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Working parents and finding me time(57 Posts)
I return to work full time this month
My work is full on 5-6 I'm out the house dashing back for bath and connection with kids then up at 6 on weekends to fit in yoga/ sport of some sort so I keep up fitness
I find it exhausting
I also find I feel excutuatingly guilty if I go out in the evening instead of rushing back to see them (we have a live in nanny) and my husband is alternatively fine with this, going out 3 nights a week sometimes (2 work, 1 friends) then booking to go off with mates all day and night Saturday for example
I envy him and my friends that they can say yes to drinks with the girls after work or meetings etc or even to the gym for 45 mins in the evening after work (after bed time is just too late for me as I'm up so early the next day!)
I crave finding a balance but if eg I go out one night for a work event, I then feel I need to stay in every night and all weekend for the next week to make sure I'm with them
I just wondered how you all do it?
I need to understand what is an acceptable amount- 3 nights a week putting kids down?! Every night ?!? Only weekends ?!
At the moment I'm there every night and it's crushing my life and my marriage as I don't have a life outside the house other than phone calls with friends or the odd coffee on a Sunday, and I resent the freedom my husband and some friends has and guilt free experience of just saying yes to drinks after work etc and just being themselves more
How old are your kids? What time does the nanny stop work at? Can you insource fitness eg a yoga teacher to the house.
It's hard but try not to feel guilty. When you are with them just be really present and focused on them.
It gets easier as they get older and are more self sufficient.
With the greatest respect OP that’s what having kids is, it’s giving up a lot of your freedom.
I work full time with a 2 year old, I don’t gym anymore, I do go out, maybe once a wk but sometimes I will do bed time then go out again. My friends also come to mine more or hang out with my LO. I think your husband sounds incredibly selfish to not spend weekends with his children- why did he bother having a family!
Only now my children are both at at school can I find time to do anything for myself e.g. gym or coffee. Before that I would have maybe one or two evenings out a year with friends.
Your husband needs to be around more though, sounds like he's not giving equally to what need ls done for the children/you/house. Speak to him about how you are feeling! See if you can get one evening a week to do something for you. Although tbh I think most parents of very young children don't get much free time.
Completely normal. Thank your stars you have a nanny. Most families don't!! Either go out as much as him or don't. Or let go the nanny in the weekends and leave hubby to the kids!!
Your children sound a bit of an inconvenience.
That’s a long day, especially full time. Something has to give. Your DH has to step up a bit. You need to decide if you want a better work life balance. Are you going to regret in ten years time not seeing your children grow up? What is more important to you? Maybe you have to sacrifice the gym/hobbies. They will still be there to do again when the kids have grown. Maybe you need to cut your hours. I don’t know if that is possible.
Please don't respond with comments like "your children sound like an inconvenience" it is cruel and exactly what fuels mum guilt
My children are my world and I put them first every single minute of the day
I work for them and their future
Everything I earn I put into savings for my children and I start my job so early purely so that I can get home to see the children for bath and bed time
Last year my nanny helped 7-7 and. Still there was not one day I didn't let her off at 5.30 so that I could have 1:1 with my child before logging back on and working 7.30-10 pm to then get up at 5 and start again. However I had nurology assessments, daily migraines and was basically depressed as my lie was physically and mentally extremely demanding and I didn't have any relief from that, plus my husband and I nearly separated
The issue is, my husbands job is fairly nocturnal (this coming weekend takes place about 5 times a year where he goes out on the Saturday) and he gives me time off first thing Saturday and Sunday so I get up and out for a 8 am class so I can come back to join the kids for breakfast and take my children to tennis class
They are aged 2.5 and 11 months
Thank you everyone else for your kind words and advice
I do get that kids of course come first, I think I may be misunderstood- my issue is I always put them first and I need to edge away from only being with my kids as it's making it difficult for me to do anything without feeling guilty unless it is 100 pc for my children.
I know I invite a lot of haters by admitting that I do need some more "me" time in order to be the best mum I can, I never have nights out in the week when I'm working and going to the gym even when they're asleep I feel too separate from them and guilty doing something bformyseld
I came here not looking for one answer but for advice and perhaps support on pulling together a plan as to what is acceptable, how many nights a month is acceptable to let the nanny put them down. One? Two? My judgment has been warped and I just wondered how other people find the time.
I am prone to depression and I have a bone condition and ocd that all combined mean exercise is even more beneficial to me if I can find the time. I'm not being a bad mum suggesting I have a life where I may see a friend or go to an exercise class sometimes
sounds like the job is the issue OP.
Thank you -I agree and I do want to move but I need the money at the moment as the lead breadwinner for the time being
You sound lovely and a very thoughtful mum.
People wonder how they can have it all. They wonder because the simple answer is you can't have it all.
You are both going to struggle working the hours you are, going to the gym and seeing friends weekly AND having kids and giving them loads of attention. Something has to give. That goes for you and your husband.
You say everything you earn is being saved for them. Why? Maybe your husband or yourself should cut back your hours.
I don't understand about the tennis lessons? Is it for you or the kids (they seem too young).
Also you could both take the kids when seeing friends sometimes. Any way you could involve them in fitness routines with you both?
sorry Im confused, I thought you worked to put the money into the kids savings?....if you are the main breadwinner than I suggest you OH does more to pick up the childcare- Id also ease up the gym to every other week so you feel less rushed
OP, ignore the nasty posts. There is always some horrible person who has to post something nasty.
I work full time but work from home a few days per week. This way I can drop my children at school / nursery without rushing and, if I’m having a quiet afternoon then I can pick them up too. It also creates some space in the day for a walk or a run.
