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TTC with no regular job?

(59 Posts)
DuddlePuck Sat 17-Nov-12 11:43:03

Long time lurker here! Been going back and forth on this in my mind and thought it'd be good to have some impartial advice...

We are not TTC yet - had 'the chat' with DH not long ago and he said he was as ready as me to have a baby, but wanted me to have a full time job with mat pay first.

I am a supply teacher so don't get great mat pay, but would be entitled to SMP, DH is in sales so his pay fluctuates. It's ok, but there's no way we could live on his pay alone.

Full time teaching takes over your life, and having seen other people go through pregnancies doing it I am in awe of anyone who can teach full time and keep a house in order and not go into total meltdown. The thought of applying for full time positions just to get mat pay also seems a lot little inconsiderate to the schools I would be applying to.

I have done lots and lots of sums (this is pretty much taking over my life at the moment) and worked out that if I can work my arse off for the next few months and save up £4,000 ish then I can in theory have 9 months off on SMP and go back to supply teaching part time afterwards.

Is this total insanity? Anyone in a similar position?

I know babies don't happen magically overnight, but I'm desperate to start trying as soon as possible - the idea was to get a job starting in Jan and start TTCing in the early summer...

MummytoKatie Sun 18-Nov-12 15:22:10

The other thing I have just thought of is that of the 8 couples in our NCT group two knew that things would be really tight before they had the baby. Two have now split up.

With one of the couples there were other reasons why the relationship would have problems but for one the rows about money was a significant factor.

Obviously the plural of anecdote is not data but it is a scary fact.

thebody Sun 18-Nov-12 15:34:19

Well you can wait and plan and find life bites you in the arse.

It's never a 'good time' to have a baby unless you win the lottery.

We had our first 2 very young and it was very tough, we cut our cloth and I was a sahm who childminder for grocery money.

Ff 10 years and we had 2 more, we had more money but its still tough.

Now oldest 2 grown up and younger ones 12 and 11.

We nearly lost older dd in feb and I had to change career and now a TA.

My point is you never know what's round the corner and its always possible to economise and manage.

Go for it.

DuddlePuck Sun 18-Nov-12 16:16:29

angeltulips, I do sound wet when you put it like that blush. It's not the full time work I'm afraid of, I have done a job previously for a few years in which I regularly worked 70+ hours a week. As a supply teacher I intend to work 'full time' (so 5 day weeks) for as long as I can before getting pg to save up the funds, and whilst pg for as long as it's feasible. It's the fact that SMP is less than contracted mat pay (though not as much as I was expecting it to be) and I will need to find something else to supplement my income during holidays etc - as someone else said, if I don't work, I don't get paid.

I found full time permanent contract teaching took over my entire life - I do all the housework, cooking etc and found that washing wasn't getting done, the house was a tip etc... you can easily work 7am - 6pm, then evenings and weekends too if you're just starting out and want to give it 100%. Added to that the fact that I am wary of ending up in another situation where I am intensely unhappy and feel that I am tied in because I have to be there for maternity pay, I am trying to work out how reasonable other options are.

I would LOVE to be a SAHM, but know that there is no way we will ever really be able to afford for me not to work at all, so P/T work is inevitable, along with all the childcare costs etc that go along with it.

I need to have a good look at possible childcare options it would seem, before deciding to stop applying for jobs (not that there are many about...), and think about our general budgeting too.

I am quite willing to take risks, which I know isn't always a good thing, but both my DH and I are in agreement that we want to still be quite young parents (please don't slate me older parents, it's just the way we feel and we are lucky enough to be in a position where we can at least consider having children in our late 20s/early 30s.), so the clock is ticking and I'm hoping we can make things work sooner rather than later.

Thank you for all the advice smile I'm off to get my jotter out and do some more sums... as well as checking how many months I have left of my pill and ordering folic acid by the bucketful...

Hippymama Tue 20-Nov-12 10:05:32

I would go for it. You can plan all you like but life has a way of doing this you don't expect.

