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Working nights when you have pre-school children. Am I mad to consider it?

(22 Posts)
Stuffed Thu 21-Aug-08 10:13:11

I have managed to slowly run up £18,000 on credit cards.

DH has been paying minimum payments, but he is self emplyed and money isn't exactly rolling in atm. He has bigger debts, which is why he has ignored mine. He does earn a reasonable amount, so we don't get tax credits, but all our money is paying off debts.

All my cards are now maxed out, so I've decided to get a grip, and get a job. Funily enough, I won't earn enough to pay off the debt if I'm paying for childcare, so working nights seems the only option. This way I should be able to pay off the debt in 2 years.

Please tell me it is doable. I really can't see any other option.

Bubble99 Thu 21-Aug-08 10:16:01

Will you have anyone around to let you get some sleep during the day at all?

If not, you might be able to make it work by doing one night on/one night off.

Sawyer64 Thu 21-Aug-08 10:17:42

I do it! although I try and do a Friday/Saturday night so DH can look after the DC whilst I sleep until 1pm.

I work with an Agency as the rate of pay is higher,then I can work less.

I have considered doing it weeknights,but did one and found it very tiring,and I was snappy all day. Could have done it if it was term time though as DD1 would have been at playgroup, and DD2 has a 2 hour nap in the morning.

Bubble99 Thu 21-Aug-08 10:18:14

Could you do a deal with a friend to look after your DCs on the mornings after you've finished work?

FAQ Thu 21-Aug-08 10:22:16

I did it for 1 1/2yrs. Worked 3/4 nights a week as a care assistant. H didn't leave for work until around lunchtime, and for a while DS2 still had a nap in the afternoon. So to start with I'd go to bed as soon as I got in from work, around 8ish, H would put DS2 down for a nap at lunch time and I would get up around 3pm to get DS1 from school.

about 9 months into working there DS2 stopped napping, so I changed my shifts so that I was working night on, night off (except weekends) and stay up. It was hard, especially when I was pg with DS3 - being up from 8am Monday morning, through to 9pm (or later) Tuesday night, with a 9 1/4hr shift on the Monday night, being pg and 2 DS's to look after - but I managed it.

Meant I didn't see much of H though - he would get from work at 9.30pm and I'd walk out the door to work,

Stuffed Thu 21-Aug-08 10:22:24

No friends avialable, but DD would be in nursey in the mornings. It would be 3 nights a week, including a Friday, but DH always works Saturday, so I suppose that could be tricky, as I have older (lively)Dc's

FAQ Thu 21-Aug-08 10:23:48

if you can ensure that your 3 nights a week are not together it is doable - but I won't lie to you it is hard.

cthea Thu 21-Aug-08 10:31:29

You need to be realistic. An 18K debt will be much higher by the time it's paid off. Working only half-time would take you at least a couple of years to get rid of it. It's a tough commitment. But it's worth giving it a go. Then you'll be asleep during the day and won't spend more.

hannahsaunt Thu 21-Aug-08 10:33:53

How old are your DCs? My mum did two nights a week when I was small, mainly to keep her hand in (specialist nurse). She did Sundays and Thursdays (I think) as I had school and db had morning playgroup the mornings after her night so she could get a couple of hours sleep. The rest of the day she said she survived by staying in perpetual motion... maybe it could be easier with slightly older children who could be a bit more self sufficient (you doze at least while they can watch a DVD or something?)

myalias Thu 21-Aug-08 10:45:41

Could you get a retail weekend job - Sunday is normally paid at time and half. Plus work a couple of evening shifts.
I have worked early evenings in the past, 3 evenings 6.00 - 11.00 and it is extremely tiring.

Stuffed Thu 21-Aug-08 12:11:15

I have looked at evenings - DH doesn't come home early enough to make it possible.
cthea - atleast I will be paying off the debt. For ages, I have only been paying the minimm payment, then paying for swimming lessons, childrens shoes, pertol exetra with credit cards. I haven't been extravagant, but I now see friends with no debts, whose husbands earn the same as mine going skiing, and on holiday to Florida. I litterally have no money available now the cards are maxed out, so can't even afford a day trip to London.We haven't had a holiday this year.

I've decided working 11pm-7pm 3 nights will be possible. Wish me luck with my application!

Stuffed Thu 21-Aug-08 12:11:32


cthea Thu 21-Aug-08 12:22:59

"I now see friends with no debts, whose husbands earn the same as mine going skiing, and on holiday to Florida." Are you sure it's not on credit as well? Those are expensive things.

Good luck with getting the job, though. It's a long night but you can always do a few months and reassess. I've been working on a PhD at night these past few years - and I often wonder why I took it on. It is tiring.

MrsMattie Thu 21-Aug-08 12:28:14

I admire you for taking the bull by the horns and trying to sort out your debt.

My advice would be to think very carefully about night work - is it the only option?

I worked nights for 2 years without kids and it was extremely hard going. The upside down sleep patterns had a disruptive effect on all areas of my life, which crept up slowly until in the end it affected my physical and mental health quite badly.

I'm not being pessimisstic, but think long and hard about whether you'll be able to cope with it.

brimfull Thu 21-Aug-08 12:33:01

I do nights,2 a week .

I do them separately as I need to sleep less .My dcs are in school.

I get away with sleeping until lunchtime,so if you could manage to get them sorted until then ,then yes you could manage it.

Without childcare or playgroup you'd be too knackered I reckon

Stuffed Thu 21-Aug-08 12:37:12

My friends don't put things on credit, the onces taking the holidays don't even have credit cards!

DH does earn a reasonable amount, but has run up bills with his buisnes.

The only alternative is for us to go bankrupt, rent a house, and for DH to have a warehouse type job. We have talked about it, and if we were to do that we see no reason in staying in this part of the country. Partly because of the embarrassmet we would feel. DS is extreamly sensative to change though, so we feel doing everything we can to maintian living in this house, and keeping him at the same school has to be worth it in order to maintain his mental health. DS has worked hard to build up his buisness,and his family(and I) are very proud of him. We've always talked light heartedly about the DC's going into the family buiness. I'm just trying to explain why we would reather slog our guts out than go for bankrupcy. And I'm sure in 10 years time we will have worked through this. smile

Stuffed Thu 21-Aug-08 12:39:31

ggirl, what do you do during the school holidays?

mamadiva Thu 21-Aug-08 12:42:02

I work 3 13 hour nights a week in a care home and my DS is 2YO.

If I am working a night through the week I come home take him to nursery and come back and sleep then DP picks him up. I also put him in through the day if I'm working that night so I can have a quick sleep.

I couldn't survive without nursery infact I am barely surviving now but needs must I suppose.

brimfull Thu 21-Aug-08 12:52:04

I am lucky I ahve 16 yr old dd who will babysit .Not sure I will be able to continue nights when she goes to uni.

I do feel permanently jet lagged btw.

Stuffed Thu 21-Aug-08 13:03:34

The phone seems to ring continusly all day - I can tell from caller id it's the credit card companies, so am ignoring them. (Have missed payments this month)

brimfull Thu 21-Aug-08 13:08:11

can you not consolidate them into a manageable monthly payment.
don't they have companies that do this for people?

Stuffed Thu 21-Aug-08 13:27:25

"manageable montly payment" still means I need to pay them off some how, though.

Untill now they have been manageable.

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