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Returning to work - Part time vs Full time?!

(14 Posts)
KatieHelen Tue 13-Sep-11 11:32:01

Some people may think this is a little early for me to be worrying about this subject as my DS is only 3 months and I am not planning on returning to work before the 39 week mark (february 2012) but I am worrying about it!
Before maternity leave I was on sick leave due to suffering with severe hyperemesis and being in and out of hospital for the full length of my pregnancy.. So I haven't been at work for what feels like a LONG time now! This added to the fact I'm really not keen on leaving my little boy at nursery (but have no choice in the matter as have no family support in the area) leaves me wondering whether to go back to work full time as I was working before my pregnancy of 44 hours minimum per week plus 3 hour commute every day or if to reduce my hours to 3 or 4 days per week maybe? I know that by doing this my opportunities at work will decrease but I really see no other option as 44 hours a week just seems too much to take on! My partner also works 40 hours per week so it's not like there would be anyone else for my DS to be with other than a nursery.
Any opinions or ideas much appreciated! smile

An0therName Tue 13-Sep-11 12:01:48

don't forget about childminders - nursery isn't the only opition
part time is a good option - you need to make a flexible working application
and some keep in touch days might be a good idea so you feel more in the loop before you get back
I don't think its that early to be a least thinking about it - and I would start at least looking at childcare options now -as waiting lists can be long

chocoroo Tue 13-Sep-11 12:10:05

Going on advice I've had from friends in my workplace, I would only consider going back for 3 days or full time. Those doing 4 days have found themselves working a full time job on fewer hours (and less money).

I am returning full time as a result of this (cannot justify doing 3 days financially and also not certain I want to be at home two days).

LovetheHarp Tue 13-Sep-11 12:53:21

Yes I would strongly advise going 3 days a week, as I have done that and now my DD2 is 2 years old I am really enjoying having more time with her and also being able to do more other bits and pieces on my days off. Also financially I am better off than I would be doing 4 days a week because of tax reasons (4 days would put me just above the threshold for higher tax).

It took a while to adjust to it but whenever I am tempted to go full time I remind myself that they are only tiny children once and I have still 20+ years left to work!!!!!!!!!!!

KatieHelen Tue 13-Sep-11 13:05:25

Thanks guys!
An0therName - I'll have a look into a childminder, thanks for the tip! I used to work as a nursery nurse before becoming a dental nurse so nursery was the first idea that i thought of to be honest!
Definitely leaning more towards the 3 days a week option, I think i'll work out what i'll be paid against childcare costs and see how we get on.
LovetheHarp - Thats very true theyre only babies once and we should be enjoying every minute, this is the reason I'd like to be going back 3 days. If I had my way I would be a SAHM but financially that's impossible sadly sad
Thanks so much for your responses they've really helped smile xx

messagetoyourudy Tue 13-Sep-11 13:11:31

If you can afford it I would say go 3 days a week. I work 3 days a week now and it's a good balance. I figure I would rather run just one car, go on camping holidays etc. and have time with my children. They are only young for such a short space of time.

If you have a 3 hour commute every day, you will be leaving the house at 7.70am and getting home at 7pm - 5 days a week that doesn't leave much time with your LO.

I would really look into Child minders as an option also - I loved the fact that both my DS were in a family environment, it was great and very secure for them to have an extended family home that they were part of.

KatieHelen Wed 14-Sep-11 11:35:59

The only reason it's a 3 hour commute is that I don't drive! If i drove it probably would be around 30-40 mins drive each way so I'm seriously considering taking driving lessons again. I've decided 3 days is going to be the best option for me for now and it will always be easy to up my hours at work when he gets a bit older. I'm currently looking into child minders in my area as well as day nurseries so we will see smile
Thanks for the advice about child minders as I never really took that into consideration before but will do now I've heard a bit about them, Cheers! xx

Mowlem Wed 14-Sep-11 13:50:32

Learn to drive! Really, that will turn your day into something completely manageable.

I work three days (split over 5 mornings now my DC are at school) and I have to say it is great. I get money, me time, and a stable job. Also, I get to spend quality time with my DC too and they still get to go to clubs / activities etc. I always found a bit of work made being at home with them so much more enjoyable grin

We also used a childminder when DD2 was younger. Its a good compromise.

An0therName Wed 14-Sep-11 15:38:49

oh yes do learn to drive so worth it

mollymole Wed 14-Sep-11 15:40:38

i would go for the 3 days, and have you considered a nanny share

cat64 Wed 14-Sep-11 16:11:05

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AnnaEngland1 Thu 15-Sep-11 08:41:23

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matana Fri 16-Sep-11 08:26:45

I'd love to do PT, but my boss would not allow it - it's not the kind of job you can do PT because of some unsocial hours work. But my employer has been pretty fair in allowing me to work from home twice a week. On those days my DS goes to his CM (which he loves, couldn't be happier) for half days and comes home in the afternoon, where he naps. Because of the hours i work the other days i find that providing i can get in 4/ 5 good hours before lunch on those days i manage to get my work done and make up my hours for the week, although i remain on call for urgent things. It's just nice having my DS in his home environment, even if he is asleep. I take long lunches with him on those days so we can spend some time together and tend to finish earlier in the afternoon than i would if i was in the office. I find that if i am flexible (like going in for meetings if necessary) my boss is flexible. I suppose i'm lucky though - our CM is also fab and very flexible, given a little notice. I am not convinced that nurseries are as flexible as CMs, providing you get a good one. It takes some juggling but so far appears to work ok.

There is no doubt i would do PT if i could, but the other advantage of FT is that there's not so much financial pressure so you can afford to have a few long weekends away together for some quality time. If we were watching the pennies all the time it would put a strain on our family life. We tend to spend any free cash on family days out etc rather than 'nice to have' commodities.

But yes, learn to drive - i don't know what i'd do without my car, it gives me independence.

theredsalamander Wed 21-Sep-11 11:46:15

I was in a similar situation with awful hyperemesis and hence very little attendance at work for the duration of my pregnancy (in and out of hospital for long stretches like you) and as a consequence I was terrified of returning to work because I was so worried that I'd forgotten how to do it/would be rubbish/.

Some words of comfort- you will be fine. It'll click back into place within days and whilst adjusting to leaving your son might take a bit longer, you WILL remember the ropes, people WILL be kind to you (in the main!) and you CAN cope with it.

I did full time to begin with but found this too much. I was going properly nutty with missing ds1. Then shortened this to 34 hrs over 4 days and found this a fantastic compromise that worked very well for our family.

In fact I did it a second time, not really believing that hyperemesis could be that bad again (oops it was worse!) and the second time going back to work was even easier than the first if that’s' possible! Not to say I didn't miss my sons dreadfully - I did- but the work itself or my colleagues/ work environment wasn't the issue. But as you'd expect family life with two children takes more time to coordinate than family life with one child and now I do 27 hours over 4 days which works brilliantly for us.

Now my youngest has just turned 3, going to school in a years time, and ds1 is in year two and whilst it's not an easy ride (whose life ever is whether SAHM or WOHM?!) I'm happy with my choice. Good luck x

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