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Working mums please come and talk to me about your work/life balance, how many hours you do and what you think of my return to work plan

(36 Posts)
Wishfulmakeupping Thu 18-Apr-13 07:05:05

Intrigued to know what other working mums are doing how old baby will be, how many hours they will go back for it if you've already returned how its working for you and baby.

My plan is go back when my dd will be around 9 months.
Working hours will be 32 hours over 4 days (hopefully 8.30 until 4.30) I'm lucky enough to have my mum looking after dd but might just ask her to do it for 3 days, I'll have dd on my day off and then nursery for a day.
My partner usually finishes around 4 so he will pick dd up I can be home by 5ish if I can start work earlier.
At weekends I'd like us to be able to spend as much time as possible together so was thinking of hiring a cleaner for a couple of hours in the week to do bigger jobs then all we need to do is the everyday tidying?!

Does my plan sound workable? I'm already dreading going back and it's not until nov!

strawberrypenguin Thu 18-Apr-13 07:10:09

Sounds workable to me!

I went back when DS was 10mo. I work full time but have shifted my hours so I work every Saturday instead of Wednesday, this means DS only needs 4 days nursery instead of 5. It is tough but you get used to it the first month being back is the worst.

yellowhousewithareddoor Thu 18-Apr-13 07:11:37

Sounds like you're in a very good space. Its unusual to be home by 5, never mind 4, so your child will still have a while with you before bed. Will you be able to not take a lunch break and condense hours like that?

Sounds a perfect set up, especially with family close by too! I'm thinking about logistics of returning to work but don't have family care and neither of us would be able to work such short days.

Smudging Thu 18-Apr-13 07:14:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smudging Thu 18-Apr-13 07:16:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BranchingOut Thu 18-Apr-13 07:16:50

Sounds good, the only thing I would say is that your DD might find it difficult to settle at nursery with just going there once a week. Could you do two nursery days or maybe two mornings/afternoons, with your mum taking and collecting her?

saycheeeeeese Thu 18-Apr-13 07:17:37

I know work 3days, went back when DD was just a year old. My parents look after her so im extremely lucky plus my DH is off in Fridays so he has her then.

The days isi qoek and she goes to my parents are very long because if travelling to ny parents then work but it's worth it. Sometimes I feel guilty though because they are retired and really should be out enjoying life but they seem to love having her.

Your plan sounds good.

saycheeeeeese Thu 18-Apr-13 07:18:55

*days I work

OohShiny Thu 18-Apr-13 07:22:17

Sounds good.

I'm going back in December when DD will be just over 8 months. I'm using my accrued hols to work part time until next near when I will be going part time permanently. My plan is to work 24 or 25 hours (cant remember, sleep deprived!) over 3 days with my mum/PIL looking after the baby as we can't afford child care.

SizzleSazz Thu 18-Apr-13 07:25:06

Is 8.30-4.30 counted as 32 hrs? In most jobs I think you have to an allow for a lunch hour? Also, will your workplace contract more than 7hrs a day? I have worked at 2 that won't.
Sounds workable but I agree nursery may be confusing for one day a week and some nurseries have minimum hours.

I started back 16hrs over 2 days (officially 3 due to contracting restrictions above) and now do 21 over 3 days. I love it and suits me well. I think yours sounds quite full on, especially if you have a commute plus getting you all up and out.

TiredFeet Thu 18-Apr-13 07:27:38

Agree one day at nursery might make it hard for her to settle, suggestion of two half days might be worth considering. Another plus side of using nursery a bit will be you might be able to book extra slots for her if your mum is ill/ wants a holiday or day off. Dh looks after Ds one of the days I work but on the rare times he has needed to do something else we have normally been able to book Ds at least a half day nursery slot

Definitely get a cleaner if you're doing 4 days, so you can enjoy your time with DD.

Your are very lucky having your mum able to help!

Figgygal Thu 18-Apr-13 07:36:25

I do 32 hrs mon-thu dh has ds thursdys i have him fridays it has worked since he was 7mo, i have loved being back to work and he loves it at cm.

I would say make sure you have accounted for a break in your hours legally you have to take out 20 mins in 6 hours so i think you might not get away with 8.30-4.30. I usually do around 8.30-5.00.

Wishfulmakeupping Thu 18-Apr-13 07:55:51

Sorry I would be doing 8- 4.30 4 days so paid for 32 hours Iyswim.

The nursery side isn't definite and my mum wants to have dd for the 4 days and she would be brilliant with her she looked after my niece and took her all over but not sure. For those of you with grandparents doing the childcare has it been ok??

My mum wouldn't be able to take dd to nursery as the closest one is still too far away and isn't very good either was planning on one close to my work. But when dd is old enough there is a fab playschool round corner from mums which she would be going in a few mornings a week

MOTduesoon Thu 18-Apr-13 08:02:40

Wouldn't recommend nursery for such a young child if you have lovely parents wanting to look after her.

