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If you are a working mum, how much time do you have for your DCs in the evening...??

(25 Posts)
mumtosp Tue 25-Nov-14 20:09:33

Hi all,

I just wanted to get a feel of how much time do you actually get with your DCs after coming back from work and before putting them to bed.

I have a 2 yo DS who goes to a childminder...

By the time I finish work, travel back and pick him up and come home it's usually 6-6:15 pm depending on traffic. Then we have a snack, either play for some time or sit and read his books and then by 07:15 I start his night time routine... bath, story/songs, cuddle and lights off...
And on most days, I have to spend at least some time in the kitchen prepping for dinner....

For some reason I've been feeling that I don't have enough time with him during the week... do others feel the same way ? Am I being overly sensitive about this ?
Giving up work and being a SAHM is not an option sad

Thanks !

Figster Tue 25-Nov-14 20:15:24

We both work also 2yo at cm 8-6 mon-thu I'm off Fridays have to confess ds usually gets to watch an octonaut and postman pat when we get in/while we eat as he eats at cm.

we only do baths Mon and Wed night so gives us bit more time for stories, playing etc

You sound like you doing fine needs must and there are only so many hours in the day.

ssd Tue 25-Nov-14 20:19:32

if cutting back your hours isnt an option then you need to accept you're doing your best and your ds will be doing fine, dont be too hard on yourself

HappyAsASandboy Tue 25-Nov-14 20:20:40

Similar to you. I collect DCs at 6pm and drive home (20 mins in car). Then I cook their dinner while they moan or watch TV because they're tired, occasionally they can manage a conversation. Then we eat and head upstairs by about 7.15, aiming for lights out before 8pm so that they can cope with the 6.15am wake up ....

We do that 3 days a week. On the other two days I get home after they've gone to bed, but they have easier days as they stay at home, albeit without seeing me.

Is there any way you could change things so that you start/finish earlier some days (DH doing drop off while you get to work early?)? If you could pick up an hour or two earlier twice a week your lives would really change smile

whevs Tue 25-Nov-14 21:09:18

I pick up kids ds (2) from childminder at 5.30pm then collect DD from a friend's house. Home for about 5.45. They watch telly while I make their tea. They eat at 6pm, then we have an hour for play, dd reading practice, bath, stories then bed at 7pm.

It feels OK. I only work three days week though, I think I'd find it hectic full time. It's not so much the time with the kids, but the level of stress, hecticness and tiredness that can get to me. It isn't always the most peaceful and joyful of times.

I find that planning ahead helps- preparing meals to heat up quickly, trying to stay on top of laundry etc in the mornings so that we don't have to be doing lots of food prep/chores before the kids go to bed.

Tbh they are too tired for very much play and interaction anyway, it's a slippery slope to bedtime really!

CMOTDibbler Tue 25-Nov-14 21:15:58

I pick ds up at 5.15-5.30, we get home just before 6. He's had a good hot lunch at school, and a sandwich at late club, so just has a soup/beans on toast type tea.
He goes up to bed at 7.15, so its not a lot of time but we make it count

Shakey1500 Tue 25-Nov-14 21:21:57

DS is 7

I usually get home around 5pm and we have around 2 and a half hours together having dinner, chatting about our days, baths and bed.

He's used to it smile

JCleRoux Tue 25-Nov-14 21:31:40

DS is 3 and goes to nursery mon-Thursday. I pick him up around 5.30pm at the earliest; get home just before 6pm for dinner/snack then bath time and in bed by 8pm latest. I work full time and have made peace with the fact that I see him about two hours every day if I'm lucky.

I also used to feel sensitive about the time we spend together but I've learnt that there's stuff I just can't change and I just need to make this work. smile

Shelduck Wed 26-Nov-14 13:10:55

Very similar to you - home 6.15, snack and tv (together if possible, depending on what else is going on at the time), then very long bedtime routine from 6.45 (DS mastering the art of dragging it out at the mo!) in bed 7.45-8, up again 6.45am. This is 4 days a week, and either DH or I spend 5th weekday with him.

