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Working parents..? bedtimes, dinner, making of packed lunches and still have free time?

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Working parents..? bedtimes, dinner, making of packed lunches and still have free time?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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BexmBexm Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
Hi

I am looking for suggestions of what other people do as trying to work out how to have some free time in the evenings which I currently rarely have as seem to have too much to do.

Currently work part time but on days I work hours are 9-5, due to child care drop off and pick up, this means leaving the house at 8 and returning at 6ish.
Kids eat at child care so current evening routine is:

Kids home (age 1 and 6)
Quick cuppa or straight to bath depending if its bath night.
Get kids ready for bed, stories etc
Hubby gets home just before bed time
Start getting Kids In bed at 7 and left in bed by 7.30ish (hopefully! :D )

Then..
Me and hubby get out of work clothes and changed
Sort night time bottles
Make dinner
Make 3 packed lunches for following day
Usually sitting down to eat 8:30 - 9
Bed at 10ish

How do other working parents coordinate everything and still have some free time as we seem to have got out selves in an endless loop?
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Replies

  • NeverendingDMPNeverendingDMP Forumite
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    Very similar im afraid. Aged 7 4 and 4 Up 6-6.30. Morning routines breakfasts and faff, out by 8.00 for nursery and breakfast club. Finish work 4.30 pick up from afterschool club and childminders. Home 5.15/5.30. Cook tea for whichever half of us still need to eat (child minders provides full tea afterschool club is only a snack...)
    6.30 onwards quick.play pretend to do homework and do bedtime routines x 3.
    Hopefully youngest two are settled ish by 8.15 then its packed lunches x 4 get everything ready for next day and have 9.15-10 catching up or in front of tv to restock for the next day.
    Some things ive found helpful though. Group clothes together on the sunday. Have pe and swim bags permanently packed in sports bags just to grab. Make pack lunches night before, do a meal planner with cheats thrown in on busier nights, tell children they are not allowed pudding till plates scraped and basic kitchen clear up done, buy a washing machine with a timer so its just finishing when i get up or back in from work to put on maiden.
    Main thing i do though is repeatedly say excuse the house....
    Some people use sliw cookers or make and freeze pack lunches but im not quite there yet ha ha
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  • BexmBexm Forumite
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    ooh freezing packed lunches..! Wonder quite what/how you'd do that?
    Have actually got the slow cooker on today for the first time..! Hoping dinners edible by this evening! :D
  • EmmyLou30EmmyLou30 Forumite
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    I think that's just the Monday to Friday routine for most, that's why we all look forward to retirement and our weekends are so precious! Sounds like you have it down to a fine art and get a good 8 hours sleep. I'd call that a win myself.
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    Cook double amounts and have on next day or freeze to use later.

    What do you prepare for packed lunches?

    Sandwiches can be frozen.

    If you include fruit, biscuits, crisps etc prepare each day's and pop it in a plastic bag so you just need to put into lunch box in the morning.
  • MakethedayscountMakethedayscount Forumite
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    I'd like to say that it gets easier as they get older and I suppose in some ways it does in that the kids can make their own packed lunches and help around the house, but honestly, it just is a different kind of busy: making sure homework is done, taking kids to activities and them going to bed later so you have even less free time. What you are describing is unfortunately what parents up and down the country are doing. On positive side you are managing to get a decent amount of sleep and the suggestions above are helpful. I try to make the week's meals (or as many as possible) on a weekend and freeze so less time cooking during the week. Seems like you are doing pretty well though
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  • NeverendingDMPNeverendingDMP Forumite
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    You can get liners for the slow cooker to. I didnt know and although its a waste in one sense you then dont have to spend hours scrubbing it if its been on all day
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  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    10 seems really early for bed.


    I think you're losing 1-2 hours a night there
  • Isn't this just what happens when you have kids? It's part of the reason I never had any haha!

    HBS x
    "I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another."

    "It's easy to know what you're against, quite another to know what you're for."

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  • BexmBexm Forumite
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    @Comms69 I've still got a baby that doesn't sleep through the night and when I've got to get up at 6 I'm trying to get all the sleep I can :D
  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    Bexm wrote: »
    @Comms69 I've still got a baby that doesn't sleep through the night and when I've got to get up at 6 I'm trying to get all the sleep I can :D



    ah I'd count a 1 year old as more of a toddler; but I appreciate that sleep patterns don't work that way.


    It does get slightly better on that front
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