Finding My Way

Updated on April 10, 2008
T.W. asks from Abilene, TX
63 answers

I have revently went back to work full-time...not neccasarily by choice. I love feeling imortant again, as i am a floral designer/Manager and I believe that I am good at what I do. My problem though is that I am not sure how anyone can work a full-time job and then try to raise a family and take care of all that includes. I only have one daughter and a hubby, but I am not sure how this is done. I am just so exhausted..It is important to me that my home can reamin decently clean..and that I can cook supper instead of getting fast food...and making sure that I am involved in my daughters life all the way...as well as taking care of the hubby. I would love to hear our other mothers are doing it...before I am committed. By the way husband does not help as much as I would like for him to and talking with him...makes no improvement whatsoever. Thanks!

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

I learned from Mary Kay Ash that every full time working woman needs a good wife! If you are capable of making a good income outside the home, hire someone to do most of the housework. If you are going to play puzzle at 8pm before reading a bedtime story, then someone else is going to have to vacuum the rug and wash the dishes. I paid someone $10/hr for 2-3 hrs each day to do the daily chores and buy my groceries (that alone probably saved $$ as she bought from the list; no impulse buying!) I loaded the dw after dinner and started it, she unloade it and set the table for dinner again. She also picked up my dry cleaning, made bank deposits, etc. For extra $$, she even pulled weeds and planted seasonal flowers. She completed one load of laundry a day (start to finish) and picked around the house. Each day she did one additional thing: watered plants, dusted, vacuumed, washed linens or ran errands. For $100 a week, everything was done to perfection and my home ran like a well-greased car!
Good Luck!

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

I could not have done it without my husband helping out. He took care of the morning and I would go into work very early, so I could get off early to minimize the time our kids were with out caregivers. It doesn't get any easier as they get older, their schedules get busier. As far as meals, I make sure to cook alot on the weekends, so we have stuff through the week and freeze extra, so we eat primarily home cooked meals. I do use a few convenience foods during the week, but try to limit that to one meal during the week on my busiest days (I still have work that must be done after I pick up the kids from school). It is not easy at all doing both (but neither is being a SAHM) as IMHO, the parenting part is far more difficult than any job outside the home. You also need to make sure you have some time to yourself or you'll end up with fried adrenals from all the stress by the time you're 40 (and your daughter will be in those challenging teen years).

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

I also work full time and have a 11-mo old, and will echo many of the previous posts with my two pieces of advice: 1) PRIORITIZE. For example: going to the park with my daughter on a Saturday afternoon is VERY important. Doing a good job at work is somewhat important. Cleaning up the toys on the living room floor? I don't remember the last time it happened, and I'm fine with that. 2) taking care of the home and family is a two-person job. Your husband may have different standards than you do, but that just means you need to compromise and come to accept some of his standards. For example, for the past couple of weeks our floors have been dirty. When I was out of town on business last week, my husband cleaned them. He did them about a week after I would have, but he DID do them. I just needed to let go of having everything done my way. When my husband makes dinner (which he does half the time), it's often done at 6:30 or 6:45, instead of 6. I just quietly give my daughter a snack while we wait. You have to give up some control, but you CAN'T do it all. Anyone who says you can is lying. But you can keep your priorities straight, and do just fine.

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K.C.

answers from Dallas on

My advice to you is let the little stuff go. I'm 28 years old, I have a 2 year old, expecting my second next week and have 2 step children. My husband is a truck driver so is gone A LOT, and I work full time. When we made the decision for me to go back to work, at first, I wanted everything to be perfect. I wanted the laundry done every day, I wanted the house spotless, and so on and so on. Well that's not reality in my world. I have had to learn to let some things go. We did invest in getting a house cleaner twice a month, which has helped a ton. But as far as ensuring that my house and my kids are in order every minute of every day, it's not going to happen no matter how hard I try. Good luck and let the little things go and enjoy the life that you have, and work with what you've got.

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D.J.

answers from Amarillo on

I know exactly how you feel. I had a really hard time going back to work when my son was small. Now that he is four, things are a little better. My husband is also a great help, when he is home. He works really long hours in the spring and summer, so I am pretty much on my own during that time. One thing that really helped me is that I told my husband that since staying home is not really an option for me, and he is not around much to help sometimes, I wanted a cleaning lady. I hired one to come and clean my house twice a month. She charges $50 per visit, and it really helps! I can keep things picked up, and then she comes in a does the real cleaning. That being said, probably one of the biggest reasons I still just have one child is because it is so hard to manage everything. I feel very guilty about it, but I just really don't know if I can juggle my job, my son, my husband, and a new baby. It is pretty overwhelming sometimes. Hang in there, and feel free to write if you have any more questions about the cleaning lady.

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N.H.

answers from Dallas on

I work full time with 3 baby girls. It is hard and mostly b/c of the guilt we give ourselves. But i became a scheduling marvel. That has saved my sanity. I plan ahead on dinner and lay meat out in the morning and sometimes on sat. Or sun. I cook an extra meal while making dinner. I also refuse to wash laundry during the week. I wash on sat. And sun. Only. I always lay it out in people piles and hand and fold piles. Monday is my swing day. It is the day we use to get back into the swing of the week. I cook dinner on mondays and the kids help me by setting the table etc... Mondays we take bubble bathes and read before bed. I do this dishes and plan for tuesdays dinner. I will do all of the folding of clean laundry and watch a little tv. I tell my husband to grab his stack as we go upstairs. We both hang our few things and put away the folded laundry. Shower and bed. Tuesday my oldest has piano after i get off work. I take the other 2 girls to the park to play near by while we wait. Dinner on tuesdays is at home but simpler. Maybe left overs/made ahead/sandwich etc... We all eat together again. I clean my kitchen every night. My house feels so much cleaner when my kitchenis in order. I let the older 2 girls watch one tv program on tuesdays after homework if it is in their time frame. After they go to bed,it is my bill night. I organize the mail and do any bills i have to do. I try to read a magazine or work on my photos while my husband catcheds up on sports. Wednesday is church day for us. This has actually turned out to be a nice break for the week. The 2 older girls go to church 5:30-7:00 and the baby and i meet my husband for dinner somewhere. It is like a date night in the middle of the week. We talk and plan the weekend. Ti really is nice. I get the girls and he goes to finish up his job. We do homework and take showers. The older girls can read a book or write notes and then to bed. I love not having to to do clean up anything in the kitchen. There is a programi like to watch on wed. Night and i do that while i hang the girls clean clothes. Thursday is soccer practice. Hers is the latest, 6:30-7:30. I like to take a picnic to the practice field. Either i brign it from home or grab something fast food. We all sit around in our chairs and gab about the day or plans for the weekend. They love the picnic. I chase the baby around the field and th oldest does her homework then plays with the other kids while my middle girl pratices. I change the baby into pj's before heading home. She usually falls asleep on the ride home and i can just put her right in bed. Tonight is late so it is showers and bed. I usually work on my truck thursday night. Clean out all of the picnic/soccer/school etc... From the week. I load up the car for friday, soccer practice for my oldest and i am the coach. So i have my suburban loaded down with balls and a goal etc... Each girl has a change of clothes and snacks. Friday is our late night and that is why i choose to make my practice night on fridays.
You probably didn't want my whoel week but i am super busy. I work a wonderful job that reminds me i am still an adult and i spend lots of time with my girls. It can work. Yes, there are days/weeks when my schedule goes crazy but i know the frame work is there and so do the girls. They know not to even ask for tv or mcdonalds. One trick, i keep them involved. They can help. They have chores and always have had. I feel they need to learn and be responsible for our family. I am very blessed that my husband does help as much as he can. He does work until 7:00 so there is not a lot of time left for him in the evening. He usually helps the most by getting up with the kids on sat. While i sleep in a bit. That is huge. Good luck to you! Don't take to many guilt trips now....your child will see how dedicated you are to your family and yourself. You will make a great role model.

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D.M.

answers from Dallas on

T., Keep it simple, Sweetheart! First- remember your priorities, your time w/ your sweet child versus perfection in cleanliness.
One of the easiest things to do for food, is grill, or bake your meat on Sat or Sun for the week. Then, each day coming home- just add frozen veggies and baked sweet potatoes, or rice or whatever starch you like. If you do casseroles, cook all on Sun. afternoon, freeze or put in frig for week. or, slow cooker each morning before work. This one thing on food for dinners will save you a ton of time all week!
I did this when my lil boy was a baby til I could be a stay-at-home mom now. I still wish I would have spent every minute holding, hugging and playing w/ him each evening. Now, he's 5. Good Luck. May God Bless your efforts to bring you peace and love, D.

