to think 'sod it' and just have a baby anyway?

(375 Posts)
KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 19:32:19

We have no money, we live in a shit flat and I'm about to start a new job. It's a dreadful time to even be thinking about having a baby. But I'm 36 and the proverbial clock has been ticking for the last year. Its so bloody loud it's driving me insane. Our financial/housing situation won't improve until I'm at least 40. Not an ideal time to start trying for a baby (especially as my DM had an early menopause at 43). I want to do it now!

After rent, bills, debts etc, DH and I have about £500 left over each month for everything else. There's no way I can afford to be a SAHM, we'll both have to work FT so FT childcare is our only choice. This costs £1200 a month (London). We're short by £700! As far as I can work out, we're not eligable for tax credits etc as DH is subject to immigration control until 2015 (I'm British, he's Brazillian). We are eligable for £20/month child benefit, but that wouldn't even touch the sides.

It makes me so sad that we're too poor for a baby. By the time we're not too poor, it's likely to be too late. AIBU to just get pregnant and hope for the best? What's the worst that could happen?

Jengnr Tue 07-May-13 19:34:49

Why won't you be eligible for tax credits?

Yanbu. You will find a way to make things work.

TiredyCustards Tue 07-May-13 19:40:31

Sounds like you can afford to be a sahm.

Cb is £20/week.

Totally just go for it, you'll make it work

cogitosum Tue 07-May-13 19:41:02

Assuming you're both basic rate taxpayers you can get childcare vouchers through your work and that effectively cuts your Childcare costs by a third to £800

And it could all take a while so you could start saving the £500 now as much as possible to build up savings. You'll cope. People do.

I'm sorry but I think yabu. You know you can't look after a baby with your job and you need your job to look after a babysad sad the worst that can happen is you have a baby, you lose your job as you have no childcare and your left with no money for rent bills or foodsad You don't pay rent as you have to eat. You lose your home and have to go to a b and b e waiting for council to house you.

youmaycallmeSSP Tue 07-May-13 19:42:07

YANBU. There is never a perfect time to have a baby and it sounds as though it's now or never.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 19:42:35

DH is subject to immigration control. Last time we applied for his visa to stay in the UK I had to show I could support us both without benefits. I think WTC is a benefit. On DHs visa it states 'no recourse to public funds'. WTCs are a public fund. Please correct me if I'm wrong- I'd LOVE to be wrong!

LST Tue 07-May-13 19:42:53

we're trying for dc2 and we have no where near £500 left after bills etc.

I say go for it too.

kotinka Tue 07-May-13 19:43:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fairenuff Tue 07-May-13 19:43:58

YAB a bit U. If you can't afford childcare then one of you will have to give up work. How will you pay your bills?

LadyVoldemort Tue 07-May-13 19:44:13

Would moving somewhere with cheaper living rates be an option? SAHM could be an option, it'd save a fortune in childcare fees.

Most people do find a way to cope, even if it is a very tough period in their life.

lyndie Tue 07-May-13 19:44:32

It sounds complicated but if I had waited until everything was perfect I'd still be waiting!

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 19:45:17

pregnantpause - yes that would be pretty diabolical!

InvaderZim Tue 07-May-13 19:47:10

Look into the WTC thing. After all, he's eligible for NHS treatment. I was rather surprisingly given a local government study grant when I was under restricted visa as well.

If you're and in London and renting you may also be able to get housing benefit depending on how much you earn. DH and I get £100 a week towards rent, however I am a SAHM so joint income may be considerably less than yours.

scarletforya Tue 07-May-13 19:48:43


Do it. There is never a perfect time to have a baby. You can get loads of brilliant things secondhand. Babies only use things for a few months at most anyway. You can buy new mattresses for your cot (if you even bother with one!) and prams.

I'm the last in my family to have a child and I've been deluged with things, a lot of which were practically new. People love to get rid of their baby stuff and to see it go somewhere useful.

I had my baby late and was terrified but luckily it's been great so far. Hard work but nothing to dread. I know not everyone has the same experience though.

Do you have siblings/friends with children? A support network is great even if it's just other people in the same boat as you. My parents are not alive but my siblings have been nothing short of brilliant. Even if not though, I think if you are generally a capable person then you will find a way. Best of luck! grin

TiredyCustards Tue 07-May-13 19:49:40

Or could dh be a sahd?

Could your parents help with childcare? (DH's presumably unavailable)

Also, try looking on 'turn to us' website. You can calculate what benefits you would be entitled to and try different scenarios to see what works out best. It is very accurate.

DumSpiroSpero Tue 07-May-13 19:50:52

What if you went to work full time & your DP was the SAHP? Then the tc's would be relevant to you I think.

I really feel for you. On the one hand it's important to be responsible, but equally I know people who have a child/children on next to nothing and have no idea how they do it. I think a lot depends on your expectations re lifestyle and the strength of your relationship as much as child, hard cash tbh.

kotinka Tue 07-May-13 19:52:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheYamiOfYawn Tue 07-May-13 19:53:44

I'd start saving now and go for it.o Workwise, could you spend a year or two either working shifts to cut down on childcare costs, so one parent would be at home, or work from home as a childminder so that you are earning without incurring childcare costs, although your home might not be suitable.