However I’m now coming round to accepting that ‘having it all’ isn’t possible. Something has to give. For me, my career is suffering because I’m less visible than my colleagues. This has been really hard for me to accept, but the alternative would be working 8.30 - 6.30 daily and only seeing them on the weekend.
I don’t know how some men are comfortable spending so little with their kids, but I know that wouldn’t be ok for me.
This is all a long winded way of saying- something will probably need to give. That could be a more equal partnership, or reducing work hours, or putting off the gym trips until your kids are a little bigger.
It’s not easy is it!
Most of us have a life that totally centres round kids until they are much older. School years aren't much easier as they start doing tons of activities on top of school so you end up as a taxi. Sad but true. Most parents juggle jobs and kids and find it hard to squeeze in 'me time'
I don't have a life outside the house other than phone calls with friends or the odd coffee on a Sunday
And all the time you're out at work!
There's a saying that "you can have it all, but not all at once", or words to that effect. It's impossible to have as much time for your career, hobbies and social life whilst having children unless you outsource them virtually completely.
I think it’s fine to let your nanny put the kids to bed one or two nights a week.
But as they age they will want you more than material things - how many parents work themselves to exhaustion say they are ‘doing it for their families’? Maybe your family can be doing with less, if that allows you more time for yourself AND your family.
And if your husband has two nights out working a week he shouldn’t do a third with friends unless it’s with you or if he does he takes the kids and let’s you have some time at the weekend. He’s a parent as much as you are.
Before you know it the kids will be teens and not want you around at all.
Drop the tennis classes for the kids
Play ball with them in your garden
One less task to have to accomplish
I always accepted that having little me time would be part of life with young DC. I went to the gym 4 times a week and numerous nights outs pre DC. Also had a very high profile career. I have since taken an acedemic role with more child friendly hours and a pay cut. DH used to go out regularly with friends pre DC but since DC he has made drastic changes to his social life and sports. He spends most evenings and weekends with DC.
I think sometimes you have to compromise on some areas of your life. Everything is transient and the DC wouldn't stay very dependent for ever.
For me I've put my fitness and career on hold for the time being. Just wanted to say the mom guilt is ever present no matter how much time you are spending with your DC.
You are very lucky have a live in nanny. Try to prioritise what is absolutely important to you. Some aspects will have to suffer for you to find the right balance though.
Does your husband never put the kids to bed? I don’t have a nanny but my husband does three bedtimes a week.
Most kids would rather a parent than a nanny at bedtime but if their father is doing no bedtimes at all it does seem a bit much for you to do seven.
Sorry OP but you need to accept that you can’t have it all and won’t have much “me time” for a long time. Make sure your husband is home to do bath and bedtime if you are out.
I felt quite stressed reading your OP as you are doing far too much.
I try and only go out straight from from work 1 night a week sometimes I end up with plans 2 nights. On those nights I won't see my DS (8) and my DH will put him to bed.
You should do whatever feels ok to you, 1 night feels ok to me so that's what I do, I feel guilty when I do 2 but don't beat myself up as know my DS will be fine .
I also have breakfast together every day which is our time.
My ds is now 13, and dh and I have always worked FT in full on jobs. TBH, in your case I'd agree on one evening each a week (whether thats work or personal time), and that at weekends you are together as a family - children of that age don't need clubs and tennis lessons.
We chose to prioritise our son, and our marriage above everything else - your dh can hardly be seeing you let alone the kids.
That said, we have friends who 'have to have me time' and its noticable now that they have very separate lives since between work and 'me time' they were/are spending a tiny amount of time all together.
Can you go for a run or to the gym at lunchtime? You'll get out and get exercise and not add too much to your day. At the weekend, put the kids on the backs of bikes and cycle, or in a buggy and go to parkrun all together. Meet friends with kids at the dreaded softplay and have a coffee, or go round a zoo together. So many ways to exercise and socialise with your family
You can have some me time without feeling guilty for relying on the nanny because you have a dh. He needs to step it up and do half.
Its possible to earn a reasonable wage, exercise regularly, see friends (if not frequently then at least regularly) and have children put to bed by a parent most nights (it can be your partner, it doesn't have to be you) if you have a partner who does their fair share.
Men are very good at not feeling guilty and leaving the load to women (who martyr themselves and buckle under misogynistic snipes).
Your children will thank you when they grow up having an equally close relationship with their father and have an independent mother who doesn't hang onto their coattails because she's sacrificed her health, friendships, interests and financial security in fear of being branded a terrible mother.
Wow OP your life sounds full on.
I would say that you could definitely give yourself a break.
Say 2 nights a week you don't put the DC to bed. 1 of those nights your DH should do it (if it has to be a weekend night then ok but in the week would be good) and 1 night the nanny does it. That gives you 2 evenings to meet friends or go to the gym or whatever.
How many hours a week are you working? It sounds a lot if you are starting so early to finish early but then logging back on in the evenings. Can you reduce this at all? If you are having migraines and tests, I would see that as a wake up call that your body is saying something has to give. And your kids are only young once, so if in the short term that means work and career progress has to take a backseat...
And don't punish yourself about the gym - can you swim as a family at the weekends (or play tennis together instead of the lessons - though at 2.5 and 11 months this seems unlikely!). Or go for walks at the weekend or jog with a running buggy.
What activity can you incorporate into your daily life - how much walking or cycling or running could you add to your commute? Do you have a gym at work you could use at lunchtime? Or accept that you won't be exercising as much as you'd like/do a dvd in the evening.
You say your marriage had issues - is your dh pulling his weight now? He needs to step up, especially if you are the main breadwinner.
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