Is working part-time really worth it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2003
Is working part-time really worth it?
Fri, 08-08-2003 - 5:27pm
My husband and I are TTC. I am considering going part-time after our baby is born, assuming of course that everything goes well. My husband and I earn approximately the same amount, so it would be a big impact on us financially. We would have to cut out a lot of the conveniences we now enjoy, such as, our weekly house cleaning, our yard service, dining/take-out, dry cleaning, etc. It seems to me that the 20 hours per week I would not be WOH, I would be cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, doing laundry, and working in the yard. I would be doing all this while caring for a baby. This doesn't seem like quality time with my child to me! What am I missing????

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Fri, 08-08-2003 - 7:06pm
Hi! First of all, best wished in your ttc. I hope everything goes well.

WRT WOH PT, IMO (can I put anymore of these? lol) it's true that you would be doing those things while you're home, *but* wouldn't you be doing many of the same things if you were to WOH FT? E.g. grocery shopping, cooking, doing the laundry. It sounds like you'd let go the cleaning person... how many hours does she come a week? (I just ask because I have a cleaning person but she comes every other week and *I* still do the cleaning in between so that wouldn't be that many hours you'd be cleaning if you were to WOH PT). I don't do the yard work so I don't know how long it would take to do that, but if you dont' like doing it as well, then maybe your dh can do it?

I guess what I am saying is that many of us WOH FT moms cook, clean, do the laundry, grocery shop but still spend quality time with our children. IMO, 148 hours at home a week (if you WOH 20 hrs/week) is a lot of hours.

BUT... everyone's different. Some moms feel that if they don't SAH, then they feel that they are not spending enough time with their children. If you feel that way, then WOH PT isn't good enough for you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-04-1997
Fri, 08-08-2003 - 8:05pm
Do you need the money while you are working part time? Will this allow you to stay current in your career, hold onto a job, retain benefits, or anything else?
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2003
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 3:49pm
We could definitely not afford for me to SAH full-time for over 6 months or so. However, we could afford for me to WOH PT if we cut out some things. I have been with my company for 15 years and am a valued employee so I am sure my employer would be very flexible. My husband has health benefits so that is not an issue and as a PT worker I would keep all other benefits. I'm just wondering if the cut in pay would be worth the extra time I would get with baby.

If I work full-time, come home to a clean house and can afford dry-cleaning and dining/take out more often, I would have more time with baby. If I work part-time and have to cut those things, I would only have a few extra hours with baby. I just wondered if this made sense to someone who is already in this position.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2002
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 4:21pm
It depends on how PT you are thinking. Do you mean 50% or higher? I worked (and still work) PT and found it to be very worthwhile. If, for example, you are working 50%, then you could probably work a schedule of 8-12 every day, leaving an entire afternoon for cleaning, interacting with baby etc. I don't think I ever put in more than an hour or two of hour of housework on a daily basis. Assuming a couple of hours of house work everyday, then that still leaves a lot of time ( up to 6 hours assuming an 8pm bedtime) for pure baby stuff. Also, babies actually love to watch housework being done, both ds and dd found it highly entertaining to sit in the kitchen or living room while I cleaned and cooked, it was a great bonding time for us. Very young babies will nap a lot, and you might find that you get the work done during nap time, leaving a lot of the baby's awake time free for playing. Even working 65% (which amounted to being at work for about 30hours per week including lunch breaks) gave me loads of time in the afternoons to get the housework done and still have time to take the kids out to parks and museums. Shopping did tend to get pushed off to the weekend, but I was pretty well able to keep up with the basic house cleaning and laundry.

Now I am at 80% (37 hours actual time at work) and I still usually have the kids picked up by 3pm. This works because I work one full 8 hour day per week (9 hours with lunch break, dh picks the kids up early that day) and then 6 hours (actually 7 with lunch break) each day the rest of the week. Also, I start work at 7:30am. It is tough getting going in the mornings, but I still feel that the schedule is worth keeping because I have time to do swimming lessons with the kids and will have time to start ds on pianon lessons in fall. The kids really enjoy having the afternoons at home to just hang out, relax etc. They are at an age now where they tend to be busy with their own things more, but it gives us a lot of time to talk while I get the household chores done. And having the extra hours of "down-time" at home seems to help keep their stress levels and tiredness down.

Personally, I absolutely will keep to PT even with the lower income because it seems to be a great balance for our family and the actual housework is not nearly as formidable as it might seem once one has a good system.


Avatar for mygriffin
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 2:07pm
I currently work part time--24 hours a week. I have two boys, 5 and 2. In my experience, working part time gives me PLENTY more time with the kids than working full time would allow. I guess it depends on the type of job you have and the hours you work. On Mondays and Tuesdays, I get off at 4pm. I get home with the kids at around 5pm. Maybe other people find that they get quality time with their kids after work, but I personally don't. Much of the time after work is spent making dinner, eating dinner, cleaning up after dinner, bathing the kids and getting clothes out for the next day. Sure, we're interracting during much of that time, but it doesn't compare to the time I spend on the days I don't work.

Doing housework, gardening, making dinner, etc. doesn't take up the entire 9 hours a day you'd be at work. I love working part-time. The days I don't work are like a gift to me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 11:49am
Well it depends on what kind of part time and why you want to do it. For us, it was less about me being concerned I wouldnt get enough quality time, and more about us not wanting our children in daycare. Which meant that we'd have to do some kind of split shifts.

I have a great pt job and only work 2 nights a week. This gives me the freedom to have 5 days a week off, in which there is more than enough time (well most weeks anyway) to get things like housework and gardening done AND have quality time with my children.

I think part time is a really good middle ground between sah/woh, if one can swing it financially. I know for us, it gives us a nice boost to our income, yet doesnt infringe on family time or quality time in the least. And it gives me more time to get the things done around the house I want/need to do.



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