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Feeling sad, work/home balance

(12 Posts)
TrippleBerryFairy Fri 21-Sep-12 16:14:29

Sometimes I get sad thinking about how little time really I spend with DS sad It seems that his childminder sees more of him than I do sad

I work full time over 4 days which means on days I work I'm out of the house around 6am, DS usually still asleep. I collect him from childminders around 6pm. I feel tired in the evenings and to be honest quite often I look forward to him going to bed which he does at 9pm. So for 4 days a week I only see him 3hrs per day sad

So the only time we can spend quality time is weekends and mondays when I'm at home. He now started going to pre-school on mondays so our time together feels even more reduced.

So all in all I have 3 days 9 hours for him in a week. That gets further reduced because I need to clean the house, do the laundry, wash up etc.

It gets me down sad I know I should be glad I have a good job (and I am glad about that) but part of me fels like I am wasting precious time I could be spending with him. And that basically he is being raised by the childminder sad

Would be interesting to hear what is the split between work/home for other mums. Come and tell me I need to snap out of it and that my split is actually not that bad...

matana Fri 21-Sep-12 16:43:44

I empathise. Have you considered/ is there the possibility for you to work five shorter days instead? Sounds like the spread is wrong because you actually want to spend more time with him every day, rather than squeeze it all into 3 days.

I work FT and DS is at his CM for 37 hours per week. But i work from home one day a week (DS goes to CM morning only that day and comes home pm) and have arranged with work to start earlier 3 days (8am) but take 30 mins for lunch and leave early (4pm). The other two days i work slightly longer hours than a normal day. On Monday afternoons my DH has DS and they spend quality time together, so i don't feel too bad about being at work because he's having a nice time with daddy. The spread feels quite nice and i feel like a have a better balance than i did and it also doesn't feel like too much for DS (i used to work from home 2 days per week, so invariably i'd end up juggling DS in one arm and my boss on the phone in the other hand which was no good for my mental state at all - you need to either concentrate on work or child, you can't do both and end up doing neither well).

It sounds to me like you need to strike a better balance. I do the following:

Monday: 9.30 – 4.30 (lunch 30 mins) = 6.5 hours (office-based)
Tuesday: 8.15-5.30 (lunch 1 hour) = 8 hours (office-based)
Wednesday: 8-4 (lunch 1 hour) = 7 hours (home-based, but moveable if work needs me there)
Thursday: 8.15-4 (lunch 30 mins) = 7.15 hours (office-based)
Friday: 8.15-5.15 (lunch 30 mins) – 8.5 hours (office-based)

I live 25 miles from work so have to take into account 30 minute journeys each way too. But on the whole it's not too bad.

Good luck.

forcedinsomnia Fri 21-Sep-12 20:19:52

I work full time. 5 days a week. Leave in the am around 6.45 and get home generally anywhere between 5pm and 6.15pm. It's rubbish. Ds (14 mo) goes to cm 3 days a week and mil on Monday and Friday. But Dh finishes at 1.30pm on Fri so he picks him up then. I hate it.....but I made my choice when I got pregnant! Didn't realise it would be this hard though!
Now ds knows when I'm leaving and it breaks my heart. I dislike not being the one at home with my ds.....but tbh I think he does more crafts/trips etc with cm. And mil spoils him rotten. ;-)
He's an absolute smasher so we all must be doing something right!
I'm sure you're doing a great job. But it is hard, it feels like they are growing up while were not looking.....you have my sympathy!! :-)

azazello Fri 21-Sep-12 20:24:50

I have found it getting easier as they get older and start school. I work 4 days over 5 which means I can do school drop offs every day unless I have a meeting or something and I do 3pick ups a week.

It does feel easier though- mornings are pretty much 'get up, get dressed, go to school, so that doesn't feel as bad anymore.

TrippleBerryFairy Sat 22-Sep-12 22:33:18

Thanks you for replies.

I am really considering a different work pattern at the moment as the current one leaves me rather tired and unhappy.

