5Pm-9pm Is Not Enough...

Updated on August 08, 2009
T.D. asks from Dothan, AL
4 answers

How do you do it? We are not in a position to be a 1 income household, but I hate the idea of my family time being limited to 4 rushed hours a day. Everyone I know keeps telling me that its not as big of a deal as I am making it but I feel like my life is one big hurry. We wake 6am and out the door by 715am. The entire hr is spent barking orders. Then when we get home everyone wants "mommy" to stop and look..but they are starving and want something in their tummy NOW....AAAAAA! Help before I lose my mind!

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So What Happened?

Okay so first of all I think I was overly tired when I wrote for help. I got a little more down time over the weekend and that really helped. I've tried to involve my 8 yr old in more of the around the house duties. He gets paid for chores he does. I have him write down what he does and we place it in a jar. On payday we total up what he's done and the money value for those chores. I pay him for his help instead of someone else. It teaches him a lesson about working, saving and spending ant boy does it help me out.
I'm evaluating our bills to see if maybe with my husband's next promotion I can cut back my working hours.
Both boys just started upwards flag football....Wow the shuffle that adds to the mix. Especially with today being the first day of school.
Working from home has been considered, taking brook out of daycare has been considered....My husband has an interest in raising dogs so I told him if that becomes profitable I want to work fewer hours....
Ultimately its in God's hands he knows our needs and the desires of my heart.
Thanks Everyone

More Answers



answers from San Francisco on

I have to laugh as with two kids, two full time jobs in the household and all the requisite extra curricular activities that go along with the kids, we're in the same boat. It is pretty dreadful. Who knew?? I don't know how old your kids are, but at 3 and 5, mine are fully capable of doing chores (helping straighten the house), and we reward them with marbles which they can redeem (50) for a toy. This isn't giant, but it helps keep the house a bit more in order. Every month gets a little better as the kids can take on more responsibility. I think the biggest impact in my house is meal plans - when we make a menu for the week and get everything we need on a weekend day, we seem to have better evenings because I'm not stressed about what to feed the family when I get home which puts me in a better mood and makes me more happy to play look-see with the kids. I also involve the kids in laundry - convince them to strip their beds by allowing them to make tents with the sheets while I get the rest of the laundry together. They like to help sort the laundry. We lay out clothes for the next day and make lunches the night before so that mornings can involve more quality time. Reading a book or walking around the block in the morning makes 15 minutes here or there seem so much better.... Basically, it is a whirlwind for us, as well, but I just try to involve the kids in maintaining our lives. It is quality time if the kids are helping me in the kitchen just as it is quality time when we are rolling in the grass. Best of luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

Are you sure you can't be a 1-income family? What about the cost of daycare for your 3-year old? What about gas cost for going to and from work? Extra medical costs for extra illnesses from being in daycare? Clothes?

Can you cancel the cable? Sell one of your cars if you have two or three? Get a smaller, more gas-efficient one in its place? What about meals? You can trim your budget by lots of you cook a few beans-and-rice dishes per week. Look at the packaged foods in the grocery cart. Do you need those individual cups of yogurt, or could you just get a big tub of it? Jello? Etc.? Can you start weaning your family off of unnecessary and unhealthy snacks like sodas, crackers, etc., and start air-popping popcorn and offering diluted, generic-brand juices from concentrate, instead? (An air-popper is a great little investment. It pays for itself in no time.)

Movies: instead of going to the movie theater, get movies from the library. They're free!

Going out to eat: don't.

Laundry: get Country Save from Amazon.com, the big multiple-box option for about $60. It'll last a family of three about a year and a half or more.

Dry cleaning: don't take that stuff to the cleaners. Get Dryell and do it yourself at home. It's healthier for the wearer, as well, because it's non-toxic.

Start thinking of what you can do without, or what you could switch out for a much cheaper alternative, and no one would mind the difference. You'll be amazed.

There are plenty of books at the library that detail all KINDS of terrific ways to save thousands of dollars per year.

