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Both parents Working full time ... Is it a nightmare?

(190 Posts)
FergusSingsTheBlues Wed 09-Jul-14 15:08:04

I'm planning on going back to work this year.

There are no pt jobs in my area/sector (financial services)
I'm interviewing for two ft jobs at the moment but deep down I'm dreading getting one. My children are 4 and 1 and I think it might cause too much disruption and stress all add to the mix.....I'm horrendously disorganised although I cannot let that get in the way.

Financially I don't NEED to work FT
But I don't want a career change as I 1. Like my job 2. Get paid well

Is it worth the pain or does it just fuck everything up?

(... And yes, I'm lucky to even have this as a dilemma rather than a necessary move)

ChickenFajitasAndNachos Wed 09-Jul-14 15:15:31

If you got one of the jobs what are your plans? Nanny, nursery, cleaner, Internet shopping etc.

FergusSingsTheBlues Wed 09-Jul-14 15:20:21

Internet shopping I do already.
Cleaner....yes....Nanny...yes...Basically ill be outsourcing everything I currently do to somebody who happens to earn less than me. It doesn't sit well with me tbh.
But I'm sick of being skint, being a skivvy and being unable to even contemplate treats.
I think it must be really hard to do well...hats off to anybody who manages it. My friends are all saying I shouldn't do FT...they all do and that's with one child each.....are my kids too young for this?

MamaPain Wed 09-Jul-14 15:22:58

Depends on lots of things. I couldn't stand not working and being at home so for me it was worth it for that reason alone. If you're going to work I'd say, as you seem to be, stick with your area of expertise, especially if it's well paid.

I didn't find any 'pain' in going back to work, I loved it.

You do need to get organised though, you will have childcare to arrange and being out of the home means you can't put things off as much. That being said it's easier to be organised as you are out of the house most of the time.

ChickenFajitasAndNachos Wed 09-Jul-14 15:24:58

It's a very hard decision.

MaryAnnTheDasher Wed 09-Jul-14 15:25:39

I think it depends on the individual, i work FT and have 3 dc under 5 (on mat leave with 3 week old now), if you want to make it work, you will. You do need to be super organised though!

FergusSingsTheBlues Wed 09-Jul-14 15:26:24

I just feel guilty. Ill be trading in my kids for a bigger house essentially. We live in a flat just now so that's pretty incentivising

FergusSingsTheBlues Wed 09-Jul-14 15:28:46

Do you guys feel as though you're on a treadmill of stress? My kids are bad sleepers so I'm kind of looking at is through tired eyes

MamaPain Wed 09-Jul-14 15:29:32

I'm struggling a bit to understand the issue as I think we obviously have a different perspective on the topic, but in answer to your specific questions:

Of course your children aren't too young to have a nanny (easiest form of childcare btw), they are positively old by my standards. Is your 4 year old at nursery/pre-school yet?

Secondly I prefer part time to full time. With part time you still need the childcare and the getting out of the house and all the slightly stressful bits but you get home slightly sooner so more mess in the house and more childcare to do yourself, and then you're paid less for the privilege.

I have always worked full-time, although for past couple of years I mainly work from home. I have 5 DC and it was only after the second did I stay home for a bit, and realised never again. I've otherwise gone back full time by them being 10 months old.

GenerationX2 Wed 09-Jul-14 15:30:17

No it is not a nightmare. It is perfectly doable. Both my DH and I work FT. We have a cleaner and DC went to before and after clubs.

IF at all possible try to alternate pick up's so one of you does not feel the full burden, and share everything with your DH.

It is hard sometimes but I think my family has thrived and even with hindsight I would not have done it differently.

Good luck

FergusSingsTheBlues Wed 09-Jul-14 15:32:07

Maryland, how old we're your kids when you went back to work ft?

My husband thinks he sees loads of his kids. He sees them for half an hour in the morning and ditto at night....I can't believe he thinks that's enough and I don't want to have so little contact with them.
We talked about staggering our starting and finishing times

Ubik1 Wed 09-Jul-14 15:34:47

could you work compressed hours? so 4 longer days instead of five?

FergusSingsTheBlues Wed 09-Jul-14 15:51:59

My plan is to beast the interviews, totally put a rabbit out the hat then ask for compressed or pt at the last minute...well also be moving to reduce commute to 20mins each way (currently its 1h40)

We stagger our start and finish. DH does the mornings, I start at 6.30, then leave at 4 for pickups and am home for 5pm with the DC. We do homework, dinner and relax. DH gets home in time generally to do stories and bed. They don't see a lot of him, but it seems to work well. We also work 9hr days and get every 2nd Friday off in our industry. DH always works his, I always take mine off. Not much good for DS1 who is in school, but I keep DS2 home with me unless I have loads of errands to do.

Now it's summer I asked for every Friday off which was granted, makes the DC feel it's a bit more fun over summer and we can go do things together on those days, leaving weekends for time with both of us at home.

