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Working 4 days and am hassled - would half a day less make much of a difference?

(10 Posts)
itchyandscratchy Sun 11-Oct-09 19:23:56

Went from 3 days a week to 4 over a year ago as dds were getting older and it seemed to make sense. But it's been really hard and my health has suffered recently and I feel constantly like I'm slowly sinking under the weight of the home vs work stuff. I'm a teacher with responsibility so there is lots of think about, plan and organise for this, as well as trying to keep everything at home ticking over.

Dh is v. supportive but it still seems to be me trying to remember all the dates, appointments, homeworks, stuff to take in to school/nursery, etc. We're going to sit down tonight and make a more structured approach to all this tsuff to help me and he's promised to try harder to help ease the load.

But I'm also thinking maybe another half a day off might help...? I think I just need more breathing space and a little more time to process everything better maybe. One afternoon a week is workable and I wouldn't need to cut any teaching hours. I think the Head would let me try it for a while (half a term maybe) and then make it more official if it helps.

I hate even writing this as it makes me feel like I'm failing, but something needs to give if I'm to keep my sanity as well as my job (which I love btw). How do other women manage where I'm failing?

elliepac Sun 11-Oct-09 19:29:54

Hi, i truly understand where you are coming from. I am also a teacher with responsibility for a department and work full time. I don't think i can offer any solution as such because i don't think i ever get the balance right. If i get everything right at home, i stuff something up at work or it's the other way round grin

The only thing that has made life a little more bearable is that i try to get to school earlyish and stay as late as poss (i pick dc's up at 5). I work through my breaks and half my lunch hour. Sounds tough but it means that the majority of stuff i need to do i can get done at school. The more i have been teaching and the longer i have had the responsibility for the easier i find this.

Having said that, if something needs to give and your Head is supportive i would give it a try otherwise both school and home will end up being affected and you will be miserable. A stressed teacher does not make a happy teacher no matter how much we love our jobs.

moomaa Sun 11-Oct-09 19:40:26

I'm not a teacher but if you'll still be doing the same teaching hours won't you just be trying to cram the same amount of teaching/prep/followup etc into a smaller number of hours and making it more stressful?

Also, depending what kind of person you are 'letting go' of the dates/appointments/stuff to take might be harder than letting DH do it as you'll still worry about it, and get angry if he messes up.

I'm not sure how other women manage, I'm not sure I could (SAHP at the mo) and I don't think you're failing. Maybe ask for 3 days?

itchyandscratchy Sun 11-Oct-09 19:47:10

I can't go in any earlier as I have to drop the dds off at the childminder who doesn't start til 8. I stay til 5 most nights and I get most things done but I still have to take stuff home esp marking. I do feel I do a good job at school and I thrive on the challenge. It's the home stuff I feel worst about: the organisation for the dds and the meal planning, etc.

I guess I prioritise school admin over home admin as I'm judged more on my job than I am as a mum. As far as the dds go, I know I'm a loving and caring mum and they are happy and healthy. But all the 'extra' stuff is getting me down - the stuff you don't sign up for! I feel so guilty.

elliepac Sun 11-Oct-09 19:56:35

From the sounds of it, you are doing a good job at school and doing a great job of raising two lovely DD's. I think you should focus on that and not beat yourself up about the small things. Maybe set yourself a 15 min slot everyday to deal with home admin and it will gradually come under control. Either that or accept that we are only human. The most important thing in your life, your dd's, are happy and healthy. Your job, another important thing, is going well. Your DH sounds very supportive and lovely. That's what matters, nothing else at the end of the day.

<elliepac shuffles off to post and then re-read said post and vow to take her own advice as she looks at the pile of paperwork in her hallway and the mess in the kitchen grin>

Concordia Sun 11-Oct-09 20:01:32

I think dropping half a day would make difference probably (although also to your pocket too).
I went back to work after DS three days per week, then upped to 3.5 (which meant i worked 4 days some weeks and 3 days other weeks). and i really noticed the difference on the 4 week days.
a friend in my workplace also increased from 3.5 to 4 and she said she really noticed the difference too.
It is only half a day but it can make a big difference i think so if you could drop to 3.5 you may fel a bit better.
like others have said, don't beat yourself up though.... I'm sure you're doing a lot better than you think.

CybilLiberty Sun 11-Oct-09 20:04:07

I have recently cut one afternoon out of my horrendous work schedule and it is great.

My ideal scenario would be 4 full days and one whole day off, instead of 5 mornings and 3 afternoons

queenofdenial2009 Sun 11-Oct-09 21:27:52

I went from three to four days and it is like having a full-time job in a way that three days isn't. My job is public sector very busy, sounds like yours.

Two things come to mind at your posts. Firstly, can you outsource some of the domestic drudgery such as cleaning, internet shopping (I get a fruit and veg box which makes life a lot easier) etc.? Secondly, it sounds like your running the home, what is DP doing to pull his weight? Can he not take the kids to the childminder, organise meals and social life type things like birthday parties and family outings?

fridayschild Sun 11-Oct-09 21:49:12

I love the suggestion that a DP could organise a social life....

You need to work out what DP can do and then leave him to do it, to share the load. Maybe it is the social life, maybe it's ordering groceries on line from a list, or putting the towels in to wash once a week... This also means you have to let him stuff it up a couple of times till he gets the hang of it. IME the longer hours you work, the easier it is to make your DP or DH pull his weight at home with the chores.

itchyandscratchy Sun 11-Oct-09 22:27:19

Some good advice and suggestions here. Our new cleaner started this week, so that will help, I'm sure. To be fair to dh, he does all the washing for us all and does bath and bedtime every evening that he's here. But he has to leave the house at 7/7.20am and doesn't get home until 7pm most nights, sometimes later. He has one day off a week and always picks the dds up when he can and will do their tea to allow me to stay at school longer. But that also makes me feel guilty as I know some women would give their right arms for their dhs to pull their weight like my dh does and yet, seemingly I still can't cope at the moment! blushsad

He's agreed tonight that he will try to do more admin stuff like emptying the dds' bags and dealing with the appts and forms, etc. In fact in the spirit of the New Regime, he's just sat and written in Bertie fckng Bear's diary that came home with Bertie Bear from nursery this weekend (chosen to coincide with dd2's birthday hmm- as if we didn't have enough to fckng think about, trying to organise her party and have friends to stay... wtf's that all about?!) His comments, written in character as Bertie, were really dry and made me lol. I just hope the nursery staff can see the funny side.

I think I will ask the Head to give me a dry run at having one afternoon extra a week, when it's not inconvenient, just to see if it makes a difference. He knows I was very stressed out at the end of the summer term and it was making me ill, so I'm pretty sure he'll be supportive. If it makes a difference I might just make it official.

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