How do you cope?

Dawn - posted on 11/24/2008 ( 72 moms have responded )

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How do you all cope with being a mum to a young child, working full time, being a good wife and housekeeper?

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LaWanda - posted on 01/15/2009

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Well I am trying my luck back with selling things on ebay... I am down from 3 months ago working 50-60 hours a week to only working 16hours a week. It is nice seeing my family more but I am scared bout the lack of money. I am earning less than half of what I had been earning. After I had a bit of a breakdown about dealing with being injured and not earning enough money... my other half told me that worring about what I have no power to change is not going to get me anywhere. So I am trying to work with what I have got now. I have changed my mindset from "poor me what am I going to do?" to "this is a great time for me to try some of the new things that I wanted to try for my working life but never had time". I am still scared, but I am starting to enjoy the challange. For the first time in years I am finding that my brain is working (yes it has been that long). For 4 years I worked a lot of night shifts and never got much sleep... so that made me dopey, not to mention starting over after a divorce. Then after I got hurt and wasn't working.... I went into the fog induced by the pain meds. I am starting to get past that now... and I am starting to feel like a thinking human being again. I really want to make the working at home thing work out so that I don't have to worry bout a job... but for now I will do both and see where it takes me. Though I am sad to say that I might have to give up my cleaners that come in every 2 weeks for a while till I get back on my feet.

Callula - posted on 01/15/2009

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I learnt very quickly that something has to give. I have to work, love being a mum, don't want a divorce, so the house is a mess

Shanna - posted on 01/14/2009

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Well for starters you are a wonderful mom now matter how many tasks you have on your plate!  I have two little girls, work full time and am getting ready to start back to school.  In hopes that someday I can support my family and give them every thing they need! It is hard coping with being away from your young baby  and will be the hardest part of this whole ordeal but as you work more it will get better and your time with your family will be even more special.  Some mom's find they cannot cope ith being away from there little one and end up quitting there job and finding other ways to make ends meet.  For me, if I didn't work I probably would lose my mind.  I work 12 hour shifts so I am home 4 days and work 3, 12 hour night shifts and it seems to work for.  I am happy to be home those four days but by Thursday night I am ready for some adult time! If you work full time that doesn't mean you have to take on the whole load at your house.  If you work, and your husband works take the time to split up job resonsibilities and make things easier on the both of you!  You will be a good mom and wife no matter what you need to to do! As far as the housekeeping goes, ask any mom about their house and I bet they will tell you it is not spotless all of the time!! Good luck!



Shanna

Amanda - posted on 01/14/2009

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I have to agree prioritizing helps keep things together. I have 3 kids, a 4 1/2 (Girl), 3 (Boy) , and 1 1/2 (Boy) year old at home, I work full time and have 1 dog. My husband...well..he is a guy, so I usually have 4 kids and a dog some days. When I come home from work, I clean, cook and break up arguments over toys.



By the time Friday rolls around, I can barely get out of bed in the morning. My daughter is in preK so 3 days a week she is up with me getting ready. My husband picks her up and goes to work at 5pm. We do not see each other until thurs or sometimes fri. I have migrated all toys to the basement where it was finished and they can play w/o interferring with my cleaning.



I am a horrible horrible cook...nothing can save me...I need more recipes that are easy and are good for them. We are big chicken eaters, and mac n cheese is my #1 dish....



All in a days work...Working moms need more credit than we get....it's hard, but we know its worth it!!

Kristen - posted on 01/14/2009

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I am hoping to reassure a few of you with young children, that it DOES get easier! My boys are now 10 and 14 (you'll be amazed at how quickly time passes!) and being that they are so much more independent, many of the stresses have worn off.  They are capable of helping out around the house (begrugingly of course), with cleaning, and even a little bit with cooking.



I still do not have a perfectly clean/tidy house at all times, but I do invest in a cleaning lady who comes once every two weeks and I would not give up that little perk for anything!



I think all working Mom's wish that they had more time.....more time for cleaning, cooking, for their husbands, for themselves and of course for their children. It's how you prioritize the time that you do have is what matters.

[deleted account]

I also found that going from one child to two children was a complete nightmare and was unable to cope for a long time. However, some of my friends did find their 2nd child easier so it must vary depending on how well the child sleeps, how you feel, whats going on in your life at the time and how your older child reacts and probably lots of other things.