Very relieved to read everyone's posts and learn that we're not that unusual. The idea of cutting back on number of baths a week is good.

We do the best we can, and i will now resolve to make my peace with that! smile

PurpleStripedSock Wed 26-Nov-14 16:41:54

Almost the same as you. She's 19 months and by the time we arrive home, it's 6pm and I have to try and scrape dinner together (if she's tired, this is a nightmare of grizzling and attention seeking) so we can sit down and eat before bundling her into pyjamas and putting her to sleep around 7pm. I only bath once or twice a week - she hates it/is too tired for it - so that cuts things down a bit.

I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. I chose to have her as a single parent so I feel lucky to be able to have her at all and know I'm doing the best for her and by her by continuing to work.

Number two is on the way and I'm utterly exhausted. I imagine the night time routine is only going to get worse for me :-)

Izabelblue Wed 26-Nov-14 17:15:48

Very similar here - DD is 2 and gets nice food at nursery so I pick her up at around 5:45/6ish, home by 6, milk, snack, bath, stories, more stories, eventually bedtime at around 7:15-7:30pm. I work Wed-Fri so Mondays and Tuesdays are much more relaxed.

Though she's happy to see me (or occasionally DH) at nursery pickup time sometimes she has a little meltdown on the way home. I think the long days can be a bit much for her sometimes.

I don't mind the evenings but find work mornings very stressful: trying to get ready for work on time with a clingy 2 year old who doesn't want you to be in the bathroom/bedroom on your own is a challenge!

mycatlikestwiglets Wed 26-Nov-14 19:14:32

I get about 30 mins max with my two on three days per week - they go straight in the bath and to bed when we get home as are both exhausted after nursery (age 1 and 3). The other 2 days I don't see them in the evening as DH is responsible for getting home and putting them to bed.

I probably see them for anywhere between 20 mins and an hour in the morning depending on how early they wake up. So not much! I miss them during the week sad. It was my choice to continue to work full time though - and I don't intend to continue, I just need to decide what to do next!

mumtosp Thu 27-Nov-14 14:04:39

Hi all,

Thanks for all your replies! It's good to know I am not the only one with limited with with their DCs... smile

mumtosp Thu 27-Nov-14 14:08:13

HappyAsaSandBoy I should have added that I already work only 4 days a week and level work at 5 to be able to pick up DS on time... I cannot reduce hours any further... In fact, I have been told by my manager that as long as I want to leave at 5 and work only 4 days my chances of being promoted are remote sad...
There goes my plan of 'having it all' out the window wink

mumtosp Thu 27-Nov-14 14:08:48

not level work.... I meant leave work ! smile

museumum Thu 27-Nov-14 14:12:33

I work four days, pick my ds up at 5. In summer we go to the swings or for an icecream but in winter we come straight home. I play with him for a bit, and give him his dinner (reheated batch cooked) then ds gets in about 6:30 and we do bath then a bit more play milk and stories. Dh and I share this time with both helping to prep our dinner and then we eat soon as ds is down at 7:30. Except fridays when we all have frozen pizza together. (we eat together at weeknds too).
I also get a couple of hours with him in the mornings.

minipie Thu 27-Nov-14 17:06:23

I get home at 7 and DD goes to bed at 8.30 (but trying to bring this earlier as she's started sleeping longer at night). So, 1.5 hours but reducing. It is enough for me, I also see her for over an hour in the morning. I only work 4 days a week which obviously helps a lot.

Does your childminder not give your DS tea? Or are you talking about prepping your own dinner... Nothing gets done towards my/DH dinner till DD is in bed (we eat late).

NellyTheElephant Thu 27-Nov-14 21:38:52

My 3 are 9, 7 and 5. They have to be picked up from after school care by 6pm and I'm usually just there by the skin of my teeth. It's at least 6.30 by the time we are home, sometimes I have to cook them something, sometimes DH will be back and will have done so - but either way, I have very little time with them (being in the car doesn't count). That's just the way of it. Our routine is that after their supper we rush through getting ready for bed and then me and the three children pile into my bed and I read a chapter of a story (currently Swallows and Amazons, Treasure Island next - I go for the old classics as they read the more contemporary stuff themselves). For me, for us all, it is a brief but lovely relaxed happy cuddly time. We'll also talk about our days and generally catch up, then hopefully all three into their own beds by 8pm, with 5 yr old lights out immediately, 7yr old lights out at 8.30 and 9yr old at 9pm. It's not just about the amount of time with them, but making it count.

