To ask how you split childcare if you and your partner both work?

(134 Posts)
MamaBear17 Wed 30-Oct-13 20:08:28

Long, tedious story short, my husband and I are both teachers. We work in different schools. I am a middle manager so have two areas of responsibility and a team of 8 to manage, in addition to being a class teacher, dh is a class teacher, however he works in primary so does have a fairly heavy workload too. We both work f/t. Currently, dh takes our dd (2) to nursery on two mornings and picks her up 2 evenings. I take her three mornings and pick her up two evenings. The 5th evening is split between us depending on when we have meetings etc. DD has to be picked up by 3.45. We are on a school hours contract with the nursery and would have to pay extra for her to stay later (which we cant afford). Anyway, we seem to have a re-occurring situation where dh complains that he is getting behind on work or people are commenting that he is leaving early during the week - I should point out that most weeks he stays late three nights a week and I leave 'early' three nights a week to pick dd up. I have tried my best to make it fair, I do more pick ups and drop offs than he does but cannot lose the two nights I stay behind because I have to cram in all of my meetings and extra curricular into those times. On the face of it, he gets the better deal despite a lighter workload, but makes me feel like I am being unreasonable because I get cross when he starts complaining about doing too many of the pick ups. We both have to work in the evenings in order to make the situation work, but I am happy to do it because it means that we do get to spend some time with dd (she goes to bed at 6.30 - if we picked her up any later we'd never see her). My question is this: is my husband hard done by in having to do an almost equal share of the childcare? Family members have made comments in the past about how when their children were little the man wasn't expected to do any of the childcare because he was busy working, and if he was the only one who worked I would agree. However, the fact that I am the main earner seems to fall on deaf ears. I feel a bit like I am being made to feel like a battleaxe for insisting that we share childcare and household chores, but I just cant do everything.

ThePitOfStupid Wed 30-Oct-13 20:14:56

Of course you are not being unreasonable!!!

mytimewillcome Wed 30-Oct-13 20:17:21

I'm in a similar situation. I am the higher earner and expect chores and childcare to be split equally. We both reduced our working week to 4 days a week. H changed his hours to start earlier snd leave earlier so I drop off and he picks up. Children end up being in childcare 3 days a week as we have them at home with us on different days. However splitting chores equally is another matter.

weneedtotalkaboutkettles Wed 30-Oct-13 20:17:37

This is very much a general point based on the fact I know what it is like having a management role in school, but would it be worth paying a little extra just a couple of days a week, if this is an option? I just know I would really struggle hugely to get to pick DC up at 3:45 three afternoons a week and from what I'm told it's worse in primary.

So YANB at all U - but I think it sounds really hard for you BOTH! smile

ThePitOfStupid Wed 30-Oct-13 20:17:38

Right, got that off my chest. DH does two pick ups, I do one, vice versa with the drop offs, we each stay home one day a week.

We both have similarly paid, London based jobs, probably both get looked at askance for "leaving early" but it has always been equal between us so neither employer is hard done by.

Why does your DH think his evenings are more important than yours when you are already doing more than 50%?

mytimewillcome Wed 30-Oct-13 20:18:38

Oh and YANBU.

ThePitOfStupid Wed 30-Oct-13 20:19:37

But I would agree with kettles - it may be that you can't make it work on your current arrangement so could a friend collect DD and have her for just an hour one day a week, or pay for late nursery one day a week so you both get that extra evening at work.

HappyAsASandboy Wed 30-Oct-13 20:20:35

You are not being unreasonable.

If your DH wants to live in 1950 and be absolved of all Childcare responsibilities, he will have to accept that a 1950s wife doesn't earn any money so he has to support the whole family. Oh, he can't? Well then he can't live in 1950.

Don't take on more than is fair. Don't jepodise your career to give him an easier ride - your family need your career.

To be honest, I am amazed he has the balls to criticise you for doing more than half the Childcare and earning more than half of the money. Amazing.

RubyrooUK Wed 30-Oct-13 20:22:27

DH and I both work full time in sectors where people frequently work 8-8.

DH drops off Wed-Fri and does pick up on Mon and Tues. I do drop offs on Mon and Tues, then pick up Weds-Fri.

This works for us. On the days I leave early, I go in early. On the days I drop off, I work later. It all evens out. We both tend to work in the evenings too.

I do one more day pick up per week than DH, because that suits me (I like to have more time in the evening with the kids, 3 and 7 months, although they go to bed later than your DD).

But we are also flexible and if I have early meetings or vice versa or an evening event (and again vice versa) we swap around to make it work.

I think if you both work and both have kids, you have to work together on childcare. DH and I would both love our time to be our own in terms of our work hours but we want to be parents more than that, so we have to lump it.

ThePitOfStupid Wed 30-Oct-13 20:22:43

Is he complaining that you aren't doing enough or is it more of a "not enough hours in the day" moan?

MamaBear17 Wed 30-Oct-13 20:23:58

DH hates upsetting his work colleagues, it was a 'are you leaving early again' comment that set him off tonight. He doesnt seem to get that by bringing it up at home yet again he is upsetting me. We really cant afford for DD to stay any later, both financially and because we wouldn't get anytime with her as she goes to bed so early. (She refuses to nap at nursery, so wants her bed by 6.30) We are both within a 2 minute drive of her nursery so getting there on time isn't the problem. DH does get half an hours or so at the end of the day before he picks her up, and 45 minutes in the morning. I get less because we start earlier and finish later. I knew I wasnt being unreasonable, I just needed a little back up as all of the other mothers in my life (as in my mum and MIL) seem to think I have it made having a husband who is willing to help with chores and childcare. 'Thoroughly modern', I think one of them described it as hmm

I don't know about secondary, but it is hard to leave early in primary- assuming he has to leave at 330 for a 345 pick up, he'll be lucky if all the kids have gone! - I would suggest you do two late days in nursery, one for each of you, one early pick up each, and alternate the final one ( or make it Friday and all go early!)

Coldlightofday Wed 30-Oct-13 20:24:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sorry, x post.

RubyrooUK Wed 30-Oct-13 20:25:33

Oh, DH earns twice my salary but thinks my career is just as important as his so has never suggested that he only do half of the pick ups/drop offs.

nextphase Wed 30-Oct-13 20:25:57

We couldn't manage 3.45 pick ups every day (2 FT workers here).
While I think the ideal of 50:50 is brill, you perhaps need to find the money to extend the hours once or twice a week - it isn't working for either of you, and you are both resenting the situation.
Or, is there a friend who would collect occasionally, in return for some school holiday caring - ie when you have time off and many don't?

monkeysox Wed 30-Oct-13 20:25:57

Don't know how you are able to yet there for so early if you are both teachers?

Even picking up for 5pm a struggle for me!

Is there no afterSchool club?