[deleted account]

After 10 years of trying different working arrangements, flexible hours (picking kids up from school then working till midnight or getting up early or catching up on a Sunday), experimenting with different amounts of hours varying between 18 and 32.5 (36 if doing overtime) and still never feeling like I was getting the balance right and my youngest child was very unhappy when I was working 32+ hours a week, I have gradually come to the conclusion that it's IMPOSSIBLE TO DO IT ALL. Even though I have worked for some very understanding and flexible employers I still couldn't get the right balance between work and family; always torn between the two wanting to do my very best with both but not managing either sucessfully. I have recently gone self employed working for myself from home. I am sure that this will prove to be the ideal option for me once business picks up. I will keep you posted if you want me to. I am only planning to work around 20 hours a week as I am also studying at the moment and want to give that some priority too. My boys are 10 & 8 and as long as I am there for them after school they are happy.

Amanda - posted on 01/03/2009

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(We both work full time) I had to tell my husband if he wanted the 'chores' done then he was going to have to do most of them, he works as well but gets home 2 hrs before me and had "me time" all to himself. I told him we only have 3 hrs a day with our young children and I wasn't about to be cleaning the house those 3 hrs! We are dealing with it for now. We tag team taking showers and sometimes we'll head off to the store alone if we need some solidarity. I think Routine is the best for us. We do the laundry Sunday night and Weds. dishes daily but we eat on paper so there is not that much. the kids toys are a mess but I dont care.

Dawn - posted on 01/03/2009

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I used to have to fight to get him out and then he suddenly changed, it was not a gradual thing. I can not think of any reason for the change but he did, maybe just a phase that he is going through.

[deleted account]

Dawn,
HAHAHAH harder with two... YES!!!! I found that I thought things would be easier given that I knew how to raise one. Wow was I wrong. It takes a lot more to deal with two. Trying to time things between one and two, trying to keep one from harming two, trying to play with one yet give attention to two, trying to get each one ready when leaving the house. Things definitely got harder when we had two.
As for the baths... Yes the cup with the rubber on part of it definitely helps my son in the bath. Fortunately we have a large bathtub and both my husband and I enjoy a nice hot bath so we turn bath time into relax time. One of us will get in the tub (though not all the time) with both our boys to give them a bath, usually right before bed. Then the other person will help get the kids out and get them to bed so the one in the bath then gets to turn up the hot water and relax a bit after the boys are out. We have made bath time fun for the boys so our oldest really does enjoy being in the bath and there are times that the fight is to get him out, not in.

[deleted account]

Yes, I must say that the USA does lag way behind in maternity leave. We do now have the Family Medical Leave Act which states that we can have up to 12 weeks off for new baby or to take care of ill family members without losing our jobs. It does not mandate that it be paid leave though. It is up to each individual company to determine if and how much of it will be paid. At the company I am currently at, I was able to use our short-term disability for maternity leave. It was for 6 weeks at 60% pay. I had a C-section so my doctor preferred not to release me for 8 weeks however the insurance company said that there were no complications with my c-section so they would only pay for the 6 weeks. We certainly couldn't have me off without pay so back I went at 6 weeks with my darling little boy in our child care center.

[deleted account]

While we like to think of ourselves as "SuperMom" it is so very unrealistic. Most of us must work to keep the bills paid for so that has to have part of our focus and then the rest of the focus should be on our families. Our children deserve our attention and focus when we are home with them in the evenings. I know I struggle looking around at the dishes or the untidiness but it will keep until the kids are asleep. My husband and I have scheduled the various rooms for cleaning to different nights of the week so that it is not all needing to be done all on the weekend. This leaves more family time on the weekends.

Ninouska Doval - posted on 01/02/2009

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I know that sometimes it may seem impossible to handle everything. I have children ages 9,8,6,4,and 14 months. I also work 32 hours a week on the overnight shift. I would not be able to do it if my husband didn't help by getting the kids ready for school in the morning and putting them to bed at night. But for myself you need to set priorities.

