Tips for a new working mom

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Mominclapham
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Tips for a new working mom

Postby Mominclapham » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:58 pm

Hello,
I have just gone back to work full time after maternity leave, and I have to admit that my new life as a working mom is challenging. I often feel stressed and overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have to do: performing well at work, at home with all the organisation of the day to day life, being a good mom, and a good wife. I don’t really have any time for myself!
I was wondering if any other moms could share some good tips they have found that have helped them to be more efficient, and to find some time for them?
Thank you so much!
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millymoo
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Re: Tips for a new working mom

Postby millymoo » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:07 am

Hello mominclapham it is definitely overwhelming at first and took at least 6 months for me to feel like I had some vague sense of what was going on after mat leave. some things that have helped me are - fixed day for food delivery and saved shopping lists, take a bit of time to set up but Ocado app is really good and my kids have 2 week meal plans. I do not cook for myself and my husband mon - thurs. we eat soup, salads and pre-pared meals, Cook frozen food is great for this. if he is working late I have a v quick snack before spending time with the kids. I get my work clothes and handbag organised the night before (plus school uniforms and bags) and sometimes think about what I am wearing for the whole week if I am being super organised! I work in a corp environment so may be different for you. Dry shampoo - only discovered this recently! In terms of time for you, I enjoy listening to podcasts on my way to work as feels like I am learning something and I have made a real effort in the last few years to fit in exercise around my commute, walking or running a couple of times a week. Finally, I am very fortunate to have my parents quite close as well as other family members but I have also spent time building up a home network of people I can call on as I find it most overwhelming when things go wrong and I need back up of some sort. If the kids are ill I don’t compromise and stay at home and luckily my boss is good about understanding that. I also don’t organise a huge amount of activities for the weekends so that we can all have some downtime together although as my kids get older they do have various sports and other things on. Good luck! It feels like a mad juggle sometimes but I am sure you will be great.
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millymoo
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Re: Tips for a new working mom

Postby millymoo » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:11 am

One more thing - I go to bed really early Mon - Thurs but that suits me as I get up early too and I have a 6 year old who still gets up every night! :o
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Mominclapham
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Re: Tips for a new working mom

Postby Mominclapham » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:41 pm

Thank you very much millymoo, this is very helpful!
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mum_1980
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Re: Tips for a new working mom

Postby mum_1980 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:29 pm

Can you get someone to help you once a week? I used to pay one of the nursery teachers to take my kids home from nursery once a week, feed them and put them in their PJs. It was just for two hours, but it meant I did not have to rush home from work. I could work late if I needed to, or go and have my nails done or meet a friend. It was so liberating.

Also, my husband used to take the kids to football every Saturday morning which meant I had the morning to myself. I normally only pottered and tidied up at home, but it was me time and I loved it.

I also used to shower at night so that I could get up and moving quick in the morning!

I now freelance from home, thinking that would solve all my childcare issues - it just throws up more challenges! I am not sure any parent has nailed this, but I would love to hear people's suggestions!

One I've recently heard for freelancers is save all your housework for when the kids get home. You can load the dishwasher and the washing machine when they are at home, but you have't got a chance of hell of actually working while they are there!
 
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lemondrizzles
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Re: Tips for a new working mom

Postby lemondrizzles » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:47 pm

I try to do at least one load of laundry during the week. (More time for fam during the weekends.) There is even a setting whereby you can delay the washing machine to be done by the time you get home so it's not sitting wet all day. I also invested in a tumble dryer (even though I consider myself environmental!) but I did grow up in the States... 

I also try to have about two weeks supply of all clothes things from toddler socks to clean clothes I can wear for work. This really relieves a bit of pressure to get laundry sorted.

I also get ironing collected and delivered.

Certainly have a cleaner if you can. This can cause its own stresses but helps create a focus of somewhat tidyness and order at at least one point during the week.