Sorry am not helpful. I have colleagues who sen. Work emails at ten pm. Crazy workload

Phineyj Wed 30-Oct-13 20:26:46

I think 3.45pm is a very early pick up (my school doesn't finish till 3.40pm) and in your situation I would pay for one 'late' evening to give you a bit of breathing space. YANBU, but if it's a recurring problem a little more £££ may be worth it in terms of arguments saved? The 'school hours' nursery does sound good though - there's no such thing round us so we have to pay till 6pm then pick up early.

purrtrillpadpadpad Wed 30-Oct-13 20:27:40

YANBU, what's your DH like with other things, eg domestic tasks, remembering to buy cards/gifts etc for family?

One thing that struck me from your post is a background cacophony of voices saying ooooh in my day, oooh poor man, ooh childcare women's work, men at work, very hard, poor men. Might be exaggerating the truth but it is difficult to try to work towards equality in your marriage, where that equality would exist in isolation, a bubble surrounded by family or couples existing in a more traditional fashion. I'm perturbed by the idea, also, that you are the main wage earner but are potentially placing your role slightly more at risk than your DH is placing his, by doing more of the childcare and perhaps not being able to do the really crap basic presenteeism stuff - when you're just in so you can be seen being in, if you see what I mean. Better to be seen being in (particularly already in, when others arrive, and still there when others are going home) than always being seen arriving after others and/or leaving before.

I haven't worked in your industry though so it might not be all about bums on seats.

Thurlow Wed 30-Oct-13 20:27:40

No, no, no, YANBU.

We both work f/t, luckily I'm 9-5 and DP does shifts so that really helps. Childcare is shared completely - actually, if anything, DP does more. Most days he either has DC for a few hours before going off to do a shift, or picks her up and has her alone after a shift until I get home. I probably get off easier blush

If you're both working f/t then it is hard and you're bound to find that it effects your work. He's being unreasonable. He has a young child, he just can't stay late every night. If he wants to change this then something drastic has to change, either you find the money for your DD to stay later one or two nights a week, or you find money for more help around the house, or you figure out if you can cope with one of you going /pt.

I suspect none of those apply, as they don't for many families, so he just has to accept this is how it is.

weneedtotalkaboutkettles Wed 30-Oct-13 20:27:57

Could one of your mums help out, MamaBear?

I do really sympathise but honestly, I don't know how either of you have been doing it - as talkingnonsense says, presuming you don't finish ridiculously early and/or live on top of your DD's nursery, getting out by 3:45 is really difficult and seems to put a lot of pressure on you both.

CombineBananaFister Wed 30-Oct-13 20:29:06

YADNBU - but it does sound like a bit of a nightmare for both of you trying to juggle it. Do you have no leeway with the later childcare but then you'd miss time with your Dc? Not necessarily for him but for you with with the extra workload?
I too, am the main earner and we do longer days but less of them. I do find though that all the chores get done on my days with Ds hmm

MamaBear17 Wed 30-Oct-13 20:30:58

We do a lot of work at home, work through lunch breaks and go in early on 'our day'. I think the arrangement works for me, but its dh who wants more time at school. I'd feel guilty putting dd in nursery for even longer, she already does almost 8 hours a day. Its hard to know what to do for the best. The petulant part of me just wants to shout at him 'I make it bloody work, why cant you?' I havent though.

ThePitOfStupid Wed 30-Oct-13 20:31:04

Does DD go down at 6:30pm and stay asleep? Cos that's really a reasonable chunk of evening you have for working then.

If it's the comments getting him down (assuming colleague not manager), he can turn round and say "yes, I'm collecting my daughter, as I do on this day every week." The commenter is being unreasonable, not him in leaving - he is still getting the work done, even if it's 7-9 not 330-530, and he'll be working whilst they are relaxing.

Finola1step Wed 30-Oct-13 20:33:19

YANBU. I am also a teacher on the SLT. I also commute 90 mins each way but work four days (Fridays off). DH is a freelancer so he does all the morning routine and after school stuf (1 at primary school,1 at day nursery). I get home just before bath and bed which we share.

DH then goes back into the office and does another 3 or 4 hours to catch up on what he has missed in the late afternoon whilst with the dc. I then sort out the house etc and grab some supper. I then do the bulk of the housework on Fridays.

It means that DH and I don't see much of each other through the week but we do try to do lots as a family on the weekends.

For us it only works because DH is a freelancer. Which is tough because of lack of holiday pay, sick pay, parental leave etc. I would love to strike out on my own professionally but we need the stability of my job.

I have a number of friends who are in relationships with fellow teachers. It's really hard but it seems to work best when there is some child care later in the school day. Is there any possibility that your dc's hours at nursery could be extended on one day a week to ease the strain?

Phineyj Wed 30-Oct-13 20:33:29

Just seen your second post. If your DH is that sensitive to comments he perhaps needs to cultivate a bit more of a brass neck and work out some suitable rejoinders. Maybe he already feels a bit odd one out (there aren't many male primary school teachers are there?) so is sensitive? Not that that helps you!

ThePitOfStupid Wed 30-Oct-13 20:35:23

Also - tell him "It IS hard. It IS a compromise. ANY solution is a compromise that doesn't involve a live in nanny/housekeeper. One working, one SAHP, two part time, two full time, one part time and one full time - EVERY option is a compromise, both of you are compromising and it just has to be the best of the compromises. Which it sounds like it is, basically."

This bit isn't easy. It really can't be. It just is.

MamaBear17 Wed 30-Oct-13 20:35:47

He finishes at 3.05, I finish at 3.15. DD's nursery is practically at the end of the road from his place of work, and a two minute drive for me. I have 20 minutes at the end of every day to get my stuff together (to take home to do) and get out. It isn't a problem really for me, but someone made a comment to dh tonight about him 'leaving early' and now he is moaning. He has moaned before, but usually after someone has said something. My friend suggested maybe he feels like he looks as though he is 'henpecked' to his colleagues? I dunno. Thanks to all for the replies though smile

ThePitOfStupid Wed 30-Oct-13 20:36:06

Move my close quotes to before Which, if you please!

ThePitOfStupid Wed 30-Oct-13 20:38:33


So it's not the situation, it's the comments.

I think it's true that men get more comments than women doing this (blame the patriarchy) BUT he is acting in the best interest of his family and his finances in doing this, so the commenter is insignificant.

Is it a colleague or a manager?

UpsideAndAround Wed 30-Oct-13 20:41:16

My husband is a headteacher and I am acting up as an acting head for a short time. It's tough, I've been lucky enough to get a nanny though and I feel much better than I did when ds was young and in a nursery. I know they nap and relax in their own house. Instead of that tired upset post-nursery time we have quality evening time. Is it totally unrealistic for you to look into a nanny or nanny share?

Frankly he needs to toughen up a little. Primaries will take more and more time, but I've always been strong. I do a good job, stay a few late nights and work every minute I'm there so it can't be faulted that I did the job that needed to be done.

MamaBear17 Wed 30-Oct-13 20:43:02

Colleagues. His boss is lovely and very supportive of family situstions. ThePitofStupid your posts ate really making me laugh!

nextphase Wed 30-Oct-13 20:45:00

Do DH's work colleagues see the 2-3 very early mornings and late nights he puts in as well? Or do they just see the couple of late starts, and early finishes?
I pulled a stupid day at work on Tuesday - by chance the crisis happened the day the kids were with my Mum, so finish time wasn't an issue, but only 1-2 people saw me there at silly o'clock. And they didn't see me back at my desk at 7.30 this morning.
Equally, when I end up bringing stuff home, they don't notice the work done between 7.30 and 10pm.

