Can anyone help me organise my life? SAHM overwhelmed by all of it.(21 Posts)
I have a 4 year old and a 3 month old. I was just about keeping on top of things before the baby came along, now it's a whole different ball game. My husband does nothing around the house Mon-Fri but he is helpful on the weekend in terms of cooking meals and will do the dishwasher, clean the kitchen, pick up the lounge and vacuum downstairs. The issue I have is that I fall asleep when my baby does around 8pm as thats the only decent stretch of sleep I get (until 1am) then I'm lucky to get a couple more hours between 1am and 7am. If I had my evenings free I'd be able to keep on top but as it stands I am utterly sinking underneath all the housework. It seems relentless - bins, cleaning, washing, ironing, pre-school admin then tasks like sorting out old clothes, selling things off, repleninshing kids clothes due to season change and growth spurts. There aren't enough hours in the day! As it stands I'm lucky if I get a shower, hair is scraped up in a bun as no time to blow dry, makeup takes 2 mins max, I've got no clothes as have dropped pretty much all baby weight but still ever so slightly big for any clothes and I have no time to shop! I'm really feeling down with it all
I'm heading to IKEA tomorrow with my parents whilst my eldest is at preschool and they are going to help me pick up a few things to help. Here are my ideas but I'm hoping you will all have suggestions of your own that help you?!
1. Kallax for lounge so all toys can be hidden away
2. Desk of my own so I can leave my laptop and paperwork laid out to do tasks like online shopping, meal planning, food shop whenever baby is napping.
3. 4 boxes, different colours, so we each have one - laundry will be folded into each and each person responsible for putting away (I will do babies, obviously)
4. Hooks for hallway so childrens coats & bags can be reached to encourage them to hang themselves rather than throwing on floor. Similarly, a box for childrens shoes for hallway so they can put them away themselves.
Does anyone have any other suggestions of ways I can streamline things? We do have a cleaner come 2 hours fortnightly and she mainly tackles the 2 bathrooms and all floors. Writing this down, it seems like I should be coping, but I'm really not.
Any ideas gratefully received. How did you cope with these early years? I know a lot more mess and work is created because we are home much more than if I was working and children at nursery all day, but this is how it will be for quite some time.
Sorry you're feeling like this. I felt the same & to be honest still do really struggle with it all and mine are now 8 & 4.
I find it impossible to keep on top of everything aswell as working. Although I work part time it is every week day so I never get long enough alone time to get things finished, everywhere I look things are unfinished!
Sorry I can't help but I'm interested in any tips so will be watching with interest.
1. Get husband/partner to help for at least 30mins as many nights as possible during the week. He MUST help you with something, tidying, hoovering anything.
2. When you bring things out or use something, put it away again straight away when finished, in its place.
3. If the little one sleeps at all during the day, try if you can to sleep as well. Then you might be able to stay up an hour after they go to bed at night.
4.If you can do some bits and pieces before kids get up, even things like the bins, dishes.
It gets easier as time goes on, you will get through it, I worked full time and a single mum when mine were little and still managed to keep house albeit a small one, tidy and clean, and im far from a perfect parent. Ask for help from friends family etc, get a break and clear your head, then get going. Good luck.
Your dh has to do more. When dd was born ds was 19 months and the first 4 months are all a bit of a blur but at that point dp would get in from work, have a quick tidy, help get them bathed and ds into bed, then make tea (although it was just generally just something to bung in the oven) whilst I was stuck under a cluster feeding dd. He would then wash and dry up so that the kitchen was clean for the morning. In your position I would also get him to get your eldest clothes and pre school bag ready for the morning too. Dp would also get up with ds for a bit before work so I could get a shower whilst he was still there. Is any of this possible? I should say that now ds is 2.4 and dd 9 months I'm back to doing the lions share!
I did an ikea-will-organise-everything trip too! I bought lots of cheap storage and had a big organise and clear out, everything is easier to keep clean when it's organised. I also used the sling a lot as I could do bits of light housework with dd in it
To be honest though you just had a baby. You need to go easy on yourself. It wil get easier. I found everything got easier from 6 months as dd could sit in a high chair and watch me clean the kitchen/cook etc.
