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To wish I could pick the kids up from school?

(59 Posts)
whataboutgrey Mon 04-Mar-19 19:49:50

I never can (work) or attend assemblies or school plays or those days when parents are invited in.

It does make me feel bad and as if they are missing out.

HereBeFuckery Mon 04-Mar-19 19:57:32

I agree 100%. It's a shitty state of affairs when parents don't get to be parents as much as they would like because life in the UK is predicated on working not on life. I get quite cross when I think about it (and I'm fortunate enough to pick up twice a week). It's backwards and damaging to families. Of course some parents don't mind, and I'm glad for them (absolutely no sarcasm intended), but I think a lot of parents would agree with you OP.

The alternative, though, is something like the Danish (& Swedish? & Norwegian?) system of life taking precedence, but the corollary is 60% tax.

Troels Mon 04-Mar-19 20:22:27

Yeah it does suck. My work did rotas 2 months in advance, the school never gave me that much notice for anything, meaning I could never request it off, no one liked swapping, so I only made it to one school performance by chance I was off.

EmeraldShamrock Mon 04-Mar-19 20:31:21

It sucks OP, jobs need more flexibility. I work PT at night, I get to attend things if the younger is in pre school, U do get to pick up.
Lots of my DC friends parents don't get to attend, if it is any consolation the friend's don't seem to bothered.
I give them an extra clap.
Can your job try to accommodate you a little, we get a year parental leave per child, I can take it in days or hours, depending on the employer, is it an option where you are.

EmeraldShamrock Mon 04-Mar-19 20:32:32

Typo I do not U.

Waveysnail Mon 04-Mar-19 20:33:34

I'd happily not do pick ups tbh but I'd be gutted about not being able to attend any school events

cardibach Mon 04-Mar-19 20:33:35

I’m a teacher, so I made very few events and could never do pick up or drop off.

OKBobble Mon 04-Mar-19 20:33:37

Generally fewer can attend than those who can so please do not feel bad.

Practicallyperfectwithprosecco Mon 04-Mar-19 20:35:28

Joys of teaching you watch other parents little people in events but never your own

IncrediblySadToo Mon 04-Mar-19 20:37:40

I thought journalism gave you more freedom with your hours? Maybe I was mistaken.

parrotonmyshoulder Mon 04-Mar-19 20:38:45

I’m a teacher too - never see or go to anything. Even PTA meetings and information ‘evenings’ are held at 3.20 and I can’t get to them.

Hassled Mon 04-Mar-19 20:40:36

I remember those days - it sucks. But interestingly my (now young adult) DCs don't remember at all. They remember other stuff - but not the time Mum failed to show up at the Carol Concert.

RedBerryTea Mon 04-Mar-19 20:47:34

I was always there for mine, but it meant big sacrifices. And what you get for sacrificing your career is judgey career women looking down their noses at you and parents who think because you are picking up your own you will happily pick up theirs too.

choli Mon 04-Mar-19 21:17:09

The alternative, though, is something like the Danish (& Swedish? & Norwegian?) system of life taking precedence, but the corollary is 60% tax.

A friend of mine worked in Denmark for a few years. She loved the maternity leave and the subsidized day care, but said that once the maternity leave is done you are definitely expected to return to full time work. Staying at home until the kids start school or going part time are frowned upon as you are supposed to be paying your share of the 60% tax that makes the mat leave and daycare possible. So I guess there are no easy answers.

Kolo Mon 04-Mar-19 21:50:15

@choli I think the norm in Denmark is to go back full time. But full time there isn’t the same as U.K. from my own experience, holiday entitlement is better, commutes much easier, work days shorter. My danish relations hardly seem to work! And things are set up better for working parents, as the huge majority of parents work. So once the kids are at school, there’s school buses (or cycling - they cycle to school much earlier than I’d consider in UK, it’s much safer) so there’s no dashing around doing drop off, there’s always organised clubs after school until the typical end of work day (which is earlier than ours). School events that parents are invited to happen on Saturdays (according to my husband, so anecdata).

I think many more women in UK would continue with full time work if it were more like in Denmark. But here it seems there are so many hurdles to continue working. Extortionate childcare costs, lack of childcare, inconvenient childcare, guilt for missing school events or pick up/drop off times being so incompatable with a typical work day.

