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Dual-Earner Family: Deb and Ron

Every day Ron gets up at 5.30-6.00 a.m., then he gets himself ready to work (bathroom, getting dressed), wakes Deb. Ron is gone to work by 7.00. Ron works for 9-10 hours a day. Couple of days a week after work Ron is obliged to pick up Charlie from childcare center near 5 p.m.

After that, they have an evening routine. They spend time with kids, have supper, do some house works. They also get kids ready for bed. At the weekends Ron does housework, garden work, for example cutting the grass outside, cleaning, and shopping with kids.

Deb gets up at 6.00-6.15. Then she is getting dressed, dresses their kids. After that they have breakfast. Then she takes Charlie to the childcare center and goes to work. After work she picks one of her kids, then another. They arrive at home by 5 o’clock.

One or two nights a week Deb is off working so she does different house work. One weekend a month Ron is working without day offs and Deb has to watch kids alone without any rest. The following week – is horrible for their family because nothing of the house work is done and they have not any rest. When it happens, Ron works 12 days in a roll.

So if I was child/family human service professional, and members of this family were my clients, I would advise them to take as a rule the following things:

1. Avoid clutter. Firstly, the absence of disorder helps to concentrate on what you are doing and not be distracted by lying things. It saves time: it’s easier to find the right thing, quickly clean the house; there is no need to rearrange, add, and remove.

2. Everything should know its place. You may have no mess, but you don’t know where the things are. Therefore, specify the location for each item and return it there when you do not use it. This is one of the most useful habits of successful people. It takes a few seconds, but then you do not have direct orders to seek the appropriate thing, your house will look cleaner and neat.

3. Teach your kids to clean up after themselves. From an early age children should be taught to clean up after themselves when they have finished playing. But when a child finishes playing, help them gather all the details, folded into a box and put it away in its place. Cleaning can be represented as a game, and then the child will be only too glad to do it.

4. Prepare for the next morning. For most people the morning – is the most productive time, so you need to use it for the most important things, rather than spending on routine duties. If you have any chores that need to be done every day, make them the night before the morning and not in a hurry.

5. Do not spend much time on TV. You probably noticed how much time television is consuming, you can spend a whole day watching different programs. You can spend this time more effectively. For example, spend time with family or study a foreign language. Limit time of watching TV to 1 hour a day, and you will notice how many useful things you have time to do.

6. Plan your menu for the week ahead. You will save a lot of time by a simple menu planning for the entire week. Firstly, you can go to the store only once a week and just buy everything you need. Secondly, you will not be distracted, thinking what to cook for dinner and what you need to do. Good idea – is to cook in advance, immediately secured a lunch for tomorrow, and then the day after.

7. Do all the cleaning at once. Do everything that is needed, and only then take up a new business. Cleaning is no longer hanging over you and oppresses you.

8. Get a big family calendar. If you have a big family, then you need to synchronize your actions with others. Hang a large calendar in which each will write their own affairs. First, you will not forget about your meetings, because they will always be on your mind. Second, you’ll know where will be your wife/husband, children, and you will be able to adjust to their schedule.

9. Hire employees. Sometimes it would be prudent to hire an employee than to do everything yourself. This applies to people whose time is worth more money. For example, if you have a child, but once you sit with him, hire a sitter that can substitute you during working hours. If you have a large garden, for which we must look, invite the gardener, who will be engaged in work in the garden. People will be happy to make money, and you will be able to do necessary chores, knowing that everything is done without you.

Of course you cannot use all these advices at once. It is nothing to be scared about, you should start with a small thing. The most important – is constancy. Remember that even the longest trip begins with a small step. I strongly believe that these interventions will stabilize Ron and Deb’s family.

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