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Switch from three long days to four short ones(11 Posts)
I currently work three days a week and have two DC aged 5 and 7 - my youngest started school this year. Previously my MIL looked after her one day a week and on that day would take my DS to school and pick him up. Now they are both at school they are attending breakfast and after-school club three days a week so are out from 7.45 - 5.15pm on those days.
I have the option to change my hours which means they would still have breakfast club 3 days a week but I could pick them up every day. On paper this seems great as they would be less tired, those evenings on the days I work would be less hectic and we'd save the childcare costs.
I just wanted to see if anyone had any negative experience of doing this? I suppose my main concerns are whether you found you ended up staying later on your short days? If you missed having two full days off (I do manage to get quite a lot done on both those days with no one else around!) and also the impact on the school holidays as I would miss having those four days off a week with them.
I do a mixture of long and short days for the same reasons as you but went from full time to these hours. It works as long as the people you work for understand and are supportive. Very rare I have had to stay late, even if a few minutes later affects my journey back, but everyone understands that I am leaving for school pick ups rather than a jolly! Sometimes I may have to pick up things after I am home which is better than staying later in the office.
Sounds like a good plan. Would you be able to switch to 3 full days in school holidays so that you've less days to sort? I know that my employer would agree with this.
Tough one. I’d be tempted to stay with the three long days because you’ll still be able to do school pick ups twice a week. Plus also it’s more time together in school holidays.
I do three 6.10hr days to do the school pick up and have 2 days off. I love that I get to pick up the kids from school every day and share that after school time with them. We chat about their day, do homework, read etc. I feel much more involved in their every day lives now which I really appreciate.
However, I quite often feel I'm rushing at the end of the day with my looming finish time as I cant just stay a few minutes longer to finish things up. I was on flexi-time previously so i was used to having that flexibility. If you've not been on flexi-time I don't imagine it would be an issue for you.
Only you will know if yours is a job you can just "clock off" from and walk out the door at the set time. A lot of jobs don't really work like that (particularly if you are leaving before most of your colleagues) but I'm sure there are jobs where it is possible.
Personally I'd stick with the 3 days.
It isn't that long a day, if you are happy with the quality of your wrap around care, and the two full days is MUCH more useful to you in terms of what you can get done than the one day and 3 'bits of' late afternoon. Once you factor in the issue of holiday care, it's a no-brainer.
With the 3 longer days you are still at school 2 x a week so can get to know their friends and to a lesser extent friends' parents.
I did this when dc2 started school. It worked really well though I did notice the loss of the extra "free" day for me - the afternoons/evenings were full of running around with after school activities, cooking dinners etc and I'd started to get used to having an extra day with both DC out of the house. On balance it was fine though, I still had one day at home with no DC and they could do activities they chose rather than mandated after school club.
I'm 4 days a week now and reluctant to split it over 5 as hanging grimly on to the one day off.
Watching with interest as I plan to do this when DD starts school...
Thanks for the replies.
In terms of school holidays, my DH is a teacher so luckily we don’t have to sort out childcare then it was more that I will miss having that extra day off all together in the holidays but I’ll be home by 2.15 so will still have afternoons.
I just feel at the moment evenings are so rushed by the time I get them home, cook dinner, clear up it’s almost bedtime and I’d like to have a bit more time with them. Also on one of my current days off my DS has Beavers so even on that day it’s a rush!
I think I’m more inclined to make the change- to be fair if it didn’t work I’m pretty sure my work would let me switch back. But yeah as Schoolchoicesucks said above I will definitely hang on to my one day off!
I think I'd choose 4 short days. You still get 3 days not at work. Sounds like a great balance.
For your kids 4 short days will be better.
For yourself 3 long days may be better. Probably depend what work you do and how easy / widely acceptable it is to leave every day in time for school pickup.
I currently work 4 short days although my kids are a bit older and I hate it, always rushing between school and work, then onto after school activities before needing to produce meals at the right time before later activities start. All before the end of a normal work day. Most evenings I have to catch up on emails or other work that I couldn't finish before I left for school pickup.
My kids do get to do more varied after school activities than they could if at after- school club, and so I carry on.
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