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P.W.

answers from Tyler on

Hi T. ~

Have you considered working out of your own home, so you can set your own hours? I used to be on call 24/7 working for a big corporation and was exhausted all the time trying to keep my house clean, the laundry done, keep up with 2 boys and a husband. I finally had enough and realized that life is too short to be running around all the time and feel like you're burning the candle at both ends! I started my own Tupperware business and I love the flexibility of it. You can do it part time and make a little over $1000 a month or you can do it full time and make a whole lot more. I finally quit the other corporate job and I'm a total different person. Tupperware may not be your thing, but there are so many others out there for you to try. You have to decide what's your WHY? WHY do you get up every morning and do what you do? Are you doing what you want to be doing and are you getting the results you want? I think it's the best thing I've ever done for myself and for my family. If you're interested I would be willing to answer any questions you might have. Good Luck!

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C.D.

answers from Dallas on

Hi T.:
I'm an older mother, and I have four children. We home-educate. Many years ago when my first was an infant, I worked full-time as well. I loved my job and did well on a national level--with national recognition and all that stuff.

Now I am very skeptical of home-based businesses, but I had to make a choice. After much research, I tried real estate, vitamin sales, etc., and I even opened my own marketing business. I thought by doing so, I could spend more time with my child. It turned out that I was spending even more time to grow my business!

After much continued research (and much skepticism) I decided to try Mary Kay. Now, don't get me wrong. I am not trying to recruit you. But I have found that since the products are so well-respected, they actually sold themselves. The catch I had was to overcome the clients' perception against the pushy reps I had met before.

After 12 years or so in the business, and several moves around the country, I continue to discover the same thing. Mary Kay products sell themselves after one trial, and IF YOU TREAT THE CLIENT AS YOU'D WANT TO BE TREATED. I do not bug my clients all the time. But I will tell you that if you work hard and steadily, your income has the potential of far surpassing what you are doing now.

Training is provided at regular meetings, and there is plenty of company brochures and training aides to assist in your understanding and knowledge.

If you are interested in learning more WITHOUT PRESSURE, I would be happy to send you additional information you can review on your own and make an informed decision for yourself.

The Mary Kay opportunity is truly one that I believe in, as it has really helped my children, ages 16, 14, 7, 5 to think more positively about life: it's one of those "the cup is half full, not half empty" growth experiences. They even help me with my business, as they take inventory, do ordering occassionally, fill orders, and write up tickets of sale.

There is no other home-based business that I know of where the profit structure is as high as it is in Mary Kay. And that is just one of the many reasons why I have been in the business for so long. I believe in it. . .but without pressure, for I myself don't like that, either.

Don't hesitate to e-mail me if you'd like additional information, audio tapes, video reviews, etc. whereby you can study for yourself to see if this is something in which you may be interested.

I get to stay home with my children, home-educate them, be at all of their outside activities, take part in my husband's life, cook dinner, but still maintain my professionalism and my "girl time" through my Mary Kay.

Just a thought. You'll get only one chance to raise your little girl. Make a good choice that fits you and your family. Make a choice that all of you can embrace and grow from, but yet still see financial rewards.

It's worth a check into.

C. Dampf
[email protected]____.com

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P.H.

answers from Dallas on

We sound very similar! I too had to go back to work teaching not by choice. It took me a little while to adjust to having two kids and a husband to take care of in addition to the house work and all that home life entails. I try to do just one load of laudry a day, whether I throw it on in the mornings as I am getting the girls ready, or it's at night before I go to bed. I do alot of crock pot meals. The cookbook set "Fix it and Forget it" has GREAT recipes - and I have RE#ALLY picky eaters. I know it's easy to get frustrated and down about how things are going. I still have those days, but they get easier. Also, I set up a routine for cleaning and have my girls help. They are just a tad older than your child, but it's usually helping me fold towels or putting laundry in the dryer. They started that around 3. It gives us a fun time together just being together. I also have a set days that I do certain chores. Like Monday I vaccum, Tuesday I mop, etc. that way I don't get behind, but also I dont' feel overwhelmed by having to do it all on one day. Hope this helps! Good luck!

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K.D.

answers from Dallas on

I also work full time and have Three Children and one one on the way. I'm not going to tell you it's easy. Just remember to spend quality time, set a side time each night for your Daughter and your husband. Dinner is always a challenge, but it lets you become creative. Also get a good support system (Friends and Relatives) and know that everyting works out in the end.

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

T.,
I completely understand where You are. When I was 26 my Husband took my full time job away from me, because He said that someone was going to be home with our Children. He choose me. I am now 61 Years old. Had a baby when I was 43.
He is now 16. After being home for 4 Years, I was crying out to God to please give me something that I could do & still meet my Husbands requirments. That when I started my home based business. I have been able to care for my Husband & Family & still grow as a Person. Home based business might be Your answer.

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P.M.

answers from Dallas on

I am not a MOm yet, but I know others in your situation. Spend the money on a cleaning lady or service and have someone do your lawn. The money spent will be worth the time saved to connect with your hubby and your daughter...

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T.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi T.,

You sound like most of us out here. I find it is best to start by deciding what I do during the day that i waste so much time doing and then I start with a agenda for the week. I looked at everything I did and I put them in order by what was more important to do first. I am a mother of 3 so not only did I have my thing I did I also had each of the kids things they needed me to do. First of all the PERFECT mom thing doesnt exsist,I tried to be the perfect mom but never found time to do anything, I was to busy with the little things and didnt focus on the big things. I started off by breaking down my cleaning list. Monday was for cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms and front entry way as far as sweeping and mopping, kitchen got cleaned everyday but the mopping and sweeping that got done once if not twice a week. Tuesday was for bedrooms sheets got striped on all beds. Wedensday was for dusting. Thursday and friday was laundry day and vaccuming the entire house. Saturday and Sunday was for what was left, putting up the laundry or if there was nothing to do relaxing time. I found if I managed my time better I would have more time with the more important things in life. Dinner times try to make cassarole more and find a day where you can make them a head of time you can freeze those and when you get ready to cook them just take them out and let them thaw before you cook them and you have dinner and left overs I dont cook everyday certain days of the week we have what I call left over night. Friday night is always pizza night that was the night kids had/have sleep overs so you menu is already planned no matter how many kids you have tagging along. I dont always stick to my list of things but I found it helps. And also what I read on here helps alot I am always trying different things to help me in my day so all the advice here people get other than myself I cut and paste and make a folder called mamasource and I put it all in there if I see something that I want to try to do I revert make to that.

Congrats on a beautiful Family,

T.

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V.D.

answers from Dallas on

My goodness T., I hope I can help! I am a 42 year old mother of two boy's and wife. I work full-time 8 to 5pm. My day starts at 5am getting breakfast, making lunch, and making beds, getting dress and off to school and work. I have a plan and have to stay organize all 7days and 24hrs. including bedtime. I make sure I keep my house tidy by finisihing a chore daily(mopping, restroom, laundry) one chore has to be done daily and completed. I make sure I plan all my meals according to my schedule for the day, if I have a simple schedule, I cook a superb meal(fullcourse)if I have a hectic schedule simple meals(grill cheese & soup) you have to be organize as if you are at the Floral shop.make sure you keep your same schedule regardless of some days time lapse. go to bed at the same time nightly and before going to bed take out the next day wardrobe it takes 30 minutes away from your next day, make the bed before leaving, take out the frozen food! it's all about preparing.

