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Work Life Balance- Managing Home, cooking, cleaning, Nursery runs, Exercise with work?? How do you do this

(25 Posts)
GammaDelta Sun 05-Jul-15 01:53:07

Hi All,
I have a 19mo boy and I work from home. My hubby is a very busy doc. l plan to switch to another company where I wont get this opportunity. I am wondering how will I manage doing all that I do now. Cooking,cleaning, nursery runs, 3-4 times a week exercise.. Suggestions please.
confused confused

knotnowdear Sun 05-Jul-15 02:04:08

I only manage to fit in exercise by doing it at 5am before the school run (we have to leave home around 7am). I had a nanny for 12 years - school finishes at 2.40 and work finishes at 5.30! I used a nanny to collect from pre-school/school and hold the fort until I got home. I also had a cleaner. DP fired her though and now acts as a martyr every weekend taking 10 hours to not clean the house properly hmm.

What are the benefits you'll get for switching to a job which won't let you work from home? I found life 100x easier when I was able to work from home.

Everydayaschoolday Sun 05-Jul-15 02:09:42

I left work to do all the other jobs on your list. But that's not for everyone, and had I kept my career I would have: got a cleaner; got a nanny for school runs, childminding and making kids tea; do fitness during lunch-hour; online weekly shop for delivery (I do this anyway); got a gardener. It's not easy, don't be afraid to consider delegating or sub-contracting to help you support your family.

ch1134 Sun 05-Jul-15 06:47:02

I think most of us don't do everything, we prioritise as there are only so many hours in the day. Work/life balance to me means enjoying my life more than my work. That used to mean hanging out with friends and doing exercise. Now it means hanging out with family and keeping on top of the house. That gives me huge satisfaction. Exercise I manage once or twice a week as work has been particularly busy this year. Next year it should calm down so I should be able to do more exercise.

puffinrock Sun 05-Jul-15 06:59:37

Work: 9 -5 Monday to Friday

Cooking: Dh does. I do easy in oven stuff.

Cleaning: Between us as we go this is part of the exercise

Exercise: I have children. It is difficult to ever sit down/stop/rest!

HighOverTheFenceLeapsSunnyJim Sun 05-Jul-15 07:19:05

Get your husband to do some domestic duties? What are his hours?

GammaDelta Sun 05-Jul-15 07:52:27

hi All..Dh can help and tried to do add much as he can. . he leaves home around 8 and back by 6..7..9..10 whatever. many a times works 13 days n gets a weekend off.. he is supportive wherever he can n he does his share of garden cleaning n cooking.. problem is with DS we are anyways work on reduced efficiency ..
I work as a IT analyst but after 3-4 years i get only 28k. in London ..envy most of my salary goes into childcare with very little to save. hence i am thinking of switching to get a better pay. which will take away the benefit of wfh. would you consider that? ?
hmm

puffinrock Sun 05-Jul-15 07:57:55

I don't see a problem at all. You only feel like that because you aren't used to it. In a couple of years it will just feel normal.

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Sun 05-Jul-15 07:58:27

I recently turned down a better paid job because my current one means I can work from home at least a few days a week. So that helps me stay on top of house work and exercise. For my family at the moment my availability and flexibility was worth more than extra money. A friend went for an au pair - extra pair of hands for childcare and some house work, and not as costly as other options. But I'm not sure I would like to share my house space myself.

Am52079 Sun 05-Jul-15 08:10:18

It's not east but its doable. I have a 2 year old and a 4 and a half month old baby. I haven't gone back to work yet after having the second but with the first it was pretty tough. Coming home from work to cook and clean was not fun but like others said, splitting the jobs makes everything so much easier!

I only do certain things once a week. I hoover downstairs twice a day everyday (I have a hairy dog) but only do upstairs once a week. The dog doesn't go up there but some hairs still travel. Prioritising things really helps! You'll be fine smile

puffinrock Sun 05-Jul-15 08:12:28

If your child goes to nursery it is so easy to keep your place clean as no one is there.

squizita Sun 05-Jul-15 08:44:50

As puffin says, working from home can create mess. You eat, move things etc at home.
Whereas if the house is empty 9-5, nothing.
My worst weeks for mess are weeks dh is working from home!

If I were in your shoes I would draw up some small chores done daily (washing up etc) and then share the bigger chores over the weekend (cutting lawn etc).
Have you a washer/drier and a dishwasher? Both save hours.

