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  • FIRST POST
    • Bexm
    • By Bexm 8th May 19, 11:41 AM
    • 403Posts
    • 143Thanks
    Bexm
    Working parents..? bedtimes, dinner, making of packed lunches and still have free time?
    • #1
    • 8th May 19, 11:41 AM
    Working parents..? bedtimes, dinner, making of packed lunches and still have free time? 8th May 19 at 11:41 AM
    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! )

    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?
Page 2
    • Just me 1
    • By Just me 1 10th May 19, 7:37 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Just me 1
    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 ..😊
    • maman
    • By maman 10th May 19, 9:37 PM
    • 19,898 Posts
    • 118,928 Thanks
    maman
    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
    Originally posted by svain
    I'm assuming the rotfl means you're joking. You'd better be!
    • Marvel1
    • By Marvel1 11th May 19, 10:00 AM
    • 4,194 Posts
    • 4,659 Thanks
    Marvel1
    No kids, but cook weekend and freeze it?
    • warby68
    • By warby68 11th May 19, 10:19 AM
    • 1,183 Posts
    • 10,370 Thanks
    warby68
    Based on experience, if you only have to leave the house at 8am and have your children settled by 7.30pm, you're actually doing pretty well for this stage in your life. Not saying it isn't a slog but that's fairly civilized.

    A meal for 2, bottles and packed lunches don't need to take 1-1.5hrs though. Some quick weekday options and one of you doing this while the other does bedtime could get you settled a bit earlier.

    For those who think you go to bed early at 10pm, welcome to the working/childcare years. 10pm was a late night for me
    • earthgirl
    • By earthgirl 11th May 19, 6:36 PM
    • 2,652 Posts
    • 27,778 Thanks
    earthgirl
    I am a fulltime teacher but work till 5pm a few nights. I try to work super hard when at work and be as efficient as I can! I do packed lunches whilst I cook a meal. I cook the same meal for everyone. Once a week I cook double and freeze, and once a week we have leftovers from last week. I use the slow cooker or I have simple rubs/marinades that I put on chicken and fish and also buy baby potatos to have with these - chuck in a pan, handfull of salad. Simple food plus the packed lunches takes 30 mins. Have all the packed lunch things ready in one area so it is literally throwing it in the box!

    Use your lunch times and break times to get errands done/ sort post/ whatever you can! Excercise, grocery shopping etc. Somewhere on my youtube channel I have my menu plan and my planner for the day with my timings if you were interested in seeing that.

    I sometimes take a potato and microwave plus some philly and a handful of salad if I can't be bother to make a packed lunch.

    You are doing well - but yes it's kind of like this for a few years!
    Last edited by earthgirl; 11-05-2019 at 6:42 PM.
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    • jackomdj
    • By jackomdj 11th May 19, 8:11 PM
    • 2,930 Posts
    • 3,626 Thanks
    jackomdj
    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! )

    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?
    Originally posted by Bexm
    Some changes I would make to your routine are:
    Start dinner pre bed time, then it can be ready for your 7:30 end of bed time. I would often do meals which got reheated or repurposed the next day (eg chicken fajita one day, you have an enchilada filling the next. Spaghetti Bol one day, shepards pie the next)
    Unless there is a medical need replace overnight bottles with water. If waking up in the middle of the night is 'boring' then what is the point!
    I was the same with work and fitting things into the evening, except my partner worked away during the week (sometimes away for a few weeks at a time) so it was a bit like being a single parent, with no relatives near us.

    As others have said your life sounds normal. As they grow that normal changes, mine are 12 and 14 now, some nights we have '15 minute meals' ie we have to be out of the house 15 mins after I get home. Then clubs can go on until 9:00, so sometimes 9:30 by the time I get to sit down. Plus running them to friends houses etc (or collecting from school trips at 1:45!). But this is all part of their growing up... It won't be long till it is collecting them from the nightclub!
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 12th May 19, 5:26 AM
    • 24,811 Posts
    • 28,838 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    Why would you expect to have daily me-time when you have a completely dependent infant? Why is me-time more important than family time/ quality time with your little ones?

