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Does anyone work and have 4 kids and not be knackered!
22

Stepmumm · 23/09/2012 12:34

We have 4 kids, age 13 - 5, i work part time but would like to do more days, 4 days. However i'm concerned as to if i can do it and still get me time, time for jobs, time for hubby. Am i naive in thinking i can. I can be on my own for 4 mths at a time with the kids and regularly mon- fri due to hubby's work. I have little other support and wonder if its worth it as it will also mean increase in childcare costs. Plus if the kids are sick i can rearrange working days to cover but i will have less flexibility if i work more

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Hullygully · 23/09/2012 12:37

It's exremely unlikely

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Stepmumm · 23/09/2012 12:50

Hully, thanks, i think i'm coming round to that way of thinking!

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Stepmumm · 23/09/2012 14:56

Anyone else tried it?

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Xenia · 23/09/2012 15:56

Yes, we have five and plenty of women in the City of London have large families. I think some people can hardly cope with getting up one baby and being home all day and some people can manage a lot of things at once.

When we had 3 under 4 and both worked full time and all 3 were still in nappies at night and they all woke every night for 3 years it was tiring. Your youngest is 5 so it will be a lot easier.

Obviously ensure you both do as much with the children and domestically as each other and tolerate no sexism within the marriage at all, that helps a lot.

Why would it be you rearranging work if your children are sick? That does not happen in non sexist marriages. I earned 10x what their father did and we did things reasonably equally simply based on who had the most work that day. Also in a recession it is pretty easy to find back ups of back ups of back ups for when a child is sick and there are agencies who provide cover. you just have to organise it or even better leave it to your bhyusband or orgainse. Plenty of men take responsibility for finding child care.

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BeattieBow · 23/09/2012 16:01

I have 6 and work full time - I'm going back to work tomorrow after having number 6, but worked until 39 weeks pregnant with that baby - at the time I had 5 other children aged 4-13.

I have a live in au pair who helps me - me and my husband are separated and he doesn't live with me. She helps if the children are off school sick, but I also work from home if necessary or take leave.

it can be done!

(me time? what is that?!).

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nkf · 23/09/2012 16:01

Well, you will be tired but that's not the end of the world.

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BoffinMum · 23/09/2012 21:34

I work full time and have four children (although one is grown up now and lives in her own place).

I get a bit tired now and then but nothing I didn't experience when I had just one child.

I am one of those people who has a lot of energy, though.

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LongStory · 23/09/2012 22:27

I work 3 days, arrange all the house stuff, make time to spend with the kids and also have a (fairly minimal but important) social life. I do get tired sometimes but not always. I think the key is planning ahead for most eventualities, trusting other people, not doing everything yourself, and learning from what works and what doesn't. Totally echo what Xenia says about equality within the marriage on chores etc, but you're going to struggle with that when he's away for months! Sometimes I think I just go to work to pay the cleaner/nanny/babysitter/clubs/uniforms/trips etc etc. But then I think of the pension which will be MINE ALL MINE!!!!!

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YoullLaughAboutItOneDay · 23/09/2012 22:30

So your husband is regularly away for four months at a time with work? I think it is likely to be very hard to work 4/5 days in that situation as you are basically a single parent. Many, many single parents manage it, but it is hard.

So I guess a different way of looking at it is whether your husbands work can or should be changing now to accomodate both of you having more career time?

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Hassled · 23/09/2012 22:36

I am currently working FT and DH works away during the week. I am so tired that exhaustion is like a distant blip far far away. It's a temporary thing, so the fact the house smells and the kids are feral is copeable with for now. The work isn't the problem - the work is fine. It's the "does DS3 have football tomorrow and where is his trumpet?" shit that finishes me off.

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BoffinMum · 23/09/2012 23:27

I hire people to do the 'where is the PE kit' and 'school bake sale' stuff, tbh.

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Xenia · 24/09/2012 09:18

Good plan. Also if the man is off for 4 months at a time get some fairness and parity in this relationship. Take yourself off for 4 months at a time and make him cope. Sexism is at the root o f many women's difficulties in a marriage. i recommend earning 10x what the man does - it certainly boosts your power and ability to negotiate a fair deal! Money sadly is at the root of many of these things.

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lollystix · 24/09/2012 11:25

I have 4 under 6 and work FT as does DH with long hours. We are overseas and have nanny. Wipes out alot of income but doable. Life is a crazy juggle though but nanny is good (compared to school clubs and daycare in UK).

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orangeberries · 24/09/2012 13:01

I would say is doable as I assume your older two are at secondary school so less dependent? Mine are still very young (3-7) and I would be scared to go from my 3 days onto full-time, but when my youngest is 5 and my eldest 11 I will definitely consider it tbh.

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LongStory · 26/09/2012 21:41

Boffinmum I like your style. Great to work through the different options and monies and how to minimise/delegate the more functional parenting stuff. Brilliant to create much-needed jobs for people in the current climate. [personally you couldn't ever pay me enough to bake cakes for the school fete].

My bottom line, when I've worked it all through, is .... is there sufficient cuddle and listening time? Because we can all cope with quite a bit of chaos and pressure, but that is my non-negotiable!

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BoffinMum · 27/09/2012 13:17

I spend about 30-45 minutes in bed with random children in the morning, having a cup of tea/milk and cuddles, then 1-2 hours in the evenings just hanging out with them generally. At the weekend we often don't get dressed until quite late and the kids watch TV and wander in and out of our room, also in the PJs, whenever they feel like a bit of parental company. We often have baths with the younger ones. They are pretty well-balanced and happy, I think (and other people say so too).

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LongStory · 27/09/2012 23:26

less is most definitely more... but less of the franticness, more of the calm.

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lollystix · 28/09/2012 00:15

I do feel I rush my kids a bit with our lifestyle but I don't think they are suffering - they seem happy. Weekends completely revolve around them and I have about 2 hours with them between work and their bedtime.

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BoffinMum · 28/09/2012 08:11

I think if you have a larger family, then a nanny or au pair is the best solution if you can find the money, preferably live in. There are still hassles to deal with, but at least you have a lot more control over day to day arrangements, and you are not perpetually watching the clock in case you are late for an after school pickup or whatever, which is immensely stressful. You also have cover if your kids are ill and can't attend school.

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CouthyMowWearingOrange · 28/09/2012 08:37

What about if you are a Lone Parent of 4, two with SN's, and you will be on NMW so an Au Pair isn't possible?

Can you get Ofsted registered Nannies that don't live in? What time would they be able to start work? I've got about 18 months to firm up childcare options.

I will not be earning more than NMW, and won't be more than PT. Nanny share?

I will by then have a 16yo with HFA, who will need an adult present, a 12yo who could do with someone stopping him from playing computer games until I get back at 7pm, and prodding him to complete homework, a 10yo with Autism, and a 3yo.

The Nanny would have to be Ofsted registered so that TC's can pay 70% of the costs.

Any suggestions? A cleaner will be out of the question on NMW too, so I will have to keep up with all cleaning and housework and organisation of the DC's too, with no outside help.

I am understandably nervous as to how it will all work.

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BoffinMum · 28/09/2012 20:45

TBH on the NMW the only thing you can really afford is an AP, which would cost £60-£80 a week, get your kids looked after and help you with the housework as well.

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Mosman · 29/09/2012 00:37

CMWO I cannot see how it would be worth while you working at the moment, unless the father pays a decent amount of maintaine.

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