Working mums, how do you keep it together?

Morning all, Sara is 6 months old and I've been back at work for about 6 weeks, which I enjoy when I'm there but recently I've had this overwhelming feeling of being a bit out of control. I only work part-time, and Sara is super-happy with her childminder (my mums best friend!!). It seems to be more that I'm not ontop of the washing and cleaning (our house is cleanish, and there's only ever one load waiting, i'm not a project for Kim and Aggie yet) but I feel like I'm always just doing the minimum that I can get away with because of lack of time/energy, for example the washing gets done and folded away but Sara's wardrobe is so disorganised, I would love to open it and see little piles of tops, trousers etc, if would make dressing her much easier but its a heap!

Also I feel I'm not doing any of the nice bits anymore, having friends round etc. Does anyone else feel like this?? Or do I just need to take myself in hand and get organised?! Sorry for a Sunday am rant, any advice would be great - even if it is that I just need to get a grip!

Liz xxx


  • I totally understand how you feel, I'm not even back at work yet but I still seem to just be doing the basics. I do have a plan to have a big blitz before I go back in a few weeks, but we'll see how that works out. When I do have friends round I seem to be always saying 'excuse the mess'. None of them are judgemental at all but I do always feel a bit crap when I have to move a pile of ironing just so they can sit down :lol:

    Does you hubby help out much? I've told my hubby that I want to get a cleaner 2 days a week when I go back, he reckons we won't need one and that he'll do more around the house but I know his good intentions don't always last very long.

  • It's definitely difficult. Haiden is a year old next week and I have been back at work fulltime for 6 months. She goes to nursery 3 days and is with my sister 2 days
    The issue I have is the OH just WILL NOT help. It's not a gender thing, it's a laziness thing and I'm not prepared to just leave it. Consequently I get pretty stressed and OH just has to go without BDing! Of course he complains about that but I'm too tired and p****d off with him to do it. He is so stubborn though that it doesn't actually make him doing anything. I'm just at a loss really xx
  • OH does help out quite a bit, he's self employed though and works during the day and then spends the evenings doing quotes for new work ( so out and about in the car) or typing quotes, sending out invoices for work done, so he's limited in what he can do - and he's banished from the laundry room as everything goes in together at 60 degrees...argh!

    Well, glad i'm not the only one with issues! Anyone got any solutions?!

  • I'm the same, it's a mental adjustment I've had to make to it-the house will never be as clean and organised again but I try not to stress about it. My way of coping is to make sure everything is in it's place each evening then I'm not waking up to any 'jobs'. I organised mine and li's work and nursery outfits at the start of each week so that were presentable when it matters.

    I also find that our time together is often spent catching up on chores eg food shopping so I make sure that one day a week we do something special eg, soft play , animal farm etc, once a week we see grandparents and once a week we go for a long walk with the backpack (my only exercise!) .

    I only get to see my mummy friends about once a month now, were just all too busy now that were back at work although lo is socialising in nursery 3 days a week .

    It's such a juggle!xx
  • tee hee.....the thing is I don`t keep it together!

    I went back to work as a teacher when my son was 9 months. I went back full time and applied to go back part time in September which they rejected onthe grounds that they couldn`t find anybody to replace my job (part time PE & HOY). Our MIL looks after our son full time and is amazing, coming to our house at 7.15am every day and helping with the washing etc.

    I thought that we would just muddle through for a term knowing that I would have the summer to sort things out and enjoy PT in September so when they said no I was devastated.

    I feel like I don`t really enjoy my son properly when I get in from work because I am so tired and basically feel like that there is NO work/life balance at all. My husband is absoloutely brilliant with helping out and probably does more than me but the weekends still seem like a ritual to get ready for the next week!
    Anyway, we took matters into our own hands and bought baby no.2 forwards so I am now expecting in Feb 2011 and going to take a whole year off and hope they find somebody to take my part time the year after.

    Anybody who sayes working full time with little ones are saints in my eyes because I find it really hard!!!

    Solutions= We are going to give in and get a cleaner from September so that we can enjoy our time with our son in the evenings/weekends a bit more.

    I like to think that everybody goes through testing times in there lives whether it be finance/health/stress etc and just think that this is testing us but we are still very lucky compared to a lot of people.

    Its nice to know its not just us though!

  • I should add that I work 20 hours a week and am treading water-I'd sink if I had to do fulltime-I totally admire those who do xx
  • Hi Hun,

    t really is hard going and sometimes I end up wanting to scream. I went back to work when DS was 7 months is now 9 1/2 months. I did go back full time. DS is in nursery once a week and looked after by nanny for the rest. I work shifts so hes only in childcare about 3 days aweek which eases my guilty consciounce!

