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What adjustments (if any) did you make when going back to work?

(11 Posts)
Babyhiccups Wed 18-Jan-17 15:36:38

Baby not even born yet (currently on mat leave) but I clearly have too much time on my hands and am stressing about the return to work.

The plan was always for both me and DH to compress our hours. For him it would have been easier as he only works til 12 on a Friday (so he could add the three hours onto his others) but his hours have just changed so he now works 8-4 everyday. This does have its perks as it means he can do all nursery pick ups.

My plan was to change jobs as my daily commute is two hours, I could earn a lot more money elsewhere and compressing hours would make my work day 11 hours in total.

But now I'm thinking I should just stay where I am as I am less likely to secure a four day a week job if I join a company after mat leave.

So what kind of adjustments did you/DH/DP make to enable the best lifestyle for yourself and your children once going back to work? And how easy was it to achieve??

Mazzimaz2709 Wed 18-Jan-17 15:46:49

Sorry no advice but keen to see what has worked for others. I'm currently 6 months back to work and struggling with managing life/money/mental health! And I loved my job pre-baby... confusedwinewinewinewine

EllieQ Wed 18-Jan-17 20:07:58

DH took two months shared parental leave at the end of my maternity leave - is this possible for you? It made my return to work easier as I didn't have to worry about DD settling into nursery at the same time.

Our original plan was that we'd both drop to four days, meaning we'd only need three days at nursery, but DH's employer wasn't supportive so he stayed full-time but does compressed hours (10 days over 9). We use a mix of my annual leave and booking an extra day at nursery to cover the Fridays he's at work. This saves us money and gives us more time with DD.

I would suggest staying in your job for now -

EllieQ Wed 18-Jan-17 20:11:32

Posted too soon! I'd suggest staying in your job for now simply because it's easier going back to something you know well - those days when you're sleep-deprived and stressed are made easier if you don't have to think too much about what you're doing. I also think I've built up enough 'goodwill' with colleagues that they'll cut me a bit of slack if I'm having a tough day (as I would do for them), which is valuable. Wait until you've settled into the new routine of work/ nursery drop- offs before you try something new.

isthistoonosy Wed 18-Jan-17 20:23:16

We managed to change our hours so one goes to work early and comes home.early and picks up.the kids. The other does the opposite and drops the kids at nursery.
We are lucky and can also work.from home so no commute which helps loads of course and gives some.flex to work in evenings when kids are sleeping.

isthistoonosy Wed 18-Jan-17 20:31:42

Should add dc2 (don't plan anymore) is now two and half we've both waited until a few.months ago.to change careers to get a better fit for the school.years.

Babyhiccups Wed 18-Jan-17 21:31:46

Ellie - yes, DH is taking the last three months as shared leave so I'll be going back in October. I thought, if I was going to change jobs, it would be better when DH was at home as I could put in the hours, show willing etc...before the shitness of nursery started.

I guess I hoped that a move closer to home would give me more time, more money and better hours but I know it's going to be so much harder finding an employer prepared to be flexible on hours from the start.

EllieQ Thu 19-Jan-17 07:48:33

In my experience, DD caught a lot of colds and had to be at home during the first few months at nursery, so that wouldn't be the best time to be settling into a new job. That commute sounds tough, though, no wonder you want to find something closer to home.

My DH also does all the nursery runs as it's at his work. It's a bit of a long commute by bus, so he usually has at least 30 minutes by himself when he gets home to have a break and I spend that time with DD. On the days one of us is at home, the other one takes over as soon as they get back to give the person at home a break.

If you can, get a nursery who will provide all three meals during the day so you don't have to rush around sorting out food for your DC when you get home - makes the evenings much more relaxing!

frenchknitting Thu 19-Jan-17 08:34:35

I agree that DH taking the last bit of leave is a great idea. It worked really well for us.

We now work 4 days per week each. DH compresses his hours, but my work don't allow that, so I dropped the hours. I was quite glad of that in the early days, to be honest. I didn't anticipate that I'd still be breastfeeding a bottle refuser when I started back at work, but that's the way it worked out, and I was still up a lot in the night, so I would have struggled with longer hours.

4 days each works out great - we view our days off as our "fun" days of 1-to-1 time, and don't put any pressure on ourselves or each other to do any more than the very basic chores on those days.

I have a long bus commute - about an 1 and a half each way - and to be honest, I don't mind it. Time on my own to read a book, do the online shop on my phone, watch something on the tablet, etc, actually feels like a bit of a luxury.

No harm looking for another job. If you find your ideal job for more money, good hours on your doorstep then it would be daft not to apply. But I don't think sticking to your old one would be the end of the world either.

I WFH one day a week though, and DH does a couple of days. This is really useful, and gives us time to blast the housework at lunchtime and in the time between finishing work and nursery closing.

Also, to echo the above, our nursery does 3 meals (plus 2 snacks... they are constantly eating) which makes life a bit easier.

clarabellski Thu 19-Jan-17 13:19:19

Another taking advantage of SPL here (husband nearing the end of his 3 month stint).

We are both planning to work full time monday to friday (me 9-5 him 9 - 5.30 and each with a manageable commute) but we are extremely lucky to have both sets of grandparents covering 1 and a half days of childcare each week, with nursery covering the remaining 3 and a half. Agree with PP re getting a nursery (or grandparent!) that gives them all of their meals. Pre-baby we didn't eat dinner until around 7.30-8pm and we'll likely go back to that pattern when DS goes into nursery next month (during mat leave/SPL we got into habit of all eating dinner together around 6 which was nice, but not feasible when back at work full time). I prefer a later dinner anyway as it means I'm less like to want a snack chocolate later on in the evening.

I didn't want to reduce my hours at work because I feel that I'd end up doing the same overall hours anyway (logging in at home on day off etc) and I'd rather get paid for my full hours thank you very much. Not all workplaces or employees are like this though! Compressing sounds more appealing but then you still have that danger of doing even more than your contractual hours....

GreenGoblin0 Thu 19-Jan-17 17:05:05

We also both changed to compressed 4 day week although neither of our employers would allow us to fully compress full time into 4 days so we both dropped a few hours each (went from 37 hrs to 34). personally it has worked for us. we both had a full day with Dd and it basically made our parenting responsibilities balanced. also made sense financially as I earn slightly more. hours wise would do 830-530 with 30 min break, OH 930-630 so he could do nursery pick drop off and I did pick up. we both did childcare vouchers through work to help with nursery cost. first year of two is hardest financially before you get free nursery hrs at 3 so makes sense to try to condense week if possible

2 hr commute is tough esp if you are working long days but agree might be difficult to start new job at same time as going back to work. maybe keep eye out to keep your options open

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