How do all your mums-of-three or more juggle work and family?

(18 Posts)
RainbowBob Tue 21-Jan-14 11:10:24

I am intrigued to know the answer to this as I have three DCs under 6 and just feel as if I will never be able to work again.

The problem is, if I went out to work full or even part-time I would earn less than I would pay out in childcare, so we are actually financially better off if I don't work.

I am lucky that in my line of work I can work from home. But, I have tried this and failed completely - with one of my children still not at pre-school it is just impossible. I still need childcare. And I find myself sneaking onto my laptop to check emails while kids are having dinner etc, so there's now dividing line between work and home.

Just interested, really, to hear about others' experiences of this. Did you manage to go back after having three? How did you manage summer holidays etc?

I miss work dearly, and I am worried that the longer I am out of the game the less employable I will become....

NAR4 Wed 22-Jan-14 16:09:27

I started my own nursery, so my children could go to work with me.

open247 Wed 22-Jan-14 23:15:42

Ok, firstly the good news...Great you can work from home. That counts for a lot doesn't it.

I am self employed and work flexible hours. But to cope we have a nanny... Without help you have to be really hardcore and work very early mornings and late nights and work when your youngest sleeps during the day. I don't like to try and do work stuff when they are around but it happens..

School hols is another problem because suddenly you have 2 or 3 at home.... So I should block out many days during the hols to do stuff with the kids. And work nights...

I wonder too if it is possible to have a career with 3+ kids...rather than just working around school hours?

open247 Wed 22-Jan-14 23:22:11

Basically, I don't have an answer apart from: it is exhausting!
sending brew

MultipleMama Thu 23-Jan-14 05:20:42

I gave up my career as a Dog Handler to work from home after I got PG with 5&6. I honestly don't regret it but do plan of going back to work when youngest twins go in nursery. Still early days.

Holidays are chaotic!! So we usually go on holiday or pawn eldest on Grandparents for week or two! blush. We're now looking in to clubs and stuff so I'm not run off my feet with 6DC at home (all 6&under). Summer holidays are lived day by day or DH's worst nightmare last minute plans!

I find it easier working from home. We don't want childcare so we really on family or planning. I worked when DC napped, bf, and after bedtime hopefully before ds3&4 woke up. I just have to clock 20 hours a week.

Currently on maternity leave with my jobs so I have free time. Eldest DC (5yo&2yo) start school in August so I only have work around the toddlers & infants! Hoping ds3&4 can go to nursery a few days a week so I have a little more time.

It's crazy and hetic and thankfully DH has got a promotion so we have more money coming in and I can still help plus his new hours are great so we have more flexiblity.

It's bloody manic and stressful most days but we manage and I'm still relatively sane! smile

I've always said, if you want something to work badly enough, you'll find a way to make it work. And we eventually after cryfests and tantrums!

NAR4 Thu 23-Jan-14 14:00:50

When I had DC 4 & 5 I was working as a Youth Worker, so went to work in the evenings once dh got home to look after the children. Only dh and me to look after our children as no family or friends to help.

Agree with others that it is tiring and whatever you do has to fit around school.

PanicMode Fri 31-Jan-14 14:40:31

I gave up my career after number 4. My nanny was so unreliable, I was doing a lot of international travel and I just couldn't get it to work - my children kept saying that they wanted me to be at home and collect them from school, not the nanny, and I just felt I was doing everything badly. I was also commuting into London for over an hour each day, so by the time I'd paid my season ticket, my tax and NI, my nanny's tax/NI and paying for the nanny, I worked out that it just wasn't enough money for the stress!

My youngest starts school in September and I am now looking for something to do - but it will be a job, not a career, and something I can fit around the DCs. DH has a 'big' job which means that I don't 'need' to be working financially, but I do for my own sanity - and I am sure that as we get towards putting them through university, having the extra funds will be very handy!

I do have friends who have a big career, and I thought that's what I wanted too until recently, but I love the fact that I don't have to worry about the holidays, always get to see them in concerts/plays/sports days etc and if they are ill, I don't have to juggle. I didn't love my job enough to sit in endless meetings all over Europe rather than being at home!

lljkk Sat 15-Feb-14 08:28:31

When DC3 was 1yo I stopped work, At that point I had one in school, one at CM & one PT CM/nursery which made it financially viable before that, plus British jobs are generous enough to give leave for most of the school holidays. I had another baby & only managed measly at home jobs for 8 yrs, now back to work properly but only PT, and only because DH can work flexitime from home. DC3 is a handful and would get kicked out of any after school club, so we really do have limited options. When we thought about immigrating I reckoned I'd have to hire a housekeeper/nanny with experience of ASD or similar SN to possibly have any childcare (would both need to work FT where we wanted to immigrate to). It's complicated!

