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Help me - how do I orgainse all this?

(22 Posts)
sushistar Sun 24-Aug-08 21:33:19

I care for my 8month old full time. No family nearby. I work about 20 hrs per week from home in the evenings. I do a bit of voluntary work for my church. My house is an utter tip. Some days if I'm not strict with myself I stay up too late working I'm a crap mum the next day.

All the tools I've learnt in the past on how to organise myself at work - like making lists etc - don't seem to work with a energetic crawler keeping me on my toes. I am not one for a routine, but I'm wondering if I should go all Gina Ford (oops! blush)and start clock watching. How do I get organised? I want a cleanish house, decent meals, and not to stark raving bonkers because ebverything's so chaotic... help!

bodiddly Sun 24-Aug-08 21:37:08

I think that they start finding their own loose routine at around that age. Perhaps set yourself a deadline in terms of hours you are going to work each evening and a time to call it quits and go to bed. I know that if I have a few late nights I am totally unable to deal with my little one without trouble. Could you get an hour or two done each day when your child is having a nap which would free up some of your evening time for a bit of work and a little housework?

sushistar Sun 24-Aug-08 21:54:34

thanks bo - anyone else out there?
I struggle to work in nap times because his nap times are random and usually happen when we're out!

Shannaratiger Sun 24-Aug-08 21:57:30

I know alot of people on here hate FLYlady but she says to work in 15mins slots. It's amazing how much you get done, also give your self sitting down recharging your batterys time.

onepieceoflollipop Sun 24-Aug-08 22:02:45

Sushi have you decluttered? Ime this is what you need to do to start with. If not already done so, be ruthless with ornaments and other clutter. When you buy new clothes, send the equivalent quantity to the charity shop etc.

Simplify all meals - nothing wrong with baked potatoes, salads, pasta etc, unless you love cooking.

Try and build in little breaks for yourself -otherwise working for hours on end is counterproductive.

Do laundry every day (or almost every day, depending on volume). I wash 5-6 times weekly and it has become a habit now. It means that I can hang stuff inside if raining and avoid constant use of tumble dryer.

I try to focus on 1-2 household jobs a day, that way I keep on top of it. e.g wash bathroom floor, or change bedding, or hoover downstairs.

sushistar Sun 24-Aug-08 22:07:13

I like the 15 mins thing...
onepiece, you sound organised - do you have a structure or do you just do stuff as and when? I think I'm wondering whether to write myself a timetable and stick to it! But poor ds has had such a free-and-easy lfe so far, I can't see how he'd cope...

foxythesnowfox Sun 24-Aug-08 22:19:11

I think a loose structure helps. Keep meal times regular, 7/8 breakfast, 12 lunch, 5 dinner, nap after lunch. Its a hang-over from my 'Gina' days with DC1. Now DC4 is here, we still follow this very, very basic aspect of the routine.

Its the nap time (you might get 2 hours at this time) in which you can get sorted. LO may even have a nap after breakfast too (a good time to cook dinner IME). Of course, it means a bit of staying in, but that's the time you get the housework/paperwork done.

I find it a great help to know what I'm cooking for the main meal, so a bit of basic meal planning helps.

Internet shopping for groceries and milkman deliveries. As much convenience in your life as possible. There's really no 'popping out' for a pint of milk with 4 LOs. Clean once a week, but thoroughly.

I run around like a nutter as soon as they are in their beds, tidy, sweep, wash up, get straight. Dinner when DP comes in, dishwasher on. Sit on arse with wine in hand. HTH smile

onepieceoflollipop Sun 24-Aug-08 22:20:23

sushi I am only really organised with laundry (it helps that I don't hate laundry I guess). Also I hate dusting so have minimised it by being strict re ornaments etc.

Other jobs get done more or less weekly/fortnightly - e.g. floor washing, bed changing. Dh does quite a bit too, such as hoovering. (main areas hoovered twice a week in theory).

I couldn't stick to a timetable tbh, but I work shifts on different days so it wouldn't fit in with my work shifts anyway.

As someone else said, lots of jobs only take 15 minutes or so. Most of us can give the bathroom a good going over in that time - unless it is really filthy. If the loo/basin get wiped over every day or two (5 minute job) then the bathroom never gets too bad.

