To not be able to cope with all the extra curricular activities, days out etc?(251 Posts)
Long time lurker but first post so be gentle with me.
I’m completely exhausted and need help!
A bit of background, I am married with three girls age 4, 5 and 7 and I work as a teaching assistant. My girls just asked me tonight if they could join rainbows/brownies tonight and I said no because I just don’t feel like I can cope with any more running around than I already do. They have gone to bed crying and I feel awful
I don’t know if I’m just pathetic but I feel like I’m struggling as it is, I feel like I am just rushing through their childhoods with no time to enjoy it. I will post an example of my week and if anyone can give me any pointers that I can’t see to help free up some time so I don’t feel so exhausted that would be great! Or maybe I’m moaning about nothing and this is what life with children is like?
Mon: work 8am - 3pm (girls go to breakfast club). School finished 3.15 home by 3.45. Make snacks and drinks, sort and pack away clean washing, cook dinner, make packed lunches, clean up from dinner, upstairs for baths, stories, spellings, times tables, everyone in bed by 8pm. Go and do a 20 minute exercise video (as advised by doctor I am overweight and un fit and my health is at risk) empty bins, then bath and collapse infront of tv/mumsnet for one hour then go to bed.
Tue: repeat above except I work until 4.30 home at 5pm (girls go to after school club) and I do not sort the washing. Clean loos instead of empty bins at night.
Wed: work 8am-3pm, go to gymnastics straight from school where each girls class is at a different time due to abilities, we get home at 7pm (girls eat in cafe I can’t afford too as well) baths etc everyone in bed by 8.30, then I cook clean up, iron uniforms, empty bins, too tired for any exercise and collapse.
Thur: repeat above but replace gymnastics with swimming and cafe food with happy meals.
Fri: work 8-3, come straight home after school, tidy messy house with colours papers jigsaws etc everywhere, dinner, clean up, baths etc then collapse In front of tv and fall asleep as so tired from the week.
Sat: take oldest to musical theatre for the morning then I go to the supermarket with younger dc. Come home make lunch pack shopping away, then do something nice with the girls like cinema, park, visit a relative etc for a couple of hours, come home, cook clean up bedtimes etc
Sun: clean house takes 3 hours, washloads, ironing, homework, cook roast, clean up, baths bed etc sit on sofa and think Sunday was worse than a week day
My dh works nights including weekends he has Mondays and Tuesdays off instead. He does garden, car stuff, family admin and bills, diy, decorating plus ebays our old stuff and takes over time at work if it’s available.
I want to study for an extra qualification but just can’t see how I could fit that in
6 weeks holidays are fine and I feel like I’m relaxed in those 6 weeks but the one week and two week holidays we catch up with relatives, old friends, school friends etc. I try and keep one day a week in the hols free but this week a friend who I have not seen for 2 years wants to meet up so that’s my one free day gone where I wanted to go and buy new bins for bathrooms new toilet brushes as our bathrooms are looking grim, girls winter shoes etc so now I will have to do that one night after school making yet another rushed night.
How can we slow down and enjoy life instead of constantly rushing here and there? Or is everyone else the same? Or probably worse and will tell me I’m lucky I don’t work full time?
I feel like there's a lot of repetition in the work. So ironing: is it not possible to iron all the clothes on a Sunday night? Batch cook on the weekend and heat up on the days you get in?
Why are you doing so much tidying up? Your girls are quite big. My 5 year old puts his plates in the sink. Wipes the table. Clears away. Makes his bed. Helps me sort the laundry and before we go to bed, tidies up the downstairs (his sibling is a baby so can't help but makes a mess with his toys). While the girls tidy up, you tidy up from dinner (with their help). They put out their uniforms for the night before bath time. So once they are in bed you aren't doing housework.
Your dh should be doing child stuff (homework etc), housework and cooking on Mondays and Tuesdays. Why isn't he? And why isn't he pitching in on the other evenings before he goes to work?
Why isn’t your DH doing more? I get the exhaustion, I am similar but I’m a single mum. You are not. Car stuff and DIY is not the same at all.
And you don't have to meet up with your friend all day. Meet for lunch and get the shopping done beforehand.
Would it be awful to say yes you can go brownies if you both drop an activity that occurs on the same day,eg, gymnastics.
Do online food/clothes shopping, hire a cleaner so you don’t have to do the 3 hour clean or get DH to do more. I’m a SAHM and my DH does more than I do housework wise. No reason your DH can’t do more than sort bills and car stuff. They are all well and good but don’t help with daily cleaning and tidying.
I don’t iron school uniform. Also your DH isn’t exactly pulling his weight, based on what you say here - gardening and car stuff doesn’t exactly take up as much time every week as cooking, cleaning and laundry, does it? Most of our food shopping is online. Reception age child here brings her bowls etc out to dishwasher.
Also why so much cleaning if you are all out every day?
You can just give your children a choice - they can do two activities. If they want to do brownies, then they have to drop something else.
I feel it is the Wednesday’s and thursdays that finish me off. Without the after school clubs I find the day much better as I can start on dinner straight after school. But the girls love gymnastics and ballet and as someone who is over weight I am glad they have hobbies that keep them active.
