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To think even P/T work with small kids is impossible??
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LowryLowry · 14/05/2022 09:42

I have an almost 1 year old and an almost 3 year old and have been a SAHM for the last couple of years. I've been vaguely looking out for p/t jobs and have been offered an interview for one which is 21hrs per week. Good job, in the field I want, with prospects. I've been trying to work out logistics and it just seems impossible. There'd be a 1hr commute each way. So, say I worked three days a week, 8-4, and DH dropped them off and I picked them up, that still just seems like an insanely long day for them. Then I'd literally just be picking them up, chucking some food into them and putting them to bed, then repeating for another two days. Is this just the norm? Then there's the probability of them being ill, DH going on work trips (not a regular thing, but reasonably frequent) Is it worth it?? I love spending time with my kids, but find the monotony and physical exhaustion quite hard at times. I feel a bit lost and would love to have 2 or 3 days a week to do something just for me. To not feel reliant on DH. To not feel like my career will never recover. To use my brain! But it just feels like the world of work isn't set up for people with kids, and that even working p/t would add a massive amount of stress to our lives. Anyone have any thoughts / advice / wisdom?

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MolliciousIntent · 14/05/2022 09:45

I think you're being pretty dramatic. Surely the set up you're describing doing 3 days a week is similar (or less than) what your DH does now? Why is that too much time away from your children for you, but less than is acceptable for him?

8-4 is a pretty standard day in childcare, if not shorter than some. Your 3yr old in particular will benefit hugely from the social aspect.

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bedsidetab · 14/05/2022 09:46

I wanted to work after some time off & went back for 3 days. I didn't start at 8 though or have a 1hr commute.
A lot of people who work have dc though so obviously many manage it.

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Savoury · 14/05/2022 09:46

Millions of men and women do it, most out of necessity and many by choice. It’s hard and drudgery at times but the plus point is that should anything happen to your relationship, you can keep yourself and still have relevant skills. Plus you’re showing your kids that hard work is everything.
Just make sure your DH does half of the pick-up/collection duty and housework.

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PrawnToast5 · 14/05/2022 09:48

To not feel reliant on DH

Your DH is very reliant on you right now though.

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Hardbackwriter · 14/05/2022 09:48

So, say I worked three days a week, 8-4, and DH dropped them off and I picked them up, that still just seems like an insanely long day for them. Then I'd literally just be picking them up, chucking some food into them and putting them to bed, then repeating for another two days. Is this just the norm?

Yes, this is pretty normal and it isn't really as awful as you're imagining... But you get used to what you're used to, which is why I find it hard to imagine why you find the idea so insurmountable and, I guess, why you seem to think that this is 'impossible' rather than what it actually is, which is 'something that you'd rather not do'.

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Twin24 · 14/05/2022 09:49

Its not impossible but it's a lot easier since i now wfh. I wouldn't do an hour's commute each way. Id look for a job that was closer to home or flexible and allowed home working.

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Timeforabiscuit · 14/05/2022 09:50

Basically, the logistics need to stack up. So I found it much easier working full time at those ages, as the commute time was taking up an inordinate amount of time, and the nursery was right next to my work place.

They would be in nursery 8am to 530, and I the ran nursery run with military precision but yes, it was a very long day for them.

Childminders help, as they are more flexible, but with that comes problems with cover if they are ill.

Are homeworking roles an option for you? Or work close to where you live, or close to where you or your dh work?

There are lots of moving parts, but it is doable in alot of cases.

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Tamzo85 · 14/05/2022 09:50

YANBU. Let’s be real, we just weren’t meant to be working a seperate job while mothering infants or toddlers, it’s impossibly hard unless your the highly energetic and organised type. It’s against nature.

The world of work can’t really ever accommodate it, because it takes up to much energy. You wouldn’t try to have a full time career on top of your full time career or for society to somehow make it possible - so how can you expect to mum babies and toddlers and have a career? Realistically there’s nothing to be done unless you want to leave your kids with someone else for ten hours a day or burden your own ageing parents with being the main caters for them.

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IncompleteSenten · 14/05/2022 09:50

It can be tough yes.

It's not impossible.

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Mally100 · 14/05/2022 09:51

MolliciousIntent

I think you're being pretty dramatic. Surely the set up you're describing doing 3 days a week is similar (or less than) what your DH does now? Why is that too much time away from your children for you, but less than is acceptable for him?

8-4 is a pretty standard day in childcare, if not shorter than some. Your 3yr old in particular will benefit hugely from the social aspect.

Yes, millions of parents do these hours in childcare and even longer. The world isn't against people with parents Hmm. You just may not like the options that's out there.

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Matchingcollarandcuffs · 14/05/2022 09:51

Err what do you think millions of families with both parents working do, that's exactly like it is.

We have 3 all born in under 3.5 years, so would drop widest at breakfast club at 7-45 then onto nursery and then hour commute to be in office for 9-15.

I'd have left at 6-30 to work 8-4, then hour and a quarter commute to get to nursery for 5-15, then onto school to pick up from after school club about 5-30 then home just before 6.

Quick bite to eat, read books, watch TV, get next days clothes ready then bath, story bed. One of us doing the kids whilst the other cooks our tea. We'd eat 8ish then I would invariably fall asleep.

For the first 6 months of them starting nursery we had no block longer than 2 weeks before someone would be ill. Which inevitably we would then get as so worn down.

All my friends who worked did exactly the same, there's no way we it they could have afforded for one of us to give up work. And now the kids are all teenagers and relatively self sufficient I'm glad we didn't

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Mally100 · 14/05/2022 09:51

*with children

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oviraptor21 · 14/05/2022 09:52

I agree OP.
Can you start earlier and finish earlier so DC have a little bit less time in childcare and you get a bit more time with them?
Or do five mornings a week (though with a 1 hour commute that's probably not manageable)?
Is there any option to work from home or for dh to work from home.?
Is a similar kind of job likely to come up closer to home?

