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Discussion Starter #1
These days I'm struggling to find time to work--in hopes of contributing to our family financially. (Working at home, very thankfully--writing, drawing, or other artistic/crafty pursuits.) All day I'm with my kids. If I try to fit in some work during the day, that usually results in behavior problems (their's and mine!) because my focus goes elsewhere and I get frustrated with constant interruptions. Not good for any of us! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Usually a little after dinner my two youngest dc's go to sleep, then my oldest is up until 8pm. While I would love to focus on my work or hobbies once the two are asleep, I feel like it's important that I focus on my oldest and spend good time with him before his bedtime. Lately he's also been wanting me to lay down with him to go to sleep, so I usually fall asleep while doing that and may wake up around 9pm. At which point I'm tired, a little disoriented from having been asleep, and needing to go to sleep for the night soon anyway since my littles wake up between 5-6am. Taking into consideration the likelihood of night wakings--nursings and wet beds, a lot lately--I'm not getting enough sleep most nights. Of course I need my sleep to be a patient and empathetic parent, so that has to come first.<br><br>
But I'm wondering how I can actually find time to work AND get some sleep? How do you do it?
 

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I don't work when the kids are awake and DH is not here anymore. I used to do this, but it was too frustrating. I know exactly what you mean about behavior problems! We actually ended up totally changing our schedules around so that DH only works part time and I work when he is home with the kids. (I am home too but don't do much parenting on these days, beyond breastfeeding.) But I know that this is not an option for most people.<br><br>
Can your DH lie down with your oldest to help him fall asleep? It sounds like that might be decent working time if you weren't falling asleep then. It's such a hard balance. I know I am terrible about wanting to finish things once I start them, so it is hard for me to work in small bursts while I am constantly being interrupted by the children.<br><br>
Also, what are your weekends like? It may be worth it to sacrifice a day or a half of a day on the weekend while your DH cares for the children. I know that family time is a precious commodity, but when it is scheduled in to the weekend and you know you will be working for X amount of hours it isn't so bad.<br><br>
Something else I did occasionally before we worked out our new schedule was to hire a mother's helper for a few hours when I really needed to get something done. That worked out really well the few times a did it. I still had distractions, since she would ask for my help a good deal, but it was a lot easier than trying to work and parent by myself.
 

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I forget about the weekends! Yes, I could carve out some time then. I may have to start doing that just to get enough done.<br><br>
My DH does lay down with our eldest most of the time . . . but lately the little love has been asking me to lay with him. This won't last much longer with him, so I don't like to say no unless I really can't do it. I do love the time we share reading and talking for a few minutes before he falls asleep, even though I would also like to be working elsewhere in the house.<br><br>
I actually have a mother's helper who comes twice a week for a couple of hours each time . . . but our youngest is still hanging with me (he's 8.5 months) so I really don't get <i>enough</i> of a break to get work done. Though it is a blessing to just have to worry about one child for a couple of hours, and let her entertain the other two during that time.<br><br>
Thanks for your suggestions.
 
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