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<p>I used to be part of a grad student tribe, but couldn't find it easily.  I need some peers! </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I am a philosophy graduate student who is done with coursework and no longer lives in the same state (or time zone!) as my university.  I have no academic peers (yet) in our new town.  I am studying for my comprehensive exams right now at home and struggling when it comes to BALANCE.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I am a full-time student.</p>
<p>I am a full-time mama. (boys 2 and 4)</p>
<p>I am a full-time housewife.  (husband's job supports us, etc.)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>So- the key is to find corners to cut in both worlds, or not to sleep.  Ever.  :)  I'm another run-of-the-mill perfectionist, though, and cannot cut corners without knowing that other people are doing it too.  So... what corners do you cut?  How do you make the decision to settle for "good enough for you" versus "the ideal objective" in either area?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Being a full-time student to me means....</p>
<ul><li>reading every text thoroughly and taking copious notes, later retyping those notes into zotero.</li>
<li>going out of my way to indicate to my committee that I am intelligent, in spite of being a mother (this is a big part of my pressure-- I haven't gotten a lot of indication from my committee that they think having a uterus is akin to having a smaller brain, but I still feel this burden of proof on my shoulders.)</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p>And being a full-time mama to me means...</p>
<ul><li>playing intensively with my kids when they are here (they are in Montessori preschool 3 mornings a week)</li>
<li>cooking whole foods</li>
<li>demonstrating environmental ideals, like not buying things prepackaged. I do a lot of cooking from scratch.</li>
<li>planning interesting activities (I get Mailbox magazine and spend a fair amount of time looking through my other books of activities to find things for us to do.)</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p>Being a full-time housewife to me means...</p>
<ul><li>keeping up with the laundry (I wash and fold one load every day)</li>
<li>keeping up with the dishes (I try not to let dishes sit in the sink overnight)</li>
<li>keeping the house clean of clutter with daily clean up</li>
<li>keeping the house relatively clean of dust and germs with a weekly clean up</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p>But that's not the kind of list I want to make right now.  I want to make a list of things I am going to give myself permission NOT to do in each of these areas.  Can you get me started?</p>
 

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<p>I am long out of school now, but when I was raising DD1 (who is now grown up), I was single mom. I got my undergrad & graduate degrees during that time. My undergrad was a bit easier, as she was daycare age. She went to daycare 5 days a week, full time. 8 - 4, I think it was. That gave me a pretty good chunk of time each day to focus on school and shop and cook, etc. We ate "from scratch," as per society's definition of that term anyway. I'm far more orthodox now. Then I would have used canned tomato sauce to make spaghetti sauce, bought store bread, that kind of thing. Daycare time was my time, once I picked her up it was her time, as much as possible. After bed, my time again.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Grad school was harder. She was in elementary school during those years, so pick up was at 8:30 to 2:30 was my window of time. I also had longer travel times between her school and mine during those years. I also volunteered at her school in the morning. I was *extremely* regimented with my time, and spent many long nights writing my thesis. I did not drink with the other students/faculty. This was an important part of the academic community, and I feel I lost opportunities by not being able to hang out in the grad lounge like the other students without kids. We spent a fair bit of time at McDonalds. She had a happy meal (I know, bad) & I had a coffee. She went and played in the play area for a few hours and I worked on school stuff. We ate a lot of convenience foods. Chicken fingers, frozen fries, grilled cheese sandwiches and canned soup, etc. The house was cluttery, but not *dirty*, you know? I did the basics to keep everyone safe and healthy. Cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen, vaccuumed, swept the floors. Moved piles of papers, books and toys around, rather than finding a home for the. Dishes might have piled up two days before I washed them. The fact of the matter was I didn't sleep much during those years. I got through it by doing some serious prioritization and as I said before, I was very very disciplined in my schedule. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Hope that makes you feel better. It's not the rest of your life. It's temporary. Buy a loaf of bread and a can of beans. It's OK :)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>ETA: Forgot to add that during those years I didn't have a washer/ dryer, which sounds awful, right? But actually, it simplified things. Laundry day was once a week, when I trundled it all down to the laundromat. Took a couple of hours, and ALL the clothes were done for the week.</p>
 

