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to wonder how the fuck everyone copes

(111 Posts)
Filibear Tue 30-Aug-11 16:29:41

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Tee2072 Tue 30-Aug-11 16:35:53

I'm afraid I don't have any answers but didn't want to leave you unanswered.

Can you cut your hours at work? Spend the weekend resting? Ignore the housework for a week so you can rest when you used to tidy?

gaaagh Tue 30-Aug-11 16:36:10

Of course you have help from your DH, since you are also helping him. You're both raising your children - don't fall into the trap of thinking he's "helping you", if you're heading down that route (many mums do).

Does your DH do a fair enough, based on his own work schdule? We need more details.

scurryfunge Tue 30-Aug-11 16:38:51

When you say you have help from DH, is it split 50/50?

I went back to shift work when DS was 6 months and it was bloody difficult. Just ignore the non important stuff and give yourself some time to yourself.

NotFromConcentrate Tue 30-Aug-11 16:38:56

It's a killer, isn't it? Don't cry - you'll get there and you won't even realise you're coping until one day you find yourself doing a thousand and one things and not struggling with them! Your little boy is still very young, and you're probably still finding your feet (and your energy!) after having him and going back to work.

I work full time with a 7yo, a 3yo and one on the way, and it's only when my friends ask how I manage to juggle it all that I realise I am (that is meant to be encouraging, not a claim to be Superoman!)

The best piece of advice I can give you is to not set yourself impossibly difficult goals, or compare yourself to anyone else at all. As long as you, your DH and your little boy are happy, it doesn't matter if you make every single meal from scratch, or if your laundry basket is empty, or if your nails are freshly manicured wink

Be kind to yourself, and ditch the housework in favour of a few early nights to see if that helps x

thisisyesterday Tue 30-Aug-11 16:38:59

agree with gaaagh

you shouldn't be thinking of it as you having to bring up a child, run a house and work with help from your DH.

if you both work then the rest of the stuff needs to be split EQUALLY.
equal child responsibilities
equal cleaning
equal food shopping etc etc

none of this "oh he helps out by cooking once a week" nonsense that so many people seem to think is fantastic hmm

I would also go so far as to say that if one of a pair of parents is struggling and is tired and unhappy then the other partner takes on a bit extra until they can cope.
that is what your dh needs to do

thisisyesterday Tue 30-Aug-11 16:39:45

btw, 40 hours is a long time! do you need to work that much? could you cut your hours down if you'd prefer to spend a bit more time at home with baby?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 30-Aug-11 16:40:02

You'd probably find that other mothers in a similar situation are feeling similar. When I was working 40 hours a week and a single parent to a 7 mo I can tell you that crapola like housework went by the wayside, the sofa was my best friend and I'd regularly go to bed at 8pm.

PS... recommend multivits with iron if you're tired all the time and, if it persists, see a doctor.

chibi Tue 30-Aug-11 16:41:09

it gets better, really it does. when you have time (ha ha) think about how you can rationalise things so you are working better, eg meal planning to save time picking up emergency ohcrapwhatareweeatingtonight food

also is your dh sharing equally in the day to day? I don't mean he does all the diy that gets done twice a year or so or putting out bins. I mean the everyday gruntwork that keeps the house ticking over and chaos from the door. If not he needs to start

lastly make time for you to do something you want at least once a week, and to fuck with anything that goes amiss as a result. Me time does sound wanky, but so what. It isn't selfish, it is self preservation.

It gets better. the first year can be really hard. The other working mums may well be struggling too. I didn't discover that i didn't have the only non sleeping baby in my postnatal group until well after our second kids were born. No one likes to say they are having a tough time.

Filibear Tue 30-Aug-11 16:41:19

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PicaK Tue 30-Aug-11 16:41:56

It gets better. I'm a SAHM but think I can still comment because I've been as desperately knackered as you sound. It's slow but you do stop feeling permanently exhausted eventually.

Can anyone help to give you a lie in?

troisgarcons Tue 30-Aug-11 16:46:19

Stop trying to be 'supermum'. Don't conform to other peoples expectations. Take help when it's offered. Ask for help. Have the odd ready meal or invest in slow cooker where you can bung it all in and forget about it whilst you are at work. Bugger the washing. Sod the dusting.

I would say, from personal experience, sleep deprivation isn't going to help matters. Even if you and your other half have to sleep in shifts - then you must do it.

It's hard, I had 3 under 5 and worked full time in The City, plus an hours commute each way. I was able to havea reasonable sway with flexi-time so I used to work my lunch to get away early, go home and kip for an hour before picking the kids up. Made a world of difference. You snatch sleep when you can.

