How do you balance it all? — The Bump
Working Moms

How do you balance it all?

I have a 3 year old and 4 month old twin girls. I went back to work full time when the babies were 3 months old (it's almost been 2 months). This morning I woke up feeling defeated. We're a military family so we have no help. I just don't feel like it's possible to be a full time mom, wife and employee all in the same day. I feel like everyone only gets just a fraction of what they deserve from me. I think DH gets the the most neglect.

I know the grass isn't always greener on the other side but I just wonder what it would be like to be able to just be a full time mom and wife.

How do you juggle it all?


Re: How do you balance it all?

  • At this point you are in survival mode. It really takes several months to find a balance. It will get easier over time as babies STTN and require less constant feeding/holding etc. give yourself a break! If you can, hire a cleaning service. Order takeout, let things go. I had pretty good balance with my 2 kids until I got pregnant with #3. I'm being totally lazy, ignoring DH, and not cooking. Just do the bare minimum for now and slowly add things back in.
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    [Deleted User][Deleted User]northhillsbride[Deleted User]
  • I feel exactly like you do most of the time.  Thank god I am a teacher and get summers off and multiple holidays and breaks throughout the school year.  I feel like my poor dog gets the most neglected, then DH.  
    Being a working mom is super hard.  Be gentle with yourself and do what you can.  
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  • 88sharonlee88sharonlee member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Photogenic
    edited April 2014
    Just saying hi and that I think your doing so much right now- of course your overwhelmed.
    I was feeling kind if like this today as well , I've been back to work for two months and I have a long commute, plus pumping at work, plus a dog, plus money stress....I mean it's tough.
    I feel like I'm literally running around trying to get things done all day and then get to bed for some sleep, but one day at a time right!
  • dglvrk2dglvrk2 member
    Ninth Anniversary 250 Answers 500 Comments 100 Love Its
    edited April 2014
    Like @PrivacyWanted‌ said, don't be afraid to say no. I found the more I said no the easier it got. Honestly, no one but my mom has given me riff about opting out of something.
    Also, make sure you and DH are both doing your part w the parenting, household obligations etc. DH has been w our girls more than I have lately. He also cooks most meals. I do the shopping and cleaning. It's certainly not glamorous, but it works.
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  • At least for me the first year was just pure survival. One day at a time, grind it out. No one got my 'Best'  EVERY day, but they all got their expectations/needs met. Once I started to get more than 2-3hrs of consecutive sleep around 10-11months things got SO much better.

    As pp have mentioned if you can afford to outsource definitely do it. If you can afford to hire a babysitter on occasion do it and get a few hours of "me time" or "couple time"

  • There's just no magic answer so you need to start from a place of knowing and accepting that.  Next, accept that life is all about peaks and valleys.  You will have days, weeks, even months of feeling like everything is off and you're achieving anything on any front and then there will be days, weeks, even months where you feel like you're super woman and wow, look at how I'm handling all this! 

    For me, changing my expectations and deciding what's really important to me made a big difference.  Clean house?  Important, yes, but not so important that I'm cleaning it every night.  It's okay for stuff to get dusty and the mail to pile up and since I don't want to spend my weekends cleaning we hired a cleaning lady to come every other week.  I don't make dinner every night and when I do it tends to be quick cooking things/crockpot or freezer meals.  The kids don't need a bath every night but they do need to be read books every night.  Laundry gets done once a week.  I get a lot of stuff delivered to the house to reduce my need to go out and shop. After the kids are in bed that's my time and I try not to spend it doing chore type stuff because that way I feel as though I really get a little time off each day and I don't feel guilty about it.

    Routines also really help. That's harder with babies as their routines change quite often but at some point that evens out and once the kids are older I establish set things that always get done.  They hang their coats on the coat tree, they put their backpacks in their cubes, shoes go on the bottom stair, lunch boxes on the counter, they clean off the table when they're done eating, they clean up the playroom before bed, they put away their laundry, etc.  That really helps to keep a little bit of order and keeps me from having to do everything.

