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Thread: How am I going to do this?

  1. #1

    Default How am I going to do this?

    Well the time has come, my maternity leave is offically finished and I'm now at the start of my first week back in paid employment. I am going back three days a week, the kids will be in CC for two days (10-15 hours depending on my shifts) and one day at home with daddy.
    I'm sitting here in tears absolutely panicked about how I am going to cope/manage and still be a good mummy, wife, worker and somehow still me. i struggle to keep ontop of everything (playing with my kids, spending time with DH, doing the housework) now when I'm a full time stay at home mum so how am I going to do it when I'm home part time and not having to spend all of my days off doing the housework and not getting any time with my kids? I'm terrified I'm not going to have anytime to just play with them.
    I have to go back to work - I've got no choice on this unfortunately. Our savings are all gone and unless I go back we will end up in a big financial mess. I can at least go to work knowing that I'm helping keep a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs and food in their tummies but I'm not going to be there to tuck them in and give them a kiss goodnight .
    I've had to buy formula because I haven't been able to get enough breast milk stored so I'm not going to be able to keep up with Will's needs. DD weaned as soon as I went back to work and I'm praying that DS isn't going to and I'll be able to keep up with his demands.
    I am just feeling like crap because I'm doubting myself because some stupid woman called me selfish because I had kids without being willing to give up a measley 5 years of my life to stay at home with them. Why did I even have kids when I wasn't going to be around to raise them. Talk about a kick in the guts!
    I guess I'm just terrified of what is ahead and how we are all going to adjust, all the time with my kiddies that I'm going to miss. So all you working mummies/parents out there how do you fit it all in?? How do you work it so you don't spend all your days off doing housework?
    Sorry it's so jumbled. I've got a thousand thoughts running through my head and I guess it's safe to assume I'm a feeling a tad emotional, LOL!



    TIA,
    Dan.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    How rude of that woman!
    I always wanted to be a SAHM.. but i suck at it!
    going back to work is rarely a choice nowadays.. dont be upset for having to go back to ensure your family are supported!
    when i am working(or studying like now) i find i am Much more organised then when i am at home all the time. everything that needs to be done gets done and your kids will get all the fun times with you too.
    just take one step at a time and you all will adjust fairly quickly.

    xoxox

  3. #3

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    hun, i dont have advice and the thought of going back to work scares the pants off me too.
    just wanted to wish u luck, it'll be hard for a while but the kids will adjust, theyre pretty good like that!
    hope the transitions easy on you
    xxx

  4. #4

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    Been there, doing that! I've only got one bub and the thought of going back to work terrified me too!

    Now that I'm back, its not so bad. I'm doing ok. The house is a mess... the dishes don't always get done... I never iron anything anymore... and I'm exhausted, but hey, like you said, we still have our roof over our head, we always eat SOMETHING (it might not be the most nutrious, slow-cooked yummy goodness but so what) and we are not declaring bankruptcy just yet!

    I too was concerned about forcing DD into weaning before she was ready - but I think she was ready. I tried expressing at work but it was just another stress for me to deal with and turned out she was fine during the day without it. She still fed first thing in the morning and I made sure I was home for her last thing before bed feed (fortunately I can do that with my work) and sometimes she'd have two feeds when I got home, but she has adjusted. And we're still doing those two feeds, four months later.

    Two things made my return to work easier - the fact that I was pg and knew I had a definitive time frame for stopping again and also my support network. We have fantastic grand parents who look after DD, so no CC worries for us. But more than that - it is their ability to be flexible and bath DD and give her dinner when we need them to. They've also cooked for us on many occasions - so we get dinner without the stress.

    If you are able to tap into a support network that will help. Do you have parents, family, friends around who can help out when things threaten to get on top of you? Even if it isn't with practical things like cooking or cleaning, but even things like looking after kidlets so you and DH can go grab a coffee, dinner, movie, something.

    The nights that I have to cook dinner now are pretty stressful - but what has helped with that is a supply of quick, easy and relatively healthy meals that I know I can whip out at the drop of a hat. Being organised with grocery shopping helps too - or using Coles/Woolies online!

    The other thing you can do is make sure you know what the kids need for the following day and (where possible) have it ready the night before. So once they are asleep for the night, you organise their bag for the next day - clothes, food (if required), sleeping aids (bit hard if they are currently sleeping WITH their aids hehe), all the stuff they need - so that in the morning, its a case of wake them up, give them their brekky or whatever they have first thing, change nappy, throw in the car and off you go. No fluffing around.

