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to ask how you juggle schools/childcare if you have a high powered/busy job?

(82 Posts)
suebfg Mon 18-Mar-13 21:22:48

I work part time at the moment but may have to go full time soon. DH's job often takes him away from home and I don't know how we'd cope with the school runs if we were both working full time (other than having DS in breakfast and after school club every day of the week).

How do you cope? I have no family locally to help out sad

WaxyBean Tue 19-Mar-13 07:50:16

ETA - children only actually in childcare from 7.45 till 5pm - about as long as I am happy for them to be.

I also work a near full time job (over 30 hours per week) but am actually only contracted to be part time (21 hours with unpaid overtime as business needs dictate).

Bonsoir Tue 19-Mar-13 08:43:38

scottishmummy - does it help you to convince yourself by repeating your mantra over and over again, totally unable to discuss any other POV than your own?

Artichook Tue 19-Mar-13 09:33:33

I have some sympathy with the argument that we need to stop beating ourselves up with guilt over being working mothers. Children are amazingly adaptable and understanding. IMO the key is consistency and predictability in their caring arrangements, that's what they need to feel secure.

We are blessed that we could afford a nanny and I do think that a nanny provides most of the benefits of a SAHM (in our case maybe more as she is more patient than I wld be at home all day and her being there allows me to come home refreshed and excited to see the kids after a day at work).

The benefits of a nanny are: they come to your house before school thus taking all stress out of morning routine, you can concentrate on getting ready and chatting to kids while nanny does packed lunches, hair, school uniform etc; if kids are sick you have trusted childcare already sorted; holidays are covered; while kids are at school/nursery nanny will tidy house, make dinner, run errands, do laundry etc, leaving you to come home to a organised house with few chores left; kids can do clubs and play dates after school just as they would with a SAHM; kids have a consistent bond with one carer and feel secure. I could go on.

As I said earlier it comes with a BIG price tag but if you can afford it and you enjoy your career it is worth it.

Bonsoir Tue 19-Mar-13 10:16:20

Artichook - you are describing a luxury scenario that will never be available to the masses. And, while you may value predictability in a child's caring routine when they are little, other things come to the fore when they are older.

Snoopingforsoup Tue 19-Mar-13 10:16:48

Breakfast club dropped late as possible and after school club where they do their homework and are with their friends.
DH chips in by doing one drop off or collection and when he's away, I work through lunch to ensure I'm on the tube on time. It sometimes means doing work after DC is in bed.
The school is amazing and DC is comfortable with this otherwise I'd probably have looked at child minders/nannies. Times when I'm not working, he asks if he can go to After School Club so I can't see any damage so far!

blondecat Tue 19-Mar-13 10:28:30

Get a wife wink

That's what DH did

Seriously, it is hard and I take my hat off for allow you who do it

DIYapprentice Tue 19-Mar-13 10:38:30

Bonsoir - I don't understand why you are being so critical of those being supportive of women working and using flexible childcare arrangements and making them work! I read an interesting article about Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Faceebook) the other day, where she is promoting her book 'Lean In'. Your comments remind me of exactly what she is upset about - women making things harder for themselves, and for each other.

There is rarely a perfect solution, and something will always have to give, but being a working mother is generally a good thing, and more women should be looking at ways to make working possible, instead of just assuming it will all be too hard and becoming a SAHM without it being an active choice.

Chrysanthemum5 Tue 19-Mar-13 10:49:59

DH works full time, I work part-time, 3 days but spread over 4. DH does the morning routine and drop off after 8.15am. I get up, get ready, and go straight to work. I finish early afternoon, and do pick-up.

I've worked in this role for a long time, and they want me to stay so I was able to negotiate changing my hours. we're also fortunate that home, work, and school are all in a radius of a few miles so travel time is not long.

Realistically, I've made major career sacrifices to achieve this, but we wanted to be able to drop off and pick up so we had time for homework, activities, playing etc. It's quite a recent change. When DC1 was in early primary we used after school club etc., but it meant we were constantly stressed by meetings running late etc.

I don't know of any perfect solution. You do the best you can really

FreckledLeopard Tue 19-Mar-13 10:55:16

Au pair. We've had three so far and getting another one in a couple of months. Lifesavers. And works out cheaper than breakfast/after school clubs too.

eeyore2 Tue 19-Mar-13 10:59:38

Look into an au pair / nanny. Speak to some agencies or talk to local mothers with nannies. You may be surprised at how the price compares with other forms of childcare, especially if you have more than one child. Where I live I have also noticed a lot of nannies who work very flexible hours, e.g. only after school and school holidays. These nannies will often prefer a full time job but this just means you need to be prepared for the arrangement not to last for ever.

Sidge Tue 19-Mar-13 11:21:22

I don't have a high powered job and don't work full time, but my job is such that there's little flexibility and no wiggle room in my hours (I'm a practice nursing sister so have my own clinics which are booked days and weeks in advance!)

I'm also a lone parent of 3 with no family nearby so rely on my fantastic flexible childminder for after school and holiday care, and breakfast club for the days I start work early.

