Part time working. Five half days a week or three full days - any thoughts please?

(50 Posts)
Jemster Thu 14-Nov-13 20:19:25

I currently work 5 days a week 8.30-1.00pm which I'm struggling a bit with. Always rushing, never finish work on time, feel like I can't do a proper job in those few hours. But I do like it so I can pick my son up from school every day and be with him & dd.

Am just wondering what it would be like to do 3 full days instead. Would it be less stressful as less rushing around and trying to split myself in two each day?

I'd appreciate views from both sides. Thanks.

SecretRed Thu 14-Nov-13 20:31:52

How old is you dd? I work 10-2 every day and although the hours look like a doddle I am struggling as I have a 2 yr old and I feel like I never see him.
I think factoring in travel times helps too. My commute is 40 mins which is a bit of a chunk out if the day when you are only paid part time wages.
I am currently looking for a 3 full day part time job to do instead (although they are like gold dust around here!)

massistar Thu 14-Nov-13 20:33:24

I do 3 days full time. Find it much easier to get my head round those being my working days. Also love love love my 2 days off!

Crikeyblimey Thu 14-Nov-13 20:34:34

Three full days vote from me.

I did 5 days 9 till 3 when ds was small. I NEVER got anything done in those 2 hours except cook dinner and school run.

At least with 2 full days at home you will be able to avoid the cleaning / washing marathon every blooming weekend.

Sidge Thu 14-Nov-13 20:34:47

I prefer full days at work and full days off. I have worked school hours term time only but found it really hard going, as I was either at work or with the children and didn't feel like I had any time to do the dull day-to-day stuff so ended up doing it all at the weekends.

At least with full days off you can get more done IMO.

RedPencils Thu 14-Nov-13 20:36:24

Full days for me. I tried half days but I never had time to get anything done. Once I'd got home, has lunch, tidied up breakfast stuff it was time for school pick up. With 2 full days not working I can get all shopping, cleaning and laundry done so the weekends are free.

CaterpillarCara Thu 14-Nov-13 20:36:45

I do five half days. I value the afternoon time to sort out the house, cook dinner, etc. But I really, really miss being able to do things that take all day - go into town, go on a school trip, etc. I think three full days would be better.

RedPencils Thu 14-Nov-13 20:37:33

Plus of course you only have 3 days of commuting costs.

Ilovemyrabbits Thu 14-Nov-13 20:38:03

Half days will disappear into the ether and you'll rarely get as much done during a half day as you will on a full day off. Also, you have travel expenses for every day, or parking expenses, or coffee every day, etc, etc. You don't get the chance to switch off from work mode. It's a tough one, because you will undoubtedly feel the disconnect of part time work by doing 3 days, but ime 3 full days at work is best.

We used to make the two days I wasn't working 'Mommy & Babyrabbit' days and she still talks about those days now she's 12 and pre-teeny.

I currently work 4 part days and I wish I could compress my part days into 3 full ones instead.

sittinginthesun Thu 14-Nov-13 20:40:50

I work five half days. I am generally knackered, but really value being able to pick the children up from school and supervise after school activities and homework. my eldest, in particular, needs his downtime with me at home.

I am, as I say, generally knackered and have very little "me" time

aufaniae Thu 14-Nov-13 20:41:04

I had exactly the same question a couple of years ago, when DS was 18 months.

I went for 3 full days, mostly as I'd get more time at home, as only 3 journeys to work not 5.

But also I found having whole days off worked well for us.

littleblackno Thu 14-Nov-13 20:42:40

Another vote for full days. I've just switched to doing half days and although it's nice picking the kids up. I don't really feel with all the stuff they do after school that i'm really getting much extra time with them and I miss my days off to get 'stuff' done. I've got a new job i'm starting after xmas and will be going back to full days.
Travel time does make a big difference. My current job i have a big commute which is one of the reasons I change hours. My new job is just up the road - wish i could start it tommorow!

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Thu 14-Nov-13 20:52:22

I do same as you and it works most of the time (although term time only). I do like being there for pick up/clubs etc and it's fine. 3 days would be nice though (bet they would feel longgggggg at first)
Don't forget any childcare costs for longer day.

scottishmummy Thu 14-Nov-13 20:57:24

Full days

Ellisisland Thu 14-Nov-13 20:59:11

I have a 20 month DS and I work 3 days 9-4. I much prefer it to over 5 days as I get 2 full days of just me and DS and then the weekend with DH as well. I think if I did less hours but over 5 days it would feel as if I was working full time anyway because every week day would have to be planned around work iyswim

SaltySeaBird Thu 14-Nov-13 21:00:42

I vote full days as well. I used to do five half days and felt I was working all the time and the rest of the day vanished. Changing to three full days made a huge difference, much better quality time off.

holstenlips Thu 14-Nov-13 21:02:12

Ive done both and find three full days much better. More productive at work and better home / work balance

I do half a week over 3 days, which I find works really well. Does mean I need after school club on 2 days though.

deepfriedsage Thu 14-Nov-13 21:03:17

Another vote for full days.

Before the DCs were in school I did 3 full days as I preferred that. Now I work those hours over 4 short days so I can do pick up. Personally I hate it, there's never enough time at work to actually do anything. I end up checking emails in the afternoon. It also means 4 rushed mornings. From the point of view of the DCs they love it. It means I pick up every day, we have time for activities, and homework. We can have friends over to play etc.

In the school holidays I swap back to 3 full days and its easier for me! But I wouldn't go back to that in term time as I feel we need time after school to relax as well as do the ever increasing amount of homework

I do 10-3 for 4 days and the other day is a full time day but to be honest I feel like I am full time every day. My kids are junior school age so there is a lot of ferrying around to be done after school to various activities or supervising homework. The most housework I can get done during the week is to keep on top of the washing, and to do one food shop mid-week. Occasionally I find time to Hoover mid-week too.

Ideally I would like 3 full days or 3.5. Then I would be able to catch up on housework on my days off while the kids are in school. And have it all done by the weekend. We would have better quality family time at the weekend instead of catching up on housework. I would have more "me time" and I dare say I may even be able to fit in some exercise somewhere. There is just no time left the way things are at th moment as I'm either at work or seeing to the kids.

That said, I often wonder who it is that ferries kids around to activities/social stuff when their parent is working full time. Do grandparents do it? Because it is not possible if they're in after school club or a childminder. I wonder if my kids realise how lucky they are to have me there for them after school most of the week and to not have to get up early in the mornings to go to breakfast club? And I wonder if they realise that it means that I get no time to myself whatsoever? Probably not! With my hours I feel that the kids get the best deal - I certainly don't!

BikeRunSki Thu 14-Nov-13 21:22:32

Full days

My commute is too far to justify for half a day

BikeRunSki Thu 14-Nov-13 21:25:03

Also, I don't really get my brain into gear much before lunchtime. I would never get anything done at work of I only worked mornings.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 14-Nov-13 21:27:19

I work four days a week, four hours each time. I'd much prefer 3 days 8 hours a day tbh.

Ps I do sometimes get a bit jealous when I see some kids having a LOT of input from their grandparents whilst their parents work fulltime ie school drop off/pick up, ferry to swimming lessons etc, give them tea. The parents are getting the benefit of a full time wage yet the kids are still getting the care and attention they need from family. I suppose it's very tying for the grandparents though. See - there's always SOMEONE who gets the better deal and someone who gets the slightly shittier end of the stick when it comes to school age children and Childcare.

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