Why is your DH not doing everything on Monday and Tuesday, he'd be alone during day when they're at school for some "weekend" for him
My DH is a problem and we constantly argue about this. He sees Monday’s and Tuesday’s as his days off! 😡
I work ft and have 2 kids
They do beavers, swimming and rugbyy life is chaotic but manageable
Childcare is wrap around & ft
Stuff that helps-
Not ironing - wash & hang dry or tumblr dry
Sunday dinner make enough for Monday dinner- when cooking it does 2 days
Kids have school / childcare food
I would get your partner sorting food when he's back from a shift
My DH also creates more cleaning by not cleaning up his mess from when he wakes up in the day to eat, plus the girls are so messy im always shouting at them to pack toys away before they get more out but as im doing dinner etc they cause chaos!
Internet shopping is my saviour! Get the bins etc ordered from wilkos etc. Grocery shop ordered from supermarket...
Just a few possible time saving things:
- Are school lunches an option to cut down on the time making packed lunch? At least 2 of your children are KS1 so should get universal free school meals.
- Also, do you do baths for everyone every night? Children really don't need a bath everyday and it would also save you some time.
- I'd lessen the amount of tidying up too. If you are all out a lot it can't be that messy and the bins can't be full everyday. A 5 minute tidy up each day and a bigger clean through one day a week works for me.
Looks pretty normal to me and to be expected with 3 children. Some people have work to do in the evening too... so it could be a lot worse.
I only had l one child and would only let her do one activity at a time. So gymnastics or ballet or piano. Not all three. It was partly to do with money but also time.
She’s now 18 and doesn’t hold it against me. If anything she appreciated each thing as it was her only thing.
YANBU. 3 activities would be too much. So if your DD can agree on an activity to drop then they can start Rainbows and Brownies. What night is that? If it's Monday or Tuesday then it becomes DPs responsibility to get them there.
Also a Happy meal every week is not a great habit. Do they have packed lunches or hot dinners? Can they have hot dinners that day and sandwiches etc for tea?
Don't understand why you are cooking and cleaning up on Monday and Tuesday.
I'd get them to drop an activity if they want to do something else. I think thats reasonable. My dc do other activities, but part of school clubs after school, and they swim at school as well. The only thing I take them to is cubs. Although there is often weekend stuff as well to do with cubs. I'd also get dh to help out more. I'm a single mum and work full time, so to preserve my sanity, and in turn theirs, this is the best way to make it work for us.
The girls don’t have school dinners as they all have allergies and they don’t like the limited options that are left, and have to be bathed and creamed every night as they have a skin condition and youngest two still have accidents most days at school 😞 hence extra uniform washing too and they wet the bed apart from the oldest so I’m doing at least one of not two washloads a day
If my dh was working nights I wouldn't ask him to do much beyond what he is already doing, night work is killer.
You can't fit anything else into your week so I would as the children to choose gymnastics or brownies.
My dc do not do everything they ask to do, if they did I would sink without a trace. We all need boundaries and to keep our lives orderly, organised and faintly calm.
Don't risk everything you have for something that may tip you over.
Build in time to be free and liberated in the holidays
Tbh, if you'd left the info about your dh out of your OP I would have assumed you were a lone parent. It's as if he's not there at all. That's not right - you running yourself ragged and him contributing nothing to the running of the family and household.
He could cook in advance for Weds and Thurs to make life easier for you. Unless he's working ridiculous hours, there'll always be a bit of time at either end of his shift for him to have a tidy round, take the bins out etc. I don't think it's fair that your girls are effectively missing out on an activity because HE won't pull his weight (as if he did I am sure you would find the whole routine more manageable).
Agree with the other posters - your husband needs to do more. He gets mon and tues off work, what days do you get off because it looks like you get none? At the very least he should be doing he cooking and tidying on Monday and Tuesday. If you can afford it I’d get a cleaner to replace the 3 hr clean although obviously this isn’t an option for everyone. I wouldn’t iron school uniform either but tbh I don’t iron anything
Your DH could do with doing more - I thought you were a lone parent until the end if the tread. I know nights shifts are a struggle but surely he could empty bins, maybe even start dinner prep or do samdwiches instead of cafe food. I have worked nights in the past and, like a dayshift worker, there were some hours in the day where I wasn't sleeping amd could fit limited job in. Iy sounds like any contribution no matter how small would help you at the moment.
He seems.to have occassional jobs (car stuff) and sit down jobs (ebay stuff) maybe if he took on more you could do that in the evening.
Shop online too and use that extra time to get on top of other things.
Could you use the time waiting for kids to do activities to do any of the household admin/online shop/ebay sell freeing up DH to do ironing (if it's really needed?)/cleaning or cooking?
Yes to getting the kids to help too.
If your children want to squeeze in another activity, have a think/discussion with them about which they really want to do - you'd probably need to replace the activity rather than add a new one.
You sound amazing though, running things smoothly. But it sounds like it's taking it's toll on you.
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