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How do you all organise yourselves? Hints and tips would be appreciated.

34 replies

ShyBaby · 20/09/2008 20:53

Bah. This may end up being a long post.


Monday to Friday im at work. I mostly come back knackered and fed up (am in the process of looking for something less stressful with zero responsibility). I get back, go to collect the kids. They pee around for 15 mins or so. Grandad (who kindly picks them both up from school) has already fed them toast or something.

We get home. I wash up, sweep, mop, collect dirty clothes from around the house etc. I then cook tea.

Dd wont eat much apart from sausage and chips. Why I dont know because ive never cooked total crap for them. Ive tried the vegetable thing and she's having none of it, will just let me cook it, refuse to eat it and scream the place down.

Ds loves vegetables and cooked dinners but will only eat dry food. I think that may have something to do with his dyspraxia but not sure and dont want to push it when he seems to be improving so much with everything else.

I am trying to eat healthily (weightwatchers) as I need to lose some weight.

I have to cook three seperate meals so we never eat together. dd will get up and walk around the room eating hers. Every few seconds im telling her to sit down. Then ds will have his. I will probably save mine for when dd goes to bed as I wont get 5 mins to eat it anyway.

Then its check uniforms and make their dinners for the next day (mine too). It takes flipping ages.

Im lucky if I get a bath every night (I know, I know).

Saturdays we go shopping and I try to get all the things we need, then its back here and tea thing again.

Sundays I clean the house (a proper clean) because it always looks filthy by then and cook the roast while im doing it. By tea time im normally falling asleep and still haven't cleaned the whole house.

Add into that the various hobbies (karate, swimming). Bathing dd, chatting to them both about school, helping with homework. Doctors appts, dentists appts.

I know I post on here, if I didn't get any me time at all I would go insane. I could work from the minute I woke up until the early hours and there still wouldn't be enough time to get everything done.

Stupid things are getting me down. Here's an example:

I have one pair of black trousers for work, because im in between sizes due to losing weight and putting a little back on again. Some asshole at work dropped a cigarette on them (which wouldn't have happened if he'd just piss off and stop crawling all over me...does one really need to sit so close when im outside on a break ) and I need a new pair. I tried to look for a new pair today. Dd needed the toilet, twice. I know she cant help it but twice I had picked things up, had to put them down and take her to the toilet in Asda a ten min walk away. I gave up in the end. I now have nothing to wear for work apart from said pair of trousers with a piece of sticky black velcro stuck inside them, I hope noone notices. Maybe they'll do me a favour soon and fire me for having messy hair and scruffy clothes .

I cant seem to get organised and feel quite disgusted when I look in the mirror. I look knackered and a complete mess. I feel ill lots, (nothing I can put my finger on) just achey, tired and snappy. I broke a tooth several months ago and never got around to making an appointment because im always thinking about other things.

I know if I can get a little organised I can sort these things out!

Yes? (hopeful emoticon)!

OP posts:
ShyBaby · 20/09/2008 21:38

Oh please...I know its dull but I thought you mumsnetters were good on organising the family home .

OP posts:
Ohforfoxsake · 20/09/2008 21:52

The first thing that struck me was that you need to get yourself sorted. You are obviously doing well on WW, but if you are feeling run down and getting ill, try a tonic like Metatone or something.

sounds like you are doing a bloody good job, and that you are organised and getting the jobs done, but its getting you down. I find its not the kids that get me down, but the drudgery.

Switch DD to veggie sausages and potato wedges. At least there'll be some nutrition and less fat. Eat together, you'll catch up then and chat. DD might not be so inclined to wander off.

Spend one night a week on yourself. Wash your hair, dry it, paint your toes, whatever, just spend some time grooming.

When you put their clothes away, put them in bundles, uniform with socks, pants, vest. As for picking up dirty clothes, that is one job children can do from a young age, or have a laundry basket outside of their bedroom, all your & their dirty stuff goes int there.

