we both working full time. I earn more so we decided for dh to cut hours. I leave 7.30 and come back 4.30, 5 or 6 - depends on meetings etc. My DH leaves 7.10 am and is always back at 5.00 pm ( no meetings as in my situation). I work term time only. he works all the time. DS1 is 4 and DS2 is 1. just thinking about getting kids to clubs, swimming etc. so considering for my DH to work either 4 FULL days so that Friday is left for clubs, swimming, shopping. or is it better 5 shorter days ( so he is back to pick up kids from school most of days?) he travels 1 hour one way to work... would be better in our situation?
I would say he should do 5 short days and do the school pick up. You would save yourself the cost of after school care for ds1, plus he will be more than likely exhausted in reception, as most children are. It will give more days to have friends round to play, spread out the activities so you don't just have frantic Fridays trying to fit everything in.
With just school aged children I'd go for 5 shorter days so he is around for pick-up but with a 1 yr old to consider as well I'd opt for 4 full days so DS2 isn't in childcare everyday & on your DH's day off he gets to take & collect from school so zero c/care costs on this day. I wouldn't book in any after school clubs on his day off but keep it for some quality time with the option for having friends for tea occasionally. (speaking from experience having worked a 4 day week & hated that 1st term of dragging DS2 round DS1's clubs when we really just wanted to chill together, go to the park etc)
TBH quite a few after school clubs don't start until gone 5 (activities we have are 2 x 5:30 and one immediately after school then pick-up there at 4:30) so you might find you your eldest DS can still do somethings but regardless I wouldn't worry until after his first term as my boys were SHATTERED the first few months of starting school.
my mother would pick up and wait for us to come back from work. if I wanted the children to do activities: would you choose to do swimming, gym etc on the days when we are coming back from work 5 - ish and then to have friday as a block day off or would you cram activities into friday?
My DH does 90% of his hours over 4 longer days. This works for us: he has a day at home with DS (approaching 2) and will hopefully continue when DC2 arrives shortly. I don't yet have school pick ups etc to work round and my working hours are longer tho over 3 days. But I like they have a whole day together where they do their thing, he's responsible completely for food, housework, activities etc and I know there is someone at home that day if work needs me for something. We do swap occasionally but it's fairly settled.
Where will your ds2 be? If with your mother, then i would think 5 short days are better, especially for her as i assume shes an older lady and wouldnt particularly want to be looking after your dc late 4 days a week.
Also your ds1 is still young, i wouldnt plan your working week around after school activities as quite often they are too tired for too much after school in the beginning.