I think I would like a similar split as yours matana - some days longer, others shorter, one day from home, that would be much better I think. My current 7am-5pm (plus 40 mins to work one way) is a bit crap as from about 3pm my brain starts to shut down and I just wait for 5pm to come! Not very productive.

forcedinsomnia - your day sounds like mine except you do it for 5 days instead of 4. I agree it's rubbish. I so hope in time I will find something closer to home, I have a friend who works just 5 miles away from home, I dream of being able to work so near, you can basically pop back home during your lunch break, no motorways...
You are right, I think DS's childminder we must be doing something right as he is one happy and confident child... Still I wish I would have more energy and be more involved with him.

azazello I hope it will get easier when he starts school next year. I think i will go part time and do 7am - 2pm 5 days a week. I defiitely want to be there to pick him up from school so the decision seems to be easier. Whereas at the moment I don't really see the point in going part time - my workload would be exactly the same, I would be doing the same just for less money...

ZuleikaD Sun 23-Sep-12 08:22:01

I couldn't stand it, so I requalified as a CM. We're broke ALL the time (by which I mean I haven't had any new clothes for a year, we go short on groceries if the children need new shoes and there's no question of holidays) but it's worth it.

wfhmumoftwo Mon 24-Sep-12 09:48:30

I agree it gets better as they get older. My 2 went to full time nursery from 6 months and i dropped them off around 8-8.30 and picked them up between 5-5.30 each day M-F. Sometimes when they were little they would need to go to bed at 6 so we would literally get home and they would go to bed! However, now they are both at school i feel like i spend more time with them even though in reality i'm not - by this i mean, they are independent, thinking, chatting little people. In the mornings we talk, we interact over breakfast and that helps me feel like the hour and a half is a good one. I drop them off at 8.30 and pick them up between 5-5.30 still. We then come home, read, do homework, sit and chat about the day etc and between the time i come home and the time they go to bed around 7.30 is theirs - no housework, cooking etc. On the odd day i do pick them up a little early, say 4.30 i get greeted with sulky sullen faces and 'oh, what are you doing here we were just about to go and do X!' While it can feel a little soul destroying it means they are happy - and they really are and thats the main thing.

suburbandweller Mon 24-Sep-12 10:01:04

I would say OP that your current situation doesn't sound too bad - but ultimately if it isn't working for you, it's important to try to change it to something which does.

I work f/t and only see DS for about 1.5 hours per day for 3 days during the week - I get him up and drop him off at nursery at 7.30am and collect him at 6.10pm, then he usually has 30 mins quiet time at home before he goes to bed around 7pm. The other 2 days I see him less than that - his GPs look after him and keep him overnight so I only see him for about 30 mins first thing in the morning the first day and sometimes not at all the second day (as he's often asleep by the time I get home). I definitely feel that I'd like to spend more time with him, but at the moment the arrangement works and DS is happy. If he wasn't spending time with GP though I probably wouldn't be so happy about the situation.

It sounds as though you have some flexibility to change things in your job which is a great position to be in.

neverquitesure Mon 24-Sep-12 10:13:22

I worked 3 days a week from when the children were babies right up until I became a SAHM last summer (long story) and I loved it. The children had a secure attachment with our wonderful Nanny and I enjoyed the variety in my week and looked forward to both my working and non working days. I was also very fortunate in that we could afford a cleaner half a day per week and that our Nanny was happy to run the hoover round and hang washing out etc. However, I did have a brief flirtation with a 4 day week and was surprised how much I hated it. I started to dread my working days and resent the time the children spent with our Nanny. It was just too much for me (and I was incredibly fortunate that I didn't have to continue).

I'm guessing that reducing your hours is not an option, but could you stretch to a cleaner one morning per week? Or someone you could drop your washing and ironing off with? Sorry if that's not an option - these are bloody tough economic times sad

Also please try not to feel too bad. Men don't and we don't worry that children won't bond with their fathers or that working men will 'miss out' on their children growing up.

confusedperson Fri 28-Sep-12 10:56:50

My DC are 4.5yo and 2yo, and I have always worked full-time five days per week in the office. My hours are 9am-4:30pm, so my routine is to drop the DC off at 8am and collect at 5:15-5:30pm. I feel bad for my DC but as somebody else said, my DS1 always grumpy when I collect him because he wants to stay in the afterschool club for longer. We then have 5:30-7:30pm before bedtime. I feel this is enough of time for us to play and enjoy
ourselves.
In ideal world I would like not to work on Friday afternoons and collect DS1 from school myself.

beela Fri 28-Sep-12 13:21:38

Could your DS go to pre-school on one of the CM days - would she be able to drop him off and/or pick him up? Then he (and you) would still get a full day at home.

beela Fri 28-Sep-12 13:21:53

I mean instead of on a Monday

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