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Tell me how you manage to do everything as a working parent!

(73 Posts)
cherrylola Sat 28-Jun-14 20:05:40

I've just been offered a new job starting in a few weeks. I've been off work on maternity leave for a year and will be going to work 3 days a week. I'm ever so slightly freaking out about how I'm going to manage quality time (as well as normal time) with my 12 month old, house work, meals, everything else and of course sleep!

Give me your best tips please ladies and gents wink

Wish I could just stay home with babes sad . Although I'm desperate to work too! Urgh, it's such a conundrum!

PortofinoRevisited Sat 28-Jun-14 20:11:55

Your partner does half of everything and you get a cleaner if at all possible. Otherwise you both do a bit of housework at the weekends. The house doesn't get so messy if no-one is in. On line shopping and batch cooking. Make a curry or chilli or stew and freeze half each time.

Seeing as you will work 3 days, that should be manageable.

17leftfeet Sat 28-Jun-14 20:13:49

You accept you can't do everything

Woodenheart Sat 28-Jun-14 20:15:16

I just about manage, but I have to have routine,

Personally I put the washing machine on, the night before my day off, so its ready to hang out in the morning - after Ive done a quick spin.

That way, I'm not sorting washing, waiting for it to finish, when I can be going out & enjoying our day off.

I always rinse everything that goes in the sink, so when I finally get round to washing up, nothing is stuck on!

Baby's clothes, all in clear tubs.
1 each for tops, bottoms, cardigans, vests, etc.
So as soon as its dry, it goes straight into tubs, no looking around for stuff on workdays.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sat 28-Jun-14 20:15:40

1) my childminder provides all food and drink. I send a bag of nappies and a multipack of wipes when she is running low and leave a spare outfit for dd there. That means we simply drop off /cl collect
2) dd is fed her tea at cms which means we pick her up at half five and have an hour and a half of quality time totally with her. She goes to bed at seven and dh and I eat then and have some "us time"
3) dh and I are totally equal in terms of housework, foodshoping, childcare (I do shiftwork so he will be on DD duty a full weekend every now and again)
4) I focus on the positives of her being in childcare - the interaction with other kids, the confidence etc, all help ease any guilt

Stickaflakeinit Sat 28-Jun-14 20:17:36

You dont do everything!

Lower household standards OR get a cleaner OR have a shared housework rota OR some combination of these.

You miss some kids stuff (playdates, school events), but working p/t you prob wont miss many.

Online shopping. I never do a 'bog food shop' in a store any more.

Meal plan religiously. I make a meal plan on Weds for following week and order it to arrive on Sat morning. I have a list of easy, healthy meals I can make (or DH can make) and only do more complicated meals at weekends.

You'll get the hang of it! grin

Stickaflakeinit Sat 28-Jun-14 20:18:11

Big food shop...a bog food shop would be odd lol

Iggly Sat 28-Jun-14 20:19:14

3 days a week means you'll be fine. I've done 3, 4 and 5 days with the DC. 3 days was perfect!

CMOTDibbler Sat 28-Jun-14 20:20:24

Everything round the house is divided equally (inc boring stuff like birthday cards, packed lunches), everything possible is set up for direct debit or online management, you reduce household expectations on cleaning/cooking, meal plan (at least to start with), and online shop.

And the priority goes: your child, you three as a family, work, and everything else gets the left over time.

Woodenheart Sat 28-Jun-14 20:20:28

Also I think I have learnt that it all gets done in the end, I'm a lone parent & have never had an hours help at home,

So when I get home & I have to sort food, bath, bed, packed lunch, I do feel overwhelmed but somehow I do it!

mouse26 Sat 28-Jun-14 20:22:17

Housework can be caught up on at the weekend. I used to come home from work and cook tea. We all ate together then I'd have a whole hour and a half to spend with the ds's playing, bath time etc. when they were in bed I could make pack up for the next day, wash pots etc then have an hour with dp before bed

ItMustBeALime Sat 28-Jun-14 20:26:59

Meals - batch baking is my friend

Housework - my standards have toppled off a cliff slipped slightly. Would have a cleaner if I could afford it.

Sleep - is for the weak

Hmm, this reply started off helpful then went downhill rather rapidly...

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sat 28-Jun-14 20:27:49

There are some great organisational tips out there. My favourite (and a level of organisation I can only aspire to!) Is whilst you are off over christmas, write out all your birthday cards for the year and put them in order in a box or drawer. Simply post or han out as needed. Dont seaal until you give out incase you forget a gift - money or a voucher slotted in.

redexpat Sat 28-Jun-14 20:28:01

Make sure you go to bed at a reasonable time.
Get up at the same time on your non working days.
Get a cleaner. She doesn't have to do everything - ours dusts and washes the floors. We do kitchen and bathroom.
Meal plan, big supermarket shop once a week, or order online.
Get everything ready the night before. The kitchen is tidy, packed lunches are made, clothes are laid out, porridge oats are ready in the pan for orridge, tea bag is in the cup, water is in the kettle, shoes, keys and wallet are by the front door, phone is on charge.
Do you have a slow cooker? If so, use it on your working days.

