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Parents in Consulting. How do you manage consulting hours (50+ hours) with children? What does your schedule look like?

likehelpful
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I have 3 kids (3, 7, & 9) and it is hard! Below is my schedule.
7 am wake up and wake up kids
7 - 7:45 get lunch ready for school/daycare and get my toddler dressed
7:45 - 8 :45 drop off kids to school (take calls from 8 am while driving)
8:45 - 5:15 work (workout for 30 mins during lunch)
5:15 - 9:15 kids practice/dinner/bedtime
9:15 - 10:30 try to finish up any work
10:30 - 11:30 zombie on couch
Wash, rinse, repeat
My husband picks up the kids from school and we split some of the practices for the kids.

I haven't been promoted in 6 years. I'm ok with that. I cannot do more. I don't have the energy or even the ambition to do more.

I always prioritize my kids in case of illness and attend all their games, but I don't do any of the school volunteer stuff during work hours.

I put up a lot of boundaries and they have been respected, I think because, well, I don't care if people are annoyed by me. I just close my laptop when I'm done and don't think about work.

I do not give my work to anyone else or have others on the team take on more than they could handle. I respect everyone's WLB so I think people like being on my team because of how laid-back I am.

TLDR: Figure out your priorities, set your boundaries and don't give in, and work smart.

likehelpful

I’m in a similar situation, three kids (two under the age of 4 and a newborn) don’t think I could ever be promoted. I do the very best work I can —just client delivery, no time for all the other fluffy stuff that is supposed to get you noticed or promoted. I don’t have the energy

helpful

It can get easier sooner than you might think. Kids around 12 can stay home by themselves and get to/from school on their own as well if you're strategic about where you live and what school you pick. I have kids 13 and 15 and we live 3 blocks from their school. Many friends/schoolmates are walking distance away too. All their activities are centered around their school (arts/music/sports) so they come and go more or less as they please. I walk to school with them most mornings (though they can make it themselves and have on days when I've flown out early - phones make it easy to check to make sure everyone's up and on schedule). School starts at 8 so I'm home by 8:15. Depending on activities they come home between 3 and 6:30 and are able to make dinner for themselves if they need to. But my wife and/or I usually make it and we usually all have dinner together. The hour or so of work after dinner (which used to feel awful when it came at the expense of bath/storytime) now takes place when it happens alongside them going to their desks for some homework so it feels kind of normal. Don't get me wrong - there were some hard years, lots of paid help, getting saved by my mom, etc. But the finish line may be closer than you think, especially if you make good housing/school choices. My wife is in medicine and works 12+ hour shifts so she's either home during the day or gone 5 AM - 9 PM but never away overnight - that's the final piece in the puzzle, makes travel possible.

likehelpful

I’m members of some local neighborhood Facebook groups. The amount of parent asking for childcare for their teenage children is astounding. What type of shit parent are you that you need a babysitter for your 14 year old for a night out?

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I just log off and don’t care. You won’t get promoted as fast but your kids will love you more. Priorities..

likeupliftingsmarthelpful

I care but I still log off. 😂

funnylike

not a parent but a consultant who is also a child of a consultant. my dad chose his job over us like 8/10 times. don’t be like that.

likehelpful

Accenture 12, amen! it’s not a coincidence that I also decided to be a Consultant

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For reference, I drop my kid off and work from 8 AM - 5:30 PM with 30 minutes for lunch. I spend time with my wife and kid until 7:30 pm through his bedtime. By the time dinner and chores wrap up, it’s 8:30/9 pm and I’m exhausted. Sometimes I will work another hour after dinner. It doesn’t feel sustainable.

likehelpful

Manager Consultant 1 - how do you manage optics? I work very hard, come up with creative solutions, deliver projects on time but still I am struggling to get promoted. Will appreciate your tips and insights on how t manage optics

Normal work day:

6am - shower
7am - get kids up, read a book, transition to nanny
8am - 6:30pm - work
7pm - home and do bedtime
8pm - 40 mins of calls, follow ups, doc reviews
9pm - light dinner and chat with SO
10pm - get ready for bed, kiss kids goodnight again. Read and sleep before 10:30/ 11pm

Twice a week I’ll have travel or client dinners or other work-related events and miss bedtime. Real quality time is on weekends.

likeupliftingsmarthelpful

You don’t allocate time for workouts?😰

Have a spouse that does the full time parenting.

Patenting is the most important thing you will ever do in your life. It's not for outsourcing to nannies.

likefunnyupliftingsmart

D15 - Please tell me where I said that parenting is the hardest job you ever have to do.

I'll wait (I'm still waiting for someone else in this thread to evidence claims about what I apparently said).



I said it's the most important. There's a difference. Like others you seem to be trying to put words in my mouth to prove your assertion. There's a clear theme here!

However, I am glad to hear that you have a great nanny. I won't change my view that that's better than having a full time parent though.

Struggling. At least I can’t anymore. Leaving consulting soon.

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You need to set limit and expectations. Work will never end but you cannot get this time back with your kids.

likehelpful

Covid has actually made it possible to be more present and help out at home. I now do breakfast every morning with the kids, sometimes change a diaper or two during the day, and then block off from 7-8:30 for Bath/bedtime. Pick up work after that until 10-11 and do it all over again. Haven’t worked a weekend in 5 years.

