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Old 09-30-2012, 11:20 AM   #1
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Back at Work ans Stressed Out - Help!

I started back at work after my year mat leave, and I'm totally stressed out trying to find the time to get everything done. I would love some suggestions for making my life run more smoothly.

Here's a typical weekday:

5:20 am - alarm goes off, hop in the shower and get dressed. Both kids are usually up by the time DH and I are done getting ready, so we each get one kid ready. I usually nurse DD before I get dressed.
6:40 am - out the door and headed for daycare. The kids eat breakfast at daycare, and DH and I grab something when we get to work.
7:00 am - DH and I are on the bus and headed to work. We park our one car at daycare and take transit to work.
8:00 - 4:00 pm - at work. I race out the door right at 4 so that I won't miss the transit connections I need to make to get to the daycare at a reasonable time.
4:45 pm (if I'm lucky) - pick up the kids and drive home. If not, I'm usually about 20 minutes behind for the rest of the evening.
5:15 pm - at home and nursing DD. Usually I turn on the tv to keep DS occupied, or he plays with his toys.
5:45 pm - make dinner. This is the worst time of day. The kids are both desperate for my attention that a quick dinner that should take 15 minutes to make usually ends up taking 45 minutes.
6:30 pm - eat dinner. DS rarely eats even though he's starving, and DD takes an hour to eat.
7:30 pm - bathe the kids and put them to bed, including stories and nursing DD.
8:30 pm - come downstairs to start dishes and tidying up.
9:30 pm - go to bed. DD often wakes at least once a night, and is usally up to nurse at 4:30 am. By the time I finish nursing her it's time for us to start our day.

DH often works late and even on a good day he isn't home until it's time for the kids to go to bed.

As you can see, my day is long and packed full. I love being at work, but I hate the rest of the day. Weekends are usually spent running errands and doing chores that don't get done during the week like cleaning the bathrooms and doing laundry. Help!
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:52 PM   #2
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Re: Back at Work ans Stressed Out - Help!

Is there any way that you can prep/cook dinner on the weekends? Like, make a large casserole that can either be thrown in the oven if it needs to be cooked or just cut up & reheated if it's been cooked already? I know you already said your weekends are packed, but I know that on weekends when I've had time to do a bunch of cooking on Sunday, my weeks go a lot smoother.

You can also maybe take a look at the sites that talk about once-a-month cooking. I know of groups of moms who get together once a month and do a huge batch of cooking, and then swap stuff that gets stored in the freezer. So each person only has to make one thing but ends up with a variety of things.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:15 PM   #3
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Re: Back at Work ans Stressed Out - Help!

Do the kids have to take a bath EVERY night?

also, I agree that figuring out the dinner issue will be a huge help. what is DH doing while you are running around all evening?
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:30 PM   #4
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Do the kids have to take a bath EVERY night?

also, I agree that figuring out the dinner issue will be a huge help. what is DH doing while you are running around all evening?
DH is often working late. If not, he's usually doing the tidy up/prep for tomorrow stuff. Even on a good day (like today) he's not home until 6:45.

I don't necessarily do a bath every night, but they both tend to settle down for bed better if they have one. Sometimes I just toss them in the tub together for a play bath.

I did do some freezer meals before I started back up at work, but unfortunately they haven't gone over too well with the kids. They apparently cried at daycare when she tried to feed them the mini lasagna I made for them .

I'm definitely trying hard to figure out the meal thing. I think part of my problem is that DS is such a picky eater that I'm trying to find something he'll eat that isn't just pasta. Tonight went a little more smoothly than normal, but I was off work today so I was coming from a much calmer place than normal, and I was able to start dinner a little earlier.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:00 PM   #5
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Re: Back at Work ans Stressed Out - Help!