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<p>"I cut so many corners that all I'm left with is a circle" - guy at my work.  Still makes me laugh.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Work</p>
<p>- Job instead of career</p>
<p>- Prioritize best schedule instead of best projects...see previous.</p>
<p>- Sneak in personal tasks, especially phone/online tasks, during my workday.  Meet deadlines by putting less thought into work.</p>
<p>- Do not keep up with trends in my field.  This is slightly laughable because I am a television editor and I don't have cable so I can't even watch shows that I made, much less what everyone else is watching.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Home</p>
<p>- floor does not get mopped/vacuumed as often as I would like.  Sometimes less than once a week.  Ideal for me would be every 2-3 days (ambitious, yes, but I have a very small apartment and a very messy crawling baby.)</p>
<p>- Bathroom does not get cleaned every week</p>
<p>- Sheets do not get changed every week</p>
<p>- Tea towels and cleaning cloths often get thrown in with regular laundry instead of hot washed.</p>
<p>- I don't cook from scratch every day.  There are a few prepared sauces, boxed soups, breakfast cereals, and a brand of frozen pizza that I've decided I can live with.</p>
<p>- Sometimes when I do cook from scratch, I make dinners like boiled eggs and edamame. </p>
<p>- I feed the kids takeout lunch a couple times a month and we eat dinner out as a family once a month.</p>
<p>- I allow myself $200 or so extra on the household budget so I don't have to clip coupons, survey flyers, or make multiple stops unless it's going to save a lot.  I also buy more stuff new instead of spending the time to look for secondhand.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Parenting</p>
<p>- I have decided that my parenting philosophy is that children need to learn to entertain themselves and that unstructured play is good for them.  You can find supporting information for this but mostly I have to say it's great justification for slacking.  They're allowed 1/2 hour of screen time a day but otherwise they're forced to be creative.  I do take them out and I read to them and I will do stuff like bake cookies and play cards with DD, but I don't go out of my way to play or plan activities at home.  I have loads of craft stuff for DD and she's been taught to keep it at the table and clean it up afterwards so it's a minimal hassle.</p>
<p>- I don't model living according to my ideals of pursuing dreams or being a regular community volunteer.</p>
<p>- I don't volunteer in DD's school.</p>
<p>- I don't overdo holidays and special occasions.  These things are a lot of work.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>There are some corners I will never, ever cut.  Whoever is home eats together as a family.  Dinner is on time every night.  I leave a clean kitchen with no dishes every night.  There is no clutter.  Everything has a place, and if it belongs to the kids it can be cleaned up by a four year old.  Laundry is always caught up, folded and put away.  Sometimes cutting corners is twice as much work as just keeping it up.</p>
 

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<p>I've started taking at least half our laundry weekly to a wash-and-fold place down the street. I'm not a great housekeeper. I enjoy cooking and home-cook from scratch a whole foods diet for the who family the vast majority of the time but its pretty simple stuff. eggs and fruit, oatmeal for the kids cooked a week batch at a time. Dinner is usually soup or some kind of stir fry. I am trying out a weekly produce delivery and may do a weekly raw milk delivery. They seem to me to be about same price as grocery store and saves me having to lug them home on foot (we live in NYC so no car).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I also do not sign up to do more than minimal volunteering at DS's school. Don't do mommy-and-me stuff with DD (thats a BIG THING here but I just don't bother).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I am also an ABD grad student mama to two kids and housewife. And we're low income- DH doesn't make enough (or work consistently enough) right now for me to even hire help. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>DS is in kindy, full scholarship to private school so he's busy 8:30-3. I walk him to and from school (total of 4 miles a day of walking for me) which is my only structured physical exercise. DD (20m) is home full-time with me and I haven't even applied to school for next year for her. Nursery school in NYC is an insane rat-race and crazy expensive. I think I am going to have to find some other moms and just nanny-share or form a playgroup where we pay a teacher b/c I can't do it all. Finally she has started a consisted midday nap so maybe we can get into a work groove where I get morning care a few days a week and then work during naptime.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>And I agree with nina_yyc, kids spend a lot of time entertaining themselves.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>And, sadly, the biggest corners that get cut are</p>
<p>1) my personal life (that is, I have none. no friends, no activities of my own)</p>
<p>2) my writing and research. which is what I'm supposed to be doing.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I need to find a way to rebalance and I just am not sure how. But I am trying to keep plugging away and make some small steps to make life easier.</p>
 

