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returning to full time work -how do you manage?

(17 Posts)
Menagerie Mon 08-Nov-10 21:04:55

Hi,

I have an interview for the job of my dreams. No knowing if I'll get it, but if I did, I'm wondering how you balance home and work life.

Until now I've worked hours that match school hours, and from home in the evenings. My DH works form home so would be main carer. But can't guarantee that his idea of housework and mine are the same. Also, although he is lovely, he's much grumpier and quick tempered with the kids and they get very hyper when he barks orders. I have cold feet about leaving him in charge most of the time.

I'd really love to hear from other full time working mums who are happy with how things are, and feel they're roughly on top of housework/homework/having fun with kids. They'll be at secondary school in a couple of years and this job could work out long term but I can't picture how we'd fit it all in. We seem busy enough as it is and the house is a bit of a tip.

(Getting a bit ahead of myself as only got an interview so far, but I like to plan ahead. )

littleredsquirrel Mon 08-Nov-10 21:08:34

My DCs are still little (5 and 3). I have to say its a constant juggling act. I never feel on top of things. I can't remember the last time I had a weekend when I didn't have a million things to do.

However when I worked part time I ended up working full time hours and so at least I now get paid for the hours I work.

Caz10 Mon 08-Nov-10 21:09:20

You never will feel on top of it, once you get used to that you'll be fine grin

Suzihaha Mon 08-Nov-10 21:29:42

Well, I have just started a FT job today. DSs are 2.9 and 15m.

It's only 9:30pm and I'm practically asleep while I type this - tell me it gets easier!

elportodelgato Mon 08-Nov-10 21:34:55

admittedly I only have one DC at the moment but have been fulltime for a year and DH is fulltime too. I'd say it's crucial that you and your DP do 50/50 split of childcare, chores, cooking etc to prevent you developing a massive sense of resentment grin and also - top tip - get a cleaner.

I feel on top of it about 70% of the time - it is doable.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 08-Nov-10 21:42:01

We have two DC 9 and 6. We both work FT, outside the house. DH takes children to school unless he is working away (nightmare) or has an early meeting (breakfast club). They go to after school club, which they love thank goodness and which allows them to do after school activities at school without bother. A friend takes DD dancing once a week, which is enormously kind of her. I agree that it is absolutely necessary to have an equal partnership re children and household stuff to feel happy with things.

I think your set up with your DH at home might be more problematic TBH, although it seems better on the face of it. Why will your DH be the main carer? If I were working from home, I wouldn't want to be doing childcare too. I'm not that's reasonable.

And get a cleaner if you possibly can!

TheFallenMadonna Mon 08-Nov-10 21:42:59

I'm not sure that's reasonable

Menagerie Mon 08-Nov-10 23:00:43

Thanks.

TFM - he doesn't work full time. He's freelance and has very little work coming in right now, which is one reason I've applied to go full time. But when he is working, it's busy, and he could be away from home, so he's thinking of easing up on work and being the main carer if I get the job. Does that sound a bit more reasonable?

TeenyTina Tue 09-Nov-10 14:48:25

Hello! I tried to post this link on another forum here http://hubpages.com/hub/Earn-At-Home-Mothers-and-F athers and it seemed to force in a space after the F in Fathers so that it would not come up, but it is an incredible post on the subject of work and parenthood.

TeenyTina Tue 09-Nov-10 14:49:10

I see it did it again! I wonder why?

frgr Tue 09-Nov-10 15:05:11

If you have cold feet about leaving your H, you need to realise that as a fulltime working mum you have 4 choices:

1. Live in a house less clean and tidy than you want. Refuse to do more than your portion (half if you both work roughly the same hours).

2. Hire a domestic (usually a woman, usually in a more vulnerable economic position than yourself) to cover the traditional wife gap, as elportodelgato mentioned.

3. Do all of it yourself and accept that things are unequal. Possibly run yourself ragged in the attempt.

4. He steps up and fills the gap now that you're at fulltime work.

Stark, but realistic.

