OK Working mothers.. Any tips or hints for me.... Page 2 / 2

toadfish, Nov 22, 5:56am
Wow. . thanks for all the support, I came up for air this afternoon and have just had time to get on the computer. Part of the condition of the new job was that i was to attend out of town training so i left Tuesday morning and arrived back Friday afternoon so one could say i dropped the troops in at the deep end, and they coped admirably. I did have a mountain of washing on Saturday but with fine weather & everyones help no one was overwhelmed. So week 2 this week will be a "normal" week - whatever normal is! I plan to go to Pak n Save on the way home tommorrow, I resisted the urge to do it this morning - I think it was charlie who advised me to keep the weekend as chore free as possibleand that was one chore i could put off. Miss 17 is going to be my "paid" cleaner this Fridayas her exams are finished and she could do with some extra cash over the holidays. . better than giving it to a stranger. I have made her swear that come hell or high water she will do it Friday otherwise I would have got a "real" cleaner & we have people coming to stay Friday night and a big family BBQ... . AT MY HOUSE. So on Fridayi leave work at 5pm go straight to the airport to pick up the guests and then hopefully coming home to a sparkly house & other guests already to entertain. Already i am breaking a habit of a lifetime and asking for help & making life easy on Myself. I am providing the meat and bread for the BBQ which requires little preparation (In fact i have both all ready to go in the freezer) andothers are doing the salads and desserts which are more time consuming. In the past i would have tried to do it all myself. So thanks again and if i find any gems that make a difference i will share them on here. On the bright side... got my first full pay packet in 18 years... YIPPPEEE we all went out to dinner when I got home on Friday to celebrate! ! !

crails, Nov 22, 7:20am
That rice salad sounds divine

toadfish, Jan 3, 8:18pm
Ok, have been working for a while now so have my tip to share that has worked the best.

I decide whats for dinner the night before... take it out of the freezer and leave on the bench overnight. That way it goes into the fridge in the morning. Then I tell the girls what needs doing and whos to do what (thats really important so they both don't think the other one is or should be doing it). I tell them if they need to make a salad & I leave any veges that need peeling in an ice cream container on the bench... quite often its a mix of root vegetables, and when I come home they are peeled and sitting in a saucepan of water... and sometimes in the oven cooking!

I let them know what we are having, how it needs cooking (not in a directive way, just let them know in conversation) and more often than not they have started cooking it before I get home, and if they haven't its all ready to go and I get home about 5. 20pm so not late at all.

I let them know if they need to bring in the washing and they both bring in there own and put away and leave hubbies & mine folded in a basket.

So all going swimmingly... except hubby injuring his leg and not working for the last 4 weeks... . we were a double income for about 3 weeks lol. Still he will be back soon and I can get my cleaner... .

Just thought I would share what was working for me as the transition is nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be.

toadfish, Jan 3, 8:28pm
PS. And another thing that works for me is when i have a spare hour on the weekend I make a couple of lasagnes. Put them in the freezer and when there is a night that we are all busy, I pop it in the oven in the morning frozen, set the automatic timer, it defrosts all day, then slowly heats through and is ready exactly when I need it. I also do double batches quite often... one for that nights meal and the other half goes into the freezer for a lazy night. We also have chicken patties & oven fries in the freezer, they can be turned into chicken burgers from the freezer to the table in less time than it would take to get takeaways, not particulary nutritious but better and cheaper than grabbing takeaways.

grouch, Jan 3, 8:53pm
I have to say your brown rice salad is so devine and I make it all the time now. Thanks!

toadfish, Jan 3, 9:01pm
I'm starting to make it today for tommorrow, its hubbys birthday and he has requested a BBQ with my rice salad & potato salad... high compliment as he was asked to name anything he fancied...

joeygirl76, Jan 3, 9:22pm
Hi toadfish, I was just going to add that if you're able to, give the kids a phone call in the afternoon to make sure they are home and out of trouble. Also good to find out if they need something for school the next day that you can pick up on your way home.

toadfish, Jan 3, 9:40pm
Actually we are in touch all day, my girls text me during the day with snippets from school etc... and also requests... never forget the day when i was really really busy and a little overwhelmed at my new job when I got a text from Miss 15 asking me to pick up BIG Carrots on the way home. . it actually snapped me put of the fog I was in and made me laugh. We are lucky in the fact we have a foodtown (not my ideal shop but better than a dairy) and a fruit & veg shop both within walking distance. Up until now they have used there own money and I transferred it back to them straight away. I know it sounds funny but i was thinking along the lines of a petty cash tin. . that we balance and drew down more cash... maybe thats too organised but would save them having to uses there own money.

mbos, Jan 3, 10:07pm
toadfish, I don't have teenagers, but I remember being an A grade teenager who had two working parents!

My jobs were to get the washing in, folding it as I went, put the casserole on, and do the veges ready to turn on.

Also to vacuum.

