It's one reason why she's going to preschool next year, even though I'm into homeschooling and will again be homeschooling my teen in the fall. Noe is just dying to go to school. She asks me every day if it's fall yet. She loves being with people.
    But, yeah -- I spend an awful lot of time, it seems, keeping her busy and happy and enriched with projects and activities and games and the park and library and dance class and what have you. I know my parents didn't spend even a fraction of that amount of time with me and my sister -- we were expected to entertain ourselves. I feel like I do encourage Noe to do that... it's just hard for her.

    We have a loose schedule, usually based around our errands for the day (groceries, farmer's market, dance class, library...) and two or three days/week, an hour or so at the Y where she's in childwatch while I take a class. I'd like to be more scheduled with housework, but it hasn't happened yet. On days when we spend a good portion of it at home, she probably plays alone for an hour or so in the house. If the weather is nice, she spends another half an hour to an hour playing in the backyard. We're landscaping now, so when we get the grass in and it's nicer out there, she'll be outdoors longer.
    This. All of this. Every word! Well, except I started her in preschool this week because Maiya really needed it. We also do not spend all day doing kid-oreiented stuff, but even when I'm cooking and cleaning and doing errands, she is right there helping me and we're seriously interacting. There is seldom a moment of silence!!



  8. #8

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    My involvement varies day to day as well, but it is usually quite a bit. Although lately we have had our house on the market (sold it, deal fell through, pulled it off the market but allowed a couple showings this past week) so I feel like the kiddos have had a lot of independent time so I can clean and organize and make the house look pretty. I am very fortunate to have a 7 month old who can entertain himself with just his toes and a teething toy for very long periods of time... But even on our busiest days we read a lot throughout the day and I try to play with DD at least a little. We go to parks most days when it is nice out and I am pretty involved with DD at the park. DH is great at the park with her - he loves to climb and slide and chase her all around so she probably prefers going when he takes her! lol When we go, I wear DS and help push her on swings, push her up and down on the see saw...and now DS goes on the baby swings as well when DD finds things she can do by herself at the park.


    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    We pretty much wing it, lol. They watch a little tv while I try to get some work done, but I spend most of the day watching them play or playing with them. I try to get housework done while they are napping. When they are awake I am pretty much watching them the whole time. They are 3.5 and 1.5 and will tend to throw a toy at each other when angry, so I really can't leave them alone much, lol. I can leave DS1 alone for small periods of time. Usually we have a play group on Tuesdays and Fridays, one day a week we go grocery shopping and run errands, and in the summer I'd like to go to the park one day a week.

    That's the plan on paper at least! DS2 has been in a spica cast the last 8 weeks and we have been unable to leave the house(he doesn't fit in a carseat) so we have been doing a lot more tv/movie time and just playing in the floor lately. And I'm 7 months pregnant now, so we will see how much energy I have to be doing grocery shopping with both of them during the day and park trips by myself as this pregnancy progresses.
    Angela (28) DH, Pat (30) DS Connor (4), DS Leo (2), DS Nathan



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