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2 FT working parents and 2 kids and a dog moving to UK - how to run our lives smoothly?

(8 Posts)
timeforsomethingnew Sat 22-Jun-13 02:27:21

Title says it really ... We live overseas and have 2 kids 12 and 8. Both DH and I have full time jobs. I am the breadwinner - he loves his job but does not even cover a small portion of our expenses. In addition to my full on job, I manage the kid stuff - school, homework, activities, play dates, clothes etc. He helps with anything - a willing and active support. But I do find I direct everything.

As we live overseas we have full time help at home to cook, shop, washing, ironing and cleaning and childcare. Returning to UK we would not have that. Neither will we have any family support.

Is anyone in a similar situation ? My job is not the kind where I'll be working flexi hours. DH does not seem keen to stop working or reduce hours which I understand. So we'll need some help - what would you do, or what works for you?


joanofarchitrave Sat 22-Jun-13 03:16:56


Do you think you would be looking at independent schools? I ask just because the days tend to be longer, although the holidays are longer too.

I'm not in exactly the same situation, but I fill gaps with after-school activities, holiday activities and having a shit-heap for a house. If we could afford it we would have a cleaner, which I would budget about £20 a week for, which for a small house would be enough at least to keep the downstairs hygienic (2 hours a week).

In the past we've shared a nanny with another family - IMO a nanny is the most flexible way of having childcare and removes a whole host of childcare issues, but being able to afford that is another matter.

Salbertina Sat 22-Jun-13 06:41:38

Live in aupair?

JellyMould Sat 22-Jun-13 06:48:22

What age are the children? Au pair, online shopping, cleaner, are my tips.

MarjorieAntrobus Sat 22-Jun-13 06:50:27

Will you both have jobs when you move to the UK, or can one of you set up the domestic support network before looking for work?

timeforsomethingnew Sun 23-Jun-13 17:44:03

Thanks for your replies and thoughts.

DD 13, DS 9. Yes, we'll look at independent schools. And guess we'll end up with the patchwork of help you describe. Not sure that we're ready for an au pair but maybe that's the route we'll have to take. It's having someone live as part of the family that makes me feel uncomfortable - meant to treat them as older daughter? And then they move on quite frequently. But will definitely consider if that's a way to make it work.

DH may be able to take some time out to settle us in. TBH the cost of child care, cleaner etc will be more than he will likely earn so on purely financial basis it would be sensible for him not to work, but he doesn't want to do that. Or at least not yet. He enjoys working and I know he would miss it.

When you mention Nanny - I really just need someone 5 days a week after school ( assuming DH and I can do drop off). Plus with kid at 13 and 9, they don't need as much nannying! What I really need is a nanny/housekeeper - say from 12 to 7pm 5 days. Does such a thing exist? Big bucks I expect but is it more than regular nanny?

joanofarchitrave Sun 23-Jun-13 20:23:54

i employed a nanny 11am to 7pm when ds was on half days at school, so it can be done. Found her on gumtree/localplacename.

officelady Sun 23-Jun-13 20:37:05

We have a similar set- up and it's do-able without outside help but bloody hard work. I work full time & my dh is in the Navy, he helps out 50/50 when he's home but he's often away for long periods so I tend to be the one who does all the organising etc.
My kids walked themselves to/from school from age 10. This is perfectly safe where we live but I appreciate not the same everywhere. I also taught them to prepare simple meals in case I was stuck at work - I am usually home at 4.30pm and can walk the dog, feed the kids etc. but if I wasn't home I would text them & they would take care of the dog & feed themselves. They are now 16 and 15 yrs and it doesn't seem to have done them any harm - quite the opposite in fact.
I do spend much of my weekend catching up on housework and washing. Online grocery shopping is a godsend. In fact online shopping for everything. I wish I had a cleaner but instead I have a robot vacuum cleaner which is fab.

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