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Working mothers with two young children?

  1. #1
    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Working mothers with two young children?

    Any working mothers with two young children out there? I have a 15 month old and will be having my second in October (when my first will be around 19 months). The place where I work has a great maternity leave policy (plus I have some accumulated leave) so I won't have to come back to work until my second is just about 4 months old.

    However, I am having a hard time deciding if I should come back to work or not after the second child is born. Working full time with one child and all the help I have is not really a problem. But my husband thinks I should stop working for awhile and help take care of the kids when we have two. I have a full time helper at home who is great with my son and I also have a nanny who comes during the day on weekdays to take care of my son (and in the future my daughter) while my helper does all the housework, cooks, buy groceries, etc. But I know that my son by himself has been quite a handful for them already......I also feel that I'd like to be home for my kids and that my son will be fighting for my attention if I am only home for a few hours a day while he is awake. Plus I think I will be exhausted working full time and then trying to give attention to two kids!

    So I just wanted to get the opinion of those of you who work with two young children. How are you able to manage it? Do your children fight for your attention when you get home from work? Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this!

  2. #2
    sherwes is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    I have two young children (a boy 2 and a half and a girl 12 months). I work 3 days per week and this works very well for our family. I stayed at home for 8 months when each of my children were born and, by the end of that time, I was ready for some work outside of the home. I really enjoy my work and being part of an office environment but I still run out of the door at the end of day excited to spend some time with my children. We have a wonderful helper who looks after the children on the days I work and also two part time helpers who help with cleaning, ironing and cooking. So, when I get home from work my children have 100% of my attention until they go to bed.

    The downside for me (you already know this as you have a child already) is that it is very difficult to get up and go to work if you have been up all night with a teething baby or snuffly toddler. The good thing about not working every day is that I can have a little nap when my children nap. I am actually happy when my toddler wakes up at the "crack of dawn" as I know that means that he is likely to want a nap during the day!

    The downside for my children is that they rarely get any time alone with mummy. I like to do everything with the both of them as I hate to think of spending more time without either one of them. However, this isn't too different to a situation where a mother has 4 children - each of those children would get little alone time with mummy.

    Is it possible for you to work part time? To be honest I don't think that I could work full time and still have enough time for my children given their current ages (all power to those women who can get by on 5 hours sleep a night but I am not one of them!). I realise that part time work is very difficult to come by in HK though...

    I hope that this helps. In any case you don't need to make a decision yet. Just wait and see how you feel once your baby is 3 months old.

  3. #3
    solidstars's Avatar
    solidstars is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    have you considered changing to part time somehow? i know i've only got the one son right now, but some days i'm so glad i go to work (PT) (it's like a mini personal break, even though I'm super busy/tired at work), and at the end of the day i'm still glad to see T at home and he's happy to see me too.

  4. #4
    LeahH is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong, Mid Levels
    I have two young kids and work full time, but do one day from home which I find makes all the difference.

    Also, my work allows me to be flexible so I work a lot in the evenings after the kids are in bed and can go in late if necessary (kids teething etc.)

    I am (almost) always home by 6.30pm for books and bed and take no calls until 8.30 or so. Husband suffers a bit though which is the trade off....

    Like everyone says above, it is flexibility that is key - whether that means PT, or just that your employer is sensitive to your life and allows you to flex your schedule when you need to.

    The moment I walked through the door was tricky for the first few months but after 6 months things have settled a little. Still, Monday's are the toughest.

    I have to work, but if I didn't I think I still would want some sort of PT outlet - even more so with two than one.

    Hope that helps.

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