My only life saver working full-time is my crock pot. My son is 3 and still will not always eat what we do for dinner. The crock pot is wonderful. Throw it in in the morning and done when you get home which means no waiting around to cook something. Another life saver is flylady schedule. (www.flylady.net) You do things in incriments of 15 minutes and have a routine so the weekend is not spend doing all of the cleaning and errands. You get to enjoy the weekend. I do not always follow the schedule to the letter but try to get some things on it. It is not easy to balance but it can be done. Does your husband help with errands and housework? There is nothing wrong with him helping even laundry. My husband is a lifesaver when it comes to helping around the house, granted asking him to cook is not great but he grills very well.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:40 PM   #6
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My only life saver working full-time is my crock pot. My son is 3 and still will not always eat what we do for dinner. The crock pot is wonderful. Throw it in in the morning and done when you get home which means no waiting around to cook something. Another life saver is flylady schedule. ( www.flylady.net) You do things in incriments of 15 minutes and have a routine so the weekend is not spend doing all of the cleaning and errands. You get to enjoy the weekend. I do not always follow the schedule to the letter but try to get some things on it. It is not easy to balance but it can be done. Does your husband help with errands and housework? There is nothing wrong with him helping even laundry. My husband is a lifesaver when it comes to helping around the house, granted asking him to cook is not great but he grills very well.
Would a crock pot work if we're gone 11 hours a day? I only have a basic one.

I tried flylady back in the day, maybe I should try it again. Thanks for the reminder.

DH does do a lot around the house when he's home, it just depends on when he gets home. He also generally does the bigger jobs or gross jobs like revamping the garden or cleaning the kitty litter.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:55 AM   #7
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Re: Back at Work ans Stressed Out - Help!

There are times I have thrown meals in the crock pot at 7:30 and they are still in at 6 if we get home late. Depending on what it is, it should be ok. Chicken is a bit dried out unless you cook a whole one. Stew meat, roasts, etc work great the longer they are cooked. Noodles work best when added last. Fix it and forget it has a series of cook books that are great. http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ This website is called a year of slow cooking that looked great. I have not tried anything yet. We are a family of 3 and when I cook it lasts several meal. Any basic crock pot with a low setting should work for long hours. I actually have 3 crock pots depending on the meal I am cooking or how many I am serving depends on which one I use.

Flylady is great and helps keep you focused. They have reminders in the cozi calendar as well. I love the cozi calendar because it helps my husband know what is going on, and the grocery list is always up to date. My husband does a lot of the yard work, but he also cleans doggy's stuff outside and bunny litter pans. He also does a lot of the daily feeding of the animals. I keep up with my son but I only have one, and laundry and cooking. We both try to keep up with the dusting and vacuuming but we are always behind on that. Good luck getting things done. Don't beat yourself up if not everything is done. I am a perfectionist and it really comes back to bite me later.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:39 PM   #8
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Re: Back at Work ans Stressed Out - Help!

With two kids, we had a nanny instead of daycare. It was actually less expensive, and we weren't stressing out about getting them packed up and out the door in the morning, or having to pick them up. It was a lot easier on them. She started dinner, too, cause she's really, really nice to us.

We made other arrangements when our son started 1st grade (youngest), but now I've gone back to work full time, she is back to save my sanity. She oversees homework instead of tantrums, and starts dinner. I adore her. The kids like her cooking better than mine.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:48 PM   #9
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With two kids, we had a nanny instead of daycare. It was actually less expensive, and we weren't stressing out about getting them packed up and out the door in the morning, or having to pick them up. It was a lot easier on them. She started dinner, too, cause she's really, really nice to us.

We made other arrangements when our son started 1st grade (youngest), but now I've gone back to work full time, she is back to save my sanity. She oversees homework instead of tantrums, and starts dinner. I adore her. The kids like her cooking better than mine.
I keep asking her if she wants to be a nanny instead . My kids love her so much, and she gives us a sweet deal, but I am considering checking out the fees for nannies in our area.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:54 AM   #10
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Re: Back at Work ans Stressed Out - Help!

Our schedule is pretty similar to yours and my DH works late and travels frequently. I usually prep dinner the night before. So if its something that needs to be sauteed or baked, its all in a pan already ready to go so when I walk in the door I can just throw it the oven or on the stove, then while it's cooking I'm chopping things for tomorrow's dinner. I try to do pretty low maintenance dinners during the week, nothing too elaborate. I also use the crockpot at least once or twice a week (2 of my shifts are 10 hours and with a lunch break and driving I'm out of the house for 11). If DS1 doesn't want what's for dinner, he has the option of something I can throw together fast like greek yogurt and some gluten free granola, lunch meat cheese and some fruit or veggies etc.

Sometimes I throw DS1 and DS2 in the shower before dinner and let them play while I'm cooking. The bathroom is close to the kitchen and its only a shower--no tub-- so I don't worry about drowning and can hear them playing. I also do Motivated Moms which is another program like Fly-Lady.
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