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I just went back to work and I find that I am exhausted all the time and it's just difficult to get everything done. For anybody who has been at this for awhile. What are some strategies for managing all your responsiblities at work and as a mom? Are there any tips you can share that help get us out the door on time in the morning without always feeling like we're in a rush?

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asked 11 Sep '09, 00:39

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Tammy ♦♦
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Hi Tammy, being organized is crucial! I had to deal with this after going back to work full time with my first child and at the same time, my husband was serving in Afghanistan and I had no family around to help. Balancing working and being a mom is really hard. I found it really helpful to cook my meals at night. That way, when I get home from work, dinner is ready (just need to heat up) and you are able to spend more family time instead of just being in the kitchen. I would also do the clean up later after my son was in bed. That way, when I got back home from work, I could spend all of his evening with him. I would also have my lunch and his ready the evening before so things go quickly in the morning. I would wake up early so I could get ready and eat, etc before having to wake him up. It was much easier if I was ready to go once he was up cause then I could just focus on getting him ready for daycare. If you have family and friends around...enlist some help! This might even mean someone taking care of your little one once a week or every other week so you can do a bunch of shopping and make sure you stock up real good on supplies etc that way you are not out shopping all the time. Of course, your husband should be around helping out too! It nice to have one parent stay home and take care of the child while the other does shopping, etc. Hope this helps!

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answered 14 Sep '09, 18:34

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Sylvie
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edited 08 Nov '09, 16:08

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Meg Stephenson
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Thank you Sylvie, your strategies sound great. Dinner time is often the most stressfull so trying to prepare meals ahead of time will help. How do you find the energy?

(15 Sep '09, 12:06) Tammy ♦♦

The two answers before actually give you all the information that you need very clearly. All I would like to add is please try to find some people who will empathise with you. Working parents can feel isolated and low. Empathy will give you a lift and make you stronger when you feel worn out and proud when you feel like you are not doing very well. Being organised helps you keep on top of things but does not allow for you to get ill or anything else unexpected so make sure there are reliable people around who can be there for you. Try and cook some dishes that you can keep in the fridge and heat up for dinner.
If possible get help with the cleaning, your energy is more valuable now, and can be better spent with your child.

I am so sure that you are doing a great job!

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answered 20 Sep '09, 19:01

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Emi
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Yes I agree with Sylvie! Organization is key!!!

I recently started working full-time and boy has it turned my world upside down. The first few weeks were so exhausting. I found I was always in a rush. I was in a rush in the morning to get the two of us ready and out the door on time. Then I was in a rush when we came home to get dinner ready and feed him dinner and get him in the tub and then to bed. All the while dealing with the guilt that I wasn't spending more quality time with my son.

I have found that getting things ready the night before is very helpful to keep the morning routine smooth. I try to set out my clothes and his the night before. I will also pack our lunches and his bag for daycare. If I'm really on top of things I'll put them in the car the night before to cut down on all of the bags.

I'm still working out dinner time but here are some tips that I have been trying to incorporate into our evenings. I have been trying to make something over the weekend for Monday and then after my son goes to bed I make dinner for Tuesday, etc. I also buy my veggies ahead of time and cut up a bunch of them and then freeze them, like onions, peppers, carrots, celery, etc. This helps cut down on the amount of time I spend preparing dinner and saves us a little money.

I also try to do one household chore everyday, like every night I do a load of laundry. Monday is change the sheets and towels night. Tuesday is clean the bathroom night, etc. So I don't spend my entire weekend cleaning and I can use it to do things with my son while he is awake.

I hope that this helps. I know it sounds kind of crazy but you kind of get into a routine and you'll also find that there are ways that you can cut corners. I had to really prioritize what was important and what wasn't. It was difficult for me to let go of having a clean and tidy house but it was more important to me to spend time with my son. There are many nights when I barely sit down before bed but I live for the weekends with my boy. Just hang in there. It will get easier!

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answered 18 Sep '09, 12:52

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superstarBJR
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I never considered putting her bags in the car the night before. That makes a lot of sense. I find I'm always juggling of her things for daycare and my work bag in the morning. Thanks.

(08 Nov '09, 18:09) Tammy ♦♦

I do a few things... first and foremost I have made it a priority to negotiate a part time work schedule - I work 4 days a week, 8 hrs/day and take every Wednesday off for appointments, errands, and housework. I do pay to have my son in full time daycare so this day is a "me only" day, though I've said often that it's the busiest day of my week. I am fortunate that my husband works and has a good job so losing the day of paid work for me is not a dealbreaker. I have also found a very reasonably priced housekeeper to come in and clean my floors and bathrooms, she is here once a week for $35 she does all those things. It took some time to find the right person but if you start looking, you should be able to find someone to help take the load off. I don't mind being swamped on my Wednesdays (I typically do a week's worth of meal planning, get groceries for the week, go to any appointments such as hair, doctor, dentist, etc, do laundry (1-3 loads), strip & remake beds, tidy the house, mow the lawn(s), etc) but with having that day in there, it means I'm not having to rush around on weekends getting all those things done. It has really made the difference in my life from feeling "too busy" all the time to feeling like things are moderatly under control.

A couple of other tips - do meal planning, nothing is worse than coming home with a hungry toddler and not knowing what you're making for dinner. Plan it out and stick the menu on the fridge. Then don't forget to thaw things the day before if needed! - get to bed at a reasonable time, mornings are much easier to face when you're not a zombie because you stayed up too late the night before - pack your bag the day before - whatever I need for work or errands that day I pack up the night before so I'm not stuck rushing around in the AM

Good luck and I hope some of these tips help you.

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answered 27 Aug '10, 14:47

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Melanie
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As everyone else has said, Organisation is fundamental. But IMO it's not the only trick ... and it just gets harder (IMO) as the little munchinkin gets older.

Delegation is a great trick -> grab your friends or family over to cook OR to bring some food.

Share the load -> kids love kids .. so get them together and kick back with your other mothers / friends / family.

Distraction -> the crux of raising kids (for myself) has been to keep them busy / distracted. That might sound like a cop out, but when a child is busy, they are using their brain. Bored children == trouble. They want to be stimulated. It's also the hardest trick. A toy might be the best thing on Monday, but by Tuesday it's passed it's used-by-date. This trick can work well with the 'Share-the-load' trick, above :)

HTH.

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answered 21 Sep '09, 01:16

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Asked: 11 Sep '09, 00:39

Seen: 3,229 times

Last updated: 27 Aug '10, 14:47