structuring my days...
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  1. #1
    Registered User mama2James's Avatar
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    Default structuring my days...

    I need advice from those who have "been there, done that." I'm finding myself struggling with finding a sense of balance and structure in my days home with both of my kiddos. James is almost 4 yrs old and Kate is 3 months. I am home with them two or three days during the work week, I work 12 hrs shifts on the other days.
    On my days at home I find myself wasting most of the morning drinking coffee and going online in between making breakfast, feeding the baby etc. My son ends up watching too much tv and driving me nuts by climbing on me and running around bouncing off the walls. Late in the morning I might run an errand or two, then come home and put James down for a nap and if Kate happens to nap at the same time I take the opportunity to relax and read or watch tv etc, all the while feeling guilty that I should be doing housework. About the time James wakes up, I realize that the clock is ticking away and supper needs to be started, but he's been inside all day and is now begging to go out and play and I feel awful saying no but I have so much to accomplish that I've put off all day. I feel like my kids are getting the short end of the stick because I can't seem to find the balance between getting time to relax on my days off, playing with and nurturing them, and getting the housework and errands done.
    I need your advice!!

  2. #2
    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    I'm sure the others will chime in with tips on how to divvy up the time but you should not feel guilty that you are taking the necessary time for YOU. You're doing it subconsciously probably b/c you need it. As you already know - being mom isn't easy!

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    Can you run your errands on the days you work? that way you don't have to leave the house when you are off of work, don't have to pack the kids up, and have more time at home.

    I hardly do anything but relax when my little one is napping. Sometimes I do, but mostly use that time for me.

    TV time is pretty much here all morning and later either before or after dinner I take my son out, or dh does if he is off early, or even my dd will. And yes I know all about the bouncing off the walls.

    Daily I do some type of cleaning and always pick up so it's never an overwhelming feeling to get the house all clean in one day.

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    Registered User mek42's Avatar
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    I don't qualify on either of the usual two qualification for being called "mother" but have been having time management issues nonetheless. I'm getting close to launching on a crazy radical idea. Using a written budget for my money works really good and helps me find money I didn't know where it had went. Maybe I should make a written time budget also. :gasp: :horror:

  6. #5
    Registered User kittykatstrong's Avatar
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    I strugle with this as well. I work 5 days a week 8-12 hour days. I kept one day a week where we dont go anywhere or do anything.

    I have a laptop and in the morning I will bring it in there and clean the kichen, make breakfast, and get ready for the day.

    Running errands before or after work is a great idea because getting bringing the kids is a pain in neck sometimes.

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    Registered User CampCrazyMom's Avatar
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    It is hard to juggle. Working those hours must be so tiring. Like Palooka said, can you run an errand or 2 on your days that your work so you can get them out of the way? Or when you do run them with the kids schedule a little time at the park afterwards. Bring a picnic lunch with.

    I STILL struggle with limiting my computer time and my girls are 12 & 9. I like to get up before them and have my "me time" online. Then I'm all theirs afterwards.

    Do you have a yard? A little kiddie pool was a sanity saver for us. I could sit in a lawn chair while my girls splashed away. Then when it was nap time - depending on their age - I would either nap (when I had an infant) or clean. Checking online after I completed a task. LIke a reward for myself.

    You could tell your son that "after Arthur is over we're going to play a game." You could either clean like mad for that 30 minutes or go online - stick to it though, kids are smart! Believe me, I've been caught! LOL! Or sit and fold socks while you play a game. Mom's a great multitaskers.

    I'm sure you'll get a lot of great ideas! Hang in there!

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    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~When my kids were a bit younger and more demanding I used a timer. I set it for 15 minutes and played with them. Then the next 15 minutes they needed to entertain themselves or help me do housework. Then another 15 minutes for them and then 15 minutes for me. Once they understood the system, that I was coming back to spend time doing something with them, I was able to increase the time increments and got better participation all around. It didn't always work and we had tons of bad days where the TV was our best friend but the system really taught the kids who was in control, enforced my boundaries rules and increased the kids' independence and creativity.~

  9. #8
    Registered User mama2James's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for all the ideas!! I really cant see myself running errands like grocery shopping on my work days since my hours are so long, I leave the house at 6:15 and get home at about 7:30-7:45. By that time in the evening my husband is hanging on by a thread after juggling both kiddos and dinner for the previous 2 hours. I am going to start jotting down a little to-do list each day, and set some goals for what times to do things. I really do well with the timer concept, so I love that. I just want to feel like I'm giving my family my all!

  10. #9
    Registered User kittykatstrong's Avatar
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    Sometimes I will go grocery shopping after the kids go to bed or before they wake up. I know after working 12 hours the last thing you want to do is go back out but it might be faster without the kids.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kittykatstrong View Post
    Sometimes I will go grocery shopping after the kids go to bed or before they wake up. I know after working 12 hours the last thing you want to do is go back out but it might be faster without the kids.
    Agree, I'm thinking I'm already out and about so stopping by the store would be easier without the kids, even if I'm dead tired.

  12. #11
    Registered User joyofsix's Avatar
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    Someone suggested it already, but I literally had a little schedule. Not that needed to be stuck to like glue but to give me structure at first. That was 18 years ago so it's not written down now, lol, but the little ones and I still have a general flow to the day to keep me moving.

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