Working Hours

(6 Posts)
planning Thu 07-May-15 10:07:19

I work for myself (consultancy) & currently have part-time childcare in place (3 short days) but I don't feel it's working very well. I'm now considering giving myself 5 hours a day Mon-Fri to do my work & putting DCs in pre-school for 5 hours a day. DC are 4 and 3. Looking for thoughts really. On the one hand, I fill a bit sad that I won't have a full day during the week to go on day trips with DC or whatever, but on the other, I'm increasingly finding full days with them very hard...and that my work is more and more requiring daily input (even if just for a few hours). Just wondering what others do and any thoughts/advice really. Also, I'm struggling a little with the idea of putting the 3 year old in daily childcare although I fully appreciate that many parents have no choice so I appreciate I am lucky to have this choice. Thanks.

dotty2 Thu 07-May-15 10:17:19

I think it depends on the nature of your work and the need for constant client contact. Also how you work and whether you need to travel for meetings etc.

I find it very easy to fritter away short days, and also need to travel for meetings sometimes, so prefer to have some longer days. Mine are older now and both at school, but even when they were pre-school I always had some longer days. So in your position, rather than doing 5x5 hours, I would have done 3x8 hours, or maybe 2 long days and one short one. I always did 3 days a week when I had pre-schoolers, until the last year when DD1 was at school and only DD2 at nursery when I went up to 4 days (3 long and one short). Now I do 2 long and 3 short (I also use a child minder so have some flexibility and she can usually squeeze them in for an extra session if I need her to for meetings etc). But really, it's horses for courses, and one of the benefits of being freelance is that you can arrange your hours to suit you. If it makes you sad to lose the opportunity to go on day trips, then don't - they'll be at school before you know it and you'll have lost it then.

Hoppinggreen Thu 07-May-15 10:18:23

I didn't start my business until DD was at school but I still had DS at home.
He did 3 days preschool 9-3 and I handled emails etc in the evenings. I deliberately didn't take on more work so I had those 2 days free with him.
Once he started school I then upped my hours.
One of the reasons for being freelance was so I didn't have to work 9-5 5 days a week while DS was little and it's not LNG until they start full time school.
If you don't need to work 5 days either financially or to keep your business going then I wouldn't.
If you need a few hours every day then maybe look at 5 mornings or 2 mornings and 1 full day or something

planning Thu 07-May-15 10:21:32

thank you - I find it useful reading what others do - helps me clarify the different options.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Thu 07-May-15 10:31:05

I have always done 4 x full days. I can just about get away with no working on a Fri.

I need longer days in order to get into London to meet clients.

Could doing 4 days with a longer one on the last day work? With preschoolers you have the ability to do whatever you want, I'd be inclinded to try to keep a day off. You will soon be tied to the school day/hols etc.

It is difficult though....balancing work with wanting to be with the kids.

gottogetdressed Thu 07-May-15 13:45:23

It is tricky.

I do 4 days - including one short (I pick up DS from school, then get DD from nursery a couple of hours later so I get to spend time with him on his own) and one long (DH works 4 days a week too, so when he's on child-care duties I can go in early/come back late).

I would recommend trying to keep at least a day free if you can as I do feel its always a rush either side going to or from whatever childcare it is, or kids being exhausted and not wanting to do anything afterwards.

Not an easy choice, so I hope you can find something which works for you.

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