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Full time working parent what are your tips to stay organised and on top of things?(18 Posts)
I've been working 2 days a week with plenty of time for life admin.
I have 2 DC in primary school who will be in breakfast and after school club. Monday to Friday, out of the house at 7am and back home 6:30.
I have this week off so what would you recommend I sort out?
- Childcare arrangement
- online grocery shopping
- moving swimming lessons to the weekend
- Pre prep packed lunches
- slow cooker
- putting on a load of washing at night then in the drier in the AM
- all uniforms done and ready on Sunday for the week
Do you have a partner?. In my experience your first priority needs to be to talk to them about how this is going to work.
I posted a very similar thread to this a while ago!
Going back to full time work after part time was a struggle but you just have to be more organised than usual.
Yes to grocery shop online, have essentials in the freezer too - bread for example - there’s often not time to just pop to the shops to pick up those things you’ve run out of.
Menu plan!! And allow yourself a treat night - takeaway or meal out once in a while is such a reward in our house and so nice to have a night off cooking.
Relax your standards - I found this hard but actually not absolutely everything needs ironing
If your dcs are old enough then get them helping. Mine are in secondary school but they empty the dishwasher, Hoover, feed cat and rabbit all as long as I leave them a note!!
Have enough clothes of all types so you don't need to run a wash in the week.
Cleaner if you can.
If you trust that your DC's school lunches are a really good quality cooked meal, you could do soup and sandwich (or similar) for tea. My DS has two huge cooked meals at his Prep (breakfast and lunch) so I don't cook at dinner time as well. It's a lifesaver.
I do and things aren't going great. He already does no cooking and minimal cleaning. He will be there if DC are ill though as his work is more flexible with time off.
A cleaner if you can afford it even if it’s only once a fortnight or every so often.
I found rather than a calendar a blackboard where I go through with DH who is where when. The write it in big letters so everyone can see. It saves me reminding him what picks ups he is doing.
I also recommend some good mum friends for when school plan sports matches and expect you to get your children there whether you work full time or not....
I am a full time working single parent.i have a cleaner every other week for 3 hours. That makes world of difference. I also have kallax boxes in the kitchen diner and they have one each for uniform. It all goes in there plus enough underwear and socks for the week. It's much easier as doesn't need hanging up just to take it out again and it's easy to grab.
A cleaner! DH resisted for ages but I went ahead and got one and it's great.
A jar of loose change for last minute school stuff.
Put everything in the calendar as soon as you get notified of it.
Actually something else that's really useful. We have a wireless printer scanner we can print to from a phone and scan straight to email. So any forms etc can really quickly be scanned or printed as soon as they are received rather than thinking I need to start up a pc. I tend to then scan and email back rather than hand in as it's one less thing to remember a week down the line.
I also email myself reminders for everything so it's always there on my phone when I check them!
Meal plan, we used to cook everything from scratch but I realised 1 ready meal a week is fine. I also use the slo-cooker
Expect teething troubles, we were running out of milk every other bloody day than I remembered the existence of milkmen!
I put everyone’s sport hobby stuff in drawstring bags of different colours at the weekend and Kids sort their own stuff in the week so if it’s Tuesday DS knows his violin and football kit (green) need to be in the hallway the night before so we trip over them on our way out.
I try to handle paperwork once so that means having a supply of change, envelopes, pens etc all at the ready. If I can email a reply, I do that then and and there (I have been known to do this from the school car park after school!).
I check the calendar every night and make a to do list on my phone for the following day. I use Wunderlist and my daily list is just updated every night & I change the title. I have ongoing shopping lists on my phone too. As soon as we run out or if I think of something, one the list it goes. We don’t live in the UK and come home once or twice a year so I have an ongoing UK shopping list. I use Amazon Prime for birthdays and gifts for UK family & for things we will need when we get to the UK. I have lists on there too, for example a book that Mum will love for her birthday.
I have a lovely cleaner who comes in once a week for 4 hours. She irons and cleans; I organise and tidy. It is money very well spent and is life changing for our family. This is a relatively new thing as I have accepted I can’t work 40+ hours, do school runs & activities and keep on top of all the housework.
It doesn’t always work but we try!
Thank you everyone. I'm definitely looking into getting a cleaner now. I can't stand a messy home.
I will check out wunderlist.
I agree that using lists, amazon, wireless printer and handling documents once is extremely useful.
Definitely get everything sorted the night before.
My DC don't like school dinners and have moaned at me for 2 years about them until I gave in and started packed lunches. I used to give them something light for dinner, too as they had things like lasagne, roast dinner and curry for lunch plus side veg plus pudding!
Thanks again all.
Definitely put them back on school dinners! They will eat it if there is nothing else!! Packed lunches are a nightmare.
I have to be organised. It sometimes helps.
In my to do list at work I have a page for “personal admin” and have tried to get one thing done per lunchtime a week. Or more than one if possible. I find it easier to make phone calls on my lunch break without a toddler charging around.
I make sure bags are packed the night before. Dh meal plans and sorts lunches.
I do laundry. One load a day. More on weekends.
The cleaning i let slide a bit. And try and at least keep kitchen and bathroom sparkly.
Sorry your partner is so useless. That will make it very hard.
Agree with PPs about the cleaner, and meal planning.
I would do school meals again as they will probably be nutritionally better than quick packed lunches, and much easier for you.
There are lots of fast meals, my DC don’t like much slow cooker stuff.
The absolute lifesavers for me have been: a weekly cleaner, enough uniform to do a whole week (five sets - DS has mess blindness!), school lunches, and wraparound care with a childminder who fed DS dinner before pickup.
DS is our only child; if we'd had more, there would have needed to be another layer of militaristic planning as referenced above.
He is now 11 and we have finally dropped the childcare. Light is at the end of the tunnel 😃
If your liking the idea of lists etc, try agile.