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To want to cut back on more stuff?

54 replies

Madreamer · 13/05/2011 21:40

I'm a single mom working full time with a 1 year old DS. In trying to streamline our lives and maximise quality time I've done the following. I would like suggestions on how I can bring in more effeciency as I can't think of anything more -
dropped morning tea and breakfast at home - wake up 7:15 and leave 7:45. So We get more sleep...
Stopped cooking dinner myself - hired a lady who cooks in the weekend for the week; helped us in going to bed at 8:15 instead of 9:15 as we get back home most days by 7pm. I Internet for around 1 hr in bed after he sleeps (sanity)!
Bathe together (saves 5 mins as I can dress while he bathes) and counts and together time!
Cook for DS only if he hasn't eaten at CM - which he does 70% of time...otherwise he gets only yoghurt and fruit..
I still co sleep, still breast feed...
What else cAn I drop? X

OP posts:

Starbear · 13/05/2011 22:34

Who is around that can help? My Mum has been a star. I used to be the spinster Aunt to my nephews and have them over for weekends & holidays. It was very useful as it made me realise that my old boyfriend wasn't going to be the type of father to my children I wanted Smile Nephew at 19 years also took Ds out for the day for me while I was at work. Batch cooking!
But I wouldn't drop breakfast really. We get up at 6.30am - 6.45am around here!


Flojo1979 · 13/05/2011 22:35

Really? Is all that neccessary??


Starbear · 13/05/2011 22:37

Ironing don't do that here, neither do my friends. Could you just reduce your hours at work or is that silly to suggest. What about the Dad and his family to help?


GypsyMoth · 13/05/2011 22:38

you hire a cook??

why do you need to do al that stuff?


AgentZigzag · 13/05/2011 22:46

I'm a bit confused, you're trying to maximise the time you spend with your DS, but you've concentrated on where you can get more sleep in.

I think I'm Grin about that, I don't blame you, but at 1 YO, they're just happy to be with you whatever you're doing.

Is it that you're worried you work F/T and how much you miss your DS?


Madreamer · 14/05/2011 03:55

Thanks for your comments!
I'm trying to maximise 1:1 time with DS rather than parking him by my side while I do other it is I get little Enof time with him. However, I'm trying to get him to sleep more rather than less at night as he is a poor napper in the day (I admit to sleeping more as well as a result, as I'm too tired anyway), hence reluctant for early start, he has breakfast at childminders and I have it at work...Weekends I clean house, do laundry, take him to parks, play with him, walk around town so he can nap (he only naps in moving buggy) and occasionally (admittedly) park him in front of baby tv. I guess my Q should be, am I prioritising right?
His dad is temperamental and doesn't take any responsibility on a regular basis(except using him as leverage for stuff), he has dads side family but they come about once a yr or twice (they did say I was fussy for not letting them feed him ice-cream when he was 1 week old and fries over Christmas (@6months), so not sure about giving encouraging them to take him family lives abroad....I'm trying to make some single mom friends so we have support, but still work in progress for now. Hope that clarifies a few Haven't even thought about ironing...
Maybe I should reduce working, but am keen to maximise existing time before resorting to reducing income, as I solely support my DS and myself and feel quite insecure about money. X

OP posts:

MavisG · 14/05/2011 04:38

Sounds v sensible to me. You could outsource cleaning but if you don't mind doing it then it's fine - you could get a mei tei or ergo carrier (obv you could get any carrier but these both good for heavier babies in back carries.) I use mine for housework if my son (2 1/2) wants to be close while I do it and instead of a buggy - I love holding him so close, it's like a free cuddle, and we can chat about more stuff than when he's in the buggy, as we're at the same eye level (he looks over my shoulder). You sound like a brilliant mum.


Coralanne · 14/05/2011 05:06

Congratulations Madreamer. You sound as though you are coping so much better than a lot of SAHMs' with a partner.


Madreamer · 14/05/2011 08:11

Carrier sounds brilliant! Will look into that....thanks! Don't feel like brilliant mom, feel quite guilty about not doing Enof for son...:(..
@coral - feels more like surviving than coping, but thanks for compliment...
I'd welcome any other ideas/ suggestions pls...

OP posts:

MavisG · 15/05/2011 08:33 - slingmeet do meetings where you can try on different slings. If there are no weekend ones near you (likely, they tend to be midweek), ask advice - someone might be happy for you to pop round on a weekend, lots of people have a collection of carriers as their babies have grown/they've tried different ones.

I use a wrap and a hooded mei tei that isn't on the market at the moment, but these are some easy-to-use carriers that my friends like: - these have hoods, as does the ergo -, which you want for when they nap.

With practice you can transfer deeper sleepers to a bed/couch once they're asleep, or at least sit down. Some kids only stay asleep if you keep walking. It's great exercise!


ExpectoPatronum · 15/05/2011 09:18

I admire your focus and determination, and the dedication you have to your son, I'm sure it really can't be easy managing everything by yourself.

But one thing to think about - I was a SAHM for 6 years, so I was with my DC 24:7. However, even when you're with them all the time, you still have loads of other stuff you have to do, such as housework, cooking, food-shopping, and so on. You just keep them with you and keep chatting to them while you do everything. If you're 1, what difference does it make if mummy is sorting coloured socks, or sorting coloured baby blocks?

Also, I do think it's important that children see you doing regular day to day tasks, because that's how they learn what people do, and how they do it.


beckibicker · 15/05/2011 09:31

how can you bear only seeing your child for an hour a day, and thats rushing round :(


cupofteaplease · 15/05/2011 09:40

Beckibicker- how is that a useful comment? Some people have to work and can't afford the luxury of more time!


thomasbodley · 15/05/2011 09:42

how can you bear only seeing your child for an hour a day, and thats rushing round

what a nice, supportive observation.

because she doesn't have another choice, i imagine.

loads of quality time is no good with no food on the table. jeez.


