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Working away from home

(18 Posts)
IcanIwill Sat 18-Jan-14 16:02:57

I've NC for this for fear of outing myself. I have been offered a literally once in a lifetime opportunity of a job I have been working very hard to get. Should all be good but I have not been offered a local job but a position 2.5 hours drive away from home and an even longer train ride. I can't say what it is but it's unlikely to come my way again. I'm really struggling; DC are Year 8 and 10. I would be expected to start work in May. I would not consider moving eldest DC before she does her GCSE's next summer. If we move then the DCs will be 14 and 16. The only way we can make it work is if I live away during the week, at least in the short term. Does anybody do that; how does it work for you? (Please don't reply saying you would never do it; I can work that out for myself!).

Dh and I are trying to work out the pros and cons of this and it would be useful to hear from someone who actually does it. IME it's not uncommon for men to work away during the week but do any women do it?

IcanIwill Sat 18-Jan-14 17:03:06


Trooperslane Sat 18-Jan-14 17:09:06

I did it before kids, for 2 years.

It was manageable but mega mega stressful and I made myself ill.

Wasn't for me.

However, I know lots of people who do it, including someone with 4 under 10!

Works for some, not for others.

If it's as good an opportunity as you think, I'd go for it. You're not signing up in blood and better to regret something you have done rather than haven't.

It was worth it in the end for me because of the experience, but I think I probably did it for circa 6 months too long.

IcanIwill Sat 18-Jan-14 21:27:41

Thank you. I'd really like to hear from anyone who has done it with kids?

peppapigmustdie Sat 18-Jan-14 21:36:37

I did something similar but more of an erratic patteren of being away. I was home for 3 days away for 2 then maybe away for a week sometimes 3. I was a single Mum at the time and Dd1 was 18 months when I got posted to this job I left when she was 6. In my opinion your dc's are old enough to both understand and cope provided your dh is onside. If it is a truly once in a lifetime chance then take it, soon enough your dc's would have flown and you could still have many years of work ahead.

peppapigmustdie Sat 18-Jan-14 21:38:59

My Dm had dd while I was away, she had moved in. I was forces.

tribpot Sat 18-Jan-14 22:04:09

I know guys who've done it for years, but that's not really the question is it! I do know one woman who's done it, she simply couldn't earn enough to keep the family afloat, so they stayed in mainland Europe and she worked in the UK. Her kids were a similar age to yours, and it was fine. The dad was very hands-on, the children coped fine, and it enabled them to keep the kids in their schools when their business took an unexpected downturn.

Your kids are old enough to be involved in the decision - I'd talk it through with them and see what they think. On an emotional level you can still be quite available to them through Skype and so on, so it may be more of the practical stuff you need to concern yourself with. Can your DH manage the logistics of after school activities and so on alongside his job? Do you have a good support network locally?

Whilst not in the same league, I'm looking at being away from home one night a week starting fairly soon. My employer is totally sympathetic and has offered one very long day to avoid a night away from home but I think I will be so knackered that way I'd rather stay over. My ds is only 8 so I worry about how much he will miss me (I've done trips away) but my major concern is that because my DH is chronically ill and in a wheelchair, there will be things he just can't manage. I still see this as the best option for us, and for my career.

I think you have to follow your dream. If it doesn't work out, at least you tried. If it does, well your kids will be off to uni within 4 years and the landscape will have changed significantly.

AtAmber Sat 18-Jan-14 22:13:58

I stay away 2 nights a week. Ds's are 14 and 6. DB is working from home. I like it but I don't know if I could stay away for 4 nights.

stealthsquiggle Sat 18-Jan-14 22:15:29

I know one mother of DC in Y2 and Y4 who works abroad (but in effect about the same travel time as the OP is looking at). She is away Monday to Thursday every week. I have Y2 and Y7 DC and travel a lot, but more unpredictability, and know another mother of Y7 only child who does the same (she travels even more than I do, in fact). In both the last 2 cases we work @ home when not travelling, which helps to even things out a bit, in all 3 cases a lot of input from DH's is required along with support from GPs.

