Working Mom's of young children how do you do it? (not a rehtorical question)



  • CaliMomTeach
    CaliMomTeach Posts: 745 Member
    My kids are older, but there is no time until I get them to bed. I use the elliptical I have at home usually after they go to bed. I prepare separate meals much of the time. I am a single mom with 100% custody and work full time. I pay someone to clean my house every other week. It is the best money I ever spent. The day to day chores, laundry, homework, both kids' activities outside of school etc... keep me busy enough. There is no way I could make time for the gym. Our schedule is already jam-packed and my son starts school at 7:40 a.m. Having an elliptical at home makes it much easier for me.
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,179 Member
    tmoneyag99 wrote: »
    How do you manage getting your family fed, stay on point with your diet, keep work demands under control, spend quality time with your children, spend quality time with your husband, clean house, AND make time for working out.

    By young children I mean kids that aren't self sufficient. Kids that can't feed themselves or dress themselves. Not that being a mother of older children is any easier but it's different in that you don't have to sit at the table and shovel food in your child's mouth. LOL

    What do your days look like? How often do you work out? How long is each workout? How much sleep do you get daily?

    It was far easier when the kids were younger. They are more "portable" you can just take them with you, plust they have no afterschool activities.
    When my kids were young, I had invested in a treadmill for exercise. But, exercise is more for fitness and general health, it will not affect much weight.
    Diet-wise, single, married, child-less, with younger or older kids, working or not, honestly I see no difference. You can always eat less or more.
    I was cooking pre-marriage, pre-kids, after-kids. Not much has changed, other than cooking for 5 now instead of cooking for 1 or 2.
  • pennygm72
    pennygm72 Posts: 179 Member
    Single full time working mum of two here, no contact with dad, so unless they are at school they are with me.
    During the week I park about 1000 steps from my office and use my half hour lunch break to walk and eat at my desk. On nice evenings we all go out for a half hour walk, doing this notmally nets me around 10000 steps a day. In the evenings, after they are in bed I'll do the dishes, prep my lunch for the next day and then do a half hour bodyweight/kettlebell workout.
    At weekends we walk to the shops, walk in the country and go swimming.
    As a previous poster has already mentioned the pressure to do it all and have it all is OTT and so I've decided quality time for me (on my own) and the children(as a family) takes priority over a clean and tidy house, they would like me to be healthy so I can enjoy them more and be around for longer and they will remember the picnics and blackberry picking, not the spotless bathroom and immaculate carpets...
  • jenniferhugheswork
    jenniferhugheswork Posts: 10 Member
    Be suuuuuuper organised lol I work, study, home school my oldest son and the rest. I wrote all my weekly things to do on a whiteboard then scheduled them in my phone calendar (right down to showering, taking meat out for dinner etc) we have a two year old as well. I go to the gym six days a week ( in the evening after hubby home from work) my gym is 24/7
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,371 Member
    You ask your husband to help. It's not your sole responsibility to take care of that stuff.
  • fbchick51
    fbchick51 Posts: 240 Member
    *How do you manage getting your family fed, stay on point with your diet, keep work demands under control, spend quality time with your children, spend quality time with your husband, clean house, AND make time for working out.*

    First off, I stopped worrying about what "other" people thought all that was suppose to look like and instead found creative ways to make all that fit into my crazy life. When mine were really young, I didn't worry about getting an organized workout in, rather I just found ways to be active as often as possible. Whether it was taking the kids to the playground and running around with them instead of just sitting on the benches. Walks in the neighborhood to help lull them to sleep at night. I'd pick up cheap workout equipment (dumbbells as I could afford them, exercise balls, jump rope, etc) and would squeeze in 10 mins here, 15 mins there when I could. As they started walking, we'd spend free time doing walking tours, hitting museums. I even bought a membership at our local zoo and I would often stop on the way home from work and let them run around. Chasing kids can be great cardio. As my kids got older and more independent, our quality time came in the form of me coaching their sports teams, weekend active adventures. I also made a point to make car time our quality talk time. I realized between driving them to daycare/sitters/school and running them around to all their activities, my children were a captive audience for a couple hours a day, almost everyday. All our best conversations happened in my car!

    As for keeping eating on point? Meal planning/meal prep. Eventual, I planned a 2 month rotating meal plan that just took the guess work out of food. (I still use the 2 month rotating meal plan as my kids are just about grown and starting to leave the house). Saturdays mornings were coupon clipping and grocery shopping, Sunday mornings were for meal prep (pre chopping veggies, mixing marinades, packing snacks, etc). I'd also pack my lunches while hubby and I were cleaning up dinner.

    The house work? ehhh. That happened when there was time and I only worried about keeping the house sanitary and safe, not "clean". The hubby and I split the basic daily chores, but I didn't let a little mess stress me out. I'm pretty sure my house looked like a tornado hit it most of the time until the kids were old enough to help out.
  • boulank
    boulank Posts: 51 Member
    My days are a rush!

    I'm up at 5am quick shower and get dressed, pack my lunch bag and make my to go coffee.

    6am wake kids dress them do their hair and help them brush their teeth. Leave house 6:15-6:20.

