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If you work full time how do you fit everything in?

(34 Posts)
growlingbear Sun 21-Jul-19 16:54:54

About to go full time working outside home with a three hour round-trip commute each day, having worked from home part time for eleven years.
I just can't get my head around when people do stuff like go to dentist, optician, get haircuts, wash clothes, clean house, do shopping. There'll only be four hours in every day when I'm not asleep and at least an hour of those will be taken up getting ready for work and getting ready for bed. Which leaves 3 hours a day to see the DC, shop, prep, cook, clear up, do housework, laundry and family admin, get some exercise and maybe sometimes have some fun with friends or see DH.
How do you all fit it in? I just can't imagine having energy to do much more than eat, bathe and slump in front of TV at night, which turns weekends into a massive chore-fest. But people all around me seem to have hectic social lives at weekends too. When do you schedule the dull stuff?

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Countrylifeornot Sun 21-Jul-19 17:01:28

I'm assuming if you've taken a job with a 3 hour round commute it's big money, so outsource everything you possibly can; cleaning, gardening, ironing.
If you're commuting by train use the time to do online food shop, life admin etc.
Get ruthless with dc, they'll have to put their own laundry away, change their own beds etc. Allocate jobs to DH then forget about them.
Good luck wine

blueshoes Sun 21-Jul-19 17:07:05

You got to arrange for at least one day working from home . It automatically saves you 3 whole hours and you can do your chores then.

I second the poster which says such a rough commute should be for big money. Why on earth is it a 3 hour commute. That is long, even for London.

Mixingitall Sun 21-Jul-19 17:09:43

It’s a juggle, with good planning and everyone understanding that not everything is your responsibility it all gets done!

We do:

2 Ocado shops, both dh and I are logged in to the same account so if something runs out we add to the shop.

All cooking and food is dh’s responsibility.

All clothing/bedding/towel washing is my task.

Tidying is everyone.

Cleaner comes in twice a week for 3 hours a time, Wednesday and Saturday to clean.

School admin is my role, house admin is dh.

Holiday/ day out planning/ social life both of us.

Hairdresser is a Saturday, kids hair etc is a Saturday. I use a beautician who works from home around her children so get my nails/ eyelashes done at 9pm.

Whilst commuting I can be very efficient, if I work on the train I don’t feel guilty about taking a long lunch or leaving early.

Good luck, it’s tiring at first.

growlingbear Sun 21-Jul-19 17:20:24

The actual commute is just under an hour. But factoring in when I finish work and when trains leave the station, I lose an extra 20 mins either side, plus the time walking from station to home is 10 mins, so overall it will be a 3 hour chunk out of each day. (Got to leave at 7.20 for 7.30 train to get to work in central London by 8.35. If I got the later train, I'd get to work after 9am so would be late every day which would look bad. Though it's only just occurred to me that I could use that dead time between trains to do online shopping, some family admin etc.

OP’s posts: |
CatyaPurella Sun 21-Jul-19 17:21:09

That's what weekends are for! I am a single parent and manage working full time and keeping a clean & tidy house with kids fed. Dentist & haircuts in school hols, food deliveries and housework and washing little and often.

blueshoes Sun 21-Jul-19 17:22:25

I would calculate a commute based on door-to-door. Based on what you describe it is 3 hours. Yes, do use that time to do admin.

Does it pay enough for you to outsource?

growlingbear Sun 21-Jul-19 17:23:44

The pay is OK. Not great. But I like the job.

Thanks for the replies - really helpful. @Mixingitall you've reminded me I could get a mobile hairdresser to come to me. Would make sense to divide up work very clearly between Dh and me. And we probably will get a cleaner.

OP’s posts: |
Lazypuppy Sun 21-Jul-19 17:25:52

Weekends. Dentist etc can be during the week, i just take annual leave.

We have a cleaner which helps massively.

However i have slightly more time as my commute is only 20mins from home to nursery to my desk.

Xyzzzzz Sun 21-Jul-19 17:30:34

Could you have a shorter lunch to catch an earlier train home?

growlingbear Sun 21-Jul-19 17:30:53

Out of interest - don't most people who have to commute into London from outside end up with a similar commute door to door?

OP’s posts: |
user1493413286 Sun 21-Jul-19 17:33:04

Dentists and opticians I do during the week on lunch breaks then shopping I do online. I do a load of washing every day and I’m about to get a cleaner as the cleaning just doesn’t seem to get done

Nitw1t Sun 21-Jul-19 17:34:45

I have a 4hr round-trip-door-to-door commute. FT.

I never get my haircut (do it myself). I have a cleaner. Cook little, eat simply. (DCs get fed in childcare, I just snack in the eve). Do admin at lunch/on the train. Watch TV on the train too. Really cut back on my social life to my most local friends and special occasions. WFH when I can. Flexed my work hours to fit the train timetable. Exercise at the weekend. Have just invested in the ULTIMATE LUXURY of an ironing lady.

growlingbear Sun 21-Jul-19 17:37:05

@Nitw1t - that's what I think my life will be like. Do you enjoy it?
I like the sound of tweaking hours to fit the trains - that would make a lot of difference.

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Awrite Sun 21-Jul-19 17:37:26

Well my commute is only 25-40 minutes each way.

Dh does as much as me, if not more. We work roughly the same hours so when not at work we pitch in together.

I don't know what to suggest. I much prefer working to the alternative. I guess that's what gets me through it.

