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To think it’s not possible for both parents to work demanding full-time jobs while DCs r preschool?

(195 Posts)
JustWondering1234 Tue 20-Feb-18 13:43:29

I’m struggling to see how this works. I think it’d put a lot of stress on the whole family including the kids and I think we’re underestimating all the things that a SAHP does to keep the family happy. I can see it working if one parent was part-time or at a minimum one parent has a less demanding job (very flexible, no overtime, no currently looking for promotion etc etc). But both working full-time and aiming to further their career sounds impossible without home life becoming unhappy. Doesn’t something have to give? If you’ve done it, how did you do it? What tips do you have? What worked well, what didn’t work well?

Or do you wait until the kids r a bit older? If so what age?

JustWondering1234 Tue 20-Feb-18 13:44:33

Should also say. I mean in families with multiple DCs. I’ve seen it work with 1DC but multiple DC is a lot more work

SEsofty Tue 20-Feb-18 13:46:28

Get a nanny.

Seriously the only way it works if both parents are ft demanding jobs is to have someone else do the school run, or preschool run.

LifeBeginsAtGin Tue 20-Feb-18 13:46:40

This is why it is important to plan ahead when having children, rather than getting pregnant and suddenly realising both parents can't focus 100% on their careers, childcare is too expensive or not available and one has to give it up.

Sleepinghooty Tue 20-Feb-18 13:47:43

Honestly if you have a good nanny, then pre-school is probably the best time. I found primary age children with lots of events they really want you to attend really tough. Then pre-teens and teenagers really need a parent around to talk to. It doesn't really get easier in my experience

Ellboo Tue 20-Feb-18 13:49:08

We’re in this position and feeling the strain. Neither of us have a significant commute which makes it much more manageable. DP’s
work is flexible, mine more 9-5, but both high pressure jobs which we are passionate about. Currently both do compressed hours but think at least one of us needs to go PT (and ideally both really).

mustbemad17 Tue 20-Feb-18 13:49:29

I didn't have a Nanny, i worked 8am - 6pm. Dropped off myself & collected at 6pm from nursery.

Imo nursery/preschool is a hell of a lot easier for FT than school is

superram Tue 20-Feb-18 13:49:44

It’s much easier than when they are in school..... I dropped mine at nursery and didn’t have anything to worry about. School drop off and pick up is much earlier and I have to feed them, provide snacks and keep uniform clean.

CMOTDibbler Tue 20-Feb-18 13:50:23

I have one dc, and no family support, and it worked for us. Other colleagues also made it by either having close family support or a nanny.
But it takes planning and a solid partnership imo

Thistlebelle Tue 20-Feb-18 13:51:05

Of course it’s possible, it’s hard work but lots of families do it.

You might not choose to do it personally, or might not be capable of doing it but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

Backenette Tue 20-Feb-18 13:51:05

We both have pretty demanding jobs. It is bloody difficult. If one of you can drop down to PT or you can get someone to cover the school run it’d help.

Backenette Tue 20-Feb-18 13:52:04

Yes and agree with others that it’s possible - we have no family here to help at all so it’s possible with one dc. It’s hard though - but I’m sure lots of people do it

Treaclespongeandcustard Tue 20-Feb-18 13:52:12

We carve our time up so one does drop offs and the other parent does pick ups. Occasionally we swap if needs be but we both try to protect our arrangement knowing that one can work early (7am ish) and the other can work later (7pm ish). We also sometimes work at home in the evening when the kids are in bed. Our kids are young and in bed for 7pm so we have evenings to dabble with. So far we are doing ok. Sometimes I feel guilty but I think the kids are happy with our arrangement. We also both work condensed working hours so fit 5 days into 4. The DC get a four day weekend with us and 3 days of nursery.

KilburnOriginal Tue 20-Feb-18 13:52:32

We managed it.
Both of us in management positions, DH dropped DS at nursery at 7.30 - got in work for 8. I picked him up at 6.
It just takes organisation.
DS was happy at his nursery, he's now nearly 9 and is a fabulous, well rounded, loving and intelligent boy.
That's our life and it works for us, not saying it will or should work for everybody.

NannyR Tue 20-Feb-18 13:52:45

I'm a nanny, I've worked for several families where both parents have had full time demanding jobs (medicine, law, finance etc). It can work well if you have a full time nanny but I imagine it would be very difficult with nursery pick ups.

lostmyfeckingkeysagain Tue 20-Feb-18 13:53:10

Of course it's possible. I'd imagine it's really difficult and exhausting at times, but it's certainly possible. I know plenty of families where both parents work full time in what most people would consider demanding jobs (i'm thinking of medics, solicitors, social workers, teachers in SLT roles etc) and if anything the concensus seems to be that the preschool days are easier than when DC start school. Full time Nursery or childminders may cost a great deal but they're a lot more flexible than before and after school clubs where you usually can't drop off before 8am and have to pick up by 5pm.