    Drive to daycare where they are fed breakfast and lunch or when school is in they have breakfast and catch the bus to school where they eat the lunch I packed them the night before.

    Drive to work and work from 7-3. I eat at my desk and use my lunch and breaks to walk to get in some exercise.

    3pm go to the gym if the kids are not in school for 1 hour. Pick them up from daycare at 4pm and head home. If they are in school I get them from school at 3 right after work and do a home workout later.

    Make dinner for the kids because they don't usually eat what I do my hubby is out of town for work most weekdays if he is home he gets dinner too. I usually heat up a meal prepped meal for myself and have that.

    I get clothes laid out and baths and jammies on the kids after dinner. Homework and reading with the kids. Bedtime turn the kids 7pm.

    7pm till bedtime for Mommy 10pm. Clean the house do the Laundry get in a home workout if I need to. Prep my lunch and snacks for the next day.

  • SPeffer1
    SPeffer1 Posts: 74 Member
    JessicaMcB wrote: »
    I'm a SAHM who solo parents much of the time because my husband works away. I cook and shop with my 4, 3 and 2 year olds in tow, we walk everywhere. I run at 3AM 6 days a week on my ultramarathon programming. I clean, etc. after my kids have gone to bed and prep against running in the morning, usually in bed around midnight.

    Oh my gosh I could not survive on three hours of sleep. Particularly not if I had to then be nice to people :)
  • SPeffer1
    SPeffer1 Posts: 74 Member
    I am far from having it all figured out, but do my best. I meal plan and organize all of our dinners and lunches on Sunday (right now only have to prep my lunch - when school starts back up I will do my sons as well. The daycare feeds them lunch otherwise). That helps me to avoid junk food or unplanned going out to eat.

    As far as exercise, I need to work on varying this. I mostly run, but I can't run in the morning b/c I don't have a treadmill, and my husband isn't home overnight/early morning. I usually try to leave work at 4:00 and run then, so that is done before I have to go cook dinner. Once winter comes back I will either try to run at lunch or have to go to the gym after kids bedtime to get the miles in. Plus my long runs are on the weekend and I typically do those before the kids and husband get up.

    After dinner it's time for kid time, baths, books, etc. I pick up daily so that it's not overwhelming. Or at least I TRY to.

    My husband is helpful in that some nights when I have meetings he will make "dad dinner" (usually spaghetti), and he also handles most of the laundry and the yard.

    I don't know how single moms could do it honestly.
  • GrooveMerchant
    GrooveMerchant Posts: 44 Member
    Mine are 9 & 11, and while I don't need to physically feed them, they're still time consuming. They each have their own activities, homework, etc. My husband works nights and I have an hour long commute each way from my full time job. I don't see life getting less busy until they're driving themselves around.
    My gym time gets squeezed into my lunch hour- but then again, I'm really fortunate to have a gym in the building next door I can walk to. When I can get a full hour, that is. I have a standing desk, squeeze in walks and trips up the stairs... last night I did kettle bell swings and yoga in front of the TV while the kids watched a movie.
    I'm not doing as well as I should, and I know this, and I'm trying. Two things I'm currently doing right is that I'm barely drinking (maybe a beer every 2 weeks) and sleeping as much as I can. So tired of being tired!
  • fit_finesse92
    fit_finesse92 Posts: 478 Member
    I wake up at 4.30am. Also take advantage of lunch break to work out. I get 4-6 hours of sleep. I meal plan all our lunches on Sunday.
    Dinners, I try to cook meats enough for a few days and only have to make sides/veggies when I get home.

    I do the same. I have two boys, 3 & 1. Waking up at 4 and bed at 10/11 and taking advantage of my lunch break is the only way to make it work for me. Right now my 1 yo is teething bad and sometimes if we don't sleep much I will let myself sleep in that next morning until 5/5:30 and try to do extra that afternoon. I have a desk job 8 hours a day and i got myself an under the desk bicycle and i pedal all day while working and that helps me stay a lot more active when i used to just sit.
  • fit_finesse92
    fit_finesse92 Posts: 478 Member
    Francl27 wrote: »
    You ask your husband to help. It's not your sole responsibility to take care of that stuff.

    My husband works 13 hours a day in 100 degree heat 13 days on and 1 day off. Maybe OP's husband works a lot.
  • vmbourg
    vmbourg Posts: 125 Member
    I am a mother of two ( 6yr old girl and 18month boy). I have a corporate job and work 40+ hours a week. I have an hour lunch break that I use to work out, so I do very intense workouts in a short time , b/t 4- 5 times a week, because once I am home, I am in Mom mode. Breakfast during the week is on the go. I do protein bar and coffee. When I get to work i'll either eat a banana or greek yogurt. ***Hit the gym at noon** Lunch is eaten at my desk while I work, usually salads/veggies/fruit/hummus/lean meat etc. Depending how I feel that week. And i keep healthy snacks for 2-3pm pick me up. When I get home, usually my husband has a meal prepared. It can range from Spaghetti to chicken&veggies to Taco Tuesday. I do not limit myself from certain foods, but I do measure what I eat at dinner and eat appropriate portion sizes.. So yes, I still eat noodles, but only the serving. Some dinners if I feel the need to sub something like lettuce wrap for the bread I do. This way we all enjoy the same meal and dont spend a fortune cooking diff things.