Is it a case of him needing to educate his colleagues about what is happening.

I still think you need to consider one later afternoon a week. If she is starting to drop a nap, when do you get your 15 free hours? That should ease the childcare bill, and allow the freedom of one later evening a week.

Notmadeofrib Wed 30-Oct-13 20:47:36

Surely he is contracted later than the 'school day'? Does he make it clear he works at home?

Inclusionist Wed 30-Oct-13 20:48:34

DH and I are both SLT.

I drop DS at his childminder's at 7.30am each as I can get from there to work for 8am. DH leaves at 6.30am to miss the London traffic.

I leave at 2.45 to pick DS up at 3.15pm twice a week, this is a special arrangement with my school as part of a retention deal. I leave at 5.30pm to pick up at 6pm another night. Twice a week DH leaves at 4.30pm to pick up at 5pm and I stay late.

My arrangements have been no problem. I can't tell you how much DH's (female) Head disapproves of the two nights a week he leaves at 4.30. All wrong!!

We have decided we can't keep it up and we are both going to step off the rat run.

Mosschopz Wed 30-Oct-13 20:49:04

I'm an assistant head at a secondary school, DH works in the private sector but I'm the higher earner. We had to move nurseries as our previous one closed, it was near my work and I did pick-ups and drop-offs. Now we are using one round the corner (on DH's suggestion as he wanted to be more involved) and DH drops off DS every day at 8.30 en route to work, I get him every day about 5.15pm. Much fairer and DH is happy to do it, as he should be. grin

MamaBear17 Wed 30-Oct-13 20:50:11

Not for another 10 months! DD has never been much of a day time sleeper to be honest. She dropped her last day time nap just before her second birthday, but sleeps 12 hours a night. I might look in to doing an early start once a week so that he can go in earlier.

MamaBear17 Wed 30-Oct-13 20:55:01

He has a weekly meeting that he had to stay for, but once the school day is over you are planning and preparing, you are allowed to do that at home. The reason most teachers stay until 5-6 at night isn't because they have to. Planning and prep is easier to do at work than at home.

HellsBellsnBucketsofBlood Wed 30-Oct-13 20:58:19

DH and I split 50:50, I do nursery drop off three days a week and collection 2 days a week - he does the reverse. And it is all planned around when I will need to be/am likely to be late home from work.

Tell your DH to get a backbone. And also to ensure he is in the staffroom every mornign and to ask the people who are making comments "what time do you call this? I've been here for hours..."

ThePitOfStupid Wed 30-Oct-13 21:01:40

Glad I'm cheering you up!

I like the "what time do you call this?!" suggestion above.

ZenNudist Wed 30-Oct-13 21:03:10

I think your dh needs to man up & deal with these comments! If someone says 'leaving early again?' Say 'I wish, I'm late to get dd again!' Etc don'tet them get away with it, make it clear what your working arrangements are, challenge them by asking if they have some kind of problem with the hours arrangement that he has (presumably) agreed with management.

Omg to have from 630 to yourself. You both sound very lucky to get to finish work so early & have such convenient childcare arrangements. Plus the school holidays. It isn't all bad.

I sympathise with you as I think your dh sounds less than supportive. Have you asked him what he wants to do if he is complaining? Perhaps he'd like to go pt if its all getting too much for him.

As for your MIL etc putting pressure on you to do more I'd be giving that very short shrift and laughing at comments about modern men and women etc. It's not something that you need to give headspace to. Their problem. Tell dh to give up worrying about it too.

Btw- my dh does his fair share. I work 4 days but earn more. He does 2 days away from home but does pick up & drop offs the other 2 days. He also does more housework.

ThePitOfStupid Wed 30-Oct-13 21:05:21

"Leaving early again?"
"Well, I tried to persuade nursery to let DD toddle over on her own, but they didn't go for it."

weneedtotalkaboutkettles Wed 30-Oct-13 21:12:37

Well - there is a happy medium. Trust me I don't always hang around for ages but even just 'normal' tasks of calling parents, putting in detention slips, clearing the classroom, and so on - I'd struggle to have done by 345 to be honest.

But then our school day only ends at 330!

clam Wed 30-Oct-13 21:19:30

Well, to look at it from the school's point of view, surely their priority is to have staff members doing the requisite hours - once called 'directed time,' (and I accept that 99% of teachers work at home as well. That's kind of standard). Maybe his (and your) colleagues feel that it is unfair that someone should be going home early so often when they're expected to stay on site.
I'm not sure this is about what is fair between the two of you and each pulling your weight. If you both have commitments at work, then you should be fulfilling them, and if that means finding childcare to cover the hours, then that's what you need to do. Like a lot of other people have to do. Or push your child's bedtime later. Not ideal, but then nor is leaving work early.

MarlenaGru Wed 30-Oct-13 21:23:04

Are you married to my DH?
We have an au pair which helps but I think we should make every effort to put our DC to bed each night which means DH does it if I nag him and I do 4/5 nights. He says he "can't leave because people will be annoyed" but of course I have to leave my similarly paid, professional job at 5 4 nights a week and have a thick skin about it.

To be honest it is the belief amongst his colleagues that their wives do the childcare. Fair enough but how is a woman supposed to have a career?

maddening Wed 30-Oct-13 21:25:57

dfiance works 7-3 and I work 9-5. I do all drop offs and df does all pick ups. Dfiance does cooking and baths I do more tidying up of an evening.

df gets the better deal imo as he just gets himself up and out in the morning and pickups are more relaxed than trying to herd a toddler in the morning - which is stressful but df would find mornings far too stressful.

Plomino Wed 30-Oct-13 21:26:25

Of course you are not being unreasonable ! Up until a year ago , DH and I both worked full time shifts as police officers . We arranged it , with work's permission , so that we worked opposite shifts , so that only one person worked a day , but that would mean one of us would be working 365 days a year . We arranged it so that on the last night duty , I would finish at 3.30am , then drive the 100 miles home , getting in just before 5am , then hand the car keys to the DH , who would then drive my car to the station just in time to catch the 5.09 train to get to London for 7am . I would then grab 2 hrs sleep , then get the 5 kids to school , put the animals out , then go back to bed until 2.45 , then get the DC's that needed picking up from school at 3.30 . We did this for nearly 7 years . It also meant that child care was split exactly down the middle too .

It's bloody hard graft , frankly . But no one , including DH has ever ever said anything derogatory . If they wanted my skills full time (and both DH and I have some very specific specialist skills that few have ) then this was the compromise , take it or leave it . They took it .

uselessinformation Wed 30-Oct-13 21:27:15

I'm a teacher and you could afford the extra nursery hour, for one child, on two teacher's salaries.

uselessinformation Wed 30-Oct-13 21:28:21

Teachers' salaries

NonnoMum Wed 30-Oct-13 21:33:11

You need to pay extra for childcare and stop playing silly buggers.