Just because your dh is at work all daytime does not exempt him from jobs in the evening. He needs to be doing some chores in the evening.
Stop ironing, it's pointless, really, I haven't ironed in years. Lower your standards a bit. Buy clothes online,, especially easy for children who don't need to try things on. Bins, they takes minutes surely? try to get in the habit of wiping up slops and spills immediately. A 5 minute wipe with a damp cloth is good enough for most surfaces. A slosh of bleach around the loo last thing at night is sufficient for day to day. You will not have a show home with kids of this age, they grow fast, one day you will miss the sticky handprints and grubbiness (actually that's a massive lie) relax, enjoy your babies and concentrate on a decent level of hygiene, rather than spick and span.
Re kallax they're no good for smaller toys or at least not for the people I know - they find their 3-4yr olds tip everything out to find a particular small toy car for example. I have some kallax for me (mainly as my clutter hide ) but my DC (1&4yrs) have trofast units. I've actually stack two types of trofast to maximise storage. You can get shelves and different size draws that just slide in (no altering furniture), so you can have a shallow draw for small toy cars but a deeper one for puppets and a shelf for shape sorters, etc. Its easy and quick to swap around. I also have extra drawers as storage boxes on the floor for things like cuddly toys.
These are the ones I've stacked (I've got two stacks of them - m.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/art/60308695/
My dad fixed them together securely, the strapped to wall to ensure they can fall.
You can get it in black or white for less but those had plastic runners (instead of runners made from grooves in the wood) and I wasn't sure how strong they'd be.
Best flexible toy storage solution I've found.
I think oh needs to help more and accept you can't do much at the moment.
When my little ones were that age I only ever got the hoovering done as I realised the baby loved the noise and would fall asleep. But my oh would help with almost everything else.
He would do the days washing up, cook and make me lunches for next day and tidy kitchen & rooms & toys.
I kept wipes in the bathroom to clean. Usually tried to have a shower before he went to work.
Laundry was by the washing machine and I would just about chuck into tumble drier. Ironing pile was enormous!
I'm sure there are super mums who managed more, but breast feeding a baby and a 2 yr old were hard work, especially the lack of sleep so give your self a break, breathe and relax :-)
Ive got more time now, so other points
1) writing this down, it seems like I should be coping, but I'm really not.
I think the sahm "job description" sounds easy but is actually really hard, when you've got a baby at home. I don't know anybody that's actually done it and thinks sahm with a baby is easy. So don't beat yourself up. I'm sure you're doing much better than you think. If your dp is there in the week, he should still help out with some of the things during the week (at least for the next few months until baby is sleeping through). If he works away in the week maybe he could do some things at weekend to make your life easier whilst he's away - I.e. you say he cooks on a weekend, so could he cook some meals for freezing and reheating during the week aswel?
2) Ironing - forget it. Its not worth the hassle. If its for DP's work clothes can he take over that job for a while?
3) Low hangers for kids coats and the separate baskets for each person - good ideas and worked well for me.
4) I think you should leave the DC with dp for a couple of hours this weekend, so you can have a couple of hours peaceful clothes shopping for yourself. Not only will this mean you actually have clothes that fit but it should help you feel better about yourself (fitting clothes do lift your mood even if you're not in the slightest bit vain) and let's you have a little recharge (no lugging DC about).
5) Make sure, that even if you feel like there's not time for a break, you do actually sit down and relax doing something you like, for little bits of time, regularly throughout the day. It may seem counter productive when you've got a long list of things to get done but you should be more efficient for these breaks and feel less like your on a treadmill that won't stop.
6) Re sorting clothes for size changes. I enjoy clothes shopping for them online so I use online clothes shopping as my little break (see point 5) - it can mean i have to do it over multiple breaks for me to finish the order. Then once I've got the new clothes (and preferably when there's someone else in house to watch DC so they don't make the job take longer) I take all small clothes out of wardrobe, put straight into bags and hang up new ones. Then for any that were dirty and in the washing basket when I changed the wardrobe over - I just separate out when I'm folding washing and add to bags with others.
Oh and I only buy clothes from one shop so all the clothes need changing to next size at the same time - otherwise its never ending gradual change overs because the 3-6 months size in x brand still fits but not in y or z brand and so on.
