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Why is it so difficult? What would you do with these 2 choices?

(38 Posts)
Guacamole Wed 03-Nov-10 20:18:16

I need advice... I have to return to work, I’m dreading it... I’m dreading the thought of being away from my DS, but I have to return, we can’t afford for me not too... and in the long term he will benefit financially from me returning.
If I return to my current employers following my maternity leave I am able to return part time (3 days per week). This would mean my DS (who will be 11 months old at the time) will be in nursery 3 days a week. However my DH and I both commute into London by train (and a very busy train to boot). This would mean my DS commutes too... so on those 3 days a week we will leave our house at 7am and return at 7pm (not sure where we are going to fit in breakfast and dinner). He will literally get home and go straight to bed, meaning my DH (he will be at DH’s work nursery) will barely see him at all on those 3 days and I won’t see him at all as I would get home later.
However I have found a job I can apply for much closer to home (only 12 miles). I could drive my DS to nursery; we could leave our house at 8am and return by 6pm. However it would be full time! Help... what do I do? He will see me every day and we’ll travel in together in the car, he will be able to have breakfast and dinner at home. I might even be able to see him the odd lunch time.
I’m going to apply for the job, I have nothing to lose. It’s NHS so I can transfer my service straight onto another hospital without incurring any financial loss, or continued service loss.
But if I get offered the job? What do I do?

MyCatIsABiggerBastardThanYours Wed 03-Nov-10 20:27:00

Well, if it was my I would go for the part time and have my DC in nursery 3 days. You will after all see your child on the commute on the 3 days and surely your DH will be able to pop in to see him on during the day if your DS is in his work nursery?

I don't have a thing against nursery, my children both attended one, but I do think that the more time at home is better if you can make it - by that I mean the 4 days you would have at home, not the extra 2hrs a day you would gain.

So there you are, that would be my choice.

However, you really need to do what you feel is best for your family and although you will get people (like me) putting on their opinions you must go with what makes you happiest in the long run.

Good luck

Guacamole Wed 03-Nov-10 20:49:37

I know... it's really tough... at the moment I can't contemplate 3 days without my DS, let alone 5. I'm worried the whole commuting thing will be traumatic for him. I can;t feed him breakfast and dinner on the train .

PortoTreasonAndPlot Wed 03-Nov-10 20:52:51

I personally would do (and in fact did) the FT role where you are not so rushed and least have a bit of quality time each day - rather than lots some days, and none at all on others

Guacamole Wed 03-Nov-10 20:59:20

Porto how old was your DC, if you don't mind me asking?

PortoTreasonAndPlot Wed 03-Nov-10 21:02:06

At dd's creche they did breakfast and tea. So she had milk in the morning and a snack before bed, but we were doing similar hours. It worked fine. It is much harder to contemplate than to do in mho.

chanie44 Wed 03-Nov-10 21:03:02

I don't have any experience, but my instinct is veering toward the full time job.

The reason for this is that commuting is stressful (as you know). Remember the snow?

I have worked locally and even though with traffic, the commute is pretty much the same, I'd much rather be in my car than on a train.

PortoTreasonAndPlot Wed 03-Nov-10 21:04:11

My dd was 5 months went I went back. This was a few years back before they extended ML.

PortoTreasonAndPlot Wed 03-Nov-10 21:13:03

And if you are in the car you can chat away. As they get bigger this gets more two-sided grin And point at things out of the window. The train will be hell most probably.

Honestly, if you find a good nursery, your ds will have a whale of a time. You will be less stressed by not having the long days.

Guacamole Wed 03-Nov-10 21:13:40

I'm going to apply... I don't have to make any decisions yet.

It is much harder to contemplate than to do in mho.
Thank goodness for that, because I can't stop thinking/worrying about returning in general.

My DH is struggling with it as much as me. My Parents think 5 days would be better and ultimately less traumatic for DS... the whole getting into London in rush hour thing freaks them out completely.

Guacamole Wed 03-Nov-10 21:14:56

And God yeah I remember the snow... I was actually stuck on a train for 2 hours because the one in front was on fire!

catinthehat2 Wed 03-Nov-10 21:24:35

Part time jobs are GOLD dust.

Do it by hook or by crook for these first few years.

When he gets older and goes to school, you will find it husgely difficult to get p/t, and you can make those days off work for you.

YOu will be seen as a reliable worker and becasue you will be v efficient, but only cost 60% of a full timer, they will be reluctant to dump you.

Awkward now, but there are huge advantages to P/t

PortoTreasonAndPlot Wed 03-Nov-10 21:24:47

It IS hard to face going back. I was positively tearful/depressed, but it wasn;t an option to NOT go. It's like being on the best ever holiday of your life and realising it is over. And then some. And for me, it was August and the weather was glorious.....

The first week was hard, then you get back in the swing of things. Agree with your parents that the consistency thing re. 5 days does make it easier in some ways.

tabouleh Thu 04-Nov-10 19:59:30

Gucamole - somethings to think about re the 3 days:

Your DS will have breakfast and tea at nursery so milk in the morning before leaving/or on the train. (Make sure you have some snacks in your bag etc).