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

First off I commend you for your desire to be all but take it from someone who has already been that road--quit beating yourself up!! Enjoy you God given talent of managing and arranging flowers--what a gift that will touch so many people's lives!! Just think you not only provide for so many physical needs of these people but you can also silently pray for each one too! As far as the house and child. Here are some experienced words of wisdom don't put off your time with your daughter that is available to do housework--she will grow up way too fast and there will come a time she will rather play with friends than you so play! When she is with you in the store give her things to do to help Mommy and share your love of arranging with her. She can get things easier out of back of cupboards for you and be a help. The house doesn't have to be spotless just picked up and you can bite the bullet and hire a maid to come in for the heavy cleaning you don't have time to do. As for picking up make it a fun thing to do together a game --sharing the time counting who can get the most picked up and put in the toybox. Or spray polish or windex and let your daughter use the cloth to wipe or dust. My four year old grandson loves to windex my end tables. Accept a work that may be less than perfect--I found out recently that a husband only wants a dinner and the house picked up they don't really look for the super clean that you may be expecting from yourself. As for dinners do the crock pot meals--done while you work during the day. There are so many you can make or just buy the kit for and pour and nothing is better than having the meal done after a long day at work. Most of all remember to take care of your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs first or you won't be any good to family, friends, or customers! Keep thinking positive and remember something my mother-in-law always told me: (1) as long as the children are clean, fed, and happy that is all that is important (2) After dinner work is finished and stop and enjoy the evening!! I have learned the hard way but life is more fulfilling when you are doing what is really important to you and letting go of what won't last like cleaning. A.

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T.R.

answers from Dallas on

I am a mother of 3 with 1 step son about to be 33 this weekend. I work full time and plus some over. You can do it as long as you put your mind to it! I also coach t-ball for my 4 yr. old and help coach on my 8 yr. olds softball team. My son is 13 and is playing Little League and Jr. High games. My step son also plays kid pitch. We live 25 minutes where the kids play ball and 25 minutes where I work (other direction). Some nights we don't get home till 10:00(like last night). And yes I got them to school by 7:40 and was at work before 8:00. Don't get me wrong I feel drained alot and my house is not as clean as it was when I was at home but you can do it just be positive. Let the small things go! Look at it this way they can't say you don't contribute to the family! That is my main deal! Oh and if the hubby starts to complain about the house or the easy meals for supper then let him know that he can add his 2 cents when he starts to help out around the house. When both parents work you have to both pitch in and help on the house work. Even though mine doesn't help much at all but he sure doesn't complain anymore! Hehe! Just hang in there and hope this gives you a boost of hope!

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K.T.

answers from Dallas on

MY goodness~ You got a lot of responses already. I'll just put in my 2 cents :).

I had the same struggle as you. I was fine working full time till I became pregnant with our first child. I then realized all I wanted to do was be a SAHM but at the time money was really tight and we didn't see any way we could afford it. I'm stubborn and believe that if I want something bad enoug-I find a way. I had my baby in Jan. of 2003 and stayed working full time till May of that year. I had been just toying with the idea of finding a part time job that payed enough... Sure enough if I didn't find it at an insurance agency. The insurance job paid way more then my current full time job. I only ended up about $50 short a paycheck. I worked that job for about 4 years and I had another baby...along with the longing to be home more. I lucked out. My dad works for a company in Las Vegas and works out of a little executive suite in the town we live in. He was able to get me on as his assistant so I'm able to have a full time income, great insurance, and also I get to have the kids with me! Plus, he's gone a lot of the time or sometimes doesn't have a lot for me to do so I'm able to 'work at home' and get stuff done around the house at the same time. I've really been blessed.

You might try seeing if you could work part time where you are or you might check around. Just don't limit your options...think outside the box...

Good luck and I hope it works out for you :)

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

1. Slow cooker for supper. Fix it and Forget it is an excellent line of cookbooks that has saved my sanity.

2. You may have to stop taking care of your husband. I know this sounds wild, but if you do it for him and tell him he's going to have to help you by doing it - well, suffice to say, he has no motivation.

If you ask for help and don't get it, you do what is necessary for you and your daughter - and let your husband fend for himself. He will come around. I've never met one that didn't. I also don't feel romantic when the house isn't right... or when I've spent more than 1 of the past 12 hours working on it by myself. That works for us.

3. flylady.net I love me some fly lady. Her system keeps my house manageable in about 3 hours a week, not including laundry and dishes (I have a dish washer, and I do a load of laundry a day.. on in the morning, dryer when I get home, hang up / put up before bed. I don't iron.)

*hugs*
S.

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C.D.

answers from Dallas on

Hi T., I am and have been a working mother since my second child turned two. That was 12 years ago and I have since then had my third child, who is now about to turn three, and have legal custody of my four, yes four, nephews and nieces, my husband is now a stay at home dad (at first not by choice, but now by choice becasue he is enjoying the time with our newest), but needless to say, he is still a male which we all know that means minimum chores done by the time i get home and every once in a while the kids are fed and good to go for the next day (strickly on an occasion basis....:) Anyway, my advise to you is if you like what you do, then enjoy it and keep doing the best you can at work to help support your family and by all means, do not try do everything all at once, because you will only end up hurting yourself and your hubby and daughter with all the stress it will put on you and them. I too strive to have the cleanest house at all times, but I realized a long time ago, that that is only in a dream world! Now when I go home, I force myself to do minimum pick up/clean up and enjoy the little time I do have with everyone before we all go down for the night and get up and do our crazy, hectic schedules the next day.... My weekends are for major clean up/make up time and I have all the kids help me out so that it is not so overwhelming on just one person and our reward afterwards is picking out doing different things for the rest of the day or weekend whether it's going out to lunch or dinner, movies, park, visiting with friends or family or just renting movies and hanging out at the house....There are only so many hours in the day and you just have to choose whether you want to be stressed and mad all the time about not being able to do all that you want to do or learn to slow down and relax and enjoy what you can and want to do in the time allotted.

Sincerely,

C.

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J.B.

answers from Dallas on

To be honest with you... you can accomplish whatever God gives you. My husband and I both work full time and have 4 children, ages 8 to 2. It is busy and crazy, but we work it out. My husband is a tremendous help, which is a must if you are both going to work. I love my children and do wish I could spend more time with them. I want you to know that as long as you and your husband are on the same page, you can make anything work you want. There will be certain routines you get down and incorporate, of course, to get things like the laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. done.

My name is J., a 31 year old, mother of 4, wife of 12 years.

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M.B.

answers from Amarillo on

Hi!
I am a working mom of soon to be three little ones. My hubby and are Band directors in TX. Big job in a one High School town. The first thing I would recommend is a house keeper. We have one come twice a month and she does all she can for me in 2hrs of work for $65. The most important things for me are the Baths and Kitchen, then she vacuums and dusts, and then she changes beds, and if there is time she will wash the sheets she took off and fold any laundry I may have left in the dryer. It is worth the money! It leaves my days off as family days and I can work Laundry and dishes into my weekly routine w/o much trouble. I do get behind some and my hubby will help with these chores, where as the down and dirty cleaning of bath and kitchen were never going to happen:) Dinner every night? I try to cook M,T,TR and once or twice a weekend. Wednesday is out because of church, just cannot do it all with that too, Friday night is our night to chill out with pizza as a family or go out to eat and rent a movie. Just remember that as a working Mom you are not super woman! Family comes first and if there comes a week where all you can do is one homecooked meal and take out the rest of the week you are not a failure! You and your relationship with your hubby and preciouce little one is what you should focus on!

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C.G.

answers from Dallas on

I'm sure you will be receiving lots of advice! I would make a list on paper of your responsibilities, kid schedules and school activities, and your hobbies/priorities. Get your calendar out and mark it all down (times and dates.) We live by our calendar. Car pool your daughter with other moms and girls until you can get off work to get to where she is. Plan the nights for at home dinners. Realize that it is not always possible to avoid the fast food places. Get out your slow cooker and put it to work. Dinner could be waiting for you when you get home so that all you have to do is add a salad, maybe some fresh fruit and a speciality bread. Pick one day to concentrate on laundry from start to finish. My husband is out of town a lot. But we divide the time of picking up kids (we have 2 still at home, plus 2 grandkids) and watching games, practices, and volunteering. He doesn't do housework, but he does do outside work. And even though I also like my house to be decently clean, I am not as fussy as I used to be. You can only do so much and if you are tired, it takes twice as long. Then nobody in the family benefits.
(Another option: go part time on the job.)
Sincerely, C. G

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

Good luck to you all. I was a full time commercial banker and couldn't do it. Had to cut our income in half and stay home with the kids. We downsized the house, drive older, but well maintained cars and look for lots of free fun. We also have a written budget. My family and I are much happier with me home. I suggest that you also look at every dime you spend and have a written plan to get you home as soon as possible. You can always be a floral designer but you can't always have a 3 year old.

Look for ways to work PT or freelance.