Can you do your grocery shop on the internet and free up your saturday?

singledadofthree · 20/09/2008 21:52

routine and effecient - otherwise known as dull and dutiful. keep it so its never more than half an hour from respectablish. kids are old enough now to do plenty so have more time to meself...well, to work at least.

TheProvincialLady · 20/09/2008 21:54

Which of these things bothers you the most at the moment? The state of the house, your appearance, your broken tooth, what your kids eat for dinner, how long you spend cooking, etc etc? You have so much going on in your mind, let alone your life! Can you prioritise your appearance this week - get your dentist appointment booked, get some new trousers (online?), a haircut, some new makeup, some long baths with extra grooming etc. Then next week start to tackle the next thing on your list and so on. Just a thought.

Mistiek · 20/09/2008 21:57


Just trolling through all the Loan Parent post as I an about to become a single mum . and came across yours...

I can't give you much help here unfortunately as this will now all be new to me. I currently dont work and probably wont go back to work just yet as I am about to start studying to become a midwife so not in the same boat as you.

But dont want you to feel alone so thought I would just say Hi!

Have you though about writing a schedule - drab I know but it might work. do washing on certain days only. Cook some meals in bulk and freeze and is there anyone who can have the kids for an evening during the week so you can get shopping done in the evening without them..... if you shop at ASDA you can then get the weekly bits and look for a new pair of trousers!

Put the schedule on the fridge and try stick to it so that you can have Saturdays to relax and enjoy the kids and your time. Also have you though about spacing the cleaning out. Do bathroom on one day, kitchen on another and then just the dusting and hovering on the sunday - it might not be such a big task then on a Sunday....

Hope you come right

foxinsocks · 20/09/2008 21:58

I'm not a single parent but dh travels alot and I work FT too so I hope you don't mind answering

  1. like other fox said, online food shopping. I forgot to do it this week and had to go today. WHAT a farking pita and waste of time and it was busy! Internet food shopping all the way.

2. Work clothes shopping. Now I sympathise with this. It's tough. I hate shopping for clothes online but have ordered a few bits and pieces now because I just don't have the time or inclination to trawl the shops on the weekend (and the kids get bored so quickly). I would suggest next time you have leave, go to one of those outlet places and buy loads of stuff in one go. They are so much cheaper than the high st.

3. Although it can seem like a waste of leave, maybe when you are feeling v v stressed, take a day off when the kids are at school. It doesn't have to be too often, even if it is one day twice a year, it makes SUCH a difference just to have a few hours to yourself.

hope you feel better soon!
Fluffybubble · 20/09/2008 21:59


Just a couple of thoughts - could you possibly do an on-line shop, to be delivered one evening after work? Then you would free up your Saturday?

Also, regarding your clothes could you order some from Next or M&S in a couple of sizes, and return those that don't fit? M&S used to do (not sure if they still do?!) work basics like black trousers and skirts for about £15 a pair, and they were stretchy and comfortable!

Could your dad possibly have your dc for tea one night (fish fingers/ sausages) to give you some time to make a dentist appointment, or go clothes shopping alone? Even just having an hour extra may make a big difference? If you could do this once a week maybe it would give you time to catch up with yourself, and you may feel less run down.

If you had the time, could you book a doctor's appointment, just to rule out anything that could be making you feel yucky? It may be something like a vitamin / iron deficiency?

It sounds like you are also due for some fun - can you book a night out with some friends, even if you just pop to the cinema??

Sorry as these are only a few random sure people with much more useful suggestions will be along....

Ewe · 20/09/2008 22:04

I batch cook once a month so make 6 large meals, lasagne, shepherds pie, bolognese etc and freeze it in individual portions. That makes evenings nice and easy.

I bath and do my hair for work before bed, get my clothes and DDs stuff ready. Makeup on the train.

Shop online in my lunchbreak. Clean up for about 15mins every single day as opposed to doing one big clean. It feels less work then IMO. Buy your new trousers online or go to the shops in your lunch break.

Could you give Grandad some food for them so they have had tea when you pick them up?

If your kids are school age can you try and make tidying up a fun game with them when you get in?

