Struggling with FT working

(8 Posts)
Pagetta Mon 19-Feb-18 13:43:21

I have 2 DS age 20 months and 5. I went back to work full time after DS1 and found it ok - hard emotionally and a big shift, but ok.

Then i had DS2. During mat leave we moved - not a million miles away but about 20 miles (but an hours drive) from my work. Also since DS1 hubby moved from banking to military so is now away a LOT - in fact he's now based 300 miles away mon to thurs every week, plus trips on top of that. He has been away abroad the last 3 weeks, home for 6 days of half term, now away again for 3 and a half weeks.

We have no real family nearby - my brother in law babysits when needed but he is a recently divorced 30 something enjoying single life so its not like he has loads of saturdays and sundays free!

We bought the house with long term in mind, but it was expensive, and so I do have to work. And i don't begrudge that at all.

I've been lucky to do well in my career, so i do earn a lot more than childcare costs, so me not working would be a huge impact on household income. Also as i am at a strategic level its not really got potential for job share. Once 30 free hours kick in, i could probably look for something on less money or part time, but right now it wouldn't make financial sense.

DS2 is at a childminder by work, but DS1 is at school right by home from 7.30am to 6pm, which is fab hours, but is a logistical nightmare, and i'm lucky that my boss is fairly flexible as i'm ALWAYS late in and ALWAYS have to leave early because of horrendous traffic. I'd cut my hours but then i'd just be doing the same job for less moeny, hence why i keep full time!

I have negotiated WFH one day a week, and have DS2 in a more local nursery - which has been great, but its just not feasible for me to do this much more than one day.

I'm just struggling with the logistics and guilt of it all. I only see the boys about 3 hours a day which sucks - I miss them! I'm always frazzled and shouty, which also sucks. A lot of my friends and family live around the country, so plan get togethers on weekends, but recently come the weekend i'm so shattered and fed up of driving that I end up often not joining them (which is really unlike me).

I'm basically just struggling generally and its really getting me down and I wondered if any advice - either ways to cope practically or emotionally.

We bought the house and had the second baby knowing DH was moving away, and that it would be a tough couple of years emotionall and financially until free hours kick in, and hubby is back working locally. I am trying to see the bigger long-term picture and concentrate on that, and that it WILL get easier - but its really really hard. I'm shattered and really low.

I have been looking at other jobs, but for financial purposes I need either something really local and lower paid (i get a car with work so any new job would need to incorporate buying a car or be very close to the house!) OR i need something part time and more local, but generally part time jobs are a lower pro-rata salary. Also I do actually LIKE my job so it makes me sad to think of leaving it!

On the one hand I know i'll never get this time back and I wish i had to guts to jack it all in and just enjoy my boys.

But on the other hand we have a monster mortgage, a pretty horrible credit card from my mat leave, and if I just stick it out then come 30 hours and hubby moving back we'll be in a much better position, and hubby will be back and things will ease - maybe we'll even go on holiday ha! But we'll be in a house and area we have come to LOVE and both be doing ok career-wise.

I guess advice from other FT working mums would be appreciated. I feel totally overwhelmed at the minute.

And that's not bringing into it the fact i'm horribly broody and desperate for a third (!!!) ha ha!

OP’s posts: |
Chosenbyyou Mon 19-Feb-18 13:59:58


It sounds like you have it tough - most of the work is on you.

Sorry this is an aside but I am amazed (and probably very uninformed!) that your DH would quit banking for the military!

Sounds like a good idea to look for a closer well paying job. In the mean time probably need coping strategies? Could you condense your hours to work longer and shorter days? The WFH day sounds good - can you do a long day that day to allow you to do less on the office days and get home earlier?

I work compressed hours 4 days a week. We are finding it hard with a 10mo and a 3yo but that is probably more the ages of our two. My DH is a doctor so works shifts - great as he has a day in the week where he looks after them alone but means I am often on my own for my three days 'off'.

I find the days on my own with them lonely and very mundane. I find it hard to do too much handling two but hope this will get easier!

I like my job and it sounds similar to yours. I struggle as I am awake all night with my youngest but I cling on that it won't be forever!

Hope that is helpful - it's tough going and you are not alone! smile xx

Chosenbyyou Mon 19-Feb-18 14:01:07

Oh but I will not be having any more babies! I am 100% sure!! My DD was hard work and my DS isn't that much easier so I am giving up lol! Fair play to you xx

Pagetta Mon 19-Feb-18 14:18:49

Ha well we are undecided as yet - nothing is happening until DH is at most 9 months off being based back home!

Yes a strange career move - he was a reservist, and after a tough tour in 2010 he found it very hard to go back to banking, so he decided to go full time military - and he is doing amazing and loves it - i genuinely couldn't be prouder! it was a decision we made together and I do support him - even though i resent him at times for it, which can be difficult!

The loneliness is partly what is getting me down as you say - especially the weekends! It can be very mundane.

Sadly i can't condense hours due to the after school club hours and there is only one childminder locally who is full (we moved properly out to the sticks!)

Aw must be tough with baby still waking up - broken sleep really takes its toll! But that bit will definitely ease soon!xxx

OP’s posts: |
Chosenbyyou Tue 20-Feb-18 05:55:15


Sounds like it will be worth it in the end then but is going to be tough for a year or so esp for you!

Maybe you will have to slog through it - like I am! I have kept things going by booking things to look forward to - trips away with the family and a holiday. The thing I want to do but haven't yet is book a day off work whilst they are both at nursery - that would be fab haha!

If you have any tips for the lonely weekends please let me know! I hope it will get better when they get a bit bigger and can do more smile

Sounds like you have a fab life in the long run! X

itsmeyouknow Mon 26-Feb-18 12:35:15

Do you have parents that would be willing to travel? Not a long term solution but when you weigh up nursery costs and family time would paying for parents to come to you 2 days a week work better? You could do longer days on those days and know that your kids are with family rather than being in nursery. We did this temporarily and it worked well.

LadyLapsang Mon 26-Feb-18 22:29:35

Could either of you take a career break for a year or each take six months off? Not exactly great timing on your DH's part for working away from home while expecting you to work full time and look after the children single handed. Were he earning mega money and you were a SAHM or working very part time it would be different.

NellMangel Mon 26-Feb-18 22:39:37

Tbh I would ask current employer if I could go part time. Then try to be disciplined about not doing full time hours at part time pay.

It sounds really tough.

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