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To wonder how women in the city with kids manage

(95 Posts)
Jadefeather7 Sat 17-Aug-19 11:46:13

If you work in the city (or indeed have a job that requires long hours and an hour or more commute) how do you manage? I guess many will have nannies. Do you not see your kids during the week? I’m planning to go back in a few months. I will likely get a nanny but if I carried on as before I would get home by 7 or later by which time baby would be in bed. I’m thinking off asking for 3 days working from home so that I can work 9-5 and then 7-9. That way I can have some time in the morning, at lunch and in the evening with the baby. Not sure if my request will be accepted. Interested in how others manage.

Blankspace4 Sat 17-Aug-19 11:48:15

I think your employer might thing 3 days WFH is excessive. Have you considered how productive you’d be able to be with a baby there? Have you considered compressed hours or going part time (with part time, just make sure you are disciplined and don’t up effectively working full time hours for part time pay!!)

Blankspace4 Sat 17-Aug-19 11:48:43

*think, not thing!

SimonJT Sat 17-Aug-19 11:58:38

I also work in the city, but with the tube and a walk I’m about thirty minutes away. I reduced my hours, I was working 8:30-6 five days a week, I now work 9-4 four days a week, which also means I can do preschool drop off and pick up. I can do a percentage of my hours at home, if I take a WFH day I work when he is in bed, it just doesn’t work when he is awake.

Luckily his preschool is 51 weeks of the year, when he starts school in September I will be buying four weeks of additional holiday each year to make covering the school holidays a bit easier and I will be going back to five days a week during term time, but four days during the holidays.

TheGoogleMum Sat 17-Aug-19 12:04:10

I work in a city (is ' the city' London only?), and have 1 hour travel to work. My day isn't super long 8 hours. I have only just returned from mat leave and it does feel weird only seeing my baby a short amount of time in the evenings, pretty much just dinner then bed. I returned part time with a day off a week so I am glad for the extra day we get together and not just the weekend. I realise it isn't the same if you don't see them at all before bed though... I think I'd still just reduce hours if possible

Applejack5 Sat 17-Aug-19 12:11:12

Do you mean working from home whilst the nanny is there, to save the commute?

I don't work in "the city" but I cut full time hours down by a day a week after having my first baby and it is nice to have that extra day together at least. It must be really hard carrying on full time, especially with a long commute. I am home for all bedtimes. If I were you I'd ask to cut down my hours a bit... It depends on what you do partly though I suppose.

MotherHeyho Sat 17-Aug-19 12:14:04

DH is a SAHP. It is quite common at my firm for people to have partners who are SAHPs, male or female. I make it home for most bedtimes.

When we were both working long hours, it was so stressful and we had no quality of life. For us, it’s worth the financial hit.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Sat 17-Aug-19 12:14:34

I originally went back 4 days - after my baby turned 18months my employer asked me back full time saying they were struggling with the reduced days.
Can’t say I love it- I do 9-5, leave the house at 8am and back at 6pm. I do breakfast, choose my DDs outfit and then take her to nursery or she’s at home with daddy (depending on the day). I’m home for bath, book, bottle and bed (she’s 2). I actually think it’s easier now than it will be come school years, then I think I will need a new arrangement or job!

TregunaMekoides Sat 17-Aug-19 12:16:49

I work in a city (is ' the city' London only?), and have 1 hour travel to work.

I always take "the city" to mean London financial district.

gwenneh Sat 17-Aug-19 12:19:07

I flexed my hours so I worked until 2 or 3, going in super early. DH didn’t so the baby could be dropped off at the childminder at the regular time, and then I would pick him up. We still do this, so the DC don’t have super long days stuck in school clubs.

Needallthesleep Sat 17-Aug-19 12:20:30

There was a good thread about this recently about how women in senior roles (i.e. c suite) managed, I’ll try and find it.

Needallthesleep Sat 17-Aug-19 12:21:53

Jadefeather7 Sat 17-Aug-19 12:27:00

When I say work from home I do mean having a nanny around so I can actually work. It would just mean I get 3 or so hours on those days with the baby (i.e. 2 hours spent commuting and 1 hour lunch break). It seems like more people have gone part time/reduced hours. I have a friend who works from home and goes to work for a few hours each day but makes up the rest of her hours in the evening when the DC are asleep. Was wondering if anyone else does similar.

MustardScreams Sat 17-Aug-19 12:27:08

I don’t work in the city but we do have long days. Dd and I leave the house at 7:15am to do nursery drop off. I’m in work just after 8 and pick dd up just before 6pm. Thankfully this is only Monday-Wednesday as my parents have dd Thursdays and Fridays so she doesn’t have a full week of that!

I’m a single parent and I have to work so that we can survive. It’s bloody stressful and come the weekend I’m usually completely knackered so we spend Saturdays milling about recovering some energy. Not ideal. It’s easier when it’s crap weather as I don’t feel so guilty having duvet days then.

If you can organise flexi-hours, or 1 or 2 days working from home that will probably ease the load a bit. How easy is your job to do from home?

