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Managing with 3 children under 5 and returning to work

(16 Posts)
Jem01 Wed 31-Jul-19 14:20:55

Hope I am posting in the right group...

How manageable is it returning to work after 3rd child? Keen to hear experiences from full time or part time parents with 3 children under the age of 5.

Everyone I know (family/friends) who have 3 or more children, the mother (or father) stays at home. Our current situation is dh works full time, I work part time and we have 3 year old and 18 month old.

We are thinking about trying again in the new year. However I am worried that I wont be able to manage my time well. I feel like i am only just about coping now with 2 children and work part time.

I do realise that I am one of those people who worry a lot and I did feel like this when baby 2 arrived (in fact, it wasn't until about 3 months after returning to work I really felt I found my rhythm). Is it silly for me to do this again?

We don't want to put off any longer having 3rd for several reasons, we like the small age gap and because of my age and having to do a frozen cycle of IVF we would need to do this sooner rather than later.

I also do not want to delay going back to work (will need to!) so stopping work is not an option for me.

Sorry rambling, hope all this makes sense. Just keen to hear from others in similar situations who have 3 young children and work and how they manage...


Skittlenommer Wed 31-Jul-19 19:28:30

**“ I feel like i am only just about coping now with 2 children and work part time”.

This is your answer.

Stick to the two you have!

MissSmiley Wed 31-Jul-19 19:40:49

Don't even think of putting two Frosties back in these circumstances, I had ivf twins for my third pregnancy

Brain06626 Thu 01-Aug-19 04:49:37

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Nautiloid Thu 01-Aug-19 05:12:28

I have 3 DC, eldest 2 had just turned 4 when youngest was born. I have worked since my youngest was 16 weeks old. Had to start maternity leave early due to pregnancy issues.
We weren't high earners so couldn't really countenance childcare for all. For a few years, my husband has worked nights and I've worked days...we do long shifts usually on different days so it works ok with sleep though my DH works most weekends.
It's been absolutely fine. Things at home aren't always as tidy as I'd like but everiis pretty organised.
Kids are now going into Y5 and Y1 and our earnings have increased so if we want to now DH could work days again.
The only thing I have really not liked is that DH is effectively not around almost every weekend.

EarringsandLipstick Thu 01-Aug-19 05:16:20

Really surprised to read this @Jem01

* Everyone I know (family/friends) who have 3 or more children, the mother (or father) stays at home*

Few people that I know, do this. Many people I know, myself included, work f/t with 3 children. I have 3, the oldest was a little over 4 when the youngest was born & I've continued to work full time.

But I do this because I want to, as well as financial necessity (single parent). My children are older now (12, 10, 8) & I actually find it harder as they have more commitments eg longer homework, sports, other activities.

But the key part is what you go on to say
* feel like i am only just about coping now with 2 children and work part time.*

If it's not something you want, don't pressure yourself.

Panicmode1 Thu 01-Aug-19 05:47:58

I have four and worked full or part time until after #4, by using childminders, nurseries and then nannies. DH travels a lot with his job, and I also used to, and after my last child I realised I wasn't doing anything very well, the children weren't liking having a nanny, not their mother at the school gates etc, and so I happily resigned to be a SAHM.

If you are already struggling with 2 and working, I honestly can't see how having another will help, and as someone says upthread, it gets harder as they get older. I now work PT and do a lot of volunteering etc, but all within school hours so I can be here when they need ferrying around and to offload about their days....

Jem01 Thu 01-Aug-19 20:36:44

Thanks for all your responses it’s given me a lot to think about!

MyAppleTree Thu 01-Aug-19 20:44:12

I had 3 under 5 and went back 4 days per week, split up with (now ex H) in that time. I coped but it wasn’t easy. Moved to full time with 3 under 6.

I have some family support from grandparents, house was the thing to go. Tidyness is a thing of the past!

It’s doable but not fun I’ll be honest, but work gave me focus through the divorce and a sense of self, and of course money!

MyAppleTree Thu 01-Aug-19 20:45:01

Also now in a position where youngest is 5 and I have a career rather than trying to start all over again.

Stuckforthefourthtime Thu 01-Aug-19 20:49:44

I have 4 aged 7 and under and DH and I both work full time. It is manageable but to make it work well you need either a good support network or money to pay for that support. Even with that, we do find that our leisure time (and leisure cash) is gone.

However - if you enjoy being with your kids and having your family be the focus of your world then it's worth it! But if you're already finding it hard with two and part time, then that might not be you and that's ok too.

BackforGood Thu 01-Aug-19 21:18:30

I did. I didn't find it anymore difficult with three than two, tbh - you are both on that timescale of getting them to childcare then on to work, and the reverse in the evening.
That said, it was dc1 that I found the most lifechanging. Dcs 2 and 3 sort of slotted in.

I mean, it was hard work at the time, but then parenting young children is difficult. Good childcare is crucial, and so is being organised.

Winterlife Thu 01-Aug-19 21:24:53

We had 3, 4 years between oldest and youngest.

My husband was home with them during the day, worked evenings. I left work at 4:14 and met him at work at his workplace, where I picked them up every day.

Once they were in school, they went to my parents' home after school, and I picked them up later. It's workable, if you can split your work times. Nevertheless, it is very busy.

PotteringAlong Thu 01-Aug-19 21:29:12

I had 3 under 5; they’re now 7, 4 and 2. I work full time as a teacher, as does my DH.

Stuckforthefourthtime Thu 01-Aug-19 22:51:59

As you can see from the last two posts (split shifts, local parents, teachers so able to cover school holidays), having childcare options really is the key to making 3 work. Without that it is very hard or very very expensive...

Alislia17 Fri 02-Aug-19 04:49:22

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