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To think working when you have a young child is really hard?

(152 Posts)
BumbleBee1212 Thu 19-Sep-19 12:28:24

Just that really, and I only do 3 days a week!

Mornings are hell. DD (15 months), clings to my leg screaming while I try to get ready and out the door. I have no choice but to do hair/ make up and get stuff done which she absolutely hates.

Work is manic because I’ve fit everything into 3 days, I never really have time for a lunch break and I have to rush to nursery straight away to collect DD then get everything done in one hour before bed.

On my days off she’s hard work but I can clean/ cook/ rest while she naps, fit the day around her etc.

Everyone said how important it is to do both but honestly, I talk to more adults when I’m off work and at toddler groups.

How does everyone else manage? Being a SAHM is tempting right now as I only make an extra £400 or so anyway after childcare!

Boom45 Thu 19-Sep-19 12:36:10

Yep. It's really hard. Mine are a little older now - the youngest has just started school - but it's difficult to juggle everything and still both feel like you're giving enough time to your children and managing to stay on top of work.
I wouldn't have it any other way though, I'd struggle to be a stay at home parent - I just don't think I'm cut out for it and the money (now it doesn't all go on childcare) pays for holidays and piano lessons and extras for the kids we couldn't afford if I didn't work. I also didn't fancy taking time out of my career to stay at home with the children.
Hang in there. Life is hard work with young kids whether your at home or at work but (apparently) it's worth it!

Contraceptionismyfriend Thu 19-Sep-19 12:36:11

It is hard. I'm currently on Mat leave with DC3 but will be returning to my full time job after 12 months off.
I'm already dreading it.
I have to complete work at home when they've gone to bed to meet deadlines and keeping a work life balance is very difficult.

DH works in the same company but in a different place and his work/life balance is non existent. So all the back and forth falls to me mainly.

Hugsandpastries Thu 19-Sep-19 12:37:04

I also work three days a week - found that age really hard too. I used to set an alarm for twenty minutes before my little one’s usual waking up time, so that I could have a shower and get ready before they woke. (Had to do it solo as my partner works away). Once I was dressed I put my dressing gown over the top to avoid getting baby dribble/food stains all over my work clothes! Had his tea pre-prepared for coming home after nursery. It gets easier once they’re slightly older and more mellow.

Cuppa12345 Thu 19-Sep-19 12:41:42

I work full time. Up at 6. 30am to shower and get ready if it's a day I take my daughter(15months) to her childminders. She's up at 7am to give her breakfast and play a bit before drop her off at 8am. If husband takes her that morning I'm up and gone by 6am to get some toil in (I've got a 2hr commute which sucks).

I leave the office at 4pm if I'm picking her up from CM or get back at 7.30pm if I'm not.

I love working. Can be hard not seeing her obviously but we make the weekends count and I do my make up on the train. Don't do my hair really.

I think parents that stay at home all day every day deserve a medal. I had to endure it during mat leave (I'm 8 months preggo so going off in a month again).

Being in the office is easier than dealing with a 15 month old day in day out I think!

Tippety Thu 19-Sep-19 12:43:25

Yep, and you get to pay loads for the priveldge hah. I've loved being back at work though, but yes it's so challenging in many ways.

Cuppa12345 Thu 19-Sep-19 12:45:18

The good thing about our CM is she gives her lunch and dinner and we don't have to send a bag of nappies or change of clothes or anything extra. We get our shopping delivered weekly so we don't have to go out. We've got a cleaner who comes fortnightly to do hoovering, bathrooms and bedrooms. We use the slow cooker for our meals, one of us sets it off in the morning with Thai curry or a stew etc. Always make extra portions for the freezer. Without all that, it would be impossible to both work full time I think!

Wixi Thu 19-Sep-19 12:45:29

I found it really hard when my DD (now 9) was little, I also worked 3 days a week for, after childcare, £100 a month! But it was worth it to keep my job open, and to have some sanity. Since DD has been at school I work 5.5 hours a day 5 days a week but am always there at pick up to collect her and take her to her clubs, cook her dinner, do her homework with her etc, plus we have my money to be able to buy her stuff that we may not otherwise have been able to.

