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  1. #1
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    Default Balancing work and home life - tips please!

    Hi all,

    I have 3 boys (5, 3, and 10 months) and am expecting a daughter in 3 months.

    I am back at work (3 days) and will not take a very long MAT leave with bubs #4 (unplanned).

    Due to Childcare requirements (getting the 3 youngest into the same Childcare on the same days) I'll be going back to work from Feb next year (when places will be free due to other kids moving up to school etc).

    Our oldest will be in prep at that time, so will also be attending before/after school care.

    Obviously all mums can do with a little help with ideas of managing time etc, but looking for specific time saver ideas to get thru this time (when I have multiple drop offs - school and Childcare), how to manage the commitments of work, and still keep the house happening.

    Work may be ok with me working from home 1 day a week (obviously saving me in Childcare costs) just not sure how much work I'll get done with 3 kids at home.

    So far I'm thinking:
    Meal planning
    Delivered groceries
    Investigate a fortnightly cleaning service possibly

    Can anyone suggest to me how they keep on top of this? What little things / tips helps you get through?

    Also, how to manage personal time with each child? I suppose this isn't specific a working mother question - more a multiple children question. My husband and I currently try and schedule an activity each week with one child (so they get special alone time with one parent undivided). Nothing special, just groceries, or trip to the tip. But a good chance to talk etc...

    Thankyou in advance for any help you can give me.

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    All that you have listed, I also found at the start, it was straight forward to set out five sets of daycare clothes, nappies etc so each morning when it was time to get organised you could just grab a set and quickly dress the kids and go.
    Same goes with lunches, freeze a weeks worth of sandwiches so you can grab, pack and then go..

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preshy2008 View Post
    Same goes with lunches, freeze a weeks worth of sandwiches so you can grab, pack and then go..
    You can freeze sandwiches!? Don't they go soggy?

    Sorry to derail OP.

  4. #4
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    Lol I didn't know about it either but Vegemite and cheese and ham and cheese seem to work well
    My son has never complained and the bread defrosts really nice if its fresh when you make it..
    I'd still never freeze tomato or anything like that..

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    I found starting school really full on, so many extra things to remember, like free dress days, show and tell, library day etc. So I have a bit of a list on the wall to tell me which day is library etc each week and when I get the school newsletter I sit down with my diary and write down when free dress days, and other activities are.
    I've got one in prep, a 3yo and a baby, but haven't gone back to work yet, and I find thIngs are super busy! The 3yo and preppie being able to dress themselves in the morning helps me a bit. Good one on one time for me and the preppie is walking home from school when the 3yo is at childcare.

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    A friend of mine hires a nanny 1/2 (depends on work) days a week, kids go to childcare the other days.
    The nanny keeps on top of the cleaning and household tasks, and friend can do some work from home, or go into work.
    The nanny also makes dinner for the family (will cook big batches too and freeze) and makes the kids' lunches for the following day, sets out uniforms etc.

    ETA: nanny gets $20 ph for 8 hours if one day, or 10 hours over 2 days. So 160-200 weekly on the nanny... but it's hugely helpful and she doesn't need a cleaner.

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    A nanny might make sense, I've heard it can be cheaper than childcare if you have 3 kids to look after. There is also some Nanny trial starting next year I think where the government will pay CCR for a Nanny I think, if you can get on the trial.

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    I think the idea of a nanny would be a good option. If that was too difficult, I would absolutely look at getting a cleaner. when I was working full time, and had teenagers, with many sports activities after school hours, and on the weekends, my house cleaner was a life saviour. I would suggest you have a luxury if you can manage one on one time with all your children. I would aim for a few hours of total family time. no work interruptions, just all the family together doing something fun. good luck with everything, marie.

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    Get up 2 hours before the kids to do work in peace. You won't get anything done with 4 kids on your work from home day so do it each morning before they get up

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    Thanks for all your responses so far, much appreciated.

    Freezing school lunches is great - and I will definitely need to get better at slow cooker type meals to be ready when we get home.

    On my work day from home, as my oldest will be at school, perhaps I should consider to send the others to care as well and make it a good chance to get real work done (and maybe even sneak a little housework too.. That might be too ambitious!)

    I'm not sure about a nanny, have heard it's quite hard to get one ( in tas) that is eligible for govt rebate unless of special needs due to lack of approved carers. I might need to revisit this though...

    I have previously had a preference of a child care centre (that we are very happy with) where there is many staff and sickness (of staff) doesn't affect my ability to go to work vs family day care / a nanny and the possibility of last minute in availability of care.


 

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