It may not be what you want to hear, but have a time frame and budget goals in mind that will get you back home with that precious child. That, in addition to the interim strategies listed from the others should get you where you want to be. All the best.

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J.H.

answers from Amarillo on

Life passes so fast espically in the pre-school age. I'm with you at wanting to stay home. Sometimes the marriage and mothering gets stressed and isn't worth the extra income in the long run. Sit down with pencil & paper and see if the extra it will cost to have day care, some fast food gas, car,working clothes are worth it, and material wise isn't as important as famiy anyway. Maybe you can cut corners on not as nice of car or house etc.as if the extra money you make isn't that much more, why do it right now.Talk to your husband about where you can cut corners, or on buying only what you need, doing with out (wants), or him stepping up to the plate and going half on work load if he expects you to work full time. (Is a part time an option?)

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

I have a very similar situation to yours. I am going to be 31 soon & my daughter will be 3 soon. My husband & I have been married for 11 years. I have had to work full time since my daughter was 8 months old, like you, not by choice. It is very, very important to me that we have a steady routine everyday, I think its important for my daughter to have stability. I try to complete 1 chore per day, saving a majority of the house work for the weekend when my husband can entertain her. I am lucky that she is at the age that sweeping & doing dishes is very fun & she loves it. As far as meal preperation, I too do not believe in fast food more than once per week. I have become very fond of my crockpot & crockpot cookbook. I get up 30 mins early so that I can get the food in the crockpot & viola, by the time I get home dinner is practically ready. All I have to do is prepare a side dish. I would not know what to do without it!! This allows us to maximize our 'play time' in the evening. I know its not much advice but I hope it helps......good luck!

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J.B.

answers from Dallas on

T. W. I have worked always and raised two children as a single mother, but I learned something recently that I would like to share. The order God wants us to live. God is always 1st, (i.e. your prayer time and relationship with him) your husband is 2nd (i.e build him up, greet him 1st when you come home from work, leave him love notes, date him once a week) your child or children are 3rd (make sure you have a separate time for them in which they have all your attention, dinner, playtime, reading...)Work is 4th -Give your job to God. Ask for his guidance for him to give you divine wisdom on how to manage your time, for excellence... 5th is anything you volunteer for such as maybe at church, homeless shelter...When you turn everything over to God. You will be blessed and find out the load is not to heavy to carry. As you thank God for this time in your life, God will Bless and lead your husband into being a helpmate and your covering. J. B.

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K.F.

answers from Houston on

Hi T.,
I also work and have three boys and a husband. I find that if I plan a menu for two weeks and do my grocery shopping for that menu it saves both time and money. We eat left overs a couple of times a week. I also find that if I do one load of laundry a day that helps. I feel like I am not doing laundry the whole weekend. You may have to give yourself a break and know that you are being the best mommy and wife that you can be. That is all you can do. Relax and enjoy your daughter she will grow up way to fast. It is okay if things are not perfect all the time. All three of my boys play t-ball so are nights and weekends are consumed with that, my husband also travels with his job. So I know it is hard to feel like you have know help. Good luck!!

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C.F.

answers from Dallas on

I'm a clean freak, and when I started working at first I tried to play Superwoman. I came home, started cooking, did my ritual cleaning, helped with homework, etc. By the time I went to bed it was well close to 1am, then I had to wake up the next day at 5:30am to get everything and everyone ready, then go to work. I ended up burning myself to the point where I could not move my body out of bed. I had to face the fact that some things around the house like laundry had to be put in the back burner until the weekend came. My family had to adjust to eating quick foods (frozen foods), some do not loose their nutritional value just because they are cooked fast. My kids, being that young had to learn to help around the house, not just cleaning after themselves but to help with small chores. You have to try several different plans to see what works best for your family. I felt like giving up so many times, but I had to get back on the horse, I kept coming up with new strategies until I found a perfect schedule that worked great for our family. Men learn with actions not words. I could not talk any sense into my husband, but when I made the schedule and started going by it, then he started doing it too. I also bought a kitchen timer, and although it seems bad to some people I timed homework time, quality time, etc. When the timer rang, time was over, we stopped what we were doing and moved on to the next thing. Remember you don't have to be perfect, just enjoy your family. Best of luck to you!

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M.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I have an 18 mo old daughter who is the best. My husband does a lot of contract work so he is not always available to help me. What's worked and helped me immensely is four things. 1) Every Sat morning my husband receives a list of things he needs to do for the house. Basics like trash, vacuum and a few others. He gets the list since he'd forget/not hear me request his help on things. With the list he knows what I need help with and he works to get it done. After 1 month he now asks where the list is. 2) During the week I never got much help even though we both work full-time. He decided (and it works!) that we need to switch days taking care of our daughter. What this means is Mondays he gets her meal ready, cleans her, plays with her and gets her to bed. I'm around yet not the predominant parent. On Tuesday I'm the predominant one. 3) Each week my husband and I allow each other one night off. That's the night I go out with a girlfriend or bake (I love baking and it's hard when my daughter wants to pitch in constantly). He gets his night too. 4) Don't forget you can make tuna helper or jambalaya from a box. They may not be incredibly healthy, but they are quick and it's OK to make them. We do those at least twice a week and to me they balance out the healthy meals I cook on days I have more energy. We sit together for dinner and to me that's what matters most. We're not so good with date night, but the above items have really helped minimize frustration which has been good for all. Good Luck!

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H.S.

answers from Amarillo on

Well, here is my story and it may help you or it may not but take it for what it's worth....
I work 40 hours and have 2 children a 6 year old and a 19 month old. It appears that I will be a working mother for the rest of my life due to my husband and I not saving for the future when we had the chance. By the time I pick up both kids, one from after school program that she attends and the other from the babysitter that is across town it is close to 6pm when I get home. I too try not to do fast food becasue we can not afford it so cooking dinner is something we also have to do. Either my husband or I will cook dinner, while the other does homework with the 6 year old and the 19 month old is playing, then after we eat one of us cleans the kitchen while the other gets the girls in the tub, we TAKE TURNS, you said your husband doesn't help much, that is the only way I can survive somedays is with his help. He works out of town a couple of days a month and those days are very TOUGH and sometimes that is when I do opt for fast food or order a pizza just to keep my sanity but when he is in town he helps, he is a father and it is just as much his place to help with dinner, homework, bathtime as it is mine. Now, don't get me wrong, he is still a "man" and needs to be pushed sometimes but he does help. The question I have for you , is does your husband WANT you to work? Do you need to work for the financial part of it? If so then he needs to help, plain and simple. If I had the choice I would only work part time as I am missing out on alot of things with my littlest one but that is not an option for me, is it for you?? Just something you really need to think about, espcially if your husband is not helping. My husband and I have our problems but one thing I can never say is that he doesn't help cook, clean or take care of the kids because he does and that is very important to any working mother. Hang in there, somedays I don't know how I'm going to make it but I always do. Let me know if you have any other questions and please don't feel alone, there are alot of us working mothers out there! GOOD LUCK!!

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M.J.

answers from Dallas on

T.- I too thought I would have to go back to work after my son was born, but with alot of adjustment I was able to stay home. It's not easy, We have to stick to a budget and there's not many "extras". (such as a new outfit whenever I want). But it is well worth it. Maybe as mentioned you could take a look at your budget, and if you still feel like you need to work, maybe you could do someting from home, like mentioned in other responses. As far as your home, try doing one chore at a time. Don't overload yourself. Sometimes I get caught up in "my house should be cleaner". It seems to be cluttered with toys. (every room). I try to look at it positively, like it means their are kids living in this home. Kids I love so much. One day when they are grown, they are not going to look back and remember if the the floor was mopped weekly or biweekly, or if the towels in the bathroom coordinated. They will remember your time with them. It doesn't have to be perfect. I have to tell myself that frequently, especially when I start to feel overwhelmed with the clutter. As far as your husband, try to praise him for even the small things he does to help out, even if it's just telling him thanks for playing with your 3 y/o while you finish preparing dinner. Hope this helps.