     

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    Secondary infertility success with IVF, then two losses, one at 14 weeks and one at 10 weeks, then success with IUI and then just pure, crazy luck.  Expecting our fifth in May as the result of a FET.

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  • ss265ss265 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Photogenic

    I don't know how flexible your job is but if possible, try and work from home one day a week. It's amazing how having that one day where you are alone in a quiet house, saves your sanity. And it helps you get a head start on chores like laundry which are quick but difficult to find time for when all the kids are around.

    And try and schedule mental health days once in a while where you take the day off from work but keep the kids in day care etc. just so you can get a break. And don't be so hard on yourself! You don't have to be perfect in every aspect of your life.

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  • Hang in there. It took me months to find balance and I only have one kiddo. With that said, I have never wanted to be a SAHM and 15 months later I still do not want to be a SAHM. I love my job, love contributing to the cause I work for. So we just make it work. Routine, routine, routine has really helped us. But like I said, we are only three people, you are five!!

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  • grace806 said:
    Outsource cleaning, landscaping and grocery shopping (delivery) and working from home helped me feel more balanced but even still I'm overwhelmed.
    All of this. And I've learned in my 3 weeks back to work with two little ones that I just can't take life too seriously right now. Leave the lights on my car and my battery is dead at the end of work? I laughed and then went back in to catch up with someone I hadn't talked to in awhile. Lost my locker key at the gym and could not get to my purse? Good reason to go back to the gym the next day to collect my belongings and get one more exercise in that I wasn't expecting. I know one day I'll look back and actually miss this time in my life, so I just try to see the bright side of all the overwhelming things going on and enjoy it.
    BTW, your girls are precious :)
    melody921
  • Ever see a picture of a person juggling so many things that they are also using their feet?  That is us some days.

    I just keep telling myself the 4 month old will one day sleep for 6+ hours and won't always want to eat every 2-3 hours.  Sounds cliche but it does get better.

    I've also let some stuff go like my obsession with organization.  Its ok if there are legos all over the den, not a big deal.  :-)
  • I had my two close together and I STRUGGLED from the time I went back to work at 12 weeks until 7-8 months. That was when my younger started STTN. He has still been a handful and things have just started getting 'easy' when he turned about 21 months (did I mention he was a handful).

    It is a hard time, and I only had 1 baby. We are also military, so I understand. I know it doesn't help much now, but I really think things will start getting better for you in a few months. Just be honest with your DH - I know you are on the back burner right now, but I'm just trying to make it through this time. Just make it through one day at a time - focus on you, your kids, and your DH. Don't worry about house or friends or other unnecessary obligations. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise.

    DD Nov 2010 ~ DS June 2012
  • I was just having this same conversation with my sister who is now back to work for over a month.

    When I went back to work when my triplets were 1 year old I too really struggled. Looking back it took about 6-8 months to get the work and family balance down packed. So don't beat yourself up. After that was balanced I am focusing on adding in the exercise. I think you should do one small baby step at a time, once whatever it is that you are working on balancing becomes a routine, tackle the next small thing. It will all come with time.
  • Only thing I can think of to add is to explore meeting other military or working parent families that live very close to you. This could open up possibilities for child care exchange down the line. Not to mention just having a friend who can empathize can help you feel ... Validated... If not better overall
  • You've already gotten a ton of great responses, but I can say I have been feeling this way a lot lately too. No one said it would be easy to juggle work and home, but I try to keep my priorities in line. I do the best I can at work, and I try to separate the office from my family. We might only have a short time between daycare pickup and bedtime every night, but I try to make that time count and really engage the kids. DH and I (thanks to his very generous parents), try to do a weekly Thursday night date night. It gives us a break and a chance to reconnect, gives the kids attention from someone new and doesn't take away from weekend family time. We have cleaning people, I rely on Amazon for as much as I can, and I try tor really plan out errands/other things that need to be done. On days that I feel really overwhelmed, I just try to remind myself that I can only do so much and that has to be good enough.

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  • *hugs* i agree. you have to accept that you are in a survival mode at this point. let things lose. Dont worry if the house isnt spanking clean or as organized as you want it to be. Outsource what you can

    i love you, my little mooncake mahal kita
     
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