Sheesh...More Than I Thought....... - Back to work (for the stay at home mom) Blog at Allrecipes.com - 132015

Back to work (for the stay at home mom)

Sheesh...More than I thought....... 
 
Oct. 22, 2009 8:08 pm 
Updated: Oct. 27, 2009 7:58 pm
So, as most of you know I started back in the work force last week after 7 years as a stay at home mom. My job was SUPPOSED to be part time at a local grocery store. My schedule was neatly laid out for me which allowed me to make meals to put in the freezer ahead of time no problem right.Well, when I went on shift yesterday I was surprised  by a request from my manager to pick up a 12-5 shift for today. I said sure (more money right) without thinking that there is nothing in the freezer nor nothing planned for dinner because I was SUPPOSED to be off today not to mention today was my kindergarten sons 1st parent teacher conference of the year. YIKES!!!!!! As of last night I was kicking myself in the butt for agreeing to work the extra shift because DH is just not so keen on the parent/teacher relationship and dinner was something he thought would be fun and entertaining. Well he decided dinner making is not all its cracked up to be which is why I cooked 3 meals in advance on my last day off, sigh! If I had only thought to freeze one more to have as a back up when the occasional (okay 3 this week) employee quits without notice or just doesn't show up. Thus far my "part time" job has netted me a whopping 38 hours this week and is taking a toll on the family. I know we can overcome this with time and with everyone getting used to me not waiting on them hand and foot. However, I have to learn how to cook some great meals without spending hours in the kitchen. Today DH surprised me  by showing up at work and buying frozen hamburger patties, buns, and lettuce for hamburgers. I was starving when I got home but I gladly ate it plus it was sweet of him to make it for the family without complaining. I MUST overcome and figure out how in the world I am going to feed my family decent meals without having tons of time to devote in the kitchen. I know soooo many of you extraordinary ladies out there do this day to day and have been doing it for years and you have my ultimate respect!!!! It's much harder than I imagined it would ever be!!!!!!
 
Comments
Oct. 22, 2009 8:27 pm
lol, Deb they usually do, haha!! They never like anything I cook so its just mainly me, DH, and granpa but I still enjoy eating good food. Also, I think you should coin "forvice" its an awesome word and saves some time when speaking just like we do in the south with ya'll =))
 
Oct. 22, 2009 8:31 pm
Hahahaha! Love it! And the guys think it's all easy right! I don't know how I did it either when the kids were little, you just cope. They were usually no more than an hour prep and cooking to table. Simple yet effective. No one died, no one starved, no one complained. I cooked enough we had leftovers. The past year or so I took to cooking 3 or more meats/entrees up on Sunday, then added breads and sides/veggies as needed. Lots of casseroles, chilis, beef stew, stroganoff, roasts, that kind of stuff. It lasted through the week with leftovers. If it needed to be quick it was salmon patties, fried taters, and biscuits with a veg or toasted cheese and soup. Friday was pizza, take out probably once a week if things were really hairy. I still like the frozen boxed/bagged vegetables, so quick and easy. Good blog, totally relate!
 
Oct. 22, 2009 8:32 pm
I want to be superwoman too... but, it is really hard to balance everything. I am glad your DH is helping out, that is awesome! You can tell your boss "no" once in a while, especially when you have a school function. :) Also, don't forget about making some time for you. I do that myself all the time and end up pretty grumpy because of it. I try to make quick meals, like tacos or fish, something that takes 30 minutes or less. I am glad you started a blog, I have always enjoyed your comments.
 
Oct. 22, 2009 8:33 pm
It is amazing how when I look back now that it is all a blur. You just don't know how it all gets done and how all survive. But it happens! And your kids will have much to remind you about in their later lives!
 
Oct. 22, 2009 8:38 pm
thx sassy for the suggestions I totally appreciate it. My next day off is Saturday and I'm totally cooking as much as I can, lol!!
 
Rae 
Oct. 22, 2009 8:39 pm
Hi ladybuggs! That sounds rough. I haven't worked for the past 6 years and can't imagine what I would do to get everything done. Its great that your hubby is helping out. It will take a little time but I'm sure everyone will adjust and be perfectly happy :)
 
Oct. 22, 2009 8:40 pm
That hits the nail on the head Seely!! Superwomen, lol I just don't think I can be. We will have to go back to the quick and easy meals =) And thanks so much I'm glad you all have enjoyed my blog now that I have something to blog about besides cleaning out the litter box and who couldn't find who's shoes or that I ran out of diapers, lol!!
 