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My favorite is when people respond to work after the kids go to bed “if needed” and this has always been and will always be my logic on why I don’t work more than 40 hours a week, though usually I work 6 hour days.

If you were to be unable to work tomorrow for something happening, you would be replaced immediately by someone else.

Unless you are a surgeon, it can wait. What do I mean by that? You are a consultant, not a doctor saving lives, the work is not urgent.

People have to set boundaries at work. In America we have created an environment where we live to work, instead of many other countries where they merely work to live. I work M-Th from 9-530 with a few long breaks in the day and Fridays from 10-1, create a schedule that works for you and your family, and get your work done in that time frame and you will be much happier

likesmart

Pwc3 no one can be 100% utilization. A long time ago I took issue with getting docked for only doing
60% utilization when I was helping so much internally and my clients were happy but my company wanted more. I can’t believe they questioned my loyalty because I refused to keep putting in more then 45hours a week. I’ll never go back to that type of structure

like

Normal work day:

6am - 7am - work (SO drop kid at daycare)
7am - 7:30am - breakfast while working
7:30 - 7:00pm work
7pm - 8:30pm - enjoy and put kid to sleep
8:30pm - 9:30pm - dinner and spend time with SO
9:30pm - 11pm - follow ups and addressing next day
11:30pm - burned out - cry in the shower / sleep

likehelpful

Usually doing absolutely nothing / sleeping in the sofa / chair gathering forces to go to sleep

likefunny

I don’t work 50+ hours most weeks and set limits. Work will replace me within a day or two if I drop dead tomorrow. I’m irreplaceable at home.

likeuplifting

I don’t work 50+ hours. I close the computer around 5-5:30 every day and get back on around 8:30. If I need extra time I’ll wake up early and get on in the morning while kids and spouse are sleeping instead of sacrificing time with them

likesmart

No calls before 8am or between 4.30-730pm. Put kids to bed and reopen laptop late night if needed

like

I am a mom of 3, ages 7.5, 6 and 4. I can say that people are much more supportive of families now than when I first became a mom as a younger consultant 7.5 years ago. My routine: I wake up daily at 5:30 AM. Check some emails, get some work done, then workout and shower before my kids are up. My spouse and I take turns dropping them off at school / daycare at 8:00 (based on our workload / client meetings each day) and then we both work from 8:30 - 5-5:30. Hard stop at 5:30 and very few exceptions of taking meetings between 7:00AM-8:30AM and 5:30PM-8:00PM. That is my family time, and I block it off on my calendar. If I can’t finish something during my work day, I do it in the evenings or in the mornings before my kids wake up. My husband and I both work for Deloitte and have found this to be effective. I have found both colleagues and clients are more supportive of parents in this post-Covid world. Be transparent about your family needs. Take all of your family leave. Put up your boundaries, or people will assume you don’t care and will take advantage of your time.

likehelpful

My career progression definitely slowed after I became a mom. I took a total of 10 months of maternity leave over ~3.5 years and every time I returned to work, I felt like I had to start over. I left consulting in 2019 for 2 years to start a business and came back to consulting in an SC role. My husband was prior military, got his MBA, then entered consulting at age 32 and has already progressed faster than me. However, I feel that leaving and coming back has given me perspective and even more confidence to put down boundaries, and those boundaries are respected because I am confident in them. I’m not saying “well if you really need it tonight (during my off limits time) I can probably do it.” If you give an inch, people will take a mile. All I can do is crush it during my productive hours and make strong relationships with my clients and colleagues. I refuse to sacrifice my family. This is a choice that I made and it works well for our family AND my mental health. Hope that helps 👍

like

Kids are so hard. We have a nanny but my spouse also works 50+ hours and we just have to tag team coverage outside nanny hours to make it work. Sleep and exercise are first to go for us but we manage. The thought of a second kid terrifies me.

like

After the second, it’s just taking turns being exhausted and depleted night after night, year after year.

Went to federal consulting several years ago when we had our first child… rarely do we work over 40 hours a week. Especially on multi year projects. Pay & quality of life nice… you just need to have patience with all the bureaucracy.

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Same experience contracting at the local city/county level. Many of the contracts were set up as augmented staff so you still billed for 40hours even if there wasn’t the work. I mean govt work has its own set of headaches but offers good flexibility

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My children are grown now, but when they were little we had a nanny come to our home during the day. My husband and I staggered our hours to maximize the time home (he had up to 2 hours of commuting time). And husband took Fridays off when able, “daddy’s day”. He had his own law practice but sacrificed a lot of $$$ for the flexibility.

You really can’t do it all; need to decide what is most important.

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SM3- hang in there! You do the best you can and the kids, truly, will adjust. My mom also was stay at home (like they all were back then in my hometown) and it drove me crazy that she was always home for us. But…. I know that was also good. It just wasn’t for me.

like

My husband is a stay at home dad - works perfect 👍🏻

likeuplifting

Technically he doesn’t work

Always so impressed with parents in this field. Hats off to all of you. Single with no kids here and there are days I forget to feed myself 😂.

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