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Your tips please to a happy household when working ft...

(367 Posts)
YouSmegHead Sun 07-Oct-12 11:31:12

So recently went back to work ft and haven't found my stride yet. What top tips do you have for keeping me sane smile

Mosman Sun 07-Oct-12 11:32:46

I'm about to sign up to a working mums coach to get myself sorted out because 4 months in and it's still killing me, worked ok but not brilliantly when DH was part time and I was full, now both full time I'm in my knees tbh

peggyblackett Sun 07-Oct-12 11:33:31

Lay out clothes the night before. Check bags (including yours) the night before. I know some people shower the night before too, but I can't bring myself to do that - sweaty!

peggyblackett Sun 07-Oct-12 11:34:06

Working mums coach? What's one of those?

notnowImreading Sun 07-Oct-12 11:35:11


ChunkyMonkeyMother Sun 07-Oct-12 11:40:03

I am just about to go full time too so in the same boat! I am so worried because I've been working PT and really struggling!

I agree with Peggy, I get everyones clothes out for the next day the night before - It means DH can get up and do his stuff (He's up at 5am) then I can get up, get showered and get dressed then start the process for my DS.

I also have set days to do certain stuff, such as hoovering, washing, emptying bins/cat litter etc. which seems to be working so far - But its stuff like washing up, shopping etc that I'm struggling with and the local supermarket deliveries are crap! We've tried all of them and they have all been rubbish so it means I have to do it.

How much is the average cleaner? Do they do laundry? I think what I basically need is a clone - someone who can do the shopping, laundry, cooking and cleaning whilst DH and I work - Where can I get one of these?

RancerDoo Sun 07-Oct-12 11:40:47

Which bits aren't quite working?

Parts tht are helpful (if i can do them) for me are:

Maintaining decent division of labour re home stuff (there's invariably a drift of things onto my list and pushing back to be done)

Excellent childcare (a good nanny = huge relief)

Putting out my stuff the night before

Putting everyone elses stuff out the night before!

My diary with a column for everyone (each of the kids, DH and nanny) so I know where everyone should be at all times. Dh and I both feed in and communicate any out of normal working hours commitments. The norm is he leaves early and I work late so we do one end of the day each, but anything outside of that - which happens at least twice aweek- gets agreed and written own.

Cleaner (from an agency so you get a replacement if yours is ill).

And seriously, getting your commute as short as you can. We moved because I refuse to waste three hours a day on the tube and I feel a lot less pressured now ( although I appreciate moving is rather extreme!)

ChunkyMonkeyMother Sun 07-Oct-12 11:41:39

Oh and I've been making packed lunches for the whole month in advance and freezing them - It's not as bad as it sounds actually - They don't go soggy either - Plus its cheaper to bulk buy the meat etc.

DottyDot Sun 07-Oct-12 11:44:38

I work full-time, dp works part-time in the day and then most evenings, I also teach piano in the evenings and our 2 ds's have activities 5 days a week. Life is bonkers! Top tips:

Household calendar - vital. Write everything down!

Weekly meetings - sounds mental but dp and I have just instituted it and it's fab. We go through the week ahead and sort out any birthdays coming up, plan meals for the next week and talk about any jobs that need doing.

Weekly meal plan - we have to have tea at different times each day and at precise times due to my teaching and ds's activities. So on Monday it has to be at 5.45pm and ds2 has to be out by 6pm. So we plan a quick easy meal for that day. We have a chart in the kitchen showing what time each teatime is. Meals have to be practical to fit around everything!

Allocate jobs - so I know my job is to put the bins out on a Monday night. No messing around then with whose turn it is. Dp is in charge of the washing, etc.

Date night - we have an evening a month and usually go to the pictures and we also try to have an evening week together watching telly but that's not always possible. Finding time together is for me one of the most difficult things so it needs planning in.

Basically run your house like a job and be as organised as possible - and red wine at the weekends helps!

Mosman Sun 07-Oct-12 11:47:24

I am having massive problems finding a new who has a clue and a cleaner that cleans, seriously looking for the past 6 years. I reckon if you can find those you are home and dry.

I think the WM's coach will be like mums net on the phone, that's what I'm hoping anyway somebody that will help me get systems in place to make the household run more efficiently.

Condensedmilk Sun 07-Oct-12 12:33:47

Slow cooker/crock pot.

It is so wonderful to walk in at the end of the day and have dinner ready.

YouSmegHead Sun 07-Oct-12 12:38:22

Thanks all. A cleaner isn't an option currently sad am determined to get all the ironing done today do I don't have to worry about that. Have fab childcare which dh and I share drop off and pick ups when possible but dhs hours are variable.

crosscupcake Sun 07-Oct-12 12:49:57

Washing machine on every evening after all showers are done. Hang stuff on radiators as soon as washer is finished.
Take stuff off radiators in the morning.

Have laundry baskets for whites and colours... train everyone on how to use...make it someones job to bring fullest to the washing machine and load it it.

Meal plan and shop on line for it all. This has cut my shopping bill but 2/3rds.
I know what we are having every evening, take stuff out of freezer the night before bed.
Whoever gets in first starts the cooking...slow cooker is a GODsend!

Load dishwasher as you go along. or put into sink full of washing up water.

Give different people jobs to do..empty dishwasher/sort out rubbish/recycling etc every day.

I do ironing (minimal) on a Sunday and lay out the entire weeks school uniforms including socks & undies so no need to lay out each evening.

