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AIBU?

To wonder how full time mums cope? Helpful hints.

59 replies

Lennon80 · 11/01/2024 12:23

About to start a full time role - no family support and three young kids (youngest is reception age). Please tell me what you do to make life easier as I feel like I won’t cope and already anxious.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

19 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
26%
You are NOT being unreasonable
74%
MrsBennetsPoorNerves · 11/01/2024 12:26

Make sure your partner steps up and does his fair share (assuming that you're not on your own).

Sayingitstraight · 11/01/2024 12:29

Cleaner, food shopping delivered, being highly organised, a partnership with DH that recognises we both have to pull our weight.

HalebiHabibti · 11/01/2024 12:31

You and your partner can agree on some easy weeknight meals and cook them on a fairly regular rotation. Ideas include jacket potatoes, pasta and pesto (or tomato sauce with hidden veg in it), shepherd's pie, sausage and mash, spaghetti bol.

SaltyGod · 11/01/2024 12:31

Robust childcare, back up childcare, a cleaner if you can, meal planning, online shopping, everything organised the day before, a DH that does half (not just tasks but half the mental load too so you don’t have to think about everything)

Thelootllama · 11/01/2024 12:32

Accept you cannot do everything. You can't be there for everything a school. You can't do all these extra curricular activities. Be realistic with your expectations with yourself and others.

shockeditellyou · 11/01/2024 12:33

Know your limits - you've got 3 kids so of course it's going to be hard working FT. So no, they can't do endless extra curricular activities - one each outside of school would be my limit.

It will be fine if your DH is a decent partner and human being.

TheLovleyChebbyMcGee · 11/01/2024 12:35

I'm almost full time and DH is 4 days a week, with only 2 kids, but our youngest is only 2, but we've found supermarket delivery to be really useful, and a robot vacuum.

Even if you decide to get a cleaner I'd still get one, its so nice getting up to clean floors. Its minimal puck up

twoforj0y · 11/01/2024 12:36

shockeditellyou · 11/01/2024 12:33

Know your limits - you've got 3 kids so of course it's going to be hard working FT. So no, they can't do endless extra curricular activities - one each outside of school would be my limit.

It will be fine if your DH is a decent partner and human being.

I agree with this - be careful with extra curricular commitments, they can be the rod that breaks your back!

Honestly it does fall into place otherwise - a cleaner helps, online food delivery, i tend to stress with try kids dental appts / doctor checkups and the "nipping out of work" to do them guilt but it's actually not often and the only person making it a big deal is me!!

TheLovleyChebbyMcGee · 11/01/2024 12:36

No idea how that posted early Sorry!

Its minimal pick up and it really helps my mood.

baileybrosbuildingandloan · 11/01/2024 12:37

Thelootllama · 11/01/2024 12:32

Accept you cannot do everything. You can't be there for everything a school. You can't do all these extra curricular activities. Be realistic with your expectations with yourself and others.

Brilliant answer!
If you can't afford/ don't want a cleaner, just do your best. Don't stress over it.
You'll be fine. I was a single Mum to 4 and they all survived!!

2mummies1baby · 11/01/2024 12:37

Might be worth editing your title, as you seem to mean you will be a mum who is working full-time, which is the opposite of a full-time mum!

MojoDojoCasaHouse · 11/01/2024 12:40

A mum who works full time is still a full time mum, not the opposite of one 🙄 otherwise the vast majority of dads are all part time dads?

shepherdsangeldelight · 11/01/2024 12:42

Get your children to help (in an age appropriate way of course). For example, even a Reception aged child can pack their own bag (you may need to put a checklist of pictures on their wall/fridge/somewhere prominent).

Have a minimum set of things that get done before the DC go to bed with the aim that once they are in bed, you have minimum household things to do. In our house that was that everyone put their dinner plate in the dishwasher, DC took it in turns to wipe the table, then one adult tidied the kitchen and put on a load of washing (to wash overnight) while the other adult tidied the lounge with the DC.

Have a bank of quick to cook meals and some things in the freezer that you can just throw in the oven on "exhausted" days.

lunarleap · 11/01/2024 12:43

Is dad in the picture or is he included in "no family support"

lunarleap · 11/01/2024 12:44

MojoDojoCasaHouse · 11/01/2024 12:40

A mum who works full time is still a full time mum, not the opposite of one 🙄 otherwise the vast majority of dads are all part time dads?