    In all seriousness: downsize your life, hire a nanny, or count your blessings.
    Last edited by Fire Fox; 12-05-2019 at 5:36 AM.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ Trainee Rosie the Riveter.
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 12th May 19, 8:26 AM
    • 5,489 Posts
    • 7,691 Thanks
    Kynthia
    Why would you expect to have daily me-time when you have a completely dependent infant? Why is me-time more important than family time/ quality time with your little ones?

    In all seriousness: downsize your life, hire a nanny, or count your blessings.
    Originally posted by Fire Fox
    So you just wanted to judge the OP instead of empathise or give any tips?

    OP I found having a second child reduced the free time in the evenings more because of separate childcare/school collections and drop-offs, longer bedtime routine, etc. I think in the evenings the choice becomes me-time or sleep, and I choose the former while my husband choose a the latter.

    Try to do bath night on days you don't work, have some meals bulk made you can just reheat and on a particularly busy night maybe make it pizza or takeaway night, have bags ready at the beginning of the Week and try to use lunchtime and commute time for admin and little jobs that need doing.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • svain
    • By svain 12th May 19, 6:15 PM
    • 430 Posts
    • 815 Thanks
    svain
    I'm assuming the rotfl means you're joking. You'd better be!
    Originally posted by maman
    Partly ... not totally though. Dont get me wrong, i wouldnt want to be a teacher in today's world, however teacher paid holiday entitlement is still incredibly generous in comparison with an average worker. This holiday time also allows quality time with their own kids/family and general down time. A lot of people dont have that luxury.
    Last edited by svain; 12-05-2019 at 7:04 PM.
    • svain
    • By svain 12th May 19, 6:17 PM
    • 430 Posts
    • 815 Thanks
    svain
    Why would you expect to have daily me-time when you have a completely dependent infant? Why is me-time more important than family time/ quality time with your little ones?

    In all seriousness: downsize your life, hire a nanny, or count your blessings.
    Originally posted by Fire Fox
    Because "me time" IS as important as family time/quality time with the little ones.
    • Bexm
    • By Bexm 14th May 19, 9:06 AM
    • 403 Posts
    • 143 Thanks
    Bexm
    Thanks for all the replies and ideas.
    Seems like its pretty normal and I just need to sort out my batch cooking and packed lunches in advance.
    I am getting there and working out some freezer packs for slow cooking..!
    • Grezz24
    • By Grezz24 14th May 19, 9:47 AM
    • 219 Posts
    • 312 Thanks
    Grezz24
    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
    Originally posted by svain
    My wife is a teacher, and while she 'finishes' at 3:30PM there is several hours a day and at weekend spent planning and marking work.

    I too had the false view that teachers had it easier until i saw what it was really like due to all the extra hours they are expected to do, for free.
    • Takmon
    • By Takmon 14th May 19, 1:39 PM
    • 586 Posts
    • 557 Thanks
    Takmon
    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! )

    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?
    Originally posted by Bexm
    I can't really see a problem with any of that really, you manage to get the kids to bed at 7:30 (which seems a good time to me) and then only have dinner to make and a few other things to do each evening. Then you manage to go bed at a time i would say is early, but i know some people need more sleep than others.

    You then also say you work part time so this isn't even every day of the week. So you must get a lot more time to yourself on your days off.
    So to me it sounds like your doing pretty good and the only real way to get a lot more time is to get rid of the kids
    • DrivingMissDaisy
    • By DrivingMissDaisy 14th May 19, 9:24 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    DrivingMissDaisy
    It will get worse before it gets better (for some). The next stage is dropping and picking them from various clubs/activities. And then they become teenagers and it's a whole another level or stress.