    On the weekends, I get out as much as I can with the kids. Taking walks, playing outside, swimming.. even though it isnt intense exercise for me, I am still moving versus sitting on the couch folding clothes. I get my daughter involved in chores like sweeping/mopping to keep us moving. She even enjoys doing "yoga" with me. We eat a big hearty breakfast that I prepare on the weekends, a light lunch, and dinner may be left overs . I am not as strict on the weekends but still keep it in a reasonable range.

    So overall , I work out 5 times a week b/t 30-45 mins. (Intense or moderate). Twice a week I do take a walk or ride a bike or some activity with my kids. I eat b/t 1600-1800 cals a day, mostly healthy , wholesome foods, but I do allow myself other things as long as I eat the recommended serving and it fits my calorie needs. The only part of my life that is not the greatest is my sleep. I sleep 11pm and get up b/t 5:30/6am during the week. But on the weekends, as long as the kids are still in bed,I will sleep til almost 8am! Hope my experience helps ! Almost 30lbs down! and only 18lbs left to my goal!
  • HealthyBodySickMind
    HealthyBodySickMind Posts: 1,207 Member
    edited August 2017
    I started lifting before trying to conceive because I didn't want to start a pregnancy underweight. I went back to lifting about 6 months postpartum. At that time, my husband was dropping the girl off at daycare, and I was picking up, so I lifted in the morning before work at a friend's house. Drop off/pick up duties switched and my friend and I started lifting at my house after work. Then we added a third to our lifting group and met at her house. We can coordinate 3 adults schedules well enough to meet twice a week, and we follow a 5/3/1 type progression.

    At some point while we were lifting at my house after work (around the 1 y.o. mark for the girl), we just began lifting with her in the room. This has proven to be good for her. She now "lifts" with us (plays with the weights), counts our reps for us, and tells me how she "have muscles, just like you, Mom," and "I'm strong just like you, Mom." It's adorable, and her form is perfect. Occasionally, after picking her up at daycare she falls asleep in the car, and I pay the newer lifting partner's 11 y.o. $2 to sit in the car with her so I don't have to wake her up. Now that she's 3, I have also bribed her with happy meals to keep her busy while we lift. We really have just learned to play it by ear to get the workouts done.

    Those are the only organized workouts I do, but I also make a point of carrying her rather than pushing her. I hate strollers. When she was too big for baby carriers, she started just riding up on my shoulders. We go hiking, or walk about anywhere like that. I average my daily steps by month, and I am consistently between 12,000 and 17,000 steps per day each month, and a lot of that is carrying a small child.

    That's not a lot, basically daily step count and lifting weights twice a week. That seems to be enough to keep me in pretty good shape. We did a family backpacking trip at the end of July, and I was able to carry a pack that was 45% of my body weight, plus the 3 y.o. up on my shoulders when she wasn't hiking (which was a lot of it).

    I do work 40 hours a week, and as to the work life balance.... that's a whole other post.
  • daniellebrayt
    daniellebrayt Posts: 1 Member
    Honestly I don't know how they do it. I'm a mom of 2 boys but one is 11 and my 4 yr old is in the YMCA daycare where I workout. So I drop him then go to the gym. There are some gyms with child care too.
    As for work, I'm a stay at home mom so my "job" of keeping care of the house is exercise for me too. Food was difficult at first but I realized I just have too make separate food from them. We will all eat a lean meat but they will have their starch and I'll just have an extra veggie or heat up a sweet potato.
    I have gotten myself into a cycle of waking up at the crack of dawn and exercising first. Then I use the rest of the day to do what I need.
    If my little guy wasn't in daycare this would be very difficult but I would work out at home or take him to the park and do some running laps while he plays.
  • zjpq
    zjpq Posts: 198 Member
    Meal plan, meal prep on weekends, always have something like a protein bar, boiled eggs etc in case you're in a hurry but starving, try to get extra steps where I can and squeeze in an at home video workout where possible. Not easy but can be done, I'm a mum of 2 and full time uni student with study and 32 hours a week of clinical placement - lost 6lbs in the last 6 weeks!
  • tmoneyag99
    tmoneyag99 Posts: 480 Member
    Francl27 wrote: »
    You ask your husband to help. It's not your sole responsibility to take care of that stuff.

    My husband works 13 hours a day in 100 degree heat 13 days on and 1 day off. Maybe OP's husband works a lot.

    Thank you for this my DH actually travels alot and works long hours. However, when he is home he does far more than his fair share. He's a wonderful husband and father.

    Side rant: I'm Flipping sick and tired of society assuming that men don't do enough in relationships and that they are the bad guys automatically. Sometimes, the woman is the lazy one. MAYBE women and men should be more deliberate about the person they are about to marry and make sure they both understand the idea of "equitable partnership" and what adulting is about. When both people walk into the relationship with that ideology the relationship is far better set up for success.