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Thread: Advise on working/childcare

  1. #1
    Lisajane1980
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    Advise on working/childcare

    I was wondering if anyone can advise me or tell me of their own experience and how they manage. I have two children aged 11 and six and I also work full time in a nursing home. I do 12 hour shifts, usually in a cluster. I work every weekend as this means my children's dad is there to have them and usually a weekday 12 hour plus a late shift. Because of these hours I find myself only seeing my children after school times three days a week which I have found very hard. As I have no other means of childcare it has seemed I am without an option. I have recently reevaluated my hours and can now work hours allowing me to have off every other weekend but this will mean working a seven day period with only one day off. This is still a preferable option and affords me more time with my children. I was just wondering how other mums who work full time mange. Any advuce would be great xx

  2. #2
    charity
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    I don't have much advice per se. But we do it exactly as you do it...by changing schedules, getting other people to help out and making the best of what time we do have with our kids. Sounds like you are doing what all working mums do but you don't feel happy with it?

  3. #3
    Jeffbobo
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    I'd like to answer this not from the perspective of how a mom who works full time handles this but a parent in general.

    It's good that you *and* their dad are in there life. A consistent schedule for your kids so that they know who they will be with and can depend on day to day is important. If you and their dad both have the best interest of the kids at heart, then I think a consistent schedule for them is best. This could mean that they stay with their dad during the week and with you on the weekends.

    As the kids get older, if this kind of arrangement doesn't work for you, look into baby sitting classes so that the older child can handle things for short periods of time before you get home from work. That along with a good plan on expectations and communication. Only you will know if and when your older child is capable. Other things that work are after school activities. You'd have to see how that works against your schedule along with all the details of those activities.

    In general, you are in a situation where you need to stress quality over quantity time with your children. Make that time count.

  4. #4
    ParisPaulette
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    Jeffbobo gets it right, it's quality, not quantity that matters. Former working single mom with three kids. What you do is try to up the quality, meaning you find time even if it's just a text to each of them telling them you love them daily, small notes in their lunches, on your days off you do things with them. And you try really hard not to miss any major important events to them and if you do, you don't beat yourself up about it OR try to promise them something you know you can't keep.

    And through it all, you explore other possible work options that might give you more time if the job you have is demanding too much of you. I say that because I didn't early on and it's my one regret with my kids. I let a job take over my entire life, and theirs, never again. But what I finally did do was start looking for other work that wasn't quite so demanding and when I found it, I quit and never looked back on the other job.

    In the meantime the following are what helped me:

    *You need to become a master of shared housework/housework becomes about sharing time with them. I used to take my kids with me shopping and we'd do some little something as well. Go to the park for an hour then on to the grocery store. Or I'd make a game of all of us cleaning the house and when we were done, movies and popcorn.

    *Let go of perfectionism if you have it in your life. A perfect house with everything in place and sparkling is not as important as you making sure you and your family are fed, warm, relaxed and showing each other love. I say that, because in the beginning I tried to be the perfect housekeeper as well as everything else. And in the end I had to let that go along with little things like I was never going to be a PTA mom, I did not have that luxury of time. Bake sales? Nope, I did store bought and threw it into tupperware. TV dinners, yes please I wasn't going to cook every single night although I still did my fair share of dinners and home cooking. Just not all the time. Rugs not vaccumed for a week? Oh well, tell the oldest to do it or no park time or let it go.

    *One thing that helped me immensely at one point was to list out all of the things I did, and then to find alternatives to how I could do something easier or that if this or this or this didn't get done right away, that that was okay. Prioritize your time like mad, don't let anyone take that away from you. It will help.

    *Don't forget to take a bit of time for you either. I'm sorry, if you are always focused on others you have to have that time to build in strength and resiliency and not get burned out on caring for other people. Even if it's an afternoon at a spa or a walk by yourself, you need to do that too. And not feel guilty about it.

    *Last thing, let go of guilt. True guilt is there to keep us from doing horrible things like abusing puppies or stealing from old people. Feeling guilty you aren't a stay-at-home mother is useless guilt and kind of back to that whole perfectionism thing again. You have to realize your kids primarily remember the love you show them, that you were there when they most needed you in times of trouble, and that you made an effort to be their parent. They don't really keep a log of "My mother wasn't here for x number of hours each day."

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