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Old 08.01.2017, 21:48
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Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

Dear all,


I am living in the Netherlands, but I appreciate this forum thanks to its quality, so I would like to live online here and receive advice here.


My wife and me we work both 100%, we have nanny at home for 3 days, and we send the kids of 2 and 5 y.o. to the day care and the school.


Every day starting from 17:30 until 21:00 we spend our whole time for the kids: feed them, bring them to bed, lie down with them so that they could sleep. This cost us too much energy and we are both not in good health. We know that other western parents don't have to spend so much time and energy like we do, but we don't know how.

We are both from the same country in South East Asia, we have lived in CH for 4 years and currently in NL. We favor the western way of raising the kids and would like to learn from it, but at the same time, we want to set our own standards
1- The kids should out grow us in length and weight.
2- The kids should also be able speak our language and at the same time, the local language: Dutch (both are born in NL)


It is item 1 that costs us too much energy and we would like to receive advices.


My wife is 1m62 and 50kg, I am 1m74 and 80kg. We were born in a extremely poor and war torn country, thus I expect the kids to be at least 1m75 and 80kg since they have much better nutrition than us.
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Old 08.01.2017, 21:54
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

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My wife is 1m62 and 50kg, I am 1m74 and 80kg. We were born in a extremely poor and war torn country, thus I expect the kids to be at least 1m75 and 80kg since they have much better nutrition than us.
i am dutch and know plenty of people smaller than 1.75. note that this is mainly because of their genes - not the nutrition
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Old 08.01.2017, 21:54
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

Can you clarify the question. Are you asking how to spend less time with your kids?
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Old 08.01.2017, 22:00
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

Mission difficult one: eating.


Almost every western source of parenting would say that we should set the time frame for eating for the whole family, who has not finished his / her part would have to be hungry going to bed.


But a hungry boy of 2.5 years old would wake us 1-2 times at night, asking for milk. And since he does not need to eat much, following that "eat-or-be-hungry" would let him constantly eat max 70% of what he should. This would worry me that he will not reach the 1m75 standard and will not have enough nutrition for this brain growth in the first years of his life.


That is why many time we have to let this 2.5 years old kid play while eating, we have to feed him manually instead of letting him eating by himself.


The 5 y.o. boy has been eating very very little since birth up to 4 y.o., and thanks god is started eating well at the age of 4, since going to school. He eats by himself, but sometimes we also feed him because we want him to eat more.


We still eat the South East Asian way: no dairy dessert, not much fat. So even if we know that it is better to encourage the kids to eat some youghurt after meal, we often forget it since we ourself don't have dessert after meals.
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Old 08.01.2017, 22:08
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

All kids go hyper around 17:30. It's a fact of life especially if they are over-tired. They will also make demands such as being thirsty, hungry - they are just after attention. Cuddle, back to bed.
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Old 08.01.2017, 22:11
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

For starters, you are teaching your kids to have hang-ups/anxiety over food, eating and amounts. Not good.

First thing tomorrow make an appointment with your children's Doctor and get him/her to refer you to a nutritionist - both of whom will give all the advice you need.
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Old 08.01.2017, 22:19
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

Mission difficult two: sleeping.


Almost every western source would suggest following a routine at bed time: tooth brushing, reading or telling stories or singing lullabies. Then let the kids be by themself and leave the room.


But the 5 y.o. kid is afraid of being alone. The best I could do is letting him holding my arm or feet until he fall asleep. Then I leave. But then at night when he wakes up (every night), he would cry and go to our room and join our bed. Recently he keeps asking if I would secretly leave his room while he is sleeping or not, and I don't know the answer.


The 2.5 y.o. boy is really a disaster. He has so much energy, every time (eve if he eats so little). Bed time is his festival time. And my wife and me we have to spend 1 - 1.5 man-hour to lie down with him until he sleeps. And of course we can then secretly bring him to his bed but upon his waking up at night he could cry.


Both these boys we have tried letting them crying out, but sometimes they, especially the little boy would cry until he vomits and of course it costs us more work to clean up.


We of course can try the cry-out or bed training one more time. But we don't know how.


We have to admit that we are not so much of a disciplined person (the typical South East Asian way). But we could learn as long as the method is convincing and we could print out the routine to remind us not to forget the disciplined steps.


About a convincing method: crying-out was favored, but now is believed to cause the kids stressful. So we don't know what is good.


Most doctors and child-care professionals would tell us to be easy, or give us advices that we cannot follow. We have reasons not to because:
- The kids don't have the grand parents here to support us, and we don't know the normal things that other parents simply know (by learning from their parents when growing up). We are from a different culture
- We have to spend our energy to work in order to survive in an European country
- We expect our kids to be better than us, while most easy-going advices would base on the believe that it's OK for the kids to be the same as the parent. And I don't think we are that crazy, since every one can see that Asia is rising, the next generation is taller, heavier, richer, more educated, smarter, ...


Thanks for reading my long posts.
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Old 08.01.2017, 22:22
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

If you want your kids to speak you language, speak it at home.

My wife's kids can't speak Vietnamese as their father never spoke it at home, likewise my wife can't speak SwissGerman (or any German) as her father never spoke it at home.

Both of my kids speak fluent English as my (late) wife and I spoke it at home, as well as fluent Italian and passable French and German.

Weirdest is that I have a Ticinese friend who can't speak Ticinese, as her parents (both Ticinese) only speak to her in Italian, though they speak Ticinese with each other. And her kids don't speak Japanese, as their father never speaks it at home.

