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Getting organised - top tips ?

(27 Posts)
Hideehi Tue 10-Jul-07 21:16:17

I'm starting back at work tomorrow, full time but flexi time.
I'm aiming to work 8am til 6pm 4 days a week come September because I want to attend college one day a week.
So I'm going to be pretty busy, I have a Nanny who I must admit needs a serious kick up the arse to get herself into gear but i'm leaving it for the summer because she's cheap and fun, the kids like her.

I guess what i'm asking is what makes your life easier, run smoother that either I or the nanny can implement over the summer.

Boobsgonesouth Wed 11-Jul-07 12:28:01

...really looking forward to replies as I'm re-entering the world of full time work on August 13th after a 6 yr break....well sort of break as have been running lots of little projects to keep myself busy....

Good luck for tomorrow btw !!!

Hideehi Wed 11-Jul-07 19:19:10

Turns out flexi time doesn't include working a 4 day week so that's a bit of a blow but I can take one day per month to attend college and will have to juggle it somehow.

In the meantime'm trying to do as much as possible the night before and find a cleaner and an ironing lady.

Furzella Wed 11-Jul-07 20:03:30

Hope the first day went well!

What makes my life easier:

- looking after a good nanny so she's happy, motivated and will go the extra mile to help my family make it all work. Getting her completely transformed my working life!

- having the nanny bathe the kids and get them into PJs before I get home - means I get lovely story and cuddle time with the kids and don't have to have arguments about teeth etc

- getting a big timetable up on the kitchen wall that has each day's essentials (school reading book goes back on Monday, 40p for crafts on Tues, etc)

- making sure the nanny does the kids' ironing

- asking the nanny to change the kids' bedding every week

- when we lived in a flat I sent our bedlinen to the nearby dry cleaners to be laundered. They'd do a full set of double bedlinen for £7.50, washed and ironed. Money v well spent at the time, rather than having the house full of soggy sheets

- don't sweat the small stuff, don't volunteer to be on the PTA bun making list (yet - have just got nobbled for co-chairing it, eek), avoid having people for dinner on a Friday night

- buy in bulk, do the supermarket shop online (including wine)

- making sure I help out other mums locally when I can, so we all have back up plans in place for when our official childcare goes wrong

- keeping talking to the dh on how it's all working (obv we talk about other stuff too!) - i.e. is the chorage pretty even, are we both pulling our weight (! sometimes chance for me to make sarcastic remarks)

- having a cleaner

- avoid work clothes that need ironing

I think the thing that really makes life run smoother is just getting used to it. After a while, it's completely fine.

Good luck.

Boobsgonesouth Wed 11-Jul-07 20:28:33

bloody hell Furzella....makes my mind ache just thinking about that lot...but need to up it a gear if it's going to work for me....will take a few of your tips on board that's for sure !!

jellyjelly Wed 11-Jul-07 21:31:02

Dont try and cook everynight i find that too tiring so i could something easy ish each night and do chores a bit each night genereally when it is cooking and i noticed the difference in time when i didnt turn on the comouter till ds almost bed time. Was nice and will do that again for the next week and see how much extra time i have.

Judy1234 Wed 11-Jul-07 22:28:32

Lots of F's tips we did over 22 years (our eldest is 22).
With the first 3 children we bathed them but with the twins I had the nanny do it and it really made the week day evenings easier. Also she always cooked their meals and then we ate later or didn't depending if we were both in or just grabbed what we chose when we wanted it - so again I agree with F - don't have "a meal" as some big event to fit in your evening.

Perhaps until you have a cleaner put the washer and dishwasher on each morning before you leave for the nanny to empty and during the day - she can't then avoid doing it because you started the process off.

Always do shoping on line. Aim never to visit a shop particularly a supermarket. Time the delivery slot for when the nanny is there so she puts it away (or the cleaner if you get one).

