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returning to work - what worked for you?

(16 Posts)
chumbler Wed 05-Aug-15 00:40:11

I'm thinking about asking to go part time when my mat leave runs out. dh would love me to do 3 days where DD would be looked after by grandma. but I'm considering asking for 2 days / 2 and a half. at the moment i cant bare the thought of being without her!

what works for you?

PuppyMummy Wed 05-Aug-15 09:57:31

probably not much help because I work full time and ds goes to nursery 5 days a week.

I am a teacher though so he is with me mostly during the holidays.

I couldn't do my job part time (and wouldn't want to) so it works very well for us.

CognitiveIllusion Wed 05-Aug-15 10:42:03

Opposite of the previous poster - I was a SAHM until my youngest started school.

It really is whatever works for you!

Jedi1 Wed 05-Aug-15 10:45:19

3 days when I first went back - now they're older I do three full days and two half days. Two days a week would not have been supported by my business so no really an option but personally I think it would be too little time to keep continuity at work anyway.

Nolim Wed 05-Aug-15 10:46:26

I work ft and wouldnt want it any other way.
As long as you have reliable childcare do what works for you.

qumquat Wed 05-Aug-15 12:33:39

As others have said, it's whatever works for you. I had horrible Pnd which lifted as soon as I got back to work; it sounds like your feelings about going back are quite different! I went for 4 days a week because 5 days a week realistically means 6 days as a teacher (Sundays spent planning/marking) and i felt that was too much.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 05-Aug-15 13:07:12

I am full time but over three days. I returned to work when DS was 10 months old. He's now 16 months old.

Due to my shifts, on those three days I only see DS for 20 minutes. Those 20 minutes are in the morning before I leave for work. I don't get home until 9pm so he's obviously in bed by then. I don't particularly like it but that's just how it is.

Sometimes, depending on my shift patterns I actually go 48 hours without seeing DS and that's really hard.

Of the 3 days that I'm at work our DS is with a childminder for two of them and with my DH on the third.

The silver lining to shift patterns is that although I find the three days I work really difficilt as I hardly DS it means that he's with me for 4 whole days a week and I class myself as lucky to have that.

My previous job was 9-5, four days a week, but I resigned when DS was 6 months old (I was still on Mat leave) as I couldn't bear the thought of being away from DS for that long and they wouldn't let me reduce my hours.

I then applied for my current job, which I obviously got, and it suits me much better.

scissy Wed 05-Aug-15 13:57:27

Do whatever works for you. I did 3 days when I first went back, I enjoyed the balance of that although I found I spent one day doing shopping/housework/admin rather than fun stuff with her like the park/library/groups etc. I've since upped that to 4 as I found the terrible twos really hard work and she seems to prefer the stimulation of nursery smile, now I just have the one day I make sure I do fun stuff, get shopping delivered and do housework when I can! My current hours will also work much better once she reaches school age (as I can opt to work them over 5 shorter days instead).

ohthegoats Wed 05-Aug-15 16:02:00

I'm going back 4 days, partner doing a 10 in 9 contract so he's off every other week for a day, the other weeks we're sharing it with grandparents. She'll be in nursery 3 days a week.

To be honest I think I'm going to change jobs out of management, go back to 'just' teaching (ha), and go to 5 days after the first year. It's the management time that takes up my personal life/time and screws my work/life balance.

Most teachers I know, including myself, on the whole seem to think that nursery is great for children. I think my daughter needs nursery, I can't provide/not interested in providing what she needs.

Buglife Wed 05-Aug-15 18:46:41

I have just started 18.5 hours in 2.5 days, DS (11.5 months) goes to nursery 2 full days and I work Saturdays so DH has him then. It seems to work well, he likes nursery and I like being at work, I'm not there enough for it to stress me out and I'm not away from him long enough to upset me, and I appreciate going to work after 3 days of lone childcare! (DH works long hours so doesn't get to do much in the week). Basically I aplreciate both without getting tired and sick of either. Also I alternate a full and half weekday on Saturdays and Fridays so once a fortnight I get a whole afternoon alone to do whatever and then the next week I finish midday Saturday so we can do family stuff. It might not last as I feel working Saturdays will start to annoy when we can't do trips out etc but I can't afford 3 days of nursery really in comparison to what I'll earn. For now, it's good.

Littlef00t Wed 05-Aug-15 20:09:31

Depends what your job is. I found 3 days was a minimum for me to feel like things were progressing while I was working and for people not to have to wait to have meetings etc.

Now dd is 16 mo, I'm up to 4 days and I love it. I really value the time with her and find it a surprisingly good balance.

Chchchchanging Wed 05-Aug-15 20:17:45

Work ft
Works for me from a work perspective
Feel stretched at home but have lowered standards and got militant with food shopping efficiency and buy in occasional cleaning or ironing help
DH and I take a shared approach to sorting stuff
None of my friends who work 4 days feel balanced- it's essentially working 5 in 4
3 days is better from a balance perspective but career progression halts
2 days don't get paid enough
So fwiw I think you simply suss your motivating factors eg is working 2 days worth it at all or is it simply money for bills you don't see which you wouldn't have if you didn't work eg car running or childcare
Is career progression still important
Good luck and when you suss it share!!

Diggum Wed 05-Aug-15 20:20:59

What would the hours be for those three days? If you could be with your DD for breakfast and dinner I'd go for it.

I work 4 mornings a week and love it. Both that I get to spend time with DD and because going out to work is, honestly, a lovely break. I wear nice clothes, talk to grown ups, get an uninterrupted coffee break and use a different part of my brain.

GoooRooo Wed 05-Aug-15 20:21:50

I, technically, work four days a week but I am self employed so invariably on a Wednesday when I'm not meant to be working I end up emailing and answering phone calls. Clients do know if they call me on a Wednesday they are likely to hear my three year old in the background though.

If I really want to get away from it I take DS to the beach where I get no 3G signal

pommedeterre Wed 05-Aug-15 20:22:49

Between dc1 and 2 I did two days a week (from when dc1 was six months). When dc2 was ten months I started doing 2 full days and three mornings. Then I did three long days for a bit. When dc3 was four months I started doing 4 mornings and now I do 4 short days finishing to do school pick up. When all three are at school I will work school hours (I am always available on phone but only in office lesser hours than ft).
So for me more shorter days works so that I am checking in every day and always me doing tea, bath and bed.
It's a minefield! Good luck, childcare you totally trust is imperative. Focus on them getting enough cuddles and kisses at their childcare would be my tip.

ohidoliketobe Wed 05-Aug-15 20:38:02

I do 3 days. 2 days in nursery and one with my DM. Works great for us. Mainly it's the lowest number of hours we can afford for me to do. My DS is thriving at nursery and it means I get 2 days with him then the weekend as a little family.
Is your job achievable I'm 2.5 days? My employer is fabulous, very flexible but half days are difficult - you would inevitably end up working longer due to random queries / last minute calls etc. I was going to do 3.5 days but my husband suggested I start with 3 and up to 3.5 if needed in the future. But doing the role I've come back to I'm managing my workload in 3 days

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