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4 FULL days or 5 SHORTER days - what is better?

(13 Posts)
Hotpotatofood Mon 08-Apr-13 11:48:47

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?

IAmJacksRagingBileDuct Mon 08-Apr-13 11:52:44

I cut my hours to four full days and it has worked perfectly, Fridays are our special day just for me and DCs to do clubs, swimming, messy play etc. I don't worry about chores or housework on Friday because I've got the weekend when their dad is home from work to share things then. I love my Fridays and really recommend dropping a day.

However, my DM did five shorter days with us when we were little, she enjoyed it because she felt we got a better routine and she was never too far from hometime!

Soi suppose I'm saying, it depends on your family and what you want to do with them time.

tourdefrance Mon 08-Apr-13 15:19:31

I would say 4 days is better than 5 or you get all the stress of getting out of the house on time and tired children at teatime without the lovely bits in the middle of the day. I've done 4 days for the past 2 years and its brilliant.

Hotpotatofood Mon 08-Apr-13 19:48:25

tourdefrance, so would it be better to book swimming class on a day when we are coming back from work about 5.00 pm? I thought that when we are tired from work we can stay at home and chill out after 5.00 pm and do the club on friday? please share your thoughts as you did have the experience.

DisappointedHorse Mon 08-Apr-13 19:56:34

4 full days was wonderful for me, I miss working those hours but changed company so had no choice. I had Wednesdays off which broke the week up nicely.

There is always a day off to arrange lessons, appointments etc too.

What does your DH think?

redskyatnight Tue 09-Apr-13 13:09:32

If you're thinking of swimming lessons etc, I wouldn't timetable them after a day at work. Much nicer for you not to go out again (talking as a parent whose older DC to evening clubs nearly every day) plus at those ages I would imagine your DC will be too tired anyway. But you could always go for a weekday morning (first thing).

I think I'd go for 4 rather than 5 as well, but depends how full on the 4 days are. If it meant, for example, not seeing the DC at all, I don't think that would be preferable. How will the longer days work with picking up from childcare?

Hotpotatofood Tue 09-Apr-13 15:04:01

my husband works till 4 so home 5 pm

tourdefrance Wed 10-Apr-13 19:13:18

Hotpotato - I agree with pp. Best to save swimming lessons for day off or the weekends. After 4 days of childcare my dc are often happy to stay in pjs till lunchtime and don't need lots of activities.

MrsMangoBiscuit Wed 10-Apr-13 19:15:59

Another vote for 4 days. It would also mean that your DH would save 2 hours a week in travel time, plus 20% off his petrol costs.

LynetteScavo Wed 10-Apr-13 19:16:56

For the DC 5 shorter days would be better.

For me,personally, I would prefer 4 full days.

VeryStressedMum Fri 12-Apr-13 00:23:48

Totally agree with LynetteScavo, my dcs would definitely prefer 5 shorter days whereas I would prefer the 4 days (I work FT), if I had the choice I would do the 5 shorter days as it would be easier on the dcs and make them happier-but it all depends on your dcs and however fits in with your family life.

Mandy21 Fri 12-Apr-13 22:17:10

I agree with Lynette and Verystressedmum. I currently do 3 days, but am looking to increase to 4 days - I can either do this by doing 4 long days or 5 shorter days, so I'm reading this thread with interest.

Is your DS1 starting school this year? I presume he is at nursery already? Just my experience but I found the transition from nursery to school quite hard on my DCs - even though they'd done quite long days at nursery 3 days a week (8 - 5.30pm), they just seemed to be wiped by school even though it was a shorter day (8.40-3). I think its much better (particularly when they are young) to come home at home time and have "down time" rather than have to go to after school 4 days a week. OK, your DH would have a day off on a Friday to do things with your younger DS and collect DS1, but its a long week for your school-age DS. As Lynette says, whats best for the children is probably at odds with whats best for you as parents, so its a very personal choice. Good luck with whatever you decide.

FullOfChoc Fri 12-Apr-13 22:30:00

I do 5 short days and really envy anyone with a day off, but I wouldn't sacrifice being able to pick my DC up from school everyday. Not much help really!

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