Working Mom

 

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Old 11-04-04, 12:36 PM
BusyButterfly
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Question Working Mom

Help! I知 a mother of two with a full time job and I feel like I知 drowning. My husband helps out as much a he can, but he works longer hours than I do and is basically clueless anyway when it comes to domestic issues. My house is constantly a mess but I refuse to sacrifice any of the precious time I have with my boys to keep on top of it. I知 new at this (I just returned to work five months ago) and would love some advice from women who have tackled this. Any suggestions?
 
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Old 11-04-04, 06:09 PM
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I'm far from a women but I hope I can help slightly. Your priorities are on tract. I once heard " A messsy house is a happy family" I tend to be a perfectionalist yet my wife started working again full time with the gov a couple years ago, and it's been tough with 2 kids. She works 4 pm to 1 am so I'm left with being the proverbial "soccer dad". She gets little sleep since after she gets home she has to get up and get them to school and then pick them up and then go to work. What I can say is keep your house sanitary and clean as you can but don't sweat it. It takes what an hour to really clean it up for company? I don't know how old your kids are but let them help.

One other thing I should add. Let the husband know a little at atime that he needs to help out. As a man I understand the "cluelessness" part. Truely we don't get it sometimes. I do know. There is alot of stuff he can help out with if he really feels needed at. The dish washing takes how long? Laundry can be made fune with tv in the basement and a beer or 2. You being a women should know how to convince a man to feel he's needed in a certain area and that he will be superior.

Whatever you do. Don't let this get you down. Please post back.
 
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Old 11-05-04, 09:59 AM
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You can do it!

I have been there. It will get easier- I promise. I have found that as much as I feel the need to spend every free moment I have with my children, it is equally important to take a few hours each week for myself. I try to get a massage or just meet a girlfriend for coffee to keep me sane. This way I知 much more present and loving with my children and my husband in the time that we do have together. I don稚 know your economic situation but you could always hire a cleaning service to come once a week. I have a little robotic vacuum cleaner (called a roomba) that frees up a bit of time as well. Give yourself some time to get adjusted and remember that we can稚 be everything to everyone all the time.
 
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Old 11-11-04, 05:36 PM
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Working Mom

Working moms have to be very, very organized. They also must learn to prioritize, doing the things that urgently need to be done first. Finding activities for kids to do in rooms where you are trying to pick up and clean a little is helpful so you can still keep an eye on them. When they get old enough to help out you get them involved by making a game of picking up toys and putting things back where they belong. It's time well-spent together and they don't know it, but you will be preparing them for bigger chores to come as they get older. Plan a weekly fun time like a trip to the park, the movies, or out to eat.

A three-year old is capable of putting clean clothes in drawers, dirty clothes in hamper, straightening up the bed, and putting toys away. You should not have to do these chores for them. Even if they don't do them as well as you, always praise them for being helpful. Learn to delegate. Get kids involved in setting the table. Little ones can place the utensils and napkins. Older kids can put plates on the table. Everyone should be involved in clearing the table and loading the dishwasher. Later, children can be taught how to use the washer and dryer and sort laundry and take out the trash. With positive reinforcement it's a win-win situation. Use sticker charts or smilie faces to show how much you appreciate help.

Fathers should help too. Some find that posting a 'Honey Do' list on the refrigerator works. A family should work together and play together when at home. Get up a little earlier to do a chore or two and go to bed a little earlier to get your rest. Get kids to bed at a reasonable time each night so that you can spend some time with hubby. Sit down and make a list of all the costs associated with being a working mom. Transportation, dry cleaning, lunches, childcare, etc. Take a look to make sure you are making any money. You might find that you can actually save money by staying home with the kids.

To keep mornings from being so frantic, check your calendar to see what's on the agenda for the next day. Pack the lunches and lay out the clothes for the next day. Older kids can dress themselves in the morning. A little 'Honey Do' list on bedroom doors might be helpful to remind them to brush teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc. When everyone gets home, a 5 or 10 minute break will help to get everyone regrouped before starting dinner, homework, evening chores, etc.

Go to the grocery store just once a week. Plan meals ahead of time so you have everything on the shopping list. When you cook, do enough so that you can have leftovers or you can freeze them for another day. When you make salad, make enough for two days.

Take time for yourself. Get a sitter or get hubby to sit with kids so you can go have your hair done, shop, or just go to a local restaurant for a cup of coffee alone. And, every couple weeks or so, get a sitter so you and hubby can go somewhere alone even if it is just out for a cup of coffee.
 