I try to get some me time at least once every three months. This can be getting my hair done. Enjoying sushi whilst reading a book. Things that I can't really do with any other family member.

I don't know what I did before food deliveries. I echo the point about Ocado. Their app is awesome. Very easy to use on the go as long as you have a wifi. 

Alternating who does bed time routine helps as it means each night one of us cooks whilst the other does bed time. Also, getting a baby sitter just to go out to dinner locally is great. That gives you just you and partner time :)

It took me a few weeks before I really got my teeth back into work. My LO is 2 1/2 now and he went into nursery part time from 7 months and full time from 1 year. I would say it took me until he was about 2 until I really felt settled into work. (I think this also happened about the same time he was sick a lot less at nursery). 

Give yourself time to find what balance means to you. I hope this will come in time for you. Also, each day changes. What works one week may not work the next. Also, I was very open to hear suggestions from my OH...
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boysmumy
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Re: Tips for a new working mom

Postby boysmumy » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:27 pm

Hi,
Same as Millymoo. I have a food delivery with all I need so there is no trip to the grocery shop.
I also prepare my boys (3 of them) clothes the night before, school bags, permission slips etc...
I don’t do much cooking either during the week or something really quick so I have time for myself. Over the weekend, I cook meal that I can freeze.
I always make sure the boys are in bed and sleeping by max 8pm.
At work I set myself 30/45 min to deal with admin for the house and the school so I don’t have to do it in the evening.
It does take sometimes to find a sense of balance between work and home life but it is possible.
I also write myself notes with the priorities for the week or each day.
I don’t have family in London but I created a great network of friends who help when there is an emergency.
I haven’t been very good at taking time for myself (not gone to the hairdresser in 6 months) but I try to go out with my girlfriends or husband every couple of weeks. Not a late night but something for me
Hope this helps
Good luck
X
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astro
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Re: Tips for a new working mom

Postby astro » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:56 pm

Great tips above. Agree with all of ththe above except for the going to bed early, I get the kids down and then get so excited about having ‘alone’ time that I don’t go to bed til 11pm or later. It is my real switch off time though and even though I often work I watch rubbish tv and really switch off.

I do think exercise is really useful, so I try to go for a run a few nights a week at 8pm, with some local friends. I also now work from home a few days a week which has helped with getting some laundry done and getting my hair done - I take lots of work documents to read and sit there working!

And yes, I do ‘chores’ with the kids, putting the clothes away, sorting socks out, luckily mine are at the age where they think this stuff is fun.

It is stressful though and whilst I love working from home juggling both in a day is hard. I did decide about 6 months ago that something had to give and since it wasn’t work or the kids it was our social life - we’ve stopped trapsing across London every weekend to see friends and try to keep it simple and local as much as we can.

Good luck!
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dhcwong
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Re: Tips for a new working mom

Postby dhcwong » Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:54 am

When I was back to work I invested in a slow cooker - pop a few things in the pot the night before and place in the fridge. In the morning, turn on the slow cooker and you will have a hot meal when you get home!

I also used the timer on my oven- I put a chicken in there and then the oven would switch on and off at the right time so we could have roasts after work too. I always had leftover rice or carbs in the fridge to go with the newly cooked food too.

I recommend putting on smaller and frequent loads of laundry (with timer function too) so you can put them up in 5 minutes instead of stressing about the mountain on the weekend. And I had a washer dryer so I could technically put on a washing load in the morning and it would be washed and dried for the evening when I returned. Great for sheets.