AngelasAshes Sat 17-Aug-19 12:31:01

DH was SAHP until I retired from Forces. Moving every few years was kryptonite to his career anyway. Plus I would get deployed and he’d be essentially single father. Kids do fine so long as they can bond with a primary caregiver...that can be mum or dad.
Now they are all teens/adults and I’m technically SAHP on a pension and he’s off to work. It’s good because I’m better suited to deal with teenage girl drama. Lol.

Aozora13 Sat 17-Aug-19 12:31:33

I worked in the City - not in a City job but busy fairly senior & high pressure role with an hour commute up to 90 mins including nursery run. I officially worked 8.30-4.30 but in reality DH would do the morning nursery run and I would get in at 8, take a short lunch break and leave on time (unreliable train service meant I had to have a buffer) to pick up DC. I would often then work for a couple of hours in the evening once DC was in bed. I’d done 1 day from home pre-pregnancy, and my request to do 2 was rejected. It was tough going, especially when I was pregnant with DC2. Oh and I just got made redundant while on mat leave so I’m maybe not a great example! A nanny would make life much easier if you can afford it - or a nanny share?

Jadefeather7 Sat 17-Aug-19 12:35:43

Thanks all. I can afford a nanny, cleaner etc. I just want to find a way to get to see my baby every day if I can. I’m in a mid/senior level position so part time hours might be difficult to get (but possible). Really interested to know if anyone carried on FT and managed. I know it will be massively difficult! The alternative would be to take on a less stressful job elsewhere and take a pay cut but then I couldn’t afford a nanny etc. Just weighing up options at the moment.

Jadefeather7 Sat 17-Aug-19 12:36:07

@Needallthesleep sounds like a good thread. Going to check it out. Thanks!

tenbob Sat 17-Aug-19 12:42:04

City job but not in the square mile...

I have a full time nanny starting at 7:30am, which means I get about an hour with DC every morning, including breakfast, and am back around 7pm in the evening so do bath, book and bed every night.
I still have to do some work in the evenings, but don’t mind that once bedtime is out of the way.

I also work one day a week from home, and the nanny does 9-5 on that day, plus we have lunch together etc

3 days a week WFH seems excessive and unlikely to integrate you back into your job, but I suppose it depends on the role and your company culture.

For what it’s worth, I really value my days in the office for being able to have lunch meetings (and therefore not need to do breakfast meetings or dinners) and to be able to get to the gym at lunchtime and therefore not need too much time away from the family at the weekends for my me-time

edwinbear Sat 17-Aug-19 12:43:30

DH and I both have City careers. He leaves at 5.15am so can’t help in the mornings. When the DC were pre-schoolers, they travelled with me, to a nursery behind my offices which opened at 7.30am, meaning I could be at my desk at 7.45am. As a trader, DH is done by 6pm so could pick the kids up from nursery and take them home. I left around 7pm and got home around 8pm so didn’t see them in the evening.

Now they are at school I have a great wrap around club who open at 7am so I’m at work just after 8am, which is a bit late really but my employer understands. DH than picks them up at 6.30pm.

It’s a long day for DC but they don’t seem to struggle, I guess they are used to it.

tenbob Sat 17-Aug-19 12:43:52

And I think the key is that we have a nanny who is used to working for a career woman.
Our first nanny wasn’t, and therefore just didn’t always ‘get’ it.

Our current nanny is amazing and holds my life together!

Aridane Sat 17-Aug-19 12:46:50

I have a friend who works from home and goes to work for a few hours each day but makes up the rest of her hours in the evening when the DC are asleep. Was wondering if anyone else does similar

From my experience, that doesn’t really work. (Assuming you have Skype meetings, calls etc during the day).

At my place of work , some mothers with young children do truncated hours at work to enable school drop offs etc / any bath & bed etc and then work in the evenings

everythingcrossed Sat 17-Aug-19 12:50:08

When I was pregnant with my first child, an older colleague told me that she had employed a nanny who got her daughter into a routine where she napped for long periods during the day so that she could stay awake and spend time with colleague at night. She thought this was an excellent solution to the long hours expected in our industry, I was less convinced hmm.

PinkOboe Sat 17-Aug-19 12:52:40

I don’t think a full time job and 1 hour commute is all that unusual. A great many of us do that and don’t earn enough for a nanny. You just do manage. It gets more complicated when they’re in school but a combination of breakfast / after school clubs / activities and we have a reciprocal arrangement with a friend during holidays.

bobbletrouble Sat 17-Aug-19 12:53:30

I work in the City in a mid-senior role. Since having my DC (nursery, no nanny), I work two days at home and three in the office. On my working from home days, I can (and sometimes do) start work at 8ish and finish just before 6. On my office days, I get in at 9 and leave at 5. If something needs doing and I don’t have time in the day, then I’ll log on after DC’s bedtime and get it done.

I make no apologies for my 9-5 days. I’m contracted to work 35 hours a week, and usually do more than that anyway overall. I’m very good at what I do, and I think my employer gets a good deal. Fortunately my employer is generally quite flexible and there isn’t so much of an emphasis on presenteeism, which really helps. It’s worth asking yourself though whether you really need to be in the office doing the hours you currently do, or whether it’s just become your norm.

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