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3 full days or 4 shorter days?

(8 Posts)
MarissaMum Sun 29-May-11 18:22:26

I'll be returning to work in around 3 or 4 months time, my baby will be 10 months by then. I have some provisional agreement to go back part time but can't decide if I want to ask for 3 full time days or 4 shorter days, so similar hours. I'm leaning towards 3 days as I like the idea of spending more days with my daughter. But I wouldn't really see her in the morning as I'd be up too early to go to work, and DH would do the childcare drop offs. I'd ask for flexible working so maybe 8-4.

I'll be commuting approx 1hr 30mins each way by train, which is another reason why I don't want to do 4 days!

My hubby thinks I'll be less stressed and tired doing 4 shorter days, but it's difficult to know until I'm doing it.

My daughter would be at a nursery for 2 days, and with my MIL for the extra day or 2 days, so it won't affect childcare costs.

Any pros and cons would be appreciated, especially from mums working similar patterns!

cakeandcustard Sun 29-May-11 18:38:49

I went back after DS1 and did 3 days over 4 and found with the commute there and back (only 1/2 hour each way) it felt like working 4 days anyway, I would have preferred 3 full days then you can just mooch about and enjoy your time with your DD on your days off

MovingAndScared Sun 29-May-11 19:28:46

I think with a long commute and you not seeing your daughter in the mornings whatever - although depends what time she gets up! I would go for 3 full days - that means you have 4 full days a week with your DD - also will be some saving in travel costs I would have thought

gourd Mon 30-May-11 13:44:22

3 hours a day commuting is an extra half day away from your daughter so I'd go for 3 full days, unless you actively use that commute time for something useful/fun (working, reading, knitting on the train, or if you're cycling the commute etc).

gourd Mon 30-May-11 13:47:10

Plus you'll still have to prepare the lunchboxe(s)/ baby change bags etc and launder/iron work clothes for the additional day.

ShimmeryPixie Mon 30-May-11 13:52:13

3 full days, not 4 shorter ones. With that commute it would just be like working 4 full days (I speak as a long-commuter myself).

MarissaMum Mon 30-May-11 17:34:19

Thanks everyone, I'll let my hubby know he's been out voted! And I think I'll use the commute time for sleeping, so very useful ;)

I think it'll be tough going back to work whatever hours I do, but having an extra day with my daughter will get me through it!

verybusyspider Wed 01-Jun-11 09:46:43

It sounds like you have a decision but thought I'd add in my experience - I asked for 3 long days and it got refused and I was offered 4 short days
Pros
1) ds1 in school so I get to do pick up every day, other 2 get shorter days and we get to do 'after school' clubs, shopping or library so I get 'quality time' every day
Cons
1) expense - 1 extra day in nursery for 2 and no extra pay, 3 days pay but over the 4 days and no 'free' childcare options, I know thats not so much of an issue for you but it is the cost of an extra days commute
2) I feel cheated out of a whole day with littler 2

If you have 2 preschool age I'd do 3 longer days (for the reasons above) but I couldn't have anticipated how school would have been for ds1, I'm a firm believer in every thing happening for a reason and being able to pick up ds from school every day has been fantastic

fwiw even with my short days I don't see the children in the morning but just make the most of the time I'm with them - theres no perfect solution but definietly pick the one you feel more comfortable with

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