Do some exercise. The more you exercise the more energy you have to survive! Xx
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EBn
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Re: Tips for a new working mom

Postby EBn » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:12 am

Hi
Your post really resonated with me. It isn’t easy and there isn’t a “right answer”. However, a few things that have worked for me include:
1) Solving the problem together - Recognising that this is not your problem to solve alone as the mother but the responsibility of both parents. Working out how you work together to balance the needs of your work, your children, the house and yourselves is not simple and every couple does it differently. However I found it useful to remember that we both have a role in determining the answer. Just because you are going back to work doesn’t automatically mean you have to find all the answers or do everything.
2) Help - working out your support network and never being too proud to ask for help.
3) Prioritise - Work our where you can let your standards slip (our iron hasn’t been used for over a decade!) and what your non negotiables are.
4) Boundaries - this has been really helpful for my mental health. I switch off my work email in the evening and at weekends unless I have proactively decided to work. This helps me not feel too overloaded.
5) Making time for yourself- this has been mentioned already but it has been really important for me - otherwise I felt I was pulled in many directions but never really present. It can be a 10 minute walk on your own, sitting in the evening with a book - it doesn’t need to be expensive.

Just a few ideas - it is hard but I have found that you do find a new rhythm of life and it can be hugely fulfilling to do a job you love and be a parent.

Good luck
x
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HelenSWmum
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Re: Tips for a new working mom

Postby HelenSWmum » Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:35 pm

One extra suggestion to those above is to use a list sharing app. My husband and I use Wunderlist. We have separate lists for our to dos, grocery shopping and also use it to keep lists of present ideas (mainly for the kids!), places we want to visit, films/programmes we want to watch.

It means we can easily share, update and track these lists.
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Sometimeslovely
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Re: Tips for a new working mom

Postby Sometimeslovely » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:51 am

Hi, just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who spoke about the washing machine delay button. We have one on our machine and I’ve never EVER given it a second thought but now realise how invaluable it is! Thank you 😊😊
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yestose22
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Re: Tips for a new working mom

Postby yestose22 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:06 pm

Hi

I am also grateful for the advice on this post, I work full time and am always looking for ways to make my life easier, and sometimes I am overwhelmed by it all

I agree with having a two week supply of everything - I have only done this for the kids in the past year - but it has changed my life - no longer do I have to worry if I don't get to the washing immediately (I do have a tumbler drier and I could not survive without it) 

I try to get grocery shopping delivered twice a week now on monday and friday - ideally after the kids have gone to sleep - and this has stopped the mad saturday dash to the shops for food after a busy week - and probably saving money in the longer term as stops the impulse takeaways 

I try to sort all bills by direct debit (most of them) or pay at the weekend  (only a few) - I do online shops/bills etc on a sat night or sunday morning and give myself half an hour to sort them all 

we don't have a cleaner - but I have a plan of what to clean at the weekend, and aim to do it saturday leaving sunday free 

we also try to alternate a lie in till 9/10am every saturday and sunday if neither of us are working (just for our own sanity)

I also agree with sleeping early during the week - I aim for this but rarely succeed, but on the days I do and one of the kids wakes up I feels so pleased with myself :)

I do think it gets harder as my kids have gotten bigger, trying to juggle homework etc, and I wonder if anyone has any strategy for this? Working full time doesn't leave much time for to check the homework and do the reading, except on the weekends






 
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Claphamconery
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Re: Tips for a new working mom

Postby Claphamconery » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:06 am

Outsource as much of the boring stuff as possible. Increase your cleaning budget, have shopping delivered etc. So the time you do have as a family is not spent doing chores.
Get comfortable with everything being at about 80%, home and work. If you are a perfectionist, this is the time to change.
Make sure your husband is doing his share, not just the physical stuff but the 'mental load'
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lemondrizzles
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Re: Tips for a new working mom

Postby lemondrizzles » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:57 am

Claphamconery wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:06 am
Outsource as much of the boring stuff as possible. Increase your cleaning budget, have shopping delivered etc. So the time you do have as a family is not spent doing chores.
Get comfortable with everything being at about 80%, home and work. If you are a perfectionist, this is the time to change.
Make sure your husband is doing his share, not just the physical stuff but the 'mental load'

I agree with all of the above especially the 80%. There are days i want to work late and can't, or work from home and can't. Also, it becomes more difficult to not work a little bit whilst on holiday...

Also agree about the mental load. 
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