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Returning to primary full time. How do you make time for baby and work?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by bella1981, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. bella1981

    bella1981 New commenter

    I have recently decided I will have to return to work full time partly due to finances and partly due to school not being willing to accommadate part time teachers. I am really worried about how I will cope. Before I had my DD I found it difficult enough and felt like I worked none stop. I teach primary and found myself marking at break and lunch, preparing for next morning until 5pm and then still taking work home. I also spent Sundays planning.

    How do you all do it? What is your daily routine like? What tips would you give to someone who is not organised?

    I do not go back until easter but would like to become more organised before then ie morning/ evening routines and have time saving things in place so I will find it easier when I do go back. One thing I have decided is that I will get a cleaner for 2 hours a week :) Shame I can't have this now and will have to wait until I am back.

    Thanks for any advice x

  2. My husband is a SAHD so it is slightly easier for me to organise childcare than the majority of working parents! But this is my working day:
    6am - up, shower, dress, get children up and breakfasted, shove toast down gullet.
    6.50am - leave for work. 7am - arrive at work.
    7am-8.30am - check emails, photocopy, check lesson plans for day, write emails, file, read paperwork from pigeonhole, add data to database, catch up with behavioural issues from day before, general admin.
    8.30-1pm - teach. 1-1.30pm - eat lunch, pee, sort things for afternoon.
    1-3.30pm - teach. 3.30-4.30pm once/twice a week - meeting. Otherwise, leave at 3.30-4pm.
    4pm-6pm - spend time with children. Cook dinner, play, bath, snuggles, stories etc.
    6pm - put them to bed. Have dinner with Husband.
    7pm - HoD work, marking and planning.

    You HAVE to be organised to make it work. Have a set night each week for marking one set of books. Get faster with marking - keep targets simple, clear and pertinent to the task set (the pupils don't read rambling great things anyway). Prioritise what needs to be done and speed up - don't agonise over what to write in a letter, just write it. Don't spend ages thinking of what to write in a report - get it done. Ring that parent or send a letter straight away and don't leave it!
    And have at least one full day at weekends just for you and your family. No guilt, no wondering if you could just get a few books marked...just for you.
  3. Hi
    I had my baby on July and had to return to work in January, full time.
    It is quite tough for the first few weeks but now I have been back a few weeks I am finding it easier.
    I am lucky that my Mum looks after my little one so that has taken some of the pressure, at least I know that he is being properly looked after.
    I am in quite a good routine now of getting up, dropping him off at mums then getting to work for 8ish, which gives me 45 minutes to get my things sorted.
    I have just been more organised with my time now, I only have 10 minutes for dinner now instead of an hour and use the rest of it getting things ready for the next day/planning/marking etc.
    We have staff meeting on Wednesday which is always late so that night I have tea at Mums so I am not in such a rush.
    I try to leave work by 4.15ish most nights at the latest but on Fridays I am away by 3.45 if I can. At first I was bringing work home with me and doing it when l/o had gone to bed til about 9ish every night, and then having to go to bed coz I was so tired but now I dont tend to bring anything home - if t doesnt get done, it doesnt get done.
    I think you just have to be strict with yourself - you dont get anyextra thanks for slogging your guts out and doing extra (well I dont at my school) and your family is more important.
    If I do not get all my planning done at school I do it on a Saturday while my oh takes l/o to see his Mum and we have Sunday as our family day.
    It is tiring at first (especially if your l/o does not sleep through!) but gets easier with time - you will get into a routine sooner than you think. I thought it would be awful, and the first time you have to leave them is a killer - I cried all they way to work but they are fine, its you that is more upset! But it does get easier.
    Good luck, you will be fine x
  4. I didn't return full time but whatever hours you work childcare times are something to consider. Both the above posters are lucky to have family looking after LOs for lots of reasons, but also because the timing is more flexible. Without kids I always went in really early to work as most productive time for me and least likely to be disturbed. I found it very difficult, however, to get childcare that starts before 8 so even if it's on the doorstep of the school you don't have much time to get things sorted. So the right childcare makes a massive difference - for your peace of mind and also logistically.
  5. i am full time and so is my husband. my lo goes to nursery mon-thurs and my mum has him on a friday. its blummin hard work!! by the time i pick lo up and get home, its easily 5pm. we then have playtime, then bath time at 6 and bed at 7, then i cook dinner and get the chance to try and chill out a bit!!! in the morning we leave at ten to 8 which is a killer for me, as i used to leave at half 7 and be at school for quarter to eight. now i dont get to work till twenty past 8 as nursery doesnt open till 8:15! i have to make sure i do all my photocopying a day in advance, i try to mark as much as i can during the day and ty to be organised. i do find myself more shattered in the eve, but have forced myself to have more of a social life in the evenings which i know sounds mad cos am so busy during the day but want to feel a bit normal too, like i was pre baby!! only really talking about one or two eves a week going to the gym or meeting a friend for a drink, nothing major!
    what i find tough is that my lo seems to catch every bug going and have frquently had the call on my mobile to say he is ill and have to go pick him up, then he cant go back for 48hours cos of runny nappies or something!
    i am actually quite lucky as my school is quite laid back with planning etc and am just left to get on wtih things, and am in Year 4 which i have taught for many years so its all very familiar.
    it does get better!
  6. I'm secondary rather than primary and I went back just before my LO was 7 months old. I try to get to work by 8am at the latest. I pick LO up on meeting nights by 5:15 (those days are the worst) and by 4:30 on one day and on a Friday by 3:45. 5-7pm is me and LO time (not enough in my opinion) and then I work from 7:30-9/9:30 every night including Fridays. I don't work in the day on a weekend as I can't with LO up and about so I work in the evening. Ultimately, I get everything done but I'm not teaching as good lessons as before LO but I can't manage to do any more. I am going to request 0.8 for next year and I don't feel this is a lot of fun. You will get into a routine but it is tiring. My LO doesn't sleep well either. Hopefully, you won't have that problem.
  7. blueone