Some benefits of working full time are that you're all out of the house all day so less housework to do, and I think you appreciate the quality of time with your children more than the quantity.

wordfactory Tue 19-Mar-13 11:27:52


My firends who have continued in their careers, nearly all have a great one.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 19-Mar-13 11:35:04

Breakfast club and after school childminder who also covers INSET days, holidays etc.

If you go for after school club, how will you cover holidays?

Artichook Tue 19-Mar-13 13:05:26

Bonsior - you accuse me of referring to a "dream scenario" in having a nanny. I agree it is a dream scenario, I acknowledge that we are blessed in my post. However, I don't think my post was out of place as the thread title asks about people returning to high flying careers. I beleive that most women who see themselves as having a "high flying career" could afford a nanny if they want to prioritise childcare above other things. Neither me nor my husband earn really big salaries, we live in London and have a huge mortgage, yet me can afford a nanny because we choose not to have a nice car, flash holidays, great gym membership etc.

Lasvegas Tue 19-Mar-13 13:06:05

I think Nanny is better than afterschool club. Child can hang out in home environment which I think is more relaxing. If you choose the right person Nanny can do a bit of housework, if child is of an age when they don't need 100% supervision. e.g unload dishwasher, put sausages or ready meal in oven so its ready when you come home. Also give child a bath, supervise homework. i have found extending my cleaners hours worked better than a 'proper' nanny. As cleaner had grand kids of similar age to my DD so may not have had NVQ's but qualified by experience.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 19-Mar-13 13:26:17

Las, a lot of after school clubs have a homework area, which may be specifically supervised depending on staffing.

Sue, can your DH put in a flexible working request?

If you get a new job, you can put in such a request after a while.

willyoulistentome Tue 19-Mar-13 13:32:12

DH kids (+liftshare kids) to school 3 mornings per week and starts and finishes late. Two days per week the liftshare friend takes the kids to school. DH waites for her one morning..and starts and finishes late.
I start work at 08:00 every morning - three times a week in the office - twice a week from home. I wait for liftshare to pick up on fridays - while logging on.

I finish work at 14:30 three times a week and 5pm twice a week. DH picks kids up from school once a week on the day he works from home, and waits for me to get back and then carries on working. Grannie picks up once per week.

Phew - I bet that totally outs me! Nobody else can possibly have it so complicated, can they?

rottenscoundrel Tue 19-Mar-13 13:36:38

I am separated from dh now and have a full time ridiculous responsibility/hours job but have a nanny who I could not cope without even though the children are far older (yr 6 upwards).

lljkk Tue 19-Mar-13 14:05:06

Who has CMs who will work before 7:30am & after 6pm!? (well done you).

3 DC are having tantrums about the mere prospect of going to childcare club, sigh. They don't like prospect of CM any better.

bringonyourwreckingball Tue 19-Mar-13 18:51:07

I have a fabulous childminder. For me the advantage of her over after school club is that it's a more personal relationship. The group of kids are almost like a big family,they look out for each other at school and my childminder does little things like signing me up for a late parents evening slot before they all go which make life just that little bit easier. She's generally very understanding about my occasional unavoidable lateness when I get stuck in the office. Also my kids are more likely to tell her if there's been a problem at school eg falling out with friends than they would the after school staff. I do use after school once a week as my childminder doesn't work Fridays and I like to have the access to holiday club. Ultimately though I do have to leave the office more or less on time and have had to curtail my career as a result. If you want real flexibility I think the only option is a nanny. I didn't want to go down that route but my career has massively suffered as a result and I do sometimes regret that although I love the time I get with my girls.

chandellina Tue 19-Mar-13 20:10:17

I'd try to line up a flexible nanny who would reduce the daily rate to reflect the free hours. Or pay full whack for a nanny - housekeeper.

hermioneweasley Tue 19-Mar-13 20:13:05

My partner does all the Childcare - I couldn't do my job without her enabling me to be flexible. A friend of mine where they both have high powered careers and 3 kids has a full time nanny, although the kids are school age. Another friend does it with an au pair and much juggling/guilt.

scottishmummy Tue 19-Mar-13 20:13:30

Its about finding an arrangement that works,and sticking to it
i dont know anything about au pair,how it works or the remuneration
tbh we've done this for so long dont know it any other way.but nursery easier than school

nokidshere Tue 19-Mar-13 20:30:14

I am a childminder who works whatever hours I am needed. My day generally starts at around 7 and ends at 6ish. But I work later if required, sometimes up to 8pm. I do not charge late fees and I feed all the children a home cooked 2 course meal at 5pm. I have some of the children on inset days and during holidays.

You need a good, flexible childminder!

INeedThatForkOff Tue 19-Mar-13 20:33:32

What about younger teenagers? Not that my job is high powered grin but it is demanding, and I think ahead to the difficulties we'll meet when the DCs are in school. I wouldn't want a 13/14yo to be home alone each evening, but I imagine by then that they consider themselves too old for childcare!

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