DH and I do staggered times, so he works 7-3 and I work 9-5.30. We have three dc, one preschooler who goes to a CM, I do the school drop off for the older two and DH does the pick up so our childcare costs are relativley cheap.

We have a fairly good balance between us wrt to housework and I get home to dinner on the table and homework/music practice out of the way...

I am not, by nature, an organised person but I have learned to be better. I've been FT out of the house for a year now and we are just starting to feel like it's working for us, really.

Internet shopping is a godsend. I'd love a cleaner but haven't managed to convince DH yet. We muddle along,

I'm not going to pretend it's always easy but it means we live in a lovely big house with nice things and the kids have riding lessons and holidays and treats. Having lived for years in poky houses on a budget while I was at home, call me shallow but fuck me it's worth it, we woudln't change it now.

I agree about PT being the worst of all worlds. If you're anything like me you'll feel like you are skimming teh surface of work and home and not succeeding at either.

BristolRover Wed 09-Jul-14 16:02:30

do you have a commute involved? you see we have the nanny (part time) and cleaner and so on, but yes, it's still bloody hard. Our house is half decorated, we're still waiting for the electrician months on, the shelves we put in aren't yet painted after 3 months. We aren't in any local book club / sports team / etc. It's not simple. I'm the one who has to leave most days to get back for the nanny because my hours allow it, however I'm perpetually running late and if transport links screw up, then the stress gets unbearable sometimes. Removing the (up to) 3 hrs / day travel would really help and it's our fault we chose to move out of London.

Itsjustmeagain Wed 09-Jul-14 16:14:47

I worked full time (same hours as dh) with 5 children aged between 2 and 9. I found it was easier in some ways than being at home but harder in others!

Easier because the house didn't get messy as we were not really there enough! So it was only the really basic chores that needed doing. I also only had to worry about a small evening meal for the kids not breakfast lunch and full sized dinner. It also meant I wasn't having to entertain the children.

But it was harder because I felt like I was just spending my whole time getting them back and forth, when I got them home it was already 6:30 and do the evening routine was pretty Much our only contact and I was finding it really hard to get in homework especially for ds who has learning problems and was getting a lot of extra peek and reading books . There just wasn't time for everything before we all collapsed in to bed, I was stressed about falling behind.

I think if ds wasn't getting so much extra work or if the commute had been shorter it would have been easier.

FergusSingsTheBlues Wed 09-Jul-14 16:22:59

Thank you so much, this s really helping me get my head together.
I can see I'd make it work if I worked from 7-3
Need to raise my game wrt organisation

Commute works be 20mis

FergusSingsTheBlues Wed 09-Jul-14 16:24:33

Five kids * justme* #faints

How long was your commute? Mine would be c20mins

FergusSingsTheBlues Wed 09-Jul-14 16:26:51

Eleanor, do you feel you see enough of your kids? Mine are v young and the elder one is quite shy so I think would be benefitting from extra socialising, my youngest is hugely sociable and could handle himself ok.

melissa83 Wed 09-Jul-14 18:33:55

Work wise and hours wise dh and I have been ok with it but we are luckily young and healthy so have a lot of energy. At work Im like duracell bunny but getting tired now after work as doing 50+ hours and in late pregnancy with dc3.

Cleaning and home jobs wise its way better being at work than at home as hardly ever anything to do.

I do get to spend plenty of time with them, I think. I get the mornings until I drop them off at 8.30, and I'm home by six. Evenings are varying shades of hectic, the older two have cubs and scouts, dd has gymnastics, she and I ride at the weekends and we do something all together at least once each weekend.

I was a ft childminder until last year so they've all had me at home for a long time. I'm a much better parent when I've had a day at work away from them blush

They are 11, 10 and nearly 3.

Kitsmummy Wed 09-Jul-14 19:55:14

I've known 3 people that work f/t with young children. One was often off work with stress. The second, depression reared it's head again (badly) and she took voluntary redundancy, the third (a highly successful solicitor) went full time when her kids were both at primary school as her job was at risk of redundancy so she took a f/t secondment. After two years she quit altogether and is now looking for a job as a TA!!! (It nearly broke them as a family).

Sorry, not trying to guilt trip you but it is my belief that two full timers really don't work in a family.

melissa83 Wed 09-Jul-14 19:57:26

Depends if your an breakable type dh and I are pretty hardcore. I still have always managed a decent social life lots of going out with my friends etc. There is loads of hours in a week working full time is no big deal honestly.

HaroldLloyd Wed 09-Jul-14 19:59:31

What do you do fergus?

I know a few, one lot finds it stressful but they have got bits and pieces of childcare with everyone so it's pick up drop off here there and everywhere. Thats what stresses them out.

The other set have one nursery and to be honest they seem fine.

I would totally have a cleaner and my ironing done though (if your arsed) so as much of your weekend as possible can be spent at leisure.

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