Tom surprised me with another post he wanted to share with you guys (I think the fame from the last one went to his head ;)). I've been meaning to mention for a while our work situation and when I mentioned it to Tom he said he would really like to share what it meant to him and why it what the decision meant for our family. I also wanted to note that I realise we are very lucky to be in a situation which allows us this flexibility, it's something I am thankful for daily and will never feel complacent about.
After a lot of thought I recently dropped my hours at work to four days per week. So far it has been one of the best decisions that I have made.
With Fritha working freelance, Wilf has been going to nursery two days a week, but Fritha really needed another day. Wilf loves nursery and would be happy to go there more often (in fact he did do three days a week for a bit), but this seemed like the perfect opportunity for me and Wilf to spend a bit more time together.
One of my part-time colleagues recently retired, so when we recruited a replacement this allowed me to drop a day. This wasn’t something that Fritha and I rushed into without any thought, and I spent a long time working out if we could afford this move. What became apparent is that although I now work 20% less time, my income has not dropped by the same amount once tax, student loan repayments and pension contributions are taken into account. Then if you factor in the money saved from a day’s child care, the difference is really not that big. When I looked at the number of pounds worse off that I would be, and then I asked myself would I pay that each week to spend a day with my son, it was an easy question to answer.
The best thing is that it now gives me and Wilf a day just for us (sorry Fritha). I love our family time at the weekend, but it’s great for me and Wilf to be able to go on nature walks or play in the park, just the two of us. Normally during the week I would only see Wilf after work, so although we enjoy a bath and a story before bed, he is always tired. It has also meant that Wilf has been able to see a lot more of his cousins as we can now meet up with my sister. So far we have been to a soft-play (which Fritha is not a fan of) and to a toddler dance class (which was a big hit with Wilf).
As we approach a new year I’m really looking forward to all the adventures that Wilf and I will share.
What set up do you have in your household? I'd love to hear your thoughts on sharing childcare and working hours.