Tom
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Old 08.01.2017, 22:32
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

It sounds to me like you let the kids make the rules. This is not the western way of doing things at all.
Parents make the rules.
If the current situation is killing you, then you have to change the rules.

And there will be a few screams at night as the kids learn the new rules, but at least you will live to their 10th birthday.

Gina Ford is a western author whom you may wish to read -
http://www.contentedbaby.com/BabyandToddlerRoutine.htm
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Old 08.01.2017, 22:48
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

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1- The kids should out grow us in length and weight.

My wife is 1m62 and 50kg, I am 1m74 and 80kg. We were born in a extremely poor and war torn country, thus I expect the kids to be at least 1m75 and 80kg since they have much better nutrition than us.
You can't grow your kids to the size you want ... that comes from their genes. Me and my sister have both been brought up the same, yet she is a fair bit bigger than me. I've never heard anything so bonkers
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Old 08.01.2017, 23:09
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

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You can't grow your kids to the size you want ... that comes from their genes. Me and my sister have both been brought up the same, yet she is a fair bit bigger than me. I've never heard anything so bonkers
With enough kroket and friet&mayo you get them to 80 kg in no time though
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Old 08.01.2017, 23:17
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

Sounds to me like you're far too anxious about the whole parenting thing. There's no "right" or "wrong" way to do it. Do what works best for both you and the kids and forget meeting standards - there aren't any. So long as your children are healthy and happy (and that doesn't necessarily mean they weigh a certain amount at a certain age) that's all that matters.
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Old 08.01.2017, 23:24
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

Just let your kids eat whatever they want and invest some money in one of these medical devices.

If you were in Switzerland, based on a recent thread here about what they consider as valid medical practices, it'd probably be covered by your health insurance.
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Old 08.01.2017, 23:31
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

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My wife is 1m62 and 50kg, I am 1m74 and 80kg. We were born in a extremely poor and war torn country, thus I expect the kids to be at least 1m75 and 80kg since they have much better nutrition than us.
I'd like to add that I (born and raised in the UK) am only 3cms taller than your wife and a few kgs lighter. Considering also that Asians are usually smaller than Europeans, I don't see your logic at all
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Old 08.01.2017, 23:35
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

My kids (twins) are 2.5yo. Your high-energy little boy sounds absolutely typical!! Some things you can do that MAY help:

- wear him out with physical exercise, preferably in the afternoon (on nanny days) but for sure in the evening as soon as you get home. Long walks, running and jumping games, whatever he likes to do that wears him out. Tired children sleep better.

- no screen time (youtube videos etc) for at least an hour before bed. (None at all is probably better for his age, but hard to do if his older sibling is allowed some.) Instead, do calming things like drawing/coloring, playing with toys or looking at a picture book together etc.

- let him "help" you with some of your work, instead of leaving it all until after he is asleep. My two love to help me unload the dishwasher for example. Of course they are not actually a lot of help at this stage... but that will change with time and practice. Right now what's important is that it's interesting to them, and one less job for me to do in the precious time after they are asleep. Also important to me that they see work being done -- that they grow up knowing dishes won't wash themselves and houses won't clean themselves either.

- your bedtime routine of lying down with him does not sound at all unusual. I know lots of western parents who do exactly this. If it is really not working for your family then you can indeed change it... very very gradually. First goal: get him to fall asleep in his own bed, with you lying next to it. Put a mattress for yourself on the floor If you need to for this stage.

- it's very very normal at this age for kids to play with their food and be easily distracted slow eaters. Also for them to eat lots of food one week and very little food the next week, or love a particular food one day and hate it the next. Try to relax about his eating, as long as he is still growing (a few cm a year) and has enough energy to play as you describe he will be just fine!
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Old 08.01.2017, 23:43
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

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We favor the western way of raising the kids and would like to learn from it, but at the same time, we want to set our own standards
1- The kids should out grow us in length and weight.
2- The kids should also be able speak our language and at the same time, the local language: Dutch (both are born in NL)


Reading the rest of your posts it seems to me these are the least of your problems right now.


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We have to spend our energy to work in order to survive in an European country

You are not unique. There are many households where both parents work. Working full time and raising children is a lot of work. You need to make rules, set limits and put some order into your household.


I am certain your workplace is not a free for all and this is exactly how your household sounds. This is not a healthy situation for anyone.
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Old 08.01.2017, 23:56
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

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Can you clarify the question. Are you asking how to spend less time with your kids?


I am asking how to be more efficient in dealing with the kid's basic needs.
Time is constant, the amount of stuff done is not.
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Old 08.01.2017, 23:59
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

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I'd like to add that I (born and raised in the UK) am only 3cms taller than your wife and a few kgs lighter.
Are you anorexic?

My wife is also 165, and at 53kg she was looking anorexic, much better with 60 or so for that height.

Tom
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Old 08.01.2017, 23:59
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

MathNut's sensible post covers most things, but one small thing I could add.... if your son is afraid of being left alone (presumably in the dark), why don't you buy a small plug-in nightlight? That way he'll feel less 'alone'.

Do buy a child-care book or two as suggested earlier, there are plenty of them; you'll find you're not alone in feeling overwhelmed by parenthood when far away from your own culture and family, but you'll survive.... and so will your children!
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Old 09.01.2017, 00:02
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Re: Working parent running out of energy with 2 kids: 2 and 5 y.o.

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i am dutch and know plenty of people smaller than 1.75. note that this is mainly because of their genes - not the nutrition


It's both gene and nutrition. While I can't change gene I hope I can with nutrition. Kids in my home country are much taller than their parents, when nutrition is greatly improved..
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