Working Moms

Help! I am drowning...

I have a 6 month old at home.  I work a high pressure job full time.  I have great childcare (grandmoms), but I struggle at work now.  I have no focus, I can't get things done.  I daydream about being with the baby.  I am exhausted all the time.

I can't stop working because we need the 2nd income.  How do you handle it all?  With Christmas, gift buying, parties, organizing, I feel like I am drowning and I can't keep my head above water.  So much to do, so little time, and especially so little time with the baby.  By the time I get home at night it is 6 or so, I feed her, make some dinner, play for about 30 mins, do bedtime and she is in bed (she is a strict 7:30 to 8 pm sleep time baby, or she gets too cranky).

Ugh, sorry for the rambling, but I just don't know what to do.

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Re: Help! I am drowning...

  • Prioritize and outsource what you can. Can the grandmother's help during the day while they are watching LO? Can you use your lunch break to run errands? Can you order gifts online??

    It also sounds like you could use a day off, while grandma still watches your LO.

    Hang in there mama! You will fall into a routine soon enough.
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  • I hear you.  Do you have any flexibility with your work?  I, too, work a high pressure, very busy job, and I manage a team of 12 (direct and indirect reports).  My company is big into flex time and flex place working, which is very strange for the industry (financial services).  Could you work one day a week from home?  I find that to be extremely helpful.  I don't have to commute an hour each way, and I can throw in a load of laundry here and there to cut down on the work.  I'm connected through my laptop, IM, and I forward my phone to my cell.  We have a nanny, so typically she and DD are home for lunch, and I can pop up from my office in the basement to see them for a few minutes.

    Could you flex your start/end time?  I would love to go in earlier and come home earlier, but I just know it wouldn't work out.  I'd wind up coming in earlier and staying just as long as I already do.  DH gets into his office by 6:30-7am, and leaves at 4pm, so he gets some time with DD before I get home at 6.

    And I agree with the PP - outsource what you can.  Good luck!

  • I'm sorry you're struggling. I know exactly how you feel as I have a high-pressure job as well (and two little ones now). My advice is to do everything you possibly can to simplify your life. Do you have to go to every party? Can you pare down your gift list? My sister and I have frequently declared "gift truces" to just avoid the whole thing. I was kind of astonished yesterday when people were posting about what they're doing for Christmas - the sheer volume of it all was staggering. Can you limit your decorating to just a tree? Skip Christmas cards this year - or if you really want to send something, do New Year's cards so you can send them out after the insanity is over?

    I realize these are short-term holiday-related suggestions but really, it's all short term - its basically how you get from one month (or day, or week) to the next.

    I don't know if you're still nursing and pumping at work but I will say that my life felt a little bit more sane when that part was over, which for me was nine months with each boy.

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  • First of all take a deep breath and relax. I agree with the pp about trying to outsource. We don't have any family nearby and my husband works 60 hours a week...and is gone M-F nights leaving me to handle both girls on my own. Try and get him to help as much as possible. This last weekend I was able to slip away for 3-4 hours with a girlfriend to go get some Christmas shopping done while he watched the girls. I just left a bottle of expressed milk and they all had a fun time.

    One thing I will tell you is that your child is still pretty young. I remember with DD1 the first year or so, I always thought I never got enough time with her at night b/c she went to bed so early. As she gets older, she will start staying up later. My DD1 used to go to bed around 6:30 (which is now when DD2 goes to bed). DD1 now goes to bed at 8/8:30, so we have about 3 hours each night to get to be together.

    "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
    Goodbye little angel(7/22/2011)....see you in heaven
    Goodbye my second angel (9/18/2011)
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  • It gets better, I promise!!

    On the holidays -- when I had a 6 month old, I declared it "gift card christmas" and that's what I gave everyone.  They all understood, and it was better to have me present and happy and spending time with them (and my kid) then running around shopping.

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  • I think you need to analyze in what areas you feel like you are "drowning".  If it's shopping, then do it online.  Amazon is my best friend for diapers, wipes, toilet paper, gifts, whatever I can buy that keeps me from stopping at the store.  Pay the prime membership so you have free shipping.  The convenience is soooooo worth it.

    I am also a fan of using my lunch break to run errands.  I don't get home until 6pm and my kids are in bed at 7-730, so if I try to grocery shop or run errands after work, I won't see them before they go to bed.

    I also agree with PP suggestion about seeing if work could offer some flexibility or teleworking options. 

    Also, I think at 6 months old, it wouldn't too hard to take DD along with you to shop and run errands.  It's when they get mobile that things go downhill Smile

  • I am a list person. I have to be. I forget things. Also the lists help me to stop running lists in my mind so I can concentrate.

    I would write down all what needs to be done in regards to your Christmas, gift buying, parties, etc. From there, make a plan. See what on your list can you have someone else do. Once you see what you have left. Make a plan from there.

    You can shop online for your gifts.

    When you get home just focus on your time with the baby. I do anything that needs to be done once the kids are in bed. We get home it is feed them, baths, and bed. It does seem like a blur but that is to be expected. Don't blame yourself. Don't blame the fact that you work. I look at it like this - even if I was a SAHM with one in school evenings would still be busy. It isn't always because of your schedule. It will shift and you will be busy because of your child's schedule.

    As for work - tell yourself today, I will try to focus for 1 hour on work with no daydreaming or interruptions. Set a timer if you have to. Try to meet your goal. Once you do one hour, then 2, then more. Make a list for work stuff as well. Prioritize the list and go from there so you can keep on task.

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  • I have a May baby too, and I look around my house and wonder when or if any of it will ever get done. It sounds your low in sleep one thing I prioritize is gettin to bed about 90 minutes after the LO goes down. It is amazing how much less stessful everything feels once you have some sleep. The other thing that saves me is how much my Mom who watches LO 3 days a week does. I have been know to pawn off laundry on her. Good luck and try to find a new normal
  • I sure feel your pain!  I work full-time outside the home and daydream all day of being at home with my daughter.  I also feel exhausted almost all the time and just can't seem to keep up with anything that has to do with work, housework stuff, spending time with my daughter and also finding time for myself and time with hubby.  My daughter is also on the same sleep schedule as your little one.  So by the time I get home from work, I'm in the same boat as you are.  My daughter does get  cranky if she's not in bed by 8pm or 8:30pm at the latest.  I would also love to hear any kind of help or ways to make life a little easier myself.  If you just want someone to vent to about motherhood or just life let me know, as I said, I feel your pain!
  • I insist on weekends being "me and baby" time... I try not to let myself plan a bunch of other stuff on Saturdays and Sundays.   It helps me during the week to know that I have those days coming.  

    I really, really, think your family and friends will understand when you give cards only or gift cards you ordered with a note that says "merry christmas from a full-time working mom."  Especially those that have been there will appreciate it.  People will also fully understand when you show up to a family party without a side dish or dessert or whatever.  Don't apologize for it, just own it. :)  

    Are you able to go in to work earlier and leave earlier? even if you could get home at 5:30 I think you'll feel better.  

    Give yourself a break- its okay to feel stressed. We are all working two full time jobs... not easy!  Hang in there.

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