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Old 11-19-04, 09:39 AM
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if you're drowning, your husband needs to help you more. period.

if you're getting dinner ready, he can be putting in a load of laundry or folding a load. if you've cooked the meal, he can clean up (doing dishes is a no-brainer). if he can get ready in the morning in 5 minutes, but it takes you an hour, then he has plenty of time to get the kids ready. when you're giving the kids their baths at night, he can be paying the bills.

this is possible. this is MY life. we both work & have two kids under 5.

when your baby (i'm assuming you have a 5 month old baby) gets a little older, the two of them will play together & keep each other occupied, which frees you up a little more. right now, your oldest one probably still requires your undivided attention. it will get better.

(and, yes, i know how fortunate i am!!! )
 
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Old 11-19-04, 09:58 AM
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Question a what?

mattison:

I tend to be a perfectionalist


...you don't say! a perfectionalist, huh?


thanks for the chuckle!
 
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Old 04-13-05, 10:23 AM
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Old 04-17-05, 01:27 AM
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Boy, I feel for you. It is hard enough to work full-time and take care of a home, but throw kids (more than one!) in the mix and boy do you have your hands full.

I think my fav joke is about the mom who's husband is always asking what she did that day. He comes home one day, fearing that his house has been broken into and his family murdered by the looks of things. He finds his wife laying in bed reading a book and asked her what happened. She simply says, "you know, when you always ask me what I did today? Well, today I didn't."

My DH isn't the most helpful person around here. One thing I've learned is that I have no choice but to accept the fact that most of the time I'm going to be the only one doing anything around here. I am a stay at home now, but attend college fulltime, plus homeschool two of my 4 children. Between school, studying, my computer obligations (volunteer work), making sure the kids get to school (home and public), paying bills, cooking meals, cleaning house, making sure the bills are paid, dealing with things breaking down in the house, running kids where they need to be...well, you know the routine. You live it everyday yourself!

One thing that will help keep things a little more under control is to do a couple of things. Before bed, make sure that clothes are laid out for the next day - including yours AND accessories (this helps determine IF there are clean socks and underwear - if not, then a load of laundry gets done quickly), all things needed for work are ready and waiting for you in the morning, and if you drink coffee in the AM, then prep the maker so all you have to do is turn it on. You can even lay out the pots and pans you need for breakfast time.

Another neat trick that my MIL taught me is never leave a room without grabbing an item that doesn't belong there. If you're heading toward the bathroom near a child's room, grab something of theirs out of the room you're in and drop it off while in that area. If you find something in their room that belongs back where you came from - sounds silly but... - take it with you when you go to the bathroom and then into the room you're headed.

People tell me all the time to make chore lists for my kids. I do, but I spend more time trying to enforce the list instead of anything getting done.

I know you're going through a huge adjustment only being back at work for 5 months! How old are your boys? Can they help you any? Maybe make a game out of it if they're young enough. I played 'busy bees' with my kids until they were old enough to realize that our game of cleaning was really work.

Something else that will at least make you feel better is to have a clean and shiny sink. Don't ask, it does though. If the rest of the house is a mess, I never go to bed with dirty dishes in my sink. I even Turtle Wax it after cleaning it to resist stains and make it shine. I wax my countertops after bleaching them, too. Resists those beloved koolaid stains and other things that tend to get in the cracks of our overly abused countertops!

Now if I could figure out how to make this 12yo go to bed before 5 a.m. without waking the rest of the house! Guess he's now officially on 'my shift'.

Kay
 
  #9  
Old 07-26-05, 06:55 PM
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I feel for you. I am in a similar situation. 2 kids and a fulltime job. Husband has a FT job AND a PT job. It is tough. I have learned (and my husband is learning) that the house isn't always going to be spotless and sometimes it will be delivered pizza for dinner. The kids come first and the house comes later. Enjoy your time with your children, they won;t stay little forever. You will have plenty of time for a spotless home when your kids are gone (words of wisdom from my mom). I was also a stay at home mom for about a year, even then, the house was still cluttered.
 
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Old 07-30-05, 08:10 PM
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While this working mom situation is new to you, remember it is also new to your husband. Here's a hint: most of us men don't take hints well. "There sure are alot of dishes in the sink" does not mean that they need washed. Our general response will be "yep there sure are". "Hey, will you do the dishes?" means you want him to do them. Hints are out and communication is in. So remember, "the baby stinks" will be answered by "he sure does". "Will you change the baby?" will get the room smelling better sooner.
 
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Old 08-09-05, 09:24 PM
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I'm not completely sure of your situation since I don't know how old your kids are, but a great idea would be having your kids start helping out around the house (doing the dishes, laundry, etc.) Research shows that it not only takes the stress off of you, but it also helps them develop a sense of responsibility at an early stage. It definitely helps in the long run, also, to be a step ahead of everyone else when it comes to knowing how to do housework. Hang in there!
 
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Old 08-10-05, 06:53 AM
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I figured out how to make the chore list work! Instead of assigning the kids jobs to do, I made out a list of what needed to be done by the kids, assigned a $$ value to them and they sat down at our family meeting and chose which jobs they would take responsibility for.

