What do you do, and how does it fit around your children?

(19 Posts)
Passthewipes Tue 15-Oct-19 10:10:05

My DD is in reception and DS is 9mnths.
I couldn't return to my previous job after first DC as they were not flexible at all! I ended up doing care work in the evenings for a while, and then moved to the supermarket, doing a night shift when DH was home from work. I'm due back in 2 weeks.....I'm dreading it, although I want to work, it's a very physically demanding job and very very boring!
I would feel terribly guilty to put DS in childcare for a day time job, and worry how I would manage school holidays with DD as well, but I really want to go back to work, I love being a mum but I'm worried what I will do when they grow up and I've been working in the supermarket for years, will I ever get back into a more challenging job?! I'm bored! I wouldn't want to work full time just maybe 3 days a week, but trying to find something is so difficult as would need to do school run and nursery run if I worked days. Plenty of people work with young kids, and I'm at a loss as to how they do it?
So can you share with me what you do for work, and how you manage childcare, and also if you don't mind, how this affects your finances. Looking at childcare costs I don't see how I would ever earn enough to make it worth it?
Unfortunately I have no family to use for childcare....they live too far away.

OP’s posts: |
EloiseLane Tue 15-Oct-19 18:28:13

I did the classic of going back to my old job in PT hours, which is th ideal really, so not much help.

I wanted to say, though, that with many children, holidays aren't the impossible mountain to climb that they seem to be before you have schoolchildren. There are a lot of playschemes and sports camps out there, outward bound centres, all sorts. The good ones don't need to advertise much. We muddled through fine for years with a mix of tag teaming, playschemes, childcare swaps with friends, a bit of help from parents (only a few days a year) when they were little.

We accept that, for 2-3 weeks a year when they're in camp, we don't break even. But it's such a small portion of the year, and when they are 7/8/9 a lot of them want to be out at football, or drama, or zip wiring and fire building all day. Work offsets the costs of those experiences which we'd want them to have anyway. This is not true of all children, but it is of many.

EssentialHummus Tue 15-Oct-19 18:40:44

I did something a bit different - left my high paying job, bought a BTL property for some income and started a small business doing something niche. DH works conventionally. Pros: very low childcare costs (I mainly work around DD), no one else to negotiate with re days off / illness etc, flexibility, unbroken record of work. Cons: no work life balance, lower income than if I’d worked conventionally, no pension unless I make it happen, some resentment in our relationship (from me to dh, not the other way round).

I still think my approach is the best for us, but it’s not sunshine and rainbows.

SallyWD Tue 15-Oct-19 18:44:50

I'm a PA. I work 17 hours per week. One normal day when the kids go to after school club and 2 short days - 9.30 to 2.30 so I can still drop them/pick them up from school. Suits me perfectly but I can only do this because my husband earns well.

weebarra Tue 15-Oct-19 18:49:29

I'm a manager in the public sector, working 17.5 hours.
I returned to work 3/5 when I came back from mat leave with DS1, now 11. After DS2 and DD, now 9 and 6, I reduced my hours again. I went for a promoted post on mat leave with DD and got it.
It's hard work and luckily DH's job is fairly flexible so he can sometimes work from home.
The younger ones do breakfast and after school club. DS1 is in high school now.
He does have ASN so we also have to juggle appointments along with everything else!

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Tue 15-Oct-19 18:52:05

My husband works term time only so I only need to worry about booking off leave for our holidays.

I do shoulder the kids sick days and plays and what not though, as he is just simply not able to take leave during term time.

It works great for us, as no need to worry about those long school holidays. He also does a slightly shorter week than me (35 to my 39) so does some pick ups. I do all the drops at Breakfast clubs.

bonzo77 Tue 15-Oct-19 19:00:20

I’m a dentist. I have job hopped entirely based on who would have me for the hours I wanted to work. Since my oldest was born (he’s 9.5) I’ve had three different jobs and 3 maternity leaves (13m with him, 8 months with middle child and 10 weeks with 3rd). I’m lucky that DH works weekends and has a week day off (so I work that day) and the job pays well enough to use a nanny sometimes, and my current practice is happy for me to work flexibly depending on term times and what extra help I can muster. I don’t like the job but it could be much much worse.

Gorbie Tue 15-Oct-19 19:31:43

I'm a childminder, fits perfectly around my children. Don't earn loads of money at all but I save a fortune in childcare for my own children!

Babdoc Tue 15-Oct-19 19:44:52

I was a hospital doctor. Worked part time until the DC were in school. Had a child minder until DD1 was two years old and DD2 was 11 months- then DH died and the child minder had a breakdown.
I got a day time nanny and increased my hours, until I was full time when the DC were in primary.
The nanny left to train for a career in the NHS when the DC were 7 and 9. They became latchkey kids, home alone after school every day for a couple of hours. I used an activity club to cover school holidays.
It was very tough going, but we survived. The DC are now in good graduate careers and I’m retired.
I shudder to think how we would have managed if I was in a low paid job. One of the reasons I chose medicine (apart from the vocation) was the need to earn my own living.
I would never have had children if I didn’t think I could financially support them.