    This is one of the key reasons couples start drifting off. Weekends would again revolve around kids leaving no time to yourself/as a couple.

    In hindsight, shouldn't have had kids, but it's too late now
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 15th May 19, 6:57 AM
    • 24,280 Posts
    • 12,716 Thanks
    lisyloo
    So you just wanted to judge the OP instead of empathise or give any tips?
    Originally posted by Kynthia
    Sometimes changing your attitude can be helpful and gratitude is recognised as a useful practice.

    I am not saying the OP need to change their attitude in this case, but practising gratitude generally is actually a helpful tip.
    • Greta Sharbo
    • By Greta Sharbo 17th May 19, 12:13 PM
    • 335 Posts
    • 310 Thanks
    Greta Sharbo
    I come at this from no frame of reference (I dont have kids) but sounds to me like you've got it pretty well sorted out.
    • thriftylass
    • By thriftylass 17th May 19, 12:36 PM
    • 3,509 Posts
    • 29,168 Thanks
    thriftylass
    It will get worse before it gets better (for some). The next stage is dropping and picking them from various clubs/activities.
    Originally posted by DrivingMissDaisy
    For that reason we only use clubs that happen in school during after school club hours. No extra running around.

    OP, it'll get easier once the little one is older. Mine are 5 and 8 now and they sleep till 7:10 when I wake them. So I get up at 6 and have a whole hour of me time first thing. We leave at 8 and are back at 5:30. It's either an easy dinner for all (like spaghetti Bol) or easy dinner for the kids and fancy /spicy for us later when they're in bed (after 8). Then I get another 30-60 min to do chores, get things ready, do extra bit that need done and sit down to chill from 9-10.

    I also agree with batch cook your lunches, use the slow cooker etc. and change your priorities. My wooden blinds will not get dusted every week but essentials like the bathroom and changing the linens get done if you get the idea. And as you said you work part time, what do you do on your days off, do you have the little one?

    Also what do you mean by free time in the evening? What would you like to do? In the summer I try to get out in the garden for half an hour 3 times a week, sth like that?
    Last edited by thriftylass; 17-05-2019 at 12:38 PM.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 17th May 19, 6:40 PM
    • 24,811 Posts
    • 28,838 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    Because "me time" IS as important as family time/quality time with the little ones.
    Originally posted by svain
    I think you have misinterpreted what I said, or we are reading the first post very differently. My post below, emboldened for clarity. Having reread the first post, I stand by it.

    The OP was complaining about not having me-time in the evenings, on work days. They work part-time so this problem is not a five or six day a week issue.

    The children are home at 6pm, "hopefully" in bed by 7.30pm. There was no complaint about limited family time/ limited quality time with the little ones. Only about the dullsville routine afterwards.

    Why would you expect to have daily me-time when you have a completely dependent infant? Why is me-time more important than family time/ quality time with your little ones?

    In all seriousness: downsize your life, hire a nanny, or count your blessings.
    Originally posted by Fire Fox
    Last edited by Fire Fox; 17-05-2019 at 6:44 PM.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ Trainee Rosie the Riveter.
    • onwards&upwards
    • By onwards&upwards 17th May 19, 9:16 PM
    • 478 Posts
    • 845 Thanks
    onwards&upwards
    For that reason we only use clubs that happen in school during after school club hours. No extra running around.
    Originally posted by thriftylass

    Are you not worried they’ll miss out? No cubs or brownies, no swimming lessons, no dancing or drama or bands or sports that aren’t done in school?
    • svain
    • By svain 19th May 19, 8:14 PM
    • 430 Posts
    • 815 Thanks
    svain
    Are you not worried they’ll miss out? No cubs or brownies, no swimming lessons, no dancing or drama or bands or sports that aren’t done in school?
    Originally posted by onwards&upwards
    All these after school clubs are a modern phenomenon .... Kids do perfectly well without having all there spare time micro managed by activities
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