need tips from WOH moms of 3 or more - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 09-14-2008, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I've never worked a 5 day a wk, full-time job. I've only worked the occasional 12 hr shift as a nurse since DS#2 was born. But in order to attempt to save my marriage (looong story), I'm going back to work. I think I'll be accepting a flexible 8-4 type job as a home health nurse. And I'm scared to death! I'm worried that I won't have time to read to my kids, spend time outside with them, cook good meals, and stay caught up with the laundry/housework. How do you do it? Any advice to help me with this transition would be great!
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#2 of 6 Old 09-14-2008, 04:02 PM
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I am a FT working mom of four little ones (6 yrs, 4 yrs, 2 yrs and 1) so I understand. I am out of the house at 7:15 and home at 6:30pm - long long days. My husband works out of town every other week - so solo night-parent a fair bit.

All I can say is it isn't easy.

I have help - a cleaning lady once a week (who cleans, changes beds and does some laundry) and a full time nanny that helps with keeping the kiddos rooms neat & tidy, and a little bit of laundry and will start dinner. So, I have it easier than most.

I did use to have three kiddos in daycare (with only cleaning lady help so I understand). Dinner at night when everyone got home at 6:30 was really really tough.

1) Quality versus quantity - you have to be 100% on when you get home to when they go to bed. Hopefully, you have a bit of a commute home so you can relax a bit 'alone'. I typically read to everyone, even when home alone, in the 2 hours I am home with them. I have quick quick dinners (sometimes prepared, but sometimes from scratch).

2) Meals - in the winter I freeze a fair bit - chicken parmigan (/sp?) in is an awesome frozen meal. We do eat too many nuggets (with fresh veggies on the side) - so not awesome food but still OK. I also do eggs once a week - very quick, but a bit breakfasty.

3)Weekends (days off) - don't overschedule your weekends with activities. I have even given up swim lessons on the weekends - instead I go to public swim with my two older kids (during the little ones nap time). We spend time together having fun.

4) Don't feel guilty - it won't help you at all. I work hard at this every day, especially when my kids run to the nanny when she arrives in the morning. Or when the baby screams when she leaves in the evening. My kiddos are happier and the family unit is 'happier' [money, balance, marriage etc.] because I work.

Sure I have more ... but I try to limit my computing to a minute here or there while everyone is awake!
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#3 of 6 Old 09-16-2008, 12:28 AM
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you got a lot of good advice from the PP ...

I'd add in .. prepare as much as possible the night(s) before .... lay out your clothes for the week, pack your lunch for the week, etc

I'm not the major cook in my house, but I think crock-pot meals/freezer meals are the way to go. There are LOADS of resources online about freezer meals/meal planning

Division of labor, with your husband. I'm a firm believer in no one person can do it all. You have to have help. My DH and I have certain duties in the household ... helps to make things run smoother, and no one feels like they have to take care of everything alone.

Good luck!

Catholic homeschooling mom of 5 - a teenager, a kindergartener, twin boys and a tiny princess. Follow the Adventures! 

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#4 of 6 Old 09-20-2008, 12:42 AM
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One of the things that i have found to help streamline things in the morning is full outfits ready to go. Sunday afternoon/night we pick out 5 outfits, everything from underwear to shoes and have them ready to go monday morning. That way they can choose what they want to wear that particular day and the cool socks that match the shirt are right there, no digging through the infamous sock basket . Have shoes right next to the front door. Have back packs right on top of the shoes.

The more you can prepare ahead of time the easier it is.

Solo Mum to 4 and loving every minute of it!!!!
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#5 of 6 Old 09-20-2008, 12:50 AM
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I'm not a mom, so take this for what it's worht.

My mom was a wohm mom of 3. I just wanted to say that although our house was not perfectly decorated, or spotless, we were very happy, and very very loved. It's totally possible to be a superb mom to 3 while working out of the home. I know! My mom did it!

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#6 of 6 Old 09-20-2008, 12:58 AM
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You've gotten some great advise here!

I only want to add a note about Daycare. I would send everything for the whole week on Monday (enough diapers, changes of clothes, food cubes for baby, formula/breastmilk, special blankie to be used the whole week for naptime, etc). Then on Thursday, I asked the teacher if they are running low on anything (they shouldn't be). On Friday, I would take an "inventory" to know what to send the next Monday. This way, I wasn't having to pack the same stuff everyday.

I also second the idea of making sure DH is doing his fair share of housework. If you are going back to work FT to "save your marriage" he needs to be doing his part to save it as well.

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