Have you considered paying for first class travel to guarantee a seat?

Could your DH shift his hours so that you go on your own earlier and he goes in later with DS so no rush hour and make up the time the other 2 days a week?

Could you work your current 3 day job over 4 shorter days? Then you could commute before/after rush hour and drop DS at nursery yourself.

I was originally going to go back 3 days but decided to do equivalent of 50% hours over 3 days so worked 9:30 -4:30 M and T and 9:30 -4:00 on W. This worked well until following my company being bought out I was made redundant. (I now work for myself and do various bits and pieces over a M,T,W).

This means more nursery fees but less stress.

Pollyanna Thu 04-Nov-10 20:02:23

I commute for 3 days and have also done 5 shorter days. 3 days is much better ime.

mjinhiding Thu 04-Nov-10 20:06:31

Message withdrawn

PintandChips Thu 04-Nov-10 20:20:38

stick with part time!

if at all possible, could you afford a nanny rather than nursery, so that he is at least at home rather than at a nursery while you are away such long hours? or get someone to pick him up in the morning a bit later and take him, then pick him up a bit earlier and bring him home?

So that you get home, he is there, fed and happy in his pyjamas and you can put him to bed, and also you avoid the stress of trying to get both him and yourself out of the door in time for the train in the morning?

i too have a four hour round trip to work and that's what i did until my DS was 2 ish, and it really helped.

good luck whatever - but i think if you take the full time you'll miss him more.

MakingAMess Thu 04-Nov-10 20:29:12

part-time all the way for me, but also REALLY think about a nanny. i have one now that we have two kids. are you thinking you might ever have a second? if so - really really think about a nanny. also think about what will happen when he can't go to nursery any longer because he is at school nursery / pre-school / school. it is but a few short years until he is in school and your childcare arrangements need to turn on their head again.

i have had to change my son's childcare arrangement 3 times to cater for private day nursery, transitioning to pre-school (for the school he would attend), and then again for school. to accommodate school and his younger sister, we now have a nanny. looking back on it, we should have done it when i first went back to work. consistency of care; home setting; less stress. (but boy - megabucks!)

maktaitai Thu 04-Nov-10 20:35:39

If you start thinking about a nanny, consider a nanny-share - much much cheaper.

LadyLapsang Thu 04-Nov-10 20:48:24

I think I would be inclined to stay part-time but look at other childcare options at / close to home. If you can afford it a nanny / nanny share would allow your DS to be in his home environment and would be so much easier for you. Otherwise might a local childminder be able to help?

Alternatively, have you thought about you and your DH both working condensed hours and looking after DH one weekday each so you get the advantages of a full time salary and he gets 4 days with his parents.

knomedeplum Thu 04-Nov-10 21:34:26

Could you apply to the FT one but enquire about doing 4 days maybe?

emmy5 Thu 04-Nov-10 22:35:39

Or could you (once you are offered new job) request they look for a job share? I don't know if it's still allowed but my jobshare in the NHS did that a few years ago.

DungunGirl Fri 05-Nov-10 10:40:35

I commute to London everyday to and have ever since my 1st DS was 10 months old. I now have a 2nd DS and am still commuting to London.

I am doing 4 days a week, and the childcare is killing us! I would definitely say from my experience that if I had the choice of doing a PT 3 days a week - I would JUMP at it!

I leave at 6.30am every morning and get home to pick the boys up from the childminder for 5.30pm. I only see them for about 1.5- 2hours in the evening ( as I leave before they get up ) and would love to just have 1 more solid day with them a week!

Also, you actually can organise your homelife with solid days off work, rather than trying to fit it all into a couple of hours a day.

Wait till he starts school! Then you will have forms/requests/homework etc to deal with in those tight 2 hours at the end of the day!

I would definitely go PT!

nesomja Fri 05-Nov-10 15:19:48

I have taken my ds on the train once with me during rush hour and it was truly traumatic for us both, he cried and cried and said 'off mummy off', we were crushed against the door and by the end we were both in tears. So I would also say avoid the train trip if you can.
I work 3 days in the NHS and did actually apply for a full time job but said I would want to do it part time - there is a box on the website where you can say what your preferred working hours are. I also applied for another job which was 4 days and asked if I could do the hours over 3 days and they were happy with that and said they had other people doing the same (but I didn't get the job). So the full time job might be flexible - certainly if you had another dc I would have thought you could negotiate p/t after ML.
We had the workplace nursery option too. financially would have been great but after the trial train run we gave up the idea and got a nanny. It's expensive but so worth it to be leaving him in his home environment - and no rushing in the mornings. We also staggger our work times - I go in an hour late and dh leaves his work an hour early so he has more time with us,

owlicecream Fri 05-Nov-10 16:00:00

Stick with PT and find a nanny or local CM would be my advice.

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