Keeping the cleaning house is not important and sometimes impossible. As for cooking, I try to spend 30-40 minutes preparing a meal tops. I will defrost the meat the night before and season it and put it in my oven so it turns on at a delayed time. Since my schedule so tight because I work nights I try not to overschedule my day for my sake and the kids.As for being a good wife, my husband and I do not get to spend too much time together but we talk a lot on the phone and try to schedule a date weekend when the kids are at my inlaws or my parents'. It's not easy and can be tiring but I think it's better that my kids and husband are happy and have good memories than having the pristine cleaning house.

Dawn - posted on 01/02/2009

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My little boy is 26 months.

I have asked him why he does not like the bath but he does not really talk much yet. I have bought a special jug with a rubber front that moulds to his forhead to stop water going into his face. I heat the bathroom so it is not too cold, he will not sit in the bath and never has so I have put a bath mat in there to stop him slipping. I don't know what it is.

I find it hard to prioritise things. I am pregnant again due in July and am hoping that I have got things in controll then. It can't be much harder with 2 right???? At least I will have 18 weeks off work with the little one.

Thank you all for your advice and support. I will defnately look back and wonder how I got through these times.

Sandra - posted on 01/02/2009

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How old is your little one? I know that it is not easy. You are not alone. I hope that you can find a good circle of friends to help you cope and to laugh with. All I can say is pick your battles. It does get easier when they get older. I know that I just gave my kids some chores of their own. Nothing to major, but knowing that the kitchen table will get wiped down every night and that the kids will change their own sheets once a week and sort their clothes for washing helps a great deal. Good luck and hang in there, one day you will look back and wonder how you did this!

Tiffany - posted on 01/02/2009

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I am still asking myself that question. I am a mom of three boys 7, 3 and 1 on Monday. I also keep my baby brother, whom is 12. My goal for 09 is to be more efficient. I have just held interviews for a good babysitter (for me time) and am looking for a cleaning service for once a month. I plan on cutting back in other places to pay to get assistance. I work almost 50 hours a week and still try to spend quality time with my kids after work. I am exhausted everyday. To make it worse, my husband works 6 days (including Sat) , so I am on my own. One thing I do is try to take time for me. Sometimes things dont get done and I am not hard on myself about it. I do what I can and make sure the kids are happy.

[deleted account]

Hi Dawn,

have you asked him why?

maybe he is scared of geting water in his face?!

my son hate water in his face,and ears too. i have learned him some trix to take the water away himself. then it got better.

and he have alot of toys he loves.. some bouts from his favorite cartoon. and rubber ducks..

and those toys is only for bading.. not alowd playing with them outside the bathroom

Dawn - posted on 12/31/2008

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Thank you everyone for all your hints and tips I will certainly use most of them. My son used to love bath time and I used this time to have a shower, we have a seperate shower and I could leave the door open and put towels down so if he fell I could run and get him, this never happened hank god. For some reason over the past 2 months he has really grown to dislike bath time and cries from the time I start getting him undressed until he is dressed again, he has just turned 2.

[deleted account]

So is this the life of busy over worked moms? We are up at all hours when we should be sleeping, but instead we find time for ourselves when the rest of the world seems quiet? LOL. It's 6:00am here. I've been up since 4:30 when my 8 month old woke up for a bottle. He was able to go back to sleep right away but my mind began thinking of work and other things that need to be done so here I am having my time on the computer. Maybe I'll get some more sleep before I have to go into work.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!! May we all find some sort of balance in 2009

[deleted account]

thats the thing.. simple is the best. but we can't be thinking about everything ourself so...

but when it comes to cook.. where is the kidz then?

he is there "helping" me... allmoust every time it just become more mess... he really want to wash the dishes (no machine here) but when he do... it's water all over,and the dishes still dirty (of course!! he is just 3)

he have helped me peal or chop the food, but it take such a loooooooooooooooooooooong time... so moustly he get to peal the last carot and potato.. still take forever and messy it gets.

he also want's to steer but he have burned himselfe once.. i don't want him to be burned everyday.

and just to be clear here, i am ALWAYS there watching him and helping him when we are cooking :)

[deleted account]

Good suggestion Camilla about using bath time to clean the bathroom. It's amazing how some things which seem so simple don't occur to you until someone else points it out. That's why I really like this circle.

