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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!

quietus Thu 18-Apr-13 18:21:45

It is great if you could involve your parents as much as you can because (in my opinion) 8 month old baby is still too small for the nursery. The poor little thing can't even walk properly, let alone communicate with other children. A combination of grandparents and nursery would work fine.
Once you start working you will actually realise how better organised you will become. Because you won't have so much time to waste, you will do more and you will be more productive. That has happened to me.
As my partner lives in another town and there is no family around, I had to set up a very strict schedule which actually works well: 1. getting up and 6 and fixing lunch for the nursery 2. 8-9 nursery drop-off 9-5. work 5-6. nursery pick up 6-onwards - dinner, play, bath time, etc.
The worst thing for me was my DS crying every morning because he didn't want to go to the nursery, but that eventually stopped as well.
As for the nursery bugs, we had at least one/month. i am lucky enough that i have a job which can be also done from home, otherwise i would bankrupt!!!!
I don't have to wish you a Good Luck, as I am sure that you will be fine!


doublecakeplease Thu 18-Apr-13 19:57:23

I know that some children struggle to settle but others don't. We had one settling session and DS has gone in no bother since then. i never get so much as a backwards glance (sob) and he loves it - pretty much climbs over his key worker to get into the room!!

Each to their own but i personally don't think it's too young for them to go to nursery!

forevergreek Thu 18-Apr-13 20:20:42

As grandparents are offering that sounds great.

Instead of paying for nursery place a few days, could you maybe pay for your mum to have a cleaner come to her house a few hours a week to help. Then once she is 2 she could start pre school every morning for a few hours. So it would be just over a year of full time care.

Lulabellarama Thu 18-Apr-13 21:10:49

Bugs aren't inevitable, but they are extremely likely

RMSeries2 Thu 18-Apr-13 23:13:58

We have no family nearby so that's significant difference, although they do pitch in occasionally. One GP initially offered to do 1 dpw childcare (coming from 2 hours away) but I declined as it was too uncertain (what happens when there's snow/when she's ill/when she has a better offer etc).

I worked 4 dpw from when DC1 was 9mo. He went to nursery 4 dpw. After DC2 I went back to work when she was 9mo as well (DC1 was 2.9). Went back 3dpw. Both jobs were in 'the city' but I have basically taken a career step back to be able to work 3 dpw rather than 4 and have taken a pay cut. However, it was a good choice for me. When doing 4 days/week I was definitely working almost the same as full time hours (although my hours were always 'more than full time' anyway). I felt quite resentful and often stressed. I spent a lot of my days off on email and having to work while DC1 napped etc. While I now keep an eye on my email on my days off, I do not feel guilty if I don't do so for several hours and I really feel like I manage the time in my job and with my family much better now. Having said that, I'm only financially able to afford to do what I do now because DH's salary props us up.

Nursery, from a young age, has been wonderful for us. I feel quite sad that DC1 is moving on soon. DCs both love it and DC1 has wonderful friends that he's known since being genuinely tiny. Both settled quickly, although probably a couple of months before there were no tears at all on drop off. Really (touch wood) very few bugs indeed - and their immune systems are probably all the better for those they have had. We use an independent, slightly chaotic, but very friendly nursery - rather than our other local option which is a very structured chain nursery where the facilities are excellence but it felt a bit more impersonal to me somehow.

For me 3 dpw is a fabulous balance. I'd go stir crazy with the kids all week - wonderful as they are - but I'm just not the type who could stimulate kids to the extent they deserve if I had to do it all the time. We would all hate it and they would be entirely bored if they had to spend all their time with me (and me too). But with 2 dpw at home with them I can think of enough interesting things to do that we all have a nice time most of the time. I feel very very fortunate indeed to have been able to found this sort of balance.

Yardarm Thu 18-Apr-13 23:24:14

In our experience they settled into nursery fairly easily at about 7-8 mo, 2 mornings a week and I think the nursery experience was a very positive one for them. A mix of nursery and Grandparent care is probably the best of all worlds if you are working 32 hours if your mum is willing to make such a big commitment.

DuelingFanjo Thu 18-Apr-13 23:34:50

I went back full time when ds was between 9 and 10 months. Was very lucky to get him into a nursery across the road from work and I was able to go and breastfeed him at lunchtime. Once he hit a year I stopped going over but sent breast milk then after a while he switched to cows milk.

Settling in was awful, and although he loves it there we do have some days when he just doesn't want to go, even to his favourite carers.

On the whole it's been ok. My mum has home one day a week - she comes and picks him up and lives abt five miles away, I pick him up.

I work 9.30 - 5.30. I tend to spend a lot of time with my son (he is 2 years and 4 months) as his bed time is variable s we often get a lot of the in the evening for fun like painting, playing in the garden, gong to the park etc, though winter was annoying.

He eats with us at around seven pm. I try to be organised enough to have five outfits ready for me and him which i Prepare on a Sunday. Weekends are basically devoted to him and to family time, though we see parents and in-laws or other family a lot too so can't always do what we want. I do tidying, cleaning, washing etc. the evenings if at all - I am a slattern so I don't really care about having a clean house.

I have several baskets in which to dump crap if I need to tidy up in a hurry.

I think you are lucky to have a husband who can pick up your child early and so long as you are organised things will go well.

AuntySib Thu 18-Apr-13 23:51:14

Sounds like a good plan. my only reservation ( based on personal experience) is that one day a week at nursery might be problematic, in that a week is long time for a baby, who may find it hard to settle. I did try one day a week with a second childminder, who was very nice, but the upset it caused DS3 and me made it unworkable.
BooCanary mentioned that 2 half days at nursery ( or even 3) might work better, and I agree, simply becuase it will then be more familiar.
I'm not entirely convinced by the benefits of nursery until at least 2 though, think baby might be happier with granny while it's little.

Jessepinkman Fri 19-Apr-13 00:06:22

We had gp prepared to look after our dc, we went for two half days at nursery so they knew the day wasn't too long, and I think twice a week at least gets them into the routine more.

It also gave our nanas a lie in twice a week.

When they get to school age and you think your childcare issues are over, is when they begin.

Your set up sounds fine, btw, I'd just go for two mornings rather than one whole day.

Beatrixpotty Fri 19-Apr-13 14:39:18

Your plan sounds good,lucky you have GPs around to help.I went back to work when DS1 was 8m and found a really lovely cm.I felt happier leaving him with a family environment than at a nursery.After DS2 I went back when he was 12m,he had to go to nursery though with his brother but it was fine.I've just had DS3.I think I'll have about 11m off and will be employing a nanny as will have 1 in reception needing 3pm pick up & 2 younger ones.Since having DCs I've worked anything from 2-4 days per week ,9-5.30,3 days per week worked best for me in terms of work/life balance.

lydiajones Fri 19-Apr-13 17:23:37

I would do 2 morning of nursery if your grandparents are happy to pick up at 1pm. That way it is not too long a day for your baby, gives your parents a break as chances are your baby will sleep on those afternoons. It also gives you more flexibility as you may be able to book extra hours at the nursery if your parents want to go away or are ill.

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