Best halftime work schedule for almost two year olds? - Mothering Forums
Working and Student Parents > Best halftime work schedule for almost two year olds?
MaryJaneLouise's Avatar MaryJaneLouise 01:00 PM 12-19-2006
may have the opportunity to return to work in the near future. The hours would be completely flexible, but no more than 20.

What would work best for kids this age to get used to? 3 7-hour days? MWF or MTW? 4 5-hour days? One week on, one week off? Commute time / prep time to take kids to care is an issue, although I don't want to go for 2 10-hour days:

I really am trying to get a 30 hour work week, then get full time day care because part time day care is so hard to find. I think I could afford paying for full time day care with 30 hours of pay but not 20. So I have to think of the schedule, then find the day care first before I can commit to the job.

windpowered's Avatar windpowered 02:57 PM 12-19-2006
I think shorter days will be easier on all of you, but especially the babies. I would vote for 4 5-hour days. If it is totally flexible, I would work M & T, have W off, and work Th & F.

I went back to work when my dd was 13 months. I always came home for lunch, so the longest we were apart was about 5 hours. I worked 32 hours per week, as 4 8-hour days. And I took Wednesdays off. This part worked great for me. I used to say, "just when I get tired of coming to work...I get a day off!"

Hope it works out well for you and the babes.


ETA: After DD turned 3, I started working full days. She was still nursing, but only first thing in the morning and at night. She didn't seem to need me to come home at lunch any more. I experimented for a while with doing 5 day weeks, ~6.5 hour days. This trade-off did not work for me - I needed that extra day off. Now my DD is almost 5, and the extra day off is Friday.

When I lived in Europe, all the working families - mothers AND fathers - worked 32 hour weeks. I think it is the only sane thing to do!! I work just enough to keep health insurance for the family. At my current position, that is 30 hours per week. Yeah, I could earn extra money by going up to 40 hours, but I would be even more stressed, tired and overall not a happy mama. My two cents.
Diane B's Avatar Diane B 03:55 PM 12-19-2006
It hsa worked really well for us to have "home" days and "school" days (three school, two home). This seems to be a concept she can understand. I think it would work equally well to have the same schedule everyday (i.e. school from 8-1pm and then home.) However, we were able to find part-time care for full-days/part-week, but I don't think we could have found it for part-days/part-week.
kerc's Avatar kerc 04:31 PM 12-19-2006
With my first we did part time care and it seemed to work best to do half days. She had a really tough time transitioning between school days and home days and her nap would go crazy.

My second it could work better to do the school day/home day thing. Because it limits the amount of transport time: you don't spend as much of a percentage of your care time actually driving back and forth to work.
scbegonias's Avatar scbegonias 05:13 PM 12-19-2006
All good advice above.

Part of it depends on your child. My DD had no problem with transitions...whether it be caregivers (ie, me or the sitter) or days worked or going into work with me. So I chose to work three full days (MWF). If it change wasn't her thing, it might have been easier to do consecutive days or part days.

The other part is how exhausting will a full day be for you? Right now, while I'm pregnant, they can be hard.

Can you be flexible with changing your schedule down the road if your first 'guess' doesn't work out?
cpop's Avatar cpop 05:15 PM 12-19-2006
I think this really depends on the kid in question.
I know my bf really found that her little boy did better with a few days a week of her being away, because they had difficult separations.
For us when I had to work for a bit what worked best was short days, every workday because my dd thrives in predictable routines.
I think it is different in every situation.
JNW's Avatar JNW 06:37 PM 12-19-2006
We've been having rough drop-offs at daycare lately, but he's fine after a few minutes. In our situation, the less drop-offs, the better, so we would go for three 7-hour days.
Qestia's Avatar Qestia 06:51 PM 12-19-2006
I was working 3 days outside the home for most of DS's life. My daycare provider told me that she felt going MTW was easier on kids than MWF, and I think this is true for DS. That way, his days are more predictable, I think. But it does depend on your child. I used to think I would prefer to work half days, but practically I don't think it would work, as DS naps from 12-2 most days, and I think it would be hard to schedule pickups and drop offs considering that.
emma00's Avatar emma00 11:36 PM 12-20-2006
I work 20 hours per week. I work two full days (8.5 hours) and then pick up the remaining hours one morning when my youngest is in nursery school. My older two are in school every morning. I have a nanny that I share with a friend. At one time when I only had my oldest I used a in-home careprovider. Personally I prefer to work consecutive days, as it works best for my work life and it seems easiest on the kids.