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not to adjust my work hours to pick up DC from school every day?

(135 Posts)
runningLou Fri 11-Mar-16 11:04:52

I work 3 days per week (21 hours) - DC are in breakfast club 3 mornings, and after school club 1 afternoon, so I drop them off 2 days out of 5 and pick them up 4 days out of 5. Last year I was working 9-3, school hours, 5 days per week in a job I found really stressful and ended up with MH issues. Changed jobs, and how have 2 school days to myself per week which has done wonders for my sanity and efficiency.
But, DD (8 yo) doesn't like the school club - she was originally going 2 evenings per week and I have already changed my hours once to cut that down. She is still not happy there, very unsettled until DH collects her. DS (4) is fine.
I am hesitating about pulling her out of the school club entirely as a group of girls also attend whom she is having problems with in her class also - peer pressure, friendship tensions etc. We have been in touch with the school about this and they are doing pastoral interventions but I think it would probably be good for DD not to be around them for an extra few hours per week.
I have been looking at childminders but I have only found one who could do similar hours and it is almost twice the price of the club and she charges a retainer for out of term time.
I was saying to DH last night after DD had become hysterical at bedtime (tensions at school are coming out at home a lot at the moment) that I should really just change my hours, work 4 days per week school-hours only, and pull DC out of childcare. We would be a bit better off too. But, then I would lose the time that has really been my saviour this year, and the time I would spend with DC after school is not really quality time (DD in particular is frequently very bad company as she is so tired and needs to offload). Is it selfish to be dithering?
I am not term-time-only but could work my hours over 3 days in school holidays to have more time with DC. DH is on hand for holidays luckily (teacher). WWYD?

runningLou Fri 11-Mar-16 11:30:12

Currently bored out of my wits at work and wishing I didn't have to be here at all but that's another issue!

redskytonight Fri 11-Mar-16 11:33:05

Change to work 4 days a week. That still gives you a day to yourself.

DD will potentially be less tired with this arrangement. Plus if you she's tired at normal school finish time, having to stay through an after school club she doesn't like must be awful.

987flowers Fri 11-Mar-16 11:33:52

You have to do what suits you. I try and arrange my hours around pick up as it is best for the running of my family and the time we get together but I know a lot of others prefer to work longer hours and have time off.

Sorry no help at all but I think it's such a personal decision and what works for one family won't work for another.

nephrofox Fri 11-Mar-16 11:34:09

Is this about just 1 afternoon at aftwr school club? So from say 3pm to 5pm one day?

If so, and if it it genuinely causing your daughter problems, then surely there is a way round it. Where does she go the other 2 days you work? Can DH finish earlier that day, or you agree to finish in the office earlier then work from home after bedtime to make up the time? Could she go to a friends for tea (and you have them back on one of your days off)? I presume no local grandparents as that would the obvious one

runningLou Fri 11-Mar-16 11:37:19

It's just one afternoon, yes - 3:30-5:00pm. I pick them up on every other day - finish at 3 and cycle like made to school! DH can't finish early. My DM is local but is not retired so not available for school pick-ups ... though she does help out a lot as and when if we have appointments etc.
The same girls are at the breakfast club also though, and she is there 3 mornings per week ...

HermioneJeanGranger Fri 11-Mar-16 11:38:05

Can you not start earlier that day in order to finish earlier, or could DH change his hours instead?

TBH, two days a week to yourself when you have kids is a big luxury and I think you're lucky to have had it for so long. I would change my hours in a heartbeat if my DD was as miserable as yours is.

runningLou Fri 11-Mar-16 11:41:15

I already start early that day (8am) as on 2 other days per week.
I think you're probably right and it is a luxury I've allowed myself for MH reasons but DD should come first at this point.
I think I have made up my mind but I just can't help wishing DD would show a bit of gratitude! There's no hope of that as she will just demand snacks / ignore me at home until I call her for tea and then turn her nose up at whatever's served as always so I need to let that go!

waterrat Fri 11-Mar-16 11:41:23

I dont think time to yourself is a luxury if you need it. MOdern life is full of people saying things are 'a luxury' just because they dont have them - its a race to the bottom.

We are talking about a very short period of time for your daughter, I cant believe its a single session a week that is causing all her behaviour problems.

Stick with your three days - stay sane. They are already seeing a lot more of you than many kids with working parents.

Your wellbeing is very important in the long run.

runningLou Fri 11-Mar-16 11:42:07

DH works long hours in the week and has no flexibility (teacher) but is always available weekends and school hols so term-time childcare has always been my responsibility.

Pollyputhtekettleon Fri 11-Mar-16 11:42:50

I think you firstly do what's best for your kids. Then you cone second. Unless your mental health is genuinely suffering and in any case that's not good for your kids so you'd still be doing what's best for them.

So even if you lose your 'you' time, as long as it doesn't make you I'll, then you need to put the kids wellbeing first. Your dd is obviously suffering and not just trying to get her own way.

Sorry but this is part of being a parent.