I tend to get most done around 9.30/10am. dd2 may have a little sleep and is happy when she wakes up for half an hour or so, she just sits in the room I am in and watches me. I try and blitz things for an hour or so, and then don't do much the rest of the day!

onepieceoflollipop Sun 24-Aug-08 22:23:27

Loved everything that foxy put apart from the 2 hour nap bit which made me envy

dd1 loved her 2 hours nap (so did I) plenty of time to slob around for an hour with lunch, coffee, magazines etc, then an hour's housework. Lucky with dd2 (1 year) to get 45 minutes!

I sometimes used my 2 hour break to bake a cake even! Those days are gone. (however dd2 is a perfect little angel in every other respect! grin)

foxythesnowfox Sun 24-Aug-08 22:37:13

ahh, how I loath laundry though!

Don't iron anything, fold it neatly as soon as dried. Or hang on hangers to dry. Really creased things can have a quick wizz in the tumble drier or hang in the bathroom when you have a shower. If DP wants a shirt ironed, he knows where the iron is. (Actually we don't have one, so I guess its not an issue for him grin)

blithedance Sun 24-Aug-08 22:40:47

Yes you need Flylady. Idiot's guide to being a domestic goddess.

It's hard work if you are working the evenings as well as the day, you don't say whether baby sleeps through the night. left to myself I would live in chaos too but this is my bare-minimum approach:

1) work your way round the house a room at a time doing a tidy-up and de-clutter, it helps to have a friend to keep an eye on baby/keep you on task! One morning a week say.

2) designate 1-2 hours session each week doing a "blitz" clean: mop, hoover, dust, empty bins, wipe bathrooms, change beds etc. Not deep cleaning, just make it look presentable. should not need too much maintenance in between. Somehow I managed this when children awake, think I used the TV/playpen to keep them under control blush

3) Try to at least have washed up and put away toys before you go to bed, so you come down to a clear house in the morning. Also try to make beds/leave bedrooms straight in the morning.

4) keep the laundry moving and forget ironing, it's not essential.

5) Do a fortnightly meal plan (like canteens do) include plenty of simple sausage-and-mash type meals and shop for it. Stick plan to fridge so you don't forget. Guess you are weaning at the moment which is a pain but soon over!

Is your other half around/any help?

onepieceoflollipop Sun 24-Aug-08 22:41:46

Yes agree with laundry tips; also put shirts, t-shirts etc on a slower spin and this helps avoid much of your ironing.

I iron the odd (child's) dress and work blouse.

blithedance Sun 24-Aug-08 22:44:09

Yes one thing I learnt from Anthea Turner was that if you shake out the clothes before pegging/hanging up, they dry much less creased. Duh!

onepieceoflollipop Sun 24-Aug-08 22:46:01

Better still encourage your dcs (from around the age of 2) to empty the washing machine and shake all the clothes out. Be on hand to ensure that large items don't get dragged across the floor.

HonoriaGlossop Sun 24-Aug-08 22:58:05

try to get a regular nap time for your baby, at home....it's got to be worth a go. DS had two hours from 12.30ish to 2.30ish and that was brilliant - time for me to tidy round, have lunch, even get dinner prepped for later.

Bin the voluntary work - for now. You won't go to hell wink Personally, I don't know anyone who fitted in voluntary work with a young baby AND a 20 hr a week job. Prioritise; you can go back to it later.

Definitely meal plan; I stick up on a board what we're having that day as it reminds me and I don't waste time deciding five times on what we'll have/staring in an uninspired fashion at the fridge

Have a HUGE throw out of stuff. Make sure you have enough storage, a place for everything etc. It really does revolutionise your life if you don't have too much stuff.

And get DP/DH to help. Just because you're at home with the baby doesn't mean you are a housekeeper; you are bringing up a child and you work as well.

sushistar Sun 24-Aug-08 23:18:15

DP is great, he helps a lot. But I guess I feel guilty watching him run around like crazy when he gets back from work! I feel like life's a bit mad and some kind of rythm / pattern would be something to cling to in amidst the chaos...

