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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
45 replies 6.3K views
245

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  • meer53meer53 Forumite
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    Sounds perfectly normal to me. Until the kids are older you have to make do with whatever time you have, there's no magic formula, what works for some won't work for others, for me, I go to bed when everything that needs to be done is done. If that means bed at midnight then so be it. Some nights would be earlier, some much later. You can't really set a bedtime when you have small children, my premature daughter didn't sleep through the night until she was 2 and a half, but I made it ! I was working full time too from when she was 8 months old, I also had a teenager at the time and my Husband left us when my Daughter was 2 so it wasn't easy !

    A slow cooker and an Electric Pressure Cooker are fantastic pieces of kit to have in your kitchen and batch cooking at the weekends was a huge help too.
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    Isn't this just what happens when you have kids? It's part of the reason I never had any haha!

    HBS x

    I'm not a parent but it's still a fair summary of my work week.
    Get home, change, go to elderly parents to collect dog, sit and hear about parents day and anything they need help with, leave at 6.30 ish, walk dog for an hour, probably pick up some shopping because I'm not very organised, do a bit of housework, cook tea, usually sitting down to eat it at about 9pm.
    By which time all I really want to do is watch a bit of Tv or read.

    No kids, just a dog and older relatives.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • kingfisherbluekingfisherblue Forumite
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    I don't work, as I care for my disabled son (who lives with me) and my mum (who lives around the corner - but no personal care involved, so day time care only). I've just sat down for my tea, admittedly later than usual. My evenings are very similar, although twice a week I do voluntary work. It's my respite from caring - I'm a leader at Rainbows, Brownies and Guides.

    I do use my slow cooker at times, but I'm not always that organised. I have two lads to sort out, and my disabled son needs a lot of support. He's only been sleeping through for the last couple of years - and he's twenty one now! He still has the occasional night where he chokes, and I can be up until around 4am until it clears. Luckily this is no longer a frequent occurence.

    I'm currently waiting for the washing machine to finish, so that I can hang stuff on the maiden overnight. It was a volunteer night tonight - great to give me a break, but things still need to be done.

    You are fortunate, your baby will sleep through soon. Your children will grow in independence as well as age, and they will be able to do things for themselves. You won't need to be cleaning bottoms when they are 21 - instead, you'll be listening for them to creep in after clubbing, just as I did with my daughter.

    Have a look at time saving such as cooking in bulk and freezing. Don't iron anything that doesn't need ironing. Have your six year old help with putting out the recycling (which I know takes longer, but they will learn to help with household chores). Chop veg for the slow cooker whilst watching TV.

    At the weekend, put together the packed lunches for the week - freeze the sandwiches, and have baskets of prepared foods in the fridge or cupboard. Teach your six year old to choose one item from each basket - chopped peppers, cucumber or fruit in one basket, treat in another, drink in a third. It's fun, gives them a sense of responsibility, and makes life easier in the long run.

    It does get easier.
  • DoodlesDoodles Forumite
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    Out of your list, I think there are 2 things you could make easier for yourself and free up a little more time of an evening.

    Making lunch - On a Sunday I make 4 days worth of sarnies at a time (we work Mon-Thurs in the office) and put in the fridge. There's just no need to be making lunch every single every day. I've heard of some people making a months worth and freezing them. I've not tried that myself, but worth considering.


    Dinner - keep it simple and keep the cooking/prep to a minimum at least on work nights. You could batch cook at the weekend and put in the fridge or freezer and simply reheat. Or just keep simple meals. Whilst we eat pretty well, I confess that we do have a microwave meal if we know we are getting home a little late or I'm feeling tired.
    We are in Transylvania, and Transylvania is not England. Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things.

    Dracula, Bram Stoker
  • Claddagh_NoirCladdagh_Noir Forumite
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    Isn't this just what happens when you have kids? It's part of the reason I never had any haha!

    HBS x

    You are woman after my own heart!! I have been looking for someone like you my whole life!! :rotfl::rotfl:
  • ska_loverska_lover Forumite
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    So you work part time, but on the days you work, you do 9-5

    You could use some of your non working days to prep - make sandwiches for the days you do work or pre prep evening meals. I think you could cut yourself some slack here.....I mean on your working days, what is wrong with bunging a pizza in the oven/scrambled egg on toast/ soup/ready made stuffed pasta with sauce / hotdogs for you and OH .

    Other than that, you could attempt to find a job which is still part time but juggled differently, say 10 - 3 on four days a week - that kind of thing. Your working hours are kinda awkward in that they take up whole days

    Just for the record, we do not have small kids - ours have long since flown the nest - and we still do not sit down to eat til about the same time as you. We don't take pack lunches (grab a tin of soup etc) and we eat some quick meals I mentioned in paragraph one, during the week. I think I spend a lot of time faffing in the evening, making phone calls to friends, playing my instrument etc
    I dont feel a failure if i dish up fishfinger sarnies when OH walks in, he is lucky I cook at all as we have both been at work all day. I make more of an effort meal wise when its the weekend

    You are doing well OP. Chill and be kind to yourself
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
  • ShashwooShashwoo Forumite
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    In our house it is only me and my husband. We both work full time.... out the house 7:30 and return for 5:30. I have a whole bunch of autoimmune diseases which unfortunately means I am so so tired ALL of the time.
    When I get in, I make food, get a bath or put on my jamas and veg in front of the TV doing the old Netflix and Chill (not the rude kind)
    I don't know how people cope working and bringing up kids I couldn't even imagine it.

    So Bravo to all you wonderful people who raise a family and both work, I salute you all

    XX

    :kisses2::smileyhea:love: 1st June 2012 @ 1pm I married the man of my dreams!!!

  • pinkshoespinkshoes Forumite
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    Bexm wrote: »
    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?

    The kids are in bed by 7.30pm so that leaves you 2.5 to 3 hours EACH every evening.

    Packed lunches take 10 minutes.
    Getting changed takes 10 minutes.
    Dinner can be done in 20 mins or less. Pizza is easier!!! (The tomato sauce counts as a vegetable right????)

    Why the night time bottles? Kids over 12 months shouldn't need food at night.

    I'm a teacher so do all you do but also fit lesson planning and marking into the evening too!
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
  • svainsvain Forumite
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    pinkshoes wrote: »
    The kids are in bed by 7.30pm so that leaves you 2.5 to 3 hours EACH every evening.

    Packed lunches take 10 minutes.
    Getting changed takes 10 minutes.
    Dinner can be done in 20 mins or less. Pizza is easier!!! (The tomato sauce counts as a vegetable right????)

    Why the night time bottles? Kids over 12 months shouldn't need food at night.

    I'm a teacher so do all you do but also fit lesson planning and marking into the evening too!

    Not sure you should be comparing as you get more holiday/baker days/teacher training days/days off .. than politicians and you finish at 3.30pm :rotfl:
  • Just_me_1Just_me_1 Forumite
    15 posts
    Oh dear!!
    Agree teachers are contracted to certain hours ..but what about all the extra hours put into classroom planning.marking ....updating training ..not always done in school time.
    My DIL works as special needs teacher, so has to do different teaching methods for each child ..done in her own time.
    Two kids, up at 5.30 drops oldest at breakfast club for 7 .youngest to daycare prior to school which is an hour away.
    Home by 6 ....dinner which is sometimes in slow cooker, or made night before.
    Probably an activity with kids, bath and bed ..
    Laundry. School lunches to make ..then back to school work.
    During school holidays she still looks for interesting ways to include her pupils.
    Hats off to all those mothers who work as teachers ..😊
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