LittleLionMansMummy Sat 29-Nov-14 08:26:14

I really empathise op. I work different hours each day so sometimes start early and finish early (4) so home by 5. Others home by 6. I work slightly reduced hours as my commute is now 1 hour each way which eats into the time. The 'chores' to be done for the evening/ following day is a draw on quality time, so when ds was about 2 i began getting him to 'help', including preparing dinner. He enjoyed it and i felt like I'd spent more time with him. It does get easier as they get older and can stay up a little later. Ds is 4 and goes to bed between 7.30 and 8. It helps to have regular time off booked so you have something to look forward to. And if i know I'm going to have a busy week at work i book a Monday or Friday off so we can enjoy an extended weekend. It is hard, but we worry more than the dc. As they get older they thrive more on socialising with others and are much less dependent on us, which also makes it slightly easier.

elQuintoConyo Sat 29-Nov-14 08:38:21

I don't.

I work 5-10, home by 10:30/11:00, DS asleep.

I take him to school every morning and, depending on my workload, can spent 30-45 minutes with him when school finishes.

I also work Saturday mornings 10-1. D works from home, so does all the dinner-bath-bed malarky; I get to do that at the weekend.

It blows, but it is what it is and DS is happy.

HazleNutt Sat 29-Nov-14 15:31:01

I'm not British, so bedtime is not as early here. I get home about 6, and DS (17 months) goes to bed at 9, so that gives me 3 hours. Is moving his bedtime a bit later an option?

Thurlow Sat 29-Nov-14 20:50:39

Very little. DP picks 3yo up at 4ish most days. I get home at 6.50. Straight into the bath, then up to bed. She's normally in bed by 7.30. Similarly I have half an hour in the morning getting her ready and taking her to the CM.

The flip side is we're usually on our own all weekend so we get lots of time then.

It's not ideal, but very little is going to change at the moment so I try not to worry about it too much. She gets lots of time her DP and she loves her CM. I kind of see it as working hard at the moment to hopefully get the pay off in a year or two when we might have another DC and I can negotiate better hours. Or another job might come up. Something will change.

But she's happy and, despite realistically spending more time with people other than me some weeks, it's still mummy who is her favourite person, especially when she needs love and attention. I think perhaps I fit into that magical category of being a wee bit of a novelty because she doesn't see me all day every day, yet also being 'Mum'.

JeanSeberg Sat 29-Nov-14 20:58:47

I have been told by my manager that as long as I want to leave at 5 and work only 4 days my chances of being promoted are remote

Sorry to hear you've got a narrow minded twat for a boss. thanks

Poppytime Sat 29-Nov-14 21:04:55

I work full time, DH drops DD (15 months) at nursery most mornings, I may see her for 30 mins if I she is up or I haven't gone to an early gym class (only time I can fit it in!), I leave work at 5pm and pick her by about 5.40. We rush home, play a bit, do dinner, bath and bed by about 7.30. It feels like a rush everyday and I do miss her sad I'm glad I was able to get work to agree to let me leave at 5 everyday, I used to work a lot later. Unfortunately it just means however the same amount of work to do in less time. We are thinking about a second and I will be re thinking my work situation then.

mumtosp Wed 03-Dec-14 10:09:55

Thanks again everyone ! smile

HazelNutt I know what you mean... I am Indian and most other Indian kids I know go to bed much later than my DS... one going as late as 11 pm ! shock

But frankly I do like the 'British' system where kids go to bed early and get all the rest they need... it also gives me some time with DH... also, DS is pretty tired by 07:30 pm after having spent the entire day playing with his friends at the childminder... so delaying bedtime is really not an option smile

I guess I need to accept the situation and be glad that I work only 4 days and can spend one whole with DS ! smile

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