Chitarra Thu 19-Sep-19 12:49:30

There are disadvantages to being a SAHM too though. Mainly the difficulty of getting back into the workplace later on. Especially if you want to work part-time - I assume you used to work full-time and negotiated part-time hours when you came back after mat leave? Finding a part-time job in the first place is much, much harder (as so many parents want part-time hours), so when your DD starts school you might find it very difficult to get something similar to what you have now. It's worth hanging on to that, as 3 days is a good balance IMO.

Hang in there OP. It will get easier!

peachgreen Thu 19-Sep-19 12:51:00

Gosh, I find working so much easier than being at home. I do 3 days a week too and think it's a perfect balance. I get up before DD on working days so I'm ready before she's awake (I shower at night so it doesn't take too long). It is a bit of a rush in the evening but I get stuck in and do dinner then DH does bedtime. We bath her on my days off and at weekends to make life easier.

Do you split chores equally with your DH? Mine does all the cooking, the car, the garden and the bins. I do the laundry, dishwasher, mental load and any cleaning that needs done during the week. That said we do have a cleaner who does the kitchen, bathrooms and a thorough hoover so I really only have to dust/polish/give the kitchen a wipe down every day/change beds/quick hoover etc. That definitely makes life easier.

Nat6999 Thu 19-Sep-19 12:53:31

I found it really hard when I went back after maternity leave, like you I was only working 3 mornings a week, I spent nearly all Monday morning reading memos & emails & catching up on what had happened Thursday & Friday the previous week, then 2 mornings to actually do some work & last thing on wednesday making sure everything was either finished or ready for someone else to pick up for the rest of the week. I was also training for a new job & found it really hard to absorb all the new stuff because I didnt get enough time to practice what I had learned.

Aozora13 Thu 19-Sep-19 12:56:37

My solution was to move my hours so I went into work early and finished early so DH would do the morning routine and drop off and I’d do the pick up and evenings then we’d share bedtime. My DD was much more chilled with DH - he never had to peel her little fingers from his collar while she screamed the place down! I’m about to go back after mat leave again and not looking forward to shovelling 2 small children out the door of a morning...

loutyre Thu 19-Sep-19 12:57:28

I went back to work full time and my partner worked away. It was hell. When it eventually got too much I actually gave up the job I loved and I am now in a new job which I hate with a passion but it's closer to home and term time. I couldn't get up early and have a shower as her bed is right next to the bathroom and we live in an open plan house so I couldn't come downstairs and make a coffee or have a wash because she wakes so easily in the morning. I took her to nursery got to work then by the time I collected her gave her tea and a bath it was 7:30 so she went to bed and for days I wouldn't shower or cook a meal because I didn't want to wake her. I sat downstairs watching television with my headphones in, I survived off baby bel and pepperoni. When DH got home on a Friday I regularly cried with relief just to know I had a little help over the weekend and I could finally wash my hair and eat a home cooked hot meal.

BumbleBee1212 Thu 19-Sep-19 12:59:49

DH does more than his fair share but works away away 1-2 nights a week and has early starts so it’s just me in the mornings most of the time.

I couldn’t get up before DD if I tried! I would love for her to wake up at 7 but I’m lucky if she sleeps in till 6.

I always shower in the evenings which helps but I still feel like I’m running around like a maniac.

We’re looking for a cleaner but haven’t found anyone yet.

My workplace do offer 12 month career breaks but they would have to agree to it and I’m not sure I would be able to get the exact same role/ location.

Maybe it’s just hard but I need to just get on with it? Everyone else seems to but I’m crumbling! DD is a very high maintenance baby/ toddler and always has been which makes everything a lot more challenging.

BumbleBee1212 Thu 19-Sep-19 13:01:22

My DD was much more chilled with DH - he never had to peel her little fingers from his collar while she screamed the place down

Oh my god yes- why do they do this?!

hsegfiugseskufh Thu 19-Sep-19 13:03:48

it is hard but I think it gets a little easier as time goes on.

I work 9-5, 5 days a week. I do all the drop offs and dp does most of the pick ups.

