Your tips please to a happy household when working ft...

(367 Posts)
YouSmegHead Sun 07-Oct-12 11:31:12

So recently went back to work ft and haven't found my stride yet. What top tips do you have for keeping me sane smile

nkf Sun 14-Oct-12 14:45:55

I think planning for two weeks is unecessary. And it's a good idea to use seasonal veg or things that are on special offer. One thing I find useful is to make a huge amount of ragu and divide into individual family sized portions for the freezer. That way, I always have the basic ingredients for:
cottage pie
lasagna
bolognese
fajitas.

One day a week, dinner is more or less made, not just planned.

MELanglands Sun 14-Oct-12 16:51:32

I found that by having a different task/tasks each day after work, I got through the week ok. Monday-shop, Tuesday-clean, Wednesday-garden, Thursday-iron , Friday-wash bed linen, Saturday-eat out/cook bigger meal, Sunday-enjoy partner/family.
This was flexible depending on children's clubs and the weather. Some things were daily generally like washing and cooking. Extra money could be spent on machines (e.g.dishwasher) or human help (cleaner/gardener/ironer).
I expand on all this in my book, Thriftaholic-Live Well, Spend Less.

Ahhhtetley Sun 14-Oct-12 16:55:41

It's all about organisation really.

Try and make up extra when cooking stuff like chilli etc and freeze it.

Lay clothes out the night before, bath before bed, that sort of thing.

And try to work as a team, myself and my dh take in turns various jobs.

Also don't be so hard on yourself, doesn't matter if your house isn't perfect or you forget stuff - you can't be super mummy and work ft. grin

mathanxiety Sun 14-Oct-12 17:34:42

WhenLifeGivesYou Lemons -- There is a book called Saving Dinner that does a year of meal plans along with grocery lists. It's an American book but usable for British Isles cooks, available on Amazon. I think the author is linked in some way to Flylady.

mathanxiety Sun 14-Oct-12 17:39:05

Try to remember that cleaners, cooks, nannies are all doing their jobs full time or as close to ft as they need to. You already have a full time job. Take the pressure off yourself. Do a good enough job with the things you feel you need to do yourself, and farm out the rest or harness technology, and cut corners with cooking in bulk, reducing laundry related tasks. Farming out the rest includes roping in the family.

brumkat Sun 14-Oct-12 18:31:00

Thanks for the tips on the au pairs guys. We don't have masses of room, but they would have their own room, tv etc. We also have a cleaner, who does the ironing and changes beds, so they wouldn't need to do that, I would rather they focus on the kids, and cooking the meals. Fingers crossed, as we have no other option really (no relatives close by to help, nanny too much, and nursery not right hours!) x

BoffinMum Sun 14-Oct-12 19:59:55

brumkat, most APs need teaching to cook before you can let them loose.

missmapp Sun 14-Oct-12 20:04:05

I agree with the ' no child downstairs until they are dressed and washed' I also bring toothbrushes downstairs so they have no reason to go back up and disappear into a world of play!!

I am going from 4 days to full itme in a couple of weeks, so this has been really useful We cant run to a cleaner right know, but I am hoping my current system of doing a few jobs a night will owrk ( trying to forget how much I get done on a Friday currently!!)

GeorgieR Sun 14-Oct-12 21:59:32

You've all made me feel v inadequate. It's not helped at the moment by the fact we've got builders in, and there's dust, builders' mess and rubble EVERYWHERE. I haven't been able to get to my desk in weeks. I've just been on a five day work trip to south America (yes, it was amazing to get away but the chaos I returned to...). We do have a fantastic nanny share four days a week, and without her and the other family I don't know what we'd do. DD is only 18 months old, so I've been back at work about 10 months - but I'm really really struggling...

marriedinwhite Sun 14-Oct-12 22:58:22

*GeorgieR*. Am sitting in the dining room. To my right are 14 bog rolls, just dumped in here, to my left spread out newspaper and a saucers that's been used for mixing acrylic paint and which hasn't been put away. At the far end of the table is a pile of old homework left over from last summer and not put away. A lovely decanter has a film of dust on it and the silver is black - oh and one cat is on a semi-shredded chair, one is on the table and one is on top of the bookcase. That just about sums up most of the house. I didn't say it was perfect; we just get where we have to, clean, neat, organised and well fed. The house is clean btw.

stinimefdar Mon 15-Oct-12 07:07:17

Mandy21 call Iron maids they do it all and its worth it...also keeps other women in employment.....

Somermummy1 Tue 16-Oct-12 09:12:13

Thank you whoever mentioned about syncing calendars! Who knew getting 2 iPhones to share 1 calendar would make me so smug! And DH delighted because its all about the technology and I'm delighted because I can put things in his calendar And add reminders too .... which lets be honest .... Is virtual nagging grin

somer it's not nagging, it's sharing information. grin

In our house, if it's not on the calendar then it's not officially happening, and no one is castigated if unprepared.

in the gcal you can also 'invite' people to an event, so for example when I scheduled my 20 week scan I 'invited' him so he knew at once when it was (he gets an email) and could arrange the time off/cover. He's always glued to his phone for work, so it's an easy way to use what's available. We share a shopping list too ("out of milk" is the app we use) so if someone's popping to the shops in their lunch hour they can see what we need without thinking "damn, I wrote it on the fridge but now can't remember..."

gohgon Wed 17-Oct-12 10:53:32

I am a grandmum but sympathise with all the problems of work and children as I see our kids struggling with careers and youngsters. From the lofty heights of age I would make 2 observations - you all find time to get online and exchange messages - what about all those too harrassed to do just that? Secondly I agree with so much that has been suggested, but would add the benefit of lists either for self or for the family. Just so long as they are in an agreed place and everyone is chivvied to take note. Also I found it a great relief when the kids were old enough to do their own ironing - we did washing at the Launderette and i just divided it up into piles and they made their own decisions as to whether to iron or not. Carry on the good work!!

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 17-Oct-12 19:31:01

Commonsense but worth mentioning; if you drop your children off at school/nursery/childminder try not to pop back home before work.

It's a huge timewaster, ime.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Wed 17-Oct-12 20:51:54

Some people at my work enjoy a lunch club. Each person cooks (or buys in some cases) enough soup/sandwich whatever for everyone. In theory each person has to do lunch once every 2 weeks. It's not for me to be honest but they enjoy it.

And goes without saying, do everything by direct debit and online where possible.

PlaySchool Sat 20-Oct-12 16:17:36

As well as preparing the children's clothes for the week, make sure your own wardrobe is organised. There is nothing worse than a wardrobe disaster to make you late.

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