[deleted account]

what i normaly do is that when my son takes a bath(he love it so it can take like 1 to 2 hours), i wash the bathroom.. we talk and jokes when i do it,so he don't really notis the different if i was just to sit there watching him. but again for you that have a baby you can't leav you kiddo alone in the bathtub,but for those who have kidz that can sit studdy in the bath. my son is 3 years old

Kirsten - posted on 12/30/2008

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You will soon learn, if you have not already, that you simply cannot do it all. Do what has to be done and what's important to you and everything else will have to take the back seat for a season. It has helped me to be as organized as possible and to plan ahead. For example, I plan a simple menu for the week's dinners each weekend and get all the groceries I'll need before starting into the work week. The menu is posted on the fridge so everyone can see it. When my kids (who are now older) ask what's for dinner, I have an answer for them...you got it, check the menu. I also keep a desk blotter type calendar on the wall with small colored markers handy. All activities for everyone get written down and each has it's own color. My 17 year old daughter puts her own schedule (ie: work) on the calendar too. This helps me to keep track of who's going where...especially since things get busier as the kids get older. I also write things like garbage day, and church activities on it. I hope that helps a little, and don't hesitate to ask more specific questions if you feel led. Best of luck to you : )

Karyna - posted on 12/30/2008

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I just wanted to say thanks to all that have posted (and it's not even my thread!!) lol. Im just getting ready to go back to work full time after years (8) of never working more than part time hours...im scared to death! But you have all reminded me of what counts, and helped me to take a breath and not freak if everything isnt super ready for my start date. Plans made are plans undone anyway!! :-)

Terri - posted on 12/30/2008

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oh goodness! it's very hard, i wont lie to you..i have seen so many co-workers have babies and were able to say home while i chug along at work every day! there are plenty of times my husband and i stare at each other at dinner time too tired to cook and end up eating some fast food junk knowing it's probably not the best choice for the evening..but you know what? i have found that my daughter developed an excellent personality from being in day care, she never had separation anxieties when she went off to school (though i did, lol), and was able to learn and use her manners form having a multitude of caregivers (before school it was a mix of us, a babysitter, and my mom).



there are plenty of days where i wish it could be different, but you know what u have to do? they house can be messy a litle longer, the laundry can pile up a little bit more, but they won't stay young forever!!!

[deleted account]

For me, it's just one of those things where you put one foot in front of the other. I know that there are days when I can't be great at everything... I can't be a great mom, great wife, great employee and have an immaculate house. Something generally has to give. So, just set your own priorities and don't beat yourself up if something minor doesn't get done.

[deleted account]

I remember vividly a plaque that an acquaintance of mine had in her nursery: "Cobwebs be quiet, dust go to sleep, I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep." So true in this hurry scurry life we lead. I have a 5 year old boy and a 20 months girl and I work part time and there are days at home when hugs and play are much more important than living in an impeccably clean home. Make time when you can for healthful cleaning and the occasional sort out, but those things CAN wait when your little ones require your time. My hub is so good about helping, but he needs time with the kids after he gets home from his 40+ hours too. Just cut out the extras, learn to say no, and do your best everyday not to stress. Boy, that's good advice, now if I could only follow it as well as I can give it. :)

Lori - posted on 12/29/2008

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I feel better. I am not the only one trying to keep up with it all. I am a busy working mom, the main bread winner in the house. My job requires frequent travel. I am lucky enough to work from home one day a week. My husband works nights so the kids don't have to go to day care. My dad picks up the boys from school and they stay with him until I get home. My mother passed away a year and a half a go so now I cook dinner for my dad and boys most nights. (Dad won't eat hot dogs so I have to cook a real meal) The boys are 4 and 9. They help out as much as they can. I get home most nights in time to do home work with the boys and put them to bed.

Once they are in bed I load the dish washer (breakfast dishes) and start washing the cloths.

Like many of the others here house work is not at the top of the list. I try to do fun things with the boys. After that I do house work. In the long run I think they will say that having a clean house was not that important as having a mom who was involved. I try to sneak in a little cleaning on the weekends.



Hope this helps.

[deleted account]

i am really glad that i wasnt forsed to leav my baby at daycare when he was a baby, it have to be so painful... that small little angel and then someone else is to have the joy!?

as said, it should be a law that say EVERY mother is to have atleast 6 months at home with ful payment!!!!! end of story!

Ashley - posted on 12/28/2008

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I'm moving to Norway too! With my current job I don't get any paid maternity leave! With my 1st child I was already a stay-at-home mom, but with my 2nd child I was working. I only took 4wks off b/c we couldn't afford for me to be off any longer than that!! Now I'm having baby #3 and I'm hoping that we have planned a little better this time and I can take off at least 6wks!!