Vintagebeads Sat 28-Jun-14 20:29:26

My house was cleaner, our utility bills were lower and I was way more organised when I was working.
It will be fine,I enjoyed working and was delighted to see DC when I got home.
A three day week is lovely and easy enough to keep up the home stuff considering your DH is helpful.

redexpat Sat 28-Jun-14 20:29:31

Oh and when you think of something that you need to get sorted (admin, or something that needs to be ordered online, etc) write it on a list somewhere, so when you aren't at work you can just do the list.

museumum Sat 28-Jun-14 20:34:31

I do three days a week and it's really not a problem at all. We do cleaning housework at the weekends, laundry as and when, I don't do packed lunch - dh does something like cous cous salad a couple of times a week and just grabs a portion in the morning.
To be honest I don't get a lot of housework done when I'm looking after ds anyway so it's not that different.

Lordofmyflies Sat 28-Jun-14 20:37:28

I have a cleaner. I (try) to plan a day ahead. So night before all the clothes are out for next day, bags packed, lunches in fridge so we can get up and go.
I meal plan and have shopping delivered. That way it's a bit cheaper and I'm not caught out on not having a meal ready.
I put a load of washing on every night before bed, it's pegged out or tumble dried in the morning before we leave the house, that way I avoid a massive pile at the weekend.
I have a card/ present box and at the start of the month, write and wrap bdays for that month.
I write everything down! I use mu ipad which syncs to my phone so I can cross things off as they are done.
It will be fine!

LumpySpacedPrincess Sat 28-Jun-14 20:43:35

Put a load in the night before so it can be hung out before you go to work.

De clutter, everything gets easier if you de clutter. Share the jobs if you have a partner. Meal plan.

Multi task, kids can read to you while you cook etc.

Meal plan, did I mention meal planning. grin

Thurlow Sat 28-Jun-14 20:44:52

Same advice as everyone else at being organised and batch cooking (though if you can get your DC to eat their main meal before you pick them up that helps a lot!) and all that, washing machine running either at night or while you're at work, clothes ready in the morning in the most practical room etc.

The biggest thing that helped me when DD was that age was making sure that the bathroom was completely childproof so that if she did wake at the same time as me, she could sit in the bathroom, drink her morning bottle and look at a few toys while I showered. We've put a lot of work into her sleeping until I've had a shower though, as that's easier.

Breakfast for everyone at work or nursery, just milk for her and a coffee and a banana for me to tide us over.

Remember to leave yourself that 5 minute leeway in the morning for poo-related disasters or meltdowns grin

I preferred to have worse Monday-Fridays and pushed myself to do that extra little bit of housework during the week so that I didn't have too much to do at the weekend and could spend it with DD (but then DP works shifts so we are generally solo parenting/tag-teaming - I guess this one might be less necessary if you are both in every evening and weekend)

Chose work clothes for you that all go with everything else, so that if you need to change one bit because they've made you dirty you can just grab another top and not need to change your whole outfit. Also choose clothes that don't need ironing!

And mostly, lower your standards! Either get a cleaner or accept you're having a professional deep clean every year and then keeping on top of it in between.

WanderingAway Sat 28-Jun-14 20:46:46

I'm a lone parent, I work 5/7 days. I do what I can when I can. I don't stress if the washing doesn't get done or the hoovering needs to wait a day. However when you aren't in the house much the house doesn't get to messy.

My dd & I spend on average one weekend day doing something together and the other weekend day doing not very much as my dd loves to spend a day chilling out or playing with her friends.

Do what works for you and don't care what everyone else is doing.

Thurlow Sat 28-Jun-14 20:47:32

Actually, I forgot - I found the 12m, cruising/walking stage the worst for getting ready in the mornings. Before she could move much DD was content to just sit and watch me shower and I could just move her around, and once she could walk properly I knew she'd have to work hard to kill herself without me watching her for a few minutes she would toddle off and amuse herself.

But there was that brief stage where she was trying to walk was an absolute nightmare - so don't let you put that off when you first go back, it will get easier.

erin99 Sat 28-Jun-14 20:57:17

Choose a nursery/CM that provides all food, drink, crockery, nappies, suncream etc as much as you possibly can. Choose your nursery based on the whole 3 years, not just the baby room, if you can (this is really hard).

Invite people over on an afternoon you're off, once every 2-3 weeks. This will keep you on top of tidying. (Ish)

Ensure DP is capable of flying solo. By this I mean he can sort out the changing bag, dress child, put down for naps, cater meals if required without ANY input from you.

If she can't already, and you're not exclusively BF, teach her to drink a bottle/cup of milk by herself. Our morning routine has always involved plonking baby down to feed his/herself milk while the adult makes the rest of breakfast. Baby happy and occupied, adult using time efficiently.

erin99 Sat 28-Jun-14 20:59:21

Ooh, and congratulations!

pourmeanotherglass Sat 28-Jun-14 21:03:01

er- well the house is not quite up to show home standard, and we don't cook from sctatch every night.

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