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Ok tedious but I am chasing my tail and getting further behind

(17 Posts)
yawningmonster Thu 23-May-13 09:42:26

So I am going to post next weeks agenda which is fairly typical.
I have an 8 year old with Autism and Dyspraxia and a newly 4 year old with 4yearolditis.

MON -FRIDAY
DS 9-3 School
DD 9-12 Childcare (I work here so this is where I am during this time also, Tues and Friday we go until 2.30)
DS 3-4pm Zumba for kids on Monday, Music Therapy on Wednesday, Playmate after school Thursday
Afternoon Tea/Homework 4pm
Dinner Prep 4.30-5.30
Dinner 5.30
DD Bath 6pm
DD Stories and teeth 6.30
DD Bed 7pm
DS Stories and teeth 7pm
DS 1 TO 1 with mum 7.30
DS Bed 8pm
Me: Lunchboxes, Lounge, Washing folded and away, Quick tidy, Dishes

I need to fit in
1. Study approx 5 hours a week
2. Reports x 5 from work
3. Tutoring 1 hr 2 nights a week
4. I am the childcare librarian and due to a massive mess in the library system I am slowly stocktaking, recovering, repairing, replacing and cataloging the books. I try to do app 2-3 hrs a week
5. On Tuesday nights my husband and I both go to an Autism Support Group with other parents and facilitators 6.45-9.15, we pay a babysitter on these nights
6. I am peer support for one of the above parents who has a new diagnosis and do phone contact outside of group 1 night a week

So those are the basics, I somehow need to fit in haircuts, dr appointments, OT sessions when they come available, school involvement, housework, 1.1 time with dd once she hits school, at the moment I can manage it at work during my "release time", washing, don't even start on gardening, sorting out the car, etc. Most nights I am in bed half 11 and getting further behind. I know we have a late start but generally up at 7, putting on wash, helping ds with morning routine, prepping for work, etc, etc.

Suggestions of how to tweak it and fit it all in welcome. Work would very much like me to take on more tutoring but I just don't see where I could manage it.

yawningmonster Thu 23-May-13 10:23:12

I know it is mundane but I need help, just exhausted all the time and having trouble juggling it all.

LastButOneSplash Thu 23-May-13 10:29:13

What is your husband doing while you do all this?

Moxiegirl Thu 23-May-13 10:34:07

Saturdays and Sundays? And yes what does husband do?

yawningmonster Thu 23-May-13 10:41:52

DH works long hours usually gone by 7ish and back around 9. He is away every second weekend.

I do try to do things in weekend but find it hard with ds at home, he is much better out and about so we tend to do bush walks, rock hunting, beach, river...pretty much anywhere in nature and away from too many people works. I will try to manage at home more but not sure how much I will get done while caring for the children.

LastButOneSplash Thu 23-May-13 10:56:03

You're working very long hours too. Till 1130 from what you've written, so that's 2.5 later than your husband. Are the weekends away work or leisure?

I would look at making sure you both have equal leisure time. Your work, both paid and unpaid, is just as much work as his. Then I'd look at letting things slip - as long as things are hygienic they don't need to be perfect. Then I'd have to start saying no to some stuff. You might be doing some of this already of course.

You do look to have some good priorities though with making sure the kids get some time and support. Of course you also need that too.

yawningmonster Thu 23-May-13 11:09:18

thanks, our leisure time is probably not equal but tbh that part of things is not going to change...ds in particular is very demanding and in order for dh to support me some of the time he needs down time too...I don't know if we would survive as a family if dh didn't get this...
I have definately let things slip but that is the problem I am slipping further and further...I dread looking in the oven or at the skirting boards etc,
Not sure what I could say not to other than autism support group which dh takes time off to attend and we both get a lot out of so while it is a time commitment it is also sometimes a sanity saver.
We do get a small allowance which is supposed to be towards respite but firstly there is noone and nowhere suitable for him so we are using it to pay for ds to have some one on one at school as his hours were cut and he wasn't coping (we are not in UK)

LubyLu2000 Thu 23-May-13 13:15:46

You sound very overcommitted so I really sympathize brew. As someone whose day finishes at 930 when I collapse on the couch, never stopping until 1130 every night must be horrendous.