It's not easy but it could be done and is definitely worth discussing with your family (all of them).

thehairybabysmum Sat 18-Jan-14 22:32:12

My DH used to work away, all week when ds1 was small then worked a bit nearer so used to come home on a tues eve and then finished earlier on a Friday.

Could you work 3 longer days to enable you to fit in one night back or at least a lunchtime Friday finish so you could be back in time for them finishing school on a Friday (also means you miss the worst of the traffic).

Agree with the poster who says it is easier if your DH is onside, if he works long hours then more difficult for your children I would say. In reality are the kids quite busy in the week anyway?

It does make the weekends more special so it's not all negative!

IcanIwill Sat 18-Jan-14 22:49:50

DH works from home and the DC go on the bus to school and back. They do the majority of their activities at school and come back on the bus after so there isn't a lot of running around in the week. DH thinks I should go for it as it is an amazing opportunity. He is very hands on with the DC anyway. My major doubt though is that I'll be lonely and living like a student in the week but then I think fortune favours the brave. I also think that I only have a few short years of my DC being at home and don't want to miss them. I need a crystal ball I think!

thehairybabysmum Sat 18-Jan-14 23:07:56

Can you use that time in the week to work longer hours to give yourself more flexibility. Is there any scope for flexibility...could you do 4 days of compressed hours for instance?

I think thisis doable as long as you try and make it so you are all together more on a weekend.

Also, nothing is ever set in stone, you can try it, if you hate it then leave?

thehairybabysmum Sat 18-Jan-14 23:09:12

Or join a gym in the week, socialise with your new workmates? No need to be lonely/bored I reckon.

IcanIwill Sun 19-Jan-14 15:46:36

There is scope for working 1 day a week at home but it wont always be Monday or Friday so may not be able to come home in the week cos of distance even if day off. We're going to go and look next week and see what we think. It's a dilemma because if I hate it I've really burnt my boats.

stealthsquiggle Sun 19-Jan-14 18:40:37

Is it very fixed working hours? 2.5 hours each way wouldn't make me completely rule out coming home once in the week - leave at 5:30pm, home for 8pm, evening with DC and DH, leave at 6am to be there for 9am. You wouldn't want to do it every day, but once a week might be worth it.

thehairybabysmum Sun 19-Jan-14 19:45:11

No worries about the burnt boats, I think that one opportunity often leads to another (especially if you are looking), so if you really don't like it something else will always turn up.

If there is scope to work one day at home then that's brilliant, in fact if it is mid week that might even work better. As stealth said you can be home by 8 then be home for one day before leaving at 6 the day after a home day.

If you are going for a look, I would defo enquire about the potential flexibility of your hours, could you do 8-4 on the day you wish to go home for example?

oscarwilde Wed 29-Jan-14 16:07:04

I would talk to your kids, and def go for it if your DH is v v supportive.

I travelled long haul for work when my pfb was a baby, 1-2 weeks away followed by 2-3 weeks at the home office. It was v tough on my DH as he couldn't as much as pop to the takeaway in the evenings so it was full on for him. I think if you are organised, and can negotiate some level of flexibility with your firm you should definitely go for it.
Your kids may even support a house move depending on the area/schools they would end up in for 6th form/GCSE's.

It will be tricky for you as you will have nothing to go home for mid-week and will potentially end up working v long hours. Try to get a local hobby and get some time off and keep your head clear. When you get home on the weekend it is very difficult not to be submerged into family life/the laundry etc and your DH may want some time off too viewing your midweek evenings as "off".

Definitely try consolidated hours - work a 9 day fortnight for example. That may be more acceptable than every Friday or Monday out of the office. It will also give you a free every other Friday to spend with your DH while the kids are at school and have some time to yourselves.

It could be a great opportunity if you plan it well.

IcanIwill Sat 15-Feb-14 17:38:54

Ok after much negotiation I will be working from home on a Friday so will only need to be away 3 nights a week.
The DC were very supportive and thought I should go for it. I think I'm the one more concerned about being absent 3 evenings a week but I'm rationalising it on the basis that in lots of jobs I would have to work shifts which would mean I would be absent overnight and at weekends. Scary though; wish me luck and thanks for your advice.

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