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Do you work full time?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I don't...that is, I haven't - but I think it's going to happen now, and I'd like to know if it's really doable.

Right now I am a WOHM working 32 hours a week with a 2yo. Dh is a teacher, so he works full time too, but he's off in the summer. I've thought and said it a million times that that one day at home each week with ds saves my sanity. I love it! Seems to keep the balance.

Just found out that I'm pregnant (due in February!) and that I'm getting laid off (don't know when), so I started looking for something new. I found something, I've already had the preliminary interviews and the final one is this Friday. I am pretty confident it's mine...they're not even interviewing anybody else. But - here's the catch - they want full time. I think I can talk them into one day a week at home, so I'm only in the office 4 full days.

With a 12 week maternity leave, I won't have to be working full time w/the kids in daycare 32 hours a week until next August when dh goes back to work. My question is: Do you work full time? Can it be done? How? I really trust the judgement of you fellow working mamas and I don't want to commit to something that would be next to impossible.
post #2 of 20
I work full time. It can be done. What saves me is not a long commute. About 30 min. If it were any longer than that I'm not sure how happy I would be. And nursing. I love coming home and nursing immediately and being forced to just relax and focus on dd. DH is a teacher and spends the summers with dd which is great for both of them. During the summer I do summer hours I split 7.5 hours over the course of 9 days and get every other Monday off which is nice.

The only red flag I saw in your post is are you sure you would get 12 weeks maternity leave? Where I work you have to be here 1 year before you qualify for FMLA. Employers do bend the rules but you might just want to make sure.
post #3 of 20
I work full time AND have a long commute. Of course it can be done. Lots of women do it. I wouldn't say it's the easiest thing in the world, but doable.
post #4 of 20
Another woman working a full work week here.

Of course it can be done. Millions of people around the world do it. No one ever questions whether or not a father can do a full-time job.

On the other hand, if you are wondering if you can work a full-time job, there are so many variables on that, only you can answer it.

post #5 of 20
I've worked fulltime since DS was 8 weeks old, plus I have a long commute. No choice, it was that or not pay the bills.

One thing that helps a lot is to split the daycare drop-off/pick-up. DH would drop DS off in the mornings and I would pick him up in the evenings. Our shedules were staggered so that it was only about 7 hours of daycare for DS, as opposed to the 10 or so it would have been if I'd had to both drop off and pick up.

We would have LOVED to have an au pair but when DS was born our situation wasn't quite right for it. However if you have the space in your home an au pair can be cheaper than daycare for two, and you have the convenience of them being right there. They can work up to 45 hours a week, so if you only work 32, that means you could even have a date night pretty regularly without paying extra for a babysitter. When I looked into it, the total cost over a year, including all fees and salary and everything, broke down to about $255 a week. That is much cheaper than daycare for two children in many parts of the country, so I'm surprised more people don't choose that.
post #6 of 20
I work full time (well, 35 hours is considered full time at my employer). I have a reasonably short commute.

I said in that "why do you work" thread that I wouldn't if I didn't have to because I'm lazy, but really - since I have to work, I should admit that I love, love, love what I do. I am VERY fortunate in that I have an amazing manager who lets me leave at the drop of a hat if my son needs me.

Had to get that out... I was still feeling guilty about not saying that before.


post #7 of 20
Yup, I work FT and have since DS was 4 mos. old. At my workplace, FT is 37.5 hrs./wk. My commute is 25 mins. -- which seems long to me, but I guess it could be worse! DH is a teacher, so he's a SAHD during the summer.

What helps me a lot is having a very flexible, family-friendly employer, doing a job I truly enjoy, and knowing my son is well-cared for while I'm gone. I miss him terribly, but his DCP is fabulous.
post #8 of 20
I started working ft in January and I am having a really hard time with it. My commute is a 12 minute bike ride, which is very nice but my work offers very little flexibility.