Calender/diary on the kitchen wall, so every knows where they should be on any given day.

Clean as i go, while kid is getting uniform on & cleaning teeth i run hoover over and tidy.

Pile stuff on stairs that need to go up..never go up empty handed..train everyone else to never go up empty handed.

There is no getting away from it, its hard slog!

GhostofMammaTJ Sun 07-Oct-12 13:01:02

Find yourself a SAHM who could do with a little extra money and ask if she wants to do your ironing in her home for you. I used to do this for a couple of people and they were happy and I was happy with the extra money.

Jcee Sun 07-Oct-12 13:21:34

It took me about 6 months to even start hitting my stride after returning to work. Things that work for me 18 months down the line are:

Getting clothes out and ironing night before

Shower/wash hair in evening (I hate doing this but I just dont have time in mornings)

Menu planning for week so when I get home from work I know what we are having and no scrabbling about in freezer/cupboards scratting a meal together or resorting to take away

Weekly supermarket delivery of everything we need for week

Batch cooking at weekends so some weeks there are ready made meals in freezer and I get a night off from cooking as DP can just about operate microwave

Get laundry on 1st thing Saturday morning so it's done

Things that aren't working and we are working on are divvying up of housework as currently no one is doing it and DP can be incredibly lazy and finding some time for me to do my thing

It has been hard work - strangely enough harder than actually dealing with the return to work and getting up to speed in office, which I did not expect - and sometimes depressingly I always seem to be planning the next thing or for the next day and never get a chance to just stop and breathe or watch my stuff on the sky planner

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 13:48:32

sunday: all uniform, ironed and ready for the week (two dc). some batch cooking for at least two/three meals. My outfits in wardrobe Mon to Friday grouped together for each day (top, skirt or trousers, jacket). All dry washing sorted and put away.

Evenings: all bags, kit, shoes ready and packed and lined up in the hall.
Mornings: dishwasher unloaded, wet washing in dryer or hung, new load in.

Monday eves - quick tidy round downstairs
Tuesday eves - I try to do about an hour of ironing
Wednesday eves - A quick tidy so the cleaner can have a clear run on Thurs.
Thursday eves - Nothing special
Friday eve - supermarket shop
Sats - washing and sorting generally
Suns - bit of ironing and paperwork

It's being organised enough so you aren't forever looking for stuff at the last minute.

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 13:50:30

Oh and no child comes downstairs unwashed, undressed or unbrushed on a week day (though ours are 14 and nearly 18 now). Breakfast is at the kitchen table and there has never been a tv on in this house before children are dressed and breakfasted. I used to let them watch it while I got ready for work when they were younger and then there was five minutes to get shoes and put on coats, etc.

Fiendishlie Sun 07-Oct-12 13:50:50

Don't iron if you can help it.
The best thing I do is to plan and prepare the next day's meal the night before. So I might get all the meat and veg chopped for a stir fry, or have the stuff ready for the slow cooker in the morning. I might prepare rice or potatoes the evening before, or have a baking tray in the fridge ready to just be popped in the oven when I get in.
Shop online, always, without fail.

FunnysInLaJardin Sun 07-Oct-12 13:53:54

we are into the second year of both working FT with 2 DC and we are just getting it sorted. I have found having a cleaner, and being very organised is the only way. I do the shopping and cooking, DH does the washing and ironing

Plus this year I have said we are not doing any extras i.e. extra school things, extra trips with Beavers etc. DS1 has Beavers and Karate during the week and THATS IT. By the end of last term my head was spinning trying to keep up with everything so I trimmed it back.

Also we have found that we couldn't spend enough time gardening as we needed to and so are laying most of the vegetable garden to lawn.

FunnysInLaJardin Sun 07-Oct-12 14:04:31

oh and another thing for me is making the best use of my time, i.e. I shop on a Monday in between leaving work and collecting DS1 from Beavers. It gives me just over an hour which is just enough. I also meal plan and do my shopping list on a Sunday night and get what I need out of the freezer the night before. Thursdays I go to the gym after work while DS1 is at Karate and collect him after. There isn't much free time during the week, but I keep my weekends as free as possible.

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 14:14:35

logging off Mnet wink. Au-reviour - jobs to do.

cocoachannel Sun 07-Oct-12 14:32:04

ChunkyMinkey, I'm perhaps being a bit dim, but do you mean you freeze sandwiches for lunches and it works?

cocoachannel Sun 07-Oct-12 14:32:21

Monkey, sorry...

xlatia Sun 07-Oct-12 14:52:05

cocoachanel i do the same, but only for a week. prepare a batch of sandwiches with anything on them really, pop into freezer and take out the night before. in the mornings just add fresh stuff like veg, salad, fruit, and bob's your uncle.

i also prepare brekkie (i. e. coffe powder in mug, dry weetabix in bowl, etc.) the night before.

other things: i strictly refuse to iron, never walk around the place empty-handed and try to clean in between - i. e. unloading dishwasher while porridge is in the microwave in the morning, tidy bathroom while DS is having his bath. now i'm working on training DP to do more, that's the hardest part actually grin

Mandy21 Sun 07-Oct-12 15:06:27

I'm intrigued with everyone who says they don't iron or does very little ironing - I have 3DCs who all wear school uniform, DS who has to wear suit (so shirt etc) and I have to wear a suit / smart work wear so blouses / tailored shirts etc. I could iron for 2 hours every night and I still wouldn't keep on top of the ironing (admittedly there is always a backlog!) so where am I going wrong???

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