Runningonempty84 Sun 21-Jul-19 17:42:20

I work FT in a demanding job with long hours, and have two DC - 5 and 3.

I exercise for at least an hour a day, usually two - cycling to work, plus running or gym at lunchtimes.
Cleaning/shopping/bed changing is done at weekends or, in the case of cleaning the bathroom, while I bathe the DC. Hair/GP appts are so rare they're not really an issue, but i take that time as flex when I have to. As for "admin", that's squeezed into the evenings, but most evenings I'm working once the DC are in bed anyway.

It's hard but doable. Constantly feel like I'm juggling, and not very successfully, as I'm always feel I'm failing in one area or another.

OhTheRoses Sun 21-Jul-19 17:44:00

How old are your dc?
Sainsburys deliver
Cleaner cleans and irons
Oven cleaning lady
Window cleaner
Have a day about every six months when I: dentist, dr, electrician, various jobs, etc.
Hair gets done every six weeks on a Thurs eve
DC now grown and I am out 7am to 7pm min but commute is 1.30 per day. When they were small was 1/2 hour.

blueshoes Sun 21-Jul-19 17:44:37

Online shopping for everything.
Batch cooking on weekends.
Get dc independent asap to be responsible for themselves (e.g. homework, packing schoolbags) and help out with chores.
Don't get clothes that require ironing (dh's 5 work shirts only).
Strict routine for laundry - don't let it pile up. Children can help to hang up/put washing away.
Do cleaning as you go e.g. after a shower, give the shower stall a quick wipe. Same for toilet, kitchen surfaces. At the weekend, you can do the big stuff like vacuuming - but getting a cleaner if you can afford it is worth it.
Do kids' admin as soon as it comes in.
Online calendar with reminders for school events, todo lists.
Kitchen calendar so everyone knows what is happening that day (and don't ask you a million times when is the school trip and what to bring)

Lists and more lists.

Mixingitall Sun 21-Jul-19 17:45:57

Also, if you have children and you’ve been working for a company for 12 months you can apply for unpaid parental leave. I took a week in May and will take another in October, to spend time with dc but also to relax and enjoy time at home and get boring jobs done.

Nitw1t Sun 21-Jul-19 17:46:50

I do actually OP. It's not for everyone, I know. It's been 3 yrs now and it might not be sustainable forever but I can definitely manage it.

I live somewhere lovely, and like my job - and I see "the slog" as something worth doing to get both. I try and be relentlessly positive and be canny about my annual leave where I can (so i don't go too long without a break). Using the train for TV/downtime instead of being another "chore" helps my attitude! It took me a while to let go of the guilt of not seeing my "London friends" but needs-must.

It helps (I'm lucky) that DH works super locally, so nursery pick ups and illness is covered and my trains are reasonably reliable.

MonstranceClock Sun 21-Jul-19 17:51:54

You just make it work. I'm out of the house 7:30 till 6:30 every week day. Get home, cook tea, bath and kids to bed. I can do this in an hour and a half. Quick whip around the house, hang up the clothes that I put on before I left. Sit down and do my uni work. Bed at half 10 - half 11.

CalamityJune Sun 21-Jul-19 17:52:25

I have a two hour minimum round commute and certainly don't earn a big wage. I don't have a cleaner, but I would like one.

It's hard work tbh, though I work term time only so I fit most appointments in around the holidays and keep DS in nursery for his one day per week.

I clean after he has gone to bed. Use a zone cleaning method so I get to everything during the week.

Set the washing machine for overnight and hang washing out before I leave for work (6.15) in the summer.

I use click and collect or home delivery for food shopping.

DH works 7 days shifts so often has days off in the week. He generally does things like DS haircuts.

ButterflyBun Sun 21-Jul-19 17:54:07

I have a two hour commute from door to door each day, work full-time and have two small children.
I do shopping online, general cleaning and getting on top of tidying each day.
I work 9-4 and get home just after 5. I make up my extra hour and usually a bit more by working from home in the evening.
All chores are shared and at the weekend we spend one day cleaning, tidying up and washing. The other day we do family stuff. I don't have a cleaner.
It is hard and tiring and I wish I knew how it could be easier too.
Dentist I'd do as late as possible in the day and make up my time.
All other appointments (doctors, hairdresser, opticians) at weekend.

Svalberg Sun 21-Jul-19 17:57:44

Cleaner. Gardener. Dentist is on way to/from work. On-line shopping. Work from home as often as possible. Washing in the machine of a morning, hung out as soon as home(1st person home does it & tumbles what can be tumbled) Supermarket is on the way home for bits. Packed lunches made the night before. Ironing outsourced.

mommydragon Sun 21-Jul-19 18:02:07

I would say I have a 3 hour round trip daily from leaving the house at 7:30 then double drop for 2 Dc and catch the train to get to work at 9:00 am... I do all household admin like paying bills or paying for childcare at work during my break as I have all the equipment available. I do weekly shopping from a list after a Friday gym class that finishes at 8:30. I do another gym class on Tuesday evenings at 8:00 pm... Friday dinner is waffles and beans. I do uniforms and work clothes ironing on Sunday. The washing machine is run on Wednesday and Thursday as we have swimming clothes to wash.

I cook almost every night but something that takes about an hour. With regards to cleaning, one Monday would be bathroom, next Monday downstairs dusting, vacuum, steaming, and following Monday same for upstairs. Kitchen is usually cleaned as I cook. I don't do any cleaning on the weekends.

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