However, this summer was great when our nanny was still with us. ITA w/ wednesday that in-home care can be a great way to go-- especially with more than 1 child. It has been (for us) more cost effective, more loving and way less stress during drop-off and pick-up times. Also, the kids get to be together and that was important to me. The downside (that I am living right now) is if your nanny is sick or quits. I think if we had a contract it really would have helped. NannyNetwork is a pretty good resource if you are considering that option.
post #9 of 20
Following up to Wednesday: we have an au pair and we REALLY love it. It really makes life a lot easier for us as we don't have to get dd up in the morning and get her ready for day care. She usually sleeps until about 8 am and dh and I leave around 7. Plus our au pair does her laundry, cooks for her and keeps the house neat. It's really great. In addition to the $255 a week, also remember to add in the expenses of having another adult living with you. We have found that the additional food and other costs really add up. Especially our heating bill. Keeping our house warm and toasty every day REALLY adds up. But for us it is worth it.
post #10 of 20
I work 35 hrs/wk, which is full time where I work, and I had a baby in February (congratulations to you!). I worked part time for 4 years, and then we bought a house and I had to find full time work to help with the mortgage. I have a 25 minute commute. For us it's doable, but the balance is very tenuous. DD goes to on-campus child care, and I spend my lunch time with her. The child care place is very small, very responsive to the kids and family's needs, and are familliar with NFL and AP (I bring my cd's, I nurse on my lunchbreak there, the lead caregiver is very NFL), and extremely expensive. My parents are helping us with the cost. The people who care for dd are the same people who cared for my older daughter when she was an infant. They are a little like family.
It would not be doable if dd wasn't close enough to visit every day. My employer is very flexible and I am almost always late for work and late back from lunch (it's very hard to leave her!). I'm trying to start a home business so I don't have to WOH and can go to graduate school. But in the meantime, I like my job, I like dd's child care, I like paying my mortgage and my bills and adding to dd's cloth diaper stash.
post #11 of 20
Originally Posted by Harper
In addition to the $255 a week, also remember to add in the expenses of having another adult living with you. We have found that the additional food and other costs really add up. Especially our heating bill. Keeping our house warm and toasty every day REALLY adds up.
That is a good point. We had my teenage nephew living with us one summer and it did create a lot of extra expense. We had a programmable thermostat that previously allowed us to leave the house quite warm during the day--the AC bill of keeping the house cool all day long for DN was quite high, in addition to all the food and snacks he ate. The water bill went up too, with another person showering and doing laundry.

But having in-home care is soooo convenient. We've had a babysitter coming to our house this past summer until a spot opens up at a preschool for DS in the fall, and it's so much nicer than taking him to daycare. He's in his own environment, getting very personal attention, getting only the foods/drinks I want him to have, no TV, etc...I don't have to compromise on any of the issues important to me the way I did when he was in group daycare.
post #12 of 20
Reading the other posts I realized what really makes it doable is having a good daycare. All three of us love dd's daycare and they love her. And having a good employer who understands what it's like to have a young family. My boss is very understanding, he and several of my co-workers also have young children. Even dh's school is understanding since he does most of the pick up and drop off since we only have one car. If you don't have a good support network it can make being a WOHM very difficult even if you really, really don't want to be a SAHM.
post #13 of 20
I work full-time (and here's they "expect" 50+ hours, but I "only" do 40).

The biggest thing for me was the idea of incorporating my child into my activities, rather than trying to carve out special time just for her. So she cooks and cleans right along with me. It was just such a relief when I embraced that mind set.
post #14 of 20
i work ft (35 hours/week). ds's school is close by, which helps a lot for us. they're also a great place, and he loves it there.

as others have said, it absolutely can be done. no, this is not the ideal situation for us, but it does work, and we make the best of it.
post #15 of 20
Yep, another full-time worker mama here.

It's actually not bad. I really like my life. And I love my dd, of course. Ditto what previous posters said about incorporating the child into your life.