Pollyputhtekettleon Fri 11-Mar-16 11:43:29

ill

runningLou Fri 11-Mar-16 11:44:21

No you're right waterrat, that single session can't be to blame for her behaviour issues, but overall with breakfast and after school club she has approx. 4.5 extra hours in school per week, and more importantly exposed to these very negative girls in her class. I just think that extra time might be unhelpful.

runningLou Fri 11-Mar-16 11:46:41

She isn't trying to get her own way Polly and to be fair to her she hasn't asked to stop going to the club since I changed from one late afternoon to two. She just moans about it on the days when she goes, and I think it just adds to the general negativity / tiredness.

Pollyputhtekettleon Fri 11-Mar-16 11:55:41

You are the best judge OP of what's best for her! Hope it all works out and you still get some you time also.

HanYOLO Fri 11-Mar-16 12:02:04

I disagree Polly. Self care is vital.

If she is unhappy there must be a different reason - not just one visit to afterschool club. There are only 2 weeks till Easter, then a break. I would see how it is going at the end of term and then review it for the last term.

I'm sorry that she is having trouble with some of the girls at school. The girls in DD's class were having an horrendous time last year (Y3) but the very bright and brilliant NQT they had staged an intervention (friendship workshops!!! sounds corny but by god it worked) plus HT going zero tolerance on excluding behaviour.

runningLou Fri 11-Mar-16 12:02:11

Thanks Polly but I think the trouble is at the moment I don't feel I am the best judge. Her behaviour has totally made me lost confidence in my ability to parent her and while my head says IANBU to ask an 8 yo to go to after school club once a week, my heart is telling me she just needs to come home and chill! That said, if she didn't have to be so bloody rude all the time life would be a hell of a lot easier!

cuckoooo Fri 11-Mar-16 12:08:37

I don't agree you 'do what's best for you'. You are a mother foremost. You do what is best for your child's well being. You alone know what that would be.

If it was me, if I can afford it, I would adjust my work schedule to spare my child from further stress.

runningLou Fri 11-Mar-16 12:09:03

HanYOLO that is exactly what DD's school is doing - friendship workshops. So far they are achieving precisely nothing however as I feel the fact that the whole group of girls attend together means the negative vibe continues.
Yesterday they all had a 'good to be me' session with the pastoral lead. After tea yesterday DD announced (for effect) that she had had to write down 'the worst thing that ever happened to me' and that she put 'my brother being born'. When DH and I said that we were sad to hear this (and in daily life she doesn't act like it) she said that she should have written the worst thing that ever happened was being alive. So much for 'good to be me'. I think the school can only do so much. I just wish I could protect her from feeling like this.

redexpat Fri 11-Mar-16 12:09:20

Well why dont you try working 4 days. It doesn't have to be a permanent change. You still get one day of headspace which might be enough to keep you level now you are in a better place.

Do you have any one on one time with your DD ATM?

Wishfulmakeupping Fri 11-Mar-16 12:13:25

Can you do flexitime and finish early that day or use toil/annual leave in hours in order to get there if not on time then a bit earlier so she's not there as long? Could you ask a school friend to help out if you're al wouldn't stretch that far maybe offer to pick theirs up one day and they will return the favour?

differentnameforthis Fri 11-Mar-16 12:15:51

You adjusted your hours when you could see that you were suffering & needed a change of routine...does your dd not deserve the same consideration?

Her behaviour will only get worse if she is forced to stay. However, as her parent you need to address the issue of her being rude if it bothers you.

Goldenbear Fri 11-Mar-16 12:18:18

I think you should work the four days. I have an 8 year old and 4 year old and I don't think it's realistic to expect them to appreciate the 'sacrifice' you're making. I would imagine they're just thinking that seeing them more not less is their Mother's ideal. I don't think they can comprehend the bigger picture at this age- hence the lack of gratitude.

runningLou Fri 11-Mar-16 12:19:42

Thanks redexpat I think it might be helpful for me to think about it as not being permanent!
I do have some one-on-one time with DD ... both DH and I are trying to maximise this atm as she is a lot better generally. On Tuesday she had a GP appt so we cycled together to the surgery and then I took her for a quick snack before going back to school. I would love one-to-one time after school but DD sees this as her god-given slot for TV (she is allowed 1 hour iplayer a day).
DH is collecting her after school today and taking her for tea out as a treat while I go home with DS.
Wishful I don't have any A/L owing yet as I only started in this job in September and I am saving A/L for summer hols. It's very sad to say but DD does not have any friends from school that she would like to come over. We were briefly doing this type of arrangement last term but the girl who came over was the ring leader of the toxic group and made some horrible comments about DD's room and did some really mean things - e.g. hiding blutak and other bits in DD's knicker drawer, as I discovered a few days later. When DD went to hers, they watched dodgy videos on YouTube. I did take this up with her parents.
Needless to say she is not coming round any more.

runningLou Fri 11-Mar-16 12:23:21

Yes I know you're right Goldenbear, the gratitude thing is my issue really not theirs!
different I have already adjusted my hours to move from 2 late afternoons to 1. However I take your point about DD needing the same consideration ...

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