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Is working part time really the best of both worlds because it feels like the worst of both.

(12 Posts)
TreeTrunkThighs Fri 25-Sep-09 18:11:15

I need some help seeing the benefits of working part time.

I've been working 3 weeks now, doing four mornings in the family business. The actual job is great and I enjoy my time there but it seems that I am not enjoying anything else any more. DD1 is at school and DD2 is settling well into nursery.

Remind me what the benefits are of working...please!

llareggub Fri 25-Sep-09 18:12:56

I much prefer full days at work. Half days do seem like the worst of both worlds. Any chance you could work 2 longer days instead of 4 half days?

wonderingwondering Fri 25-Sep-09 18:17:25

It takes a while to settle down - when I returned to work p/t it took ages to settle in to a routine. Stuff like getting the food ready, making sure the washing is up to date and things.

I used to find I didn't sit down until nearly ten o'clock after doing all the domestic stuff. But it is not like that now. I like my job, but I've got home routine that works around it. So I make two dinners the day before I work so I don't have to cook when I get in; shop for the week rather than the daily pop to the shops that I used as an outing when I was at home full-time, make sure the washing goes on once a day so the loads don't build up.

It will get easier, and if you like your job, then I'd recommend sticking with it.

cat64 Fri 25-Sep-09 18:30:17

Message withdrawn

ChasingSquirrels Fri 25-Sep-09 18:40:55

On the other had I much prefer working part days.

I originally went back 3 days (8am - 4.30pm, which meant leaving home around 7.25am and back 5pm). I just felt that on those 3 days all I did was get ds1 up and out, get home make tea and put him to bed.

I then did 4 part days (8am - 1pm) and for me that worked much better, I was in work for an extra day and so felt more in touch with things, I had time with ds each day and had a day off to get things done at home.

I am very lucky in that my mum did the bulk of my childcare and came to my house to do so, so I just had to get myself up and out and she sorted the ds's.

I have now moved offices and do 4 part days (9am - 2pm). I drop the ds1 at school and ds2 with the CM at school and am in work for 9am. CM takes ds2 to pre-school and my mum picks him up and I am home in time to collect ds1 from school and have the afterschool time with him. And get a day off with ds2 at home.

Obvious benefit - money.
But for me I also get something from working that I didn't get from being at home with the children.

notcitrus Fri 25-Sep-09 19:48:33

I've been back 5 weeks now, working 3 days, A in nursery 2/3 days and MrNC has responsibility one day (a couple times he's arranged A to go to nursery so he can do building work at home).

It's pretty good so far - but I've learnt I really have to get everything ready for both me and A the night before, so I can get up and shower and eat and dress even if there's a small person tugging at me through the whole thing, and then get A dressed and in pushchair and off we go. The nursery is next to the station. And A loves it, despite some recent staff turnover.

The hard bit is leaving bang on 5pm from work, and it will get trickier to manage people's expectations of what can be done in 3 days. Luckily the whole division is understaffed and everyone is overworked and having to practice saying 'no' and meaning it, so I'm not 'different' there. And I'm valued because no-one else applied for my post in 6 months, which helps!

The money is a huge relief, the chance to use my brain for 'grown up' stuff that isn't laundry is great, escaping the clutter of the house regularly is good, and I appreciate A more even when he's being an exasperating toddler and I make more effort to play with him. The state of the house is slipping but we're having our cleaner who used to come monthly come fortnightly instead (I have arm problems so can't hoover or sweep or scrub which is an issue). I tend to cook and pre-prepare food once or twice a week so there's stuff to make a meal from in 5 min on the other days.

So so far it's mainly the best of both worlds - especially when I had possible swine flu (luckily just very nasty cold) on Monday, took A to nursery and went back home for a day off sick. SAHMs don't get sick days! A whole day in bed, OK feeling terrible, but a lot better than if A had been needing me!

Now if anyone has advice on dealing with the clothes and nappy mountains - right size for all different weathers, pile of too big and pile of too small waiting to go back to SIL, clean nappies and washed liners and all - I'm all ears...

Kiwinyc Sat 03-Oct-09 19:58:38

I agree with the others who do full-days and have full days off. I would hate working half-days, its too much hassle to get ready for work, the travel etc for just a few hours every day. I do all my laundry on my days off but also shove a load on in the morning and put on the timer so its just finishing when i get home in the evening.

mumzy Sat 10-Oct-09 08:16:34

Could you work school hours for 3 days eg. 9.30-3.30pm. I love working part-time as you get enough of work but not so much it takes over your life and you get some time to do other things which interest you and still be there for your dc.

onadietcokebreak Sat 10-Oct-09 08:23:59

Gotta say I agree. If I worked mornings only I would find it hard to get out of work "brain" in the afternoon.

I used to work 4 full days, then dropped to 3 full days and now Im a SAHM (who is also a college so not disimilar to working)

On my days off we normally had something planned and I was more relaxed as working week had finished.

OP It will take a while to find your feet again and see if this is working for you if not maybe consider a trial of full days and see if that works.

PuppyMonkey Sat 10-Oct-09 08:34:08

Three full days at work is your ideal scenario, imhe. Any more, and work takes over too much.

suey2 Sat 10-Oct-09 08:43:24

I think the right balance is hard to achieve. I found that 2 full days and one half day with childcare for 3 full days the perfect balance. I have a bit of me time and catching up time so I can devote myself to dd on my days 'off'. But I am still the primary carer which was important to me.

spritch Sat 10-Oct-09 10:10:46

I'd definitely try and get the full day option - it makes all the difference. Forms a proper line between home and work

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