    blueone New commenter

    I went ft back in Sept after a year off with LO. I also worked a lot and worked on the weekend before LO and was worried about how i would cope when i sent back. Basically I work through the week to avoid weekend work, and you soon get into a routine. My LO is in nursery 4 days per week and with mum for 1 day. My life is made easier by a few things, my OH takes LO to nursery every morning, I still leave a little later than i used to, but get in between 8-810am. My mum picks him up from nursery too, and i collect him from her. She gives him his tea so that saves a job. I usually dont get in until about 530-6pm though.
    With work you have to be quite strict. I was getting myself into a right state sometimes as weeks were so stressful as i was working almost every night until around 10pm. By the time i went to bed i was still v stressed and in work mode. So i now have a routine whereby i work 2 nights per week and an hour or 2 on the weekend. On the other nights i leave my planner and laptop in work so i cant do it. My OH takes him to his mums on a weekend for a few hours and my mum will have him a couple of hours if i need to do a bit more.
    You will get by and get into a routine, its not as bad as you think. Do you have parents who can help? I know having my mum on hand is a luxury. good luck and try not to worry too much xx
  8. I'm full time, and struggled last term getting everything sorted, but I'm a bit more into the swing of things now. I get everything ready the night before, and at half terms and weekends cook much larger amounts of food which can be frozen and just re-heated during the week, so I don't have to worry about cooking. I have an amazing childminder who LO loves and means I can relax knowing she's happy. I also know if things crop up she's more than happy for me to text that I'm running late and we just pay for the extra hours. OH takes LO to childminders one day a week so I can get to school early. However the biggest adjustment i've had to make is to learn how to say no, and not do as many extras which encroach on my time with LO, it was tough at first, but now I'm much more confident about it. I also only bring home what work I know I can do instead of carrying books to and fro all the time.
  9. i was always the first one in before I had LO and got loads done when school was quiet. Now I drop him off mon- wed at school for my dad to take him at 8.10. Mum brings him out to school at 5.30 which is great as I don;t havbe extra travelling to do. my mil looks after him on a thurs and fri in my house which means I don;t have to fuss getting LO ready in the morning.

    I find my time is much better used in school now. No more nattering over cups of tea! On my PPA afternoon I get so much done so I do the once a week marking then like history and sceince. I try to get a set of books marked at lunch and do a bit of printing out / planning for the next day.
    I do as much as I can in school so I don;t do anything at home in an evening. I did find that a few hours on a sunday morning were put into the next week's planning. I also limit myself to time spent on things (read somewhere that you're more productive if you say "this should take 15 mins") and I must admit i procrastinate less.
    Regarding housework and stuff like that - freezing food is great, although I find that I buy a lot more convenience food now! Stuff like prepared vegetables, mashed potato, some of those dishes sainsbury's do 3 for a tenner which are handy for the freezer. I make and freeze little portions of dinners for LO too. I tried a routine of doing a little bit of housework each evening which helps, but I'm usually too knackered to do it. I pack a bag of clothes for LO each night, stick a load of washing on as soon as I get in / get up. I wipe the bathroom while LO is in the tub. I run the hoover round when he's in his high chair after tea (good old cbeebies are a distraction here!).
    I will be going back to work in spetmeber when I'll have a new baby to work with too - not sure how i'll cope then!

    Good luck!

    I know I'm super lucky to have family look after him, as PP says nhurseries are strict with illness but that's not an issue for us.

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