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To think I can WFH 9-5 in the holidays with my kids at home

393 replies

TheObstinateHeadstrongGirl · 05/03/2023 13:38

I recently started a new job where I’m based at home full time. Was a bit nervous at first not going into an office as I’ve only ever had office based roles but I’ve found a good rhythm and routine and we meet in big city once a month so I’m happy with that.

I was off through February half term but I don’t want to use all my holidays too soon. Obviously Easter holidays are coming up. My kids are 6&9. Holiday clubs not only cost a fortune but the kids absolutely hate going to them. I can get family childcare for a couple of days and DH can take a couple of days off bit WIBU to keep them at home while I work? They’re old enough to entertain themselves i’d just need to make their lunch and check they’re still alive.

For context - I know people at my new work who WFH on half days with their 1yo babies there. One of them was late to a meeting the other day because the health visitor was round!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

SweetSakura · 05/03/2023 14:38

Can you and your husband not take it in turns to work half days? Then whoever is working the half day takes the children out for the afternoon?


BodyShapeWoes · 05/03/2023 14:39

Mine are older than yours and I had them home over feb half term, they entertained themselves.

We all had breakfast/lunch then together then they went off and did their own things

I don’t think I’d be comfortable with a 6 year old being left to their own devices for a whole working day


AliceMcK · 05/03/2023 14:41

Fully depends on the job, your employer rules and your DCs.

My DH can wfh while looking after the DCs, they know when his door is closed it means do not disturb, he only closes the door for meetings. They can happily entertain themselves without fighting (for the most part). He can be flexible with work, he dosnt have to sit at his desk all day so he’s spending time, playing games at times, sometimes our 5yo will sit in his office happily drawing or watching her tablet while he works.

The only time it’s not feasible is once a quarter when he has a lot of work on and can’t have any distractions.


WFHbore2023 · 05/03/2023 14:41

The odd day here and there is fine, but I wouldn't do it as my default.

My children are the same age.

My immediate boss doesn't give a shit if my kids are there or not.

I think she's aware that it was deemed fine for me to be at my wits end trying to work and homeschool during lockdown with no prospect of furlough, so if it benefits me every now and then it's not the end of the world.


OoooohMatron · 05/03/2023 14:43

SoHereWeGo · 05/03/2023 13:41

And people wonder why employers want their staff back in the office....



speakout · 05/03/2023 14:44

Do you know of a willing teenager in your family or friend group?
A good little job for a 15 year old.- and they will also have the school holidays
They could watch over/entertain your kids in your home while you are there for backup. You may not know the teenager, but if the care is done while you are there then you can ensure safety.
My DD did this for a few years while she was at school. She basically went over to entertain and keep the two youngsters occupied in their parents home while they worked. The parent would leave a packed lunch in the fridge and snacks for the children.


Viviennemary · 05/03/2023 14:44

I am glad I'm not an employer these days.


theemmadilemma · 05/03/2023 14:44

You say this is acceptable at your work place so just ask them.

You know if you can handle your kids or not.

Personally this wouldn't be acceptable at my workplace (also wfh full time).

But you need to ensure work are ok with it.


Lifeisapeach · 05/03/2023 14:47

How unfair to your children … and your employer who is paying you to work uninterrupted. 6 year olds don’t entertain themselves from 9-5.


Hotvimto3 · 05/03/2023 14:49

I wfh full time with 2 kids for 2 years during covid which included school closure and holidays. Its utter hell.


Coolblur · 05/03/2023 14:49

speakout I realise the teenage babysitter idea is just a suggestion, but are there many teenagers who want to work throughout the holidays? What if they change their mind and want to hang out with friends instead, letting you down at the last minute?


otherusername · 05/03/2023 14:49

berksandbeyond · 05/03/2023 13:44

how expensive is holiday club really? It’s £25 a day here

£50 a day is expensive to many people!


MargaretThursday · 05/03/2023 14:50

I could have done this with dd1 or ds (if he wasn't ill) but not with dd2. Dd2 would have wanted to go to the holiday club though.
You know your dc though, and if you're likely to have to separate fights 20 times a day or if they'll play nicely together.

