WOHMs: Anyone go part-time (or quit) when kids started school?

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by Minette, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    I've been toying with this idea and just wondering if anyone else has done it. I've been a full-time WOHM since my babies were tiny, and it's definitely been the best choice for me. We have a wonderful daycare where they can stay until they start K.

    But once they're in K, it becomes very difficult for both parents to hold down full-time jobs, what with the short school day, numerous holidays and teacher training days, etc. Aside from the logistical hassles, we may actually wind up spending more money on after-care, camps, and babysitters than we currently spend on daycare. I've been considering going part-time (assuming my job would let me) so I can work just when they're in school.

    It seems like many SAHMs go back to work when the kids start school, but have any WOHMs done it in the other direction?
     
  2. Becca34

    Becca34 Well-Known Member

    I haven't -- I stopped working when Nadia was about 6 months old. But now that she's in kindergarten, I've found the logistics of juggling her activities SO challenging. I have no idea how I'd do it if I were working full-time.Granted, Kevan has a million therapies a week, plus two two-hour preschool days, and Karina is in preschool three full mornings, plus has a music class. So that takes some coordination by itself (and clearly you won't have to deal with that).

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    But just Nadia's stuff -- I've been on a full-day field trip, plus they required all parents to attend the Christmas party, because the kids made gingerbread houses and needed supervision. Their Christmas program was during the day. I volunteered for the Thanksgiving and Halloween parties, so had to attend those. Then, she gets out at noon frequently for teacher work days, and then there was the Book Character parade, etc. And today, I brought treats in for her birthday at lunch. I've also gone in to read stories as the Mystery Reader.

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    And that doesn't count driving her to ballet/tap/swim/Daisy meetings right after school...So, yeah. If I had been working, and were in a position to quit just so I could keep up with the kid's activities, I might do it!
     
  3. frickandfrack

    frickandfrack Well-Known Member

    When they were babies, I thought childcare would be easier as they got older. Now that they are 4, I realize it just changes.

    I too work full time, but have a home office so lots of flexibility. Seems like if both parents work, one has to have lots of flexibility or they have a childcare provider. It is not just drop off and pick up, but who is going to stay home when one is sick or there is a snow day, professional day, holidays, Spring Break, etc. DH keeps telling me to look for a different job and does not think about what we would do with the kids if I did not have the option to come and go pretty much as I please.

    Not that this answers your question, but I too have thought long and hard about what happens when they start school.

    Best of luck!
     
  4. 3Xblessed

    3Xblessed Well-Known Member

    Thankfully I have had administrators who have let me trade favors. I take classes no one else wants to teach in order to have a full time schedule where I teach 7am to 12:30. Dh get them ready for school and out the door and I pick them up after.

    Our elementary has an on site daycare which really helps as well. The kids really don't want to be home with me so I am thinking this will be the last year I bust my butt to have this schedule. The kids do their homework there and then get to play with all their friends. Its open over breaks and on teacher inservice days at no extra charge.
     
  5. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    Wow, you are lucky! If our school district had that, this wouldn't even be an issue. They do have an "after-care" program but it costs extra (I don't know how much, but it's significant). And it's oversubscribed, so you have to do half an year in and half a year out or something like that. And it's only open on regular school days, so you still have to arrange care for in-service days and holidays.
     
  6. 3Xblessed

    3Xblessed Well-Known Member

    Our program does cost money but its not a huge amount (as compared to what we were paying before they were in school). What I meant in my post about no extra cost is that the days that school is closed they are still open.

    For the twins before and after school care we pay $250 a month each. For comparison....my youngest dd is in preschool and just for her its $680.
     
  7. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    I have considered this as well. I have a great deal of flexibility with my work which is fabulous though I am thinking when all 3 of mine are in school(my DS will start K in the fall and the twins in 2012), dropping down to 30 hours may be needed. I have a sitter at the house now so if someone is sick or my son's preschool is closed I can still work and she stays with them.
    Good luck with your decision.
     
  8. AlphaBeta

    AlphaBeta Well-Known Member

    My kids are almost 5, and I just began lurking over here. I work from home FT. And I've been wondering how I'll handle kindergarten this fall. Regular days, school is over around 3, so I figure I can get them home, get a snack, let them watch a cartoon, then supervise backyard play or play in the house with my laptop. Summers and holidays are a bit tricky though. I have incredible flexibility with my job, and as long as I answer the phone when needed and keep up with my work load, no one's really going to care about the afternoon's split attention, and holidays are slow around the office anyway. Spring break and summer will be dicey though. Maybe spring break will become our family vacation week. And the days when I have to be in the office in the afternoons will also require some planning, fortunately it's rarely more than twice a month. DH will help me, and he can pick up the kids and take them back to his office with a DVD player and headphones until I can get there and pick them up (he works until 6, I'm usually done by 5 if I'm in the office, 4 or 4:30 at home). I may see what the reduction is pay is like for a 30 hour week though. And how that affects our health insurance (which currently covers the kids and I). I just don't know. Things to think about...
     
  9. 40+mom

    40+mom Well-Known Member

    Alden:

    I don't have personal experience with this, but I do have some work colleagues that have done it and my friends husband does this.

    Our workplace allows people to negotiate a part-time schedule (say 80% pay for 80% work, or 70% pay for 70% work, or 60% pay for 60% work), provided that the person's supervisors "sign off" on the arrangement.

    I know of a couple of moms who now work or did work the 60% arrangement. One did shorter days (to match better with the school schedule) -- and "telecommuted" (worked from home) on some days. Another did three long days and two days off a week.

    My friend's husband works about 24-30 hours a week. He works some from home and goes into the office a couple of days a week. He threatened to leave his job unless they made this adjustment for him (and he was prepared to do it.)

    Hope this helps.

    Meg
     
  10. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    I discovered (shame on me for not looking into it more thoroughly) that the YMCA after-care program actually does cover in-service days, though still not holidays or long breaks. And there is one located at our neighborhood school, so we wouldn't have to worry about getting them from school to after-care.

    The Y also offers programs for spring break, Christmas break, and summer (they seem to be very aware of who their market is!). So I did the math and figured that if we sent the kids to every possible YMCA program, we'd spend about $2000 less per year than if I worked part-time and we didn't send them to any after-care or camps.

    However, the income loss (of me working PT) is smaller if we assume that our actual child-care costs would be higher than the cost of sending them to the YMCA programs for every possible free moment, because we'd still want to do things like dance lessons, kayaking camp (yes, they really have that here!), or whatever.

    Then again, the income loss is larger if we assume that we would still do some extracurricular activities if I was working half-time -- not just stay home or do free things every day after school and all summer.

    But I still hope we can swing it for me to work PT, because I think it would be a good move for us in a lot of ways.
     
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