PigWhisperer · 15/05/2011 09:47

Beckibicker - what a thoughtless comment.

I agree with Expecto, just do what you need to do, but with him, chatting as you go. Soon he will be able to "help" a little - mine loved putting clothes in the washing machine and putting wet clothes on dryers. In my book quality time is anything done together - not just child focussed activities.

I write this as my 2 are parked in front of the telly Smile


ExpectoPatronum · 15/05/2011 10:07

Beckibicker - probably because she hasn't got any choice.

Does she sound like she's enjoying the situation, or does she sound like she's trying to make the best possible life for her baby under the circumstances?


thelittlefriend · 15/05/2011 12:48

Same as others have said, let him be your little helper while you do chores. My 1 yr old dd loves getting the washing out of the machine & hindering helping hang it up. It turns it in to a game and is nice quality time


darleneoconnor · 15/05/2011 13:09

I used to be a single mum working f/t so here's my perspective:

You seem to be out of the house for a long time. Is there a long commute in there? Could you do a f/t job with a set 9-5?

Is he napping at the CM's? Could you increase this to say 3 hours so he has more awake time with you?

What exactly do you want to be doing with this extra 1:1 time? It seems like you are feeling unecessary guilt. At that age they tend to be rather passive participants in whatever you are doing.

If you see the bathtime as quality then have longer baths with him, if not then cut down to every second day or less.

I wouldn't see cooking as not 1:1 time if he's next to you watching you and listening to you commentating on what you're doing. I think it's a bit artificial to have someone else do it. Also f you can afford a cook then why cant you afford to cut your hours, if more free time is what you want?

If you're organised the night before you can get the up and out time in the morning down to 15 mins or less (I did this).

I'd maximise the time you have with him ata the weekend and save the laundry housework etc for when he's in bed rather than do it with him during the day at the weekend.

Why do you feel insecure about money? You sound quite stressed and are maybe seeing problems that aren't there.


Madreamer · 15/05/2011 20:06

Dear all, thanks for your comments and advice. I was away at a friends for the weekend and didn't have Internet access, hence the late response.
To answer your questions - I can't cook on weekdays because it takes 30 mins and I feel guilty prioritising that when DS and i need time together. I also noticed that DS doesn't know how to play with the toys at home as I didnt have time to teach him, now I use the time we save from cooking to play with him and his toys....In just one week of doing this he has learnt stacking cups! I will go back to cooking for myself in some time, but not right now.
We do chores together on Saturday morning so he does see me do laundry and other things but we get everything done by 11am Saturday and then there's nothing more that needs doing... With a carrier, i will in future be able to get him involved in hoovering and mopping as well (i have cats so cleaning is top priority). I can afford a cook as She only charges min wages, as she only cooks and I need to clean up after her, but it takes less time than doing it myself overall. I do cook for DS though. Plus I save on buying lunch outside as she cooks good quantity.
Nap - I tried to get him to sleep more at the CM, but he is really erratic in his sleep patterns there, and I started to see tiny dark circles, he enjoys sleeping with me and I was easily able to extend his bedtime by 1 hour in just 2 weeks, so decided to continue with whatever works.
I can't bear to see my DS for just 1 hour a day, I see him for 2 hours (only) as taking him to and from CM takes another hour. I'd like the time that i do have to be of the best quality as thats the only thing I can control for now. I'm trying to setup a small business in my lunch hour so I can change things in a few months time, so let's see.
I tried to cut Down baths a few weeks ago but he got heat rashes, so I've had to do daily, but it works now as we do it together after much trying. I'll have another look at comments and post again...x

OP posts:

Madreamer · 15/05/2011 20:18

I do a 9-5 job, my childminder is 20 min walk from my place. Close by CM/ nurseries are not good hence this choice. I push the buggy and talk as we walk. Leave home 7:45 - drop off 8:10 or so, walk to tube 10 mins, 40 mins on train. Same thing on way back. I wish the CM lived closer, but she doesn't. That extra to and fro time does kill me. I used to ask his dad to do the pickup so I could go home straight and he could pick up DS early and we'd all be home by 6 (as he doesn't work) but he started messing me around and it upset me too much, so I've stopped that.
I guess I am stressed as I cry very easily. There isn't any spare energy in me, it's all used up. Should I work fewer hours? I don't know...I need to think about it very carefully. I don't deal very well with being broke...:(.

OP posts:

TotemPole · 15/05/2011 20:31

Madreamer, you sound like you're doing more than fine. Maybe you're worrying too much or seeing problems that aren't there.

BTW, I think the childminder should be encouraging play and stimulating him. Is that not happening at the moment?


chocolatepuff · 15/05/2011 20:33

madreamer you are doing an amazing job! the very act of worrying whether you're doing enough with your ds is proof that you are.


cliveclown · 15/05/2011 20:35

I think you sound incredibly hard working and very brave! You're an inspiration to me


darleneoconnor · 15/05/2011 20:35

It's your commute that's doing the damage.

Move house or move job.


Madreamer · 15/05/2011 20:44

@totem, yes she does encourage play and takes him to playgroups everyday.. but I as mother can see the gaps and want to plug it. For example, DS is a thrower of everything and my intervention is to teach him to play without throwing.
@ choco & clive - thanks! I'm trying to do my best, but it's v v hard.
@darlene - I've got a fat mortgage and a white elephant house, jobs are few and far between. I need to ease myself out of this situation, there is no quick exit.
Overall, I'm trying to accept the short term stress to give DS and me a better life long term. This year is critical in setting the scene for the future, but I only don't want to compromise on quality time with DS.

OP posts:
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