Oct. 22, 2009 8:41 pm
Thx Marianne, I am hoping I am teaching my children something by all of this other than dad could use a home-ec course or dozen =)) I must say he is doing a good job as he was "thrown to the wolves" as he says, lol.
 
Oct. 22, 2009 8:44 pm
Yes Rae, it has been a tougher than expected adjustment. With the job I expected something between 20-25 hours a week but its kind of like I took on a full time job, lol. DH was recently laid off (which is why I took the job so he could keep the kids) and has a nice severance package but that will soon end and he will go to unemployment unless he finds something that can meet his previous pay (in our area at this time is not likely) so this job is kind of to get out of the house for right now but will soon be crucial to our household income.
 
Oct. 22, 2009 8:45 pm
Prebrowning hamburger and freeze for quick spaghetti with jarred sauce, I love Prego btw. Or tacos, or baked ziti and so on. Precook and then freeze chicken breasts with choice of seasonings or leave some plain, slice some for fajitas, quesadillas, stir fry, alfredo, leave some whole for chicken sandwichs or other fast pasta dishes with sauces. You can do flat iron steak and slice and freeze. ...it all comes back to me now, LOL!
 
Oct. 22, 2009 8:51 pm
again wonderful ideas Sassy, I used to do this a few um 7 years ago when me and DH both worked full time, lol. Funny, how all that quick cooking and time saving prep leaves your mind when you don't need it, lol. I used to brown 10 lbs of hamburger with bell peppers and onions and freeze when I was pregnant with my kids just to save time. Always made tacos, sloppy joes, spaghetti and such, thx for the reminder =))
 
KGora 
Oct. 22, 2009 8:53 pm
Running a household and working outside the home is quite a challenge. I have to commend you on precooking your meals. Or at least thinking ahead. I know people who don't even have children that can't seem to quander up a meal for the life of them - take out most days, I'm guessing 5 out of 7 - and that means all three meals. So you are doing great! I just wish I could get back into the swing of preplanning several of our meals and have them prepared and frozen ahead. I am working on it. Are you enjoying your new job and getting "away" so to speak? My sister, who is a stay at home mom, often wonders how us working people do it also! I think it is something we just get used to and that's our life. I don't know it any other way. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to work but every day on my way in I thank the lord I have a job when so many people are facing cuts! You're doing great and don't you think otherwise!
 
Oct. 22, 2009 9:08 pm
I am enjoying my job very much! I am with your sister at this point I am having trouble getting used to it. 1 week ago it was nothing for me to spend an entire day in the kitchen making things but I simply don't have that kind of time on my hands anymore. It's all about the conquer and overcome then it becomes just part of life like you said KGORA!! And I appreciate your kind words in more ways than you can imagine. God bless you and your family!!!
 
becca 
Oct. 22, 2009 9:17 pm
Very good blog. You will get in the swing of things and you will wonder why you worried so much. I know you will do very well.
 
Oct. 22, 2009 10:06 pm
Nice first blog LB. Like all the others have said you will settle into a routine. Anytime shift work is involved it makes it twice as hard as working a set schedule. Will you be working all hours with a changing schedule every week? For me that is the hardest thing for the family to cope with. The never knowing when you are coming home or just leaving for work. If you can get into a pretty set schedule where there is some continuity, then the rest of it will just fall into place. But for now while you are feeling your way around, you and DH are doing great.
 