I definitely don’t believe school should be chcildcare. But I do see a lack of wraparound care, as well as other social/economic structures, as prohibitive to achieving a work/ life balance.

SpiritedLondon Mon 04-Mar-19 21:57:52

My DD6 has got a homework assignment where she has to keep a food diary for a week and I feel shit because 4 days a week she eats all three meals out of the house. ( wraparound care as no family help) I don’t work full time but I work 4 days a week and don’t feel any of it is ideal but it is what it is. My job is not terribly exciting but it’s reasonably well paid and allows us to afford treats as a family and a cleaner which frees up time at the weekend. I do have flexibility and can work from home somewhat which means school productions and play dates are possible - I do really, really appreciate that and is the reason I stick at it.

HereBeFuckery Tue 05-Mar-19 07:16:58

@choli what @Kolo said. I lived in Denmark (pre-kids) and although yes you would ordinarily go back FT, the school day and the working day are synced so you don't have 'mad dash to get up super early and run to breakfast club, then hurtle to work, and crazy dash from work to after school club, skidding in by skin of teeth, followed by frantic dinner/homework/bath/bed routine so the kid isn't exhausted by a 9pm bedtime (she's 5)' because the hours of work, plus commute, do not equal the hours of school plus wraparound.
The working day, and cost of childcare in Denmark is designed to make it easy to drop off, get to work, pick up and still have some time to see your kids. But it costs in tax!

WFTisgoingoninmyhead Tue 05-Mar-19 07:21:20

Try not to worry, I went to EVERYTHING and my now grown up children and their friends talk of the 100m on sports day to this day!! At least you can’t embarrass them if you’re not there😂😂

starabara Tue 05-Mar-19 07:37:39

I don’t go to anything and do perhaps one school run every 8 weeks.

We have made huge sacrifices to have my DH stay at home so he does these things.

Slightly embarrassing that I couldn’t remember the turning for school when I last drove there.

PicnicPie Tue 05-Mar-19 07:39:25

I work full time though wfh 2 days a week so can do drop and pick up twice a week as well as assemblies, morning workshops etc. However if something falls outside of those 2 days it's a nightmare to attend so I try to plan ahead as much as possible. I always feel really bad as probably 95% of parents at school are sahm so make it to EVERYTHING. I once had a parent console reception DD as she was crying because I was the only mummy not there for the Christmas Carol assembly. She also sent me a pic of dd crying. Sigh. I also get lots of comments from colleagues such as "you work part time dont you", or "you're an early finisher" because I leave by 4pm instead of the 6pm they choose to stay until. Aargh. Can't win!! Every 6mo I review the position and for now I can keep going but I've vowed to reduce hours or work nearer home as they get older.

Lam23 Tue 05-Mar-19 07:41:14

I changed my hours to pick dd up from preschool (work in an industry where a lot is done on southeast Asian time so it sort of works better in a way!) I now can’t imagine going back.. it makes me realise how much I missed when she was smaller, as I worked standard full time hours (with the standard unpaid overtime) and couldn’t do drop off or pickup.
The work culture here is definitely off especially in London. A lot of women in my industry stall because they decide to go part time or change hours like me (or just get robust about not staying later or getting in earlier). Hard to know how that can change.

anniehm Tue 05-Mar-19 07:44:22

It's the same for many people - I booked time off for Christmas productions and took a pay (and career) hit by working part time which I have never recovered from. The perfect family friendly but amazing career just doesn't exist

SwimmingJustKeepSwimming Tue 05-Mar-19 07:46:31

I don't think you can win either way. In our area most people have a parent at "things" and the 4 or 5 in the class that dont look really upset and its one of the reasons I haven't returned to teaching, as I dont want to ve teaching other kids when I want to see my own.

BUT this has come at a huge cost financially and career wise as havent leaped into something well paid and part time. Im always envious of those who have careers that have been flexible and worked out as its obviously meant weve sacrified a lot

SpiritedLondon Tue 05-Mar-19 07:48:49

The perfect family friendly but amazing career just doesn't exist

Oh it does if we want to sell turbo cactus juice and rip off all our family and friends. grin

Woohoo2223 Tue 05-Mar-19 07:54:03

I can imagine, the type of job I'm wanting to do is going to have me glued to microscopes. I would hate to miss my little girls first play or something.

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