How Many Hours a Day in Day Care? + Flexibility — The Bump
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How Many Hours a Day in Day Care? + Flexibility

Initially I was obsessed with DS only being in DC 8 hours a day (viable only because DC is in our neighborhood and I WFH).  After nursing diminished to 2X a day I have been slowly creeping toward him being consistenly in DC 9 hours a day at least 3 days a week.  I have 7:30 AM calls and 4:30 PM calls.  I declined these previously, with the permission of my boss, but now need to get back into the swing of things.  I feel somewhat guilty, as sometimes on these days I also throw in some laundry, clean up one of the kids' rooms, etc.  I end up working 9-10 hours a day total between mornings before the kids are up and evenings after they are down.  I just cannot shake the feeling that I should still be rushing to get him.  Some days I COULD finish at 3 and work more at night - but I generally do not.  Par of that is related to DS' schedule - picking up early interrupts nap or snack, both of which displease DS.

So really, this is two questions....if you have flexibility, do you use it?  How do you set up the balance between work (which gladly fills every hour I do not make available)....and life?  I feel like I work constantly, and when I am not working am rushing through kid craziness like dinner, bath, outside play, etc.

And how long is your child in DC each day?

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Re: How Many Hours a Day in Day Care? + Flexibility

  • My child is in daycare 10 hours a day, sometimes 10 and a half.

    When I was nursing I left work immediately to go get her, but now that I'm done nursing I stay longer to wrap things up so I don't have to bring much/anything home.  I also signed on to teach afterschool classes which keep me at work an extra hour and a half.  The money is good and it doesn't really change our schedule because DD and I wait or run errands until we have to pick DH up.  It is what it is.

    When we get home we are running through child craziness too.  I keep dinner simple (but I do prepare something fresh/reheat something I prepared in advance every night), she gets a bath most nights and DH and I share the chores. 

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  • 9 hours a day for us. I'd like it to be eight it is right now with me teaching summer school only but during the school year it's 9. I am hopeful that when we move and DH does drop off we can get her normal hours down to 8.
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  • The girls are probably in daycare from about 8:15 to about 5:00. Basically it's my 8 hour day, plus additional time for my commute so it works out to about 9 hours. I used to feel bad, but I know the girls are happy there and there are plenty of kids whose parents are always there after me and come before me. I will say that once we're home, unless there's a major issue, it's their time. The girls are both in bed by 8, so if I do have any extra work to do it's usually done then.
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  • aglennaglenn member
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    I agree with hocus; there are so many things that would take twice as long and be 10 times as frustrating to do after I pick up the kids than before, so I consider it time well spent if I am using it to take care of chores or errands or things like that.  Plus, remember that as he gets older he will actually love being there with his friends and it won't be such a big deal.  My DD does not like for me to pick her up early just to go home because she'd rather stay and do the activities the rest of the preschoolers are doing.  So, unless I'm taking the afternoon off to take the kids somewhere special (zoo, etc.) there is really not much point to killing myself to get there a little bit earlier.
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  • DS loves DC and has friends there.  Doesn't mean I want him there 12 hours a day, but when I get that feeling of "Oh- I cna't leave him there any longer!", I remember that he's actually having fun!
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  • My kids are usually around 9 hours per day, and I am usually the last to pick up DD#2 (and this is at 5:15pm--all of the other parents in our small in home center are teachers and pick up by 4:30). My older one usually stays at aftercare until at least 5:30pm--if we try and pick her up before then she flips out and won't leave. She loves it and always wants to be the last one picked up, haha.

    Will baby #3 be another girl?


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  • My son is 8.59.5 five days a week. At first I was obsessed with not allowing it to go over 8hrs but then I saw how much fun he had there, all the cool stuff they did compared to at home and how much he liked his friends so I loosened up. Now when I show up he runs and gives me a hug and then runs back to his friends to play, lol.
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  • imageMrs.RockyM:
    The girls are probably in daycare from about 8:15 to about 5:00. Basically it's my 8 hour day, plus additional time for my commute so it works out to about 9 hours. I used to feel bad, but I know the girls are happy there and there are plenty of kids whose parents are always there after me and come before me. I will say that once we're home, unless there's a major issue, it's their time. The girls are both in bed by 8, so if I do have any extra work to do it's usually done then.

