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

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.

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.

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.

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!!

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..."

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

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.....

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.

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...

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!!)

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

blueshoes Sun 14-Oct-12 14:37:01

WhenLife, I meal plan every week. I don't use any sites and I don't think there is any real magic to it.

We eat the same meal 2 times a week by cooking double of each meal, doing much of the preparation/cooking over the weekend. The first time we eat it fresh, the second time it is just heated up leftovers. So I just need to plan 3 different dishes a week. The stub meal will be a one-off (often salad, soup, snacky-type meal like sandwich or leftovers from weekend, or could be de-frosted food, or in your case, a fish dish).

With the weekly meal plan, I put the ingredients onto a shopping list for the weekly shop. Therefore, I only do one big shop a week.

VerySmallSqueak Sun 14-Oct-12 13:48:12

I need a cleaner,dishwasher and freezer.
Trouble is I'm space and money short,as well as time.

I think the bulk buying presents (as well as cards) idea is inspired though.Same present boy or girl x at least half dozen.Brilliant idea!

WhenLifeGivesYouLemons Sun 14-Oct-12 13:36:06

Just started writing up a meal plan. Does anyone have any tips for this? I've planned for a different meal everyday in a fortnightly rotation with one fish dish a week (my DH hates fish but will have fish'n'chips and tuna pasta bake). After trying a few different plans I've found that I've ended up with loads of salady meals in one week and loads of carb heavy meals in the other confused Are there any good sites for this sort of thing (brain won't work)

May have to invest in a chest freezer hmm

BoffinMum Sun 14-Oct-12 13:27:08

Plus I can say to her 'please cook 20 portions of bolognaise for the freezer' and this will be done to restaurant standards! gringringringrin

BoffinMum Sun 14-Oct-12 13:25:42

I have a Spanish nanny at the moment who is a trained professional chef. She needs a bit of guidance but overall she is doing really well. Great work ethic and takes instructions well.

beesmum Sun 14-Oct-12 12:55:12

Mandy21 I do very little ironing. Put clothes on hanger as soon as they come out of dryer. School uniforms are smoothed and folded as soon as they come out of the dryer or off the line. If you have older ch, they can iron their own clothes. But having said that, my dd, 17, seems to never need to iron her clothes. When I do iron something, I only do it if I will definitely wear it that week.

PlaySchool Sun 14-Oct-12 01:03:25

Don't iron
Do less cleaning
Keep on top of laundry and dishes - never let them pile up
Never go upstairs empty handed
Sort out uniforms on Sunday
Get an online grocery delivery on Monday.
Have a cleaner.
Never sit down!!!!! wink

mathanxiety Sun 14-Oct-12 00:22:40

What ironing?

Ironing is one thing you should not be doing. Either find someone to iron, or get a dryer and use dryer sheets. Take the clothes out of the dryer and fold very neatly. You may have to get rid of clothes that really need ironing and buy only things that are trouble free.

If you don't have a dryer, get one. And a dishwasher.

My DCs have no uniform for secondary and they can do their own laundry themselves once they get to 11-12 ish. For the one still in uniform I have three knit not woven shirts for her and one skirt. The skirt is easy care polyester or something like that with pleats that it would take a tornado to shift. It goes in the washing machine and hangs to dry overnight. Usually once a week is fine for the skirt. The shirts wait until the weekend or if DD4 wants she can get the two older ones to drop it into their wash. (They arrange that one bungs it all in the machine and the other puts everything in the dryer. Then they both sort and fold). They take off uniforms when they get home and that saves washing. They have plenty of slouch clothes to slouch around home in.

The DCs are all responsible for all the things they need for school being ready in the morning. I do not look for shoes or homework or stuff they were supposed to bring. Tough if you have no idea where it is. You had all night to find it and leave it ready. I have made them get themselves organised form when they were about 8. I am doing them all a favour in the long run by getting them to stand on their own two feet.

It's really, really easy to get a nanny from Spain or Greece right now. They are pricing Polish and E. European nannies put of the market. However, watch out for amateurs driven by economic problems whose motivation is to leave Spain or Greece.

I cook 3-4 times a week and we have leftovers the second day. We eat whatever is left in the fridge over the weekend.

No-one takes a bath. There is no lock on the bathroom door and when your shower time is up you can expect company. Everyone takes a shower in the evening except me.

Keep a master list in the kitchen of every single thing you ever buy or have bought in the past. Do it in sections or randomly can work too, depending on what way your mind tends to work. When you go shopping, sit down with the master list first and work from the list. Keep a dry erase board or post its in the kitchen where you can write memos to self about things you are running low on. Train the DCs to leave notes about items that need to be bought too (cereal, juice, tampons, toothpaste, whatever). Don't ever go out shopping without a thorough list. That is if your local delivery service really isn't up to snuff.

Big kitchen calendar and everyone trained to use it goes without saying. Open post beside the calendar and rummage through school bags there too to keep track of school events. Have the bin within easy distance and toss everything once noted. Keep your own admin filing system within easy reach too.

If you don't have a good size freezer, get one. Freeze meal sized batches of pasta sauce. Gussy it up with cream, vodka, olives, etc when you put it in the pot. Freeze items like meatballs in meal size batches, same goes for stir fry meats. Freeze strips of cooked chicken and you can make virtually anything for dinner quickly. Use frozen veg that doesn't need prepping, esp garlic, onion, etc that goes in every meal just about...

Me time is the crack of dawn for me. I like being all alone before everyone gets up and I have my tea and toast and shower without being mithered by everyone.

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