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

Well T., you didn't say if Your husband worked or not. I'm assuming he does.Husband should play an important role in yours and the babies life. They need both bondings to have a wonderful childhood life. Those are memories that will stay with them forever.I didn't have to work, but I enjoyed it. As well as my family. I was proud of my family, children were disciplined, and were obedient, why I don't know. I guess I put the fear of God in them. They had God in their life, I made sure, and they turned out hard workers like my Husband and I were. Even when I had to stay home with no other jobs as we traveled in Military. I kept myself busy and helping others.I'm no way by far perfect, but I try my hardest. I think of how Jesus would of done it, and I would do my best. Somtimes it doesn't turn out how I would of liked it, but I took it and went on. I never let it get me down.Kept my spirits high and my head up and proud. You ahve but one life, make it te best you can. People remember you for how you are, not what you are. I was an Air Force wife. I had 3 kids and worked fast foods and I tried other day time jobs too! Built computer Boards for Military, and other businesses. I kept house, and I cooked and I took care of my family, was Coach of Soft ball and T-Ball. Took my son fishig and had parties for my kids. I even had to take my Mother in when she had her surgery. It's tiresome, yes, but, it does give you a great feeling of being needed. My husband did't help much at all either. He had his job, but, he would watch the kids when i worked. It can be done, you just have to pamper yourself as you go. Take that Vitamin, soak in the tub. Now my kids are grown and they all come to me for help,and I still give it if I can. I am 55 and everyone says I look 40ish. I love that part more. I work at a flea market on the weekends now, my Husband has one leg, he is biabetic, and he builds computers and sells them as who;e systems for little as $225. Computer, monitor, keyboard, and little speakers, if they want them are maybe $3 more. I take care of him all week, and help with Grandkids. You let life get you down and you'll go down all the way. build yourself up and keep there and you will love it after it's over with. Kids grow up faster these days and you'd be surprise that you wish they were little again and you were like 20 again. Starting all over. Keep going, never let anyone tell you that it can't be done. Keep going, and do it with a smile and happy thoughts.

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

T.,
Pick and choose your battles. Sorround yourself with good and positive people. This will be a very challenging year for you but one that will mold you in ways you cannot fathom. Hang on and hold on for you will come out of this a thousand times better!
Make a list of concessions. Limit your list to what you can achieve daily. I haven't met Supermom yet. I seriously think that SHE has 72 hours in her day and not 24 in ours. She must not live in this planet! I never got ALL the things I wanted to get done. NOt in a million years. I am raising 4 children and working fulltime and going to school part time. Over achiever? no. I have just learned to give up some ideals. My house is never perfect but it is our home. There isn't home cooked dinner every single night. I can't seem to put my laundry away as soon as its done! Am I a failure? Absolutely not. And you are not either.
Hang in there, Dear. Make a list. Complete it and then reward yourself for doing a fine job! without guilt. We are our worst critic. Stop!
Be realistic. Be human. Be a friend. Know that you are doing everything you can with what you have with the time you have. Then look forward to tomorrow.
Here is the most rewarding thing you can ever do for you and your family: Plan a date night with your husband. No expectations - just plan it. Arby's will be just fine but plan to be alone. Try your very best to not allow the trappings of life wedge you and your hubby further and further. Don't change him. change you.
Good luck and let me know how it goes.

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N.L.

answers from Dallas on

Hi T.,

I can definitely relate! I am a mom with a 17 year old step-daughter, and two boys ages 5 and 3. I was working in a very high-stress career and last month I finally quit my corporate job to stay home. I found an awesome company that allows me to work part time from home so I can be a mom and not have to go to a full-time job anymore! I've got a website you can check out if you're interested in learning about what I do. http://www.happymomnancy.com.

I also try hard not to worry about the little things. Your daughter will remember the happy simple times she shared with you, not whether the house is spotless. Here's a quote that I keep on my fridge to help me not sweat the small stuff.
"Sometimes we take for granted all those things that seem so small. Like one of God's great treasures......a small handprint on the wall."

Hang in there!
Call me anytime if you want to chat! ###-###-####
N.

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L.R.

answers from Dallas on

I could not resist sharing with you the opportunity that awaits women who want to do just what you have described...be a stay at home mom, work when they want (or need to)and set their own earning potential. If no one has talked to you about the Mary Kay Business Opportunity you just need to take a look. I am a 59 year old who started in Mary Kay about a year and half ago to be able to retire from my current job and still have income. I never thought I would be doing something like this but it is fun, you are always around very positive people and it is a joy to help other women look better and feel better about themselves. It is the perfect job for a Mother who wants to keep God first, family second and career third. You can find out more by going to my personal web site at www.marykay.com/lindarapson. If you decide to stay with your current job my other suggestion is to set your goals for a clean house a little lower in order to provide more time for your daughter and husband...or make room in the budget for someone to clean your home to leave you some time for things you want to do. And, make sure your husband takes some of the responsibility of keeping up with the home and all the things that need to get done! Have a GREAT day! :) L. R

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D.M.

answers from Dallas on

you need to sit down and have a heart to heart talk with the hubby-he needs to help at home if you are working-you can not do it all-teach him-justdo what he does-he sits on the couch-you ist on the couch-he says where dinnner-just act like he does-ask him the same wuestion-might be rough a couple of weeks-men are slow-he'll eventualy catch on-do this-or you'll resent him and divorce him 3-4 yrs from now--

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B.M.

answers from Dallas on

I know how you feel. Wait until you have the second one. I teach school and raise a 3 year old and a 6 month old. My husband is great a does anything I ask but that is the thing, I have to ask. But you have to pick and choose your battles. He knows I have a difficult time and am exhausted. Many times I write out what he can do and or ask him if he can do certain things for me before he turns in for the night. Yes, many times he forgets but... he tries.

Dinner- I love to cook and we do not eat out. I also like to cook healthy. Casseroles are great. You can cook one on Monday and then have leftovers Tuesday and then cook something Wednesday and have the smae thing Thursday and so on. Sometimes I change up the sides. I also plan my meals at the beginning of the week so I am not stuck. I subscribe to several mags. for ideas (cooking light and kraft food and family are great!) I also buy veggies frozen in the steamable bags. This is so quick and easy. Stir frying is also a quick and easy dinner. Let me know if you need some other ideas.

Cleaning- I have hired a lady for every other week. She does the deep claeaning and this has thrown a huge weight off my back.

It doesn't seem to get much easier (especially the sleep thing), but I just think about how blessed I am and wouldn't ask it for any other way.

E.C.

answers from Dallas on

T.,

Let me start by saying that I have never worked outside of the home after my kids were born.

The activist in me says to tell your husband since he is unwilling to help out around the house - you are hiring a housekeeping service. Not to mention a lot of pre-made meals and salads.

The caring, nuturing side of me says to say that you are not alone. Many women feel this way, and I am sure you can find the support you need right here at Mamasource.

Finally, the freedom side of me (yes, I am a triangle) says to find what you love to do and do it from home. What can you do with flower design from home? What else can you do - that you LOVE to do that you can do from home? It is okay to think outside the box - create whatever you want to! (This, personally, is my favorite choice!)

Don't worry about the money. I know it is hard to believe. We have made it on my husband's income for over 12 years now. And, no, he is not a doctor! He works for Time Warner - so we are not exactly rolling in the dough! I on the other hand, have always been searching for the "great idea" that is going to spurt out of my brain cells at any moment.

There has got to be more to this life than living paycheck to paycheck. Whether it is one or two paychecks. Life should be fun and easy. It is our jobs to figure out how to live that way! :)

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I hope you love it!

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

T.,
The best advice I can give you is to let the little things go. If your laundry isn't done, the floor isn't clean does it really matter that much? I now have a 4yr old and 8 month old and just can't keep up with everything. My husband helps out when he can but for the most part I manage everything. I don't work 5 days a week but it's still alot to manage. I've found that crock pot meals are great. Casseroles are fast and easy too. I know it's expensive but could you afford a housekeeper a few times a month? Good luck to you.

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T.M.

answers from Dallas on

I returned to work after both my children were born so I do have some suggestions. My husband, love him bunches, doesn't help much around the house and he wants it clean. :) So, I have found that if I don't do it in the morning it probably won't happen. I am up about 5:30 to balance the check book, do dishes, and straighten house before getting myself and kiddos ready and out the door. I get home around 6:45-7 and cook dinner. Kids are in bed by 8:30. After that, I sit too tired to do much except maybe some laundry. I have found that planning the meals on Sunday and possibly cooking up a few pounds of ground beef to have them ready to make spaghetti one night and tacos the next is helpful. So is the crockpot. :) One day on the weekend is scrub the house day/grocery day, the other is do nothing but relax and play day. With a little one it's challenging but can be done. You are not alone!