     

    The bit about it being "their time" really hits home for me.  I need to think of it as....If I work until 5, but then I feel good not checking in with work until after DS and the girls are in bed, that's a huge payoff.  I am hoping that after we move and I have an actual home office (now I use the kitchen table or dining room table) that I can switch off more.  It's too tempting when DS is happily playing with cars to just "log on for a minute".  Working 30 minutes more and wrapping up tasks, being there until 6 ET, might give me MORE flexibility in the evening hours.  And when I start back to work at 8:30 or so I will be fresh and ready to work another hour or two because I have had a break from it.  I need to get this through my head.

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  • A typical day for us is 7-4. Some days H gets there by 3, but it really irritates me if he wakes DD up. We have lots of flexibility. If we're going to be late, I just text DCP and let her know. 

    I hated the craziness of rushing through. I felt like the only time I got to spend with DD was doing the crappy stuff--dinner and bath time--and never got to enjoy her. I reduced my hours just to 33 and it's made a huge difference for the whole family. 

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  • I have some flexibility but definitely take advantage of daycare some days. I will come home and clean, or watch a show, get some work done, laundry, even a quick nap. It is not a lot but I would say a day or two. That way as soon as he gets home we can just play, eat dinner, have a bath and some snuggles, instead of my doing work, cleaning, etc.

    I think it is smart and needed...I even take a day off from work and still drop my son off every once in a great while and spend the day alone. I am very happy mom, which makes my kid a happy kid and me super patient.


  • I do not have flexibility in my schedule.  DS is in daycare 11 hours on days I do dropoff and pickup (2 days/week) and 8.5 hours the days DH does pickup and I drop off. 

    Daycare is near home, so when you add in my commute and my forced hour lunch, it's a long day for DS.

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  • 9 hours or so.  I am also obsessed with her not being there over 9 hours, even though she loves it there. 
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  • She's in daycare about nine hours a day. My schedule isn't very flexible, but I'm lucky that DH can usually swing by if I need him to, like if I have to work late or want to go to a networking event. Once a week I usually go to the gym and he does pickup.
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  • ccamccam member
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    DS is in daycare from 6:30 to 4, so about 9.5 hours.  DH drops off so that I can go to work early and leave early.  I do pick ups.  Sometimes I'm there earlier but rarely later. 

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  • We normally drop DD off at daycare around 8am and pick her up around 4:45pm, so almost 9 hours.   I WFH and have some flexibility depending on the day.  I admit, there are days I could pick up DD earlier, but if I get a break...I can clean, do laundry, mow the lawn, prep for dinner.   That way, when DD gets home, I have nothing to do but spend time with her.

    I also admit that DH and I have taken PTO and sent DD to daycare....that means a full day of getting crap done around the house or doing errands DD would hate doing on the weekends.

    She has fun at daycare so I've stopped feeling guilty about it. 

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  • Our daughter spends about 8 hours/day, 4 days per weeks. Myself and my husband work in the same department in the same company. He work 6 days a week and I only work 4 days per week. He doesn't always work 6 days but we are extra busy here right now. I work from 5:30 until 3:45 and he works from 9:00 until 8:30 (depending on how much work he has to do). So he does mornings with her and I do evenings (Monday thru Thursday). We do this so she has less time in daycare. Plus my husband loves his morning time with her, just the two of them. I do get sad that I leave before she wakes but it is what we feel is best and it works quite well. However the 4 am wakeups get tiring by weeks end lol!

    I totally get the work then rushing! Our evenings are crazy! I pick her up at 4, give her a snack, during that time I prepare dinner. While it is cooking I play with her, then her and I eat. I tidy up some dishes, give her a bath. Then take her and our two dogs for a walk while she drinks her milk and then when we get home I do story and put her to bed. Then I get on my elliptical, finish dishes, unpack bags, pack bags, tidy the house, shower and then my hubby gets home and eats and then we go to bed. I honestly don't stop until bedtime. Thankfully my hubby is a good man, he does what he can in the mornings, like he always empties dishwasher or will do a load of laundry. We work well together to balance it all out.