My husband and I both had good jobs with good incomes. We put off trying for a baby because we wanted to be secure first. Then I was made redundant following a long period of illness and the only job I could find was on half the money I had earned before. By this time I was 31 and desperate to begin trying for a baby, which we did. Despite my working fulltime in a permanent job, my mat pay was smp only but when baby came along we managed.

Babies cost as much as you let them. If you buy everything new, designer clothes, posh pram etc then yes you will need a lot of money. We bought a lot of thing second hand, were given an awful lot of handmedowns and bought other stuff in the sales. It can be done very easily with a little imagination.

My dc is now one and my husband was made redundant a fee months ago. He has found a job but is on a lot less money than before. Our family income is half what it was three years ago, but we manage to have a very nice life and are happier than before. Good luck op smile

posyplum Thu 22-Nov-12 10:37:22

Hi duddle. I felt I had to comment as you seem to have had some quite patronising responses! I just thought I'd add, that a family member of mine had just qualified as a teacher when she decided she wanted to start a family, at about your age. She did some fixed term contracts, but was supply teaching when she got pregnant. She got Maternity Allowance (bit like SMP) then went back to supply three days a week. She then had another. She decided she didn't want a permanent contract while having children, as supply gave her more flexibility, and she didn't miss out on maternity benefits as she got MA. She has now got a permanent part-time position within a school, her youngest is almost 3 and she feels ready. I don't know what the job market is like for supply but I thought I'd give you an example of how it has worked well for someone. And she is a very sensible, planning type of person, certainly didn't just 'give in to her hormones' hmm

Fwiw, I have a DD, and I didn't want another straightaway... she was over 2 when I started to think seriously about it. Friends have done similar. Who is to say how you will feel after having one?

Go with your gut instinct I say. You've done the planning and sums, had 'the chat'... good luck! xx

posyplum Thu 22-Nov-12 10:46:02

Also, I haven't found having a baby (now toddler) as horrifically expensive as I thought it would be... we've inherited bags of clothes and toys from people, shop at charity shops, ebay and car boot sales - you also don't go out as much and we don't really fancy expensive holidays far away now we've got a toddler! xx

Bellebois Thu 22-Nov-12 11:14:08

I am a teacher, had my DD whilst working full time. I went back after 9 months, which felt right at the time, but with hindsight, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. My DD got sick constantly, (really sick, perforated ear drums, pneumonia) at her nursery, which we loved, BTW. After 3 weeks back we quit -DH is also a teacher- and have been teaching overseas for the last 3 years. ( we found better life balance, but not for everyone)

You don't say what area you teach in (infant, senior, subject) but perhaps check out different types of schools nearby, especially if you are able to start mid year, there can be great jobs which pop up. You might be surprised what comes up. Don't worry about going on mat leave if you were in a full time job (you need to be in it 3 months to qualify). As someone mentioned up thread, you can apply for part time/flexitime after mat leave, although the school (as I understand it) is under no obligation to agree to it. Also, some schools tie your mat pay into a contract which is conditional on you returning to the job after your time off.
Good luck with it all!

smileyhappymummy Thu 22-Nov-12 11:20:35

I think you're being very sensible. My situation is a bit similar, I've just had dd2 (now 7 weeks) and work as a locum doctor - so again, no work, no pay snd maternity allowance only. We planned ahead, saved and sccepted that while I'm off we will be digging into savings. However, I worked up until 3 days pre elcs, only 2 days off sick - one advantage is you can reduce the intensity of your work if youre not feeling great but don't need to be off completely. I know not everyone will be lucky enough to be as well as I was in pregnancy but it is possible...
I'm also really pleased that this time I'll be able to go back to work gradually e.g. Start off with just a day a week and build up - will start when she's 3 months old but not go back completely till she's a year, much nicer than with dd1 where I was still on my training scheme and didn't have an awful lot of choice but to go back full time at 5 months.
I do agree with another poster though who said that babies work out much more expensive than you nititially think - its hidden costs rather than baby stuff and clothes tht add up.
I also think thwt if you wait for the perfect time to have a baby sometimes you could end up waiting forever...
Good luck with whatever you decide!

Crinkle77 Thu 22-Nov-12 11:21:49

Another consideration is do you have someone who can babysit at short notice when you go back to doing the supply work?

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