Qualified CPs with young children and full time employment?

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Sastra
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Qualified CPs with young children and full time employment?

Post by Sastra » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:07 pm

I'm not sure I'm in quite the right section...

I've just got my first Band 7, and as it's the first thing I applied for as well as my dream job, I'm delighted! The only issue is that I'll be full time (I'm completing training part time) and it's the opposite end of London to me, so 75min commute. My daughter will be almost two when I start. We have no family around to help. My husband will do pick up and drop off at nursery, and he will go down to 4 days per week so she's at he for three.

I'd just be interested to hear from qualifieds who've done this...I'm worried that I won't see my daughter, (I guess I'll be gone 7:30 - 18:45), but I also want to give my all to my new post. Currently where I am there's a real culture of working 150% of contracted hours, and then people commute back to the Home Counties - I don't know how they do it (nanny, perhaps, but can't afford one of those!).

I suspect this should be in the qualified section, but I have a couple of months til I'm there.

Thanks for any thoughts.
"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, would it?" - Albert Einstein.

astra
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Re: Qualified CPs with young children and full time employme

Post by astra » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:51 pm

Hi Sastra
It's not easy to work full time with young children and you'll never feel you're doing enough at home or at work. But saying that, lots of people do manage quite well. You've managed training so you must be quite good at the old "juggling" act. Even part time, training with a young child is hard (been there, done that!). Once you are in your new job, see how it goes, get settled in and then see if there are options to work flexibly - eg 4 long days and a day off, part time, working from home some of the time (eg to write up reports.) etc. They do have a duty to consider requests for flexible and part time working whilst your child is of school age. My hours have gone up and down over the years since I qualified, all within the same job, I've worked anything from 2 days a week to 4.5 days. another thing to consider is, if this is really your dream job, can you move closer to reduce the commuting time? I think once you are in post and you get to know the people and the service, and you see how the travel time works out, you'll be in a better position to think about what will make it manageable in the longer term. you probably had all these concerns when you went back to training after mat leave and you've got this far. Good luck.
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AnalyseThis
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Re: Qualified CPs with young children and full time employme

Post by AnalyseThis » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:11 am

I also think theres something about trying to be fairly strict with your working hours (obviously there are some days that are exceptions). It might be worth asking whether the trust can supply you with a blackberry so that you can do your emails whilst travelling. You could claw back a couple of extra hours a day this way. Another strategy that some people find useful is to start early and finish early, that way you at least get an evening with the kids! My partner and I worked out that I could look after the children when I get home, keep them occupied and get them ready for bed whilst she gets the dinner ready and then has a bit of time to relax herself. Seems to be working ok so far!

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Re: Qualified CPs with young children and full time employme

Post by miriam » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:15 pm

I wouldn't have worked full time, let alone full time plus a long commute whilst my kids were small. I had a year off, then a year of working 2 long days plus a bit of private work and then became self-employed to flex my hours around them. I felt like I wanted to work part-time until my kids started school, and the price for that was doing loads of work in the evenings after they went to bed when I became self-employed and the demands were bigger than school hours. Now my husband does the morning routine and the school run. Given the choice I like to collect them from school once a week and have most evening meals together as a family. They are the most amazing inspiring part of my life, and I'd hate to miss out on it. I don't always manage to be around after school, but I couldn't countenance the idea of not seeing them at all on weekdays. For me, doing the bedtime routine has always been sacrosanct - 7pm until 7:30 is theirs for stories and singing every night unless I have something really unavoidable.

This is time you only get once. Somebody once said to me "nobody looks back on their deathbed and wishes they spent more time in work when their kids were young" and they are right. IMHO work gets much too much prominence in our lives when family is actually much more important. But its a very personal decision. There might be financial, practical or personal reasons why your partner is better placed to be the primary carer or you need to work full-time far away from home, but if there is any other option, I'd be exploring it. And I certainly wouldn't be working more than the contracted hours, no matter what the culture is.
Miriam

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Re: Qualified CPs with young children and full time employme

Post by Borrowed Cone » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:27 am

astra wrote:They do have a duty to consider requests for flexible and part time working whilst your child is of school age.
I would add that the law has just changed and employers are required to consider flexible working hours without any reason being given, for any employee regardless of their parental or carer status, so it is definitely worth seeing what options there are to enable you to spend more time with your daughter. I would also echo the suggestion that you remain boundaried with respect to your contracted hours.

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