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3 normal days or 4/5 short school hour days?

(9 Posts)
Coffeeinthepark Mon 10-Mar-14 19:07:37

I've been working 3 normal days a week in the office and having 2 days at home with preschool kids. Now had baby 3 but older 2 now in school and will be in pre school daily.

Wondering if it is worth sacrificing my days off (I did do some work on these days from home) to be at home after school for the bigger kids?

Obviously you can't decide this for me but I'm interested if anyone has made similar decisions.

No guarantee work would agree but childcare sorted for baby regardless so disregard that cost as a factor in the decision

Chocotrekkie Mon 10-Mar-14 19:12:35

I decided to do 3 days (21 hours) but both mine are at school.

After school club for 2 days (oh finishes early 1 day) works out cheaper than having to use 5 days in the holidays

6 hours holiday childcare is the same as a full day with us.

I still get 2 days after schools so they have friends for tea etc.

I also love having 2 days off when they are at school to sort out house etc and mumsnet in peace

redskyatnight Thu 13-Mar-14 12:47:50

I did 5 short days. I liked that I could always take the DC to and from school and generally there was no issue with fitting in school "Events" which tended to be at the start or end of day.

It meant that I had 5 fairly relaxed days, rather than 3 manic ones.
My company were good at letting me change my working pattern in holiday (when generally 3 full days was easier than 5 short ones).

But as PP says, it did mean I never had time off without the DC being there - tbh I never found that a problem.

StellaBee Thu 13-Mar-14 21:06:43

I started my current job 18 months ago and the working pattern was set by my employers: 4 days a week, standard office hours. I did 9.30-6 to allow me to drop my elder daughter at school in the mornings. Younger daughter was with a childminder who then looked after both girls after school.

After a year I asked to switch my hours and I now do five days a week, 9.30-2.30. I love it - it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. I love being able to pick the girls up from school and pre-school and it makes life easier with playdates and after-school clubs. I'm also much more productive at work - I now avoid the mid-afternoon slump I used to get when I'd get nothing done. And who wouldn't love leaving work at 2.30 in the afternoon grin In the winter I still get to go home in the light; and I'm looking forward to sunny summer days when it will feel as though I still have most of the day ahead of me smile

I only work term-time besides which my husband is a teacher, so I don't have to worry about childcare during the holidays, which I can see would otherwise make a difference. It also helps that my terms are slightly shorter than my children's so I usually get a few childfree days at the end of each term wink

Technical Thu 13-Mar-14 21:19:24

I have done both.

At home I much prefer the short days, especially as Dc get older (now almost teenage). It feels important to me to be there when they get home, that's when they offload anything they need to. It also means I know their friends and they can go to friends houses/or friends can come here after school and/or I get some relaxed time with them rather than rushing through the dinner, bath bed routine after a long day.

At work the full days work much better. It's really hard to up and leave at 2pm when everyone else is only in the middle of their day. It draws attention to the fact that you're "just" part-time and on occasion you have to be quite difficult strong willed to ensure you do get away on time.

StellaBee Thu 13-Mar-14 22:01:14

Fair point about working short days while everyone around you is working longer, Technical. I work in a department of one so it's not a problem for me but I can see how it would be odd if you were part of a team.

milkysmum Thu 13-Mar-14 22:10:46

I am just about to change my work pattern so that I can do 9am- 3pm so I can do school drop off and picks ups now 'h' has moved out. I am so sick of the manic pick up after 5, tea, bath and bed routine! I cannot wait to work shorter days smile

LadyLapsang Fri 14-Mar-14 00:05:01

I agree totally with Technical. For me at work, full days were easier, for DS, shorter days meant v little difference in term time than if I had been a SAHM, so much better for him. Also, I found colleagues understand you don't work X day better than they remember that you leave at X time. Often I was given work that needed to be taken forward as I was walking out the door, so I ended up doing it overnight.

Chunderella Sat 15-Mar-14 13:00:41

Presumably the travel expenses will be higher if you do five days? So you need to think about whether that's important.

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