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To think, actually, WOH gets harder as they get older.

(451 Posts)
Tournament Thu 16-May-13 19:29:38

I've worked (at least p-t) all my life. It was a choice for me, I wanted to get out to work, keep my career etc, although I did very much step back for a while, I always kept my hand in IYSWIM.

When DC were tiny, there was always some feeling of guilt at not always being there, but the day to day practicalities were easy. You got them up and dressed, bundled them in the car, handed them over to GP, childminder or nursery and then it was someone else's job to do everything for them until it was practically bedtime. They were cared for, fed and entertained without me ever really having to do anything. (When I was at work). I'd collect on my way home, take them home and put them to bed.

Now they're 9 & 11, there's homework to supervise, clubs to organise, taxi services to provide, sports and school events to watch (or to have to explain you can't) friendship issues or other worries to listen to and if I'm not around after school, they can't have friends back and they can't go to other's houses.

Amaris Thu 16-May-13 21:45:22

When they are younger you need to spend more time giving them attention, but in some ways it's more simple and less emotionally demanding than having to negotiate friendship troubles, or making choices about which activities to do or not do and maintaining relationships with their friends' parents etc. so I understand what OP means

Gingersstuff Thu 16-May-13 21:51:56

I completely agree OP. DS is 9 and DD is 13 next month, they need me more now than they ever did and I have to work FT to keep a roof over our heads. Childcare for an almost-13 yo is almost impossible to find. It's not getting any easier sad

NonnoMum Thu 16-May-13 21:52:35

Nnoooo! This isn't the thread I need to read right now...

(because I know you are right...)

Notcontent Thu 16-May-13 21:54:01

That is sooo true!!!

I have also always worked and went back to work when dd was quite little - I had no choice. But I was lucky enough to have a lovely part time nanny and I never felt bad because all of dd's needs were being met by someone else while I was at work. It's different since she has started school. Ideally I would really like to be there for her after school, to supervise her homework, etc. Now that she is older her needs are more complex.

They will keep growing up won't they!

I agree with you OP, I work FT but only 3 days as 14hr shifts.

Now the Dcs are 6 and 8, i'm finding it so much harder than when they were babies. Thankfully our childcare is provided by family, so things like afterschool clubs and homework can be accommodated, but the guilt I feel for not being able to watch DS's dance performance next week is awful. Not least because he knows, he can verbalise his disappointment, and even though his GM will watch, its not the same as mummy.

Also the sheer organisation, regardless of how efficient I am, still involves 2 lots of uniform prep'd for each day, who will pick up/ drop off/ do dinner, brownie/ beavers/ dance/ football/ swimming kits to be washed and packed, and organising friends and social events.

and this " They were cared for, fed and entertained without me ever really having to do anything" is so true.
As they grow, their interests expand, the thoughts and discussions expand and debates form. They are no longer content with being fed, watered and kept amused, now they want opinions, research based facts and the opportunity to develop ideas for themselves.

Now I am actually considering going part time!!!

parabelle Thu 16-May-13 22:05:31

YANBU
I have a 5 year old and a 9 year old and am seriously thinking of going part time. It's just a nightmare trying to work full time. Have previously had very flexible hours so they're only in childcare 6 hours a week. Changing jobs in Sep and they'll be in same 6 hours but it'll be over four days and I'm not sure how we're going to cope with me doing pick up just once a week. It doesn't feel enough.

peteypiranha Fri 17-May-13 06:53:23

No Im finding the opposite. I am working full time until January and then back to part time. I love full time, and think its way better for dd. She does reading and homework every night. Shes with all her friends, and is never bored and if I come before 6 she gets upset as her friends arent leaving yet.

I am really panicing on how to break it to her she wont be going to after school club in January. Its going go to break her heart. I am even considering paying out my wage for her to at least go a couple of days as dont want to upset her.

MrsLion Fri 17-May-13 07:26:12

Yanbu. I have always worked, with ft or pt.
Many people insisted 'oh but it'll be so much easier when they start school'
Actually its a lot, lot harder. I'm finding the guilt now Dc1 is at school, a lot worse than when she was a 10 month old baby.

Tiredtrout Fri 17-May-13 07:38:30

I have a 12 yo and a 16 yo, they both do out of school activities and I work shifts full time. Even though I know they are happy and fed and have all they need the guilt gets you if I miss on of their matches, or parades, they email their homework for it to be checked or printed and no matter how late I work I still need to get up to see them off in the morning. I often work a week of lates where I hardly see them and the 12 yo still insists on sitting on my lap for cuddles my first night off. When they were tinies it was so much easier as they just didn't worry about who looked after them now they do

Mutley77 Fri 17-May-13 07:43:09

I think you're right. When we re-located for DH's work I left a brilliant job where I could do school run every morning and at least 3 afternoons - I could therefore facilitate everything that DC's wanted to do in terms of activities and playdates and feel like I was there for them. The job was flexible to allow for going into school for assemblies/volunteering etc. The stress sometimes nearly killed me but I appreciate how lucky I was smile

Now we have re-located I am not sure I will be able to find a similar flexible job and therefore will probably make the call not to work which is something I feel v sad about. Currently due to have DC3 in a few weeks so that will keep me busy for at least a year but after that I will definitely have cabin fever if I can't have a job to fit around the kids.

nokidshere Fri 17-May-13 07:55:20

I am a wahm. I have no idea how we would fit e everything into my two young teens lives if I wasn't (although obviously I would if I had to). Emotionally they need me around much more now than they did as toddlers/young children. And the amount of homework is soul destroying sometimes.