That's coming from a family of two teachers.

Yama Wed 30-Oct-13 21:34:22

We have two children. Dh takes one to Breakfast Club and picks up from after school club and I take and pick up the other from nursery.

Dh has taken more time off to look after the dc when they have been sick. It wouldn't enter his head that colleagues might comment.

NonnoMum Wed 30-Oct-13 21:38:55

Also, bugger the family members' comments...

If they are so bothered, they can pick up/do your housework/cook you meals/ help out when Dc sick etc etc etc.

clam Wed 30-Oct-13 21:41:50

When my dcs were of an age to need childcare, dh and I never dreamt of leaving early to save on nursery fees. Our schools would always have been sympathetic and supportive to the occasional emergency, or dr's appointment or whatever, but twice/three times every week? Er, no. We're paid to do a job, and that means being on the premises after school as well as all the work one needs to do at home in the evening.

MamaBear17 Wed 30-Oct-13 21:42:27

Clam, the schools' managements are both fine with our arrangement. We both stay for our directed time hours. Many of my colleagues leave at a similar time to me for their own reasons. It is easier to work at school than at home for most though. However, when you leave is up to you as long as you stay fir your directed time (at least it had been in every school I have worked in.) It is hard work, but I manage to meet all of my contractual obligations and then some. As does my husband. His colleagues should not be able to dictate our childcare arrangements when his boss is fine with it.
Useless, with all due respect, despite our salaries, we would struggle to afford it. It isn't quite as simple as that.

clam Wed 30-Oct-13 21:44:14

Directed time is (or was) until 4.30pm.
And I reckon that, if colleagues are beginning to make comments about you/him leaving early, then Management might soon change their stance.

MiddleRageSpread Wed 30-Oct-13 21:45:06

You are both putting yourself under immense presure here - you need to pay for one longer day at nursery and somehow cover the cost. Your childcare bill will go down once your DD is 3.

It may cost more money, but that is cheaper than resentment building up between the two of you because you are spreading yourselves thin.

On your current arrangements YANBU, and he is not hard done by. But he is being subjected to unreasonable critical comments - possibly because of sexist assumptions that men aren't expected to go off on the nursery run. Is his school completely happy with his leaving in time for the nursery run? If so he needs to address these comments head on.

I am in a two-working-parents family and we split all parenting and domestic responsibilities 50/50, including covering sick days, buying birthday presents for other children's parties, attending said parties at soft play, Dr and other appointments, everything. It can't work any other way.

But sometiomes you have to work as a team to enable each partner to do their 50% in the way that suiots their work pattern. I mean the amount of parenting is shared but the list of exact tasks and timings may not match symetrically.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Wed 30-Oct-13 21:50:11

week 1 DH works 6am-2pm mondays and friday i do both pick up and drop off. MIL does tues, wed,thurs drop off. Pick up DH and I

week 2 DH nights. I do all pick ups and drops off mon and fri, DH tues, wed,thur drop off.

week 3 DH afternoons, DH does all drop off I do all pick ups.

go back to week 1.

OP yanbu

MamaBear17 Wed 30-Oct-13 21:50:21

All I can tell you is that that isn't the case in the schools we work in. Dh can choose to take his PPA at home if he wants (although he doesn't, some of his colleagues do.) Some members of staff at my school have their PPA timetabled for the first lesson so that they can come in late after they have done the school run. We have the same flexibility after school too, unless there is a meeting or a directed time slot on the calendar.

clam Wed 30-Oct-13 21:53:06

It must be a horrible feeling, that your colleagues are watching the clock with regard to your working patterns, and making comments about it. If your dh is feeling the pressure, on top of the normal pressures of the job, than it is not unreasonable for him to mention it to you - assuming he's not expecting you to pick up the slack when presumably you have the same problem. Maybe he was broaching the issue of extending nursery hours in a roundabout way?

clam Wed 30-Oct-13 21:54:23

Surely PPA time is for Planning, Preparation and Assessment, not for doing the school run?

clam Wed 30-Oct-13 21:56:02

Anyway, that's beside the point. If both your Management teams are happy with the hours you are on the premises, then any colleagues offering opinions need to be given short shrift.

sleepdodger Wed 30-Oct-13 21:57:59

We both work ft and use ft nursery 8-6pm and then take it in turns for pick up and drop off depending on schedules
Surely if you both work ft you could afford a later finish part of the week to give you an easier work balance without hugely changing your daughters balance?

MamaBear17 Wed 30-Oct-13 21:59:12

I agree it must be awful, but he was angling for me to do more. I think I will have to mull it over and come up with a plan. Im grateful for all responses anyway.

MamaBear17 Wed 30-Oct-13 22:02:23

I do my planning and prep 7pm till 9 usually. I still do my PPA, as do my colleagues, just in our own time. Regarding finances; there is more to it than salary; mortgage, bills etc.

Spikeytree Wed 30-Oct-13 22:05:29

Directed time in my school is 10 minutes before the school day starts and 10 minutes after, unless it is meeting night, twilight or parents evening. Directed time until 4:30 every night would push us way over 1265 hours. I stay till after five most nights, but do sometimes push off at 3:25 if I have an appointment or need to get to the bank etc.

I think you either stay as you are or you pay for more childcare. You can't compromise your career by giving up more of your time in school.

clam Wed 30-Oct-13 22:06:49

By the way, I hope Mr Gove (or his wife) is not reading this thread. You know he's angling to get rid of PPA time? I'm pretty sure he would have An Opinion on what he would consider teachers "shirking."
Flexible working practices won't register with him; that's just for MPs!

clam Wed 30-Oct-13 22:10:00

spikeytree All teachers are (legally) expected to be on the premises 10 minutes before and after the school day, but that is different from 'directed hours.' I remember very clearly when the idea was first brought in, in the late 80s, and it is until 4.30 every day. There was outrage, as so many teachers stayed way later than that as a matter of course, but there was a period of time shortly afterwards when many were out the door by 4.31 on principle.

DP is a primary teacher, and only has a 10 minute commute. I work in a university and have 1 1/4 hr commute. I am also the higher earner. I'm currently on Mat Leave with DC 2 but DP has always done the drop offs every day, and does pick up 3 days a week at 4pm. My parents do one day, and I do compressed hours (in theory) so finish at 1pm on a Friday, when I pick DD up. We have to work it that way, as not only would it not be fair to DD, but nursery isn't open early/late enough for me to do the childcare run. This was part of our agreement, and to be honest, I think DP enjoys it. When I get home, I do bath, story, etc, and he gets on with work. We are very lucky that my parents are very local, and can help out if we're stuck.

I'd agree that if you can't get additional family/friends help, you probably need to look at extending the nursery hours, at least once or twice a week.

Spikeytree Wed 30-Oct-13 22:31:15

Directed time in my school is 8:35-3:25. It is in my terms and conditions.

Spikeytree Wed 30-Oct-13 22:41:07
Permanentlyexhausted Wed 30-Oct-13 22:48:51

YANBU but I would look again at paying for your daughter to stay the extra hours since the early pick-ups seem to create a lot of stress for you both and tension between you.

