Childcare - how do you juggle work & childcare.

(18 Posts)
Mikethenight2good Tue 29-Mar-16 23:42:19

Hello all,

Currently pg with our 2nd and thinking ahead of how we will juggle 2 kids & both hubby and my jobs.

Currently I work 4 days per week. 1 day at home, 3 days in the office. Long commute, generally out between 7.30/8 till 6.30/7.
Hubby does shifts on a 10 day rosta.
LO goes to a mix of nursery and my mum.
Currently it works but we muddle through & lucky to have flexible family support. However I don't think our childcare is a longer term solution.
There are some weeks I do all drop offs & pickups due to hubby shift pattern & sometimes I don't need to any. However we are both finding we are finding it quite a squeeze. I have a bit more flexibility to support his turn eg do a drop off when he returns of nights instead of him doing it, however there is not the flexiblity in his role to support me. My ideal would be one of us do drop off & one of us do pick up regularly but while he is on shifts that is not going to work.
Plus mum is great, but I feel asking her to do the same but with 2 kids is too much. She is still quite keen to be involved but I don't want to overburden her.
Anyone care to share their magical solutions! I just can't find the answer hmm.

PennyHasNoSurname Tue 29-Mar-16 23:45:02

Full time paid for childcare really is going to be the simplest solution. Drop them both off at 7.30am every day, either you or dh, and rather than your mum do full days, maybe two set days a week she could collect them at say 3pm and take them home.

Mikethenight2good Tue 29-Mar-16 23:51:56

Yep we will def have to go down a more FT childcare route. I can't work out if that is more nursery, or childminder or nanny etc.
My struggle is currently nursery opens at 8, which means I don't get into the office till 10. I ideally would like someone to cover 3 mornings so I can come home for pickup.
At the moment I use the time when I am not doing drop off / pickup to make up for the time lost when I am doing both drop off & pick up.

PennyHasNoSurname Tue 29-Mar-16 23:55:34

Can you up your work from home days to two? You could potentially work 8.30-6 those two days, meaning you need to work fewer hours onsite. 1.5hr commute is a bitch!

Lightbulbon Wed 30-Mar-16 00:00:13

Do 5 days 9-5 and use full time nursery.

Lightbulbon Wed 30-Mar-16 00:01:08

Move closer to work.

CharleyDavidson Wed 30-Mar-16 00:02:14

In the long term, you might want to try and find a job with a shorter commute. To give you more time at home with your family, to make it easier to collect the LO from school if they phone to say they aren't well etc and most of all, to cut down on the amunt of time you need childcare for.

You might find a childminder who will do those hours, but often they have a slightly shorter day. My CM didn't start til 8, and I'm a teacher so had to work close enough from home to manage a CM/nursery drop off on the way to work without being late. DH worked at 8 so I did all drop offs. And I did the majority of the pick ups too, but was able to drop a day and a half at work to cut down on the amount of childcare needed (and to afford me some much needed work-life balance).

Lots of people do have commutes and make childcare work, but having a DH on shifts complicates your situation I think.

Caterina99 Wed 30-Mar-16 01:04:37

we currently use a childminder and DH drops off on his way to work as he doesn't start til 9 and I pick up. Only 2 days per week and no local family. If DH has an early meeting that he can't change then I do it, but it's annoying to juggle stuff.

Would your mum be able to do drop off? Or you change your work hours? Get a nanny or a nanny share? Some childminders might do earlier mornings? I feel your pain. I love working but it's such a logistical hassle

uhoh2016 Wed 30-Mar-16 09:01:35

How old will your Dc1 be when you go back to work?

proudmom135 Wed 30-Mar-16 16:18:07

Will it be possible for you to minimize your working hours, or stop working until your kids would grow older? grin

KatyN Wed 30-Mar-16 16:36:53

not helpful, but just as you sort out nursery for both of then it'll be time for school!! I have no idea how we will manage school times with nursery- just doesn't seem worth going into work between 9 and 3 (even with a 20 minute commute!)
Good luck! Kx

uhoh2016 Wed 30-Mar-16 16:52:14

If Dc1 will be at school by the time you go back to work then school may be flexible regarding breakfast and after school club so you can use it as and when needed to co inside with your DH work patterns. The school my dc go to try to be as flexible as they can regards things like that of course some schools are like nursery you either go certain days or you don't and you still have to pay.

thatsn0tmyname Wed 30-Mar-16 16:56:21

Could you use a nursery near your mum so she could do half days (to save on costs but she still gets manageable periods of seeing the children)?

Mikethenight2good Wed 30-Mar-16 23:11:15

Thanks for everyone replies. I am reluctant to give up my job as I love it and is flexible whereas hubby hates his & would like to change. We have discussed hubby reducing his hours and me increasing mine eventually as my hourly rate is higher. However he is not as keen to do that - his work culture views part timers as unable to climb the career ladder & until he figures out what or where he does I feel a bit stuck.
My ideal is that we are both PT, we can cover one day each in the week, leaving 3 days for nursery with some help from mum to pick up maybe 2 days out of the 3. Drop off & the remaining pickup is between me & hubby. But as mentioned hubby shift pattern is PITA and even if he agreed to reduce his hours, I can't guarantee it will be the same day each week.

My eldest starts pre school next year so KatyN this is also on my radar as he starts 6 months after I return back.
I think I am trying to find a one size fits all solution but maybe there isn't one.
I just feel we just get by at the moment and with 2 kids it needs more structure?

PennyHasNoSurname Thu 31-Mar-16 00:39:41

Maybe a Nanny would be the easiest and least stressful option? At least if dhs shifts one week mean he can do stuff with the kids at least the Nanny would be freed up to do kiddy laundry/other kid related chores/take one dc so you or dad could spend one to one time with the other dc.

Itd be pricey but much much less hassle.

Rockchick1984 Thu 31-Mar-16 11:53:29

Could DH apply for flexible working to do set shifts each week?

knittingbee Fri 01-Apr-16 20:14:56

I can tell you what we do, but I'm not sure if it'll help...

After DC2 I went back full time, my mum had him 2 days (DH dropped him/picked him up on way to and from work) and he went to a childminder round the corner from us for 3 days.

Since having DC2 I work 3/4 days a week (it varies as I'm in the office 3 days and sometimes freelance another day from home). DC1 was at preschool for 2.5 days by the time I went back. Like you, I didn't feel comfortable sending both kids to Mum's (and she said it would be too much for her too), so DC1 went to CM Monday while DC2 went to Mum's, I was home Tues/Weds, then both DC went to CM Thurs/Fri with her doing the preschool pick-up/drop-off.

Now DC2 is at school, which means I pay the CM for wraparound care for him, plus 3 days full-time for DC2, and DC2 goes to my mum on the day I freelance. Generally I drop off at the CM and DH picks up.

knittingbee Sat 02-Apr-16 19:29:54

*after DC1 I went back full time

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