It's a huge help if we are made to learn more around the house at that age, because it's sodding embarrassing to be faced with a toilet and not know how to clean it when you go flatting!

toadfish, Jan 3, 10:33pm
Thanks Mbos, i reallythink lovely, mature, responsible teenagers (and A Grade students to boot) need lots of encouragement not lots of jobs. We have cleaned as a team for a very long time now, we all have our set jobs and its done in an hour but now I am working and the girls are getting busier, partly school, partly work, partly socialI feel $40 a week will be well spent on a cleaner with the other jobs eg washing, tidying and meal prep being shared. We are a very happy family unit so something is obviously working... except maybe hubby but he takes care of outside things, lawns, rubbish, cars etc... and works incredibly hard (physically) so that's his part. (He will do anything to help when asked... just never "sees" things that need doing... Male Vision lol)

fruitluva2, Jan 3, 10:56pm
Yes Toadie you do have lovely looking girls ( I saw the nice TL pic, lol) and given the odd turn at cookingthey will love you for the opportunity later as my sons do. Many haven't the faintest idea what to do with a packet of instant noodles besides just putting in a pot of water and eating bland food. But given the chance of seeing the parents cook meals they soon remember when leaving home things of how you made a particular dish or what you added in the gravy, lasagne, etc and they are more confident of experimenting with food and come up with some new dishes, lol.
Have a good year.

toadfish, Jan 4, 3:47am
Fruitluva... . That photo is a lovely memory of our trip... We couldn't believe seeing him there just sitting on a park bench... funnily enough he had just hurt his toe and they were checking it out... then he got up especially for the photo. . nice guy.

You have a good year as well. Something I used to tell my girls often (and still do every now and again) When they had trouble with playground bullies or girls being mean. You can't change them, but you can change the way you let them effect you... . A lesson I have been taking out of my own book lately.

Your are a real star on this MB! ! See you on the boards... Take care JB.

terraalba, Jan 4, 3:50am
One way is what I found visiting Australia and also saw it on an Aussie cooking tv programme here. This is to have a series of recipes that have the same basic initial preparation and made in sufficient quantitiy to serve as the basis for one or two more meals but with the extra as a base for different recipes. I have thought of this myself and will at some stage search for suitable base recipes. The ones I saw had certain vegetable and sauce combinations. I can see how it works, a kind of baked dish sauce and veges and pastacould be a pie with pastry or potato topping or somekind of seafood or meat added to it. Maybe another poster knows of a few of these kinds of recipes. My daughter is a busy corporate account manager and comes home late. She does this for her hardworking pasta loving builder husband.

toadfish, Jan 4, 7:14am
My hubby is a builder and they do require a "special" diet lol... I always joke with him that he will be laughed of the building site if they ever find out he comes home to "manly" felafel wraps... . or Quiche. . whoops I mean Bacon & Egg pie without the lid lol. I think I have seen what you talk about in the healthy food guide, one base mix and several things to do with it. Thanks I will are bare (or bear? ? ) that in mind

toadfish, Feb 14, 4:40pm
Made 2 x cottage pies yesterday and have the luxury of walking in the door to dinner heating through tonight and one in the freezer for another busy day.

This is sad in a way but worked for me... have been having trouble fitting in a grocery shop this week, was darned if I was going to go with all the crowds during the weekend daytime, so I went 7. 30pm Saturday night and it was pleasant and uncrowded. Sad that we had no better plans but very satisfying to get it out of the way for another fortnight.

I stock my cupboards so I have a spare of everything... this way we are never really urgent for shopping as we are just replacing the spares... that works for me as well.

Also as far a "meat" shopping, I pass a "Mad Butcher" every day on the way to work, so keep an eye out for his blackboard specials and leave 5 mins earlier and buy it on the way in to work. Then I just come straight home after work... just feels better than stopping on the way home. . plus the meat selection is great and I am on my own in the shop at that time of day. Sometimes I leave 15 mins earlier and stop off at New World to look for marked down meats etc... sometimes nothing and last time... . I got 15 meals for $72, including a full priced but on special lovely pork roast. Very pleased with that. Then I just put it in the freezer at work till 5pm.

This morning I purchased on line my ecomist refills, I usually ring but this way its another "little" job out the way, and all those little jobs add up.

SO very happy with the transistion.

margyr, Feb 14, 6:33pm
have not read all the thread so sorry if this has been said before, when you get home from work, make a cuppa and sit with the kids for 20-30 mins asking about their day etc, yes you will be tired but this is an important time. about the work just leave a list of jobs on the fridge, like getting the washing in, peeling spuds, but dont make them into your slaves and dont be grumpy if they have forgotten to do something.

margyr, Feb 14, 6:42pm
haha, just read the whole thread and i see that you were just giving an update. oh well never mind nice to read that things are going good for you.

rthomo1, Feb 14, 8:36pm
At that age I used to cook whenever I was home before mum it was just part of helping the household, used to get washing in, do vacuuming whatever else needed doing. My boys will certainly be cooking meals and the rest once they go to high school.

red2, Feb 14, 9:44pm
I find grocery shopping online real handy. You can get the kids to unpack the groceries if you are not at home by delivery time

toadfish, Apr 9, 8:21am
Yesterday I brought $58 of boneless chicken breasts from the Mad Butcher ($10. 99 per kilo). I removed the fat and chopped them into cubes and put them in approx 550gm servings size bags. I use the pams sandwich snaplock bags, really cheap and what I do is remove all the air and then flatten them so the are only about 1" thick. I got 8 meals for my $58. These are fantastic for a quick and easy dinners... stir fry... pasta sauces... . butter chicken. . you name it. Took me about half an hour but worth it in the long run for quick easy meals.

1buzemum, Apr 9, 8:52am
My boys are 9 and 10 and I am doing a roster of chores including cooking tea (which they choose the day before and I help them prepare)

The other reason why I am doing this is they need to understand they have allot of activities where it takes my time so they need to help (or learn to and they are good helpers too)

Things I found good are, internet shopping, 3 hours a fortnight house keeper (everyone keeps their mess tidy it is to keep ontop of spring clean, windows, oven etc) family time weekends

toadfish, Jan 14, 6:44pm
Absolutley. . I told the girls a few weeks ago. . the "Taxi" service doesn't operate if the things I have asked be done arnt.

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