As a childminder I accommodate young people. I don't so much as "look after" them, more provide somewhere for them to hang out and be safe. I treat them like my own boys, they slob around with their phones and x-boxes, are allowed to go out and about (with lots of precautions in place) and have their friends round whilst they are here...and obviously they get fed!!! I have children between the ages of 10-15 who don't want to spend all day alone.

meglet Fri 17-May-13 07:58:58

Yes, harder IME too.

Nursery was open all day, all year round. Then school hours and term times threw everything up in the air. They need time for reading, checking school bags, homework etc.

I work p/t and am hoping to gradually swing flexitime / working from home as the dc's grow older.

JeremyPiven Fri 17-May-13 08:13:04

Oh sad
I work virtually FT, both DCs still in nursery.

I really would like a DC3 and don't have a lot of years left to mull it over. But my big fear is that it will all get harder when they start school, and we won't cope with everything (let alone if there's 3 of them)

No way we would manage if I gave up work due to mortgage alone

Llareggub Fri 17-May-13 08:18:31

Yes, I agree. I've worked full-time, part-time and not at all. I now work part-time in a very flexible job for a charity. I could earn more in the private sector, working full-time but could never hope to get the flexibility I enjoy in this job. I need to work though, both for financial and emotional reasons.

The holy grail is working somewhere that measures work in terms of outputs, not presence in the office. I consider myself very lucky that I have found that.

Def harder, busier, more emotionally draining. But more fun than toddlers.

wordfactory Fri 17-May-13 08:35:20

I think it goes in waves.

I found the start at school very difficult to juggle and indeed gave up work then.

I then worked from home for many years. But now my DC are young teens, they are out of the house a lot, and I have been able to re look at my work life.

Whoops, I realised it was for woh parents. But honestly, I think it's harder also for those who don't work full time, work from home or don't work.
It's harder, more hectic, but more fun.

Hassled Fri 17-May-13 09:06:51

With my older DCs, I went from FT to PT when they were 11 and 9 or thereabouts, for all the reasons the OP describes. It does suddenly seem get so much harder - and then even in the GCSE years you have to factor in the time for all the relentless nagging that has to be done.

Grammaticus Fri 17-May-13 09:21:52

Yup - 9 and 11 is when I gave up work, too. They are now 12 and 14 and I am currently torn as to whether to apply for a part time role that has come up at the charity where I volunteer. When you're a volunteer you don't have to work school holidays.....

soverylucky Fri 17-May-13 09:31:53

We are also finding the practicalities harder now that they are at school although it is cheaper. For example we could drop them off at nursery earlier than what we can drop them off at before school care club. They need a lot of driving around to dance, sport, brownies etc.

Irishchic Fri 17-May-13 11:27:20

I have five dc and my days are an endless round of school runs, ferrying kids to soccer, hockey, rugby, tennis, swimming lessons and music lessons to name but a few! The eldest is nearly 13 and as the younger ones get up in age I see it getting even crazier. Saturdays and sundays are taken up with kids matches and they have to be driven to the venues which are sometimes up to an hour away, so there is no let up even at the weekend.

I am a SAHM. I have NO IDEA how I could manage all this and hold down a job, i reckon i would have to hire a taxi driver to take them everywhere whilst i was at work!

DontmindifIdo Fri 17-May-13 11:46:17

irishchic - as the former child of a WOHM, what you do is your DCs do less. We had very few opportunities to do clubs and sports - brownies and then scouts, but that's it. anything else had to be run by school and in school time. you'll probably find few of the other DCs in your DCs groups/clubs have 2 full time working parents -unless they are rich enough to pay for a nanny still.

I'm currently at the pre-schooler stage with DC1 and pregnant with DC2, I'm tempted not to go back, not just because the costs are going to be very high for full day care for one and wraparound care for the other (as DC1 will start school shortly after i'm due back to work), but the logisitcs will be tricky.

Nursery, you just turn up, they say 8am but will be flexible from 7:30am so you can be at work for 9am, pick up by 6pm is easy to sort, and DC1 stays in the same location all day on my work days. I could pick a nursery based solely off location and how good I thought it was, so found one that's halfway between our house and the train station. But when DC1 is at school, I'll have to find a childminder who'll do the school run to his school, which will probably mean doubling back on myself on the way to the station. I need to use childminders because before/after school clubs rarely give enough time/flexibility.

Iwantmybed Fri 17-May-13 11:48:57

Noooo! I'm just at the start of the cycle please don't tell me it gets harder.

I'm praying it's rose tinted glasses talking....

Mumsyblouse Fri 17-May-13 11:53:00

I think school-hours imply that one parent will be there to drop off at 9am and pick up at 3pm; and it is irritating trying to fit around that (afterschool club/family combo), but I can't say I find the actual parenting is harder than parenting say a toddler! My two are of an age where they can get themselves a drink/snack, play together, they can go whole hours running around without me constantly having to intervene.

Homework- weekends or even mornings, worst comes to worst they go into homework club at lunchtime. Reading- this is a nice activity, I do 15-20 min with youngest before sleep (her turn, then my turn).

Emotional side- yes, things blow up, but not that often.

Perhaps you've all forgotten what it's like to have a small baby and a toddler going 'muuuuumeeeeee' every five seconds!

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