Advice on working part-time and nursery(9 Posts)
Further to the post I made about nursery recommendations, I have also been thinking of converting my job to part-time work. I have been feeling immensely guilty about leaving my child in nursery for 5 days a week. Could I ask mums who have used nurseries when their babies are young (under 1 or around 1 year old):
- Could you share any positive or negative experience of full time nursery?
- If you have worked part time, what works for you, e.g. 5 mornings, or 2 days or 3 days a week etc ?
- If you have worked part time, at what age do you return to full time work? If you could decide again, would you have returned to full-time sooner or later?
Thank you very much for your advice.
Most of these questions are going to be very 'circumstance dependent'..... how much leave you are entitled to... what your finances are like .... how much you like your job .... how much of a 'career' it is, that you need to remain involved in / up to date with and how much it is a 'job' you can step away from and perhaps strt again some years later .....what your commute is like .... what your partner does (in terms of shared pick ups / drop offs).
When my dc were little, we only had 3 months maternity leave, so is a bit different from today. I was also a teacher in a school, so it made a lot of sense to me to be back to start with a new class in September, rather than having an extra month at home but then having to take over the class a month or two into the year - other jobs will presumably have similar 'busy times' or 'easier times' of year, and for other jobs it won't matter.
My dc were looked after by a CM rther than a Nursery, and, tbh, I didn't ever think about them for a minute whilst at work - life's just too busy. Hoever, I found it hard work to do a 60 odd hour week, with dc.
When I went PT (when dc2 was born), I was adamant I didn't want to work 1/2 a day. You still have all the hassle of getting them to childcare, and, once in work you think "Oh, I'll just....." and you never get away once started. You also en up with no full days at home to do what you want to with. I'd definitely recommend complete days at work and complete days at home with a baby - you might find it better to do shorter days once they are at school.
Can't really answer the later / sooner question more than I have, except to say a lot of dc go through a bit of separation anxiety at around 10 months old, so t might not be the best time to start leaving them.
I went back to work 4 days a week when DD was 11 months old. She does 3 days in nursery as MIL has her one day a week. Three days works well as there was a child who only went one day a week and took ages to settle.
Not sure if I would go back to full time hours would depend on future circumstances but probably not before secondary age. Seems to be easier to be a working parent when they are younger as nurseries offer longer hours than school and nice closes for a handful of training days plus time at Christmas rather than the huge amount of school holidays you have to cover once they hit school age.
I echo what BackforGood says about doing complete work days rather than part days. Otherwise you never quite get enough time in each place on any given day. I went back to work after 9 months and my DS settled really well so that seemed to work to just miss separation anxiety.
Yes to p/t full days. I did 3 days a week - also worth checking out how your company treats bank holidays for leave. For most people (where bank holidays are added onto your leave) it never pays to work Mondays so think about that.
I did 3 days per week for about 8 years then went up to 4. Career has nose dived and it's only really now (my eldest DC is now 11) that the differences between those who stayed FT (or went to say 4 days) and those of us who went down to 3 days is quite marked - they've progressed much more. Sometimes I do therefore wonder where I'd be career wise but I / the children wouldn't have the social lives they do if I'd gone back full time as they'd have missed out on play dates, after school activities and I wouldn't have made my "mummy" friends that I was able to make through chatting in the playground / doing play dates where the parents all had a coffee etc.
You will never look.back and regret not spending so much time at work. I'd cut down to the number of days you can afford and accept that your career will slow for a few years. You can always up the days if you feel the fewer days doesn't work for.you. your child will be so much happier with more of your time rather than being kept alive in a nursery for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week
in answer to your questions.
- I went back 3 days and my mum looked after my son initially. I don't see him in the mornings but I got.home for bedtime hour ands this worked v well for 10 months. my son kept his usual routine and toddler round going and got the 1-on-1 care that under 2's thrive on.
At 20m he went to nursery 3 days and was happy there. We did this for 4 months and then I went on mat leave again and looked after him myself. I didn't particularly like taking him to.nursery because I knew he was just a number being processed throughout the day.
He started pre-prep at 2.5 which he loved. fwiw I think that preschools/nursery attached to a school is better than the private ones.
there's no way I would return to work full time with a pre school child. They are only.young once!
I went back 4 days a week when DD was 6 months old and she started nursery at 8 months old (DH was off with her in between).
She did 3 full days at nursery and one day with me, and one with DH which worked well. No issues at all at nursery, she's well settled and seems to enjoy it - she runs in quite happily in the mornings and is cheerful at pick up so I don't feel too guilty.
I went back full time when she was 14 months so now she does 4 days at nursery and one with DH. I'm not sure she really noticed the extra day, tbh!
It all worked well for us and I'd do the same again. It does depend on circumstances a lot as a PP said. In my case, my career is important to me and taking longer off would have set me back at that stage. Also, while I love DD to bits, I do find small babies a bit dull (toddlers are much more fun!)
I'm due DC2 now and will take slightly longer, but that's mostly so I can spend time with DD1 as well now she's interesting! (Fingers crossed DC2 is a happy baby who is content to go in the sling and come along with us!)
Ideally I would do 5 mornings rather than 3 full days. However that's probably not practical for many people (commute time etc) and also many nurseries don't offer half days. However if it was suitable because that means you can have snuggle time at nap time in the afternoon, and you'll also get 1-2 hours to relax each afternoon whilst toddler sleeps. It's best for both parents and toddler.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.