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How do you do FT work and primary aged children without losing sanity?

(18 Posts)
wonderstuff Sat 29-Nov-14 00:50:13

I'm currently working 4 days teaching, it's not really working terribly well, to progress my career i need to go FT. I feel like I'm doing a shit job at home and at school. I could do a three day week without guilt, but 4 is horrid. I currently have my mum doing one school drop off and 2 pick ups. Other than that I have no domestic help. I'm using school breakfast club and after-school club, which my eldest hates. My children are 7 and 4 (year R and year 2). What to do?

Rangirl Sat 29-Nov-14 10:21:35

I had my children much later than my friends and got a lot of advice smile One of the best bits was never work 4 days Everyone says part time is the best of both worlds but I think there is a strong argument that 4 days is the worst of both Less pay same amount of work 'day off' spent doing housework I would not dream of telling you what to do but you might be better looking at 3 days proper time off ,less of a workload,ok a bit less £ (tax credits?) or full time more £ afford a cleaner on top of things at work better for kids as continuity
I did 3 days when they were pre school and now do 5 short days so I can drop pick up most days


EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sat 29-Nov-14 10:24:55

Only have one child!
I do 30 hours a week and am LP to a year 1. I do two school pick ups and use after school clubs. I do housework and chores on Saturdays which for some reason DS likes doing with me and on Sundays and sometimes Saturday afternoons we do something nice. We manage. I can imagine it's harder with more kids though, but having a partner might balance that?

TheFallenMadonna Sat 29-Nov-14 10:26:53

DH dropped children off in the mornings, I picked up in the evenings. DC liked after school club. Lots of friends there. We do have a cleaner, and it makes a huge difference. And I get the holidays (also a teacher) which are a massive bonus for a working parent.

alicemalice Sat 29-Nov-14 10:28:24

I'm a lone parent and have a full on full-time job. I pay someone to take DD to school and do pick ups now. DD also hates after school club and she likes coming home. They can also do other jobs to help around the house from 3.30-6.30 and DD is all bathed and in PJs when I get home.

It's not cheap but I'm sucking it up for a few years as it makes life so much easier.

Caravanoflove Sat 29-Nov-14 10:33:55

I work four long days (8am-7-8pm) with a 45 min each way commute.
I don't do any drop offs or pick ups because no childcare would be open at those times. My husband does it all (self employed, this is affecting business).
It's shit. I don't see my kids. I definitely would be better off 5 days a week in that my workload wouldn't change massively and I'd earn £10k a year more. However I cling to the one day a week I see my kids after school.
I don't know what the answer is. I'm still in bed now as im knackered,my house is a tip and my youngest is poorly. Where's the fun in all that?
I envy my friends who don't work and often think what's the point in breaking our backs at work at the expense of our children?
Is it all worth it? I don't know

Mydelilah Sat 29-Nov-14 10:34:35

Sorry you are finding it tough, it will get better wink

I agree with Rangirl, 4 days is a bit of a no mans land... you have less time than your peers to get the job done as you dont have noticeably less workload, and not enough time at home to keep that ticking all week meaning a manic chores day on the 'off' day, rather than time with your DC/self.

You asked how others manage, so here is what works for me: I work fulltime (DC 6 and 4) and have a live in au pair for school drop off and pick ups and afternoon care. My DC also hated after school club. I also have a cleaner. Honestly if I had to do all the logistics and cleaning I'd be shattered and unhappy. Woukd some kind of extra help at home be feasible for you? It makes all the difference for me, and time at home with my DC is quality time.

It has definitely been worth it for me to stay in my career, have started accelerating on promotions etc in the last couple of years, I'm really glad I've stuck at it now even though there have been times when I've been very conflicted....

Artandco Sat 29-Nov-14 10:39:39

Can you pay someone to help in your home? Even a nanny is often cheaper if you have more than one child. If someone did pickup say 3pm-6pm they could cover homework being done, throw some
Kids laundry in wash, and cook dinner.

wonderstuff Sat 29-Nov-14 18:03:15

I don't have a spare room, so an au pair is out. I have spoken to my mum today, who is about to drop a day at work and has agreed to spend the day she does drop off housekeeping for me. I'll pay her, I need to find out the going rate, I don't want to take advantage. It will be a massive help. I agree that four days is rubbish, I much preferred 3, but I agreed to increase and take a promotion after working under quite an incompetent manager for too long. I now can't be promoted again without going full-time, it's not about the money, but job satisfaction.

Soveryupset Sun 30-Nov-14 08:23:08

It can be very hard without much support. My life would be so much easier if we had a nanny and a housekeeper/cleaner! Except we chose to send the kids private so other things had to go.

I have 4 children, all at primary and it is really tough. Logistically it will get better in a couple of years time when my dd1 will start secondary and my ds1 will be in year 6 as hopefully they will be a little more independent. However even through the hardest times I have felt no regrets with regards to my choices....we just need to win the lottery!! grin

DragonRojo Tue 02-Dec-14 16:13:34

dh did drop offs at school. A childminder collected from school and I did pick ups from the childminder. We both kept on working full time and traveling for work, but we did have a cleaner and at one point we had APs. You end up spending most of one salary paying for help but we found that in the long run it was worth it

Francezinha Wed 03-Dec-14 15:37:59

I just got back to FT work and we decided to get an au pair, which so far has been working REALLY well. At first I wasn't sure it would work, especially since we were trying to cut costs looking online (aupair village) but it's worked out surprisingly well and now I can't imagine what I'd do without her!
If you find a good one, it's perfect. The children (I have 2) have someone they can get used to, she's basically a face they see all day and trust by now and for us it's a huge relief, even with small tasks at home!

BakernDavisItWorks11 Sun 07-Dec-14 02:47:52

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Rinkydinkypink Sun 07-Dec-14 03:51:51

You need some help! Either a cleaner, outsource your laundry etc. consider breakfast and after school clubs it's the only way I manage.

VashtaNerada Sun 07-Dec-14 04:12:30

Both me & DH work FT and we cope because he does shifts and also my parents are able to help a lot. I don't really have the answers but it helps me to remember that I'm doing my best! We have to work to put food on the table and it's good for DC to see that. I don't have too high expectations for myself, I just make sure the DC feel loved. They don't particularly question our need to work, it's just a fact of life.

Gauri Sun 07-Dec-14 04:26:31

Haven't read all the messages but I agree with the 1st reply you got. Either go full time and pay for a cleaner and outsource things u can afford to outsource or have a proper part ine. Also, remember, this too shall pass.

Momzilla82 Sun 07-Dec-14 09:46:26

OP have you considered a job share? 3 days a week each. In my career- this is how you get promoted working part time. It is what I'm looking for when I go back in order to get on.

Makes sense for the employer, 2 heads better than 1, then get more resource than they're paying for, more highly experienced team etc. Works for you as you are not spread so thinly and have someone else to mull things over with.

It depends on total trust and finding the right person but it can work wonders.

In the absence of finding someone, then yes buy in as much help as you can afford and try to not best yourself up too much. You're doing the best you can and it won't always be like this. I say this as someone who went back to work with a 7 mo baby FT and commuted 1.5 hours each way. It was shit. I hated it. But no one died. My son isnt horribly damaged that I can tell.

Greengrow Sun 07-Dec-14 16:17:16

We always paid. Both worked full time and paid people to take to school (or used school coaches) and to collect at 3 and look after them and give them dinner by 6pm. Worked very well. Also why are you doing this not your husband? Children have two parents. he is not mentioned. Does he not see these things are his responsibility? Is he sexist?

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