Excited about going back to work....need organising advice(9 Posts)
I am going back to work on Monday after a 4 year break and I am really excited. It is a full time job in the industry I worked in and at a great small employer. I'm looking forward to the 30min tram commute each way (uninterrupted daytime reading!), meeting people outside of the mummy network and being in city life rather than suburbia.
DS (7) and DD (4) have settled nicely into the new school year and are positive about after school club.
I am conscious however that time with them will be precious and don't want to waste too much of that time on chores etc. We're not a naturally organised bunch, and the last 4 years have been a tumble of happy chaos.
So I'm looking for some top tips from organised mumsnetters on how to avoid the stress of disorder eg. getting out of the house is driving me to gin at 9.05am.
I'd love to hear about routines, habits, chore sharing, tools, discipline/rewards you use to make sure there's enough time for fun and chilling!
have a very rigid routine on a morning and try not to deviate from it. i find that if i get up at 7am i can have a shower and get dressed by 7.30am, make ds' breakfast and while he is eating that i dry and straighten my hair. then make lunches at 7.45am-8.10am whilst ds is getting teeth brushed and dressed. double check school bags are all ready etc and then its shoes and coat on at 8.20/8.30am and we are out of the door. we do that every day. if i have extra time it makes me late surprisingly because you become more relaxed about doing things.
on a night we get in at about 5.45pm and i prepare tea (ds already has had his) and whilst tea is cooking i do house work, ds chills out/has a bath or does homework. at 7pmish i have my tea and at 7.30pm ds does his reading home work with me. we chill out together until 8pmish and its then time for his bed. i try and do the ironing or some other bits of housework before chilling at 9pm. i dont get much time to spend with ds during the week as you can see BUT it does mean we get to spend most of the weekend together (every fortnight i have a proper clean through the house on a Saturday morning and once a month i stock the food cupboards up).
i buy essentials such as fresh foods during my lunch hour or pay bills etc
you get a lot done in the evening... must take some willpower to not collapse on the sofa! Good tip about using lunch for jobs.
Can you afford a cleaner, mine does 4 hours a a week, which tidies everywhere before the weekend, will also do a bit of ironing if i'm really stretched.
When you cook, make extra and freeze it so that you can just pull out of the freezer before work and reheat, works well for cottage pie, spag bol and curries etc.
Putting the washer on at night and hang up in the morning, even if its on the airer, means even if the're not ironed everyone has clean clothes.
Yes you have to be organised, but its possible, I find setting the alarm 10 mins early means you all get out of the house on time with teeth and hair brushed, without it becoming too stressful. Could you also give the children a few simple chores like making their beds and perhaps emptying the dishwasher.
Good luck and enjoy your new challenge.
Congratulations on the new job, sounds very exciting! Make sure now that you work full-time all chores are fully shared with your husband. Also
- cleaner is a great idea, ours comes 3h per week, don't spend your precious Sunday mornings ironing or scrubbing bath tubs!
- cooking bigger portions so you only make dinner every other day helps. Also on the dinner front, you can opt for lighter dinner on some days (bread with cheese and salami, salad etc) so it's very quick to prepare
- share responsibility for dinner preparation with DH. You can also involve your 7 year old in preparing breakfast and dinner. My 2 year old daughter already knows how to empty the dishwasher for example, obviously it doesn't save massive time as you need to supervise but keeps them occupied and happy
- if you live somewhere urban, do online shopping for almost everything. We have a tesco order one evening a week to cover most of our needs and do farmers mkts on Sundays to buy fresh eggs, bread etc so no intra-week shopping required
- teach your kids to help out more if they aren't already, a 7 year old is capable of operating a laundry machine or vaccuming, for example.
Make sure both kids are 'trained' as much as possible. Ie: they put dirty washing in basket when take off as saves you running around hunting for things. And that they can get dressed/ teeth/ attempt hair etc as will Save time
Also quick food is also healthy. Stuffed pasta with some stir fry veg and a sauce is 10 mins max and def needed a few meals like this. Batch cook. Pizza night!
