Practical tips for coping with housework etc after returning to work, pls?(10 Posts)
Am returning to work after 1 years maternity leave in three weeks time. Have DD 3 and DS soon 1. Both will be in same nursery 4 days a week full time, and one day a week I have off and both will be home with me. I work 9-4.30 with a 1 hour commute. My work is quite intense but not physical. DH will do morning drop offs and I will do pick-ups. DH gets home at 7.30pm and I will pick up at 5.30pm. So I will be coming home, cooking dinner and feed the kids and slowly start bed time, and when DH comes home we will each put a child to bed, then it's together clean up after dinner, perhaps do some laundry and prepare for the next day. We are already sort of doing this routine, but now I have time to do housework during the week as I'm home.
So my worry is how general housework will get done. I will get a cleaner once a week for 3 hours to do general cleaning and Change beds, but day to day cleaning and laundry and grocery shopping remains. In the morning the house always ends up looking like a bomb site with toys and left over breakfast sitting around. Not to mention towels and clothes. Any ideas how I'll cope with coming home to a mess with two tired and hungry kids and having to cook dinner in the mess or tackle it first? Also, once kids are in bed I'm sure we will be destroyed, but then will have to tackle general tidying and laundry etc, perhaps online grocery shopping. My worry is compounded by the fact that DS is a terrible sleeper and I've suffered sleep deprivation since his birth. He wakes +3 times a night and will only re-settle on my boob. I don't feed him to sleep, he goes to sleep in his own bed around 7pm but then wakes around 11pm first time and screams bloody murder until I give in and breastfeed him. I've tried letting him scream out this first wake up (with intermittent settling) many times, he will scream for 1 hour at least before falling back asleep and will then awake again around 3-4am and repeat the process. At this second wake up I'm usually to exhausted to let him scream
For too long and too worried he will wake up DD and DH, so this time I usually immediately take him into bed with me and breastfeed him back to sleep and then he stays there for the remainder of the night. I know I should maybe let him scream through second wake up too and then maybe he would learn, but I'm just too exhausted! Am worried how I'll cope with work on so little sleep. I'm a bad sleeper myself so find it hard to go back to sleep after he has woken me up and don't fall alseep easily at night.
I would be very grateful for any advice on how to handle housework routine or improve sleep.
Two things that work for us...
1. Put a load of laundry on timer to come on at about 5am. Hang it on a heated airer when you get up and it's dry by the time you get home.
2. 'Click and collect' groceries that you can order online and then pick up on your way home from work one day.
We do both of lovelyjubbly's suggestions! Definite time savers.
Do your kids take a nap during the day? We get a lot of chores done on Saturday/Sunday during nap time. Presumably when old enough you could plonk them in front of a disney film for the same effect.
Assign tasks and then make good use of your weekends. I do all the food shopping tasks on the weekends - so I do the meal planning, make two separate lists, do one online shopping order for later in the week, then we go to the supermarket on Saturday afternoons as a family. I do all of that Saturday morning while mine watches a bit of tv or dh takes her outside to do something.
I find I can clear the table, wipe down cupboards, put washing on, put washing away while dinner is cooking. Mine is older now, but she was younger, I just took her with me if she couldn't be left alone for a few minutes. My dh's job is the washing up. He does it first thing in the morning before he leaves for work and when he gets home from work in the evening. Or get a dishwasher if you have room. The hardest bit is the deep cleaning, hoovering, wiping down windows, cleaning bathrooms, etc. but if you have a cleaner, they can do that. Otherwise, I do it on the weekends.
For cooking, make double of things and freeze it, or use a slow cooker at least a few dinners a week, so you don't have to cook something new every night. I find just having that extra time twice a week makes it so much easier to stay on top of it all.
Also, make lists and keep everything that needs getting done organised in your diary. I find if I write it down, I remember it, and can move through tasks quicker without getting distracted.
Make a list of everything which needs doing each week and divide the list between you and your DH.
Do you commute by car or train? Is it possible to order grocery shopping during that time?
thanks for your suggestions, they are fab! will try to implemt them all. Think I'll try to do the grocery shopping online and do the order on the weekend, perhaps on a Saturday morning, to get a slot for Sunday.
I commute on tube so no internet connection and always busy catching up on work emails on the way to work.
Maybe also do meal planning on Saturday - and getting a slow cooker is a good idea. A bit daunted by it, as such a rubbish cook. DH used to do all the cooking and I used to do most of the cleaning before our second child was born and evenings got too busy.
I dont think it will be too bad. Once I went back, it sort of just happens- because it has to. It is only four days and cleaner too so you will be fine. The thing I would worry about it sleep.
Other tips. Mine have a tallboy thing each and I keep whole outfits together. Socks, pants, t shirt etc. So each morning just take out the drawer they needs.
Cooking- on a sauturday if I do a big curry I make tonnes and freeze portions. So only have to put on rice in the evening. Same with stew (baby potatoes so quick). Always have a stash of bolognese. I don't mind making these on a sat night with a glass of wine while strictly or whatever is on.
I keep two wicker baskets for dcs stuff - one each - with their hat, coat and bag at the door
Try and declutter your toys. Do you need all of them out? Can you keep a good few in underbed storage for the days you are at home?
The tallboy has seven drawers - really handy
Baskets by door a great idea. Find that I often need to tweak outfits from day to day as never know how weather will be, so not sure can do the outfit planning so long in advance. But just cos I'm a freak about kids being super warm (an Scandinavian so brought up in layers and wrapped up and think that feeling s slight chill will probably kill you)
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