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<p><span style="font-size:12px;"> </span></p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:consolas;">Interesting thread - thanks for starting it.  My grandmother once told me she wished she had spent a lot less time staying awake after she put her children to bed make sure the house was clean and organized every single night.  She said she wished she had spent that time with her now-deceased husband or making friends or resenting her children for taking so long to go to sleep because she had so much to do or just simply enjoying herself for an hour or so a day.</span></span></p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"> </span></p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:consolas;">I most definitely cut corners from what I think would be ideal.  Of course ideally, my house would be totally clean and organized, I would have a great social life, my kids would have enriching fun activities planned at all times, I would get to work on time and be totally productive all day, I would do lots of volunteering, all my food would be fresh and local and I would generate zero trash or waste.  Yay!</span></span></p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"> </span></p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:consolas;">It has taken me years to realize this is not going to happen and to start to let the guilt go.  And I used to be a really neat, organized person who actually enjoyed cleaning (I still am this person, I've just had to relinquish this aspect of myself for a while).  I have a little mental list of "things that really aren't that important" including folded, put away laundry (who says you can't just pull something out of a clean pile of laundry rather than out of a drawer?), thoroughly cleaning the bathroom and changing sheets at least once a week (do a quick wipe-down of the sink or toilet while you're in there every once in a while), having dinner parties (always end up being more trouble than they're worth), even cutting back on needing to be an outstanding employee (I have years in my career to re-prove myself - for now I am a fully successful employee, but not an outstanding one), etc.</span></span></p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"> </span></p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:consolas;">If I find myself doing something like obsessing that there are crumbs on the floor, I think to myself "do I really NEED to be sweeping the floor right now?"  If the answer is "yes, you could feed an army with the crumbs on the floor," then I do it.  If it's just a few crumbs, then heck, we'll be eating again in a few hours and I'll just wait until then.  With every action I have to ask myself if this is the best use of my time.</span></span></p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"> </span></p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:consolas;">Things that save me lots of time - having an iPhone so I can check email in the snippets of time I find throughout the day; ordering things online - we get milk and veggies delivered and I do all my shopping online (which saves money too because I don't buy random stuff I don't need); saying yes when people ask if they can help - anyone can bring you dinner or take the kids for an hour; letting my husband do more - don't expect him to notice what needs to be done, just task him and check it off your own list; cut down on the "stuff" that enters your home - fewer toys means fewer toys to pick up, fewer knick-knacks means less to dust.</span></span></p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"> </span></p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:consolas;">Things that I would do in a second if I had the money - have a housekeeper come once a week to do a major clean; have a weekly babysitter just for a few hours so I could get stuff done and/or have a date night; employ a laundry service.</span></span></p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"> </span></p>
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:consolas;">YOU CAN NOT DO EVERYTHING.  Lower expectations for yourself and prioritize.  And let the things that fall to the bottom of your priorities list go. </span></span></p>
 

