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Thread: How to balance

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    253

    Question How to balance

    Hello ladies,

    I will be going back to work on the 24th, full time. Fortunately DH will be home with our son and working from home. How do you balance everything from cleaning, cooking, sleep, and for those who exercise (I would like to cont my exercise), pump, clean bottles, etc.

    I also never appreciated what it takes for a family to have more than one child and balance it. I would love to have 3 but can't imagine having a newborn and watching the other kids too. I commend all the families who do it, and mommys esp.

    Any tips on time management, etc. I want to enjoy life and not be overwhelmed when I go back to work.

    Beth

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,272

    Default Re: How to balance

    Oh boy - for us things like cleaning went way on the bottom of the list of things to do! We joke that it's good to have visitors occasionally because that might be the only time we do serious cleaning. For cooking - my DH and I share cooking responsibilities so whoever has a spare moment does the cooking. We tend to make large dishes that can then become several days of leftovers - lasagne, mac & cheese, casseroles. And now that it's cold I'll make a big pot of chili or soup. I confess we get takeout more than we used to, but sometimes it is the best thing in the world to tell myself it's ok that dinner will be chinese delivery rather than stressing about having to cook.

    I've found it bery helpful to spend a little time in the evening before going to bed getting everything ready for the next day - filling LO's bottles, getting my pump bag ready, packing my lunch, packing my work bag, and even getting clothes out. In the morning that means there is very little left to do and can spend some snuggle time with LO before going to work.

    If you can - it can really help starting back to work either mid-week or working shorter hours as a little bit of transition before jumping in full speed.

    Give yourself some time - it may take a couple of weeks before your family figures out new rotines that work for you.
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    329

    Default Re: How to balance

    Regarding cooking--I choose several meals that only take 20 min max to cook and prepare. I rotate these and serve with a bagged salad as a side. It gets boring but for now it works. I like to cook, so on the weekends when I have time, I bake or do more complicated recipes.

    I'm a big exerciser and it took me nearly 1.5 years to find a schedule that works. In my pre-baby days, I'd work out right after work. This is no longer possible. so now I speed walk at lunchtime 2-2.5 miles and work out 45 minutes at night (3 nights a week) after DD is in bed. I also try to work in another 45 minutes session on Saturday or Sunday. I learned that I needed to keep sessions short. In the early days with a newborn, that meant 15-20 minutes of weights/abs in the early am just after I pumped, just before DD woke up.

    Like the PP, I also did everything i possible could the night before. Lay out my clothes, dd's clothes, set up the coffee, pack dd's milk, have the pump all set-up for my a.m. pump, have my lunch packed, hubby's lunch...well you get the pic

    Regarding sleep, I never co-slept because I feared crushing our little peanut of a DD. So that was tough. The baby who slept through the night at three months was certainly a myth in our house. I just made sure I had a good concealer to use each morning to get rid of those dark circles under my eyes!

    It is tough at first but once you get a schedule down it gets a little more bareable.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: How to balance

    I totally agree with PP, you just learn to prioritize. You also have to give yourself a break when everything isn't perfectly clean. I'll admit, life it crazy, and there's no easy way to do it, but you mangage. I've learned that i have to be very clear with DF about what needs to be done. On the days he has DD all day, He'll sit around in PJ's and just play and nap with her all day. Then that leaves me will ALL the chores on my day off, unless I speak up. Basically, you have to be very organized, like PP said, get everything ready the night before and cook in bulk. Before i went back to work, i kept asking my self "how will i get all this done??" now i see that once it happens, you don't have to to worry about how it gets done, you just do it. Good luck!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,272

    Default Re: How to balance

    Ooooh - another cooking idea ... if people ask if there's anything they can do to help, ask them to fix a meal for your family! At some point I was getting a wee bit stressed trying to juggle everything and my parents were trying to figure out how to help ... so I said send food!
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: How to balance

    The first few weeks back to work, I was miserable with trying to cook, clean bottles, and spend time with my lo. My hubby is SAHD but unfortunately not the most domestic man around. But we are learning. Like the PPs have said, it's about prioritizing. Luckily, my MIL lives nearby and like to cook for us. Sometimes it's pizza for dinner and although it's not ideal, it's more time I can spend with the lo. Eventually you learn to relax and take it day by day. Life goes on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: How to balance

    I am sooo strugling with this right now too. I have to go back to work in a few weeks and leave DS with a daycare. I also have two older children. I don't know how i will even get out of the house in the morning. What has helped me in the past is preparing as much as you can the night before, bottles etc. I excercise during my lunch break, luckily the company gym is right next door. I will also have to squeeze in a pumping during my lunch break so it will have to be a short work out but better than nothing, right? Prepare food on the weekend. DH picks up the older ones and starts homework with them , this is the biggest stressor. cleaning i must get done, otherwise i go crazy. I must have a neat nest. I really need to learn to let go in this area a bit, but it drives my crazy, clutter, dust,etc. I don't really know how this will work out. Best of luck to all of us!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: How to balance

    hahaha hahaha! Balance?! It's more of prioritization! And cleaning the house, laundry, etc. is last on the list. Next to that is fixing dinner for me and my husband. Then exercise. Baby always comes first
    A big thing that's helped us is figuring out quick dinners. I buy those previously cooked GRILLED chicken and steak strips from Tyson or Purdue. (they're in the refridgerated meat section, not the freezer section). Then we make cheese steaks, or chicken tacos, or chicken caesar salads, chicken and pasta-roni pasta, etc. It saves A LOT of time. And it's GRILLED not fried. Not the greatest in the sodium content, but not as bad as soup or something. And still low in fat/cals. Pasta is now my friend.
    I don't get as many long runs in (used to do 8-10 mi at a time some days). But that's life. I do shorter runs until she's old enough to do an hour or so in the jogging stroller. THen the REAL fun will begin! But for now, I enjoy my little girl much more than a long run. It's a small sacrifice to make.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How to balance

    Some mothers have found success by following FlyLady's program www.flylady.net. There's no cost to it, you just do it.

    Plan your meals in advance, so you can purchase items on sale. Learn to use your crockpot - there are tons of recipes online.

    Use a good pump, so pumping takes as little time as possible. Consider investing in extra parts, so you don't have to spend time washing stuff during your work day. You can just put everything in the dishwasher, and run the dishwasher every evening. Bonus to this plan - you always have clean dishes! ;-)

    Spend just 15min cleaning, or decluttering, or cooking. The rest of the evening, play with baby.

    Run a load of laundry every night. Don't wait for it to pile up.

    Just some ideas I've seen here and on other boards, from other mothers.
    Shannon
    LLL Leader

    Protect your privacy online; don't use your full name. Click My Alias at the top left corner.

    I'm horrible at html and encoding links, so I apologize in advance for all the long links!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: How to balance

    My tip to add to the thread: Get your groceries delivered. I just did this. Ordered online, got them delivered the next evening. Only 10 extra dollars, no tipping allowed. This is my new favorite thing.

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