Its hard getting me and ds ready on a morning as im on my own with him, dp leaves for work at like 6am.

I will be glad I kept my job when he goes to school though I think.

Grimbles Thu 19-Sep-19 13:03:50

It is hard (and I'll be going through it again soon!) but it is temporary. But once they start school and you dont have to pay for childcare anymore you'll have a lot more money grin

Oly4 Thu 19-Sep-19 13:07:47

It is hard but worth it to hang onto your job - once your kids are in school and are teenagers you will be so glad of the extra cash! Get a cleaner, do online food shopping, ripe your DH in, do fun things at weekends.
Lots of us in the same boat but being a sahm isn’t always great either

Rayna37 Thu 19-Sep-19 13:08:03

I'd say it's harder than working with no children but much easier than being at home with a toddler all day! They thing that stood out for me was that you never mentioned your DP - if you do all of the parenting and all of the housework as well as three days out at work then yes that is very hard, but it's not working when you have young children that's the issue in itself.
DH and I both work full time, DSnearly2 is in nursery 5 days (which he enjoys) roughly 7:30 to 16:30 or up to 17:30 some days, has all his meals there and just a small extra meal in the evening. We have a cleaner which we probably wouldn't if we didn't both work full time, and DH takes a pretty equal share of mornings, evenings, getting ready, drop offs, pick ups, bedtimes etc. We're both away or do long days with work sometimes but work round each other.
Anticipating it might be harder when he starts school but for now, really not a problem!

checkeredredshorts Thu 19-Sep-19 13:09:00


This is why my and my husband decided that I would have a few years out of work and live on a tighter budget. This was to avoid the hectic lifestyle and rushing around that you describe, and having to fork out for childcare and after school clubs.

Money is tight but we don't go without either. We just don't do expensive days out or holidays abroad and make sure the kids are sorted with everything they need before me and my husband have any extras. Kids still have 1 paid for activity each too.

I am always there for the school run and school activity days. The kids can have friends over for tea and do fun things after school. My husband and I are much calmer and easy going because life isn't a rush any more we just have more time on the whole

The house is clean and tidy(ish!) and I manage to get food shopping and everything done around the house with my 2 year old around.

It is stressful at times and dare I say a little boring but I do feel we made the right choice for us. Some might think of it as career suicide but I didn't have a career or serious job, just 8-5:30 general office work. So it felt like life was being made very stressful for no real reason other than more money that we can cope without.

When both kids are in full time school I will absolutely get back into work but while having two young children everything is much easier this way!

gwenneh Thu 19-Sep-19 13:10:45

There are entire websites, magazines, and books devoted to exactly how hard it is, so no, YANBU.

I thought we had come out the other side of this now that the DC are older but nope, expecting another so I get to go through it alllll over again.

horse4course Thu 19-Sep-19 13:13:00

I really wish someone would set up a business where being a working parent was the norm, not treated like a weird aberration.

In just about all workplaces the default worker is male without dependants, it's shit

Stickytoffeepuddingyum Thu 19-Sep-19 13:16:01

I had to g back ft, and actually find it harder now he is at school than i did when he was with CM, all day, good morning routine and then drop off and pick up,

now with after school clubs and remembering who is picking up when, amending hours to make sure one of us is there, organising after school care at school and then organising the large amounts of school holidays is a nightmare and very expensive.

Not to mention making sure homework done, reading done, clubs he goes to and the random mufti days he has, taking in books and the endless children's parties.

Benes Thu 19-Sep-19 13:16:05

In just about all workplaces the default worker is male without dependants, it's shit

Well, that's not true.

hsegfiugseskufh Thu 19-Sep-19 13:16:56

horse absolutely agree with that.

all the managers in my workplace are men (what a surprise!) but were always really shocked/annoyed that I very very occasionally have to leave early or take a day off for my child being poorly.

They all have children, and it wasn't until I said "why don't you ask your wifes opinion of me having time off with my child, I am sure that she will have done that for your children when they were small" that they all realised that what I was doing was entirely normal and reasonable.

They all admitted they had never taken time off with an ill child, and all the men I spoke to have several.

working here is sometimes like stepping back into the 1980s.

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