My own choice was working 3 days a week whilst my H went 3 days a week, but that's not realistic with most employers or if you need to earn more than 2x60% wages to cover bills.

AnnieLobeseder Tue 09-Nov-10 15:17:46

I was worried how I'd cope with full time work, but it's been far easier than I though.

DH takes DD2 to nursery, I take DD1 to school.

I pick them both up at 6pm, DD1 goes to after-school club and loves it.

Get a cleaner! DH wasn't pulling his weight with the housework, I got sick of spending my weekends cleaning instead of being with the DDs. So I got a cleaner. Life is now soooooooo much better. We can't really afford one but I see it as a necesity for my own sanity!

The house stays much cleaner when everyone is out all day anyway.

On Fridays I work 7am to 2pm so I can pick DD1 up from school, then we have a lovely afternoon together, going swimming or over to friends.

If your DH works from home and needs to put in a full day's work, you'd need to look at after-school clubs as it's not realistic to expect him to perform childcare duties while at work.

AnnieLobeseder Tue 09-Nov-10 15:17:47

I was worried how I'd cope with full time work, but it's been far easier than I though.

DH takes DD2 to nursery, I take DD1 to school.

I pick them both up at 6pm, DD1 goes to after-school club and loves it.

Get a cleaner! DH wasn't pulling his weight with the housework, I got sick of spending my weekends cleaning instead of being with the DDs. So I got a cleaner. Life is now soooooooo much better. We can't really afford one but I see it as a necesity for my own sanity!

The house stays much cleaner when everyone is out all day anyway.

On Fridays I work 7am to 2pm so I can pick DD1 up from school, then we have a lovely afternoon together, going swimming or over to friends.

If your DH works from home and needs to put in a full day's work, you'd need to look at after-school clubs as it's not realistic to expect him to perform childcare duties while at work.

Menagerie Tue 09-Nov-10 22:43:08

Thanks for all your replies. Getting a cleaner sounds like a good idea. And the DCs are always begging to go to after school club. DH's work is patchy (though he's just got a lot more in today) so he never knows if he'd need after school club or not.

gladis Thu 11-Nov-10 13:18:15

Your point about more quick tempered partner is something that I struggle with, when considering a full-time job. I am the calm one, and my dd looks to me when he gets tense. He is absolutely lovely and caring, utterly devoted to the children, but is obsessive about things, quick to fly off the temper, overly dramatic, even childish at times. I don't imagine it's that uncommon.

He says that in the future he would love to have a period of being the main carer or work part time so he can spend time with them, but he is more likely to spend the spare hour cleaning the oven than taking them to the park, and as he likes to be 'in control' I can't imagine how he would cope with all the ups&downs of looking after children without making them 'tense'. We went through a period this summer where both of us were extremely anxious about various things and my daughter really reacted badly - lashing out at school and even in photos you can see that the sparkle went out of her eyes.

I have cold feet at the thought of leaving him in charge, but wonder if he would simply have to learn to adapt. He is good at blaming other people when things go wrong, which isn't a good sign that he would 'adapt' well. Mmmm.

Menagerie Sun 14-Nov-10 13:27:52

Gladis that's one of my concerns. My DH is generally so down about the job market and he could out-gloom a storm cloud when he's like that. The air in the house feels heavy!

He says it would be a huge pressure off him if I were out there doing the main earning but I worry quite a bit about his self-image. Mine took a plummet when he was out doing a well paid, interesting job and I was stuck at home penniless with two screaming babies 24/7.

It took me a long time to work out a way of living that is based on self respect, having fun and making the most of that precious time with the kids. It took a lot of positive energy and he doesn't have much of that generally. But... he's very loving, very funny and the kids do adore him, even though they start imitating his barking orders if they spend too much time round him.

Menagerie Tue 16-Nov-10 16:38:47

Well, after the interview today, I'm not sure it'll be a problem after all. I don't think I exactly shone and they have 10 people chasing the one job. Back to the jobs pages...

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