ReinettePompadour Tue 20-Feb-18 13:53:57

It wouldn't have worked for us.

I gave up work to be a SAHM because I earned less than my DH so losing my salary was easier to cope with. DH can comfortably cover all outgoings my salary would not.

We considered a nanny and childminders but as we both worked long shifts it was difficult to find anyone flexible enough to look after our dc when we needed them. Our house isn't big enough to consider a sleep in Nanny and we didn't earn enough between us to move to a bigger house and pay a nanny. It was an easy enough decision really once we had looked at all the options...or lack of options.

Annabel7 Tue 20-Feb-18 13:56:06

I think it's possible if you have the means for a nanny and help on the domestic front. Otherwise it's possible, of course, but not without home life taking a big hit. I'm at home with the kids and looking to work flexibly as my husband works long hours and sometimes weekends/evenings.

I considered going back full time but decided that i didn't want all our chores impinging on family time at the weekend. I've seen this with friends who both work full time. Their weekends are spent catching up with life mostly. It depends how you want to work it. I do feel sad about losing my old career but hoping I can get back to work in a different way. In an ideal world, I think both parents would work 4 days so not just one person picks up the domestic drudge and both get more time with the kids. Hard to work that scenario practically though...

Stretchoutandwait Tue 20-Feb-18 13:57:21

Worked just fine for us (and we didn’t have any family help either). Here are my tips:

- Share all childcare and household responsibilities 50:50
- Space out kids so only one pre-schooler at a time
- If possible, both get the most flexible jobs possible (for us flexibility is to some degree more important than salary)
- Stagger start and finish times to minimise time in childcare (which is why flexibility is great)
- Work in the evenings to minimise time in childcare (flexibility again)
- Work hard in early years as flexibility even more important in school years
- Short commute if possible and/or work from home (if fits with job)
- Share parental leave to establish 50:50 childcare responsibility as soon as possible
- Find childcare you are confident in and accept that it will be expensive (also relevant to spacing out kids)
- It’s harder with school age kids than with pre-schoolers so I would recommend putting in the effort earlier so you are as senior as possible for the school years

I’m sure there’s others, but these are the main ones. It’s been hard and there have been sacrifices (I have changed career twice to obtain flexibility - for one job I had set hours and couldn’t work from home and it was clear this was never going to work), but it has definitely been worth it. Obviously not all jobs can be flexible/done at home, so the points above are not valid for everyone.

eurochick Tue 20-Feb-18 13:58:22

We do it (albeit with one child). We have a nanny.

Shadowboy Tue 20-Feb-18 13:59:14

I am a teacher, my husband a consultant. We have 2 preschool children. We both work full time. My husband is often in London. We manage. It’s bloody hard work and I wouldn’t have done it this way by choice (but second child was unplanned) but in order to pay the mortgage and keep careers going we both need to work. I would die of boredom as a SAHP and my husband’s career is not one you can take a break from and return to. We will get through it!

NerNerNerNerBATMAN Tue 20-Feb-18 13:59:18

This was why I delayed a second child until I was totally at the top of my career. I am pg with DC2 currently and will be coasting from here on in! We both also work 30hours each which helps hugely.

CookieDoughKid Tue 20-Feb-18 14:01:29

We did it with both of us having city jobs commuting in and 2 dcs born within 24 months of each other. Having said that we both earn massive 6 figure salaries between us and bought all the childcare available including a live in Nanny at one point as we had zero help from family. I appreciate that's not doable for everyone and can be tough financially. However, I'm glad I've been able to keep a career years down the line especially when dh got made redundant.

pinkcarpet Tue 20-Feb-18 14:01:51

It’s hard but once you have a routine it’s doable. DH and I both have senior enough positions we can work from home on odd days to be able to attend events like parents evening or nativity play and we both make sure we’re home by 6.30 to spend at least an hour with DC before bedtime. But we rely on a Nanny, cleaner, gardener etc to be able to spend our non-working time doing leisure activities rather than household chores.

xyzandabc Tue 20-Feb-18 14:02:36

As a few others have said, it's probably the easiest time to both be fulltime (apart from if you have no kids at all). Full time nursery, they can be left 8-6 or even longer, food all taken care of for 50 weeks of the year.

Once they start school, there's admin to be done, money for trips, packed lunches or meal orders, uniforms, pe kits, musical instruments to be remembered. There's holidays (13 weeks a year) that will probably require different childcare to be arranged. There's assemblys/concerts/sports days/summer fetes to be attended. There's inset days. Then before and or afterschool care.

It's easier before they start school. After that, it's just hard whichever way you do it and however old they are.

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