    I find that on my mornings off I tend to blitz things. Esp whiule DS is having nap. Things inevitabley are not done the same way they once were. Hoovering gets done once maybe twice a week if the carpets lucky. Every where is clean just not wipe thew skirts every week clean.

    I think the only thing you can do is try and offload some tasks. The ironing is usually DHs job, occassionally I will help as he works full time too and does more than his fair share of dropping and collecting.
    No solutions realy, you can only do as much as time and tiredness allows you xx
  • It's hard work and anyone who says different is a fibber lol....

    I went back full time when ds was 7 months old, he is with oh parents 2 days and nursery 3 days. I work as a sales rep and my job is far from 9-5 so depending on oh shift pattern one of us drops off or picks up and I work later or start earlier depending. I am on the go from 5am til 11pm every day. Oh is pretty good with ds in terms of getting him dressed the morning so I can get ready. Housework is a nightmare we always just seem to be doing enough to get by but when people visit seems like panic stations to tidy up..I hate being away from ds especially as he has recently started crying when I drop him off at nursery, heartbreaking.

    I do like having a bit of independence though and the money is obviously good...we are ttc no 2 at the moment and I am not planning on returning to work after that, if all goes well I will set up my own business.

    Someone once said to me working mums are the hardest workers and now I am one I tend to agree!!
  • It's interesting that you said you're minimalistic lara. We've put our house up for sale this week so I did a huge sort out and de-cluttered our entire house. The amount of junk we've accumulated was unreal, I feel so much better for getting rid. Just an example, our bathroom-we had all our different products on the side of the bath, lo had his bath toys (a pile of them and he always plays with the same little rubber train), so it's all been put away, the essentials are there to hand. It all looks so much tidied and more organised, and so much quicker to clean too. So if you have the time and energy to do a big spring clean I'd definately recommend it x
  • It is hard work what we do id hubby and I pick a day (Saturday or Sunday) we do a massive clean-up, organising the washing, tidying her wadrobe, scrubbing the house and Olivia thankfully usually sits happily watching us (this is her one quiet day lol) and then that leaves us during the week just to throw a load of washing on every day or so and get it on the line and then a quick dust around the house during the week and that keeps us on top of it all.
  • hey ladies im g/c but i have this dilemma too! reading your posts has made me feel sane again (i may even show oh!!to prove its not just me lol) i work 3days a week... my oh works 3days and 3nights....

    i like things to be in their right place i dont consider myself "anal" but more "tidy house tidy mind" orientated... oh and i are always disagreeing on the housework although he is generally good he is still like a teenager in alot of ways (but his parents are housework shy too-maybe i can blame them lol) anyway i just wish he would leave a room as he finds it! thats all i want from him i dont expect him to do the cleaning jobs i do (although he does do bits and sometimes off his own back )

    anyway the way i sort of manage it is... oh does dd bath each night and during that hour i get the living room striaght, fill the washing machine, hoover and dust the tv stand (its black glass and drives me crazy! lol) so when oh comes down and lo is in bed we are sorted to chill out together (on the evenings he is not at work)

    i always wash up as i go along when cooking, so theres only plates to wash after dinner.. and when im home in the day i have half a bowl of warm soapy water in the kitchen sink so anything used is washed straight away that way it takes seconds at a time...

    then once a week i do the big cleans (bathroom, bed clothes changes, hoover the entire house, sort out clutter) then every now and again its things like wash sofa cushions sort garage/toys/kitchen cupbboards etc iv been back at work for 2years now and only just feel like iv got it together!

    hth anyone
    and well done ladies for balancing work and home i know its not easy as we dont finish when we "clock out" really our work is just begining!!
  • I work 20 hours but often work 1 evening for a couple hours as well depending what's on.

    I struggle because DS is a late-bedtime child (he's 2) and often isnt asleep till 8.30 or 9. And who can be bothered to do housework at 9pm?

    I manage it though

    I never leave the washing to mount up and do ironing once or twice a week so it's never 'too' much of a pile!

    I tend to clean everything as I go - I never really "clean the kitchen" but I always wipe all the surfaces and cooker after every meal so it doesn't need it!

    On wednesday night I give the downstairs a quick dust.

    My toilet and sink is easy, I wipe them down a couple of times a week then on Friday night I clean the actual bath and give the sink and toilet a proper clean. And I change the towels so they are done once a week. It doesn't take long.

    At some time over the weekend I dust and hoover the upstairs so upstairs is hoovered once a week. The downstairs is usually twice a week maybe more but we don't wear shoes in the house so it never gets too 'bitty'.