ScrimshawTheSecond Wed 16-Oct-19 11:12:45

I handle recruitment and interviews at my work, and just wanted to comment on the gap in the CV thing -

For what it's worth, a career break due to kids does not count against someone, at least in our business.

It's so enormously common. We've had several mothers coming in for interview having not worked for many years, worried about the 'gap'. It's not a gap, it's a bloody hard job. I count it as any other job.

As for me personally - I worked very sporadically in bits and bobs while kids were small. A childminder for a coup;le of hours a week, swap with friends a couple of hours a week. Started more when youngest was in nursery, now back to part time/a bit more they are in school. I have probably missed about eight years of work, all in. I'm glad I had that time with the kids. And no, I would never have been able to afford childcare, though it's worth checking your tax credit situation.

Good luck, OP!

Yaflamingalah Wed 16-Oct-19 11:46:56

I went back to my original job but with PT hours - so I do three days a week. DDs are in primary school now but they went to a nursery for the three days that I was working. I'm lucky as my job in the Public Sector is quite flexible and I can WFH when the children have to leave early for parents evening and such. They also have wrap around care with a childminder.

We manage school holidays by DH and I dividing our leave and my MIL helps out a lot too.

beckyvardy Wed 16-Oct-19 11:57:48

I am a business development manager. I work from home mostly with weekly/monthly visits to external customers/internal meetings.

It's what I did before I had kids and I can plan my own diary 90% of the time.

So I log on for an hour before everyone gets up and occasionally of an evening and I normally have lunch at my desk so I can do the school runs.

I'm very lucky.

HippyChickMama Wed 16-Oct-19 12:12:28

I'm a university lecturer. It's sometimes flexible and sometimes not depending on the time of year! Usually I work 9-5, I do the school drop off (using breakfast club for the youngest who is still in primary) and dh, who works 5am-2:30pm does pick up. It's not ideal for dh, he has to get up at 4am, but it's the way it will be for the foreseeable future as eldest is 12 but has SEN and can't be home alone after school and youngest is only 6. In the school holidays, I am not term time only contrary to what a lot of people believe about lecturers, we have to rely on family and our combined annual leave as ds is too old for a lot of the holiday clubs now and they've never been suitable because of his needs.

Passthewipes Wed 16-Oct-19 23:00:24

Thanks all for replies. I guess some people are lucky and get to return PT from MAT leave. Unfortunately despite years of looking I have never found a flexible job in my field of work.
My DH is up at 4 but finishes around 2pm so can do pickup, but I cannot guarantee it as he has to travel on M25...he was late today despite leaving early for a meeting at the school!
I will look into public sector jobs, it seems they are quite flexible.
Sorry to hear about your DH @Babdoc that must have been tough! But sounds like you did a great job raising your DC

OP’s posts: |
Sc00byd00 Thu 17-Oct-19 13:57:30

I’m an engineer. I returned to work when my DS was 12months old then three years later when my DD was 9 months old. I felt pressured to go back earlier mainly because I was the only one with kids and the office was 90% men. I hated leaving my kids in child care and I resented my job. Both mine do breakfast club and afternoon school club. School holiday clubs or my parents at a push through the summer. My kids are now 10 and 8. I have changed my role recently and I can at least get them on the school bus in the morning. But I would give anything to have had more time with them. Unfortunately there are bills to pay and I can’t survive on a lower paid part time wage. I’m considering becoming a teacher because neither of my kids want to go to summer holiday camps anymore and making them go this summer was awful. I want more time with them too.

Lazypuppy Sat 19-Oct-19 17:02:07

I went back full time and use a combination of childcare and my mum who has my dd a few hours a week.

I always wanted to go back full time, never wanted to be part time

JustMe9 Sat 19-Oct-19 17:09:51

We both work FT day shifts while DS (2.5y) is at nursery. My boy LOVES nursery and I cannot express how much he has learnt and developed since he started it (he started at 2y). Also I love going to work and having a little bit of my own time. Financially, we got very lucky as nursery only costs around £800 a month. Also my director is super lenient and is ok for me to WFH when my little boy is poorly. It all is working quite well.

DavetheCat2001 Mon 21-Oct-19 23:10:52

I've just started working in a school office after nearly a year out of the workforce.

It's worked out very well for me as I was able to negotiate my hours, so I can drop my DC's into the before school club at 8.30am, I start work at 8.45am and leave at 3pm so can leg it up to my kid school to pick them up at 3.15.

It's termite only too so we don't have to worry about childcare in the holidays..DH works full time too.

I'm lucky but it's taken ages to find something that works around family commitments.

DavetheCat2001 Mon 21-Oct-19 23:11:24

term-time..not termite!

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