Christina - posted on 12/28/2008

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Its definitly not easy!! And I dont think I actualy do cope, I just keep fine tuning all the time. Getting feedback from my husband on what tasks are most important to him to keep him happy. If I keep him involved in what is getting done first (cause you cant do it all) then how can he complain. As for my 3 year old goes, my husband and I are both self-employed I have a clothing boutique and my husband a tanning salon, I keep my son involved as well, we tell him why we need to work so much (to make monies) and what we are going to use the money for (a new house with a yard for B) he says he is going to start working for us when he's ten. He does chores right now, he makes ten monies (quarters) a week ;)

Karyna - posted on 12/28/2008

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oops! that 70% lasts 12 months, and can be taken by either parent, or shared!

Karyna - posted on 12/28/2008

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Oh my goodness!



I live in Canada. Wuhu Canada!! Here, as long as you have over 750 working hours in the year before you have a child, you recieve approx. 70% to a max of about 1600 per month to stay at home. Either mother or father can receive that. After that, we receive 100 per child, per month to go towards staying at home, or daycare if we choose to return to work. As well as our child tax credit, that everyone in the country with children under 18 receives, the amount is adjusted based on your income (more you make, less or none you get). We make a fair income, i've been staying at home and we got $214 per month this last year. Our healthcare is Always free. Any (and i mean Any) time we visit the hospital it's free, but extras cost money. This past year i sprained my knee, so was sent a bill for $60 for the brace they gave me. When i had my children i paid extra to have my own room in maternity (while in labour, you have about 4 to 8 hours after having your baby in your room alone before you are transferred to maternity where a free room is shared by another person, and split by a curtain). Dental, vision and medications are all paid by us ( but depends on where in the country you live, we are on the west side now, but my hubbs was raised on the east side where dental and vision is completely covered for kids until theyre 18!!! even braces! and seniors have their own support everywhere), but it is incredibly common to have employer benenfits, if one doesn't they work in a service job (restaurant or gas station) and even then their spouse or parents should be able to share their benefits for free or a minimal cost deducted from their pay. I can not imagine the stress involved in raising children in a society that doesn't support you when you are in need. I have 3 children, i'd go insane worrying about how much that cut is going to cost, or imagine being stressed that a csection is going to cost more?? oh my. My youngest is now 2.5 and i am just now going back to work full time. Mostly because now of course they are all at ages that we want to get them into fun stuff like sports that costs more than my stay at home wage will manage! Holidays here completely depend on the job you have. My hubbs has been at his job 2 years, so gets a week a year, paid holidays (4% of that years wage is pocketed by the company, then they pitch in 2% and throw it your way when you book days off). At this new job im starting, i get 3 wks right off the bat, benefits start off after 3 months (so between hubbs and i everything is free). It all depends. all i can say, is God praise our land. Sorry for the long story, but i like details and find country to country stuff crazy interesting!! share!! :)

Dara - posted on 12/28/2008

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I out source the laundry -- has completely freed up my Sundays to just play with my children. Maybe when I get my next raise I'll get a house keeper too LOL. Then I wouldn't know what to do with myself... oh wait, then there's still cooking.. hmmm.

You know what I really could use.... a wife LMAO.

[deleted account]

i work in a day care, but in Norway you cant get admited before your kid is 10 mounth.

allthough it sounded cousy to work with tiny babys :) just cuddle oh and changind poop dipers... maybe it's ok to work with 3 to 6 years old :)

[deleted account]

Daycare here we come... Actually with our first child my husband was able to work part time... he worked the first part of the mornings getting home around noon then I went to work from 2 - 10. We did this for about a year and then our son went to daycare. We weren't as fortunate with our second son. I was able to stay home with him for about 10 weeks total, then my husband was off from school so this provided another couple weeks home. Finally at about 3 months old we had to send our son to daycare. this really killed me as I didn't like the idea of my baby being at school all day. Since then I've adapted and realized that both boys do really well at daycare and get experiences that I would never think of doing at home... lots of painting and general mess making in play.