    The amount of housework I do is minimal really but it keeps on top of it!

    My dad always says the only working parents who get to spend lots of quality time with their kids are those with nannies and maids LOL!!
  • Maybe that's where I'm going wrong - I need a nanny or maid!!!
  • with a very thin thread :lol:

    right now i feel totally overwhelmed by it all. i work full time during the day and work 2 nights a week in a club till 3 in the morning as we need the money. my son is 1 year old and still wakes about 3 times a night. im 14 weeks pregnant exhausted, sick and very emotional. the house and garden are a mess. me and hubbie do not get any days off together ever!! when im off i seem to spend 2 full days doing loads of washing and basic cleaning but there is still 2 baskets full of washing and a houseful of mess no matter how much i do. i have actually had my MIL watch the baby so i can do some 'proper' housework. if im not at work im with my son and just feel like i have no time to do anything that needs done.

    im off to the docs tomorrow in the hope he may sign me off work for a week as im so stressed out with it all.
  • OMG Berly........How on earth do you do all that?? I am 10 weeks pregnant and struggling so god only knows how you are doing all that.

    Be kind to yourself and bubba.......hope all goes well at docs

  • I think the overwhelming opinion is that many people adapt their thinking rather than aspire to be as they once were! lol!

    I work 4 days a week (although the length of day varies between 9 and 12 hours) and then have paperwork to do at home. The boys are with daddy 2 days and grandparents 2 days. Hubby is very good. He does what needs doing (and sees what needs doing which seems to be an issue with most of my friends hubbys!) He always cleans the bathroom and the kitchen.

    I do everything for the boys as soon as I put them to bed (food/bottles etc) for the next day and packbags for grandparents if needed. Then, depending on what sort of day I have and what sort of night the boys are having governs what else I do! I do end up with piles of ironing, and I do all my washing on a Friday. It took me 1.5 hours to do half the ironing this morning!!

    Everything else just gets done if I or hubby feel like it. We do have Monday evenings together, which is when we tend to try and get the bulk of the cleaning done.

    Its tough, although minimalistic is good!

    Gemma, Ryan and Alfie 9.5 months
  • G/C!!

    My kiddies are 9 and 5, I went back to work full time after both of them and I still struggle now :lol: I'm out the house at 6:45 each morning with them and don't get back in until half 5 at the earliest then straight in to cooking dinner. Only time I get for tidying up properly is the weekends.

    I admit that it's hard but just keep telling myself that it's worth it for everything my wage pays for, but in all honesty I can't wait until I'm off again in January and I'm looking at the possibility of working from home after this one, or just doing part time!
  • g/c from TTC but watching with interest as its one of my biggest worries.

    I work in a sales job which notoriously male dominated with long hours (just now I do 50-60 hours) OH was a victim of the recession and as such he brings home about a quater of what I do. This leaves us in a comfortable position but unfortunately due to my companys awful mat 'package' ie stat i'll need to go back to work after 4months max, while i'll be able to work from home 1/2 days per week I'm really worried about how i'll cope....

    Co xx
  • i found it does get better with time!! and as they get older

    I went back full time when lo was 6 months and i really took the knock and was diagnosed with late pnd and severe anxiety when lo was about 8 months (he still wasn't sleeping more than 4 hours either) I delcined anti depressants but instead I went to see a clinical physcologist and I saw this lady once a week for nearly a year. I had Cognitive behavioural therapy. I had always been a control freak and a bit of a monica when it came to cleaning too and not being able to keep on top of everything and do it all perfectly gave me huge anxiety attacks.

    the first thing she made me realise is who I was doing all this rushing around for?? ME!! and only me!! No one else was concerned by the pile of washing in the basket or that the windows hadn't be cleaned for weeks!!
    the second thing she asked was "what is the consequence if you don't do the hoovering today"?? well apart from a bit more fluff on the floor, NOTHING!!

    She made me realise that i'm not perfect but I do my best. you can't do everything and be super mum.
    I decided to cut down to 29hours a week and hubby does help out a lot. I've realised that my weekends are precious with my family and housework isn't the be all and end all of life.

    like Lara, being minimalistic and keeping the clutter to a min is essential, and I also have a routine which keeps me sane!! my home is tidy but not a show home, its lived in!! I'm proud that I can hold a good job, earn good money, be a good mum and wife and enjoy my life now

    Please don't let little issues like this drag you down. they grow up so quickly and time is precious so enjoy it and sod the housework occasionally!!

    Claire and Shea (3 in Sept) xxx
  • Very well said claire a belle.

    Thanks for all your replies ladies, it nice to know I'm def not alone!

    Liz x
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