How do you balance work and parenting if one partner travels for work? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 09-23-2008, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you balance work and parenting if one parent has to travel for work, including out of state and international parent?

I'm currently a SAHM, however I really want to go back to work. I miss my career and working. I'm also thinking of possibly going back to school so that I can find a better job eventually.

My current career requires late hours and evening hours. If my husband is in Europe for work, and I have to work late, I'm just wondering what other people do in this situation as far as pick up and drop off for day care and after hours care?
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#2 of 9 Old 09-23-2008, 08:18 PM
 
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I don't deal with this, but I would imagine you would either find a childcare provider who will keep your child till you are done working or hire someone to pickup and bring the child home until you are out of work.

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#3 of 9 Old 09-23-2008, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't deal with this, but I would imagine you would either find a childcare provider who will keep your child till you are done working or hire someone to pickup and bring the child home until you are out of work.
Yeah.

That's all I could come up with, too. And that's not really what I'd like to do. I think we need to re-evaluate our work life situation.
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#4 of 9 Old 09-23-2008, 08:42 PM
 
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I actually am in this situation. It's very difficult. It's so difficult that I am going to quit my job come this January, and will be going through a career change from the software industry to a Master's in Nursing (accelerated program). I need to have a career that is suited for family life and part time work.

Currently, I'm a product manager for a datawarehouse product, and have flexible hours. I carpool with another family to Montessori. I need to have my mom (who does not drive) stay here Monday through Thursday so that someone can be here with the kids. I leave at 6:45am while the kids get picked up for Montessori at 8:45am. I leave work at 3:30pm to pick up kids at 5pm or so.

I commute to downtown Chicago via train, but then need to pick up my car to get the kids.

It's very difficult since my kids are only 5 and 2. Before carpooling this year, I did the drop off and pick up because I did not have my mom stay here, but that meant my kids were gone from 7:10am til 5pm every day. It was too much for them and me. My DH has had this job for 2 years. And even with this job, I still make more money than him...Hence, I need to work....oh well.

But I'm thrilled to be going back to school to do something I've always wanted to do....

If there's any advice I can give, have a great support network (something I don't have)...and have a flexible employer that understands the need for balance between work and family (something that has been diminishing in my role currently).

Sorry for the story, but I am deep in this situation and it's hard.
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#5 of 9 Old 09-23-2008, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Mama2Tristan View Post
I actually am in this situation. It's very difficult. It's so difficult that I am going to quit my job come this January, and will be going through a career change from the software industry to a Master's in Nursing (accelerated program). I need to have a career that is suited for family life and part time work.

Currently, I'm a product manager for a datawarehouse product, and have flexible hours. I carpool with another family to Montessori. I need to have my mom (who does not drive) stay here Monday through Thursday so that someone can be here with the kids. I leave at 6:45am while the kids get picked up for Montessori at 8:45am. I leave work at 3:30pm to pick up kids at 5pm or so.

I commute to downtown Chicago via train, but then need to pick up my car to get the kids.

It's very difficult since my kids are only 5 and 2. Before carpooling this year, I did the drop off and pick up because I did not have my mom stay here, but that meant my kids were gone from 7:10am til 5pm every day. It was too much for them and me. My DH has had this job for 2 years. And even with this job, I still make more money than him...Hence, I need to work....oh well.

But I'm thrilled to be going back to school to do something I've always wanted to do....

If there's any advice I can give, have a great support network (something I don't have)...and have a flexible employer that understands the need for balance between work and family (something that has been diminishing in my role currently).

Sorry for the story, but I am deep in this situation and it's hard.
Your post certainly resonated with me. I feel we're in the same shoes. This is a lot how our life has been.

I'm a SAHM and like you I needed a more flexible job and am thinking of retraining or more schooling to get either 1. more flexibility or 2. more money so I can either support DH in a SAHP role or hire a full time nanny.

It is hard. Very hard. We have zero support system other than friends who could help in a pinch. But they have their own families and I don't want to be a burden to them. I think if I had a support system, as in family, I could pull this off with two careers, but we don't and I can't that way.
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#6 of 9 Old 09-23-2008, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Mama2Tristan View Post
I actually am in this situation. It's very difficult. It's so difficult that I am going to quit my job come this January, and will be going through a career change from the software industry to a Master's in Nursing (accelerated program). I need to have a career that is suited for family life and part time work.

Currently, I'm a product manager for a datawarehouse product, and have flexible hours. I carpool with another family to Montessori. I need to have my mom (who does not drive) stay here Monday through Thursday so that someone can be here with the kids. I leave at 6:45am while the kids get picked up for Montessori at 8:45am. I leave work at 3:30pm to pick up kids at 5pm or so.

I commute to downtown Chicago via train, but then need to pick up my car to get the kids.

It's very difficult since my kids are only 5 and 2. Before carpooling this year, I did the drop off and pick up because I did not have my mom stay here, but that meant my kids were gone from 7:10am til 5pm every day. It was too much for them and me. My DH has had this job for 2 years. And even with this job, I still make more money than him...Hence, I need to work....oh well.

But I'm thrilled to be going back to school to do something I've always wanted to do....

If there's any advice I can give, have a great support network (something I don't have)...and have a flexible employer that understands the need for balance between work and family (something that has been diminishing in my role currently).

Sorry for the story, but I am deep in this situation and it's hard.
It makes for long days for the kids, too, doesn't it?

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#7 of 9 Old 09-23-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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childcare, neighbors, family
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#8 of 9 Old 09-24-2008, 02:13 AM
 
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That is pretty much the situation I am in. DH is in the military, so when he's deployed he's gone for months at a time. Even when he is here, he works so late that everything regarding daycare falls on me. He is almost never able to pick DS up from daycare. If DS is sick I am the one that needs to bring him to the doctor's office and stay home with him. If daycare is closed that day, I need to stay home to watch him or try to find someone else to do it. It can get stressful at times.

Basically, I was lucky to find a job with fixed hours that is family friendly and fairly flexible. I have a decent amount of PTO and a very understanding boss so if I need to take a day off it is never a problem. Our daycare is right across the street from where I work which is a big plus. I get off at 5:30 and daycare is open until 6:30- if there is ever a time that I need to stay late it only takes me 3 minutes to go get him. I don't have any family here and hardly any friends that are able to watch him in a pinch so these things makes it easier on me.

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#9 of 9 Old 09-24-2008, 10:57 PM
 
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We are lucky--when we are in a pinch my MIL will help us out--she lives about an hour away but will come up and spend the night or my DD will spend a night or two down there. MIL is not local, but it's doable in extreme circumstances.

DD is 3 now, and I also have a nice network of friends with kids her age (mostly other moms I met at her old daycare, who really understand what it is like to need help.) and we all help each other out occasionally.

Lastly, I have and have pretty much always had, a job with a certain amount of flexibility. DH and I have had to travel twice at the same time (and DD went to grandma's) but there have also been times that I have rescheduled or turned down trips due to the fact that I couldn't work it out for that exact date. I'm in sales, so there is a certain amount of urgency to being there when you are asked--but I also have a life, and sometimes you have to say no!

Is there anything in your field that doesn't require late hours? Even if you go from doing something technical to more service oriented, but where your understanding of the field would have some value?
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