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HELP!! Scatty SAHM needs urgent help structuring her day with 18m/o DS and 6y/o DS

(20 Posts)
BEAUTlFUL Mon 14-Sep-09 18:03:31

Hello... I'm a SAHM who often works from home (writing). DH is leaving us on a trial separation hmm and I'm terrified I'm going to fall apart without his help. I desperately need help structuring my day to get everything done (cleaning, playing with DS2 and DS1, cooking, shopping and work).

DS2 is 18 months and will sleep for 1.5-2 hours in the day. This nap is the only chance I get to work with a fresh brain, although evening work is possible. But shouldn't I use this time to do housework/cooking so I'm not having to do it with him around?

The worst time ATM is after school, when I never know what to do with them that they'll both like. DS1 has homework, but how do we do that with DS2 wandering around? We don't have a kitchen big enough for a table in it, so I can't cook and keep an eye on the boys, I have to be in the same room.

DS2 is exhausted by 6pm so I put him down them, which gives DS1 and I time alone together. Should I do homework then?

This is a badly written message I know, but I am SO STRESSED about coping that I'm losing the plot! I need someone to plan out my whole day/week and tell me what to do when.

How do you get it all done in a day?

colditz Mon 14-Sep-09 18:09:29

Children need to see their parents do housework and cooking. DOn't use your precious nap time to do all the housework and cooking. Cook in the evening and give sandwiches for lunch.


Drop Ds1 at school, do a group or park or playing at home with ds2. Make sandwiches for lunch. Put ds2 down for a sleep and do some writing. When he wakes up, play with him until it is time to collect ds1.

When you get home from the school run, serve an early tea (5 - 5.30) and then have a little play with both until ds2's bedtime. Then do homework with ds1, no longer than 15/20 minutes - longer than this is too much at 6 years old IMHO. Then play a board game/reading or similar until his bedtime (8 ish?)

THEN it is time to wash up, do laundry and some basic tidying.

But not too much. There is only one of you, and you cannot become a slave to your house. You should aim to finish this completely by 9.30 at the very very latest.


BEAUTlFUL Mon 14-Sep-09 18:18:51

Thanks! But when do I cook? I like them to have home-cooked meals, which takes an half an hour or so, at least, to prepare. And cleaning? This is a lovely plan but it's basically playing with the DC all day! When do I hoover, wash the floor, do paperwork, recycling, empty the bin...?


BEAUTlFUL Mon 14-Sep-09 18:20:09

See how stressed I am!! i missed the bit about cooking in evenings. Arghhhhhhhhhhhh

colditz Mon 14-Sep-09 18:25:57

You missed the bit about tidying in the evenings too.

I KNOW your panic, it is the panic of a woman whose partner has convinced her she won't cope without him.

Look, you do all this stuff already! Just carry on doing it - the things your husband does and be fairly easily and efficiently slotted into the evenings - it will fill some time before bed!

colditz Mon 14-Sep-09 18:27:16

beautiful, you do all the things you mention while the children are in bed. Or you go home straight after dropping your child at school and stick cbeebies on for some of the morning once a week and do it then.

BEAUTlFUL Mon 14-Sep-09 18:30:44

I'm just going to plan it here for fun...

6:30 -- get up. (DS1 is up then.) I have shower/get dressed with him.

7am: DS2 up. Breakfast together. While they are eating I can empty dishwasher from evening before.

8.25--9.15: School run.

9:30-11.30: Take DS2 out.

12pm: Easy lunch.

12.30-2.30: DS nap, I work.

2.45-3.45: Collecing DS1 from school.

4pm-5pm: I need to make tea now! How do i do that? DC play.

5pm: Teatime.

5.30: Bath. Put washing in machine (it's next to bath).

6pm: DS2 in bed.

6.15-7.30pm: DS1 and I play/homework.

7.30: DS1 bedtime story, sleep.

8-9pm: I tidy up, load dishwasher, laundry...

