Advice needed for balancing housework, baby, and online classes!

Macrina - posted on 11/19/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I am a stay-at-home mom and super busy trying to maintain the house, taking care of my baby who is almost a year old, and keeping up with my online courses on a part-time basis. Not to mention, squeezing time to take care of myself and time spent with my husband. Also, my husband is the youth minister of the church where we attend, so you can just imagine just how jam packed my schedule can be.

Any small tips or any kind of advice will be very helpful!!

Thanks sooooo much in advance!!

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I think a flexible routine would help. For example, my daughter wakes me up in the morning. We go to the bathroom (she's trained) then I start breakfast. While breakfast is going, I unload the dishwasher and start a load of laundry and thaw out whatever meat we're having for supper. Then we eat breakfast. After that, she watches Sesame Street while I clean the kitchen and get dressed for the day. Doing things at about the same time everyday will help. Having a routine brings in order. Of course, you want to be flexible because babies are so unpredictable! Don't stress if you don't get to everything each day. I do dishes and laundry first thing because I want at least those things done each day.

Another things that helps me is menu planning. I sit down and make a two-week menu (takes about 20 minutes). Then I make a grocery list based on that. That way a trip to the store is quick and painless and only twice a month. And I know what to cook each night for dinner without thinking. I just consult the list. Again, it's good to be flexible. Sometimes we get invited to someone's house or decided to get take-out. I just push that night's meal to the next night or the next two-week period.

As far as online courses, it probably would be best to do that during nap or at night after your baby is asleep. Does your baby have a predictable nap schedule? That would really help with keeping up with your school work!

As far as household chores, I have daily goals and weekly goals. Daily, I want to do dishes, laundry, clean the kitchen and a bathroom. Weekly, I want to vacuum, dust, mop, and change bedsheets. Doing one major weekly chore a day really helps. And if I don't get to it, oh well, it will be there to do next week!

We too, are super involved with our church. I know that youth ministers are so busy and many of the nights and weekends are filled with activities for the kids. That's awesome! But I feel it's so important to spend time with your spouse everyday. We don't always get to do this. Sometimes cooking dinner together or bathing our kid together or driving to church together is "our time." We try to go out, just us, about once a month. That really helps and we so enjoy it.

Danielle - posted on 11/19/2010

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When my daughter was that young we had a play area for her. It was about 8ftx10ft and it was in the living room. I LOVED that thing. She had her toys in there and would play happily for a couple of hours while I cleaned the house. Then we would play together until nap time and I could tackle the rest of the house or in your case you could do classwork while the baby naps. Early bed for baby also means alone time for mom and dad. You may also want to look into a babysitting co-op or work something out with a friend in a similar situation so you swap babysitting services and each have one night a week sans kids.

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Caitlyn - posted on 11/20/2010

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I'm a full-time student right now which includes a 20 hour a week internship, and a 17 month old. I can definitely understand what you're saying about the balancing. I have found that it's helpful to designate one day a week for cleaning. I also schedule at least one hour a day to work on homework while my daughter is sleeping. I've found that with that hour scheduled in I am able to break the projects down, and get all of the work done while still having some time to relaz. Whenever possible I also try to do my homework while sitting on the couch with my boyfriend so we still get to spend that time together.

Rachael - posted on 11/20/2010

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I was working full time, doing online classes, an internship, and being a single mother. It is hard but you need to make sure to take some time to yourself each week. Like go to a movie or out to eat to center yourself. If your child is almost a year old, they should be getting on a better schedule and be able to entertain themselves a bit more. Plan when to do stuff around when the child is sleeping or eating. If you have a lot of studying to do, ask for help from friends and family. Also make sure that you put time aside each day to spend as a family and then have your time with your husband. It is hard but with your child getting older it will get easier. I just pop in a movie or have my son read books (he is 2.5) when I really need to get something done. Also involving the child in getting the house picked up helped me a lot too. My son would sit by the sink and hand me dishes and hand me clothes to put into the washer. Involving them not only helps you to spend time together and get things done but it also instills that cleaning is fun in your children. Good luck and congrats on taking all of that on, only a strong woman can.

Angela - posted on 11/20/2010

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Hi Macrina! I can relate to a "jam packed" schedule. Im not a sahm but I go to school part-time and work full-time as a realtor with 4 kids. Sara had great advise with the meal planning. Not only does that take the stress of "whats for dinner?" but it also saves money when grocery shopping. We do the same. Also trying to get a routine is very helpful. I had to get creative and get time to spend with the hubby. We would do laundry, dishes,meals and other household chores together and use that time to talk. we also do not stress out if everything isnt done in one day. While kids nap or go to bed I would have my me time. That ment putting them on a schedule. We to were very active in church as youth leaders. We learned very quickly that Yes church is very important but we have to make sure there is time for us to be a family and couple. We also realized that it is ok to say NO. Unfortunatley in our situation there were several things that needed to be done but few willing to do them in church. It took a toll on us bc we were new parents. Its is a learn as you go process :)
Best Wishes!

Chrystal - posted on 11/19/2010

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Hmm.....Maybe you could designate all of the housework and and laundry for one day of the week. And then the rest of the time is focused all on your baby:) As far as the schoolwork goes, I think that time as it comes. When your baby goes down for a nap then you take that time to focus soley on your school work. Just throwing ideas out there for you. Good luck:)

Heather - posted on 11/19/2010

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Don't I hear you! My husband has just started getting up at 5 to go to the gym because he is working toward a career as a police officer, so he goes to ed early every night. I work 50 hours a week, second shift, so I pretty much get stuck with all the housework, and I totally feel your pain. The iggest things that worked for me were 1. getting things set up the night before - when I get home I spend ten minutes before I go to bed picking up the house and doing a few dishes. 2. I use my daughter's naptime to get through the bulk of housework, although you should probably use it to get some schoolwork done. My daughter (8 mo) is relatively happy sitting on a blanket on my kitchen floor playing with toys or bowls and such while I clean up my kitchen around her.
You can't expect too much of yourself. If you spend 20-30 minutes a day getting things clean and safe for the baby, don't worry if the house is cluttered! My husband has to at least do one thing a day to help, whether it is folding socks while he relaxes in front of the tv, mopping the floor for me, or emptying the dishwasher, he isn't off the hook, and even if you are a sahm it doesn't mean you have to do 100% of everything!

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