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How do you manage?

(16 Posts)
IGIG Mon 27-Mar-17 19:30:15

I'm going back to work on part time basis and have two primary school children. it's a scary prospect, how do you manage anything?
Running the house and keeping everything ticking is frankly scaring me! I'm not sure which ball I'm going to drop.
Any advice, tips on keeping everything ticking along?

IGIG Thu 30-Mar-17 16:36:36


FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Thu 30-Mar-17 17:53:37

Hi IGIG, sorry not sure if my experience will help much as I work at home, but I suppose the answer is, you just do because you have to!

Do you have friends/family to rely on in the holidays or odd last minute childcare emergencies?

I found that when I went for other jobs it would always be just before half term or another holiday and I'd talk myself out of it when I realised how much it would cost me in childcare to start work! I know there are tax credits and voucher schemes etc to help with the costs of childcare, so look into those. If your employer doesn't already offer a voucher scheme then maybe you can talk to them about it.

You may need to get your kids on board with helping out. Even at primary age they can empty the dishwasher, help bring down washing etc and tidy up after themselves. I would definitely go for school lunches as making tomorrow's sandwiches is one of my biggest bugbears after a long day!

Do your DCs spend any time with their other parent? Mine go one night a week, but it is never the same night, so I can't really rely on it for anything regular and throughout the last few months they've not been at all, so their dad visits them at my house.

FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Thu 30-Mar-17 17:56:32

Make sure you take some time for yourself, even if that means lowering your standards a bit! Nothing wrong with an easy 'shove it in the oven' dinner on a Friday night, or beans on toast. You need to take care of yourself to be able to function in both roles as both lone parent and employee, so don't feel guilty for putting your feet up and leaving the washing up until tomorrow!

megletthesecond Thu 30-Mar-17 17:58:20

Batch cooking massive quantities of lasagne / chilli / cottage pie. If we have a rare weekend day at home I let the dc's watch as much tv as they like while I get on with making a mess in the kitchen.

Look after yourself because if you get ill the whole house of cards wobbles.

pinkpixie83 Thu 30-Mar-17 17:59:11

It's crazy but do able!

I work school hours with 3dc at school. I don't get much time but I wash in the evenings or over night to hang in the morning. My house isn't as clean as it could be but it's not filthy either. I use school dinners so if I don't feel like I cooking I can!

IGIG Thu 30-Mar-17 22:53:34

Lowering the standards it is then. DC1 helps out with dishwasher but then they are both young and I don't feel like asking all the time.
Lost my DH so it's all on me.

IGIG Thu 30-Mar-17 22:53:50

Thank you for you advice.

Bitconfused75 Thu 30-Mar-17 23:24:22

I have three DC and work full time with far too many animals.
I shop online for groceries and use Amazon Prime Now for late night emergency deliveries.
All the kids do jobs and I don't worry if the house looks like a bomb site some days. The most important thing for me is some time off - ex is out of the picture so I found a trusted babysitter so I can get out sometimes.
And I ask for help when I need it - a network of good friends and understanding school mums have got me out of some sticky situations.
I'm sorry about your DH - it's incredibly hard anyway but if you're grieving even harder. There are organisations which offer family bereavement support for all of you if you need it.
Take every day as it comes - and look after yourself too.

Disappointednomore Fri 31-Mar-17 04:43:02

Hi I work just under full time one primary school DD. I have a cleaner once a week and have shopping delivered. I put washing on as soon as I get up and am teaching DD to hang it out in the evenings. Lots of TV and Netflix I'm afraid, break homework into chunks. At the weekends it's much easier to pack up a few sandwiches and leave the house to get out and about (art galleries, museums etc - anything free) if we stay at home the house gets messy and we get crabby. Getting ill is the worst - make sure you have good friends and try to return their favours where you can.

Disappointednomore Fri 31-Mar-17 04:46:53

Oh and yes to school dinners. If your employer doesn't have a childcare voucher scheme try to persuade them to set one up as it's financially advantageous to them as well.

IGIG Fri 31-Mar-17 23:01:00

Thank you. I need to get better at shopping, I do a lot of ad hoc shopping which takes a lot of time. Is it possible to have the essentials on repeat delivery??

Disappointednomore Sun 02-Apr-17 21:08:20

You can set up a fixed time slot and then do a "fill my basket" shop where they put in the stuff that you mostly buy. Just take out the stuff you don't need. I buy everything online - makeup, hair colour, greetings cards, gifts - everything.

Missjumblebum1 Sun 02-Apr-17 22:37:27

Agree lower standards but also no procrastinating, it will always be regretted. Get the kids to help with as much as possible. I have 2 children 7 and 10 they do their own rooms, clean bathroom (not toilet) put washing on and put away their clothes. Eldest helps youngest with homework and listens to her read (when they are not arguing) i work school hours but also doing a degree part time so they know we all need to work together. Obviously this is not always done with happy smiles and I often have to repeat my "there is three of us living here/I'm not your slave" speech but mostly they get it.
Also online shopping and bed quite early for them so I have a small amount of me time.

IGIG Mon 03-Apr-17 09:45:00

Excellent, I'm going to do that with online shopping then.
I got my son to do his own school bag including his water bottle and he did it, that was a huge time saver 👍

egginacup Mon 03-Apr-17 09:52:45

I work full time with two primary school age kids and no family nearby. Luckily I'm a teacher so we have the holidays together!

I manage through having a brilliant childminder, a good network of mum friends for lift shares to Brownies etc, both DC on school dinners and massively lowering my standards at home! If everyone's fed and happy that's all that matters.

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