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M.S.

answers from Dallas on

T.,

You've gotten a lot of good advice. I've been a single mom for 12 years, since my kids were 3 and 10 years old, so help was not an option for me. Now my 22 yr old has moved out, but I am also raising my 3 month old gradson (it's a long story). I leave the house at 8:00 am and get home around 6:00.
The most important thing to do is get a routine going. I get up early in the morning and get organized for the day. This is also my time to myself.
The slow cooker is your best friend! Get a big one and cook a double batch so you can freeze a second meal. Bake a couple of chickens on Sunday, and you have a nice Sunday meal and chicken left over for meals all week (enchiladas, soup, chicken salad, barbeque chicken sandwiches, salads, pasta) and the same with a big roast (put bbq sauce on it and it tastes just like bbq brisket). Mac and cheese is quick, and you can always add veggies or hamburger to make it (somewhat)healthier. Find some casseroles your family likes (foodnetwork.com, allrecipes.com, recipezaar.com)and freeze them. Cookies freeze well both before cooking (freeze balls of dough on a cookie sheet and then put in freezer bag) or fully cooked. Cakes and cupcakes freeze well. Put frosting on them after defrosting, not before freezing.
I try to put a load of laundry in the washer after dinner, in the dryer before bed and fold in the morning. We use the same towel a couple of times to cut down on laundry. Try to get just one chore done per night and you'll have more free time on the weekend. I hate a dirty house too, but you can wipe out the sink, sweep and vaccuum in about 10 minutes, and that makes a world of difference. I wish I could afford to pay someone to clean my house or do my lawn like some others have said, but it's just not economically possible for me.

It seems so hard at first, but gets easier. I'm sure you can find some chores your husband wouldn't mind doing. You have a great outlook, you'll do a wonderful job!

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

The first thing that you have to get over, is that you CAN NOT DO IT ALL. If you are working full time, your husband should be doing 50% of the house work and helping with your daughter. The trick is getting him to help out more and realize/appreciate all that you do.

I went on strike. I go on strike when ever I feel like my husband is not helping out enough. It may be hard to let the house get out of hand for a short period, but in the end, it is worth it. Stop doing his laundry, don't pick up after him, pick up after yourself and your daugther, feed yourself and your daughter and don't leave enough leftovers for him. This may seem harsh, but he will never understand all that you do by simply talking to him. Also, it is important for you to leave your daughter home alone with him for an entire weekend, and have a list of errand for him to complete, without you being around for your daughter to run to.
This is hard with your 1st kid, but after you do it enough, not only will your husband learn all that is involved in caring for a child, but he hopefully will also develop a bond with your daughter that he would've not developed otherwise.

My husband is 100% better now then he was a few years ago, although he needs a reminder every now and then.
Good luck
From Full time working mom of 3 girls
C.

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S.C.

answers from Amarillo on

I would like to say that everything gets better with time. This is true with men too! Try to enjoy life as much as you can, and let the little things go. A slow cooker was a great deal of help to me when I was working. Make Thursday nights the night for cleaning and get the whole family in on it. This gives you a chance to get it done with some help, and still be able to do things with the family on the weekend. Good luck!!!

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M.K.

answers from Dallas on

T.
I am the proud mom of 3 kiddos 13,6,3. I have gone through much of the same struggle as you. I have been lucky to be a stay at home mom for the past three years, however I have held at least 1-3 part time jobs at all times. I work at a couple churches doing nursery during Bible Study. I work Sunday evenings at another church in the nursery. I watch a little boy who is on the same preschool schedule as my son. I also watch random children in our community as the word has spread. This time in your life is a big change for you. It can change again. I don't know how much money you need but I make great money and it works with my schedule. I can take my kids to work with me for all my jobs. Nothing is permanent and it is very important you keep your voice. I in the beginning just wanted so badly to please my husband I went along with whatever he said against my better judgment. I later found that in most situations my gut was right and I hadn't listened. We are more in tune with our children and their needs. KEEP YOUR VOICE AND USE IT! Sometimes its important to take a stand.

That said...Welcome to mother hood and the absent father. I have often equated marriage with being single and motherhood as being a single mom. It seems I am finding more and more that husbands for the most part are just hands off. I realized that we create the problem because we have standards and expectations that we don't communicate and that they don't have. We are not the problem, we just create it by getting frustrated with their lack of enthusiasm and end up doing everything ourselves. SOUND FRAMILIAR? Communication is key! That sounds so clich'e but its true.

You need to sit down and figure out in your schedule when and where you start feeling the most overwhelmed. Then make a plan to lessen that stress. Just keep in mind that thought it seems as if this time in your life will never end. This is your first child and it will fly by. In two short years school will be the biggest part of the day.

I have often wondered why are we as moms solely responsible for the children's daily lives? We just take that on and never negotiate with our husbands a clear plan in the childs life for them. When their little we want to do it all and be the perfect mom. Then they begin to be mobile and it gets a little harder. If this goes on for awhile then that's what DAD comes to expect. Its time to Communicate a switch off plan with your husband. Start by simple saying that the schedule has changed with me going to work and we need to reorganize the schedule we have in terms of taking care of our child. Alternate who puts your child to bed, gives a bath, feeds, dresses for bed, reads a book, who gets up on weekends early. Remember...all these things are negotiable. The baby did not come with a birth certificate with only a moms name. I think most of the time Men are just not as comfortable taking care of someone. Its not in their DNA the way it is in ours. You may find that he doesn't show the same patience you have. Make sure you communicate to him clearly any concerns you may have when your discussing the new plan. Don't wait until you are in the room trying to put him down or he's in the bath and you two are in disagreement about something. If it happens at that point its to late and he thinks your being critical and judgmental. I find that we tend to be harshest on those we love most. Its all about our expectations and if we don't communicate them we can't expect our husbands to read our minds.( That goes both ways of course)Don't give in and do it for him. That's what they want. The first night either have him observe you do the ritual or walk through it with him. The more you do the less he will. I know this may sound crazy but they have come accustomed to women taking care of them and doing most things for them. It will not be easy but it will work. It just takes time for them to get used to the idea that you are not going to jump in and take over. Make sure that if he does something you disagree with you tell him later and just thank him at the moment. In the heart of our husbands I believe they just want to please us as well. I think we sometimes get hung up on perfection and the way we want it done and they are fragile to criticism,
they just don't show it or communicate it as we do. If you have a son be sure to raise him independently for his wife and children in the future. Why do we tend to want to do everything for men and boys, because that is in our DNA. If this scenario doesn't apply to your husband... disregard. Some of these things will not apply to your situation, but I am thinking most will. I hope some of it helps.

Secondly, make a meal plan for the week and prepare as much food ahead of time as you can on Sunday. I like to precook all my frozen veggies in a steamer and then freeze them. I can set them out in the morning and when I get home they just require simple heating. You could prepare and freeze casseroles, pastas, and lots of things. Search on line for good recipes you can cook and freeze. It will take a little work, but will be well worth it. I love pampered chef cook books because they have simple ideas that are meals in one. Mostly everything tastes good. I hate buying a cookbook because you don't know how good the recipes really are.

Third,
You need to find a women's group of some kind(other than mama source) where you can interface with other women who have kids and struggles much the same as you. GIRL FRIENDS are so important at this point in our lives. It seems once you have kids your friends without kids disappear. I find the most fellowship at my church and the church's I work for.You will meet more people when your child is in preschool or school.

Fourth,
If you want to be with your child, make money and give him/her a good educational start...look into mothers day out programs. Most of them start you out with no experience somewhere around $9-$11 an hour. You usually get a discount for your child or they go there for free. You get to make good friends, get your spirit fed, meet great parents and people in your community. I did this for 5 years and it opened up so many relationships with people for me in my community and in MCKNY where I also worked. I was blessed to work for a director who really cared about us and all the other women were so supportive and loving. I don't know if you are in a church or if you can do this but if you can I assure you everything about it is wonderful. I also learned so much about ECE(early childhood education)that I was able to help my last two children begin reading before they were three. I gained so
much from that experience. Pray about it and place it in GODS hands for we can do nothing without him. Sorry this was so long.

Feel free to email me.