[deleted account]

and just to rubb it in... Here you get 5 weeks hollyday,not included thos "red days"(nasional day,easter,christman ol). not every body do,but allmoust

[deleted account]

yeah Jenny... you'r welcome to norway... :)



but then i must ask... what do you guys do with you babys after those few weeks?!? must you quit you jobs or what?

i thought God blessed America?! hihi ;)

[deleted account]

That's it, I'm moving... I can't believe the time off you all get. Living in the US (Ohio) I get 6 weeks maternity (8 if it's a C-section), then can take off up to 12 weeks using family medical leave act- if there is a problem or some issue the doctor can document stating I need to be home for 12 weeks. Ultimately I can take off all the time that I have banked as far as sick or vacation time. With my first job I was paid at 100%, with the job I currently hold I only received 80% pay then had to use my own sick/vacation time to supplement the rest to receive 100% pay.

[deleted account]

i belive every mother in the wold(nomatter where she stay) should have the right to be at home for atleast the first 6 months with payment! ATLEAST!

and free doctors atleast the first 5 years.

in norway also the dad have the right for 6 weeks.. afther mommys time is done

Dawn - posted on 12/28/2008

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get my maternity care for free in Gib but it only covers my child for the first 10 days of his life and then they don't want to know unless you live there, so it is either private which I can not afford or take him to the spanish docs. I am not fluent in Spanish but we get by with a lot of sign language.

[deleted account]

in norway it's free to take you child to the doctor up til it's 7 years old. but you have to pay medicine your self.

also when your pregnant, you get a doctor check up onse per 2 week, and a ultrasound at 18 week. all for free

free to stay at the hostpital when you ive birth,and hen you stay for 3 or four days after birth.

Dawn - posted on 12/28/2008

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I work in Gibraltar which is a British colony on the southern tip of Spain, and live in Spain. We get 18 weeks at 75% pay and we can take up to 6 months off but the rest are unpaid from work, we wlso get a £500 grant from the Gib government and about £20 a week from them for nappies and milk for 6 months. We do not get anything from Spain even though we have bought our house here. The Gib government will not provide medical care for my children unles I live there so I have had to pass my contributions over to Spain so that I can get my child on the health care system. Needless to say I didn't get any of this last time as I had not been working with the company a full year before my baby was due and I had not paid full contributions (tax and NI) the full year before as I was only on a part time contract. The polotics here are great :)

LaWanda - posted on 12/28/2008

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I don't think you get paid maternity leave at all in america. I know when I grew up there you didn't and only got 2 weeks paid holidays per year. They are trying to get paid maternity leave here in Australia... but it isn't the normal yet.

[deleted account]

just wondering...

in Norway as a mom you get 100% sallary vile staying home with your baby for 48 weeks. or 80% of your sallart for 50 weeks.

I know Norway and sweden is the top country to be a mom in when it comes to that.

how long time do you get payd for i America? because i see alot of you moms that works ful time,have kids under 1 year...

Dawn - posted on 12/28/2008

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I have just found out that I am pregnant again, about 8 weeks with number 2. I am over the moon :):). Will try all of your tips to try to make my life a bit easier. One thing is for sure, I would not change it for the world.

Ashley - posted on 12/27/2008

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I struggle with this too! I am a mother of 2 children, 1 and 2, plus a third on the way. I work full time, and we just got a puppy that is far from being potty trained! I've found that having a rountine is good! I also just make sure that everything is just picked-up before I go to bed, and don't stress the little stuff! My husband is a HUGE help as well. He's very good to do the laundry and help get the kids ready for bed every night! I couldn't do it without him! Every once in a while I just have to look into my kid's eyes and remember why I do all of this!

Jennifer - posted on 12/27/2008

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It is not easy, but i try to remind myself often of the example that i am setting for my daughter, that women can pursue all their dreams, including having children AND a wonderful career. I am the mother of 2 children, 6 and 3, and am a full-time physical therapist. Keeping to a schedule and staying organized definitely minimize the stress during the week. I try to be a good wife by spending time with my husband on the weekends. I don't worry too much about the housekeeping, but I do have 1 suggestion: I found my kids played with only a few of their toys a majority of the time. I only keep 2 large bins full of toys, one for each child, and a toy chest for their arts and crafts and they are responsible for putting these toys away before bath every night. I spend alot less time cleaning up after them and can focus on the dishes and laundry while they are cleaning up.

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