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Please tell me how you manage- I'm sinking.

(12 Posts)
Doodledumdums Sun 26-Jan-14 23:46:51

I went back to work full time at the beginning of December after having a year off with my PFB, and I literally feel like I am sinking.

My job is stressful, I am out of the house from 7am-6pm, and DS is asleep when I leave and awake for an hour when I get home, so I see him for a total of 5 hours during the week. His sleeping is totally messed up at the moment (largely due to being unsettled and having his mother stripped away from him I imagine), so he wakes multiple times a night. Consequently, I am knackered all the time.

My house is an absolute disgusting tip because I have neither the energy or time to keep it clean and tidy. My relationship with my son is suffering (I feel), because I spend so little time with him. My relationship with my DH is rubbish because he is also exhausted, as he does 75% of the childcare (due to him being a shiftworker and obviously daddy day care is free whereas nursery/childminder is totally unaffordable for us), then works a full time job around caring for DS. None of us are ever together at the same time. I do not have the option of working part time because we rely on my money, so I see no way out of this tunnel? I just have to learn to cope don't I? I am even beginning to resent our dog and cat who were previously huge members of the family, because they cause added work which I don't have time for.

How do you do it? I genuinely have no idea how people manage to work full time and do everything else? I am losing the plot. If social services could see the state of my house today they'd probably take my DS away, but I don't understand how to keep on top of it? sad

WildThong Sun 26-Jan-14 23:58:57

Oh what a shame, it took me ages to get back on top of things as well but you're having a bad time. What kind of work are you in, can you request work from home a couple of days each week until things settle?

Doodledumdums Mon 27-Jan-14 07:21:08

I work in publishing, and my job unfortunately makes working from home impossible sad I wish I could though!

Babyroobs Mon 27-Jan-14 10:01:36

Sorry to hear things are so difficult for you. Do you earn more than your partner, is there any chance he could go part time ? Could you afford to pay for a one off deep clean of the house and then get a cleaner in for a couple of hours a week just to keep on top of things ?

NewJobNewLife Mon 27-Jan-14 10:32:58

I think the key to the exhaustion here is your DH's schedule. If I read your post right, he's caring for your son during your full time hours (so effectively a full time nanny job?) and then going to work as well?

If that's the case, then he must be knackered. If he's knackered, then he'll be doing the bare minimum during the day, and hopefully prioritising your son over housework/domestic organisation/making dinner. So you have a lot to pick up when you get in, which makes you exhausted too sad

Although childcare outside the home also doesn't get the housework/domestics/dinner done, it would mean your DH got more sleep. You'd then be in a better position to tackle the housework/domestics/dinners between you.

Is there any way either DH can reduce his hours (and so get closer to having 'just' the full time nanny job), or could you to buy in childcare? (Or buy in housework/dinner support, though personally I don't think that would fix it for us.)

Right now there are just too many jobs split between the two of you, and exhaustion will mean you're not doing any of the jobs well and that you don't have the energy to pull things back on track.

If you can't change those things, then it falls to the normal time-savers. You might need to take a few days off work to get them started though, as it's hard to set them off alongside the daily grind. You could try:

- Online food shopping
- Batch cooking dinners at weekends (though you have to be serious about this or you fall behind/never have more than an emergency meal in the freezer. Realistically, you will need to be making 5 weekday meals for the freezer alongside your weekend cooking, and that's really hard! How do you catch up when you go out for a meal or have a quick snack for tea on a Saturday? That means cooking specially or cooking even more during Sunday ... It takes planning!)
- Asking friends/family to take DC for a day once a month so you an DH can catch up with housework/domestics (again, need to be disciplined and not see this as a 'day off' together)
- Setting up a system whereby x puts the washing in at night, y gets it out and hangs it, x puts it away before putting the next load in
- use some of your annual leave to have regular days off to catch up with stuff. Again, hard to not spend AL doing nice things, but if you're squeezing you're time tight it's a necessary price

I have every sympathy with you. We live similarly and I try and fail to do some of the above. Good luck!

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 27-Jan-14 17:33:16

It does sound like you're trying to fit too much in. Am I understanding your post correctly that you and your DH are both working full time but you are not using any childcare at all? That sounds very tough and naturally the thing that has to give is the housework.

Is there a family member who could help with childcare? If not then I think you might need to look into some form of childcare or one of you (DH?) reducing their work hours.

Families where both partners work full time do usually use some form of childcare be it a grandparent, nursery or childminder.

Doodledumdums Tue 28-Jan-14 21:22:48

Sorry for the delay in replying.

