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Please help me decide what hours I should ask for!

(18 Posts)
Lucretia Thu 03-Jul-14 12:10:52

I have been invited for interview for a job. I haven't worked for 10 years so am a bit anxious about it all. They really want someone full time, term time only, but I said I couldn't do that and would need to be available to do school pickups at least twice a week. They've said they can be flexible and I should come and interview, which is lovely.

But I want to be very sure that I'm not offering more than I can realistically manage.... so please tell me what it's like working if you have primary age children. If I work 5 days a week but can leave early twice a week to do pickups, will I be OK? Or do I need a bit more slack than that realistically? I think it will be early starts, so I don't think I will be able to do the school dropoffs. I don't know how much this will matter but I don't like the thought of losing all of them. Maybe I need to do one dropoff a week?

Eek. Please tell me how you make it work!

ajandjjmum Thu 03-Jul-14 12:11:54

How old are your children, and what are their school hours/arrangements?

Lucretia Thu 03-Jul-14 12:16:48

Thanks for replying. They're going to be in Year 5 and Year 1 in September. School hours are 9-3.15, and they do some after-school activities.

redskyatnight Thu 03-Jul-14 12:21:57

I think that sounds good - 2 pickups a week gives you chance to be round school enough to feel part of what is going on, meet your DC's friends' parents, chat to teacher if you need to, and for your DCs to enjoy the time. Will the Y5 child be capable of getting home on his own soon?

I personally wouldn't worry about dropoffs - as the DC get older, parents drop and run anyway and it's basically just a logistical exercise in getting them there - I'd rather get in early and finish earlier!

PeterParkerSays Thu 03-Jul-14 12:29:54

If you're only doing pick-ups, can you offer to start work earlier on other days to compensate and do the FT hours they're a fter? I do one pick-up a week (FT yr round) and start at 8.15 on two other days to keep the hours full time.

It would make your application appealing against other candidates who maybe can do FT hours as they're prescribed.

Lucretia Thu 03-Jul-14 12:31:57

Do you think so, redsky? My Y5 child is nowhere near being able to get home alone, being a bit needy...

I know dropoffs in themselves aren't that great, it's just the chat on the walk up to school is quite nice. And with the little ones, that's when you're allowed into the classroom so can see the displays etc, whereas at pickup time you have to wait outside. But I suppose that in itself isn't such a big deal.

And do you think that having all my child-free time accounted for is OK? Will it be difficult?

Lucretia Thu 03-Jul-14 12:32:42

I suppose I was just thinking that I have friends who work, say, 3 full days, and then they get to do dropoffs/pickups on their days off, plus having time to do general life organisation.

Lucretia Thu 03-Jul-14 12:33:49

PeterParker, unfortunately it will be early starts anyway, so I don't have a card to play there!

Lucretia Sat 05-Jul-14 08:26:20

Bumping for any more thoughts

bakingaddict Sat 05-Jul-14 08:41:05

I used to compress my hours over 3 days and now i'm back to doing 5 days. I start early so DH drops off my Year1 DS at school and DD (3) at childminder. I do all pick ups. My 3 days were very long days and now i've spread it out over 5 days I actually find work less tiring. With commuting it used to mean that i'd be doing over a 13 hr day, I certainly don't miss that. I never thought i'd say that a 5 day week is less tiring than a 3 day one but that's what i've found in my experience

purplemurple1 Sat 05-Jul-14 08:56:25

Would they consider a job share tbh it sounds like that is more what you want.

Lucretia Sat 05-Jul-14 14:48:18

That sounds like a great arrangement bakingaddict.

Purplemurple, I think you're right, that would suit me much better. I don't know whether they would consider it...

2kidsintow Sat 05-Jul-14 14:55:23

I don't have the flexibility of finishing early, as I'm a teacher. So instead I work 3 and a half days so that I can be at school twice a weeks to pick up my children. I've done the same for 8 years of school run and it seems to work. Can you choose which days? I find that Thurs and Fri are good because they are starting to get tired at the end of the week.

Lucretia Sat 05-Jul-14 17:45:37

Good point about the days, 2kids, thanks.

Supermum222 Wed 09-Jul-14 13:47:12


My children are in year 1 and year 5 at the moment. I work 3 days a week and I have also tried working 5 mornings a week so I could pick up everyday. I found working 5 mornings harder than working 3 full days as I was rushing around each morning and not getting any free time for other things like food shopping etc. I switched back to 3 days.
We have a breakfast club at school that opens at 8am. We don't need it all the time as DH works shifts but the children do enjoy going. It is £2 per child per day and they have a great choice.
After school, if DH can't collect, we have a lovely childminder who lives not far from school. A few others from school go too.
One thing I would love is the school holidays off. I would work 5 full days M-F if I got the school hols off. I think what you are suggesting (3 full days and 2 half days is fine).

Supermum222 Wed 09-Jul-14 13:48:27

Have you had the interview yet?

Lucretia Thu 10-Jul-14 16:37:48

Thanks supermum that's very helpful. Haven't had it yet... [nibbles fingers]

Lilaclily Thu 10-Jul-14 16:46:46

I've been job hunting for months & wasted countless hours worrying about child care only to not be offered the job

My new mantra is to wait & see if I get offered it & then worry grin

Good luck with the interview thanks

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