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<p><span id="user_internal-source-marker_0.2142210212856035" style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(0,0,0);background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;vertical-align:baseline;">Former grad student here. (I finished last year.) Since you are looking for what to cut, here are my thoughts on what I would cut in your situation. My thoughts may or may not work for you. Your call.</span><br><br><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(0,0,0);background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;vertical-align:baseline;">Under student, do you really need to have your notes in Zotero? If yes (and I absolutely see the benefits for writing, so I imagine this is a yes), I would figure out a way to do your reading in Zotero as well, and take notes as you read. That cuts out an entire step of your process. As for your second point, that's your own personal call as to whether or not you want to tackle that issue for yourself. However, just an observation: I am in the sciences, and I know that it is different in the humanities -- i.e., from what I have seen, it (oddly) seems to have much more entrenched sexism -- but I didn't see any shift in my committee's attitude to me pre- and post-baby. This may be something about which you need to just be strict with yourself and stop letting yourself worry about it. Anxiety does not make you a better scholar, it just makes you a more stressed out person.</span><br><br><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(0,0,0);background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;vertical-align:baseline;">Under mama, I would drop the, "playing intensively," at least some of the time. Especially given that you have two kids, there is actually quite a lot of benefit to having them learn to play together and on their own. Search on 'benign neglect.' I would also significantly drop the planning of activities. Going through magazines and books to plan activities for a 2 and 4 year old. Really? That seems way over the top to me, and, quite frankly, not just unnecessary, but potentially counterproductive to what I am assuming are your goals. (I.e., children who are curious and engaged.) Go to the park and library if you can. Have some basic, open-ended toys and supplies, and let them explore. Cancel the magazine subscription, too.</span><br><br><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(0,0,0);background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;vertical-align:baseline;">Under housewife, I would think hard about the different roles in your marriage. What do you intend to do once you are done grad school? If you plan to use your degree professionally, do you really want to have to do a complete 180 on expectations when you go back to work, or would you rather just have a gentle shift of the balance? You already have two full jobs (student and mama), so you might want to rethink whether or not you want to have a more equitable marriage. At the very least, consider implementing some sort of, 'I cook, you clean,' or, 'I wash and dry, you fold,' kind of system.</span><br>
 </p>
<p><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(0,0,0);background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;vertical-align:baseline;">As for what corners I cut myself, I have a very different life set-up at this point, but when I was in grad school, here is what I did: I had daycare during most weekdays. At other times, we would frequently have DS nearby, playing with blocks, Duplo, etc. while we did whatever we had to do. If it was a real deadline crunch for me, DS watched Finding Nemo four million times in a row, or, a couple of times, DH and DS went away for a weekend, which killed me emotionally, but man, did I get a ton of work done. In addition, DH and I</span> <span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(0,0,0);background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;vertical-align:baseline;">shared all house chores and parenting tasks except breastfeeding (if anything, aside from breastfeeding, DH did more than I did.) Our house frequently had messy parts, if not the whole house (still the case, in fact), and we ate a lot of quick and easy meals. Grilled cheese and cut up vegetables, pasta and broccoli tossed with pesto, big batches of soup that we would freeze and defrost later, soba noodles and tofu. You get the picture. You can do homemade and from scratch and not have it consume your life. Make bigger batches. Repeat menus more.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(0,0,0);background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;vertical-align:baseline;">During grad school I pinned two quotes on my desk:<br></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(0,0,0);background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;vertical-align:baseline;">1. Dissertations are never done; they are only abandoned. (It's so true!)</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(0,0,0);background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;vertical-align:baseline;">2. This is my life. This is not a dress rehearsal. (I still work on this one.)</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(0,0,0);background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;vertical-align:baseline;">:hug It's hard. BTDT. Remember: No one will love you any less if you let some of the perfection go. They might have more fun with you, too.</span></p>
 

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<p>So interesting.  It is all so personal.  If I don't have clean folded laundry, I AM LATE FOR WORK!!  Emergency!  My workplace is very appearance conscious and I try to look put together...something that I am incapable of in a messy closet.  Same with cleaning after the kids are in bed... I don't do it every night, most nights I get done before bath, but I can't deal with a messy house in the morning or when I come home from work.  Morning is when the kids are well behaved, so if I'm home that's coffee break with Google reader, the linchpin of mama sanity.  On the other hand...a sticky floor is why slippers were invented.  Dusting is something you do for company.  Oh, and being the perfect wife who never asks her husband to lift a finger?  Nope!  I have to nag on occasion but I have an equal marriage, and that took a LOT of work.</p>
 

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<p>There is a thread in "mindful  home management" somewhere that asks "How often do you...." change sheets, change towels, mop floors etc. If you want to know what I'm cutting - see that one. The phrase "whenever a kid pees on it" comes up often - LOL. Let's just say there is a LOT of variability to how long someone will sleep in sheets, use towels or re-wear their jeans. And we are no the worse for it, I say!</p>
 