LittleBella · 20/09/2008 22:06

Can you work part time? I know that sounds impossible but it depends on how much you earn, how much your mortgage is etc. You may find that as a LP, your income part time is not that much less than it would be full time because of tax credits and the way the tax system works. If I didn't have the extra Friday to clear up the house when the kids aren't here and do the shopping, ironing etc., I'd go mad.

Also meal planning. You don't have to think about it, you've already decided.

How old are your DC's? Are they old enough to do their own tidying up? I have recently instituted a new rule - no TV until bedrooms are tidy. It has had a miraculous effect. Miraculous I tell you.

mashedup · 20/09/2008 22:07


I find online shopping is brilliant, for food and clothes. I don't visit shops as often as I used to because I'm working and studying. Your health problems could be due to stress. I went to my doctor with various symptoms and was told to make my life less stressful - which is when I chose to shop online.
Could your DCs have school dinners once or twice a week, this would save you having to do packed lunches each day? I know they're not cheap, my kids have them and the prices increase each term.
I wear black trousers for work, and bought a few cheap pairs. This stops the hassle if a pair gets ruined or need washing. I've lost a bit of weight recently (been ill), so they look a bit baggy, but with a matching top, look ok.
Sometimes, I cheat with a ready meal for tea, it's not a bad thing and gives me more time if I have a lot to do.
My eldest won't have gravy, only likes dried food, loves pasta. The youngest loves gravy, hates pasta, so has potatoes, mealtimes can be a pain.
How old are your DCs? Could they help tidy up or with housework? When mine were younger, they used to love to help.
I can't offer any more advice, I wish I had a magic formula, but you sound like myself and most of my friends, who work and have families.
One piece of advice given to me was to calm down and just do what needed doing that day, the rest could wait.

Yorkiegirl · 20/09/2008 22:11

Message withdrawn

undercovercat · 20/09/2008 22:52

Get a dishwasher, and teach the kids how to load it from day one.

Batch cook.

Write a list of stuff thats in the freezer, crossing out/adding to list as you go
...Saves ages digging about, minimises need to think.

BOOK that dentist appointment. Then in next few weeks book hair appointment.

Persevere with the trouser shopping even if it means whinging kids.

Just read about the 3 different meals. I have this too But we will have mash or rice or baked spuds or pitta bread, even if we dont like it, with something seperate we do like.

Pay the kids a pound a week to PUT THINGS IN THE BIN, saving you the job of having to clear up crisp packets etc.

Get the kids helping out more.

ShyBaby · 20/09/2008 23:06

Oh thanks all!

online food shopping I have found to be rubbish as I can only afford Asda and they seem to whack any old slimy nasties in. I did it once and I got two items of food gone off!

Work clothes: Now I am a funny shape. Tiny bum (bigger waist than i'd like) and short thin online shopping is possible. I do need to try things on! (more time wasted).

Childcare: Parents will only have the kids bare minimum. They will collect them from school and feed them crap for a while.

Mum would have them to stay if she thought I was going out to find a "suitable bf". For a break no, (fell into that nasty trap before just once). Time out with a girlfriend for a meal or so on is unacceptable.

I would love something to look forward to. Without guilt. I have lied to my mum in the past and said im going out to the pub when im actually going out with my closest friend to have a meal. It seems, if its not the pub, or a man it doesn't count.

Laughable actually.. I thought mums would prefer their daughters werent just off out to pick up men!

Every day is just the same. Ive been out 3 times in the last year. Grrrrrr..

OP posts:
ShyBaby · 20/09/2008 23:09

undercovercat..A dishwasher!! I had one, for free if I wanted it and my kitchen is not big enough .

I am the dishwasher!

OP posts:
Yurtgirl · 20/09/2008 23:13


FWIW here are my thoughts

Cook one dinner for all three of you - if they dont like it tough, they will eat if they are hungry.