Oct. 22, 2009 10:10 pm
Congrats on the new job ladybug!.. I just wanna give you a word from my own experience about being a working Mom... Sorry in advance since I know that's not what you were asking for but I think it's advice worth sharing; I never did have dinner as organized and I think that's great! I worked at Costco nine years up until two years ago when I quit working to deal with family issues... The job was great in the beginning and was what I wanted, after having my second child and feeling a bit "homebound" I went to work swing shift when hubby got home and it worked out great that way for years. It felt good to help out with income and it also gave me the much needed away time and adult time with people to socialize after being with the kids all day. My job gradually changed after tranferring to another store and when they opened up a closer store I switched again. I was working a different department which required me to work later. My husbands job had changed and he was no longer able to trade off watching the kids and even though the kids were older now, no one was home evenings or nights until 9pm and 11pm. This was a mistake; although I know a lot of people have to leave their kids alone because they have no choice but somewhere along the way I made the decision to sacrafice my family time for the great money I was making. I was at work one night when my son fell in the driveway and broke his wrist; I got the call at work and rushed home. The oldest son who was supposed to be watching his brother wasn't there, he had a real problem with "having" to watch him and blamed his brother for his lack of freedom. The relationship is still strained. There were other bigger problems that resulted as a lack of no parent supervision and I so wish I had told my job years back "NO" and stuck my ground when they said I had to switch departments, work more and longer nights. There are always things to look back on and wish we'd done things differently and like I said, you are lucky to have job in this economy. I'm just telling you this as a heads up; be sure the job is fulfilling a need in your family but when it's becoming a strain you need to make some decisions on what's most important. Now we are on a single family income again but I'm home cooking everynight and the kids are happier because of it.. Hope I don't sound like I'm lecturing here. God bless and good luck with your job and meal planning. :)
 
Oct. 22, 2009 11:02 pm
Ladybuggs: Congratulations on the job! A new job and a new blog! My advice is similar to everyone else's. Cook a larger meal when you are not working so that you will have leftovers. Prepare ahead and freeze. I work 12-hour rotating shifts, and, although I do my best to help out, my husband frequently carries the burden of family meals. My husband is not much of an accomplished cook, but he can handle tacos, spaghetti, sloppy joes, hamburgers, waffles. It's not very gourmet, but an occasional frozen pizza or frozen chicken patty won't cause irreversible damage.
 
Oct. 22, 2009 11:55 pm
Hi Ladybuggs, It was great to read your first blog! I have more time now than I used to, and something I have always done is alternate frozen dinners with homemade. There are some really good ones out there (like Amy's) and I bet you could get them at work (employee discount?) Don't wear yourself out to exhaustion trying to cover all bases at once! In time you will adjust and it will not be so overwhelming. It's always hardest in the beginning... you'll get into the flow of it & create something that works for you and your family. Happy blogging, & good luck with your new job!
 
Oct. 23, 2009 12:24 am
I try to start my crock pot before I leave for work atleast once a week. It's so nice to have dinner waiting for you when you walk in the door. Good Luck!
 
Oct. 23, 2009 1:53 am
Hey Ladybuggs. YOU have my respect and admiration. I was blessed in life, in that I never worked when my kids were small. I was very spoiled. I have no idea how you ladies do it. For me, it is exhausting just to think about. As someone stated earlier, kids are fine with TV dinners. My grandson loves to pick out his own. I see a lot of friends going through what you are, and they all have issues with guilt. I hope you don't feel that way. You are doing what is necessary for your family right now, so be proud. In the long run, I think that your family will have a greater appreciation for what it takes to run a household. So you hang in there, and I will remember you in my prayers.
 
petey 
Oct. 23, 2009 2:46 am
Congrats on the new job! Time to start stuffing meat into that crockpot, like Charleys Mex, to freeze up for burritos and stuff! I never had to deal with working full time and cooking, because I had my barns at home and was able to run up and do stuff between horses. Just try not to get so tired and overwhelmed that life is no longer fun. Hang in there buggs, and Go Forth! LOL
 
Oct. 23, 2009 3:07 am
Planning ahead and crock-pots! My crock-pot is my best friend. I just entered the work force about a month ago. Also, I like to cook in bulk on the weekend, so I have plenty of leftovers for the week. Good luck!
 
sueb 
Oct. 23, 2009 4:29 am
Change is hard to take! For right now, just put as much into the freezer as you can when you are off. Your husband will help you figure out which kinds of meals are easiest for him to heat up. The children will learn to help you put portions in the freezer because they will crave time with you. Somehow, you can make it work!
 
Oct. 23, 2009 5:00 am
Great blog, Heidi! I know you will be able to get it ALL done. Glad hubby is helping out and as many said before me, it'll take a little time, but everyone will adjust and get into a routine. Before you know it, it'll be like second nature! ;)
 
Oct. 23, 2009 5:55 am
Great first blog Ladybuggs! I wish I had some great advice for you. I haven't work outside my home since having my daughter and before she and the husband came along (when life was all about me) I ate out quite a bit. Mostly because it was convenient. I don't know how you women do it all, working AND taking care of the house and family. Just know this...your kids will be fine with however you get food in their bellies. Having your hubby willing to help out some is great, too. Congrats on the new job!! Everything will work itself out, I swear. Keep a positive attitude and learn to say 'no' once in a while.~Cyndi~
 