So, assuming that you can't cut back on any of your commitments can you rejig hours at work so that you get a morning free at home from both children? (And are you really sure that you can't cut back wink)

Are there any chores that you can outsource? Get a cleaner in for a couple of hours a week (or even a one off to give the house a blitz). A local teenager to cut grass and wash the car, a window cleaner, someone to pick up your ironing? Could you pay the babysitter to come another evening so that you can head out to a library (or even to another part of the house so that kids think you're out!) to do some study. Do you know of any hairdressers that come to the house?

It's great that you're doing all these things with your children but could you just do teeth and no story a couple of times a week? We got right out of the habit of reading a story but right at this moment DS is sitting reading a book himself so it hasn't done him any long lasting harm!

Dinner prep - can you cut this right back? Make double to freeze when you are cooking and you've instantly freed an hour the following week. Get some quick recipes (pasta, scrambled eggs) and your kids really wont suffer if they have fish fingers once a week!

Is your house quite ordered? I say this as someone whose house isn't but am trying to sort it now. I just cleared the kitchen cupboards the other day and its made such a huge difference not having 20 Tupperware boxes falling on top of me when I open the door! The minimalist thread on here is quite inspirational!

And just generally keeping on top of things a couple of minutes at a time - a quick 2 minute wipe in the bathroom stops it turning into a 30min job once a week.

I do know what it's like firefighting constantly just to have to keep on top of the basics but maybe it's worth a couple of nights to take a step back from it all and work out an action plan. (and a couple of glasses of wine would probably help you along wink)

But again, I would stress that you really have a lot on your plate so for the sake of your own sanity you maybe just have to cut back on commitments somewhere.

Good luckgrin

As someone who studies, works pt and has SN kids as well I've found it's the volunteer work I've had to cut back on as well as ignoring a lot of household jobs.

I'd stick with the autism group but drop the peer support role if I were you.

Also, are you desperate for the tutoring income? Could you manage without it?

The librarian work, is it paid? If not why are you the one handling the massive task of reorganizing it?

I'd also agree with the poster above who said the story at bedtime, while nice, is not essential and could be swapped for quiet play or a DVD a few nights a week while you get stuff done.

Dinner, why is it an hour prep every night? There are lots of healthy meals that take far less time to prepare and would give you a bit more time to do other stuff.

yawningmonster Fri 24-May-13 10:14:26

Thank you for all the responses.
Regarding the stories...routines help ds to cope, he is approx 3 years behind in his reading and writing (so here he is around new entrant level) so the reading is to reinforce not only that reading is enjoyable but also the flow of story telling, it can also be an opportunity for life skill learning (eg social story type stuff) so very reluctant to ditch the reading.
The librarian job is kind of part of my job description, they failed miserably to inform me what a desperate state it was in though and how much extra time it would actually take, I think once I have it in order then it won't be so bad but in the meantime it is huge.
Regarding the dinner, dh strongly believes in a diet component being effective for ds so does prefer him to have meals made from scratch from decent ingredients and well I am not exactly a fast or good cook so it takes me a while.

It is currently 9pm Friday here, I have done tonights tutoring, have tonights report to do and will do an hours study so should be done just gone 11 if I start soon (having a cuppa first though) So I should have half an hour to do a bit of stuff...I thought maybe I could do the filing back log and maybe get another load of wash away.

I have tried to plan tomorrow a bit better than usual so

Sunshine Sports (sports for children with special needs) is on from 9-11.30 and I have packed a picnic for after. So if I should maybe get home with kids 1.00ish. I desperately need to do the kitchen so I thought I could make a batch of playdough for kids and then sort the pantry out.
I may also be able to fit a trip to the dump in which will get rid of the cardboard/carton buildup left over from dd's birthday. I will get through some cataloguing and recovering in the evening and do the usual folding washing and putting away mission. Does this sound reasonable or do you think I could fit more in.

