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Full time working mums- is it manageable?

69 replies

mrsmplus3 · 05/02/2012 20:00

I have worked 3 days a week for 3 years, since my 3rd child was born. Tomorrow, I am going back full time for a trial period and am feeling very nervous about the whole morning routine: getting 3 kids fed and dressed, dropping them off at various schools, getting to work on time etc. I am also worried in general if it will be too much and if it will be worth it: mothers guilt etc. So, my question is: is it better for the children if I work full time and bring in decent money for the extras in life or is it better for them if I'm at home 4 days out of 7 so I can really be there for them. I just don't know.
Thanks in advance.

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Hassled · 05/02/2012 20:03

It's only a trial period - just see how it goes. The first week will probably be a nightmare, but after that you'll all slot into the routine and get used to it.
There's no definitive answer re what's "better for the children" - everyone has their own opinion. All you can do it work out what's better for your children.
How long is the trial period for?

FootprintsInTheSnow · 05/02/2012 20:05

if you can do 3 days - you can do 5.

Buy extra annual leave if you have the option, to cover odd days (e.g. INSET, chicken pox etc).

Invest some of the wages in cleaner.

mrsmplus3 · 05/02/2012 20:05

1 month hassled.

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mrsmplus3 · 05/02/2012 20:06

My mum said get a cleaner too actually

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naturopath · 05/02/2012 20:07

Well - how has it worked so far on the 3 days you work - do you manage to get them all dressed and to school on time etc.?
If so (and I'm guessing the answer is yes?), you should be fine -you know you can do it! Of course it will be lot harder as you won't have time to have a break / do all the things in the house that need doing (shopping, cooking et.) but, as Hassled says, see how it goes..

if you haven't already, you should probably start changing a few things to make your life easier (e.g. online supermarket order / delivery etc. - can't think what else right now!)

Hassled · 05/02/2012 20:08

One month is probably perfect - long enough to see the benefit of the extra money, and long enough to know how much it's going to affect the quality of lives etc.

Good luck - you have time to work out what to do. Don't panic :).

naturopath · 05/02/2012 20:08

yes, def get a cleaner ( you can afford it now!)

naturopath · 05/02/2012 20:10

maybe even a cleaner who is good with kids, who can start e.g. at 7am, help you get the dcs ready (even if it's just putting out their breakfast etc.) and then carry on with the cleaning when you've left for the morning.

mrsmplus3 · 05/02/2012 20:10

Will order food online to come Friday about 4. Did it Friday there to try out. Made 2 dinners on sat morning for during the week and a pot of soup today for tomorrow. Have spent a lot of my weekend getting organised Sad

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ohdearwhatdoidonow · 05/02/2012 20:10

It's tough bur I've done it since my 2dcs went to nursery. I'm knackered most of the time. If I'd had the choice I'd have dine 3 days and made the financial sacrifice. I don't have a cleaner but have someone to do my ironing.

naturopath · 05/02/2012 20:10

even better - one who drives (if that is necessary - so that they can step in and help take the dcs to school in an emergency) ..?

mrsmplus3 · 05/02/2012 20:13

I don't know if I'd want someone in my house cleaning it, I usually do all that myself. If I did get one I pictured it would be for an hour or 2 on a fri. I might get the kids involved in emptying dishwasher, dusting etc.

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naturopath · 05/02/2012 20:15

to me, a lot of it is about money well spent - e.g. £3.99 for food delivery much more worthwhile than more time and energy expended going out after a long day .. ditto with cost of cleaner ..

you will get more organised with time (I say this as someone who is not very organised!) - but I have learned where time and energy is best spent and where you can save on both/either in the correct balance..

naturopath · 05/02/2012 20:17

well, just see what works for you. you should be fine without cleaner - or just once a week, but see how things go - if it starts getting on top of you - do not hesitate!

Obviously a lot also depends on what time you get home, whether your dcs are good sleepers, how helpful your dh is (if you have one!) etc.

mrsmplus3 · 05/02/2012 20:18

Oh dear- to be honest, 3 days was the perfect balance. But the lack of plenty cash has finally got to me- house needs painted, we're outgrowing our house so would like to convert garage, we all need new clothes, shoes, my roots need done etc etc nightmare. Anyway, if it's a too big a cost to the calm balance I'll just stay 3 days after the trial or even do 4 and keep a Monday off.

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PartialToACupOfMilo · 05/02/2012 20:19

I would say it is perfectlt do-able - as long as you have some support in place. Where does your dh figure in it? I work full time with a 2yo dd (and another on the way) and couldn't imagine it any other way. But for us, it works because we do opposite shifts (dh is home Mon & Tues, I'm home weekends and dd goes to a CM Wed, Thurs, Fri). I don't see much of dh aside from Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings, but he's always done the same job which requires evening work so it doesn't seem any different. As a teacher I make up family time in the school holidays - dd has a term time only contract at the CM. I have to say I never feel guilty when I'm at work because I feel dd has a good deal.

Anyway in our house dh does all of the morning prep as I leave earlier - the getting up, dressed, washed, breakfasted and packing of CM bag - then I do all the evening stuff - dinner, bath and bedtime. In works out well IMO.

Try it for a month, like others have said and see how it goes. If it's not for you, you can always drop back to 3 days I assume.

mrsmplus3 · 05/02/2012 20:19

Kids sleep great, husband works full time and so doesn't do anything on house really but is good with kids.

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PattiMayor · 05/02/2012 20:20

Oh god, definitely get a cleaner. When I was working FT there is no way I could have managed without one.

See how you go - I found it knackering but I'm quite old :o

naturopath · 05/02/2012 20:23

Exactly - just see how it goes for the month. But I would be strict about how you use the extra income to enable you to strike the right balance - e.g. say you'll save 70% of the extra income for all the things you mentioned, and you will use 30% in order to balance out the fact that you are not at home to do stuff (so using the 30% for cleaner / occasional take-away / whatever) .. you may not need to do that, but it would seem to make financial sense in the long run - i.e. you keep your sanity and don't get too exhausted, yet you are also making more money for the things you are saving for. If you put 100% of extra earnings into those things, you may end up quitting, and then you won;t have any extra money at all!
Better to be a bit calmer and happier in my book ..

mrsmplus3 · 05/02/2012 20:24

I'm a teacher too. I know I'm lucky to be getting offered the job, in this climate.
Thanks everyone. It's so ironic, my youngest has never really been I'll in 3 years and today she's had a temp and cough, just as I'm going back tomorrow! Hope she picks up. It's things like that. But anyway.... Needs must.

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naturopath · 05/02/2012 20:25

in any case, good luck for tomorrow! Grin

mrsmplus3 · 05/02/2012 20:28

Thank you nuro. Great support on here.

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mrsmplus3 · 05/02/2012 20:28

Naturopath I meant Grin

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naturopath · 05/02/2012 20:30

no probs - nuro is good Grin

MistyB · 05/02/2012 20:34

You will be a full time working parent as is your DH. You will probably need to get him to do some household stuff to ease the pressure.

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