ThePitOfStupid Wed 30-Oct-13 22:48:52


If he is angling for you to do more, what comments does he think you will get?

BrianButterfield Wed 30-Oct-13 22:53:09

DH and I are both teachers. I have been doing drop off and pick up as DS's nursery is literally across the road from school. I do manage to get him before 4 about three days a week, but I couldn't manage a 3.45 deadline every day. And to get there before 4 I am in school at about 8.10 every morning. I was going that early to catch a train but without trying to get public transport after 4 is better. I would never ever sign up to a 3.45 finish - I'd even be wary of 4.30. DS can stay until 6 and although he has never been there that long, it's nice to have that extra wriggle room in our schedules even if it means paying for it.

Well that's a pointless statement, uselessinformation, unless you know where the OP lives and what their financial circumstances and childcare costs are.

OP I think DH just needs to get tougher about the comments TBH.

DD's class teacher has his 2 nursery age DC in his classroom with him until school starts (when a TA from the nursery comes to collect the and another class teachers LOs) and I would damned well hope that he gets no more comments about it than his female colleague does.

LittlemissBT Wed 30-Oct-13 23:07:24

I get in early and leave early or get in late and leave late - managed round shifts etc. Anyway two colleagues once tried to get me into a conversation about how theyd feel guilty clocking off early ... - I just simply said 'well I come in early so leave early and dont really give a f* what other people think' - I think it made the point that they shouldn't moan as theyre never there watching the sunrise - could he try the blunt approach? Ps im not usually that quick and I even surprised myself grin

clam Wed 30-Oct-13 23:16:55

Especially if those who are passing comments aren't working through their lunchtimes, as those with young children usually are.

TempusFuckit Wed 30-Oct-13 23:21:24

To answer the question OP, no YANBU. But I don't think that's the main issue here - it's guilt and peer pressure.

If your DH really is angling to do less, then you need to thrash it out. But equally, you need to find a way to allow him to let off steam about the comments without passing the guilt onto you.

Similarly, you need to be able to find a way to throw off the comments from the older women in your families. Smiling and nodding is often recommended here I believe.

Your DD should start staying up later soon, which could alleviate some of the guilt too - enough to allow you to pay for extra hours? Or is that truly unaffordable?

It's a tough situation, but focus on the positives - you both have supportive bosses, flexible-enough hours, and a very geographically workable set-up.

Iaintdunnuffink Wed 30-Oct-13 23:24:57

We both work full time, but not in education. I work 15 mins from the school and it's Ok that I start just after 9, so I do the drop off. I also do the pick up from after school care as I can get there before 6.

As my husband can work from home he does sick child days, and a lot more holiday care.

mamadoc Thu 31-Oct-13 00:13:58

The main problem here is patriarchal society expectations!

I sympathise as we get it too.

I am the higher wage earner by some way despite working 4 days a week but my job is very much not flexible. No way I can just drop it for a school event or DC sickness. I am letting a lot of people down if I do. Also it is unpredictable and I might need to stay late to deal with a situation at short notice.

DH is notionally full time but self employed so he has a lot of flexibility. Our deal is that he picks up all the ad hoc stuff.
Currently we drop and pick up one child each but next year when DS starts nursery and they're in the same place I plan to rearrange my hours to do half the pick ups. He will do drop offs.

Our arrangement works for us but I particularly am sick of the comments from family and other parents on the school run: oh you are so lucky that he does all that etc, etc.

It's not lucky it's fair!! They are his kids too.
Never any 'isn't he lucky to benefit from your stable income and guaranteed pension so he can continue to work in the low paid and insecure job he loves'. If our genders were reversed I expect he would be the SAHP by now but I never made him do that as it's not what he wants.

Some child at school asked DD 'do you actually have a mummy?' Because DH usually does school runs.

My mum asked me to 'particularly thank DH' for 'babysitting' his own DC one weekend so I could support her at a hospital appt!

Mum and MIL think he is a saint if he washes up a cup and roundly criticise me for taking him away from his business to do childcare. DH knows he can't support the family on his wage even if he worked all day every day and it would be incredible pressure on him to try to do it which he actually doesn't want.

We recently argued about it and he agreed to start calling them on these comments and backing me up.

OP I guess your DH is suffering from these comments because it is still unusual to really share things equally but he needs to stand up in the face of it and back your arrangements which are wholly fair.

BackforGood Thu 31-Oct-13 00:28:53

I think you have a very strange perception of what it is like to work in a Primary school. In 25 years, I've never worked with a teacher who expected to leave at 3.30 - it's just not how it works! You need to plan and prepare with your TA, with the SENCo, with your Yr Group partner, with whoever is leading on this month's initiative. You need to go hunting in the store cupboard to check the magnets are there for the Science lesson (and track them down if not) and then get out the paints or whatever for the art lesson, and then meet up with the colleague you are planning the residential visit with, and then get on the phone to the teacher at the other school you are playing that fixture against, etc.,etc.etc. It's not about having a pile of books you can just put in the car to mark that evening.
If you want to (or have to) both work full time, then you need to pay for full time childcare.

Mimishimi Thu 31-Oct-13 00:38:08

My dad is a primary teacher and he used to get back at five -five thirty. My mum was too until her third child. If your husband is nit implying that you should do all pickup/dropoffs, then just see it as a whinge to let off steam. YADNBU to think it should be equally shared among you.

KeatsiePie Thu 31-Oct-13 01:00:33

BackforGood it's not really a perception though is it? It's their actual experience of working in their schools. Apparently these hours are in fact fine with their bosses, so that's that.

MamaBear YANBU. Seems like your DH is just tired of things being hard. It happens -- sometimes I get tired of things being hard, sometimes my DH does. Not really fair of him to pass his tiredness on to you in a whiny expectant my-wife-needs-to-fix-this-for-me way, that's just irritating.

But the answer I think is to sit down together for a half hour on the weekend and look at the options. 1, More childcare (I know, the $$, but haul out the budget and just have a quick look so that he'll feel like all the options are being considered). 2, Different childcare, if there is any, worth brainstorming anyway. 3, Different balance of hours between you and him (you can bring this up for the sole purpose of explaining why it wouldn't work and shooting it down. Or who knows, maybe he'll have a brilliant idea about switching things around that will actually work). And 4, his getting a backbone so he can shrug off/retort to stupid comments. Backbone will probably win grin If you talk it all out, he'll feel a sense of ownership over the decision and will go back to work on Monday prepared to take no shit.

pennefab Thu 31-Oct-13 01:05:34

DP & I both work full time, but he is major earner. I drop off every morning & pick up every afternoon. Commute in morning is 1 hr: home-school- work. By afternoon, commute 1.5 hrs: work-school-home. I have more flexibility - I work 6 hrs/day in office (no break) the add'l 10/wk from home at my discretion. It wouldn't occur to me to complain about division of work, pick-up/drop-off, or that he isn't pulling his weight. I do b* that my commute is soul-sucking miserable drain. Key point is that I B* about something 3rd party - not him, DC, etc.