Good luck and God bless your family

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M.A.

answers from Dallas on

Honestly, there is no magic solution, I will tell you that you have to find a give/take attitude, meaning that you give only as much as you can, which sometimes never feels like enough but I have learned with being a mother of 4 that I have to say no sometimes, it is okay to not go to that B-day party on Sat that will take most of you day, instead you do some laundry and watch a movie with your sweet daughter. I never feel like everything gets done, but I tell my husband all the time the things I feel like he can help me with. I teach dance ( just a couple classes a week) but it gives me some time with our oldest, and some time for him to be full-time daddy, So I guess what I feel like is just take life day for day and communicate with both your child and hubby, stay postive and really my motto in life is what you make it and as long as my kids and hubby of course:) are happy and heathly everything else will happen in time. Stay with that postive attitude, that will carry on to your child and you will have it made.
stay blessed
M. A
M. A

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P.H.

answers from Dallas on

T.,
I am 31 and a mother of 2 sons, 7 & 4 and have been married for 10 years. I will tell you that I have not had the privelage of staying at home with either of my children and have worked full time since I was in high school. I will be honest and say it's not an easy task and as they get older and get more involved in school, sports and extra curricular activities it is harder. My biggest help is my husband, he used to not help as much but after long talks, and exhausting nights he changed. With that said it still does not help being tired all the time or running here and there. That part will not change and I know you don't want to hear that. I honestly believe that is part of being a parent. Both my sons have been active in football, baseball, soccer and basketball. They both are in baseball now and we run from work to the fields atleast 5 out of 7 days of the week. We are always changing in our vehicle into uniforms, etc. On top of my husband coach's both teams and I am the team mom for both teams which makes things a little harder. With that said even though we stay tired and are always lacking sleep to make sure our kids get plenty of rest we would not change it for the world. We see the smile on our boys face and how happy they are with their friends, activities and school that it makes it all worthwhile at the end of the day.

I will suggest some "me" time at some point and date night for you and your husband. My husband and I always make sure once or twice a month we have a date night and I always make sure that I can get in some me time atleast once or twice a month which my husband is great at helping me achieve this. I think because he doesn't want a crazy wife running around :). ha ha Even if it is just yall hanging at home to get rest cause we've done that plenty of times! As far as dinner/meals we have learned with on the go all the time that slow cooker receipes come in handy. That way when you get home dinner is pretty much already done. On our nights when we get to go home and not go anywhere we will cook bigger nicer meals. We also encourage snack bags of fruit that the kids can grab on the go to snack on until you can sit and feed them.

The most important thing is to pray at any giving moment through out the day and this helps as well. The lord will not give you more than you can handle but us moms can always handle more than the dads/husbands. I hope this helps you in some way or another.I know some parents handle things differently and some can handle more than others so I hope you and your family find your "groove and routine" and it goes with the flow.

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D.C.

answers from Dallas on

T.
I am sorry to tell you......
You cannot do it all. Your home will not always be decently clean. You will have to buy fast food more often than you wish, there will always be guilt that you did not spend enough time with your child and your husband will just have to get over it and probably never appreciate you as much as he should.

Having said that, that's not all bad. Everyone has their own "groove". I am a stay at home mom (for the most part) and guess what? My home is not always decently clean etc etc etc.
Something always has to give and that's okay. One ball is always about to fly out of the air and on to the ground as I am juggling. Give yourself a break.

You are young and your daughter is very young and your marriage is pretty new as well. It takes a lifetime to figure all of this out and everyday is a new day. I always say that if you are putting any thought into it at all, you are doing a much better job than most women I know.

My driving force and barometer, and piece of advice I can give you, is to be CLEAR on your priorities. Mine are God, Family and a joyful work. IN THAT ORDER. That means that if I am in a situation where I feel pressured or uncomfortable, I check my priorities and NEVER
compromise them no matter what. Has it cost me a job or two, yes, have my husband had one too many arguments about money and what I "should" be doing, yes. It has not been easy. But keeping my priorities clear means that I know I have done my best in every way and that I have NOTHING to feel guilty about.

Combining that with a strong Faith that God will honor my decisions even if the world (including my husband) treats me as if they are wrong, AND a few good friends that will listen when I need to escape, vent and relate, and I have done well.

I have been married for 15 years, have two teenagers and now I am going to the gym, school part time and working part time here and there. I am there for my children and my husband and MYSELF now and feel like I may be finally achieving balance.

And even though my priorities are still very clear, my house isnt always clean, I have found healthier foods to serve when I choose to eat out but I dont stress if its pizza, my husband knows I'll make it up to him in a big way if his timing isnt the same as mine, and I still feel guilty if I cant go to every activity my children have.

Relax, you are doing a great job.

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C.G.

answers from Jacksonville on

Clear the clutter. If you have less furniture to clean the more time you have. Of course multi task, as soon as you come home put a load in the clothes and dish washers. Since you have a daughter and doing chores are a way girls bond (wink wink) get her involved (mostly for her fun not child labor). As for the hubby. He might never help you. He might feel that it's beneath him, as mine did. Yes, did. I found that little things I did and showing him that if he helps me I'm less tired at night, if you get my drift. I also put his things up in different places and forget about them, just to keep them out of my way. When he gets upset because he found them or can't find them I act like I have no idea where they are and if he would have put them up where they should be he would be able to find them. I have a little mean streak so I'll understand if you decide not to take my advice. But maybe it made you laugh.

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J.A.

answers from Dallas on

First things first, STOP beating yourself. If you have just gone back to work than you're probably not on a schedule yet. Try to put something in writing that says here's what I MUST do and here's what I hope to fit it. Must Do - give my special 3 year old all the time she needs. The house will still stand if it's not perfectly clean. Maybe look into a maid for once a month (ask friends if they know of someone - maid service companies are expensive). Try to organize a cook day every other week for items that can be frozen, thawed and cooked. I would watch the statement that said "I feel important again". It gives the impression that being a Mom didn't fill your important shoes and sounds offensive.
j

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A.H.

answers from Abilene on

not to man-bash but how typical!
that is the modern woman's dilemma. unfortunately there is no simple answer..i struggle with this one daily and i kicked husband out almost 2 years ago. now doing it with a nanny..it's time management..don't beat yourself up that is the most important advice to take! sounds you are doing it all, stay strong!

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B.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi T., I have found myself in your exact shoes my boys are 12 and 16 and i don't want to miss one single thing. I also worked a full time job and was told when I could go see my sons play ball and if I was going to be on time. They don't tell us that kinda stuff in birthing classes. I found i was battling myself, my family and my job (which i truly enjoyed)until I was introduced to Premier Designs. This is my home based company. I am an Independent Jewelry and teach women how to accessorize their life with the jewelry line I have. It was very affordable to get into and the profits have doubled my 40 hour per week job. I work 2 -3 nights per week on the days I choose and am only gone about 3 hours and make twice the money of my full time job, which I quit 6 weeks ago. I now am involved in everything the boys do and at 16 they need that. I would love to show you the business plan I have if you are interested. Balance in our lives is the most stressful thing to achieve but when you do it makes life so much more intriguing.

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L.F.

answers from Dallas on

Wow! I could have written this with a couple of exceptions. I am the mother of two boys ages 20 and 17. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom, however when my youngest was 2 1/2 I had to go back to work. It is hard to juggle both a career and family life. I think you will have to give up some of your expectations and realize that it is ok to be less than perfect. Your priorities as far as the perfect house and all home cooked meals are probably not realistic especially with a husband who doesn't help much. If those things are as important to your husband as they are to you that may give you some leverage to get him to help more. I am also a perfectionist but have had to let go a little and tell myself it's ok. Contrary to popular belief we are not Superwomen only human. Your family is what is important and the time you spend with them. If that means letting the dusting go till the weekend or buying a roasted chicken from walmart for dinner then so be it. Most importantly don't be so hard on yourself.

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

The trick is to learn to let go. I am a full-time working mother of three beautiful, and active, daughters. From the moment my now 13 year old was born, I have struggled with the work/family balance. About 4 years ago (we had two children at the time), I had a meltdown because it was sooooo important to me to be the best I could be at home and at work, but in the end I was being too hard, and expecting too much, of myself. We made a major life change by moving here to Texas (we're native New Jerseyans) just because the cost of living was better, and I was able to retain my job but work remotely from my home. So I was able to capture back some family time which was previously spent on commuting, and have also made it a point of sitting down to family dinners at least 5 times a week (which rarely happened in our prior life). And we decided to bring daughter #3 (almost 15 months old now) into the world (because we didn't have enough to do already . . . ha! ha!). My older children are active in extracurricular activities, so we're always on the run.

