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Advice: 2 kids, 1 helper

  1. #1
    starbucks2 is offline Registered User
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    Advice: 2 kids, 1 helper

    Hi

    We have a 2.4 year old and a 6 month old and 1 helper. We have had her from the birth of our first child and generally she has been good but I am bit concerned about her ability to deal with two kids on her own. I am back at work 4 days a week so she has a few days a week where she has them both on her own (hubby works different days each week so he usually is there for 2 of the 4 I am not). We do not want to get a second full time helper and I need to work 4 days a week.

    What do other people do? Should we be thinking about a legal part timer to help out with the cleaning etc so that she can concentrate on the kids? We have said to her that when she is there alone with them that the kids are the priority so she doesn't need to be cleaning and washing etc. We want her to be taking our 2 year old out to the playroom and park to run around, burn some energy and play with other kids (although she has to take the baby with her when she does). Maybe we just need to make that clearer to her. From what I have seen, she is not that good at playing with our 2 year old (ie: not getting down and playing cars etc with him or reading him books) and seems to prefer playing with the baby.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks
    SB2

  2. #2
    plumtree is offline Registered User
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    Hi SB2
    I have 2 as well, (2yrs 7mths and 9mths) and two helpers. My husband also has shorter work days than I do. However, we have two helpers because we also have dogs and the one helper would not be able to manage 2 boys+dogs. For us, our older boy goes to school every morning and so in reality that takes away a lot of the pressure and allows the helpers to get on with work. I agree that getting part time help with the household chores is a good idea as well as possibly arranging more playdates with similar families? We also have a babysitter that comes in to play with my older son and take him on trips to the park, Ocean Park etc.. I find that my older boy really does need one on one time, as you say, and this extra helps. FYI, one helper is away on holiday now, but it seems to be working out OK.

    Hope that helps: it's never easy balancing everything. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    we ONLY had one helper until about 4 months ago. she somehow muddled through without any problems.

  4. #4
    geomum is offline Registered User
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    I think if you can, then hire another helper or nanny by all means, few days per week. Its easier playing with the baby than a active 2 year old and who knows your son maybe feeling left out during that time. Also when he starts going to school more regularly he WOULD need someone to get him ready, drop/ pick him up, feed him lunch etc etc.

  5. #5
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    my 2 are about the same age as yours and i have only one helper too - sometimes i do get my mom's helper to help out if we have to go out for family dinners...but honestly i don't think it's necessary...if you're not too picky about the household, and eating mediocre food

    recently, I was working on their school schedule too and with only one helper it seems possible...BUT you don't have much choice in terms of what classes you want them to take - either both am or both pm and at the same school - at least with victoria i know that is possible. many people don't have 2 helpers....not saying that life would not be easier with 2 and life for you would not be so busy, depends on what you want and if you can handle it. if not, i'd get someone to come in a couple times a week to go the cleaning and perhaps the ironing.

    i would try to schedule outdoor time for your older one when your husband or you are around. in this case either your husband, or the helper can take the older one out to play whilst leaving the baby at home - not really much work for the baby at this point in time. i don't think kids really need to go to the park, etc. everyday so it's just a matter of scheduling. when the baby gets older then life will be much easier - just a transitional stage i think.

  6. #6
    starbucks2 is offline Registered User
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    Thanks everyone. I feel like she should be able to cope. I cope when I am home by myself with the two of them. Yes, its busy but I really don't need her to do housework on those "by herself" days. I'd like her to spend those days playing with and entertaining the kids (and, if possible, cook dinner) but the rest can wait. We'll have another word to her tonight about it to make doubly clear that kids come first always, but especially on those days by herself. My son is not going to kindy until next year (he is a February baby) but may start going to some morning unaccompanied playgroups later in the year/in the new year. I am sure she can manage the drop offs and pick ups fine on her own; even if she has to take the baby with her.

  7. #7
    AussieMum is offline Registered User
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    Hi Starbucks2, just out of interest, what makes you think that she is not coping or is stuggling to manage the two. Or preference is given to the baby over the toddler? I am only asking as maybe if for example, one person inparticular has witnessed this (like a friend in the play ground etc), then you may be able to sit down with the helper to discuss ways of improvment. I guess I am just saying that if you are sure of specific examples, then it may help you to train her or be specific in ways of improvement. I have two children but am a stay at home mum. Personally two children at this age that you have is hard work as you know, but it does get easier as the younger one becomes more self sufficient. So maybe over time she will improve as the two children become more interactive with each other. Good luck!

  8. #8
    geomum is offline Registered User
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    Hire someone to come and clean once in a while if you feel the house is not getting clean often. Also have playdates for your son on the days you are at work.

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