The only stipulation is: rooms have to be cleaned everyday to earn money and to not get docked pay, too. I don't buy skateboards or pay for their movies, etc anymore. Unless I treat the whole family to the movies or take them out to eat, they have to buy their own things now. Its been really hard on me since I have to be consistent with this. I've had to change in my attitude as well. Its coming around, but it takes consistency on my part and the only way I've been consistent before is to be consistently inconsistent.

Kay
 
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Old 08-10-05, 07:51 AM
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i read somewhere that you shouldn't pay your kids to do household chores. you should give them an allowance because they need to learn to manage & spend money. but they should do chores simply because they are part of the family and the family works together and helps each other and everyone does their part, and then they learn responsibility.

sounded good in the book anyway!!
 
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Old 08-10-05, 08:09 AM
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Sounds real good in the book, but doesn't work for our household. We tried that and kids got/spent their allowance but didn't help around here at all.

Now, they are forced to earn their money, just like they will have to do when they get older and move out.

Kay

Ps. The other method might work for other families, but didn't work for ours.

K.
 
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Old 08-13-05, 12:31 AM
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BusyButterfly: "I refuse to sacrifice any of the precious time I have with my boys"

BusyButterfly won't squander her precious time to check back in on this thread, yet took the time to open it. Late charges at the video store.
 
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Old 08-13-05, 08:56 AM
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Kobuchi,

The original poster asked the question back in Nov of 2004. There were several responses shortly after her original post, and the rest have just been comments made by members as they came across the thread. Now it will continue to grow to help others that may have the same issues and can learn from what others posted.

I know that I've posted things years ago and haven't gone back to check those threads out to see if anyone else had something to add over the years since it isn't a current problem anymore. I do hope, however, that someone that has/had the same problem will find the threads and the responses given and can gain something positive to help them in their daily adventures.

As much as we'd like to be able to solve everyone's problems, we can't. We know that. Just giving someone a little empathy/sympathy is sometimes enough to give them hope to get them through a new situation and find their way beautifully.

Kay
 
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Old 08-13-05, 12:46 PM
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Sure. I want this thread to stay right where BusyButterfly put it. It can grow without any tending back by her and people can stumble upon it, step back and see the big picture.

I wonder what her garden looks like this time of year?

My two cents: don't start things we won't follow through on. It's amazing how much work a... uh, busy butterfly... can make for others, and make for herself. Best case scenario, others pick up after us and we don't see this because we're *frantic*.

Practically, following through means doing *all* of a job myself, so others have the time to do *all* of their jobs too. If I choose to make a big dinner with lots of courses, then I plan to make a big shopping trip, myself, and do a big cleanup after, myself. I *discourage* helpers. So my wife has a clear block of time for doing something herself; she needn't multi-task my requests with her own into some hectic half-done mishmash. The shower tiles might get scrubbed, *and* rinsed, *and* the cleaning stuff put away, for example.
 
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Old 08-13-05, 01:25 PM
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***My two cents: don't start things we won't follow through on. It's amazing how much work a... uh, busy butterfly... can make for others, and make for herself. Best case scenario, others pick up after us and we don't see this because we're *frantic*. ***

I'm not sure what you mean by this statement. My impression is that you feel that she caused others more work by posting here? If that is the case, then you are mistaken. We don't mind answering, and if anyone does and feels inconvenienced when there isn't a response, then they don't have to post a reply.

There are many times that people do not post back in any of the forums. We can only hope that they found what they are looking for - whether it be how to fix something correctly, hope or encouragement - and have resolved the issue.

BusyButterfly has evolved from one state/stage (being a stay at home mom) to another state/stage (work away from home mom). Moving from the safe stage of being at home into the exciting new life of adding more responsibilities to her role(s).

As far as her garden...wouldn't know. She never mentioned a garden. As for me, I don't have them. I have a busy enough life that I don't want to take away any precious time (read: my priorities that I've set) from my children and husband.

Kay
 
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Old 08-13-05, 03:01 PM
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***you feel that she caused others more work by posting here? If that is the case, then you are mistaken. We don't mind answering***

It isn't work for others because her "drowning" and "constantly a mess" isn't spread around as real socks on our carpets. They're in cyberspace, take them or leave them. One can get away with playing fast and loose. And some of us *enjoy* picking up what BusyButterfly started and promptly abandoned.

If this behaviour were material, if we had to live with it in real life, we'd feel differently, I think. It would even cause BusyButterfly more work for herself, in a frantic, vicious circle.

Until she posts back, I have to assume the thread starter starts things she won't follow through on. That could be the problem right there. So I've given advice I believe strikes the root.

Maybe it was just a suggestive choice of user name.
 
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Old 08-13-05, 03:17 PM
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This post has become a verbal debate between 2 members and is no longer offering any help or suggestions to the originator or those who may read it.
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