Most important point of all is it is not your sole job to deal with the nanny and house jobs. Ensure it's 50% done by your other half if you have one. Alternate days when one of you gets home for the nanny and don't let your career come second to his for all kinds of obvious reasons. Aim to out earn him and have him as the best father around well used to dealing with the children when you work late.

moondog Wed 11-Jul-07 22:31:31

Well I work f/t and look after 2 kids alone but if I neither fed them every night nor bathed them occasionally,I would question why i was there at all.
Why not just outsource the whole damned thing? them

Judy1234 Wed 11-Jul-07 22:35:08

Ooh, we're getting interesting with that post. That's very biased, the way you put it. Working parents whose nanny does the bath and feeding of them still do all that at weekends. Why should it matter that you do it yourself 2 days a week and really enjoy it and leave it to the nanny in the week. In our case it left us much more time to cuddle the children, talk to them, do homework, play around because the chore bit of feeding them (and in proper jobs you don't really finish work early enough to eat with toddlers etc anyway) and washing them has been done for you. It's a very useful tip and many working parents don't feel they miss out.

moondog Wed 11-Jul-07 22:37:40

I'm not itching for a fight Xenia. I'm all for women working as hard and ling as the average bloke.I work my tits off. I just don't see all routine child related activity as an avoidable bore.

Hideehi Wed 11-Jul-07 23:12:35

I have to say I see bathing them and feeding them as very much the nanny's domain, frankly I want to do the fun stuff and chopping onions and clipping toe/fingernails aint my idea of fun, not when there's 20 x5 lots to snip !
Brilliant tips thank you, I shall draw up my KPI's and introduce them to the board after breakfast

Judy1234 Thu 12-Jul-07 08:13:55

I think we probably chose to bathe the first three - the nanny didn't do that or it might have been that bed time was after we got home but their tea time wasn't. With the twins I wanted to bathe them at first but once I swapped to the nanny doing it suddenly seemed to make bed time easier (just in the week).

Most working parents don't feed their under 5s because of timing but I also found it helpful to have the older children fed by their nanny too - removed a big job of cooking for 5 children every night when often once they get into teens they aren't there every night or they have sports or they're all coming and going at all kinds of different times with their busy lives as are their parents so it just wasn't feasible for us to sit all 7 of us down every week day and that removed quite a bit of stress. On the other hand eating with your children every day I am sure in isolation is a good thing. So you just balance it out depending on your life and age and stage.

BecauseImTheFatLady Thu 12-Jul-07 08:21:48

I think one of the key things to do (based on my personal experience) is to remember that when you get home from work you will be tired. And although you will be looking forward to being with your children, there are some things that you will find stressful. Because you're tired, you won't do them well or won't react well in the situation. These things will be different for different people.

If you can get your nanny to deal with the stressful things (assuming they can be done within her working hours!) then this will make your return to work much easier.

Equally, your dh and you may find different things that you like/hate - work out which these are and make sure that (as far as possible) you both get to do the things that you like. For example, I was very happy to do the bath, but hated reading stories. No idea why, because I love reading, but I just did! (Especially bloody Thomas the bloody Tank Engine)

Definitely agree with Xenia - make sure your dh takes equal responsibility all the time - it is not just your job now you're back at work, it's both of your jobs to look after the children. Even now, when dcs are 15 and 12 my dh still assumes that I will be the one who deals with them if they are ill - his argument is that because I work from home I can more easily take time off!!! (No idea what the logic is in that argument)

Good luck!

bozza Thu 12-Jul-07 08:25:49

Xenia most working parents do feed their under 5s. I always have done. I do this by warming up something out of the freezer that I have made previously. And also getting them used to a late teatime. Maybe most working parents with nannies don't feed their children, but then most working parents do not have nannies. Still, not really relevent, because the OP has already made a decision on that one. I think having a system that works is the key thing. But also being aware that over time, that system has to change.

Boobsgonesouth Thu 12-Jul-07 11:05:24

we will have a nanny but only during the school holidays.....During term time we'll work it between the two of us as DH and I will both have offices and work from home...DH is planning to start his work day at 7am that he can pick up from school 3 days a week...I will tend to do the school run in the morning......

I still envisage that it'll be a battle in the evenings as I know that I'll be tired after a day "ou and about" seeing proespective clients, though am pleased as this will still provide me with some flexibility....I like to idea of a list though and need to start thinking about that....What I'm actually dreading more than anything is that my first 4 days will be away in Manchester....and I've never spent that many nights apart from the children..... I have this vision that by about the Wednesday I'll be wailing and wanting to come home as I'm missing the children...they of course, I'm sure will be fine !!!!!!

Hope that your first day back went well Hideehi......