Clean and tidy up as you need to, but dont spend ages doing it - certainly not all day sunday - play with your kids instead

tidy up each day and keep on top of things - fly lady website is fab

Yurtgirl · 20/09/2008 23:14

BTW I have been out of an evening twice in the last two years!! So you are ahead of me there at least

undercovercat · 20/09/2008 23:18

Put it in the bathroom then I ripped out a cupboard for mine, I love it. Really passionately love it. MAKE ROOM

If you need to lie to get then to sit. LIE.
My mum will happily sit for me if she thinks me going out with get up my exes nose, so I let her think hes let me down and shes offering to have then for hours more than she would if I just asked normally.(Sneaky that)

Once you find a pair of trousers you like, get 3 pairs of them.

ShyBaby · 20/09/2008 23:34

I'll be honest...maybe there's underlying things that get to me.

I'd like to get my hair done once in a while, or buy new work clothes. But where my mum is concerned that is unreasonable. They would play holy hell up and cause a big argument if I ever considered doing something on my own like that. I am fully aware that my kids are not their responsibility...and im really grateful that they help me out with a lift to school/work but....

I cant help it. Dd has never known her dad, there is noone else to look after her for a while. My mum wont care for them for me to do anything that is not for the kids.

I look like shit. I am knackered. I am pissed off.

OP posts:
undercovercat · 20/09/2008 23:45

Ok. Be a little selfish. Book a day off work, when both are at school? And go and get your hair cut, your teeth sorted, and your new trousers.
Whatever you lose in wages you will re - earn in personal wealth.
Im not surprised you are pissed off and knackered, at all.

jasper · 20/09/2008 23:57

just 2 practical thoughts

  1. Tesco schoolkids slothes - you will get cheap but ok quality plain black trousres ideal for your work . DEAD CHEAP. Worked for me.

    2)fussy eating.
    Ask your parents NOT TO GIVE KIDS TOAST or any other crap after school.That's why they won't eat their tea.

    If they are hungry they will eat what you give them.If they have had their fill of toast / crap they wont.
ShyBaby · 21/09/2008 00:06

lol imagining myself now as a good candidate for extreme makeover with a mouth full of black teeth! Tis not that bad, snapped off in quite a neat fashion and is still a pearly white..but should be attended to I suppose before it gets worse! Well, not suppose, it should be. Letting myself slip!

OP posts:
LittleBella · 21/09/2008 07:57

Agree with Jasper re the fussy eating. It's very hard, but you simply cannot continue to be cooking 3 meals in one sitting, no wonder you're worn out. You can start slowly, give them stuff they don't like and ensure there's something there they can eat and they can fill up with toast or cereal afterwards if they're still hungry. Eventually they will start to eat the stuff you serve them. It's a long haul, it takes a couple of years, but you do get there in the end.

And just lie to your parents about the reason for the babysitting.

pinkdiamonds4me · 21/09/2008 08:12

try 'fly' it's brill

undercovercat · 21/09/2008 08:15

lol, sorry, I was just imagining you never having time to do these things, and taking a day off work and getting them all done in one day seemed the answer!

mashedup · 21/09/2008 10:39


I agree with what everyone has said so far, but you have to tell your parents that you are responsible for your life and whether you go out with a female friend or on your own is your business. My mum has finally stopped nagging me to remarry after I repeatedly told her I am happy being single. We had a little argument, not major, but it cleared the air.
I shop online at Tesco and/or Sainsburys. I've never tried Asda but some of my friends have and they like it. I've only had one bad delivery from Tesco in 2 years, never had a bad delivery from Sainsburys. I get my clothes online, I've found Additions to be pretty good, (they have ranges for short/tall people), one of my friends loves Next catalogue, won't go anywhere else.
I've become more selfish over the years, if I want to do something, I'll do it, and if it doesn't please my family, then it's tough. My kids are healthy, we're all happy, and that's the main thing.
I also wear schoolkids black trousers.
If I see good quality clothes in charity shops, I'll buy them.
I think you need to book a few days off work to recharge your batteries, get your clothes, etc sorted without your kids being around. This worked for me.
Hope this helps.

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