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In your experience: going back to work pastime: a four day week over five days or four days with a full day off?

(20 Posts)
pia78 Wed 25-Jan-17 23:14:43

Seeking opinions on what works best when juggling work and childcare. I'm going to go back to work part time and am considering either working four days with a day off or four days spread over five shorter days. Any thoughts?

milkjetmum Wed 25-Jan-17 23:16:22

Depends on age of children. 4 full days if preschool, 5 shorter days if school age

busyboysmum Wed 25-Jan-17 23:16:25

I've done both and the joy of having that one day off all to myself to do whatever I like is incomparable. It's worth its weight in gold.

busyboysmum Wed 25-Jan-17 23:17:55

And all mine are at school. Think about yourself. Just for one day. If you do the 5 days you are just on a treadmill of juggling.

Xmasbaby11 Wed 25-Jan-17 23:18:08

4 days and a day off. It means a whole extra day with your dc and switched off from work.

Xmasbaby11 Wed 25-Jan-17 23:20:07

Oh, with school aged dc?I think I'd probably still do 4 full days as long as you can get good wraparound childcare. I don't really like doing short or half days at work. I'd rather get a full day's work done.

hoddtastic Wed 25-Jan-17 23:21:58

4 days, or compressed long hours for 3 would be/is my ideal.

charlestrenet Wed 25-Jan-17 23:28:57

4 days, definitely. You'd probably still have to sort some kind of childcare out even if you spread it over five so you'd still be paying. With four days, even if you're tired by day two, the next day you're on the home straight. And then you've got a day to do all the boring stuff that just doesn't get done if you work every day, but will fuck you up if you leave it. And if they're at school, some time to yourself and some head space.

FusionChefGeoff Wed 25-Jan-17 23:33:29

4 days. And Thursday is a great day to have off. Good run up at the start of the week, only have to hold things for a day (i.e. not 3 days if a Fri or Mon off) then Friday always seems like a lower key day than most and then the weekend.

pia78 Thu 26-Jan-17 09:57:25

Thanks, seems the consensus is four days...
My issue is that I have a 5 year old and 9 month old. i felt having the 9 month old in daycare until 6 in the evenings then getting home etc..would be a really long day for her. If I spread it over five days then at least I'd be able to pick her up around 3 and spend the afternoons together...doesn't seem as harsh for the poor little thing. Arggggh at the moment I can't even get her to take a bottle so have no idea how this is going to happen - I've got until mid April.

Jackiebrambles Thu 26-Jan-17 10:03:38

I currently work 4 full days and my son will soon start school (got an 18 month old too).

I have toyed with the idea of changing my hours to do it over 5 days instead so I can do school pick up every day, but after chatting to some friends I'm going to stick with 4.

It means that on my day off I can do both school pick up and drop off. And spend some quality time with my little one, just us two.

Also, I know working 5 days everything will just be a rush all the time, getting to work, leaving work etc. At least I only have to do that for 4 days a week. It means that on my day off I can do loads of washing and do house stuff like boiler servicing etc, which is annoying to schedule for weekends.

Plus if I work 5 days when its the school holidays I'll need to cover 5 days rather than 4.

busyboysmum Thu 26-Jan-17 10:49:59

Yes the holiday cover is an issue too. I have Fridays off as we have a caravan so wanted a day I could tag onto weekends in the holidays - when it's a bank holiday that gives me a lovely long weekend.

Zoya2017 Mon 30-Jan-17 10:02:23

I compress 35hrs into four days at work. My travel is 3hrs round trip. I want to reduce my hours and work 3 long days at work instead of 4. I have a 19 month old and twins going into school September. I can afford the pay cut. I want to go part time because I dislike the travel, my job can be stressful and want to spend more time being a mum and housewife. However I want to remain being seen as a professional who can still be considered for new job opportunities and promotion. Am I considering the right option? Should 1. commute and finish early four days so I'm home when the kids are? 2. work 3 long days instead take a pay cut? Are there other options?

BackforGood Mon 30-Jan-17 10:14:57

Depends on the job.
I'm confused by your last post - if you can't pick her up until 6 when doing '5 days work in 4 days' but can pick her up at 3 if you don't, then that's 12 hours (4 x the 3 hour difference) you seem to be counting as a full day?
If you are already working 12 hours per day, then how are you goin to squash that into 4 days?

If you are doing a job where you 'deal with what is there in front of you' - eg working in a shop or other customer services, then doing either can work
If you are working in a job where you 'complete projects' then you'll probably end up still doing the same amount of work so might as well get paid to compress 5 days into 4. If you go down to being paid for 4 days, I bet your work won't be reduced by 1/5, unless they are employing a job share.

If it's about money, then check how your Nursery charges - do you pay for a 'session' regardless of when you pick up, or do you pay by the hour?
If you do the shorter days does that mean you can get to pick up from school every day? (lovely in itself, but also saving wrap around care costs) ?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 30-Jan-17 10:19:31

It totally depends on whether you really would get time off working 4 days across 5 days or if you would end up working 5 days for 4 days pay.

If there's even the vaguest possibility of the latter I would go for the whole day off.

Can your partner do any earlier pick ups if you're worried about the baby?

museumum Mon 30-Jan-17 10:24:15

Depends on your commute too. I had a bottle refusing ds who went to nursery at 6mo so I picked him up at 4 as I felt it was too long without milk.
He now does full days and we have Fridays off but when he goes to school I'll change again to five shorter days so I can do reading and homework and dinner with him.

museumum Mon 30-Jan-17 10:25:04

Also - our after school club closes at 5:45 so we'd need a cm or something if I worked till near 6.

Afo Mon 30-Jan-17 10:31:59

Ibe done the shorter hours (30)over 5 days, 8.30-2.30. No lunch break and thought I would eat when I got home after school pickup. With homeworks and after school snack etc I found I rarely took a proper lunch, just picked on crap.
I'm on ML at present but hoping when I go back I can go back to 4 days or fingers crossed 3 slightly longer days and a shorter day, so 2 afternoon with the kids as opposed to one afternoon on 4 days.

Chasingsquirrels Mon 30-Jan-17 10:34:25

I've done different things at different times.

Return to work after dc1 (7m): 3 full days. Left home at 7.20am to drop him and be in work for 8am, left at 4.30pm, collected him and home around 5.15pm. Mon, Wed & Thu.

Return to work after dc2 (dc1 then 4 & dc2 15m): cut hours to 20 over 4 shorter days, home by around 2-2.30pm.

Both in school: increased hours to 25 over 4 days, worked a longer day on a Monday and an early start Tuesday (as by then split with ex and he has them Mon night), otherwise dropping at school, straight to work till 2.30pm then collecting from school.

Secondary & older primary: same hours but they take themselves to/from school and I often don't get home until 4pm, although haven't been doing the late Mon & early Tue.

Am lucky that work has been flexible.

Butterpuff Mon 30-Jan-17 11:56:00

I had a bottle refusing 9 month old when she started nursery. Only 2 days a week here but really it just weaned her a bit faster down to a morning and evening only feed and she had more solids. Quite happily. I think they don't really understand time that much so 8am to 6pm with the other babies a long sleep and endless meals didn't seem to bother her at all. I had considered 4 half days. But that just draws out the juggling.

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