I think what I'd do is:

  1. Talk with them about appropriate disturbing you. eg see blood, not "she told me to go away" complaints.
  2. Make them each (separately) a basket of snacks including some treats and some fillers. Make water bottles up for the day.
  3. Get them lots of things to do-perhaps get some cheap craft sets.
  4. Bribe them. If they behave well then you will do something fun in the evening.
  5. Don't worry about them having screen time.
  6. Speak privately to the 9yo and ask her to help the 6yo when necessary (eg opening a packet of crisps if the 6yo can't) and give her some sort of recompense for "being in charge".
  7. Ask a friendly mother if the first day doesn't work out, can she take them for the second day in return for money/babysitting back.
  8. Don't get upset if the house is trashed at the end of the day.
  9. Have every hour when you pop a head in on them and check things are okay.
  10. Have a sign for your door when they need to stay away except in total emergency.
  11. Lay down ground laws. Eg The can go outside in the garden, but not allowed to climb the tree. Don't make toast, don't let the budgies out, no blowing their recorder in their siblings ear...
  12. Praise them if it's worked out, don't moan at them if it hasn't-just put them in holiday club next time.

anexcellentwoman · 05/03/2023 14:50

And people wonder at the problem of teacher recruitment. It is not just money but the fact that so many jobs are now work from home. why would anyone one bother being a doctor, nurse, paramedic, teacher when you can work from home, And look after your kids.
40% unfilled teacher training places
The future will be children being schooled at home by computers at this rate.
So many crucial public facing jobs are family unfriendly and inflexible. So many mothers on here appear to find it is easy to combine WFH and childcare
One of the teaching threads on MN recently suggested dropping so schools opened four days a week.
Threads like this will make difficulties for schools to recruit teachers harder and harder.


speakout · 05/03/2023 14:50

Coolblur · 05/03/2023 14:49

speakout I realise the teenage babysitter idea is just a suggestion, but are there many teenagers who want to work throughout the holidays? What if they change their mind and want to hang out with friends instead, letting you down at the last minute?

Not all teenagers are irresponsible.


Suzi888 · 05/03/2023 14:53

I use leave to work reduced hours/days and get up early/log in late- on occasion, it saves a little leave. I have a lot of meetings where I don’t need my camera or sound on though.

If I need to participate or concentrate then no chance.


SarahLHs · 05/03/2023 14:53

It's actually written into my works contract now that you cannot work from home to provide childcare. They wouldn't mind the odd day of plans fall through last minute or children are sick but in general not allowed.


MintJulia · 05/03/2023 14:54

Not a chance. I have one 14yo who will happily spend an entire day playing computer games and yet he still interrupts my meetings with demands for snacks.

Two under 10 just won't work.


Lefteyetwitch · 05/03/2023 14:56

I did it for a few years to get DD2 to fulltime school. Saved thousands.

Was like the 7th circle of hell. But again thousands.

By that point I knew I wanted put so didn't give a damn about career progression or shining through

Never felt bad either the company were more than happy to make millions in profit off the back of free labour. Me included.

At the end of the day if you can cover yourself do what's best for you


CaptainMerica · 05/03/2023 14:59

I would do this occasionally. After all - we did it for 5 months while simultaneously home schooling, with younger kids than that, are were expected to deliver as usual at work with no real allowances. So the odd day won't hurt anyone.

I try not to do it two days in a row, and would get out for a walk at lunch. I more often split a day or two of leave across the week, so I'm working 4.5 hour in the morning with them at home, then get out in the afternoon.

It's £250 per child per week, and a 30 mile drive for holiday clubs here.


AnneElliott · 05/03/2023 15:01

My DS would t have been fine at 6 years old but at 9 he would have been. Depends on how needy the 6 year old is. One day I would say fine but not the whole week - they will get bored.


Ladybird2023 · 05/03/2023 15:02

At ages 6 and 9 they should be fine. Lots of us did it during COVID with much younger kids (and now again during teacher strikes).

Even if they spend most of the day on screens it won’t hurt them; you could pop out every hour or so and get them doing some non-screen tasks to break the day up. They will probably love it.


Deanandthellhounds · 05/03/2023 15:03

i don't know about 'needing you so much' at six. I was out of the house all day every day and my parents had to wrangle me back in for lunch.

and I was born in the very late 90s, not the seventies.

if you have a garden and the weather is nice I'd make a couple of sandwiches and set up a lunch box, maybe a colouring box full of paper and pencils (to mix it up) and just leave them to it


desperadodogface · 05/03/2023 15:04

I reckon the 9yo would be fine with this for a few days but not the 6yo. 9yo could have a sensible pre- approved friend over perhaps. Two kids that age can be easier than 1


Zanatdy · 05/03/2023 15:05

A couple of days a week max if you’re prepared to catch up in the evenings as it’s really not fair on your employer or colleagues to do the bare minimum during holidays. This is becoming a real problem in my workplace, and we have discovered staff working at home with babies under 1yr old. They weren’t even bothered when we found out and thought they’d done nothing wrong as can’t afford childcare. Maybe harsh but that’s not the employers fault and we are taking this down a HR route. We don’t mind an odd occasion with kids over school age but no 6-9yrs old want to sit infront the TV or tablet for 6wks solid

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