And an extra caution repeating an early post about assuming you've got 12 weeks through FMLA. My employer is pretty strict on this - it's 12 months of employment or a certain number (I forget what - it was more than 1000) of hours worked in order to qualify. Please make sure you'll get it if you're depending on it.
post #16 of 20
I work full-time...and I am a single momma with 4 young kiddos. I am currently looking for childcare (completely frustrating) b/c I lost my wonderful babysitter, but with good childcare working f/t is completely doable!
Good luck to you!!
post #17 of 20
I work full-time! I'm in New York City, so I have a long week. My commute is about 1 hour 15 minutes each way, and I put in 9-10 hours at the office on a typical day. I do that four days a week, so that's 48 hours and then on Mondays I work from home-usually between 2 and 4 hours. It's a "flex day."

It's tough. I also have to travel, maybe for once a month for 2 days at a time. My DB is 6.5 months old, & I'm EBFing so I've pumped in airports, airplane bathrooms, empty offices at my client's companies, and so forth. I'm working *at this job* b/c of financial necessity. My DH is in college p/t and works f/t but at a low-paying job, where's he's on "probationary status" b/c it's his first year. If they can't accomodate his school work, we'll have to quit the job. So I'm the main breadwinner.

What makes it tough is that I don't much care about my work. The company and people are very good, the pay is decent and they're family friendly (so far as my field in NYC goes). But, I'm just not excited about the work. It's hard to be away from DB for 12 hours/day doing stuff I'm not passionate about.

My plan is to go to midwifery school in 2007 so I can do something I really love. I plan to continue to work f/t (ideally w/somewhat longer mat leaves), but hopefully at something at something I love. It's definitely doable, I don't remember my mother ever not working f/t. Good childcare makes all the difference (my mom is now a stay-at-home grandmom and the babysitter who fills in is lovely AND teaching DB Spanish by speaking only Spanish to her), as does caring about your job. But, you have to do what you have to do, and it will work out.

I'm happy to answer any questions I can. You'll all be fine!

Good luck!

post #18 of 20
I work FT too. Of course its possible. Things that make it work for us:

While I do all the drop offs, we share pick ups. On the rare weeks that I'm solely responsible for pu, it is VERY tiring. I literally do not have 5 minutes to myself, since I commute with DD.

My hours are fairly flexible. I can switch around from 8-4 or 10-6 if I need to, for example.

We are very happy with our daycare. Having that peace of mind makes it all possible. Really. I could not sit and concentrate at my desk if that were the case.

I don't care too much about how my house looks or serving fancy meals. Its more important to me that our time at home is fairly relaxed. Clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be happy is my motto!

We don't do a lot of scheduling on evenings or weekends. Too much scheduling stresses me out!

Bfing and cosleeping made my life soooo much easier, esp when DD was younger (she's 3 now).

I do work with a mum who negotiated a 40 hr week in 4 days. She has been here a long time, and yes, she does end up getting some calls at home or even coming into the building sometimes on Friday. She tells me that having that day to do the groceries, the laundry, clean the house, etc etc is worth it so that she can focus on her family the rest of the weekend. She was the first to do it here, and will probably be the last, even though she does a great job.
post #19 of 20
Yup, I work FT. It is very manageable. I probably won't get the good housekeeping seal of approval, but I can live with that. I love my job and my kids are thriving. We have a great day care and a great public school system with an awesome afterschool program.

What helps it work for us:

Neither dh or I have a career that requires insane hours. He is a teacher and can pick the kids up by 4pm. The only problem is that dd1 is having too much fun in the afterschool program with her friends to want to leave that early!

We also split drop-off and pick up.

We also try not to overschedule the kids.

I try to be organized about meal planning (and a number of other things). I freeze entrees ahead of time so that I can get dinner on the table quickly.

Dh and I have a very egalitarian marriage. We each do about half of the housework and childcare.
post #20 of 20
Yep, I work full-time. I teach so I'm 'off' in the summer, but it can be done. I wish I could work from home one day a week....ahhh...how nice would that be? Doubt my students would complain too loudly. It can be hectic at times, but we make it work!
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