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Smartiepants79 · 14/05/2022 09:52

What your describing is a very normal set up for most families I think.
In fact it’s a much nicer one than many.
Its not at all uncommon for work to be 8-5 with kids in childcare from 7-6. In mu opinion p/t work is the best of both worlds. You get to keep hold of your career and independence - remember your kids will be in school before you know and and you’ll be desperately trying to get back into work after a 7 year break.
Your kids get some time socialising with others.
It will require a change in mindset and routine but it’s very manageable.

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mommandme · 14/05/2022 09:52

I never gave up work, so had the luxury of being able to determine my hours a but more. But when my children were that age I worked mornings, and I have to say I felt it was the best of all worlds. I dropped the children off at the nursery at 8::50, started work at 9. They'd spend the morning at nursery, have their morning sleep, lunch and then I'd pick them up by 1 and we had the rest of the day together. Every afternoon we did an activity or saw friends, rarely did we do nothing in the afternoon. Always felt I got the best of both worlds, as the morning was mostly spent sleeping anyway. So, it is possible, but I'm lucky that I was able to change my hours every year to fit around the changing needs of my children. I also had family to help out, and I never gave up work, so they were always much more flexible to keep me.

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Oneortwo2022 · 14/05/2022 09:52

21 hours per week is only 7 hours each day…? So you could potentially finish earlier at 3.30 and pick the kids up earlier.

I work three days per week and can honestly say I feel so much happier with this arrangement than when I was at home full time. I still get the career/intellectual stimulation and I enjoy my days off with my 18 month old so much. I think I am a better, more patient and engaged mum because I work.

Not sure if it’s an option for you but I have a day off in between my second and third working day and this works really well for us because I don’t feel like I am away from my baby for too long.

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manysummersago · 14/05/2022 09:52

It’s not impossible, but I’m feeling a bit like I’m doing a crap job at both, so maybe it is a bit impossible.

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YouHaventDoneAnyWork · 14/05/2022 09:53

When you say insanely long day, do you think time stands still in nurseries? During that time they’ll be fed 2+ meals, little one probably has a nap, played with loads of toys and games, socialised around other children their age, probably learned some things and done more than you could at home on your own with them. Yes they will be tired because all that is tiring - same as they are tired at the end of every day at home too.

I’m being harsh because I think you need to reframe your thinking. It’s 3 days a week. Loads of people do that for 5 days and for longer days - and their children all turn out to be well adjusted.

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Rainbowqueeen · 14/05/2022 09:54

It is possible. This is where your DH needs to step up. At the moment you facilitate him working. He needs to do the same for you. Could he WFH a couple of days? And you WFH one day?? That will reduce the time they spend in nursery. He should also be responsible for taking time off for the first 6 months if the DC are I’ll to allow you to establish yourself.
The nursery will likely give them their main meal of the day. They may also give breakfast and a late afternoon snack so all you need to feed them is a sandwich some vege sticks yoghurt and fruit for dinner.

It sounds like you would really enjoy getting back to work. Find a way to make it happen.

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bedsidetab · 14/05/2022 09:54

Realistically there’s nothing to be done unless you want to leave your kids with someone else for ten hours a day or burden your own ageing parents with being the main caters for them.

I'm must be a terrible mum, I still left my dc with their preschool staff on days when I wasn't working! 😱

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Ikeptgoing · 14/05/2022 09:55

It is normal

I worked part time with young children when married and then when a lone parent.

Yes for that time children go to nursery, mine did a 8-6pm day 3 days a week. They enjoyed it. Then they go to school and go to breakfast / after school club or childminder and childminder or holiday clubs during school holidays when you can't take annual leave for everything. Yes they are sometimes off sick and you WFH or take a day off.

I enjoyed working as it kept me current in my career and independent. I used to joke that I went to work "for a rest" Grin but really it was the change of how my days were that helped me.

Yes it's hard to fit everything in, but meh that's being a parent for you.

I'm now in the taxi-mum and bank-of-mum years , for which I am grateful to have an income.

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JassyRadlett · 14/05/2022 09:56

Well, saying that it's 'impossible' (and that the kids have 'insanely long days'? is somehow both mildly insulting and hugely complimentary to the vary large numbers who somehow manage to do exactly that.

Yep, it was hard work, and sometimes stressful. My commute was over an hour, DH's was longer. We were scrupulously fair about how the load was split. The kids (very different temperaments) both did really well at nursery, who fed them three nutritious meals a day, played with them , taught them, hugged them and comforted them, and they generally had a great time 4 days a week. The time between home and sleep was 100% focused on them and I have very fond memories of it.

Not impossible at all. How strange that you think it is? You don't get to have all the things you'd like, sure. But 'impossible' is ridiculous.

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PinkiOcelot · 14/05/2022 09:56

It’s not impossible OP. It just is if you want it to be.

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Fireyflies · 14/05/2022 09:57

I loved working part time when mine were small. Work was stimulating, sociable and a real break from childcare. The first thing I did each morning was make a coffee that I knew I could drink all of at my desk without distraction. I loved picking them up after work too and looked forward to the two days a week at home with them too. From about 2 up I would say they really benefited too and enjoyed nursery. Working those years has also benefited my career in the longer term too. I didn't really want to be out of my field for years and have the value of my qualifications diminish.

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TheYearOfSmallThings · 14/05/2022 09:58

Perfectly normal - I and all my friends did this.

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