Judy1234 Thu 12-Jul-07 12:41:02

I was talking to someone yesterday who were here from the US and had left their families behind as they were away on business. Then general consensus seemed to be that children are happy (as mine have always been on my fairly rare nights away on business) but the parent can end up missing the child if there are just too many trips. Most parents sort things out find in a way that suits them as I suppose they always have. My grandmother used to take my mother out with her - she ran a loans club for the poor and had to go and collect the debts (lots of people pretending to be out when she called of course).

rnbsmum Thu 12-Jul-07 13:01:35

Good luck with work. My two are at nursery. Either my husband or myself will play with them as soon we get in and the other will get all nightclothes, nappies, next day's clothes and nursery bag etc sorted straight off so we can relax and catch up with each other, but will also be able to get out the next day with out a flurry of panic - well in theory!

Hideehi Thu 12-Jul-07 21:47:04

thanks everyone, so far so good. DH is having next Friday off to look after the little ones and collect the big ones from the school at 12 so i bet he's in a heap by 6pm lol but he is a good un.

fridayschild Sat 14-Jul-07 09:36:15

I have my work bag sorted out the night before and know what I am going to wear the next day (this means checking the diary in case I am meeting a client who expects me to look smart, rather than merely presentable). Then however rushed the morning is, I can just pick up my bag and walk out of the house without forgetting anything.

Getting your nanny to accept delivery of the shopping and put it away is a good idea. I have this in my nanny's job description. We keep a shopping list on the go and if she wants something for the children, she just adds it to the list. Children's washing and ironing are nursery duties and should be done by the nanny anyway, so you can start with that!

BBBBasilisk Sat 14-Jul-07 09:45:22

I am going back to FT work in Sept after 6yrs at home freelance - so essetnially SAHM as far as my childrne are concerned.

Main problem for me is that my DH has been used to me holding the home together and doing all the domestic duties. Also he does not sem to think that what I do at the moment is that hard so he is very blaze about dividing it up come Sept - how do I convince him before it all has to work exactly what his share is?

Boobsgonesouth Sat 14-Jul-07 13:31:06

bbbb - that's one of my major concerns is for DH to realise that the compromise of me going back to work FT is that he will HAVE to muck in with everything that miraculously gets done of its own accord !!!!!! Don't think he actually realises what a change this will mean to him too........

BBBBasilisk Sat 14-Jul-07 14:36:32

glad I am not alone then.

I don't want to talk badly o DP - he is great but because I am aware that he is out earning and I am at home I guess I have automatically got on with stuff and I am starting to think about just how little her realises that there is to do. He just doesn't seem to think about long term consequences of leaving out piles of mess, not loading d/w or picking up washing as it doesn't matter at the moment but can see it as a real flash point in the future. At the moment if I meniton anyhtng he thinks I am making a big deal of stuff because in essence putting one plate in a dw is not something to fuss about but one plate along with a house like a tip can send you ove r the edge!

rookiemum Sat 14-Jul-07 21:26:16

I only had a short time as SAHM, 11 months of maternity leave, but it was a big worry for me about how it would pan out for chores once I went back to work. In the event its turned out more or less fine.

Firstly as everyone else says get in some help if you can afford it. We have a cleaner who does ironing, a gardener who cuts the grass and we do online shopping.

Secondly try and split up tasks so your DH has some stuff he owns. Also we have a rule which is that we both finish "work" at the same time so if one is giving DS his bath then the other is clearing up or making dinner. Doesn't always work but generally a good arrangement.

Thirdly you won't notice the mess as much, you won't have time.

Finally I'm curious, what is your nannny doing wrong and how are you going to sort it out ?

Hideehi Sat 14-Jul-07 22:19:28

Oh the nanny, bless her.
She just never seems to get round to cooking the kids tea, picks my children up from school and then goes to her mothers to take the dogs for a walk (her mothers dogs), never tidy's up after the children or gets them to do it, never does their washing, tis all a bit slack at the moment but I am going tightening things up a bit and give her daily lists and meal planners.
In all honesty she's £10 an hour and that's all I can afford so I think I just have to make the best of it and the children do like her so that counts for a lot too.

rookiemum Sun 15-Jul-07 11:11:32

Well I don't have a nanny and unlikely to be in the position to afford one, but £10.00 an hour seems like a lot of money for someone to be walking their own mothers dogs !

Your plan to get her doing more sounds good, and can all be lumped under how to increase effectiveness now that I am going back to work, rather than complaining about existing performance.

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