Cleaner if you can
Make sure everything is split between the family and not just you
lots of good advice!
we get as much done the night before as possible, clothes, lunches etc so that the morning is just about breakfast, getting ready and getting out the door.
I have my breakfast at my desk as I don't have time at home.
Cooking larger quantities helps and some batch cooking at the weekend so that of an evening you might only have to do a salad or rice to complete a meal. But also consider simpler meals, jacket potatoes, soup, don't require you to be stood at the stove faffing giving you more time with the kids.
Don't know if your after school club supports homework but it would be helpful to you for them to have got it done before you get home and before they get too tired of an evening. I find it helps if they've already started it rather than waiting for you to get home to begin tackling it. Another good routine to get into, getting it done and out of the way so it isn't hanging over you all evening.
good luck with your new job!
I think having a cleaner and someone to do the ironing would be helpful. Also make sure that you allocate one day at the weekend where you do something as a family even if it's just a few hours of playing board games.
Hope you are already back by now and settling in to new routines.
When you get in the door, put away coats etc immediately. Go through schoolbags for homework to be completed (assuming they do some in childcare afterschool - otherwise to start straight away), and any notes from school, party invites etc.
You, while supervising homework with 1 eye, turn on pots etc for dinner.
Everyone helps - so clearing table and setting it for dinner are jobs that 4 and 7 year olds can do together (or alternate nights). And the same with clearing up. If need be, star charts with a "family time" reward at the weekends can help with them doing chores.
Try to keep them in the room with you if possible, while you work on getting dinner and they do homework and help you and chat through your day together.
I tend to leave certain chores until they are doing bed - washing up (I clear the table and stack dishwasher as we finish dinner, but leave washing of pots etc), making school and work lunches and prepping tomorrow's dinner. Meanwhile, our 6 yr old does "wees and teeth", may need help getting changed (so I pop up and get out tomorrow's clothes, and can offer a hand if need be and also encourage keeping moving), and then she gets 20 minutes to read to herself, do a maths sheet (her choice!) or some colouring in, before DH or I go back up to read her bedtime story. Between the few minutes at the start and that 20 minutes (and story time if I'm not reading), I can get the kitchen sorted and maybe some laundry or another small job.
I always sort dinner the night before too. If a sauce needs to be cooked, I do that so it's only reheating that and boiling pasta/rice/potatoes next day. Peel veg and potatoes and leave those in water in pots ready to cook. Take out previously made and frozen sauce (spag bol, curry etc) from freezer, or meat/fish if need be. That sort of thing. I can set the oven to turn itself on and off, so I'd often have an oven dinner that is hot when we get in, or sometimes make sure the oven is hot already to throw in chicken kievs or battered fish and oven chips etc.
I can also set my washing machine on a timer, which does help. I tend to sort out a load most nights at DD's bedtime (maybe while she is in bathroom a couple of step away) but set it to run in the afternoon so it is ready to put on the line outside/clothes horse indoors/tumble dryer when we get in. So then it only takes a couple of minutes (and DD can help). Dry clothes get thrown into a "clean" basket, which DH and/or I sort and fold on Sat evening while sitting with DD watching a movie (she often helps a bit). DH does the ironing on Sunday evenings while I am either making or clearing up after the roast dinner. (I usually make a double batch of a dinner for Monday and freeze the other half on Sunday evening while sorting the roast).
Definitely leave all clothes out the night before (for all family members) and make lunches then too. Make sure all bags are sorted (gym gear, any after school activities or evening activities like book club, scouts, sports etc - sort the night before) and left together in the same place. Make sure coats/boots/scarves etc are all easily located (depending on relevant weather needs and to allow for changes).
I tend to do most of the heavy cleaning at weekends - blitz it for an hour with DH to get the main cleaning done (bathroom, dusting, hoovering etc), while I sweep the kitchen floor most nights and when I do mop, it tends to be a quieter mid-week night or as we go out somewhere at the weekend (so it's dry when we get home).
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