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<p>Wow. That sounds insanely hard. I'm glad that ~pi raised this question, because my first thought was if you are a FT student and FT mama why do you have to do all the housework too? If being a student is literally a full-time job (it certainly was for me, masters program finished in '09) which will eventually lift your earnings power and your hubby has a full-time job, shouldn't you be splitting the child and house stuff? Maybe I'm out of line here! Sorry, that wasn't really what you were asking. But that was my first thought. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>For full disclosure, when I was a FT student I chose to pay for childcare because I absolutely couldn't have handled everything otherwise.  So I haven't carried the entire load like you are but a few thoughts:</p>
<ol><li>On the student front: Can you purge the feeling that you have to prove your intelligence because you're a mom? Maybe someone is actually thinking this ... well, to hell with them! Sheesh. Plenty of evidence that that is a bogus idea. Odds are others are not thinking this. Don't worry about it! I know, easier said than done. But this is your program and your life. You can do whatever you want. You have nothing to prove to anyone! (ok, stepping off the soapbox now ... I went to a masters program composed mostly of male students ...) </li>
<li>On the mama front: Emperically, it has been shown that parenting has minimal impact on kids except when it is extremely bad. Cook whole foods and eschew prepackaged if you love the taste or chopping onions after a long day soothes you (this is me actually) but otherwise, who cares. I looked at that period is pure survival. I have never spent a moment in my life planning an interesting activity for the kids (which is not to say that interesting moments have not occurred) and they seem pretty happy, healthy and bright ... and self-sufficient. And much of my time with the kids as a student I was distracted and barely focused on parenting but they still seem to love me and are totally on track developmentally. I think mom and kids "co-working" in the same room is pretty beneficial enough. </li>
<li>On the housework front: I can't get over the idea that this is your entire job but ... is there really a load a day of laundry? Our family (2 adults, 2 kids) probably creates 3-4 per week. But I prefer to have a solid laundry day when everything gets done at once. Assuming a lot of daily clutter is kid related, can they help clean up? I would have trouble living without the other items you mentioned (clean dishes, clean house weekly) but could your husband do some of it?</li>
</ol><p> </p>
<p>When I was a student and now that we are dual working parents our system has generally been 50/50 childcare split, I do all the cooking/shopping/financial stuff and he does all the cleaning (daily and weekly ... although we just started paying someone to do a little of the latter) plus ad hoc fix it stuff. In the end, I do way more but at least we're trying! I realized in replying that I don't really have a good response because my way to cut corners, because I can't live without yummy home cooked meals and a clean house etc, has been TO GET OTHER PEOPLE TO HELP! :) </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Good luck!</p>
 

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<p>Unless your dh has THREE full time jobs, then the breakdown should be that you are full time student, half time mama, half time housework. I'm making assumptions about how much he might work based on what seems typical, but you can't do all this alone. The time and energy a student spends is just as valuable as that of most jobs. Can't you both share the parenting and housework equally?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>That said, I cut corners too. I work 80% time, DD is in preschool 3 days a week, DH works full-time from home so DD is home with him while I'm at work, and DH and I share most responsibilities equally, so it sounds like I have an easier time than you, and I still have to let a lot of things go. There are about 6 loads of laundry in a heap upstairs waiting to be folded and put away. The living room is a mess. I can't remember the last time I changed my sheets or dusted my bedroom. The dishwasher was filled and is going, but there are some pans that don't go in there that I just didn't get around to washing by hand. I only shower every other day. You don't have to cook perfectly wholesome from-scratch foods every day. There are healthy convenience foods, too!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Whenever I'm taking a class (I am a teacher and take courses sometimes), I'm not nearly as thorough as you. But I've always been like that--I figure out exactly how much work I need to do to earn whatever grade I want and then do just that and no more. (Well, maybe a little more depending on the class, but not usually!) This has actually worked out pretty well for me so far!</p>
 