Having spousal support is very important because you are not superhuman! Keep having those conversations with your husband. My husband and I "work in shifts" because his work day starts/stops earlier than mine. I have morning duty (getting the kids up and ready for school, wakeup routine w/baby) and my husband has afternoon duty which includes making dinner. He also prepares their school lunches. I still have the bulk of the family duties (laundry, cleaning, keeping the kids healthy, taking care of them when they are sick, making sure they have clothes on their backs) but it would be a lot worse if he didn't pitch in. And prepare your meals in advance . . . make and freeze casseroles on the weekends which can be quickly reheated for dinners, and use a crockpot as well. And as for the cleaning . . . well, my home isn't horrible but it isn't what it used to be either. You have to learn to let go a little . . . although my husband and I joke that my stress level increases in direct proportion to how messy the house is getting!

There is no easy solution, and I probably haven't been much help. For me, it was making some lifestyle changes that did the trick. I still struggle, and at times feel overwhelmed, but overall the changes we made in our lives have been beneficial to maintaining a good work/life balance. Good luck!

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

The best things have been said and they go for working and non workin moms -- time management, preparing meals in bulk and splitting them before freezing and daily routines. My son went to nursery and after 4:30pm all the toys were always put up and I asked what happened and they said that if a kid played with toys after they were picked up it was the child's responsibilty to put them away before leaving. I carried over to our house and all the toys had to be put up before going to bed which kept his room cleaned. Just get into the habit of doing things that way and let some of the small stuff go. Do your laundry on a schedule so that you are not tied down to Saturday and no fun. Lightly go over surfaces with a dust cloth at night when you see it do it and it will be done. Also DO block time for yourself to take a quiet bath or got to a movie or just a walk without anyone in tow. Like one person said your will be fried and the rest of the world WILL go on without you and you will be forgotten. Good luck to you.

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi T.,
I completely understand your situation I am a 31 year old mother of two girls and business owner doing my best to keep from having to go back to a full-time position. It's definitely not easy balancing home life and catering to everyones needs not to mention your own. Only thing I can say is keep pushing forward and know what is meant to come your way will but not without pessimistic obstacles that will test your strength.

Wishing you the best!

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R.Y.

answers from Dallas on

1. You need to sit down and make a list of what your most important priorities are. For instance, if you have to choose between a spotless house and making dinner, which would be more important. You need this level of granularity so that you can cut yourself some slake. No one is a do-it-all mom unless they have a lot of help.
2. If you can work it into your budget, you might look into having someone do a deep clean of your house once a month. That relieves some of your pressure and keeps the house from getting totally out-of-control.
3. You can do a lot of cook-ahead meals, both crockpot type and also preparing meals on the weekend (without cooking them all the way) that you can just stick in the oven when you get home.
4. If you want more help from your husband, negotiate with him and write up a contract. That way everything is spelled out ahead of time. It keeps conflict to a minimum because everyone was involved in the decision process and everyone knows what is expected of them.
It is tough being a mom who works outside of the home, especially when there are financial struggles on top of that. Good luck to you.

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

T. I don't think there is any exact science to the situation of raising a family and working. All I can offer you is my experience. I am a mother of two and a grandmother of 4 and it's amazing when I think back to the days when I felt exactly like you. I was a single mom of two for awhile working full time AND an additional part time job. There definitely were times when the house may not have been the cleanest or the food on the table the most nourishing but trust me, kids are so flexible. I remember the time period when we had macaroni and cheese (5 for 1.00) almost every meal and even had the 'gourmet' night when I added cooked weiners to it. I've often asked my children through the years if they remember the Mac & cheese days and they don't. They had no idea we were poor and I was overworked and lived from paycheck to paycheck. I do know however that prioritizing time is essential to making it all come together. If you only have an hour to spare at night after dinner, dishes, baths etc., use at least half of that hour to hug and play with your daughter. Don't worry so much about making a living that you forget to make a life. Since you say you are a positive thinker then use that asset every waking minute to assure yourself that you can make it with one hour less sleep, leave a few dishes in the sink until later, and commend yourself for what you DO get accomplished instead of what you DO NOT ! Take lots of vitamins and keep on trudging. You've only just started the race but believe me, if you continue to pour out the love to your daughter and your husband AND do a lot of praying, (ha) you'll make it through all this and the rewards at the finish line are so spectacular........well.....I'll let you enjoy those on your own.

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B.M.

answers from Dallas on

Find your priorities. Playing with your daughter and date your husband. Ask your husband to help with specific things. If he doesn't know what you need help with, it just won't happen. Do something around the house every night so it doesn't pile up and take your weekend. Take vitamins, eat heathy and rest when you can. You can do this.

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F.H.

answers from Dallas on

Unless you're super organized, have a perfect hubby who picks up his share of the slack and a perfect kid who requires very little, you can't do it all. Do what's most important to you first, the rest you'll get to as you can. Sometimes you may have to miss things your child does. You hubby may have to learn to cook for himself, and actually help at home and with the kid. If some things don't get done, they weren't meant to be done by you. Or you can elect to eat out a few times, and opt for places that have more healthy menus. Things that offer fruit or salads instead of fries, milk or juice in place of soft drink etc.... Regardless, as a working mom, don't expect a lot of sleep, accept that you can't do it all, and enjoy the time you do get to spend with your family

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M.V.

answers from Wichita Falls on

T., I went back to work full time when my son was only 4 weeks old after being on bed rest much of the pregnancy. It was so hard and I have worked full time every since. Like you, we only have the one son (now 12 years old!) but it is still a big job with a husband and a home etc. I am also like you in that I want to be a FULL time wife and mom while I work full time, AND keep a clean house etc. You WILL make it work if that is what you need to do. I work 40 hours, pay all the bills, keep the yard, the pool and the house. (and NO, I have never done drugs ha :o) I think it is in our nature as women to adjust to what we have to do or want to do. You will do great. Up until recently my husband worked two jobs so he was no help for me really either. Though I know you can do it on your own you should not have to. Your husband needs to understand your position but of everything you have to do that might be the hardest. :o) We as mothers are the strongest creatures on Earth and you are a wonderful mother and will do wonderful!

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E.T.

answers from Dallas on

the last sentence of your question explains your problem... I have a 3 year old, a husband, a FT job and I play sports 3 times a week and my husband plays twice a week and we have a pretty balanced life. The only reason this works is because my husband and I believe in "divide and conquer."

Evenings are always the most hectic since you've just worked 8ish hours and now you have to come home and be mom/wife. Here's how my evening breaks down.

pick up son at preschool at 5:30pm.
get home around 5:45pm.
hubby gets home around the same time.
hubby and son gets mail, I change clothes and relax for a few minutes.
hubby sits down and relaxes for a few minutes, son and I play (hopefully outside)
hubby makes dinner while I entertain son
eat dinner
hubby bathes son while I do the dishes and clean the kitchen
after son is clean, he watches TV while I watch son play in the tub. I also get PJs out and straighten up his room while he plays (bathroom is 5 feet from his room)
get son out of the bathtub and into PJs.
son sits with hubby for a few quiet moments.
kisses and hugs for daddy, upstairs for music, books, and night night.
Son is normally in bed by 8:15pm.
Rest of the time is for hubby or our sports.

As you can see, we are both doing something at the same time and that's how you survive in a 2 home working environment. You can't have 1 person on the couch the whole evening and the other doing 100% of the work and not expect some resentment to creep in.

In addition to the schedule above, we try to give each other 1-2 nights a week for themselves. I spend mine playing soccer or having dinner with friends. It's great for having that alone time AND giving our son 1-on-1 time with each parent.

We're not perfect, but we seem to have a pretty good balance of parent time, alone time, and husband/wife time. The balance can only be accomplished with teamwork.

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

up until 2 years ago I always worked outside the home. I have to agree with the other moms my husband was hands on. We split chores and communicated very well. Schedules are important even my little ones helped out to pitch in we all work together as a team. At three you can make it a game to pick up toys and put them in baskets my son liked to stuff his clothes in the wash,pour in the detergent and turn it on. My husband cleaned up dinner if I cooked and if he cooked I cleaned up dinner. When his favorite shows came on I did bath night and when mine were on he did bath night. If it was a show we both like we dvr it and wait and watch it together. It is all about team work.

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