Oct. 23, 2009 6:13 am
You did a fine job with your first blog, thanks for sharing. Does your husband grill? There are a lot of recipes I use (like Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs, Unbelievable Chicken) to put in the freezer for hubby to grill. I get chicken breasts & cut them into servings size, flatten them, & put in Ziplocs with the rest of the recipe ingredients. Take them out in the morning & hubby can grill for dinner. I do this with pork loins & pork chops too. A simple rice/potato dish & veggies/salad round out the meal. In addition to Sassy's suggestions, I also use ground beef & ground turkey to pre-make burger patties, like Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers & flash freeze them, then put them in Ziplocs. You can either pan fry or grill for more quick meals. I usually do these types of things on the weekend when I'm off. It's kinda lot of work & it takes away some of your free time. But I love cooking, love trying out new recipes, & my family gets to eat good food, so it's all good. Good luck to you in making all this work. Don't forget that it's ok that you can't be Superwoman 24/7!!
 
Oct. 23, 2009 6:32 am
this scenario is exactly why I love my crockpot!!! :)
 
Oct. 23, 2009 6:57 am
You are an Awesome Lady! You are doing what needs to be done to give your family what it needs,Love, Food, Money!! I totally get that it might be a struggle for a while. But this to, shall pass! please tell me you have a CP? I know you know, it is your bestess friend in the kitchen. Put something great in there and go to work with confidence, knowing your family will have a hot meal waiting for them when the day is done. And you will be the Super Mom they have come to know and Love! Have a Fabulous day!! Take care, Love < &hearts;Patty
 
Alex 
Oct. 23, 2009 7:20 am
There are lots of websites and magazines out there with features for busy moms who need 20 minute meals to cook! I've found my best friend is a quick stir fry. I nearly always use chicken, but beef is good too, tofu cubes if you like that.. changing up the veggies and the bottled sauce works wonders, it's like a different meal all the time! Microwave some minute rice to serve with it, and you're done. Takes like 15 mins, max. :)
 
Oct. 23, 2009 8:13 am
I totally relate as a working mom. I realized that no one in my family would die if we had frozen pizza every once in awhile. I always keep some in my freezer. Or maybe bring something home from the grocery store where you work. A cooked whole chicken or something? Also, love the crock pot and meals from the freezer. I try not to use more than 1 freezer meal each week, otherwise they are gone before I know it and I am constantly cooking!
 
Oct. 23, 2009 9:10 am
I pick 2 make ahead meals that will leave lots of leftovers to make over the weekend and then I keep things on hand for easy, throw-together meals that I can make in the 30 mins of free time I have between getting off work and picking up kid. This works pretty well for us and we always fall back on cheesy eggs with ham or grilled cheese. :) The trick is not to be too hard on yourself. You not only CAN do it all, you ARE! :) Good luck!
 
Oct. 23, 2009 9:25 am
Congratulations on your job, LB! Glad to hear you are enjoying your work. I agree that crockpot would be a great help. Good Luck!
 
Oct. 23, 2009 2:50 pm
Thx for the encouragement and helpful advice you all are wonderful. I do have a changing shift but I know a week in advance what it is going to be. I know we will get settled into some kind of routine eventually. I'm glad I'm off for the next 2 days, lol!! Again, thanks to all of you!!!!
 
AuntB 
Oct. 24, 2009 1:10 pm
I'm a single mom and have always been a single mom, to a now-3-soon-to-be-4-year-old little boy. He is the absolute light of my life. I work 40-60 hours per week and I do manage to cook and put healthy food on the table. Since I have discovered Artisan Bread in five minutes a day, I no longer buy bread and I have freshly baked bread daily! Another way I can do this is by making 2-3 times more than I need and freezing it in individual portions so that dinner for the next few nights is easy. And there will come a time when you have to tell your boss no. Thankfully I have bosses that understand that I'm human and need a day to recover from life, and that on those days, I'm generally at home baking. I take those days once a month (I've been at my company for coming up on three years now, I have a month of vacation time saved up because i have hardly ever taken time off). Those once a month days off afford me the opportunity to cook uninterrupted by my son. I love him to death, but sometimes I just need some cooking therapy. Good Luck!
 