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<p>OP, are you by chance a perfectionist?  If so, you need to let go of that just a little bit.  Sometimes it is a strength, and other times it is a weakness - right now, it will be your sanity imploding if you try to keep up with all of that!!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You certainly do not need to do one load of laundry a night - you and your DH can trade off, or you can do 3-4loads 1day per week (ok, its just me and ds at home right now, and we can manage with 2loads per week, but I have no idea how much laundry needs to be done in a family any bigger than ours!)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You do not need to read and then go back to type notes.  It's always been enough for me to read, take notes in the book, and then take notes during class. (when I read for class - not often!)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You do not need to play intensively when your kids are at home.  They can learn to occupy themselves while you cook/clean/do laundry.  I have a really hard time studying while ds is awake, so thats why studying isn't on that list, but YMMV.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Dusting can be done twice a month.  Dishes can be done every night (I'm becoming more and more anal about dishes....).  Clutter can wait.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Prepackaged food can be a lifesaver - if you really hate using it do it only on your busiest class days - cooking from scratch those days will be hard b/c you will be exhausted.  Ordering out can also be a lifesaver when I'm too tired to even make pre-packaged foods.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You'll get into a rhythm and figure out what you can do and what you can't.  I also think you should let go of pressuring yourself about being a mom and also being intelligent - if all mom's were stupid our kids wouldn't be very smart either.  Just sayin. </p>
<p> </p>
 

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I'm not a grad student, but I am working FT and do the bulk of the housework. First off, I don't mean to add to your list, but I think these things are very important:<br><br>
1. You time<br>
2. Couple time with your DH<br>
3. Family time (sort of covered under kid/mom time, but I feel it's important to mention separately)<br><br>
You probably already do all of this, but make sure it is on your mental priority list too! I fit in me time at lunch if nowhere else, though I do sometimes squish it with errands and whatnot and couple time with DH I try to fit something in most evenings after our DD is in bed, but sometimes I have to cut it short to catch up on sleep. Family time for us is all three of us doing stuff together.<br><br>
Some things I have let go (I think that sounds nicer than cutting corners):<br>
-I do a lot more carryout/delivery food than I would like ideally, though at least we try to pick healthy choices (it's not as hard as it used to be, though you rarely can find low sodium options). On really bad weeks, we only cook on the weekends. Also, note the "we", your DH can help out here for sure (this will be a running theme) at least on the weekends if it is too long to wait after he gets home from work. DH does most of the cooking right now in our house.<br>
-I do keep up with laundry, but I don't have a set schedule and allow myself to be flexible. I also will wash just about anything together if I need to. I also don't buy many clothes that need extra care. I hate dry-clean-only or hand-wash and never buy that kind of stuff and I never iron anything and buy clothes that are fine with wash and wear, hanging to dry I am fine with and have a good drying rack to make that easier. I also have no problem letting things sit in the dryer for awhile, especially towels or whatever that it doesn't matter if they wrinkle. DH can help here a bunch as laundry is so flexible.<br>
-I sometimes let dishes sit overnight, we have a double basin sink so my "requirement" is one basin has to be clear. DH can help here too if he isn't.<br>
-I do a quick daily clean up at night (talking 15 minutes max) and otherwise I try to clean a little bit as I go. With kids sometimes this feels like a lost cause, but it really is noticeable on the days when I don't keep up with it. Getting your kids to help clean up their toys a bit and getting DH to help with this (at least with his own stuff) is key.<br><br>
-I'm not a student currently, but there is no way I would retype notes. Reading the texts and taking notes, yup, retyping notes, no way!<br>
-I hear you on going out of your way to prove you are intelligent or whatever. I'm an engineer so I definitely get this one as I feel the same pressure to do this too, but I've really tried to let go of this as much as possible. I care what my boss, coworkers and others I work closely with me think, but they really know me, so they know I am smart and capable. If some random person makes an assumption, that's on them. So I guess here I let my work speak for itself and trust it will.<br><br>
-I do feel the pressure to play with my girl, especially during the week where I barely see her before and after daycare, but I also realize that it is good for her to learn to entertain herself too and to learn patience and all that, so I set aside some time on weekdays in the morning and evening to play with her, but then also set aside time to let her do her own thing while I do mine in the same room.<br>
-Planning fun activities is great, but you have to put a reasonable limit on it. Once a week or once every other week maybe? That way you can really plan it to be fun and exciting. Otherwise, maybe start some traditions like card/board game Wednesday or pretend play Thursday, things like that. Maybe a library visit on a set day once a week. Stuff your kids can look forward to and break up the days, but that don't require tons of planning for each thing on your part. For me, once a month for a cool activity would be fine by me if I have some more run-of-the-mill activities liberally sprinkled in.<br>
-Cooking whole foods is great, but again for me, I can't do it every meal and that's ok. My compromise is mostly whole foods when I cook with the occasional side of something quick and easy and when we do carryout we pick healthy stuff and limit the junk to once or twice a week.<br><br><br>
-Finally, I try to use my time efficiently. Standing in the kitchen feeding my DD? Well, I can load a few dishes in the dishwasher, maybe wipe the counters down, etc. Going upstairs to change a diaper? May as well grab the pants and socks my DH left out and put them in the hamper. Little things like that add up to a lot of time saved and to me it's a competition with myself to see how efficient I can be <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"><br>
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
<p>These have been truly great responses, and have given me so many ideas already.  Keep it up!  :)</p>
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<p>My DH does help more than I think I made it sound, and I am getting better at letting him.  :)  Yes, I am a perfectionist, but I am always focusing on making it help me (and on toning it down generally, as DS1 has strong perfectionistic tendencies and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.)</p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nina_yyc</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291066/i-need-to-know-you-are-cutting-corners-too#post_16186900"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Morning is when the kids are well behaved, so if I'm home that's coffee break with Google reader, the linchpin of mama sanity. </p>
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<br><br><p>Google reader is awesome!  I just checked it out.  Thanks for the tip!</p>
 