I have a bad back so exercise is a moot point but I'm also considering a cleaner as it eats into weekends!

ohthegoats Sun 05-Jul-15 08:51:25

I'm going back to work in September and am cacking myself about this very thing. My partner is ace about cooking, some cleaning etc, but still... I had three days back at work last week and had to do three runs upstairs on my first day at home just to get all the washing that had been done back into cupboards. The washing had happened, some drying had happened... it was just mounting up in the utility room. I used a variety of childcare for those three days, and lids to bottles have still not been found.

We're also in the middle of a house renovation, big chunks of which I'd have done myself had I a) not had a baby, b) not be trying to do work, baby, and house. Had a melt down last week about needing to get it all finished by September otherwise it just won't get done because I won't be here to organise stuff.

Love51 Sun 05-Jul-15 08:51:57

Fit in exercise before or after work while dc is at nursery. I don't do this as we use a cm paid by thr hour for 2, but a lone parent colleague does and she is much better at going regularly than I am trying to fit it in.when dh has the kids. Although thats coz I can usually find something better to.do!

Nolim Sun 05-Jul-15 08:52:37

We wake up before 6. My oh goes to work early so he can leave early and do the nursery pick up. I cook and clean a little bit before it is time to take dc to nursery and then go to work. We have a cleaner. We exercise at work a few times a week during lunch time.

Littlef00t Sun 05-Jul-15 21:43:59

not sure how tight your day is, but could you join a gym near work and go at lunch?

Littlef00t Sun 05-Jul-15 21:46:04

I have a baby carrier and make sure I do a long walk with dd 16mo on my back every weekend as one session.

RevoltingPeasant Sun 05-Jul-15 23:24:36

Hi op, am in the same position!

We are planning to:

Have DH do nursery drop off and me pick ups

I'll get to work early and leave early, he'll be late/ late

This way DD gets some time with both of us in the day

I'll cycle to work and do an early morning swim one day a week for exercise

DH will do an evening swim and choir practice e one evening for his "me time"

He cooks, I tidy kitchen every evening

We have a cleaner for all the rest

Do laundry in overnight timed loads, hang out in am before work inside or out

Weekends try to keep for family time but do whatever jobs really need doing - food shop, cut grass, wash car etc

.....that's the theory anyhow!!!

SallyStarbuck Mon 06-Jul-15 12:54:07

I don't think I would swap WFH for better pay unless it was a serious pay rise that would allow you to outsource quite a bit of housework.

We both work f/t, though different hours so we're not always both working the same 5 days a week which is a little easier. And the point people make about less mess when you're not in the house is very true.

Washing - gets shoved in the machine in the evening on the timer so it's finishing as we come home the next day, then hung out (am a slattern and it hangs outside overnight in the summer)

Washing up - do as much as you can as you go along. Often ours isn't done that evening, apart from the really smelly things, and is done early the next evening when someone is in with DD.

General cleaning - mostly done at the weekends. Not high standards grin Dust and hoover downstairs every week, upstairs probably every fortnight unless something terrible happens in between. Remember, with people out a lot, there's less dirt on the floors etc. Dusting, wiping stains on walls and paintwork, that sort of 'general' cleaning can be done in tiny 2 min bursts - you'd be amazed how much you can get done if you run around like a blue-arsed fly for an episode of The Clangers.

Cooking - normally DH gets in before me to starts on dinner and finishes it while I do bathtime and bedtime. If he's not in then I'll make something quick and light for me or eat cereal. DD eats at nursery. Batch cook and freeze whenever possible. Just plan for quicker, easier meals if necessary, or ones that can cook themselves in the oven around DC bedtime.

If you get a serious pay rise, you can then look at getting a cleaner, getting the ironing done, that sort of thing. Or pay for a cleaner twice a week who also does the washing or something. Other than that you have to probably lower standards a little grin

Exercise is the big one. In all honesty I don't know too many other working mums who manage a lot of exercise regularly, or they have downscaled it a lot. Because you're adding some of the cleaning, cooking etc time onto the end of your day with a commute then most people I know say that they don't have much energy to go for a run or to the gym very often. That doesn't mean you can't do it, of course, but completely anecdotally, with pretty much all of the mums I know their hobbies (exercise, classes, book groups etc) is the one thing that has slipped mostly.

cloudjumper Mon 06-Jul-15 13:15:59

We have a cleaner, so we don't have to worry about that at all - best investment ever, it means we don't have to spend precious family time at weekends!

