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To think, actually, WOH gets harder as they get older.

(451 Posts)
Tournament Thu 16-May-13 19:29:38

I've worked (at least p-t) all my life. It was a choice for me, I wanted to get out to work, keep my career etc, although I did very much step back for a while, I always kept my hand in IYSWIM.

When DC were tiny, there was always some feeling of guilt at not always being there, but the day to day practicalities were easy. You got them up and dressed, bundled them in the car, handed them over to GP, childminder or nursery and then it was someone else's job to do everything for them until it was practically bedtime. They were cared for, fed and entertained without me ever really having to do anything. (When I was at work). I'd collect on my way home, take them home and put them to bed.

Now they're 9 & 11, there's homework to supervise, clubs to organise, taxi services to provide, sports and school events to watch (or to have to explain you can't) friendship issues or other worries to listen to and if I'm not around after school, they can't have friends back and they can't go to other's houses.

Iggi101 Thu 16-May-13 19:40:09

I'm experiencing all of those things with my five year old already. Hoping by 15 he can take himself to clubs and friends' houses.

DrCoconut Thu 16-May-13 19:41:54

Definitely NBU. The worst age is top juniors/start of secondary. Too old for childminder but not old enough for prolonged period at home alone.

DeskPlanner Thu 16-May-13 19:44:11

I know I'm being stupid, but what does WOH stand for.

meditrina Thu 16-May-13 19:46:09

Yes, I think the primary years are easily the most hostile to WOH (work outside home).

Bonsoir Thu 16-May-13 19:47:11

If you don't mind leaving your baby/toddler all day in the care of someone else, then yes, probably when they are tiny is the easiest time to outsource childcare. The logistics and the range of skills you require as a parent become more complicated with every passing year!

Bonsoir Thu 16-May-13 19:48:06

The final year of school presents new and unimagined challenges for parents grin

Xiaoxiong Thu 16-May-13 19:51:48

I was told exactly this when DS was born - that when they're small they'll love anyone who loves and cares for them, but over time increasingly they really need you (ie. parents) and no one else will do.

theoriginalandbestrookie Thu 16-May-13 19:54:22

I agree. When DS was pre-school age he went to a CM so if I had to work late or unexpectedly I could ring her up, also he was unable to vocalize any complaints about my shortcomings grin

Now he is at school he seems to keep a tally of the children that don't go to after school - although as he only goes twice a week he isn't that unfortunate.

Also (age 7) he has suddenly started to get a lot of homework. It gets given on a Monday so I can dish it up over the week so that he doesn't have to do too much on my longer work days because by the time we have dinner it is 6.30-7.00 by that stage.

We only have one, so it's not too bad coordinating play-dates and activities. I take my hat off to anybody who works and has more than one child.

BlackholesAndRevelations Thu 16-May-13 20:00:24

This is exactly what I'm afraid of.......

FariesDoExist Thu 16-May-13 20:02:16

I see what you mean but its financially crippling when you have two little ones both at nursery. So WOH is bloody hard whatever age they are!

FariesDoExist Thu 16-May-13 20:03:59

I see what you mean but its financially crippling when you have two little ones both at nursery. So WOH is bloody hard whatever age they are!

Tournament Thu 16-May-13 20:08:18

Oh I know Faries, I was talking only about the practicalities of it.

Being away from them for long periods when they're tiny is emotionally very hard, but so is not being there when they need you as they get older Bonsoir

Chottie Thu 16-May-13 20:16:06

Actually, I think teenagers need you more.....

All those hormones, teenage angst, exam choices, college /uni choices, collecting from parties miles away, keeping their feet on the straight and narrow and avoiding the drugs /drink / drop out trail......

Tournament Thu 16-May-13 20:16:19

Practicalities = The day to day tasks involved in caring for the child(ren) - obviously financial concerns are practicalities too. smile

messalina Thu 16-May-13 20:41:01

I agree. My DD is in Reception and I work FT. I have found this year harder than when she was at nursery all day. Much more to organise, she is also more tired at the end of the day and prone to be grumpy. And the homework of course.

jacks365 Thu 16-May-13 21:14:41

Wait till year 7 too young to leave for a full day in the holidays and childcare for that age is hard to find.
Each age has its own challanges.

SarahJessicaFarter Thu 16-May-13 21:19:37

This is just what I needed to read. Yanbu. I have just given up full time work. I have a 5 yr old and an 8 yr old. They need me more now than they ever did before. We're going to extend the term of the mortgage, sod the savings and fancy stuff and I'm going to work school hours only. They need us now. And for the next 10 yrs. Tough decision? It wasn't in the end! I'll work my arse off when they go to uni.

theoriginalandbestrookie Thu 16-May-13 21:19:39

Oh another thing I have thought of.

I am p/t and now DS is 7 people have started hinting that I should really go back full time as he isn't a baby any more. When in fact DS is a lot more aware of being in after school and holiday club and isn't one of those children who enjoys it.

I will stay p/t as long as possible. I have sacrificed a lot in my career to make it happen and it gives me the work/life balance to make it possible and means I'm not horrendously frazzled and not a nice mum all of the time.

MuddlingMackem Thu 16-May-13 21:29:29


I got made redundant two and a half years ago.

We managed to eek out redundancy payment, tax rebate and a little inheritance out to cover almost two years. But now I need to get a job. Unfortunately the kids (who are 9 and 6) have got used to having me around, available for school stuff, and I've got used to being involved and don't want to give it up, plus I realise how much they need me for reading practice, homework, etc. Childcare provision won't accommodate that. DH is, understandably, hassling me to find something as money is tight - we're racking up the credit card debt. He'll never understand that I think that's a price worth paying for a few years to be around for the kids though.

I am looking for a job, but as so many on here know finding something which works around the kids is not that easy. Yet if they were both still daycare nursery age it would be a doddle. Crazy, isn't it? sad

stopmovingthefurniture Thu 16-May-13 21:29:43

These are your children. It is your responsibility and your privilege to 'do things' for them. How can you say without any shame that you never had to do anything for them when they were small, as if that was a good thing? And now, it sounds like they're involving you a lot more than your attitude deserves. I wouldn't bother complaining about this, as in no time at all you will be begging them to give you a moment of their time. .

Amaris Thu 16-May-13 21:32:25

I was wondering if it was just me. I don't even bother with the homework but all the other stuff I struggle with - I'm a single parent and I'm in the process of giving up a full time senior management job to go freelance because I can't cope with everything, and wondering if I'm just pathetic! DD is year 5 and I definitely think she needs me more now, though I do also wonder whether it is just cumulative years of tiredness!

DeskPlanner Thu 16-May-13 21:32:31

Thanks. Spent ages trying to wirk it out.

ssd Thu 16-May-13 21:37:54

kind of agree with stopmoving

this line from your op rankled me

" They were cared for, fed and entertained without me ever really having to do anything"

no wonder you're finding it harder, but is it because they are older or because you're having to do stuff now?

Pigsmummy Thu 16-May-13 21:44:47

Noooooooooooooooo, not harder?!?!

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