Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

Back to work after mat leave

(18 Posts)
ohthegoats Thu 23-Jul-15 15:21:47

What gave?

Did you get slightly crapper at everything?
Did you become highly efficient?

I'm a teacher, so not going back properly until September, but I've started working doing planning, setting up a classroom etc, and HOLY SHIT... I realise now that I can't do anything at all at the same time as dealing with a 9 month old. Well, not without mucho howling.

purplemurple1 Thu 23-Jul-15 15:27:09

Sleep and any non essential housework.
We were only back 4 months both ft before dc2 came along, I'm dreading next yr when this leave ends.

Thurlow Thu 23-Jul-15 15:39:05

Non essential housework, definitely. The house is ok, it's just not sparkling. I don't think I've cleaned my windows since I went back to work two and a half years ago grin

'Adult' socialising has been my big loss. It's hard to fit it in around work and seeing DC.

As for the rest... I don't know, I must be some kind of slattern with terribly low standards because I don't feel like very much has slipped but that's more because I don't know how much there actually is to do. I mean, you can do the dusting in spurts of 2 minutes while DC is temporarily distracted by something. Do the washing up etc while cooking. Put the wash on in the morning, hang it up in the evening. Change bed sheets and sorting the washing - again, short 10 min bursts. Clean the majority of the bathroom while DC is bathing, the rest of it while you're having a shower. Then that leaves hoovering and mopping etc, which if you just run around like a loon for about an hour one evening or weekend, you can get it done, surely?

Bills and online shopping done at lunchtime if you are able to, if not do it in the evening with half an eye on some telly.

Having said that, from what I've heard from friends who teach, attempting to do any kind of marking or planning at home has been a disaster!

Lower your standards, hire a cleaner, and teach your DC that dusting if FUN!

ohthegoats Thu 23-Jul-15 16:00:08

So far this week I've gone into school during the evenings - well, I had a full day on Monday and left child with the inlaws, then Tuesday evening, then Wednesday for an hour with child (pointless), then 4 hours last night without child, then an hour today with child (better, less Velcro today).. tutoring tonight, then probably in tomorrow afternoon with child.

And I've accomplished what I'd have usually managed in a morning. Urgh. Also haven't seen boyfriend since we've swapped childcare at 6.30 and I'm out of the door. Haven't eaten a meal since Monday when I haven't been screamed at throughout. Reality... bites!

lemoncordial Thu 23-Jul-15 16:24:21

Ouch that sounds tough. I started back recently at 9 months. Basically I never get enough sleep and my home is a tip.

ch1134 Thu 23-Jul-15 17:24:40

I went back to teaching 4 days a week when my son was 7 mo. I also became HoD. Not a lot slipped except I found it hard working in the evenings as previously I used to do all my work in school but childcare is too expensive for that. So I stopped being able to exercise or socialise in the evenings. I found it really hard, but do-able, especially as it was only one year before my next lot of mat leave. To be honest it was helpful to have a real purpose for going to work.
I'd much rather not though!

FATEdestiny Sat 25-Jul-15 21:43:47

I only did one and a half terms between my first and second maternity leave but boy, it was hard work and passed in a blur.

You can do it though. I know loads of full time teachers with babies and toddlers.

Doing all of your school work in school appears to be a usual way of managing out-of-classroom tasks. So stay in school until 6pm-7pm rather than leaving at 4pm when possible.

Hire a cleaner. And someone to do your ironing. Honestly, a massively valuable way to spend your salary since it gives you extra time. Time has become a far more important commodity than money since I became a parent.

Becoming more efficient happens naturally when anyone is pressed for time, I think. Especially teachers (who are usually highly organised people anyway). Less faffing and prioritising your work load.

I would find significant blocks of time (like a full 8am-8pm day in school) to be more productive than an hour or two here or there.

I say all of this, but the bottom line for me is that I couldn't be a good (let alone outstanding) teacher and a half decent parent at the same time. So I've been a SAHM for 8 years. That's just me though, I know lots of good teachers who can do it.

squizita Mon 27-Jul-15 10:52:33

At my work the tips were ...
-work in the morning on marking and data (afternoon might be lost dealing with stuff from the day);
-everyone uses daycare near the school not home, meaning all childcare hours can be used for work not commute (only 30 or 40 min but it all adds up)
-Use the VLE/remote access to plan after baby bed time.
-Non teaching spouse needs to be clued up and support: cooking and housework wise.
-Slow cooker, 20-min-meal, batch cook/freeze or ready meal it Mon-Fri. Factor in washing up!
-Cleaner v useful if you can.

...These gems given to me by mums and dads of little ones who teach and have even gained promotions in that time, whilst seeming sane!! grin

squizita Mon 27-Jul-15 10:56:43

Oh and my work are very good (informally) with socialising. Plenty of notice, once a half term.... mums tend to arrive en-masse at 8 pm (Dp at home with baby in bed) till late. Try to group up with other teacher parents who know the score seems to be the lesson.

teacher54321 Mon 27-Jul-15 18:08:31

After an initial period of feeling like my head was full of cotton wool and I had no subject knowledge left suddenly everything clicked into place after Mat leave and I became much more efficient. Before I had DS I worked full time in a full on job (boarding school so teaching 6 days per week) and I was 'so busy'. I have since realised I was at work all the time because I had no other responsibilities, and I could have been much more efficient. After having DS I worked as a HoD in a prep school on a 3 day a week contract and can honestly say it is the busiest job I have ever had and I have never worked so hard, but my goodness did it streamline my processes and procedures for getting things done. I am now about to
start a full time role in September and am hoping I can stick to my new found efficiency! The brain fog goes pretty quickly once you get back into it, good luck!

