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Are dp and I BU to consider him working in London during the week and just coming home at the weekends?

(68 Posts)
MilaMae Thu 06-Jan-11 19:30:09

We live in a lovely place miles away from London,good schools,expensive housing,near family ,kids settled etc.

The pay down here is crap though and in dp's line of work he'd get double in London. He's just seen a fantastic job that he's very well suited for and we're considering it.

Would the dc really suffer though,would it be a nightmare for dp?

Do lots of families do this?

If anybody does this advice on accommodation etc would be gratefully received.


janet41 Thu 06-Jan-11 19:39:17

We do this and have from when dd was born - it works ok for DP (in fact he does longer days this way and gets home early on a friday) but cant say DD (now 6) is happy about it; was fine for her when she was younger but she is much more aware and more emotional about it as time passes. Esp difficult for her when she sees how engaged other dads are in school things, pick ups etc. I have a very close sahd friend that asks her for pick up and tea with his boy frequently to keep the male stuff going, which helps. as a couple we cope fine although i sometimes resent the ease in which he can have a weekday social life - i make sure i go out at least once during the week, but of course have to pay babysitters. Difficult one, but on balance i def wouldnt do it this way again. He and dd are missing out on a lot of casual stuff that comes of just having overlapping schedules sometimes!

WimpleOfTheBallet Thu 06-Jan-11 19:42:24

Not at all unreasonable! My DH has done it and my best friend n the medical field does it too.

The DC don't suffer as long as you don't let them think they have reason to fel insecure about it.

DH skypes every morning and evening..he tells bedtime stories on the Skype too!

Loads of families do it because you don't have to unheave the lot of my experience it's good for relationships too...DH and I found a vast improvement in ur relationship as we were so glad to see each other again!

NO good if one of you is insecure though...or if you have any history of infidelity.

DP might enjoy it too as he will get some alone time and the experience of London during the week.

Accomodation I cannot advise on as DH stayed with a mate during the week for very little rent...

BeenBeta Thu 06-Jan-11 19:42:34

Yes I know a few families that do this and it is very very hard for all concerned.

Unless your DH earns a lot I would think accomodation might soak up a lot of the benefit though. The people I know who do it all work in The City.

There are stories of people on lower pay coming down from 'up North' and living in camp sites to reduce the accomodation costs. Otherwise bedsits and rooms in private houses being rented out on the 'rent a room scheme'. They still have to commute across London though so thats even more costs.

Some firemen who work 3 night or day shifts and then a break come from a long way outside London but they only have a short week.

WimpleOfTheBallet Thu 06-Jan-11 19:44:15

Reading Janets post I have to add that DD and I may be toughened because my DH has also worked abroad for three month when you're waiting a week to see Daddy as opposed to three months its nothing.

If Daddy's home at the weekend they learn to cope.

sleepingsowell Thu 06-Jan-11 19:45:22

Would double pay be enough to pay for accommodation and travel in london and still make it worthwhile?

Is your DP happy in his current job? OK it's a cliche but life is not all about money and maybe it's just as good for him to earn less and stay home?

Personally, I can't imagine consiudering this unless it was a kind of emergency situation like losing the house unless he moved jobs.

I think for children that day to day involvement with their father is absolutely priceless and irreplaceable. They're children for such a short time. He'll never get this chance again to be with his kids every day. For me, no job or money would be worth DS missing out on that.

I have a good friend who has lived this 'weekending' life for a few years now and at present she is very fed up and finding being a single parent (most of the time) very draining and exhausting. Her daughter also has found it very hard without her dad and they have often had behavioural problems with her.

Sorry, negative post, but my views for what they are worth!

mutznutz Thu 06-Jan-11 19:46:27

Only you know if your kids would suffer as only you know how close they are to their Dad surely?

WimpleOfTheBallet Thu 06-Jan-11 19:46:33

I'm surprised at BeenBeta saying it's "really really"'s not.

Not if you are all confident in your relationships...

as for the "stories of people coming down from Up North"


My DH certainly does not earn what a city broker does but it's still well worth our while...

MilaMae Thu 06-Jan-11 19:46:45

Interesting I have a 6 dd and 7dtwins. Thing is my dp can never do school pick up anyway,my parents live very close by.

It's just dp has reached a point in his career he thinks he needs to do the London thing,he's in IT and he's worried about stagnation,he's in his 40s too. We live in the SW and career progression and pay aren't that great but we want to stay here. He's very employable but wants to stay that way iykwim.

The money would obviously be great too and with the cuts....

It's so hard isn't it.

Where does your dp stay in London and how much does he pay?

theITgirl Thu 06-Jan-11 19:47:34

But DH lives here all week and sees DC for 5 mins in the morning as he is putting tie on gets home after bedtime. So they wouldn't be missing much.

However I have friends whose husbands do contract work for months at a time all over the country. Usually they do a 3 or 4 day week on site, then work from home at the end of the week.
Their DH's can take a short break to do the school run or chat over tea time. I think that they get more time this way.

If your DH gets the London job, could he then negotiate working from home on Fridays?

sleepingsowell Thu 06-Jan-11 19:50:20

theITgirl, I still think that KNOWING your dad lives with you all the time is a secure feeling for them. Seeing them five mins a day is of course not ideal either and I wouldn't want that for my DS. Just because some dad's only see their kids for five minutes a day doesn't make it a good thing to work away.

theITgirl Thu 06-Jan-11 19:51:04

Just seen your latest update, both friends DH's work in IT - Project Managers. I also worked in IT from home on Fridays & whenever kids were sick. I had a key fob that allowed me in to all the servers remotely

cat64 Thu 06-Jan-11 19:51:51

Message withdrawn

MilaMae Thu 06-Jan-11 19:52:42

We're juggling the figures at the moment,it would be such a leap in pay it would make a huge difference even with all the costs. But I need to find out exactly how much rent he'd have to pay to be exactly sure about the financial benefits.

