Working full time with two kids...tell me it gets easier!(17 Posts)
I'm just on my commute home after 7 days back at work. DS1 is almost 3 and DS2 is 6 months. Work is crazy busy, home feels crazy busy.
I'll get home at 7pm. Both kids will need bathed, DS1 needs stories and bedtime, DS2 needs fed and cuddled, but will only co-sleep so will be awake until we go to bed. Dinner needs cooked, then dishes, prep for tomorrow, laundry, tidying, etc, etc. We'll collapse into bed at 11pm and hope DS2 sleeps well until the day starts at 5.30am tomorrow. Never felt this stressed when I returned to work after DS1. Please tell me it will get easier or I'll get used to it and it will at least feel easier!
Do you have a partner or are you a single parent?
I have a partner and he does a fair amount!
Being a single is a big factor.
That aside, I work full-time with 3 DC. It's hard, really, really bloody hard BUT you do build up pace. It took me a good 12 month or so.
It's still really tough going now but it's a lot easier to when I first went full-time.
Now, I live for the weekends! Literally count down to Friday night starting 7am on Monday!
That sounds really hard. I had to reduce my hours at work after my second child as felt my son wasn’t getting time with me/wasn’t being fed properly/always stressed/not going to bed early enough so not enough sleep etc. I co sleep with both of the kids as well.
Do the children get enough sleep?
It does get easier. The kids get easier and life gets easier... it's a rocky ride though, so brace yourself!
I went back when DD was 6 months and DS was 20 months. It was hellish for ages. I posted on here, about 6 months in, when I reached the end of my tether and couldn't cope anymore. I got the usual helpful advice about getting up earlier and batch cooking!!
They're 2 and 3 now and life is good. Not perfect but much easier.
You'll get there.
Thanks for the replies! I'm hoping it will get easier.
DS1 I think gets enough sleep as he doesn't stir from 8pm until 6am, dropped his afternoon nap last year and seems ok and not to grouchy even at bath time. DS2 is still a bit hit and miss, will usually only co-sleep but slept in his cot last night from 10pm until 5am for the first time ever!
It gets easier to look after them but it gets harder with the multitude of activities they start doing. Well in my opinion it has anyway
I never understand batch cooking....Ok cook a larger meal and freeze some of it but I know people that spend a whole day off doing it....why????
You don't have to spend a whole day off doing it. When I batch cook I just cook a huge amount of whatever I was making anyway.
For example, tomorrow's dinner will be spaghetti bolognaise. I will make enough bolognaise sauce for 4 meals, because that takes only marginally longer than doing one meals worth (extra chopping time for onion and veg).
If I make marinated chicken then I do enough for 2-3 meals and put the extra straight in the freezer in the bag with the marinade, then it does the marinating while it defrosts in the fridge next time.
I also do this for chilli, curry, cottage pie filling, stew, casserole, lentils.
It definitely gets easier as the kids get older, OP. Even being able to dress and toilet themselves saves you a bit of an effort, and once they’re old enough to help with household chores it’s a relative doddle.
I was widowed with a baby and a toddler, no family within 250 miles and a stressful job as a hospital doctor. The early years were an endurance test, but I got through it. The kids are now pushing 30, and great company, and I’m retired and enjoying some very belated “me time”!
I have DS(4) and DS(2.5). Went back to work when second DS was around 10 months. I went back on a 4 day week though. I find that the one extra day at home means I can spend some quality time with the boys but also get some jobs done about the house. Nothing mad like, but put some laundry away, get a weekly shop delivered or clean the bathroom. It means it's one less thing to fit into the weekend.
Things are hectic though, no matter how much meal planning, batch cooking or getting up early I do. I have bugger all time to exercise, the house is always a tip and I never feel like I'm getting enough one on one time with either DS or DH for that matter. Goodness knows how we're going to fit in homework when the time comes.
BUT!!! It does feel easier than when I first went back to work. Maybe we're just getting used to how things are, or maybe we're getting better at it. I think that the boys sleeping well and eating well helps...and that came as they got older.
Your DC are tiny, so will be a slog.
Suggest you/DP not cooking much at all for your evening meal - could do very fast stuff, sandwiches, ready meals . Do you have a nanny? Assume so as you’re not home until 7pm. Could the nanny (or DP if they are home before you) cook something?
I would get rid of bath time and shower DC in the morning with you (1 with you, one with DH)
I would also not cook anything interesting all week! Pasta (with batchcooked sauce), Rice (with batchcooked chili or curry), soup, jacket potatoes etc
DS2 needs a bath every evening as it helps with his eczema. On the odd occasion he hasn't had a bath his skin gets awful very quickly and he is awake scratching all night. DS1 is very much in a set routine so it's easier to bath him every night than skip. The nights we skip he ends up going to bed much later!
Here's my tips.
Prep clothes for the week for kids so you have a bag a day sitting with everything- nappies etc.
Same with adult clothes have each outfit on hanger in wardrobe.
Stick to ping meals or sandwiches omelette or stir fry etc for evening - minimal prep and mess. I tend to have main meal at lunch time at work.
Tag team the kids and try keep bath to 10mins.
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