DewDr0p Fri 24-May-13 15:04:39

I wondered about dinner too OP. Something like scrambled egg on wholemeal toast with broccoli and/or peas takes less than 10 minutes to make but is balanced and healthy. Doing a quick meal like that once or twice a week could buy you a couple of hours time.

If the library stuff at work is in such a mess then maybe you should talk to them about them releasing you from an hour or two's other duties each week while you sort it out?

Do you mind me asking where your dh is every other weekend?

Plenty of healthy meals are quick;

Filled pasta with microwave cheese sauce 10 mins

Filled pasta and pesto 10 mins

Carbonara 15 mins

Sausages, mash and veg 30 mins

Casserole 30 mins in the morning and bunged in the oven on a low heat for the day

Bought lasagne and veg, 5 mins and wait for 40 mins while it cooks

Scrambled eggs, toast and veg 10 mins

There's loads!

If your dh is so concerned about the food why can't he cook and freeze at weekends?

Also, frozen veg is just as good nutritionally and far quicker to prepare.

Vivacia Fri 24-May-13 15:57:06

My children don't have SN, so it's possible I'm missing something here.

However, I think you can definitely cut down on dinner prep or clean and tidy places nearby. I appreciate your husband likes food prepared from scratch, but perhaps you would like to not spend 1 hour cooking every evening.

For the library work, I wonder if you're working too hard? If they wanted you to get on top of extra stuff then they'd be paying you for it. Is it possible to stick to your hours and do just what you're paid for, even if it takes you a longer time to get on top of it? I know how hard I would find this, but I think it's something you're going to have to trial.

Also, your husband could do some (quiet) chores when he gets in on an evening. Am I right in thinking every other weekend is his "time out"?

Frontdoorstep Fri 24-May-13 22:17:31

I think the hour you spend on dinner prep is too long every night if it is only dinner you do in that hour. I spend an hour in the kitchen at that time of night too but I multi task while there, so while something is cooking I might tidy up something else, clean any dishes that have gathered, deal with washing, prepare stuff for the next door, this leaves me free from kitchen jobs after dinner is served, I'll go back to kitchen to empty the tea time dishes from the dishwasher after we have all eaten but that is a quick and easy job because the rest of the work in the kitchen was done in the hour while I was preparing tea.

MareeeyaDoloures Sat 25-May-13 14:54:41

Your schedule is scarily close to mine. Also job, SN dc and dh who works weekends.

Suggest
1. Cleaner. Monthly or fortnightly if you're skint
2. dd piggy-backs on ds's teeth and story so you double up (half an hour later to bed won't kill her).
3. Tell preschool if they want you to get the library sorted, dd needs to stay later for one extra day so you can do it.
4. Same for reports (pay the extra daycare if need be)
5. Dump the peer support till dd starts big school

MareeeyaDoloures Sat 25-May-13 14:57:37

And dd bath. If it's for hygiene dump it. If it's mummy-daughter respite nice time, put it on essentials list.

justwondering72 Tue 28-May-13 06:17:57

Sounds like you are just keeping your head above water.

Regarding your work and the library... are you spending 2-3 hours unpaid on top of your working hours doing it? If so I think in your situation I would be liking to renegotiate your work obligations, you simply don't have the time to do extra just now. Possibly they could find another volunteer to sort the library. I do a lot of voluntary work and I know from experience how the commitment can mushroom. No older teenagers a around doing Duke of Edinburgh service and looking for a few months community work??

Also, I agree with the pps that your dh needs to contribute at home more. Have you down with him? Does he understand how stretched and stressed you are?

What about childcare for your 4 year old a couple of afternoons per week? Sorry, I am in France where virtually every 4 year old is in full time nursery, not completely up to date with situation in the UK.

Hope you get some respite soon.

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