Working Parents – How Do You Do It?

Working Parents – How Do You Do It?

I’m stressed, I’m exhausted and my house is a tip. Spencer and I are living off takeaways and my daughter is living off fish fingers and other processed delights. I have a rapidly growing to do list and no time to do it. What I want to know is, fellow working parents – how do you do it?

Working parents - how do you do it? Blog post about the struggles of working while raising a child - header photo with large sink full of dirty washing

I’m the first to admit that I’m lucky. Since having Aria I have been able to leave the mundane office job that I was in for over ten years and find a job that I love, going to work just six hours a week and earning the rest of my money through what started as a hobby, this blog. People mistakingly think that as I only work six hours, usually over three days a week, I have all the time in the world. What they don’t realise is that the rest of my time is split between Aria and blogging. How am I supposed to fit in the housework, the food shopping, the cooking? How?

I’ve reduced my hours so that I can spend more time with Aria, which is why I absolutely refuse to do my blogging work while Aria is awake and it is just the two of us. It isn’t fair on her to be plonked in front of the TV all day every day so that I can work. The time that she is awake is time that I spend with her. I’m not claiming that I am perfect and don’t ever turn the TV on or check Facebook on my iPad when I’m with her, that would be a lie, but what I don’t want to do is get engrossed in my work when I’m with her and pay no attention to her.

When Aria naps I blog. Aria comes first, the blog comes second. Blogging contributes to our income, housework, unfortunately, doesn’t. I also use this time to prepare lunch ready for when Aria wakes up, she likes to have her food pretty much as soon as she wakes up, like her mother, she gets hangry. Sometimes I’ll even treat myself to a cup of coffee during these naps, usually while working.

I’ve recently attempted doing the housework with Aria in tow, she is shuffling everywhere now so it isn’t the easiest. I can hoover the living room and dining room with her, she chases the hoover around which is apparently really very funny.  The fact that she chases the hoover around means that I can’t hoover the stairs with her in tow and also struggle to hoover the bedrooms as there isn’t much room for both of us and the hoover to manoeuvre, she would end up banging into something and hurting herself.

This week I decided to clean the kitchen with Aria in tow, just simple tasks like unloading the dishwasher and wiping down the worktops. That ended in disaster when Aria saw me open the dishwasher and decided to slam it shut, trapping her fingers in the door.

I have decided that housework with Aria in tow does not work. Leaving Aria alone while I do housework also doesn’t work, the house is far too messy and there is no ‘safe place’ to leave her.

My idea of housework is now iPhoto, which I use to blur out the crumbs/cat hairs/dust from my photos before uploading them to my blog. People rarely come to our house in real life so it doesn’t matter.

Then we get to the evening, Spencer gets home and likes to spend an hour or two with Aria before she goes to bed, I use this time to prepare tea (by prepare I mean pre-heat the oven, place the processed food inside and set the timer, or scroll through Just Eat.), and do a little more blogging. Aria then goes to bed and, you guessed it, I blog some more.

Some evenings I don’t blog because I’m too exhausted. I sit on the sofa from the time Aria goes to bed until the time I go to bed and watch Netflix, while occasionally updating my social media sites and catching up on other blogs of course. I do this sometimes because it is the only break that I get. I feel guilty the whole time but I would probably go insane if I didn’t have a break from time to time.

My house is a tip, my daughter lives on processed food and the bedding hasn’t been changed for a very long time. Yet I see other parents cooking every single meal from scratch in their immaculate houses while working full time and raising children.

So, what I want to know, is working parents – how do you fit it all in?


  1. 1st April 2016 / 5:39 pm

    I've been a stay at home mum and a full time working mum, I currently am part time working. (20 hours a week) it requires a lot of organisation, planning, relying on slow cooker meals and a spouse that's willing to help too, and my house is not clean, organised or perfect either, I promise. When I was at home with my daughter, it wasn't either. I don't think anyone gets it perfect unless they have a lot of help and the money to pay for it. Don't worry, you sound perfectly normal to me!

    • 5th April 2016 / 8:29 pm

      I think this is my issue, I am just not organised!
      The slow cooker is great though, this morning I put our tea for tonight in the slow cooker and loaded the dishwasher while Aria had a nap. I then spent a few hours out with a friend with no guilt, usually I would feel guilty! The house is still a tip but at least we've eaten well ha!
      It's reassuring to know that I'm not alone 🙂

  2. 1st April 2016 / 8:55 pm

    I think it gets easier when your children can be occupied with something. I used to do a lot of jobs – dishwasher, putting washing on, putting washing on the airer, wipe down the kitchen etc when they were in the high chair eating breakfast or they'd play in the lounge whilst I did jobs – we had baby gates on the kitchen and lounge doors and a playpen when they were really mobile. Hoovering always waits until they're in bed otherwise you can't tell you've hoovered within a few minutes of hoovering x

    • 5th April 2016 / 8:30 pm

      I think this is my main issue, Aria isn't easily occupied, she won't even just sit and watch TV! I still have to feed her breakfast so it will be easier when she can do that herself. I think I need a playpen, though we did buy a big ball pit which she loved at first but I think she has clicked on that we use it to trap her because she now screams when we put her in there!

  3. 4th April 2016 / 9:53 pm

    I must admit I've been wondering the same thing most of the time the flat is a tip. Blake sometimes won't nap either so it's tricky to get housework done. I thjnks just need to be more organised and get a better routine.

    • 5th April 2016 / 8:31 pm

      It's so reassuring to know that I'm not alone. Organisation probably is key, and I'm useless at organisation!

    • 6th April 2016 / 10:26 am

      Just landed on your blog. Organisation is KEY! I work full time with a 2.5 year old and am 9 months pregnant- SO TIRED. I don't plan meals though I think I should, but my husband recently forced me to organise the house. Everything has a place and we got rid of loads of stuff. It is still hard work since I get home and have to cook and do dishes but at least the house doesn't look a tip because everything has a place. (Crumbs and dirt though…still everywhere 🙂

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