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To wonder how working mums manage when I can barely keep it together

(122 Posts)
CountryMummy1 Mon 05-Jan-15 23:11:48

I am a SAHM with a 3 year old DD and 10 month old DS. Many of my friends have gone back to work with children the same age as me and I just wonder how the hell they manage.

I was struggling so much when DS was born that I took Mumsnet advice to get a cleaner....and I still have her! She cleans and irons and is a godsend.

We go to a group everyday but I really struggle to get everyone sorted to get to the 9am ones. How do people manage to get their DC to childminders etc. and get to work on time?

I have a cling DD and, to be honest most of the day is spent just doing, tidying, cooking, doing a class....then it's time for bedtime routine and bed. Evening is spent cleaning up dinner, tidying, paperwork, household stuff etc. And I still never get everything done.

I have days when I make a big effort to do some proper 'educational' things with DD or something creative but it's at the expense of other stuff which I end up doing at night when I'm knackered.

The final straw was DS in Law putting a facebook picture on this weekend....she was only building a while bloody ship out of cardboard with the DCs.... And she works full time as well sad

Where am I going wrong or am I just crap???

CountryMummy1 Mon 05-Jan-15 23:13:23

Cling DD = clingy DD

jackydanny Mon 05-Jan-15 23:15:29

I'm guessing she wasn't building with a 10m old?

IMO, work can be less demanding than two little ones.

Keep loving them!

Spinaroo Mon 05-Jan-15 23:17:10

Avoid Facebook-she probably spent a few minutes found that before trying to find something clean to wear in the first washing basket and tripping over last nights dinner dishes as she did. I'm sure you're doing fab and your kids enjoy you being around

Spinaroo Mon 05-Jan-15 23:17:45

A few minutes doing that - sorry

Snapespotions Mon 05-Jan-15 23:18:00

Of course you're not crap!

All kids are different - yours might just be higher maintenance than others. Also, people might prioritise different things - perhaps your DSIL's house is much messier than yours or something. And there is probably an element of Parkinson's law - work expands to fill the time that is available.

If you're struggling to get out on time, do you need to go to a group every day?

Cut yourself some slack. It will get easier when the children are old enough to go to school.

CountryMummy1 Mon 05-Jan-15 23:20:35

I go to groups as DD wouldn't settle in nursery/playgroup without me ( whole other big thread) and I worry that she won't socialise enough if I don't.

Ikillpotplants Mon 05-Jan-15 23:23:27

I stayed at home for a year and am now back at work and I was the same as you when I was at home - if I had to be out for 9 it would usually mean leaving Weetabix smeared round kitchen and nothing tidy. Work routine is just different I think, rather then more difficult. Plus you're not at home all day so less tidying up (although my house still looks like a bomb site).

wobblyweebles Mon 05-Jan-15 23:24:40

Maybe get up an hour earlier? That was my solution when I worked...

jackydanny Mon 05-Jan-15 23:25:43

I remember these anxieties so well!
Let her be herself.

flowers it's not easy

LineRunner Mon 05-Jan-15 23:26:51

I don't know. I look back to the years when I had two small children, was on my own, and worked, and I don't know.

LineRunner Mon 05-Jan-15 23:27:26

I think I aged a lot though.

Gennz Mon 05-Jan-15 23:29:10

I have a 6 week old DS and I have a cleaner! There is no way that our floors would be mopped or vacuuming done if we didn't (and DH is by no means a slacker when it comes to domestic stuff).

I don't think there is a one size fits all approach. I actually think life will feel a bit easier once I'm back at work. DS will be bigger, we'll have a bit of extra money coming in, I'll be able to wear heels & something other than leggings and a t-shirt - can't wait! I am a lawyer and I am looking forward to getting back to a job where I know what I'm doing!!

I never go to baby classes though & I have no intention of starting. I wait til DH is home to do any shopping. Anything I can do online I do. DS' socialising is with his cousins, or when we visit friends with kids or they visit us. we went to the beach yesterday & it was a mission and I only have one tiny one - can't imagine tryin to do it with 2 mobile DCs. Cut yourself some slack.

CountryMummy1 Mon 05-Jan-15 23:29:20

Goodness me LineRunner, hats off to you!!!!! I do have hubby home by 6 to help with bedtime at least

wonderstuff Mon 05-Jan-15 23:30:09

Work is easier, up, dressed, teeth brushed, bag packed night before, drop off at childcare, then don't worry about anything except you and work until pick up, my day nursery did three meals and snacks, so I just had to get the kids bathed and in bed. The house was so much tidier than when I was on mat leave. Hot coffee and a wee on your own, bliss.

Pifflepants Mon 05-Jan-15 23:30:10

3 and 1 was the hardest bit. It gets easier. And you can already get out for 9 when you have to. For now, enjoy not having to all the time.

I have lost count of the number of people who've asked how I manage work, children and not having a cleaner. Answer: the house is a pit.

LineRunner Mon 05-Jan-15 23:31:51

Yes, house a pit. That rings a bell.

And no social life.

Balloonspaghetti Mon 05-Jan-15 23:32:06

I have a theory that mums who work get a mental space us SAHM do not with our kids.

Not saying one or other is better.

I know that the times I leave my child in a crèche or with someone else - suddenly I get a lot done that day, even after collecting him.

I think work is a different stress that perhaps gives some more headspace to be able to come back and be more productive afterwards with our kids/home.

Kinda sounds like iv sold being a working mum to myself, but there are benefits to being a SAHM that I won't give up till I have to... I wouldn't contribute enough financially by working that we'd be losing money by paying someone other than me to have him. I'm cheaper...

CountryMummy1 Mon 05-Jan-15 23:32:10

Oh I would love to wee alone. Today we hit a new low of me having to go for a poo with DD on my lap and DS at my feet blush

LinesThatICouldntChange Mon 05-Jan-15 23:33:51

I agree with ikillpotplants.... When you're working, you develop routines and It just seems different. When I was on maternity leaves, I'd struggle to get the kids up and out by 9, yet when I was working, we'd be up and out before 8.
If you're struggling, I'd cut out some of the groups though... Children don't need toddler groups daily (and the thought of having to attend one a day makes me shudder!!)

Caff2 Mon 05-Jan-15 23:36:06

I think it becomes what it can, iyswim? With my eldest, I worked full time, he was at childminder by ten to eight all ready and bag packed. DS2, I work part time and don't have to leave until 9.45, so it takes me that long!

rollonthesummer Mon 05-Jan-15 23:37:05

I have a theory that mums who work get a mental space us SAHM do not with our kids.

Some working mums do maybe. I went back to teaching (Reception) when DS was 17 weeks old and can honestly say I got no mental space at all when I was at work.

Rootandbranch Mon 05-Jan-15 23:37:19

I just expand or contract stress/housework to fit whatever time I have. I feel just as stressed an anxious and over committed no matter how little or how much I work.

BikeRunSki Mon 05-Jan-15 23:37:43

I get up at 6.15 and go to bed at about 11.30. That's how I manage.

Gennz Mon 05-Jan-15 23:37:51

What would happen if you did go to the loo alone Country Mummy? (Not being facetious.) So many people said to me "you'll never get time to shower, you'll never go to the loo again by yourself once the baby gets here", I don't really get what the issue is, it's not like the baby is going to burn the house down if I'm in the bathroom for 5 minutes.

I don't like hearing DS cry but I also value pooing alone ... I figure he's not going to suffer long term damage if he has to squawk for a bit longer while I move my bowels!!

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