LizzieMint Sun 23-Mar-14 10:33:38

I don't!! I have 3, (7,6 and 3) and OH works away a lot. I gave up work when no3 arrived as it had been really stressful trying to work with just 2 when every time one of them was ill I had to take a day off or rush home. I had a well-paid job with quite a bit of responsibility and they wanted more commitment than I was capable of giving. Now I have my own business which I work at, very part time, although that's pretty stressful at times too! It'd be lots easier if OH was home more. It's hard not to feel a bit resentful, but even if I worked full time I wouldn't earn what OH earns, so that's the way it goes.

clara85 Mon 24-Mar-14 08:15:01

I am pg with no 3 but cannot afford to not work ( I also like working as its much easier than being at home with 2 under 4 and soon to be 3 under 4!! ).

I work shifts around DH shifts so we use a mix of some nursery and family for a couple of hours a week but does mean I work in the evenings and weekends but fiancially we need to have 2 wages.

Its fine juggiling as I am home most of the day its the best of both worlds, but my DH copes amazingly on his own doing all housework, cooking and bed times on his own 5 nights a week x

georgesdino Mon 24-Mar-14 08:19:22

We will have that soon I am going back to work after 2 weeks after dc3 is born. Dh is taking my maternity and then will be back to work part time after 39 weeks. All our children will go to childcare

LongStory Mon 24-Mar-14 13:32:28

I managed to crack that magic combination of a well-paid part time job, living near to extended family, a husband who works locally and a great nanny. Mind you, my location and career decisions were all aiming towards making that possible.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 03-Apr-14 11:23:22

I worked as a home care assistant, 2 evenings and Saturday mornings. I earned about �700 a month, this was some time ago. My eldest 2 were at school and I put DS3 into nursery each morning and had some down time, either i went home and watched a film or went swimming the morning after an evening shift. It gave me a good balance and I didn't need to worry about school holidays or minor illness.

JerusalemArtichoke Fri 04-Apr-14 11:40:37

I have three and work fulltime as does my dh. Our eldest two have started school and the baby is in nursery. We used to have a nanny which was amazing but we cant afford nanny pay anymore (25k a year!) so we have a live-in au pair who does before and after school.

I compress my hours into 4 days but on those days i am out of the house 7.30am - 6.45pm. To be honest i am barely coping and am ill all the time. I have no choice but to work so i will keep going but i wish i could do a three day week and have more balance.

I feel guilty a lot of the time.

Artandco Fri 04-Apr-14 11:56:27

I have 2 pre school age but work from home.

I work before they wake, when they nap, and in evening.
So 6am-8am
1-3pm
9-11pm

That's 6hrs a day easy. 6hr x6 days = 36hrs

Plus if needed dh is home 6pm ish so can work 6-12pm if needed and they now go to nursery x2 mornings 9-12

I usually average 50hrs a week, as dh also works from home x1days so work out home/ or longer hours in day if needed

mummyOF4darlings Sat 05-Apr-14 23:33:24

Im a single mum of 4 and was struggling but i now seem to have myself in a good routine i only work 16-20 hours per week.

My eldest is 8, middle son nearly 6 and then have 3 year old twins. I started working in October just gone once they started nursery.

I tend to work my hours round when the kids see their dads or nursery typical week usually work 3 afternoons 12-3 (i pay my neighbour whos a childminder to do nursery drop off so thats lucky i know someone). I then usually work either Thursday or Friday night and then through the day on either saturday on sunday. My employer is really flexble with me which is good.

Im loving working best decision i made glad i stuck it out as for first 2 months i felt like quitting

I have 4, it was 4 under 5 when dts were born. I work 19-24 hours a week, lucky to have a very flexible employer and helpful family. However I didn't make any money after childcare for several years, you've got to think about the long haul and take the hit sometimes. I have more responsibility now than before but I am also a lot more stressed as juggling work with kids and big house (I do have one child with SEN) takes its toll. It's doable, but it pays to work out scenarios of what happens when this dc starts school, then when next one starts school. Do you get any time off to keep up with housework, homework etc etc. Life for me consists of a huge amount of running around between work, school and home and I find that increasingly difficult. Holidays are ok, I use a good holiday club and work more term-time hours so I have more of the hols with the dc.

Mibbles Sun 27-Apr-14 18:39:04

I have 3 under 3 (14 month old twins) and I work full time in London.
We have a nanny (25k a year) so one salary goes towards that. She works 8-6pm.
When the twins were younger I had a mothers help 4 Hess day which was great and they are cheaper than nannies.
You have to be organised - always ahead of the gap and fit everything in around sleeps, bedtime.
I miss having Romero myself but it won't last forever - right!

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