Lilipot15 Mon 27-Jul-15 18:17:10

Don't try to work when you are looking after your child - once you've got your childcare sorted you'll be amazed at how efficient you are now compared to pre-child (at least that's what happened to me) - prioritisation, learning to say no, and having one day a week when I didn't have the pressure to be the one to collect from childcare all helped.

ohthegoats Mon 27-Jul-15 21:34:13

Thanks folks. I found that even while I was pregnant I became a lot more efficient - I just didn't care about work enough to spend loads of my own time on it. Hoping that comes back.

Interesting point about childcare near work not near home. We've gone for one near home so that boyfriend can do drop off (he also works near home), and I can do pick up. My intention was to go to work early and leave early, but I'm ass head, and things like those pesky parents tend to take up after school time, thus making you less efficient with planned marking or data type stuff.

teacher54321 Tue 28-Jul-15 07:41:24

The random 'getting nabbed after school for a meeting' is a pain in the arse when you're on a clock and have to get to nursery to do pick up! Like others have said, if some days you are not responsible for pick up then that takes the pressure off. I also used to go in super early whenever DH could do drop off in the mornings, so I could leave on time. I've now got a job where I can take DS (prep school with nursery attached) to hopefully streamline things. DH has a crazy job with crazy hours and has just been promoted so that isn't going to improve anytime soon, and I actually think negotiating school hours is harder than nursery as a teacher as the school day is so short!

GreyBird84 Tue 28-Jul-15 07:59:06

Not a teacher but I agree with homework in random bursts - long gone are my Saturday's of giving the house a gd deep clean (Sad but sitting down with a takeaway in a gleaming house was soo nice!).
Still considering a cleaner once a month for a deeper clean though.
I don't do ironing. Genuinely. I don't buy clothes that need ironed!

We bought a dyson cordless & it's great - on at least twice a day (I miss the Soley BF days, weaning is messy!) while DS scoots after me in the walker!

Adult socialising & exercising are def on back burner - just too tired & not enough hrs in the day (other than walking with buggy or 10 min kettlebell literally before jumping in shower). I find these things quite hard, esp the exercise classes but we are moving house next year & going to stick a cross trainer in a spare room so we can both fit done exercise in easier.

gourd Tue 28-Jul-15 10:49:42

RE: childcare. Depends what you prefer. I never considered using a CM (or nursery) near work rather than home despite one hour commute. Partly 'cos there weren't any good ones anywhere near where I work, but also didn't consider 2 hours in car every day a good thing for Baby - and at what point do you decide they can sit for 2 hours in a car - when they are more mobile or is that worse as they need to be active once they can actually move about? Then you'd have to change back to somewhere nearer home anyway. I decided I'd much rather know Baby was safe and happy being cared for at home (albeit not ours) than being stuck in a car seat on M-Way howling her head off for an hour each way every day. I missed our daughter terribly but I knew our CM actually loved our baby, obviously not as much as us, but she really did love and care for her as if she was part of her own family, and that helped me a lot in the first few weeks.

Pointlessfan Tue 28-Jul-15 10:58:23

I'm a teacher with a one yo. I was dreading going back to work but have actually quite enjoyed it.
I use a nursery by school so I drop off DD at 7.30 and am at work 5 mins later to set up for the day. I try not to bring work home.
I leave early one day a week to do the supermarket shop before collecting her and I batch cook a lot at the weekend for the freezer. DH does a lot of the housework but our standards have lowered quite a lot!

squizita Tue 28-Jul-15 11:01:25

Gourd YY I'm lucky in that there's an excellent nursery very near work (Swedish model, outdoor learning the works) and my commute is 20/25min no traffic, 40 min or so even in bad traffic. I drive that far to the shops nearly daily anyway.

gourd Tue 28-Jul-15 11:02:41

RE: Exercise -actually was OK to start with as I cycled 12 miles each way to/form work where possible and have been doing 60-80 miles on a Sunday morning most weekends (alternating childcare with DH who also cycles) but as our child gets older this is becoming less possible, as they have their own activities on evenings/weekends and more family activities are also required - days out etc. At lunchtimes I was either running 5 miles or swimming for around the same 40 minutes, but I now find I need to save that extra half hour of flexi-time by taking 30 minute lunch-breaks, so cant fit it any any more - I need as much extra flexi time saved up as possible, to have days off when child is ill etc. I also find I have no energy for it at lunchtimes now she is almost 5 YO as time at home is now so busy. The illnesses (you and the child) get more frequent as they get older too. It's actually fairly easy to fit in some daily exercise when they are still babies, even if it's just marching along with the pram when they are not yet mobile and tend to fall asleep in the day time - so make the most of it!
RE: Socialising: I used to cycle with a club but I don't have time or fitness for that now, the lack of weekend-ride frequency and the general fatigue level which is now normal, mean I'm not fast enough to keep up with the early ride that used to have me home for lunchtime and the other rides are too slow/start late and take all day which I just can't do so there's little incentive. It's a vicious circle of not going out, so getting slower, so not going out etc.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now