Valetude Tue 30-Aug-11 16:51:59

Have a weekly meeting and divvy up chores etc and try to have a deadline they get done by
(I needed this as if a chore was 'change the beds' dh wouldn't see this as important and would leave it until the next week).

Accept that you need some pre-prepared food

Plan cooking huge batches and freezing

Don't fret about eating the same things 3 nights in a row, if it's easier

Set a bedtime for yourself and if that's 8 pm, so be it, for the time being. Mine was 9 pm for a while or else I crashed on the sofa and it was a pain being woken and having to get undressed. I felt better aiming to get to bed by 9.

Outsource? Could you get the ironing done, for example? (Can be done outside the house while you're at work)

And massive sympathy, it is hard.

MissVerinder Tue 30-Aug-11 16:52:35

Can you get your head down in the car or somewhere in your lunch hour? I used to do this all the time when I started back at work f/t.

If not, use your lunch hour to sort things out, like household admin, maybe sort your meal plan (ha ha- I mean takeaway menus wink) and do shopping lists. I found this helped by cutting loads out of the shopping time.

Also, is your house crazy clean? If so, let it slide a bit- don't set yourself mega high standards, or is there a teenager locally that you trust that could help you out with washing/ironing to give you a break?

Deep breath, Fili, it's hard, really hard but you'll get there.

I also used to book leave and take DD to nursery so I could sleep

Ahem [embarrassed]

MissVerinder Tue 30-Aug-11 16:53:03

or even blush

thisisyesterday Tue 30-Aug-11 16:53:55

ok, well it;s fair enough that the person who gets in first obvoiusly does a bit more of the work because you are there and he isn't.

what about weekends though? does he pull his weight?

I do think that if you are crying and exhausted then something has to give...

thisisyesterday Tue 30-Aug-11 16:54:24

and get a cleaner. seriously. best money i spend

troisgarcons Tue 30-Aug-11 16:55:20

Ooh yes! the old dump-and-run and straight back under a duvet! blush

gaaagh Tue 30-Aug-11 16:57:23

"I do think that if you are crying and exhausted then something has to give"

Also I think there's a clear clue in the answer to: how often is your DH crying and exhausted, juggling his job/childcare/etc?

If the answer is "never" or "hardly ever" and the reason is nothing to do with your general attitude towards life (i.e. he's very very laid back, whilst you're known as a worrier) that can be quite... revealing.

Hoto Tue 30-Aug-11 16:57:52

oh god YES I'd go without many things before I'd give up my cleaner. She's saving my sanity.

WyrdMother Tue 30-Aug-11 16:59:09

I'm going to add my voice to all the don't try and be supermum ones. Figure out the essentials, give em priorites and don't sweat the small stuff at home eg.

1. You all eat reasonably
2. You all sleep reasonably
3. You get time to enjoy life and being a family.
4. You are all clean.
5. Your clothes are clean.

All of the above split into reasonable proportions depending on who works what hours.

Everything else is just window dressing. I had to tell myself this over and over again until I got it through my own skull and I was only working 24 hours a week, I got there in the end.

Any family members or friends around who can help? Having been there if I knew someone who was struggling in the same way they'd be drowning in homemade pasta sauce.

Plain exhaustion can make you clumsy and unfocussed, it could also, along with the exhaustion, be a sign of depression, so if this doesn't lift with a bit of kindness to yourself, do see a Doctor.

NotFromConcentrate Tue 30-Aug-11 17:00:06

troisgarcons makes a good point about trying to grab a quick nap before you pick your DS up. I've started whizzing through my work in the day, then coming home for a quick faff on Mumsnet nap before collecting the boys. Even if you only manage it once or twice a week, it works wonder and it'll make you feel like you're doing something nice for yourself.

magicmelons Tue 30-Aug-11 17:54:29

With great ,great difficulty trust me although not many people would know this about me.

Is there any way you can cut your hours? it often makes financial sense in terms of childcare. If you can get a cleaner, even for a couple of hours every 2 weeks. It will make an immense difference to your sanity. Do you do weekend on off lie ins with dh? we always try and make sure one of us gets a lie in on one of the days. Don't say yes to everything, you have to put yourself first <wishes could take ones own advice>.

And lastly, not everybody else is coping i can assure you we have all cried because its so hard but you need to first admit you can't do it all and stop tryingsmile

jellybeans208 Tue 30-Aug-11 17:58:54

Just do it where some nights you dont have to do anything at all and take it in turns. 1 lie in each at the weekends etc

defrocked Tue 30-Aug-11 18:01:28

the thing is, as much as the media would have you believe it, you cannot have a full time job and do everything else as well and give enough time to the family. It is just physically impossible, something has to give simply because there is a finite number of hours.

you either have to cut down work, or get someone in to help.

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