7) if DP is there of a morning can he be responsible for DC for just 5mins whilst you have a quick shower and get dry and dressed?
8) A pp as spot on when they said this " relax, enjoy your babies and concentrate on a decent level of hygiene, rather than spick and span " Ultimately a safe and clean enough house is the standard that you need. Where as spick and span is nice when you have the time and energy to do it (so not whilst baby is still little).
Oh and whilst you're at IKEA these are handy for little figurine type toys, pencils and crayons, craft bits, etc m.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/art/80098583/
Sorry to post and run but it really is hard for me to find the time to get online. Thank you so much for your helpful responses, especially FinallyFreeFromItAll
NickyEds - DH does slump on the sofa and watches whatever he pleases from 7pm - 11pm then goes to bed himself. Yes, I totally agree, he could be doing a few jobs, say between 7-8 and then still have a decent evening for himself. I've raised it numerous times but I can't get him on board so I really have given up trying now. I'm not going to leave him over it and he's not going to do more!
Well then stop doing stuff thats for his benefit! I sincerely hope you arent ironging his stuff?
Remember the old Mumsnet adage - this too shall pass. Your baby is really little!
Buy clothes online (for you too!), easy to send stuff back if it doesn't fit. Shove the old stuff up the loft until you have a better night's sleep.
LOWER YOUR STANDARDS! Your husband clearly doesn't have very high ones else he'd be helping, so bring yours down to his level! No-one worth having as a friend or family member will judge a mum with a young baby for her cleanliness of house.
Stop doing your husbands stuff. if he doesn't want to/can't iron, he can take it to an ironing place. Don't iron the kids things, iron as little of yours as you can get away with. See point about husband, he could do yours or take yours in too. don't sort his laundry away, leave it in a pile for him.
Ikea storage helps but think v hard about space and usefulness!
My partner doesn't do much but I've accepted it too! I'm bloody stupid, I know.
Great tips above! What hours does your 4 yo go to preschool? Is there any chance you could get the baby to nap whilst he's out? Sometimes if my toddler naps whilst the other two are at school and preschool, I ignore the to do list and sit down with a cuppa and an episode of a box set. I can't tell you how much this lifts my spirits and helps me get on with the rest of the day!
Being a SAHM to young children is hard, hard work. People who have never done it, don't get it.
I have no groundbreaking advice to give you, but rather I second what others have said about lowering your 'homemaking' standards so that you keep everything hygienic and healthy, but that you don't do so much that chores get in the way of you enjoying your babies. I made a pact with myself that i had to remember that I given up (my beloved) career, so that i could spend lots of time with my kids, NOT so that i could be a housekeeper.
i was at home for 5 years and the reality was that because of all of the drudgery and thankless tasks, i hated it. However, now that i have gone back to work, i am SO pleased that i had all of that time with my wonderful children. It was worth it and I absolutely cherish the memories of this time (I honestly do, i just don't ever want to do it again...!!)
Also, i got rid of the lazy, pointless and unhelpful 'D'H. Now that i am the only grown up, things are much easier...(i do realize that this is not a helpful or realistic piece of advice for most people! I just like to make light of my own situation!)
OK, so when you point out that you have no downtime whatsoever while your husband gets four hours every night, what does he say? He must do more, you can't do everything with a small baby! Neither of mine have been anywhere near sleeping through at that age, you could be waiting a long time before getting off that treadmill without help.
It's May, the sun is shining, Summer is here (almost) get out the house more, less time spent at home less mess. Your pre schooler will be at school in September and life will become easier with just the baby at home.
I remember feeling as you do now as all of a sudden you have little time to do anything. This stage will pass very quickly, although it won't feel like that now.
Really focus on doing the minimum necessary. Most clothes can be well folded not ironed. Limit the cooking to simple meals. The baby will begin to take notice of your 4 year old who can amuse it. Let standards slip, just do the housework that is really necessary. Accept any help you can from parents, if they can take children to park etc to give you a break. Order all shopping including clothes online. And above all try to relax, enjoy the baby who will hopefully sleep better soon.
Honestly? Give yourself a break. You have a new baby, you are doing brilliantly as it is.
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