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<p><span><img alt="lurk.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lurk.gif"></span></p>
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<p><span>Honestly, I wish I was doing half as well as you all seem to be.</span></p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Quinalla</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291066/i-need-to-know-you-are-cutting-corners-too#post_16200712"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
-I'm not a student currently, but there is no way I would retype notes. Reading the texts and taking notes, yup, retyping notes, no way!<br>
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<p>I have seen this suggestion come up. For visual learners, re-typing notes is a way to process the information. I do retype my notes, and it helps my retention considerably. The OP may be able to cut this step out, but it also may be highly beneficial. Also, note that she doesn't have classes, so the reading is in preparation for writing her dissertation. I'd be less inclined to cut corners on school-related things than the others.</p>
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<p>Stop getting Mailbox! Seriously, if you don't get those magazines, you can get out of the habit of looking through them (and feeling guilty). I used to get Family Fun, and I always felt this sense of amazement yet absurdity in the things they suggested (like slicing carrots into fun shapes to get your kids to like them). <br>
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<p>I'm doing my coursework toward my PhD at the moment (primarily online), teaching part-time, running a small business part-time and parenting.  I cut corners <em>all the time</em>.  My son eats school lunch!  I don't play WITH my kids very often....I alternate between feeling guilty about this and pleased that they are pretty self-sufficient.  I don't ignore them, but I set them up with activities or direct them to play with XYor Z or I let them watch PBS when I'm working.  They climb all over me while I'm reading....we are working on this one.</p>
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<p>My husband is very supportive.  I budget my time really tightly (too tight...no time for exercise) and we eat lots of quick meals (Quesadillas with sliced veggies....stir-fry and rice, Sandwich night etc.)</p>
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<p>My house is only clean once a week and I have learned to live with clean laundry in baskets.</p>
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<p>It is temporary.  My kids are happy and  healthy and I'm forging ahead with my own pursuits. I want them to do the same when they are adults, so I'm modeling that.</p>
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<p>OP....I agree with a PP....don't read parenting and child activity magazines!  The guilt is not helpful.</p>
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<p>Good luck!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>VisionaryMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291066/i-need-to-know-you-are-cutting-corners-too#post_16211616"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p>Stop getting Mailbox! Seriously, if you don't get those magazines, you can get out of the habit of looking through them (and feeling guilty). I used to get Family Fun, and I always felt this sense of amazement yet absurdity in the things they suggested <strong>(like slicing carrots into fun shapes to get your kids to like them). </strong><br>
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Wait, people DO that?!?!?!?!?!  Seriously???  Thanks for convincing me to NEVER get those magazines.  I'm not that desperate for ds to like carrots!  I thought I was doing great b/c he likes peas.....</p>
 
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