Oct. 24, 2009 10:00 pm
Hi there CrazyCookingChick!! I was a STAHM of a 3 yo and a 6yo with a husband that worked about the same hours you do. It was hard to explain to the kids where dad was all the time and why he wasn't here. Now due to circumstances daddy has to explain where I am. I totally need to invest in that book as I love to bake bread and hate hate hate my bread maker!!! I did finally tell a boss NO the other day when they asked me to extend my time from 3pm until 7pm. I didn't help that I was truly not feeling well but my kids were excited about me coming home at 3pm. I have today and tomorrow off which I have embraced as cleaning, cooking, and baking for my family days. All in all I have to say I do truly enjoy helping provide for my family as well as coming to some kind of happy medium for providing meals! Thx cooking chick for your advice I do truly appreciate any advice from someone in my same shoes. I hope many more cooking therapy days come your way!!!!
 
Oct. 25, 2009 6:43 am
Great job with the first blog, LadyBuggs! Please give yourself a break, both figuratively and literally. Working a job is a marathon, not a sprint, and you have just started. There will be adjustments that need to be made, and you are still learning what they are. You are a smart cookie, and you will figure it out. I would be willing to bet that in a month or so, you will have things running like clockwork. Please take care of yourself and rest when you need to. You really don't have to be Superwoman!
 
Oct. 25, 2009 8:05 pm
Thanks for the encouragement cookie momster!! I know we will get in a routine its just finding it, lol. I did good on my last 2 days off and I will be posting a new blog about it soon. Thx again!!
 
MK! 
Oct. 26, 2009 8:24 pm
LB - I had an idea. I don't know if the grocery store you work at has these or not, but a lot of times we get those already roasted chickens (usually only $6 or so) it usually makes about 2-3 meals for us (fam of 4). Might be good for those days when you are stuck - have nothing premade and work late, just bring one home with you from work. With frozen veggies and 10 min rice, you have a meal in under 10 min! Then you will have left-overs for chicken sandwiches the next day.
 
Oct. 27, 2009 7:58 pm
I wish we sold those MK! I did a good job this week on freezing meals and freezing a few extra things for back ups. I did do some roast sticky chicken this week so I have stuff to make leftovers with as you suggested. I plan to blog again tomorrow since I have the day off and let ya'll know how I did with better planning. Thanks again for the encouragement, tips, and ideas. They are all truly appreciated!!!!
 
 
 
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ladybuggs5224

Living In
Pueblo, Colorado, USA

Member Since
Apr. 2009

Cooking Level
Expert

Cooking Interests
Baking, Frying, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Quick & Easy

Hobbies
Scrapbooking, Reading Books

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About Me
I am a recently divorced mother of 2 boys ages 7 and 10. Cooking has taken on a new meaning as I have gone from a stay at home mom, to a working mom, to a single mom, and now I'm again an attached stay at home mom. I always love to cook new things I think thats the spice of life and exposing kidlets to things they wouldnt otherwise try. I must admit after being held away from the kitchen because of work I am again embracing being able to make whatever I want rather than what time allows. I AM A LUCKY GAL!!!!!!
My favorite things to cook
I enjoy cooking mexican food especially green chili wich is a very popular local dish in our area. I also enjoy cooking my favorite foods from the south kinda eases homesickness.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Hmmmm. For most of my marriage we have always prepared a Thanksgiving dinner with all the stops. Turkey, corn bread stuffing, gravy, mashed potatos and gravy, sweet potatos, green bean casserole, and candied sweet potatos ;) Cliche I know but reminds me of long ago family Thanksgiving. BTW, Thanksgiving dinner has come along way over the last 10 years ;)
My cooking triumphs
Well one time I made a meatball sandwich from a recipe in a Quick Cooking magazine. It was let's just say far from being something you want to put in your mouth. I decided I wanted to come up with my own recipe which I submitted to Quick Cooking, ended up getting published in the magazine as well as the yearly cookbook. I was so jazzed I created something that turned out such a sucess. I was like 20, lol! I keep the letter that told me my recipe was being published with my kids baby book, lmao!
My cooking tragedies
With only 1000 words we will stick with this tragedy. The first time I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my family (I was 19) I diligently cooked my turkey most of the day. When it came time to carve it (most of my dad's side of the family joined us for dinner) I realized I had cooked it the entire day with the neck, liver, giblets and a GRAVY packet still in the cavity of the turkey =0, lol!! I had no idea that crammed all of that stuff INSIDE the turkey!!
 
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