    Other than that - I've had to let a lot of things go. I don't mean stop doing them let them go, I mean let go of my anxieties about being a "bad mother/wife/housekeeper" if I don't wash and dry every dish in my house before bed. Like the fact that my shower hasn't had a good scrub in longer than I'd like (not helped by my large belly!) and the fact that DH and I don't get fresh sheets every week anymore. You just need to prioritise - on my two days off I'd much rather be hanging with DD, playing and taking her places, than be stuck at home doing washing and cleaning.

    I did get worried though at one point when DH said "Do our towels need changing? Mine's got a bit of a funky smell"
    Last edited by OceanPrincess; May 17th, 2010 at 04:26 PM.

  5. #5

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    I know how you are feeling. I return to work in about 6 weeks time. I too don't know how I'm going to cope. I live quite isolted on a farm so the nearest everything to me is 30mins away. Suddently I'm wondering when I'll find time to do groceries, am I going to be spending most of my life driving in and out of town. And also how will I find the time with the kids as when I'm not at work it will be me madly trying to catch up with the housework. I think that women was plain rude, I too wish I didn't have to return to work, and yes we could probably struggle through if I didn't but I would lose my position at my employment and when all the kids are at school it would be great to have work.
    I have decided that I am going to employ a cleaner once a fortnight for 3 hours just to help out with doing the bathrooms, dusting those sort of chores, is that something you could fit into your budget? I did this when I went back after my 2nd child and found to be a real help.
    I'm sorry I don't have much other advice as I'm feeling similar to you. Mother guilt is a horrible thing.

  6. #6

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    Dan, there are so many definitions out there of what makes a good mother, but NONE OF THEM includes being a perfect housewife! I know it is very hard to do but letting go of the small stuff (ie: perfection) is really important if you are to enjoy this new stage in your life.

    Very few people get to be home full time, all the time, while their kids are little. And when you think about it - where do you draw the line? That awful woman said you should have "given them 5 years: but some people say that's not even enough - that you shoudl be home BEFORE and AFTER school EVERY day. Yeah, and how many get to (or want to) do that? Not many, and often those that do have nagging doubts about losing themselves or being dependant on their DH. My point it this - your kids will still get to see you, love you and have you as a mum even though you go to work. in fact, their circle of people to love will just get bigger. They will get to love their carers, and grow to love their daddy more. Their world will get bigger and that will be a good thing. (Personally I beleive gently growing away from your parents is a critical part of growing up but that is a whole 'nother post!)

    Now to the practical stuff - planning (IMO) is crucial if you are to balance home and work life. Write down all the things that REALLY scare you (I mean literally - stuff like "I won't have time to iron" or "how will I be able to cook dinner on the days I am not around" and "when will I have time to get the washing done?"). Once you've done that, think about what things on your list don't need to be done. All of us working mummies compromise - I don't clean as often as I did when I was home FT, my linen cupboard isn't hyper-organised, and I NEVER iron.

    Next, think about things you can delegate. DH can cook when you are out, maybe your mum or GF can pick up some drycleaning for you, and so on. Usually this isn't a very big part of any working woman's list (we tend to want to do it ourselves to make sure its done properly but give it a go.

    Then for the rest - google and check out the Domestic Goddess part of BB. There are so many ideas out there on how to schedule for efficiency, plan your menus, do "once a month cooking" (where you literally cook a month's worth of dinners in one day), and manage with kids in tow.

    With a bit of planning (and culling tasks from your to-do list) you will find you will actually be able to get a lot of housework done WITHOUT the kids even caring. Playdoh, Playschool, drawing, playing outside - all things that kids want to do that don't require 100% of your attention and things which let you do housework alongside them. Fold the washing while they cut and paste. Vacuum while the watch playschool in the other room. Get them to "help" while you dust. Ride their bikes while you rake the leaves. Draw or read while you plan your week's menu. Count the different types of fruit in the supermarket while you shop. Kids want to be with you, doing what you do. Really - women have raised kids in tribal settings, spent their days collecting water, shelling peas, digging fields, whatever, with their kids in tow. I think its only our modern Western lifestyle which somehow cons mothers into thinking if we aren't sitting, gazing at our chidlren, giving them 100% of our attention all the time that we are bad mummies. But I am ranting - I think you get my point.

    A saying that helps me - To every thing there is a season. You have had your time at home full time. Now it is time to go back to work. Mourn the passing of one phase but try to embrace and move forward to this new phase of growth. Your childrens' worlds will grow as a consequence, you will learn new skills and let go of old habits and fears. Don't be afraid - here comes the sun.

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