I'm confussssed.

I work full time and also am mum full time

shepherdsangeldelight · 11/01/2024 12:46

MojoDojoCasaHouse · 11/01/2024 12:40

A mum who works full time is still a full time mum, not the opposite of one 🙄 otherwise the vast majority of dads are all part time dads?

The opposite of a full time mum is one who has no contact with her children.

Female parents don't stop being mums because their children are not physically with them.

Handsnotwands · 11/01/2024 12:47

drop your standards. life will be chaotic a lot of the time so be realistic about what you can achieve in the limited time you have. hoovering / dusting might just have to not get done wait

shop online, make sure all bills are set up to direct debit.

buy 5 sets of uniform per child

if your child is having a good, cooked lunch then something snacky for tea is fine

plan school holidays / inset days well in advance. book your annual leave at the start of your year. on that note if you have a few good people around you can trade days childcare with your life will be infinitely easier so nurture and cherish these relationships

scrivette · 11/01/2024 12:56

Have a diary/family planner and sort out leave/holiday clubs well in advance for school holidays.

As soon as you get emails from the school write the required information in your diary then delete.

Lower your standards, you can't expect everything to be clean and tidy at all times.

Make packed lunches/find PE kits/water bottles the night before.

I have a weekly planner on the fridge so that I can see what routine things happen every week eg Monday - breakfast and after school club, Tuesday Cubs for Jane etc.

Set your alarm so you get up before anyone else. Ten minutes on your own to make coffee/get ready for the day really helps.

HalebiHabibti · 11/01/2024 12:57

I think the majority of readers will have the common sense to see that the OP means working full time, not that she opts out of mumhood occasionally :D

Loopytiles · 11/01/2024 12:59

IME a key factor is DH’s share of weekday parenting, cooking and laundry!

MrsBennetsPoorNerves · 11/01/2024 13:00

2mummies1baby · 11/01/2024 12:37

Might be worth editing your title, as you seem to mean you will be a mum who is working full-time, which is the opposite of a full-time mum!

Of course it isn't the opposite of a full time mum. We are all full time mothers, whether we work outside the home or not.

Loopytiles · 11/01/2024 13:03

Agree with PPs about DCs’ extracurriculars, it’s hard to support many of those with two people working FT standard office hours, especially if DC are young and/or public transport to get them there/back is not available.


in retrospect parents and I were lucky when was a DC, lived in a suburb with great buses into a city that, at that time, had a lot of low cost, council subsidised, weekend sports, music and drama activities.

2mummies1baby · 11/01/2024 13:03

MrsBennetsPoorNerves · 11/01/2024 13:00

Of course it isn't the opposite of a full time mum. We are all full time mothers, whether we work outside the home or not.

Yes, I do understand that, but when people use the phrase "full-time mum" is it not generally taken to mean a mum who has her child(ren) full time and therefore doesn't have a job? I was genuinely trying to be helpful to the OP, so not sure why you feel the need to be pedantic!

BridgerGo · 11/01/2024 13:05

Have a schedule for some tasks like washing/tidying and stick to it, don’t wait until it’s essential or until you feel like it.

I get up early on a Monday and spend 90minutes tidying/organising before DC get up. I figure Mondays are shit anyway so an early morning won’t make it much worse and I’d rather not do it on a Sunday. By tidying I mean returning things to where they need to be (our house gets cluttered with things not having been put away, toys left in lounge that should be in bedrooms, things out of medicine cabinet, bathroom cabinets etc ), collecting random dirty mugs/plates that have ended up in other rooms, throwing things away that have accumulated (junk post/magazines/drawings/etc) and a quick wipe down of surfaces. That does for the week really as we’re not around much between work school and sleeping!

I have set days for laundry too. We have a tumble dryer which helps as I just do colour/dark/white on one evening and tumble dry. I have a “put laundry away” set evening too.

wallpapercurious · 11/01/2024 13:06

Make sure you set really clear boundaries with work too, if only in your own head. I didn't do that in my previous role and spent way too many evenings trying to type an email with one hand while bathing a child with the other. You need to get really good at recognising the work tasks that are worth your time and energy, and not allow yourself to get sucked into anything else.

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