We agreed on this at get-go. For my flexible work (priceless) and hence lower wage, I get school run. He has also stepped up with grocery shopping & isn't phased by dusty home (pretty clutter-free) and will pitch in when gets too messy/dirty. He leaves later in morning, home later in evening-but when home also steps up with parenting (my brain shuts off at 4:30 and energy gone by 5:30).

Anything can be negotiated or compromised.

So maybe, OP, you might want to discuss how each of you deal with the drawbacks/impositions your current arrangement have. E.g., he can b* and moan about comments from coworkers and how it makes him feel like s*. But - he's moaning about their comments and his feelings - not about the situation you both agreed to in the beginning, not about you or DC.

You can b* and moan as well - but it's not about each other or the relative imposition of your arrangements. Both of you are moaning about how others can't keep their big mouths shut ... You both become a "team" against the others?

trinity0097 Thu 31-Oct-13 06:41:58

You said your hubby works in a primary school, sadly any teacher in most of those who leaves on time is frowned on even if they work later at home.

Kiwiinkits Thu 31-Oct-13 06:47:48

Honestly? I think one of you needs to look into a more flexible career choice. Use your teaching skills to set up a consultancy of some sort? Tutoring? Create a reading programme and sell it on As Seen on TV? The options are endless...

redskyatnight Thu 31-Oct-13 08:31:23

On paper your arrangement looks fair.
However DH is clearly finding that in practice it just doesn't work with his committments. I agree that you need to look at paying for more childcare - that afternoon pickup every day is just not working for you as a family.

My DH does more afternoon pickups than me. That is because his work is genuinely flexible about him organising his day that way.
On paper my work is also happy for me to organise my day to do the pickups, but in practice, if I do it on more than the odd occasion it means a huge amount of juggling, and a certain "feeling" that everyone is bending over backwards to accomodate me and that really it would be much simpler and better if I didn't. Of course, if I have to I just get on with it and ignore - but I do have to work with these people every day, and meeting the work "norms" makes my life much less stressful. It does sound like you and DH are in a similar situation - just because DH's work in theory is happy for him to go straight after school, doesn't mean that this is easy/appropriate for him to do.

clam Thu 31-Oct-13 08:41:32

mamadoc "The main problem here is patriarchal society expectations!"
No it's not. The main problem here is that there is "a" teacher who is feeling awkward and, presumably, unable to do his job properly (read backforgood's list and add to that displays for a start - plus a few dozen other jobs that can't be done at home), and who is now the target of jibes from colleagues about his commitment. That is nothing to do with gender.

The comments from family members is a different thing - their opinion doesn't count.

BlackDaisies Thu 31-Oct-13 09:05:23

Completely agree that this is difficult due to his being a primary school teacher. As backforgood says, time after school is used for making and gathering resources for lessons, creating displays, planning/ replanning according to children's achievements, liaising with colleagues etc, As a teacher I would seriously begin to struggle leaving work pretty much as the children leave twice a week whether senior management "approved" or not. He doesn't even really have the half an hour you mention to do anything constructive, as the children will still be leaving for at least ten minutes, and he will need to be gathering stuff to take home for at least ten minutes. Could you look into a childminder picking up and giving you a couple of hours on at least one each of your days? Or else look into either of you dropping a day? Of course YANBU thinking childcare responsibility should be split, but YABU to dismiss your dh trying to tell you this does not work for him.

mamadoc Thu 31-Oct-13 09:16:13

Ok I don't know much about teaching but OP has repeatedly reassured us that his working arrangement is sanctioned by school management.

Are you so sure that it's not about gender? If he was a female primary teacher I seriously suspect there would be less comments about him taking responsibility for some pick ups.

If it's not about gender then why is it OK for OP to leave early on her pick up days but not her DH?

I stand by my assertion that gender has got a lot to do with it.

redskyatnight Thu 31-Oct-13 09:41:05

mamadoc OP and her DH have different jobs and work in different workplaces. You can't extrapolate that because it is ok for OP it is ok for DH! Maybe female teachers at DH's school have the same issues?

As I said upthread there's a difference between management sanctioning something and it actually being ok on a practical day to day level.

clam Thu 31-Oct-13 09:44:38

I disagree that there would be fewer comments if it were a female teacher leaving early. I am very surprised that the Management of either of these schools are happy with the arrangement, or that either of them are properly able to carry out all their responsibilities in school, but there you go.

mamadoc Thu 31-Oct-13 09:58:45

I guess I would have more sympathy for the DH if he was suggesting getting more childcare as a solution as others have done but in fact he is asking OP to do more and him less. If he can't manage his pick ups than he should arrange a later stay on his days.

clam Thu 31-Oct-13 10:08:53

I don't think the issue is who should arrange the childcare for a later stay, but that they as a family can't afford that extra care. Oh, and that she goes to bed at 6.30 so they wouldn't have much time with her.

The trouble is though, that that's an issue faced by thousands of parents and, sorry to put it so bluntly, isn't the school's problem.

Phineyj Thu 31-Oct-13 10:14:25

In OP's situation I would be a bit worried about the imminent arrival of performance related pay - as failing to go up a pay grade would cost the OP and her DH a lot more than an extra afternoon of childcare in the long run.

I think there is an element of being seen to be present here & not dumping tidying up/prep duties on colleagues (not saying that is happening but maybe there is a perception).

OP, having worked in places where people tutted when I occasionally left on time, I do sympathise.

ljny Thu 31-Oct-13 10:30:33

You can't do it all and you can't have it all.

Pay for the extra nursery hours, economise elsewhere.

Your daughter really won't notice a few extra hours a week. Again, you can't have it all.

In this economy, it matters if things aren't working for DH job-wise. But you can't cover his shortfall just because you're female!

It might help for DH to start thinking more like a working parent and less like a traditionally male colleague, iyswim. HellsBells gave excellent advice:

ensure he is in the staffroom every morning and ask the people who are making comments "what time do you call this? I've been here for hours..."

BackforGood Thu 31-Oct-13 11:24:45

No Mamadoc - it's got nothing to do with gender, and everything to do with the fact he teaches in a Primary school, where, as many people have said, it's the nature of the job that a number of hours of work outside teaching have to be done on the premises. That doesn't matter if you are a man, a woman, a parent or not, it's part of the job. Apparently it is more flexible in (some subjects) in secondary, but you can't do the job properly if you are leaving at 3.30 on a regular basis, as a Primary school teacher.

ThePitOfStupid Thu 31-Oct-13 13:53:36

He is leaving at 1530 on two days out of five and his management are OK with it.

clam Thu 31-Oct-13 14:03:58

That's what I don't understand. I just cannot see how the job can be done on those hours. Sorry, but I don't.
I'm pretty efficient and good at multi-tasking and I would really be struggling if I left before 5 even once a fortnight.

