My dp is home two nights/one day each week. So she is away 5 nights/6 days each week for work. I've only got two kids and we don't do any type of school so that is easier, but still it is hard.
-I sneak chocolate during the day. Perhaps it is the caffeine, the sugar or just that fact that it is forbidden and I have it, but it does make me feel better. I'm pretty fit right now, so I feel no guilt about the extra calories.
-When the kids get busy with something, I will put my walkman on with a book-on-tape and do my thing- dishes, laundry, cleaning, whatever. That is the only way I get to do any 'reading' and I feel like I've escaped for a bit.
-If the kids haven't got busy with something on there own, and I need a break, I'll set them up with books on tape. My 5 year old can listen for hours if I let him. My 3 year old listens for 15 minutes but in the meantime always seems to get busy with some little cars or something that keep her going for another 15+. (Sometimes I debate about getting dvds from the library to set up on the computer, but I haven't gone that far. Yet)
-Give yourself the credit you deserve! Your self talk makes a difference, stress the positive, not the times you blew it! Not "Geez- I really lost it over the jelly on the wall." but "I did pretty well when the 3 oldest were clamoring for xyz." I know I remember the times I lost it forever, but hardly acknowledge the hours and days when I was a pretty darn good mother alone!