It seems that everywhere you go when you are out that everyone else is in nice little family units of mum & dad plus kids - this may not be the case but it looks that way! From Monday to Friday the things I do tend to be just mum's or the occasional dad or grandparent. Compact family units don't do school runs or toddler groups on the whole...
My kids have to cope with each other's company for 12 hours solid. They can go for about an hour of playing nicely together and then one or other of the upsets the other. We end up with shouting & fighting and usually someone needing a cold compress. I can leave them playing together but as soon as I pop to the loo or go to get a meal ready WW3 breaks out in the other room.
If I try and take turns at giving each of them some undivided mummy time the 3 year old doesn't get the fact that his big sister is allowed to have mummy to herself for a few minutes each day. So it ends up with her only getting me to herself after he has supposedly gone to bed - and even then he keeps coming back for more.
When we go out for a treat its a real minefield. I can't trust them to be left on their own at a table whilst I go and order drinks etc., if one needs the loo we all have to go. Yesterday I finally caved in to little ones request to go on the dodgems. This meant I have to leave a screaming 6 year old watching from the side as neither child is tall enough to go on without a grown up. Needless to say we won't be repeating that one! They each have to take turns watching the other one do something whilst I hold their hand. This is when their age gap stands out more as they want to do different things.
If another grown up is around it is so much easier as we can divide and conquer. I can catch 15 minutes of me time to draw breath. I can also let my poor 6 year old have time with me without her little brother butting in and causing chaos.
We do have fun and I love spending time with my kids but I look forward to weekdays when I don't have them both all day and it's much more relaxing. Here's hoping that the Incredible Years parenting course I've started will help both me & the kids learn to have fun with out all the aggro!
See we do have fun together!
It isn't all bad but I wish it was a lot less stressful...