Where does the time go?



As a Mummy who has gone back to work part-time, I’m struggling to find time to get the jobs done. I’m not sure where the time goes but it just disappears like sand through my fingers.

On a typical day, my day starts at 6am. I get up, washed and dressed and go downstairs to attempt to have breakfast and sort out the lunches for the day ahead. Something always gets in the way in the morning like ironing clothes or finding my keys so I find myself bagging up my breakfast to eat at work and supping a travel mug of coffee in the car.

I scoop Little Mr out of his sleepy slumber in bed, change his nappy and put his coat on over his pyjamas to travel the five minute journey to his Grandparents in the car where he’ll be looked after for the day whilst I’m at work.

The bell rings at 4pm (I work in a School) and it’s time for home. I drive to Little Mr’s Grandparents to pick him up and find out all about his day and what he’s been up to. I’m always conscious of time as if Little Mr has a late dinner he won’t drink his bedtime milk and our bedtime routine will become full of tears and stress (and that’s just me!) so I drive him home to get his dinner cooking and on the table.

I’m still very cautious about leaving Little Mr to eat his dinner at the dining table whilst I’m cooking our dinner. I’m no more than 4 metres away but I worry that anything could happen to him whilst I’m cooking at the oven with my back turned to him. He likes to put too much in his mouth at once so I’m always very aware of what he’s eating and how he’s doing. It frightens me to think that something serious could happen in a blink of an eye.

Once dinner is over, Little Mr has 30 minutes or so to play with his toys and then it’s bath time. We’ve kept him in this routine for a while now and whilst one of us baths him, the other is prepping his bedroom with nappies, pyjamas and a bottle of warm milk. Bed times have become a little less stressful of late after having some valuable advice from Fi (of Childcare is fun) but they can still last over an hour with Little Mr standing up in his cot and wanting attention from me and hubby.

Olly awake!

He’s asleep. We look at the monitor to reassure ourselves he’s asleep, check the time and work out how long we have before we need to hit the sack ourselves. There’s always a load of washing that needs putting in the machine, clothes that need sorting out from the dryer and the dishwasher to unload.

And relax… I’ve got an hour to sit down and watch the telly or have a bath. Our shower is still broken from the Summer so a quick shower has turned into a fifteen minute bath. I’m struggling to find time for anything non-essential in the week and to be honest, I’m not enjoying it. I always knew being a parent would be a massive change in lifestyle and I have always welcomed it but I was probably a bit naïve to how difficult life as a working mummy could be.

I want to help provide for my family, I want us to be able to move house and have a nice home. I want to drive a car without having to compromise my independence so I need to work. I want to work, I’m not afraid of the hard work. I’ve been employed since I was 16 years old but I want to enjoy family time and have some time to relax and do some of the nice things I used to enjoy like crafting or going to an exercise class (I know, I can’t believe I’ve written that either!)

Seriously, where does the time go? How have you dealt with balancing family life and work? Do you go without certain ‘luxuries’ in order to stay at home with your children? If you’ve got any time saving tips, I’d love to hear from you.

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  • Reply Kim Carberry 22/01/2014 at 4:30 pm

    Oh my….It sounds like you’re rushed off your feet!
    Have you thought about getting a high chair and putting it closer to your and then you can cook dinner and keep an eye on your Little Mr!
    I don’t work so I can stay home with the kids…..We’ve sacrificed the extra money….So that means no holidays no unnecessary buying luxuries but we manage!

    • Reply mrsshilts 23/01/2014 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks for your comment Kim, I’ll be moving Little Mr’s highchair into the kitchen tomorrow so I can cook us something decent for dinner. Once we’ve paid off our debt commitments, I’ll definitely be considering working less xx

  • Reply 3yearsandhome 22/01/2014 at 7:44 pm

    I feel for you, I really do. I went back to work when my first turned seven months and as well as being a horrendously emotional time, it was also physically demanding because routines and housework suffer and me-time basically goes out of the window. When I fell pregnant for the second time (there’s two years between my boys), I really couldn’t see a way of going back to work, especially as my husband works away a lot. I had to hand in my notice. Financially, while we’re not flying first class, we don’t struggle but that’s mainly thanks to sound financial decisions we made a long time ago. It’s such a tough call but I really hope you can find a better balance. It’s really hard xx

    • Reply mrsshilts 23/01/2014 at 9:42 pm

      Thank you for your comment Rachel. I cant even imagine what it would be like to have two children, i’d be run ragged!

  • Reply Jem 22/01/2014 at 9:34 pm

    I worked full time for a year or so after #1 and now have to juggle full time hours around limited childcare and the children. I handled it by prioritising stuff we needed to do rather than just wanted to do, by not being a perfectionist and ditching any extra unnecessary work. I never iron; we all eat at the same time (and the same meal) and anyone who doesn’t like it gets a banana or a bowl of porridge; we don’t have bedtime battles because we’ve always just lay down with ours – they don’t feel like they need to compete or mess about for attention; only stick clothes on to wash that are actually physically dirty rather than just because they’ve been worn; etc etc.

    None of this makes it any easier of course – you’re still juggling house, child and chores – but every 5 minutes you can claw back from it is 5 more minutes to spend on yourself. :)

    • Reply mrsshilts 23/01/2014 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks Jem, I guess I’m still finding my feet with trying to get it all done but realistically it just isnt going to happen. Will definitely take on board the tip about washing clothes, I’m sure we do unnecessary washing x

  • Reply Lauren Jones 23/01/2014 at 1:29 pm

    I can’t speak for the working mums out there but I too love my sleep, so I try to do as much as possible the night before so I can have those extra zzz’s in the morning. That includes making my lunch up (and sorting breakfast, if I’m taking it to work with me as well), deciding what I’m going to wear and having it laid out and ready, making sure my handbag and gym kit are fully packed by the door and ready to go, and having a bath/shower and washing my hair the night before. Then in the morning I can just wash my face, run a brush through my hair, throw on some clothes and get out the door. I know it’s different with little people around, but if you can eliminate as much as possible the night before it can make mornings a lot easier to deal with!

    • Reply mrsshilts 23/01/2014 at 9:37 pm

      Thanks Lauren, I do try and get as much sorted the night before but I have been guilty of sacrificing that for having some me time even if it is just to scroll through facebook and twitter! xx

  • Reply Donna 25/01/2014 at 5:27 pm

    I went back to work for six months after my maternity leave with LP. When I returned LP was 15 months old and I was already pregnant with Little Man and so only had those 6 months. Dropping LP off at the childminder, keeping on top of work and trying to stay in touch with friends was incredibly hard. Living was hard for those 6 months – no-one had the best of me, no-one had all of me, everyone had their tiny bit of me and I didn’t feel like I was doing a very good job at any of it.
    I have my back to work meeting next week and am due back to work when Little Man is 12 months. I have no idea what will happen then. No idea how you juggle two children, work and a home life.
    -hugs- x

    • Reply Emma Shilton 29/01/2014 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks for your comment Donna, it is so hard isn’t it but I’m happy to do it. It’s just trying to find a balance x

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