I thought I’d write a little bit about how we’ve managed both of us working full time whilst being away from our boy 🙁 & what we’re trying now to get a good balance.
Papa works full time & mama worked full time after leaving Rue to go back to work when he was just six months old (all the tears are flowing), I started off doing six months of five days a week full time and then I did a year of four long days and one day off in the week. This got too much for me (I know other people are doing it better than I am but it comes down to how you feel & what makes you happy) my days were so long and my time with my boys was so short & I was so grumpy after spending all my day at my desk or sat in traffic. I decided that although money is important especially for us as our income isn’t that high that I’d rather go without and spend more time being happier with my boys.
My new hours kicked in on the 1st August for a trail period of three months to see how it goes for both work & I, I now do four normal hour days and have Wednesdays off with my bear. We lose 20% of my salary so the trial will be good to see how we cope with the income difference & I’m praying we can make it work & still be able to do family trips and adventures. I can’t think of anything worse than missing out on summer evening walks because of the lack of time or sat in traffic in winter darkness just longing to pick bear up.
People might warn you when you’re pregnant how expensive children are but you don’t listen & you think it can’t be that bad, but for us it’s been tough hence why I came back to work so early it came down to financial reasons that’s all. Rue’s nursery bill is ¾ of one of our salaries so you could say it’s not worth one of us working but we didn’t see it that way – Rue adores nursery and we’d love for him to go more but it’s just financially impossible – by one of us being home we couldn’t give him the socialness & creativeness that nursery gives him. In January 2018 we hopefully should get our 15 free hours which will halve our nursery bill woo hoo. So it’s not forever but the next eighteen months will be challenging – but if anyone’s up for the challenge it’s penny budgeter me over here 😉
Things I do each day | week to help make life feel smoother
- I have a budget spreadsheet that I swear by & I’m in it every day religiously budgeting every penny. We have 25 outgoings each month I like to keep track & see what our spend left is for the month. I am so lucky that my dear husband wants for nothing & is happy for me to use any spare money for savings, overpayments etc.
- Every evening I put all three of our clothes out ready for the next day so there’s no faffing in the morning trying to find something to wear
- I have a meal planner I use for all three of us, this also helps form our shopping list (I’m not an online food shopper anymore) I do this every Sunday night
- Just before bedtime I put our packed lunches together ready for the next morning – I cut up fruit, I put nuts in pots, I put cake in pots, yogurt into tupperware etc. Papa then makes us fresh rolls in the morning after I’ve cooked then at 6am.
- We have the same night time routine for Rue 90% of the year – 630pm we go upstairs get ready for bed, read a story, watch an episode of noddy, bottle, bed. We don’t tend to bath him before bed as he gets to excited & then bedtime becomes impossible.
- I line our shoes up & pack rues nursery bag the night before & put that at the bottom of the stairs ready.
- The dishwasher is on every other day, we still run out of plates before that other day, so I tend to do washing up too.
- Washing is spread out during the week with the majority being put on Friday night. I don’t iron 80% of our clothes 😉
- We have a good morning routine that works for us – rue & I are normally out of the house at 720am ready to get to nursery for opening.
- Together we put all toys away before bedtime – we don’t have a play room so we converted our under stairs cupboard into toy storage for Rue.
- I have an A4 print out monthly calendar that I use as a diary (don’t worry a lot of people laugh when I pull it out) this helps me to try & plan realistically when we can see family | friends | ourselves. This is one of the biggest challenges I have is trying to spread our time equally between people it’s pretty impossible I’ve come to learn …. you will always upset someone who thinks you’re not seeing them enough
- Cleaning isn’t something I have a schedule for – it’s kind of a do it when I can | when people are coming round kind of thing 😐
- Food shopping we do once a week – we tend to take it in turns and we’ve come to the agreement where we try not to do it at the weekend as it’s just horrible for everyone when we have too!
- I have a list of peoples birthdays and start buying birthday presents a couple of months in advance or at least jot down what I want to get them – that way it’s not a last minute rush plus I include present buying into our budget spreadsheet.
- The end of each year I print off a year planner and look at what holiday we would like – some areas in our work it’s first come first served, so I try to get in early. We also write down the places or things we’d like to do that year and try to plot them against our time off.
- We invested in a Dyson slim (those stick ones that hang on the wall) saves sooo much time! One of the best things we’ve brought so handy with little ones creating a mess a lot.
- I’ve recently been trialling posting birthday cards to my family – even though their all in Swindon it just makes it easier for me to post it in a post box then trying to find twenty minutes of an evening to drop a card off.