Ditching the voluntary work is a good idea Honoria - I'd been thinking along those lines - I have a commitment next Sunday buit then I think I'll say I need a break until after Christmas.

2 hour nap - hah! I wish! DS is still breastfed, and the last week I've tried to have a structure (for the first time ever!) like this:

7:30am breakfast
9am - feed in bed (I'm up and dressed btw, but he seems more likely to sleep if I feed him in our bed - but doesn't always!)
10:30am - morning snack
12 - lunch
12:30 - feed
3:30 - afternoon snack and feed, nap
6:45 - dinner
7:15pm - bath and story/playtime with daddy
8pm bed

The only bit we've actually been doing with any consistancy is the dinner-bath-story-feed-bed thing. He still usually feeds at least once at night.

He does usually have an afternoon nap, but I'm usually exhausted by then. A morning nap would be wonderful - but how do I make him do it? One of the hardest things is that I have to make phone calls as part of my job sometimes, and it's really difficult to get a time in the day to make them when I know ds will be asleep. Also, I tend to go out all day most days - just because ds seems hapier out, and I can go places where he can crawl lots, rather than crawling at home and getting into mischief...

sushistar Sun 24-Aug-08 23:19:31

Oh and he sleep a whole lot better out than at home...

onepieceoflollipop Mon 25-Aug-08 09:58:47

sushi re the naps.

my dd1 loved her morning nap and lunchtime (longer) nap. She just slotted in to it and I loved it too.

With dd2 afaik we have used the same approaches. She does have a short morning nap (30 minutes or so) but it is rare for her to have much longer in the afternoon. She also wakes either in the night once or twice, or if not in the night, v early (5-6am) She just doesn't seem to need/want longer naps.

It would be fab for you if you could get your ds to have a longer, regular nap, but not all babies will (is what I think I am trying to say!)

Also I often assume my dh is tired after work (and as I work some week ends he looks after them then as well). However I do ask him sometimes and am reassured that he feels looking after the dds isn't the same as work iykwim.

foxythesnowfox Mon 25-Aug-08 11:41:57

Sushi, my DD2 has never been big on 2 naps a day, she is also BF and wakes about 4 million times in the night to come into bed and bf. She's 13 months. I bf before we get up, then breakfast at 7.30ish. She used to have a mid morning feed, now has a snack instead.

Perhaps ditch the earlier nap, and bring the main nap earlier? Say about 11am. She could have it after a morning snack, or feed, wake up for lunch at 1 or 2 and you could go out?

You might have to bring bedtime earlier if LO has an earlier nap, which of course means bringing dinner earlier. So perhaps tea at 5 or 6, bath and bed at 7?

Probably buggers up time with DH, could he get home to do bath and bed? Giving him baby time, and you time to clear up after the day and get on with dinner for you two?

HonoriaGlossop Mon 25-Aug-08 12:25:49

You should not feel guilty about your husband helping when he gets in from work. You have been working all day too. Your husband has chosden to have a home and family and with that choice comes responsibility. It is hard work, yes. But that's what he chose. Don't be so light on him!

I think what's worth doing is attempting to put him down for an earlier nap. He won't ever 'get' it while you're out all day at different places, times, doing different things. You have to show him how routine is done.

Of course he may never slot in, - fine! But it's got to be worth a go because it sounds like you are crying out for some guaranteed time to get work/housework done.

saggyhairyarse Mon 25-Aug-08 14:12:20

My advice would be to set aside a weekend/couple of days when you can have a mega spring clean and declutter. Start at the top and work your way down, one room at a time.

Personally, I do 2 jobs a day. Like clean the bathroom/kitchen and put washing away or whatever. Then it is jsut a case of keeping on top of the day to day stuff.

sushistar Mon 25-Aug-08 22:10:20

Thanks all. I like the idea of trying to put him down for one londer nap at 11ish. I'll try it this week and see how it goes! That would REALLY make my like a whole lot easier. He could eat at 6ish - dh gets home around then so could still be involved. And then bed aty 7? I don't want to make bed too early cos otherwise he'll be up really early!

Oh my goodness, I can't BELIEVE I'm takling about a ROUTINE...

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