Struggling to find the work/family life balance help, pretty please(12 Posts)
I'm posting for a bit of support and to know I'm not the only one going through this. I have 4 ds aged 12,11, 4 and 1. I love them all to bits but having four has really tipped the balance for me and I find it a struggle. Ds4 is the worst sleeper. I was lucky with the other 3 they slept great but because I'm used to good sleepers it has come as a bit of a shock. He wakes between 4 and 20 times a night and is up for the day between 4am-5.30am. He has never been much of a napper in the day either. Ds3 has a great vocabulary for his age (I guess due to having older siblings) and wants to talk all day. I'm so tired though I struggle to give any of them the attention they need during the day.
I am currently training to be a childminder. But I'm just not sure it's the right career move for me. I don't think I'm going to cope with only the children for conversation and little to no adult interaction. I was a beauty therapist and I wanted a change as it's not a family friendly job. I don't want to work weekends as dh works away a lot and I often only see him at weekends. I've thought about a degree with the ou but they suggest part time to start meaning I would also need to find a job anyway. Those with 4 or more what jobs do you do and are you full or part time? I'm just trying to get an idea of what works around large families.
I also have 4 children 10, 9, 5 and almost 1. I work part time - I look after people with Dementia. I'm quite lucky as my boss is really good I drop oldest 3 at school then head to work and I'm back again to pick them up. I do have to work every other weekend and over Christmas but then I spose every job has it's pros and cons. But I love my job tho I don't think I'd be a le to anymore hours until youngest is at school then I may be able to and extra shift or 2
Tsoto thank you for the reply. Wow that must be quite a heavy going job. I think that's where I'm going wrong, with hours. I've mostly been looking at full time jobs and I think it will be too much with the current lack of sleep.
I wonder whether it's more just the reality that you still have a 1 yo? Mine are now 10, 9, 7 and 5 - so all in primary school - and it's much easier. It's not 'easy' but daytimes are free. I'm starting a TA course next year. I did plan just to go straight into teacher training when the youngest went to school, but the realities of four, with 2 having special needs, means I can't hit the ground running, we all need to adjust. Fortunately I don't have a financial need at the moment.
Could you do mobile beauty therapy? Advertise at schools for mums working part time/sahm. I friend does that with nails.
It'll always be tricky, but certainly if you're not getting enough sleep everything's going to look pretty hopeless.
I can see how childminding may feel 'too' much. I've thought that about teaching - a factor in starting off as a TA.
Jist been reading back through and wondered how things are?
I have 4 aged between 12-18 so mainly teenagers and to be honest I feel my life is a bit of a nightmare. It doesn't really get easier as they get older, the problems are just different. I work full time between 2 jobs and some of the work is at the weekend. I'm currently in the process of trying to negotiate reducing hours in one job to make it 30 hours overall as I feel like everything is going haywire at home. The house is a tip, meals are last minute with a lot of reliance on ready meals and I am permanently exhausted. My weekday days off ( 1 or 2 a week ) are taken up with orthodontics/ dermatology appointments/ dog walking and just generally catching up. I have no time at all to myself. Everything just seems to revolve around everyone else's needs. I think with a large family it's hard to find a career that fits in. Childminding sounds ideal but then when you are already looking after 4 of your own, I can understand how it could be very hard. I have one job ( 16 hours as nurse working nights and weekends and another in an advisory role - currently 22 hours but hoping to drop.
Before you make any life decisions you need to get your one year old to sleep. You cannot think properly when you're so sleep deprived.
My number 2 was a nightmare so we hired a sleep consultant. Not cheap at £200 but I would pay 10 times that and eat beans for the rest of my life because the sleep we gained and the improved mental health/reduction in stress was priceless.
Sort out your sleep and then see how you're feeling about work options.
Thanks for checking in Tsoto . I have actually started an apprenticeship at a school as admin. It’s 30 hours a week. I start at 8.30am. I really think I’ve made the wrong decision though. I’m so exhausted and really struggle to get us all out the house in the morning. Plus obviously the pay is rubbish. It’s a little soul destroying working for £3.50 an hour. My husband has just gone back to work after an op and is going to be working away Monday-Friday for 5 weeks. That makes it even harder as I average about 3 hours sleep a night.
I have completed my childminding course and just applied to a different school as a lunchtime supervisor. I’m thinking of doing before and after school childcare and the lunchtime assistant job if I get it. I think that’s maybe as much as I can manage while I still have such a young child. If my job didn’t have to come second (DH is he main earner) it would be different but I am often on my own juggling all four children. One with autism.
It's so hard juggling everything - you have my sympathy, Beautician. We have 6 kids aged 8 months to 9 years & both work full time (just coming to the end of my mat leave & honestly don't know how I'm going to fit 40+ hours of work a week back into an already chaotic life!!!) It all happens somehow...I'm just not sure how. I'm a secondary school teacher so there's a lot of work after hours too. Teaching/work in education definitely fits well with family life though as you're off the same times as the kids. And increasingly lower standards certainly come into play in terms of housework! I hope your little one starts to sleep a bit better for you. I'm still b/feeding No.6 & no.5 isn't a great sleeper at all but look I forward to getting a full night again at some point & not resembling a zombie!! Good luck to you.
Euan wow well done on the full time with 6 children. See that makes me think I’m just being a lazy whinge bag. I agree School hours do fit in better with children. If I did childminding I had planned on term time only care. I’m just not sure I can cope financially on an apprenticeship wage for a year when 3 weeks in I’m not learning yet. I don’t know I keep on changing my mind.
Definitely not being a lazy whinge bag, Beautician! It's far from easy. If I was qualified to do anything else (or won the lottery!!) much as I enjoy teaching, I hate all the extra after hours work...and they wouldn't see me for dust! I think mums - especially when you have a bigger than average brood - always feel like we're not doing the right thing & question our choices. If you stay at home full time you're not setting a good example to your kids & you lose your identity. If you work, you're doing a half assed job of being a mum & are always chasing your tail. That's how I feel anyway! Especially being off on mat leave at the mo - I realise that it's just so lovely to have more time with them & not feel so rushed & stressed all the time! Dreading going back to school in a few weeks for that reason! Could you do the term time childcare thing & maybe fit in the odd beauty client here & there when it suited you? Hope you find a solution. I'm still searching for one!
I struggle with 16hrs a week, would love to stop work altogether.
What Euan said sounds good - childminding term time then fitting in the odd beauty job but then its what works for you.
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