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Struggling with work and family life, two full time working parents

BradDad
Community Member
My wife and I are both full time (not much choice about it) and are raising our three small children (all under seven). I feel like a zombie most of the time and the prospect of each day is exhausting. I joke that 'the only thing harder than the work week is the weekend.' But it's not a joke and it's difficult to enjoy life and my kids when I feel so utterly burnt out and also like there's nothing in my life that isn't some sort of demand on me. I've been told by a GP that I need to start exercising for health reasons but also to assist with energy levels, mood etc... but finding the time is impossible and it becomes yet another chore that I'm trying to fit into the day. A work colleague was finishing up last week and we all knocked off at 4. I was able to have one beer before dashing for the train for pick up. Just felt so resentful of everyone who didn't have these demands on them and a longing to kick back and let off some steam. I know it's not a good way to feel about things but can't help it. Any others in similar situations/can relate/ have advice?
7 Replies 7

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear BradDad~

Your life sounds exhausting. I'm sure you will have thought of all the normal sensible things like schedules shared with your partner, and asking if you have extended family to help at times.

You talked of catching a train. I just wanted to mention I look forward to travel, and the reason is podcasts. I'm actually sorry at times when a journey comes to an end. If you can find ones you like it can give you a little something to look forward to and a sort of break

Croix

jess334
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi BradDad,

Thanks for posting. It can sometimes be hard to admit how difficult parenting actually is.

I only have one son and currently I am on mat leave, but next year I'll go back to working full time. My partner also works full time.

I find one child exhausting let alone 3! I actually feel jealous of my husband sometimes because he gets to go to work and get away from parenting duties for a while (although I know he is working hard and that he would probably much rather be here).

I dont have much advice unfortunately. Are your kids young? I have heard that once they are older it calms down a bit (fingers crossed).

Do you have family support around to help you? Maybe you could get someone to babysit for a night and blow off that steam? Although I admit that parenting with a hangover is not fun.

My husband and I take turns having time off. We make sure that we each get time away from the house and the baby to focus on ourselves. Maybe if you offered to do this for your wife she would reciprocate?

Please feel free to keep posting if you can. Sometimes just talking to people who understand can help.

Kind thoughts,

Jess

BradDad
Community Member

Thanks both. Yes good just to talk about it and have some of those feelings validated! Croix - that's some great practical advice about the podcasts. I had a chuckle because this is something i definitely do already, and it helps!

sop
Community Member

Hi BradDad,

i absolutely understand how exhausting it’s when looking after 3 young kids with 2 full time parents. We are in the same boat. I have two kids, 6&9 yo.

At times I find it so challenging especially in the morning rush hours when coming to the bfast time (need to feed) and getting ready to school, preparing lunch etc. Last year it was hectic as my younger one was at day care and the older one was at primary school. So two drop off in the morning. I always came late to work. This year things are slightly easier... when my husband and I can share the loads. I do morning drop off most days and he does pick up after school. We also need after school hour care 5 days.

I am not sure if you have extended family like siblings to help you out? My neighbour has two kids with the similar ages as my kids. What we do to get a ‘kid free’ day is organising a play day on weekends. So 4 kids play together on Sat at my place and on Sunday they go to the next door. So we take turn to look after the four kids each day. we just have to prepare lunch for them. Kids are resilient they can entertain themselves pretty well. I found it easier as they can play together. I am not sure if you have neighbour/ friends like this!?

but if your kids are still baby or toddler age, it’s not feasible to do this play day as yet.

Sorry i don’t seem to offer you any help. But you are not alone! most families have struggles but as kids grow a bit older it’s easier to manage.

BradDad
Community Member
Thanks sop. Good to hear about others with similar issues and how they cope! Mornings are really difficult. Getting out the door is a marathon effort. We've got multiple drop offs and pick ups so it really takes two people to cover it (will be better in a couple of years when they are all at school). As it is I'm always late to work and having to leave ten minutes early to make sure i make it to pick up before after care closes. I recently stepped down from a managerial position at work because I knew I wasn't able to do the job properly (which, if I'm honest, doesn't fuss me too much). Just need to remind myself that these are difficult years!

BradDad,

you are definitely not alone. I struggled so much when my children were young (3 yrs ago) while at toddler age!

I have just recently changed from a full time to part time job. Working 4 days now because everything seems too much. I am still struggling in the morning too. I guess we are all competing with the time. Sometimes they sleep in, sometimes crying or fighting. Seems endless things happening! And they want to watch TV as well. It takes like an hr to eat their meals.

weekends can be a nightmare too as I have to do grocery shop with them and they are not interested in those shopping. They would love going to playground, seeing toys session etc. it is draining ... so we just have to take it easy and be patient while they are still young.

kned
Community Member

As a fellow parent, I can understand your exhaustion! Young kids are very tiring, especially on top of work and home-life responsibilities. Some of the things that I can think of that may help:

- Is it possible for one of you to reduce to part time for a while? Reducing 1 day a week or fortnight isn't a huge impact on finances.

- Make time for yourself - Enlist in a babysitter or a friend for help or one parent minds the kids while you do something for you (and vise versa). We all need our 'me time'.

-Arrange a house cleaner, it takes less pressure off trying to do it of a weekend/after work

- Online shopping - it has saved us so much time. You can do click and collect, or get it delivered at night or on the wkend.

And like the others have said, it apparently does get easier when kids are older! We are only in the throws of this now (2 under 4 with a baby on the way, gulp).