Wishfulmakeupping Thu 18-Apr-13 08:08:57

And my mum really doesn't want her to go into nursery either but I don't want to burden my poor mum too much she already does a lot for my niece. And I hate to admit it but am worried dd will love my mum more than me if she's spending 4 days a week with her sounds like the most selfish person ever sad

dizzy77 Thu 18-Apr-13 08:09:44

I work 3 days (long commute) and DH also commutes, working 90% of his hours over 4 days. Went back when DS was 11 months and he's been in nursery 1 day and with my parents for 1 day. Didn't have the problem pp mentioned about him settling with nursery just one day: they've been great and whilst we had a bumpy patch a few weeks in (and again as he moved up to the next room) he loves it there and has a great time. I think of it as a big day out with lots going on once a week. Plus just having one day in nursery means there is only one day where its a problem if he is sick - so far, touch wood, we've managed through a combination between me, DH and the GPs.

I'm paid for 21 hours but realistically do more like 28, I'm ok with this as my 35 hour full time job was never just that. It also took a good 2-3 months for me to settle, work out my boundaries, what I was willing to do on my non working days to demonstrate some flexibility and what was unreasonable. I asked for 3 days at the outset (with one of those at home) as my experience of others working 4 days was they got paid 80% of the money to do 100% of the job: it gave (and gives) me scope to request more hours if I need to where I think they'd be less willing to entertain dropping back at a later stage. The wfh was my negotiating point - it never really worked as I hoped in that there was usually a reason to be in the office on the day I'd planned to be out so I "gave that back" when the arrangement was reviewed 3 months in.

Sharing drop offs/pick ups/sickness cover with your other half and planning swaps between you and your work diaries for when things need to change (eg planned late working, nights out, early mornings etc) has been key. It's still all held together by Sellotape, if something breaks it all needs looking at again, but having plan a, plan b, plan c in mind helps.

dizzy77 Thu 18-Apr-13 08:12:33

It's worth thinking about the non-financial "cost" of GP childcare. Whilst my parents are great and love having DS for a day, its a lot of work for a recently retired couple in their 60s with early mornings, long relentless days etc, and I was concerned at the outset they'd find it hard. Settling "ground rules" (nicely) at the outset and talking about what might go wrong and how you'd address it is really important.

doublecakeplease Thu 18-Apr-13 08:15:28

Sounds like a really good plan. I went back when DS was 7 months. We're all (me, DH, DS) out of the house from 7.15 till about 6 ish. Jealous of the cleaner though ;-)

Both Grannies do a day with DS (we are very lucky) and he's in nursery 2 days. Works perfectly for us. If one Granny is ill / on holiday the other Granny or nursery do an extra day. If you only use your mum have you thought what you'd do on her holidays etc?? Nursery also means DS socialises and we don't feel like he's being 'brought up' by our parents (lovely as they are)

saycheeeeeese Thu 18-Apr-13 08:17:18

My DD loves her Nana more than me and only spends 2 day with her grin
It's a grandmother's perogative im afraid, they never say no and always have sweets.

JassyRadlett Thu 18-Apr-13 08:59:20

Absolutely workable. I do FT hours over 4.5 days and so does DH, the time during the week with DS is really precious to us.

The only word of warning from me was that we started with 1 day of nursery a week and DS didn't settle, at all. It was horrible. Once he was up to 4 days he was absolutely fine. Separation anxiety can be a real issue for some kids, so I'd keep it under review.

sedgieloo Thu 18-Apr-13 09:05:41

I was thinking along the same lines of motduesoon

It could be a bit unsettling at this age. It's a personal thing, but I would keep the care in the family as long as it worked well for everyone.

KatyN Thu 18-Apr-13 15:23:04

My little man does one day at nursey and he's fine there. Ir probably took about 3 months for his to start going without a few tears but now he reaches out (6 months in) to his carer. In the first 3 months (of horror - tears for both of us) he also had quite a few days sick.

He also started at about 10 months and I don't feel it was too early. We don't have family near by so GP care wasn't an option.


BooCanary Thu 18-Apr-13 16:42:54

I agree that 1 day in nursery per week is unsettling. My DCs nursery won't accept children long term on just 1 day per week for that very reason (although they are OK with 2x half days).

I have worked half days, every day iyswim since DD was 8mo. She started nursery at 8mo and she seemed very young. DS started at 12mo which was much better.

I use nursery to cover all my working days but my parents step in to cover illness or when I need to work longer hours. I found part time hours perfectly manageable when dcs were babies, but once DD started school, and after school hobbies, it got very busy. I wish I could afford a cleaner cos I am rushed off my feet most days.

One thing to note, I thought it was going to be a nightmare (juggling work and children) but its actually easier than I'd thought. You just need a cast iron routine, back up plans and good organisation and ignore the messy house . Good luck.

Lulabellarama Thu 18-Apr-13 16:45:57

I'd also avoid nursery if possible, if only to minimise the amount of bugs your child will be exposed to and pick up (which you will then also get)

TiredFeet Thu 18-Apr-13 17:15:45

bugs aren't inevitable though lulabellarama, DS has been at nursery for nearly two years now and has only picked up one bug in all that time.

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