"it's the nature of the job that a number of hours of work outside teaching have to be done on the premises"

..but not, presumably, always after school? If he is putting in the hours before school instead, why does that matter confused?

clam Thu 31-Oct-13 14:51:16

I suppose it doesn't, for things like displays, which only involve the class teacher. But if a sub-group of teachers need to meet in order to discuss, say, the Christmas play, it's severely limiting the opportunities if two, possibly three evenings are out due to someone not being there. It's unlikely that the majority of staff would want or be able to meet up before school. Another evening will presumably be set aside for a formal staff meeting (two evenings in my school, actually), and then there are sports matches and IEP meetings and so on.

Pilgit Thu 31-Oct-13 15:15:57

Haven't read the whole thread but the problem is his works. He needs to stand up for himself at work and challenge it head on by calling his colleagues on their attitude. Ask them if they would ask a female colleague the same and basically embarrase themselves into shutting the fuck up. I am sure he is doing his job fully and properly the issue is prssrnteism culture. This is an issue women face all the time. Instead of taking it out on you he needs to man up and be proud of himself and you for making your situation work.

Do not compromise further. Ignore your dm and milthey feel threatened by you defying normality. They will see your insistence on equity as a challenge to their choices.

whatever5 Thu 31-Oct-13 15:18:20

You are not being unreasonable about the fact that childcare should be shared equally between you if both work fulltime. However, I do sympathise a bit with your DH. It's really difficult if colleagues and/or management suggest that you're not pulling your weight because you leave early. Some people just don't seem to notice that you arrive early, work lunchtimes or work at home etc. They just see and believe what they want. I know that you are in a similar position but it may be a bit easier for you if you have a management position and he doesn't.

Could your dd not stay in nursery a bit later two days a week?

Pilgit Thu 31-Oct-13 15:21:05

Oh god this has really made me cross. I have recently gone back full time as main earner. Loads of people have asked how I manage child care. I have stopped politely explaining and just tell them the dc have 2 parents. ..
They NEVER ask male colleagues how they manage. Grrft

moonbells Thu 31-Oct-13 15:33:29

I do all drop-offs and pick-ups and work f/t. DH leaves at 7am to catch a train and gets back at 6.30pm. We run into trouble if I am ill, rather like I suspect a single parent would in similar circumstances.

Wish we could share as I'd have an easier life, but I'm the one who works near the school and he's a commuter. I earn more, too. It's never as simple as it appears to begin with! If DH were in my line of work, was close to the school and didn't do half the pickups etc he'd get very short shrift from me!

clam Thu 31-Oct-13 16:23:46

pilgit Has it been said anywhere that his colleagues are making comments about him leaving early because he is male? I gathered that is is because he's just leaving early on a regular basis?
IF it is the case that their workload is increased, or compromised, by him not being on site enough, then they may have a point.

ThePitOfStupid Thu 31-Oct-13 18:30:24

Clam, has it been said anywhere that his colleagues are picking up his jobs? The comments reported do not say that,

If they are then that is a problem that needs solving, yes.

clam Thu 31-Oct-13 19:00:39

Which is why I said IF. In heavy type.

But I have to say, in the schools I have worked in, and others I am familiar with, it would be looked upon very unfavourably to leave at that sort of time on such a regular basis. Male or female.

clam Thu 31-Oct-13 19:13:51

But the fact that colleagues are making pointed comments is an indication that there might be an issue.

MamaBear17 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:40:37

Hi, okay Im going to try and address a few points raised and update. Firstly, dh's key stage team are fine with our arrangement, the people who made the comments work in a different key stage; so, there really isn't any 'picking up of slack' going on. At all. We both manage to get our work done within the time we have. H feels that he is falling behind on his marking by leaving early. Tonight he stayed behind and I picked DD up. He got home at just before 5. Apparently, he was doing his marking but noticed everyone else had left, so he did! He could have stayed later but chose not to. I find that a bit annoying but hey ho.We have talked and he does feel that it might be a sexist thing either his colleagues. I don't know. Schools can be bitchy places to work, they may well have name the same comments to a woman.
As for my job, due to how well I have done in multiple areas over the last few years, SLT want to put me through the NPQSL qualification - basically the qualification you take before you apply for a deputy headship. I have declined. It isn't the right time for me because Id like to have another baby in a year or so. My point is, despite my childcare commitments, I am doing a good job.
Anyway, having spoken to dh more calmly today, we have decided to put dd in for an early start once a week. This is dh's idea, he thinks the extra half hour will help him to stay on top. He is also going to stand up to the colleagues making comments. The time he leaves doesn't affect them in anyway at all and dh agrees they are just being judgy. Thank you to all who replied, really appreciate it.

ThePitOfStupid Thu 31-Oct-13 19:47:46

Sorry clam, you did blush

But I have experienced people making "part-timer" comments just for the sake of stirring, not cos it affects them at all.

Sounds like a good solution. OP.

DoItTooJulia Thu 31-Oct-13 20:06:04

I think your DH needs to find something to say to his detractors!

Along the lines of, yes. I leave at this time on x day and x day every week. I've been in since six thirty.

Or next time the colleague who says it rocks up at 8am say to them, late again?

This would really piss me off. He needs to manage his colleagues responses and not let them affect him!

Good luck sorting it out!

nextphase Thu 31-Oct-13 20:07:50

Sounds like an excellent solution - his problem, and his answer to it - hope the cash flow stands up to it.

TeacupDrama Thu 31-Oct-13 21:27:51

I am struggling to understand how two FT teachers not anywhere near the bottom of pay scale but in middle management roles can not afford 2-3 hours child care extra a week, something somewhere does not add up,

maybe OP could suggest that if DH would prefer to do more of his work in school rather than at home that he paid for extra childcare

MamaBear17 Sat 02-Nov-13 01:49:33

Dh is m2. Only just starting his career really. I am middle management. We have a big mortgage.

Peanate Sat 02-Nov-13 05:28:12

DH and I both work FT and juggle the kids between us. One if us drops them off (so is a bit late), and the other leaves a bit early to collect them from after school care. We swap out depending on who has meetings.

DH hasn't had any negative comments as far as I know (he's relatively senior so does his own thing). I'm mid level, and have had a fair few snarky comments in my direction. I've had an arrangement with work that I can leave Hal an hour early when I need to pick up, and I balance that out with starting early, and I'm always happy to work late or weekends when it's busy.

I've just had an incident where someone was majorly out of line with a comment to me about it, so I got HR involved (advice from another senior person). I've since had my contract amended to take the fixed hours out, and replaced with an average of 40 hours across the week. So far so good.

It's TOUGH balancing kids and FT work. Especially when you have unnecessary and snarky comments to deal with. I think the most important thing is for you and your DH to be understanding of each other's pressures and pull equal weights. I'd also highly recommend finding the money for that extra day of care if you can.

In this house 3 kids both of us work full time shifts, I do lots of night shifts so does husband we split everything 50/50 all childcare , household chores etc its great and totally ideal if you ask me. Bugger the people who seem to think mean should somehow not take part in sorting out childcare, it makes me angry actually.

Peanate Sat 02-Nov-13 06:24:08

Oh yes 50shades. The anger that I had after that final comment to me. It's quite frankly none of anyone else's business what your arrangements are with management / HR in terms of flexible hours for childcare (assuming you aren't taking the piss of course).

