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Working full time with young children(14 Posts)
I am due back to work on Monday after 12 months off on maternity leave with my DD who was born in April. I am also a part time student.
I am not too worried about going back as I have already done some KIT days and I am really happy with our choice of nursery for DD.
I submitted a flexible working request to reduce my hours which was declined and therefore I have to return on my full time hours. I will be leaving the house at 7:30am and getting back in at 6pm. DP gets in at 4:30pm, he is unable to pick DD up from nursery (company vehicle) but could get dinner ready or do some chores.
I am just looking for some advice from anyone else who works full time with small children. What is your routine? How do you fit everything in?
First I would really try and find a way your dh can collect baby at 4.30pm. Could he get a bike with baby seat and cycle? Or surely just call into nursery on way back in company car is ok? ( could keep car seat at nursery). This would mean he could spend hour extra each day playing with baby/ giving bath etc, as well as prepping for dinner so when you home you can all sit down to eat at 6.30pm without rushing about thinking you need to be with baby/ bath etc
At the nursery I would ask them to make sure she has 2 decent length naps. You don't want her super miserable on collection as exhausted. Then you can do bedtime around 8pm after all eaten together and some quiet time with her.
We have both always worked full time and have x2 children ( age 3 and 4). We have always found it easier to have later bedtime (9pm ish here), and just give longer naps in day if needed. Eldest now at school so sleeps 9pm-8am, youngest the same but with 90min daytime nap.
Do all food shopping/ most clothes shopping online. And keep up with cleaning in the week as and when so you don't have whole weekend cleaning ( or get a cleaner)
Thank you for your advice art
Unfortunately there is no way for DP to get to DD. His company run a no child seat policy due to insurance and stop offs to and from work are not allowed. Nursery is also too far from home for him to walk/cycle.
Your idea of more naps and a later bedtime would be really beneficial so we can spend some time together as a family, thank you!
I think if your dh uses those 90 minutes to cook dinner, get a wash load on/put away, and organise anything like packed lunches for the next day it will make a huge difference to the way everything goes. Then you and dd are through the door and sitting down to dinner at 6.15 with time for everyone to have a relax and play with dd before bath and bed.
A slow cooker would mean dp didn't have to cook everything from scratch each night, and you could meal plan to make sure you had all you needed in - online supermarket shopping is a godsend
Can you work a compressed week or maybe work 8-4?
Thanks CMOT. DP knows he will need to start doing more around the house from next week so hopefully that will free up more time to spend as a family. We have a slow cooker but I haven't used it yet
blue my employer looked at every option for me to return on reduced or compressed hours but unfortunately they couldn't make it work.
Agree with food shopping online.
invest in Jamie Oliver's 15 minute meals book.
you'll not be in enough to make too much mess so try & tidy as you go along.
Get as many non-iron clothes as possible - I have some great work dress/cardigan combos that I just hang up after washing.
Also, I tumble dry as much as possible - it's a real pain in the arse to line dry because it was sunny in the morning then have to rewash because of bird shit or dry indoors anyway as it started raining 2 mins after you left.
Do some batch cooking so you always have some quick meals in the freezer. DP can get that on the table easily for when you walk in the door. Keep bags of spare clothes and nappies in the car for nursery. Hope it goes well.
Get a 'lean mean grilling machine'! We were given one a few years ago and I thought it would never be used but it's great! We marinate various meats in various marinades one weekend and add on skewers and freeze. Then in morning just grab the steak/ chicken/ lamb kebabs out of freezer and leave in fridge. By evening just throw on machine and lid down for 5 mins. Add salad/ supermarket pre prepped veg/ garlic bread or similar and meal sorted in 10/15 mins. We marinate enough meat like this for about 20 meals so lasts a while as eat maybe x2 a week.
Do look through flexi hours again also. All employers are supposed to allow parents to flexi hour now if needed. I would speak to employer and maybe ask that they review in say 6 months of possible. Even if say you leave work 1 hr early and catch up 1hr later in eve from home, or only take small
lunch break maybe.
Marking my place on this thread because I am also back FT next week. DD is 13 months. Dreading it
Could your husband give up the company car if his employers wont allow car seats? They cost a fortune in tax anyway dont they?
Failing that yes, make sure when he gets home from work he does some cleaning,cooking and starts getting organised for the next day. And remember you accrue your holidays as normal on maternity leave so you could use some of them to return to work part time for a month or two while you get into the swing of things,my friend did this and it worked really well for her.
Momma your DP's company vehicle issue would really concern me. That means that whenever nursery call to say your DD is unwell it will always be you who has to go and pick her up. Is that something you can manage? Of course it varies hugely how much that happens, but with my DD1 it was maybe a dozen times over the first year and if I hadn't shared that with DP it would have been very stressful.
I pick up early then work again in the evenings. For me this makes working FT bearable, as I see just enough of DS during the week.
Be warned in the first couple of months back at work I averaged a day off sick every week due to nursery bugs . DS also went on hunger strike initially, which was pretty stressful. He loves it now though.
Planning ahead is the only way
Just to reassure OP a little - we never had any sickness bugs requiring pickup although we did use a cm.
I too would be concerned about DP's lack of ability to drop off or pick up. I would seriously look at changing the vehicle (if possible) orca nursery/CM closer to home. If not, then factor some taxis into your budget.
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