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Large families (4+) and work - is it possible?
10

emy72 · 07/03/2010 12:34

I am currently on maternity leave and due back in September. I will have 4 children 5 years and under. Has anyone managed working successfully with 4 children and if so, how many hours did you manage, did you find it stressful, any hints or tips? I am thinking of cutting down to 18 hours from full time but really nervous about how it will all work out. Any experience/advice v. welcome!

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elvislives · 07/03/2010 15:35

I went back to work when my DC4 was 5 mo - the others were almost 6, 4 & 2, but I only did 16 hrs pw. DH worked nights and had them in the afternoons.

When DC4 was 2 yo I went to Uni to do a FT degree course. I cut work down to 12 hrs a week at that point, but it did feel like I was always chasing my tail. After I graduated I worked school hours as a TA and 12 hours a week in the evenings, until I could stand it no more and swapped those 2 jobs for one FT job when the children were 11, 9, 7 & 5.

I've been FT ever since.

It worked for us because me & DH worked around the children so we didn't have to pay for child care, but it did mean we didn't see much of each-other because each of us was either working or looking after the children. You also have to let go and accept that other people don't do things the way you do.

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MmeBlueberry · 07/03/2010 16:04

I have more than four children and work full-time.

You just have to have a decent support network, eg childminder, nanny.

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LongStory · 07/03/2010 22:38

Yes, definitely, although it gets more complicated as they get older, with homework and different routines/drop offs with school trips and activities etc. I have 5, work 3 long days, have a nanny and a 'housekeeper' who is around in the afternoon and can look after the babies around school runs etc. (sounds posh, but really one is my mum and another is a friend, they love their job titles and rule the roost together!).... I honestly think I would go mad if I had to stay in this crazy house all the time!

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mumof8kids · 09/03/2010 10:51

hi

I hve 8 children an d work par time 2.5hrs a week and its shift work, I too have a suportive mum who does the childcare. It is stressful alot of the time but it gives me a break really. Make sure you have childccare that is fully reliable and more than one incase of llness

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grumpypants · 09/03/2010 10:53

I work part time with four (three at school), and no family/friend network for childcare. I love working, but it is stressful until you get the childcare sorted. Then it's great. However, over half of my income goes on childcare...

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mumof8kids · 10/03/2010 16:58

sorry should say 22.5hrs

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nighbynight · 10/03/2010 17:33

Yes, I work f/t with 4 - they are slightly older than yours!
Couldnt manage without a reliable Au Pair at home, though.

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Diege · 11/03/2010 14:17

I have 4 children (8,7,4,8 mths) and work 4 days a week (well, basically what was my full-time job compressed into 4 days). It's OK, wouldn't want to change, but what I've noticed since going back after maternity leave was how little time I actually have in the evenings to sit down and relax. Think the added burden of making up bottles etc on top of school things is taking its toll, but it IS very doable and gets easier every day. The only was I get through though is by having a dh who I make sure pulls his weight (so he does packed lunches...we share cooking, share drop offs/pick ups from nursery ect otherwise it would feel like an unbearable slog with little reward. Like LONGSTORY, I would go mad if confined to house...

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christie2 · 27/03/2010 00:11

I had 4 under 5 and worked full-time but did a flexible work arrangment ie worked at the office during the mornings and at home in the afternoon. It was ok but really really hard to juggle. I would not recommend it. I got pregnant wiht number 5 and took 5 years off work. I just went back this year and insisted on partime (18 hours). It is going ok and I have a childminder who comes to my house plus most are in school and older except the baby (oh, forgot, got pregnant again wtih number 6). Will I be able to continue, keep you posted! (working not having babies I mean). It depends, do you wnat to work, part-time will be great for you. Do you really want to be home, then you will feel torn.

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Clary · 27/03/2010 00:29

I have a friend who has 4 DC and works.

To be fair 3 of them are at school so I guess that makes it a bit easier. IIRC she has negotiated term-time only and I think she just does 2 days a week and maybe one half day.

CM has her DC once or twice a week. I guess the maths works because she is able to juggle and minimise the actual costs of childcare (basically a bit of after-school and the baby).

I have 3 DC and usually work ft (tho not atm ).

Hats off to mumof8!

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