How do you decide re part-time/full-time work? Hoping for tips!

(17 Posts)
MrsFeathersword Sun 05-Jan-14 17:15:48

Hello,
I work part-time at the moment, 2 dcs 6 and 1. Dh is keen for it to be him who works part-time next year, which would mean I go back full-time (which I can) or we both did 4 days, which he thinks is the worst of both worlds. He wants 3 days at work.
I know no-one knows what would be best for us, but I'm wondering how you make the decisions? I'm finding it so hard to work out what I really want, and to divorce it from what he wants, worries about housework being done etc. Financially it doesn't make much difference as we are in the same line of work.
Part of me would like to try full time again as part-time can be so busy, trying to fit it all in. But I would miss my time alone with the dcs and worry about stuff in the house mounting up. Dh is fairly typical in that he'll do jobs he's asked to do, but tends not to "see" them himself.
Any strategies on how to decide, or personal experiences?
TIA

HaPPy8 Sun 05-Jan-14 17:31:49

4/4 sounds the fairest! Why is that worst of both worlds? It sounds best of both worlds!

MrsFeathersword Sun 05-Jan-14 18:11:38

I think he means that neither of us would really be at home long enough to make it feel like part-time work! And we'd be basically doing full-time work when at work.
When I have two days off I find I have a "fun" day - soft play or park, swimming, that kind of thing - and then another when I get shopping done/go to the bank etc. I worry that with one day off each mine would always be day "b"! But, I've had several years of having the chance to be at home so maybe I'm being unfair.

CharlesRyder Sun 05-Jan-14 19:48:36

I upped to full time Sept - Dec last year and hated it. I thought ft at work would be easier because I had been fitting a ft job into pt so once ft I could pace myself at work and be less of a headless chicken. In reality the job expanded to fill the time and I was even more stressed. I never felt like I had anything left to give at home.

I have gone back to part time this January and will be working 'school run' hours (9.30 - 3) so ds doesn't need wraparound I and will get afternoons/ evenings with him. Sometimes we will hang out, other times I will do house work so we get our weekends back.

SoonToBeSix Sun 05-Jan-14 20:18:26

Why isn't your dh prepared to work full time?

MrsFeathersword Sun 05-Jan-14 20:51:59

He is prepared to, he has just expressed a preference for part-time - his turn, if you like. We only want dcs to be in childcare - if possible - for 3 days each week. We work in education, and it is fairly easy for either of us to drop days on a temporary basis. Employers probably don't like it, but they are very used to it happening!
My older child in particular would love extra time with his dad, I'm sure, the younger one would probably prefer to be with me.

MrsFeathersword Sun 05-Jan-14 20:52:59

That's interesting to hear, CharlesRyder, maybe a myth then that full-time would be easier!

cheminotte Sun 05-Jan-14 21:10:36

I agree with your dp that 4 days is worst of both worlds. I think its great he WANTs to look after the dc. If you are worried about housework not getting done, why not agree that certain jobs are entirely his to do every week eg vacuuming and ironing so he can choose when he fits them in.

redskyatnight Mon 06-Jan-14 12:35:39

I agree with PP that I would take getting housework done out of the equation. Regardless of who does what, you should both sit down and agree what needs doing and (broadly) who does it. I'd also point out that if you work 3 days a week now then being "in charge" of housework probably does fall to you because you are doing most of it. If DH was working 3 days part time you would probably find your roles shifted. I moved from part time to full time work last year (I lost my job, it wasn't by choice) and I was petrified about still having to do the lion's share of the housework as well as working full time - but it really hasn't work out that way as DH has seen I have less time so picked up a lot of the slack.

I think it is a tough one to call if you both think that ideally you would like to work 3 days a week - I do sort of see DH's point that it's his "turn" now if you've been doing this for a while.

Chunderella Thu 09-Jan-14 14:30:55

Tough one. Have you considered him doing 3 days and you doing 4? It's worth looking at what impact this would have on your income. It might not be as much as you think, you'll be losing less than one fifth of your earnings because of the way tax works, and you have to factor in travel costs and childcare too. With 2 DC and on what I suspect isn't a colossal salary, you might be surprised. Obviously if you need the money you need the money, but do the maths first.

MrsFeathersword Thu 09-Jan-14 15:20:24

Thank you both. I am mulling it all over! I do think I'll do more than my share of housework after work if I go full-time. This has been an on-going issue for us. If we were both full-time I'd get a cleaner, but not yet! Maybe he will surprise me <hopeful face>
I will do the maths for your suggestion Chunderella, but I think we'd get about what we do now (curently him 5, me 2) which we aren't managing on really. We teach - therefore earning a good bit more than the childcare costs, but not as much as we need for life in our city really!
I am coming round to saying I'll go back ft for a year, on condition I can revert to pt after (if I still want to). Ds2 was a hard-won baby and I do find the thought of being away from him very hard - not sure dh feels that quite as much as me, though he is very hands-on as they say.

dontyouknow Thu 09-Jan-14 17:25:12

When you do the maths remember that if you commute by train then for four days it is probably still cheaper to get a weekly/monthly travelcard than daily tickets, so 4 days each wouldn't cut down on commuting costs.

Having said that we have both had one weekday each at home for years and it has worked really well. At various times part, all or none of that day has been working at home, so slightly different to you. I always felt it was really good for DD to have a day at home with each of us on our own, 3 days at nursery and 2 days with both of us at the weekend.

I think it's great that your DH wants to go PT. So many people were genuinely surprised that DH had a day at home but no-one ever batted an eyelid that I did.

noblegiraffe Thu 09-Jan-14 17:34:17

What about your careers? If you are both part time will you both be potentially missing out on promotions? (Part timers in my school aren't allowed a TLR).

Also, is it really so easy to go back full time then part time? My school would not be happy to have to fiddle the timetable and recruit year on year.

And can you just drop days? I'm a teacher, 0.6 but have to work 5 days a week because of the timetable.

MrsFeathersword Thu 09-Jan-14 18:08:12

Flexible working operates on a temporary basis initially, or you can arrange to so it full-time. You only get a couple of "shots" at the temporary arrangement. Am in Scotland. This may make you jealous (sorry) but the timetable is written around the permanent staff really, so can have full days off. Wouldn't make sense financially if not. Dh not interested in promotion. I have been but yes it is hard when part-time. So this might give my own career a boost - though that is scary as I really haunt pictured working full-time during the primary years if ever again

I would agree it is good that dh wants to do this - though am I allowed a little frustration that he gets patted on the back (by family etc) for doing this, when it was just expected of me? Dontyouknow did you feel one day was long enough at home? I don't want to feel I spend all weekend playing catch up with what I've become used to doing at home during the week.

MrsFeathersword Thu 09-Jan-14 18:09:16

Noble - I don't know what a TLR is, but isn't that discriminatory? (Unless just no way can be done pt).

noblegiraffe Thu 09-Jan-14 18:22:06

Teacher and Learning Responsibility. So as I'm part time, I can't be a head of department, year, or SLT. I don't think you could actually do those jobs properly on a part timetable.

MrsFeathersword Thu 09-Jan-14 18:35:52

I used to be a hod (part-time). We have guidance teachers (which I think might be similar to head of year) who job share, and a depute who is part-time - though that isn't very common.

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