    I swear every night I lay in bed trying to figure out another way to change things up to give me some time to sit, lol. I did sit last night and enjoyed a beer at 10pm lol! But then 4am came fast! lol!

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  • DS is in d/c 9 hours each day, I drop him off about 30 minutes before I have to be at work (I usually get to work about 15 minutes early) and I pick him up right after work. My d/c is an in-home d/c and she is very very flexible. She only charges me for when he is there. So if he has a doctor appointment or if Grandma wants him she doesn't mind. Still, I try and get her a few days notice. 

    I go home for lunch everyday and honestly I spend 30 minutes of my hour cleaning (usually washing bottles). Plus when DS goes to bed at around 7pm I spend about an hour folding/putting away laundry, doing dishes, etc. All so I feel good in the AM when I wake up to a clean house. 

    I've just lately gotten into this routine. It has taken me almost 6 months to feel like I can work full time and keep a clean and organized house. It takes trial and error and some days you just have to let things be a little messy until you have a spare hour or two to fix it. And I've learned to be okay with that.  

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  • This is another example of imposing unnecessary guilt on yourself. Your child has no idea how long he is at DC. My DS loves all the activities, his friends, his teachers and snack time. Having your baby there for long hours some days does not make you a horrible person or mother. I think you should let go of counting hours and do what is best for the smooth running of your household and your career and your family. You are causing yourself unneeded stress, just do the best you can.

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  • I definitely take advantage of flexibility if I have it.  If I should die, my company would send my family a plant and fill my job.  My kids are a bit older though and I definitely notice when they feel my absence (I used to travel for work).

    I had to set hard boundaries.  If I had to jump on line after bed time so that I could be there for dinner and play time, I did it.  Everyone knows I leave at 5 pm and am off line.  I started a new job though that doesn't require me to work later at night too.  It's amazing what a good company can do to support your work/life balance.  

    My two are in DC for about 8.5 hours each day. Good luck- it's not easy, but it is totally doable.  

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  • My kids are in daycare for 11+ hours a day.  It's not ideal, but we really don't have a choice.  My commute is over an hour each way and I'm supposed to work 9 hours.  So, that right there doesn't work for daycare. 

    The way I see this is that kids can't tell time.  4 hours, 8 hours, 12 hours, they have no idea.  So, do what you need to do to keep your job and keep your sanity.  The kids will be fine.

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  • imageChicagoWeded2007:
    This is another example of imposing unnecessary guilt on yourself. Your child has no idea how long he is at DC. My DS loves all the activities, his friends, his teachers and snack time. Having your baby there for long hours some days does not make you a horrible person or mother. I think you should let go of counting hours and do what is best for the smooth running of your household and your career and your family. You are causing yourself unneeded stress, just do the best you can.

    Agreed!

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  • I wfh too and definitely take advantage of the flexibility.  It takes me less time to use my lunch time or end of the day time for grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning up and whatever else I can do than it would if the kids were home so I save time in the long run.  My son is in daycare from about 7:30-5:30 and my daughter goes to camp from 9-3 - about the same hours as school.
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  • 9.5 hours/day

    No real flexibility at work. I have to be there for 9 hours including a 1 hour lunch. 20ish minute commute each way.

  • My son is in daycare from approximately 7:30am-4:45 every day. And when he starts full day preschool next year, and is in elementary school, that will be his schedule still, so I am not concerned about it. He is healthy and happy and well adjusted. And sometimes, I even leave work early and (gasp!) go for  a run or grocery shopping before I pick him up from DC. Do what you gotta do.
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  • The kids are usually in DC 9.5-10 hrs/day.  I don't think it's a problem.

    I worked the night shift this week.  I got home this morning after DH left with the kids. I haven't seen them since bedtime last night.  I could go pick them up right now, but I am too freaking tired. 

    DS born 8/8/09 and DD born 6/12/12.
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