Is 1 hour a day of housework enough? When do i cook?

BEAUTlFUL Mon 14-Sep-09 18:35:07

Colditz: "I KNOW your panic, it is the panic of a woman whose partner has convinced her she won't cope without him."

Really? Is that all it is? That is uncannily perceptive!! Maybe it'll be easier without him?

I want some of my evenings free to do work/paint/chat to friends... If my day is all about the DC and my evenings are all about housework, I think I'll shoot myself. (I know how selfish that is.)

BEAUTlFUL Mon 14-Sep-09 18:36:30

Maybe I need to think about DS2 going to nursery or something, one morning a week?

BEAUTlFUL Mon 14-Sep-09 18:37:37

I feel all over the place. this shouldn't be this hard. other people plan their days and get stuff done -- why can't I?

colditz Mon 14-Sep-09 19:16:07

it's not hard. These things won't take as long as you think they will.

You can cut your housework to 45 minutes a day, not counting food, and an hour per day at the weekends. Not much out of a whole day!

colditz Mon 14-Sep-09 19:16:32

PS you can and you will -= you'll see.

bigchris Mon 14-Sep-09 19:19:37

'4pm-5pm: I need to make tea now! How do i do that? DC play.'

are you against TV?
my ds gets about an hour watching tv so I can cook, have a cuppa, wind down etc
dd either watches it too or plays

potoftea Mon 14-Sep-09 19:27:54

It's not selfish at all not to want to spend all your time either working, being with the dc, or doing housework. Of course you need time off too.

Glad someone else mentioned tv before I did, grin, because I don't know how anyone manages without dvds and tv to help stay sane. Letting you DS2 watch tv while you prepare lunch, and orgainise evening dinner would be fine I think.

My advise would be to make a list of what has to be done each day, with another section on what needs doing soon, so you won't feel as disorganised.

colditz Mon 14-Sep-09 19:31:10

I kind of assumed you would be using the tv whilst cooking etc, so didn't think to include it!

BEAUTlFUL Mon 14-Sep-09 20:05:18

I decided that DS2 won't watch any TV till he's 2. blush I frightened myself reading the expert views on it, so I really want to wait.

OK then, he can play for 20 minutes in his playpen, or sit and draw in the kitchen while I do food.

Actually, what also works well is his having lunch in the kitchen while I prepare the evening meal. Aha! A brief moment of clarity. grin

BEAUTlFUL Mon 14-Sep-09 20:06:57

Colditz, bigchris and potoftea, you are cheering me up.

BEAUTlFUL Mon 14-Sep-09 20:11:25

I am going to invest in a slow-cooker. Then I can make delicious MEAT-FILLED MEALS (DH is a vegetarian wink) soups, casseroles, spag bols, etc, that cook themselves. Leaving me breezily efficient and relaxed.

Orissiah Tue 15-Sep-09 13:18:03

I pop my 15mo DD in the playpen while I dust/hoover in the living room and hallway. I pop her in the high chair when I dust/hoover the kitchen. I pop her on the beds upstairs with toys while I dust/hoover upstairs. The whole time I sing to her and make funny noises if she needs my attention during this time. She seems to find it all hilarious. Result! She gets entertained and I get my dusting and hoovering done.

Cooking: she potters about the kitchen playing while I do this. She also has plastic saucepan and spoons set and often mimics me on the floor. When she's older I am sure I will find ways to get her to help me. She also potters about the kitchen while I wash up and load laundry (she also likes playing with the clothes as I load them or hang them up).

My point being that you can still maintain your house with your children about.

When I was on maternity leave I used my DD's naptime to read magazines and watch crap TV - I certainly didn't waste it on cleaning :-)

Orissiah Tue 15-Sep-09 13:19:59

BTW, both my DH and I work FT so weekends are precious. It means the house gets cleaned in 1 hour on Sunday morning. The house is not falling apart and is clean. Deep cleaning occurs once every few months. 45 minutes cleaning a day? Life is too short :-)

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