Finally, what about starting an at-home business? These days, stay-at-home moms can make at least as much by making use of their favorite craft and selling online, on websites like hyenacart.com, etsy.com, or having their brother or friend make a simple website of their own. REALLY. It's so easy. You could make the simplest thing, and people will eat it up. I'm looking for tie-dye fabrics. Wanna be my supplier? ;)

Doing this, you'll still have to put in several hours per day, but it'll be much less stressful and you can be there for your family. You might even be able to have your 3-year old at home and afford, with the profit from your new business, to have a babysitter come in for several hours to watch him while you sew, basket weave, stamp homemade stationery, dry flowers, record music, or whatever it is you choose to do (I'm just listing a couple of options off of the very top of my tired mama head).

Think about the possibilities, and enjoy!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Huntsville on

Hi T.. Don't worry, you're not alone. And it is a big deal to you, regardless of whether it's a big deal to others. I will say I am amazed you can get all of you out the door in an hour and 15! Whew! Anyway, I too leave at 6 am and don't get back until somewhere betw 6-7... and the kids' bedtime is at 8:30! We're not even into organized sports yet, although we just put my daughter in a ballet class once a week, and my son has something once a week too. The best thing I can tell you, is that everybody needs something to be responsible for. My kids (both 3, like your 3 yr old) put their own clothes in the hamper, and help unload the dishwasher (I don't care if the forks are in the spoon "section" in the drawer... you get over that stuff quickly), let the dogs in and out when they have to go potty and help put their clean clothes away. My son also has the sole responsibility of making sure the dog is fed, and my daughter makes sure all of her dress up stuff stays out of the living room and my bedroom (a chore in itself - she has a ton!). They also help throughout the evening and weekend as things come up.

After work, we take 10 minutes or so to just walk in the door and relax, and each can SHOW us something they did that day. (Just as sidenote, daddy gets the first hug and kiss when I walk in the door) As for supper, let me recommend the crockpot - yum, yum, yum, and you can out everything in the night before and come home and it's done! We do that a 1-2 times a week. The rest of the week, we choose simple meals like spaghetti, fast meals like hot dogs on the grill, or savory meals like stews that can be cooking while you're doing other things (with minimal supervision once it gets started, I mean). I cook 6 days out of 7, reserving the really good down-home cooking for the weekend, due to the time factor. Each night, we eat at the table, and that too gives us family time to regroup and the kids can then TELL us the rest of whatever they couldn't when we first burst through the door, or what they learned that day, or what mommy and daddy did.

I think it's not the time itself, but what you do with the time you're given. So look for ways to ways to pare back during the week, make supper simple, share the responsibility for the home with everyone in the home, and enjoy the time you're given.

Good luck!



answers from Tulsa on

On Christian Radio I often listen to Money Matters with Dr. Dobson. There are many things that working adds to the cost of living but if you really need the income then I recommend that you get help. Whether it is once a week to have someone comne in and do the laundry and dishes or light cleaning. Kids have to have some one on one time every day. I watch the Duggers on tv and that is one thing they don't show. With 18 kids and counting they all have assigned chores and are responsible for that entire area. They do spend time together and they may have one on one time that is not part of the show.

I thing eating out is okay if you are careful. Perkins had Tues. night kids eat free. I can't feed 4 kids and my husband and myself for $15.00. I usually get a pork chop dinner and he eats breakfast something. Our food is about $15.00 and it's nothing for the kids. Other places have happy hour where you can get half price burgers. The dollor menu is good if you drink water. No dishes and the family gets to sit and visit fo a while with no pressure.

We do tap, ballet, gymnastics, buddy and me for the 18mo-3yr. kids, T-Ball, Soccer, and Hip Hop dance. We buy a blank calendar at a local business supply and use different color markers and stickers to put things on it. It goes on the front of the fridge and everyone can tell what is on for the day due to stickers-T-Ball events have a baseball, soccer-a soccer ball, dance-ballet stickers, etc....

We live on disability and child support, make just too much for food stamps, but the kids under 5 get WIC and we have Sooner Care for them. I work for the people who own the dance/gym business and use that to pay for part of our costs. I also iron, clean 2 houses, and make clothes for people. If I count the classes paid for, the ironing, sewing, cleaning, etc, I make more than minimum wage. We only have 1 vehichle, gave one away to a needy family, I really miss it but we didn't really need it like you need more than one.

I hope things work out for you, I know how stressful life can be.

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