Is a room better than a Travelodge? Is it poss to get a descent room to rent,want him to be safe?

He's not that happy in his present job and feels as if he's stagnating.

staranise Thu 06-Jan-11 19:52:50

I wouldn't do it permanently - my father worked away during the week and it really felt like he had a separate life to us with very little awareness of our day-to-day lives, even though he came back on Thursday evenings. It created a lot of tension between him and my mother. My parents ended up divorcing - he did have a separate life and OW was a part of it.

Saying that, I think anything is possible as a short-term arrangement - can your DH take a 6 month contract to earn the cash/update his skills for a bit?

sleepingsowell Thu 06-Jan-11 19:53:26

Thing is in my opninion when you have kids you might have to consider making career sacrifices. I'd better get off this thread because I think I'll be out of step but I simply can't imagine respecting or wanting to be with a man who was so concerned about 'career stagnatation' that he was prepared to live away from his kids all week.
I accept I am out of step, and will leave the thread, but I am glad to be so.

WimpleOfTheBallet Thu 06-Jan-11 19:54:06

My DH isn't doing his work in London atm but when he was he stayed in Camberwell with a friend...who is very generous and likes the DH only paid a nominal amount.

sleepingsowell Thu 06-Jan-11 19:55:16

stagnation I mean - tired, can't type!

chrisrobin Thu 06-Jan-11 19:57:46

My DH and I used to do this, though not in London. He wouldn't have been able to get a job near our home, and we live in a fabulous area.

On the whole it worked quite well as the DC were delighted to see him at the weekend (as was I) and in the week they accepted that Daddy wasn't there. They were quite young though (pre-school age) and didn't really know any different.

I found the fact he had a bachelor-style life in the week quite hard in my more unreasonable moments. It sometimes felt like I was the nanny and housekeeper rather then his wife, but that was me being unreasonable.

He threw himself into work (as he would have at home anyway) but he was sad to miss some of the DCs milestones.

I can't help on the accomodation front as it was rented from his employer.

MilaMae Thu 06-Jan-11 19:57:52

IT girl just seen your posts,he's trying to avoid contracting but wondering if it may be better. I don't know,you get the uncertainty about a regular income then but he has loads of friends doing it with no shortage of work.

We were wondering about the Friday thing too.

It is the dc to be frank(and dp ) that worries me.I'll manage,forces childhood,saw my mother doing it but I know it's not ideal. It's such a tough decision.

WimpleOfTheBallet Thu 06-Jan-11 19:58:19

I think you will have to decide on a period for him to do thatyou and the kids feel it's not a permanent state of being.

Re the room rental...have a look on some of the rental sites...or even gumtree to get an idea. It's a long time since I rented down there.

Personally I can't see why some people get all freaked out...but DH and I have always maintained a lot of independance whilt at the same time being totally dedicated to one another nd the family...I'm the main carer for the DC...we love one another hugely and have a very close and the just doesn't affect us that much when he is away. We're very secure.

My own work has taken me away for a couple of nights at a time and it's fine.

scurryfunge Thu 06-Jan-11 20:00:24

We do this. DH works away in the week and tries to get home once during the week. I have had enough of it tbh after 2 years and he is pretty fed up too.

We originally rented a flat but at an extra £800 per month, not to mention council tax, bills etc, it was quite a drain on the finances. He now has a pet b and b that are very flexible on bookings and it has worked out a lot cheaper.

Our DS is older now so is not overly affected by the midweek absence -I miss him though.

Onetoomanycornettos Thu 06-Jan-11 20:01:03

MilaMae, I suspect you live where I live, and where IT jobs are currently like hen's teeth. My husband does this weekly commute to London, I would not recommend it if there are alternative options (e.g. sticking at his current job) but if you don't have any, as we didn't, it was that or have no work, so we suck it up. Money-wise, it's very expensive to rent in London, you have to find a way of making that cheaper if it's to be financially viable, try the website for reasonable room rents in the week but not paying for weekends.

I don't think it enhances family life, though, and it can be hard to adjust when they get home for the weekend as you get used to managing fine without them. I'd also say it's hard on the partner left behind who has to do everything, though I'm guessing you have family support that you don't want to leave behind.

I know lots of people that do this in my line of work, because the chances of getting two career jobs in the same place at the same time are vanishingly small.

MilaMae Thu 06-Jan-11 20:07:17

Thanks onetoo that link will be really helpful.

I suspect we are in a similar location and dp's job is wellpaid for this area but crap compared to just about everywhere else. Property is sooooo expensive round here too.

It does feel risky to leave his present job though as jobs down here aren't that plentiful and if it was a disaster it could take time to return iykwim.

All these posts have been really helpful,I like to do my research before taking a massive leap grin.

We have considered the working abroad thing too(all of us together)but then the kids would have to leave their school.

cathers Thu 06-Jan-11 20:07:18

We have been there, with DH travelling away on Monday morning and back Friday. It lasted a year.

Dh missed a lot of family things, like picking up from school, watching Ds in swimming / cubs etc.., parents eve, Xmas fête / shows...
I missed having him around and found it tough taking Ds to his clubs and supporting him in evening events with a crabby toddler in tow. I had to stop my weekly evening class as no babysitter, DH had reduced social life too.

It was too tough for us, Dh was also tired from travelling on a Friday, and I found that I fell into a routine of doing things my way, to then have it buggered up at weekends. Was honestly easier when Dh worked away for 2months at a time!

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