Cooking - during the week, we mainly use speedy recipes (think Nigella Express or Jamie 15 minute meals); we also often do batch cooking at weekends, so that there is always something in the freezer for those days where everything is too rushed. Also, during the week, DS gets dinner in nursery, so one person cooks while the other puts DS to bed, and we eat without him. That will change when he starts school, not sure yet how we'll handle that!

Shopping - we do all our grocery shopping online, again saving valuable time at weekends! Yes, we have to plan our meals for the week, but I'd rather spend time doing that than cleaning/shopping etc.

Washing - whenever. Usually we put a wash on in the morning and then hang it up when we come home. We don't iron anything, apart from DH's shirts, which he does himself on Sunday evenings.

DS starts school in September and will be going to before- and after-school clubs; DH does drop offs and pick ups most days because his commute into work is much quicker than mine. I second what others have said about childminders, they can be more flexible with hours sometimes!

Exercise - evenings only. We take turns, I go to the gym a couple of times per week, DH goes running or does a circuit class.

It's possible, but both parties have to pull their weight. If your DH moans about cleaning, then get another cleaner. Also, can you talk to him about being more rigorous with his work hours, i.e. that at least on certain days, he makes an effort to get home by a certain time? Life's too short.

UngratefulMoo Mon 06-Jul-15 16:38:22

I have a cleaner, but have also generally slightly lowered my standards. Nursery is on the way to the station and DH and I do 50/50 (I'll drop off, he picks up, depending on when it makes most sense for each of us).

I don't really manage exercise very well at the moment, just try and watch what I eat and walk a lot. And I have massively downgraded my expectations of what I can cook during the week. Omelette and baked beans or salad is now a much more frequent choice than anything interesting. DD eats at nursery so I only have to worry about what to feed her at the weekends and then I'll make a batch of veggie pasta or something to freeze in case of emergenices.

I struggle to find time for much of a social life but try and plan to see friends at least once every couple of weeks, which DH encourages.

It is not easy unless you have grandparents on call (we don't but they do visit every few weeks and help out so we can have a date night or something) and we only have one child! No idea how we'll manage if we get round to making another one. smile It would be much much harder without a supportive husband and an understanding workplace. BUT it can be done, as long as you don't expect everything to be perfect. Good luck, OP!

Kiwiinkits Wed 08-Jul-15 23:52:09

Basically I have realised that I don't have time for exercise or a hobby unless I get up at 6am. And in winter I'm not prepared to do that. So I've gotten fat. Like pretty much every other working mum I know who used to be fit and active pre-kids. their husbands all manage to go out mountainbiking at the weekends though

Everything else is in shipshape order though. We buy in help from a nanny twice a week. DH cleans the bathrooms and does home maintenance tasks. I do everything else.

Notgrumpyjustquiet Wed 08-Jul-15 23:57:04

I've coped (mostly as a single parent until the last few years when, coincidentally, DS left home) by having a screaming, sobbing, can't get out of my pyjamas for weeks breakdown roughly every 10 years or so grin

Heartofgold25 Thu 09-Jul-15 08:41:19

Being incredibly organised with a lot of outside help in the shape of cleaners, gardeners and everyone pitching in and helping.

Being a parent is a job in it's own right so adding another full time job into the mix you are going to need a lot of support from dh, family and outsourcing everything but the essential as I see it.

Prioritise time with your children over exercise, you can do the two together possibly...but more important to spend quality time with ds than at a fitness class.

If there is a not a convincing or very well paid reason to change your job, working from home is more convenient surely and you can get 'home' jobs done whilst you are still working (washing etc) or even be there if your ds has a fever etc and is at home, which can't be done if you work from an office. If you are planning to have more children I would consider keeping your current job at home....it is seriously challenging to work full time office based with more than one child.

squizita Thu 09-Jul-15 13:25:01

Heart a lot of people work outside the home - and in more challenging environments than an office. Often with several children.
It is also entirely reasonable to be able to take exercise - becoming unfit because you're a martyr mummy is a bad idea long term. Not only as you might be physically unfit but because the idea that exercise and health may be neglected if you're busy/passionate about something else, and that women 'aught to' allow themselves to get unhealthy or they don't love their kids enough ...

I've just overcome some strong post natal anxiety and I'm sorry to say some of the attitudes in your posts remind me of my own rationalising - that I was a "better" mum because I took no time for myself and watched my baby like a hawk unable to do anything else. I wasn't. Friends, family and even trusted professionals should be helping: even Dr Sears says mum should be able to take TIME OUT ... not time out with baby there, time out where baby is with dad, grandparent, aunt or friend - or a good paid babysitter.

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