DH does most of the childcare, but my Mum has DS on a Wednesday afternoon. She'd have him as much as we need her to, but I feel guilty asking her to because she works and has already changed her hours in order to suit our childcare needs. I think that basically before I went back to work, we just didn't anticipate how tough it would be and just thought we were lucky for being able to avoid paying for extortionate childcare. (Which we are, but it just means lots of work for us, especially DH!) My husband has DS all day on Monday and Tuesday and we tag team, so as soon as I get home then he goes to work, then he has him Weds morning and all day Friday and Saturday, and then he works all weekend. I know he has it harder than I do, but I can't help but be a bit envious as I'd love to work around DS' waking hours as I miss him so much during the week.

We are moving soon, which will hopefully take the pressure off a bit financially (we basically bought a house a few years ago which we couldn't really afford then, and now DH is earning considerably less than he was as he lost his job and his new job pays a lot less so we struggle even more), so I am hoping that this will help a bit, and maybe we can even afford a cleaner once a week to help.

Thank you for your replies and sympathy. You have definitely given me some good ideas. I am going to give batch cooking a go I think. I already do this for DS, as it is important that he eats well, but me and DH usually suffer and eat badly.

I can't help but worry if me being away so much is good for DS? He is so happy when I get home, and it makes me feel so guilty for leaving him all day. Poor thing sad

oscarwilde Wed 29-Jan-14 16:30:24

Sort out his sleeping. This will all become so much easier when you are not wandering about like the walking dead. Do whatever it takes. Lots of exercise in the morning, long nap at lunchtime and controlled crying co-sleeping if necessary. Whatever works. Don't let the guilt of being a working mum overwhelm you into being a soft touch overnight, you will then all be cranky and tired all day.

Get organised, batch cooking, laundry nights, date/film nights, menu planning with some quick and easy 15 min recipes. Take some time out at work and plan the week so that you know what household stuff you need to do Mon-Fri and DH can do odds and sods where possible given he is running around after a 1yr old and working FT.

If they are willing ask family to help out to give DH at least one day off a week preferably so you can spend a Saturday or a Sunday together or you will fall apart as a family.

Of course he is happy to see you when you get home - you're his mum, he loves you. I'm sorry but it doesn't mean that he is having a terrible time while you are away during the day. You are still getting a full weekend to spend with him.

Can anyone help you two to blitz the house? Some people love sorting out a big mess. Wish I knew more of them.

minipie Thu 30-Jan-14 18:18:45

Wow. This does sound seriously tough. When does anybody sleep?!

I agree the first thing to tackle is the sleeping. Everything is more manageable if you get sleep. I'd be doing controlled crying asap tbh. Or co sleeping if you can't face the crying, but only if you can actually sleep that way. My view is that while CC is not pleasant, it only lasts a few days and overall it's better than having knackered and irritable parents.

Once DS is mostly sleeping through you may actually find he wakes earlier in the morning so you might see him then and hopefully miss him less. (this happened with us). However if you're moving soon it may be better to wait till after that. When do you move?

I would ask your mum if she can do more just as a temporary measure until you move house. Maybe at a weekend so she doesn't have to change her work hours.

I would also try to forget any guilt about leaving DS. I bet he is totally happy with his dad. You can't judge by his reaction when you come home - my DD is delighted to see DH when he comes home in the evening, but that doesn't mean she is unhappy during the day when he isn't here. You're obviously missing him a lot but sorry to say, he probably doesn't miss you nearly as much ... ! Maybe ask DH to send you pics in the day to show he is happy?

Can you batch cook the same stuff for you and DH as for your DS? I have found that casseroles, pasta sauces, risotto all do just as well for us as for DD.

minipie Thu 30-Jan-14 18:21:32

Forgot to say... I'm hoping by the way that once you move house you would be able to afford some childcare...? Is this correct?

myitchybeaver Thu 30-Jan-14 18:35:03

Lots of people do live like this, I mean that reassuringly.
I live in place with prohibitive accommodation and childcare costs so lots of couples including DH and I, tag team. It's awful, isn't it?

It gets easier when they sleep.

Bproud Wed 05-Feb-14 19:52:07

if you don't want to ask Mum for more childcare, could she help in other ways eg cooking some freezer meals for you, doing the online shop or taking some washing home with her? This would be less time consuming for her than extra childcare time, but really useful for you. You could book a local babysitter or teenager to cover a couple of hours at the weekend to take DS to the park or softplay whilst you clean and catchup with housework.
Also aim for good enough parenting at the moment, don't worry about everything being just so, just basic hygiene standards, easy nutritious meals and loads of love are all anyone needs. go easy on yourself and DH.

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