OP - as someone said upthread, your DH needs to man up and tell his colleagues to back off with the out of line comments.

clam Sat 02-Nov-13 07:49:29

"Bugger the people who seem to think men should somehow not take part in sorting out childcare"
But, apart from a couple of relatives (whose opinions, frankly, don't count in this case) where has it been established that the work colleagues are objecting because he is male?

ShinyBlackNose Sat 02-Nov-13 08:08:35

How do we split the child care? We both work shifts, he's full time and I'm part time. Due to the shift pattern DH works I work on his days off, when he's at work I'm off.

I think there are supposed to be three days a month when we are both off, but various things get in the way and we can easily go a month or more without spending a single day together as a family.

So, whoever isn't at work is responsible for child care. I'm responsible for housework and gardening.

I have it implied all the time Clam ' oh the kids dad has them ?' When I'm on 3rd 12 hour nightshift.
Or ' how do you find time to do housework?'
Er there are 2 adults in the household.

clam Sat 02-Nov-13 14:10:57

So, tell them that!
I must live in a parallel universe to some of you because in my world, all the blokes take care of their kids, cook, do their share of chores and pay their way. It's just not an issue.

But I repeat, the OP's dh's colleagues don't appear to be making remarks because he is male and rushing off - just that he is rushing off.

BackforGood Sat 02-Nov-13 18:04:22

Same here Clam, and I also agree this is about being a Primary school teacher, and what the expectations are for that role, and not about him being male.
Peanate - It is your business when you work in a situation where you need to sit down with a colleague to plan things or moderate things,or share information, and that colleague isn't available often enough.

Bue Sat 02-Nov-13 18:17:50

I think YABU in having your DD in a full time school hours only contract, tbh, although I do appreciate that M2 pay is really low! (And I see you are going to put her in for an early start once a week, which I think is a good idea!).

I know a lot of teachers (and am married to one) and leaving at 3:30 on a regular basis is not a practice I am familiar with, so I can understand that it doesn't go down well with colleagues. Flexibility is very important but I also think there needs to be a reasonable assumption of core hours in any workplace, or how do you plan things? Run meetings?

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Sat 02-Nov-13 18:32:59

Df and I both work full time. We have ds1 in full time school and ds1 in am nursery from 8.50 - 11.20.
Df is off on a Wednesday and I work compressed hours (11 hour days) so am off on a Thursday and Friday. We're both off on a Sunday.

So our only childcare is on a Monday and Tuesday, where ds2 goes to a childminder 11.30 - 6.30 and ds1 from 3.30 - 6.30 (df picks them up after finishing) and both of them from 8.45 - 12.10 on a Saturday.

We're lucky in that both of our jobs are flexible, so on a Monday and Tuesday df takes his lunch hour 11-12 to pick ds2 up from school and drop him to the childminder and I take mine at 3-4 to do the same for ds1.

I don't know how people with standard 9-5's afford childcare tbh (if they have young kids anyway). We pay enough as it is, 9-5 for 5 days would be a huge stretch.

clam Sat 02-Nov-13 18:46:02

A lot of primary school work is team-based. And it's quite difficult to manage that if people aren't there during the only available times to meet, which is usually after school. That might be why his colleagues are becoming vocal. It's just not appropriate to say "none of their business." It is their business if it impacts on their ability to get the job done.

Wuldric Sat 02-Nov-13 18:49:24

Family members have made comments in the past about how when their children were little the man wasn't expected to do any of the childcare because he was busy working

Wrong family mate. Absolutely ridiculous behaviour. Do not stand for it.

MamaBear17 Sat 02-Nov-13 19:16:33

Thanks again to all who have responded. Just to clarify - I think I already said it somewhere in here before - it is NOT my husband's team who have commented. He works in KS2, It is teachers from foundation stage that have made comments. The two teachers in his team, the head of key stage and the head of the school are fine with our arrangement.DH double checked with his team and they basically said as long as he pulls his weight, which he does, they don't care what he does. The two people who commented do not work directly with my husband, so are not affected by our childcare arrangements and, imo, shouldn't be commenting.
As for my family, I know they are being U. It undermines my confidence at times but I do try to ignore them.

lade Sat 02-Nov-13 19:21:56

I'm a teacher, and I would suggest that your DH took your child to work three mornings and picked up two afternoons, and you dropped off two mornings, and pick up three afternoons. You could then get in early on those three mornings.

In my experience, it is easier at secondary to do more of your work at home. If you managed your days, you could follow leaving early by getting in early the next day, so that would allow you to prepare for that day.

Also, I find that if you have fixed days that you leave early, colleagues know when to find you, when you're not around... They find it easier to manage / work with.

I often leave straight from work, but my colleagues know my 'late' days and work around that (I have responsibility too). When other people know the score, it's easier for them to know when you're going to be around / not available etc.

And ignore family / other comments.

Objection Sat 02-Nov-13 19:39:03


You say you can't afford childcare - not even a couple of hours at a childminder? Maybe two afternoons a week at a childminder may help?

I don't know where you live but CMs round my area charge between £4-6 per child per hour. So maybe £20 odd a week?

ThePitOfStupid Sat 02-Nov-13 19:55:27

Lade, that pretty much is what they are doing, except day 5 is switched depending on who has meetings, which most weeks is DH.

lade Sat 02-Nov-13 21:35:39

I thought at present, he mostly did the three evenings.

I was proposing, she always did the three evenings, fixing them to set days, the OP moving extra curricular to a lunch time (being voluntary, she can do it when she likes, I always did / do mine during the lunch hour), leaving two after schools for meetings (although, aren't we only supposed to have to do one a week? Or has that changed??). Plus, the crucial part: making the hours clear to bosses / colleagues. This, I cannot stress enough is very important in having supportive colleagues.

Every school I have ever worked in have had set 'meeting days' for after school meetings, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to stick to these / lunch time meetings.

Xmasbaby11 Sat 02-Nov-13 21:56:20

DH and I both work full time and split nursery runs about 50/50. I'd say you are doing amazingly well to pick DD up between you at 3.45 every day. Since it is obviously causing problems, I'd extend the nursery hours for one day a week. I think it's expecting a lot for either/both of you to leave so early several times a week. I have many teacher friends with young children and none of them leave work before 5 (and they then work in the evening), so I can imagine it's not the norm to rush off.

EST0106 Sat 02-Nov-13 22:26:17

DH and I both work full time. He does all pick up and drop offs, a) because he nursery is next to his work and the opposite direction for me, b) because I condense my hours into 4 days so subsequently work longer days mon to thurs so I can have Fridays off.
He works 8.30 until 5.30pm so they don't get home until 6pm, and she's in bed for 7. You a very lucky to be able to pick up so early, that's the middle of the afternoon!! I'm sure you'll make it work, and be happy at how fortunate you are, and I say that in a nice way, you are lucky!!

Loopytiles Sat 02-Nov-13 22:49:59

Yanbu to want your dh to share the care, but yabu to want to both work FT but one of you to collect dd so early 5 days a week, unrealistic for work.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now