MrsBertBibby Tue 07-May-13 19:55:23

Talk to the CAB about Child and Working tax credits (and the new schemes) but I'm pretty sure you'd be able to claim them. The rules about those benefits aren't the same as for out of work benefits.

DTisMYdoctor Tue 07-May-13 19:55:32

I think if you leave it until you're 40, you have to consider that you might never have a child. I had a child at 35, waited until nearly 40 to ttc for number 2 with no success. While I don't think that you should just get pregnant and be damned with the consequences, if I were you I'd try and figure out a way to make it work. Childcare vouchers, CB at £80-ish a month (if you're both basic rate tax payers), get some advice on whether you could claim tax credits. Look at your outgoings and check out websites like that Martin bloke site (I always forget what it's called), for tips on cutting costs and make sure you're not accidentally frittering money (do you meal plan, use sites like topcashback for online purchases etc - every little counts). Consider whether part-time working might be feasible, especially if you have access to childcare vouchers.

I hope everything works out for you.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 19:56:24

We aren't eligable for housing benefit as that's classed as public funds. Moving out of London isn't really an option as we're in niche careers and the opportunities don't really exist elsewhere. We have looked.

My siblings could help with childcare but probably only one day a week - and I'd want to pay something to them. My parents aren't in the UK and neither are DHs (they are also crazy but that's a different thread!)

I'm tempted to ask my parents for a loan that is paid back once we're earning more (in about 3 years) but I have no idea if that's appropriate!

Cakecrumbsinmybra Tue 07-May-13 19:58:14

If you want a child and your DM had an early menopause, then you really need to get on with it whether it's perfect timing or not.

everlong Tue 07-May-13 19:59:31

I can't believe people are actually saying go for it?

I think a loan from your parents would be very reasonable, if they have the money. Your financial problems are temporary, but you can't afford to wait - this is exactly the situation where a loan makes sense.

whatamardarse Tue 07-May-13 20:00:46

Really understand you on the ticking clock but I think you Abu .
Actively trying for a baby when you financially suffer will cause undue stress. Believe me baby things are not cheap. And if you do it with the knowledge that the government will help fund your choice then YADBU.

Massive cut backs for elderly, people who are genuinely ill are losing money are all ready being implemented we don't need more people relying on state benefits for support when they have put them selfs there.

Sorry .

diamondee Tue 07-May-13 20:01:34

Imo there's no perfect time to have a baby, there will always something that could be changed for the better first, something to wait for. If you look for it there will always be a reason not to start trying.
When having a baby, things aren't guaranteed. Jobs are lost, hours change etc but you just get on with it and manage.

MrsHoarder Tue 07-May-13 20:02:07

Btw you can't pay your siblings to look after your DC in their own house unless they are ofsted-registered.

Have you considered childminders? Do your employers generally permit doing 5 days work in 4?

And I hate to ask, but what will you do if next time your dh's visa comes up for renewal he is turned down? Has he definitely settled here permanently even if your marriage breaks down?

whatamardarse Tue 07-May-13 20:02:15

everlong me either but that the mentality of a lot if people.

Foosyerdoos Tue 07-May-13 20:03:31

If you started ttc it may be 2015 by the time your mat leave finishes and your Dh would no longer be under immigration control.

olgaga Tue 07-May-13 20:04:01

Well I grew up poor and as a consequence would not ttc until I knew we were comfortable enough.

But each to their own.

Surely the rules about benefits only apply to your DH, not you, if he's the one with the visa problem?

milkymocha Tue 07-May-13 20:05:00

People will disagree but i'd go for it too!

youmaycallmeSSP Tue 07-May-13 20:05:12

Why not everlong? It might take the OP a while to conceive and her family history is not looking good for being a 40+ mum. She's already getting on a bit in terms of fertility. Finances will be a squeeze but with good saving now and excellent budgeting it is doable. I'd prefer to have a child and be on a tight budget than wait for a possible better time and have left it too late.

expatinscotland Tue 07-May-13 20:07:43

YOU and your British child can receive tax credits, housing benefit, and everything else. YOU claim them and make sure it is known that your spouse cannot be part of it due to his immigration status. Also, once he has ILR he is a permanent resident and can claim.

Chunderella Tue 07-May-13 20:08:01

The position wrt public funds is that DH can't claim any, but the British citizen spouse can if entitled. People get confused, because when the rules changed in July 2012, income that you get from TCs etc stopped being counted for the purposes of showing you can meet the maintenance rules. You don't mention when he got his visa, but if it expires in 2015 I imagine he applied post July 2012, under the 'new' regime. If so, while you can claim tax credits in your own right, if your income is low enough for WTC or CTB you won't meet the maintenance requirements for when he needs to apply for ILR. That's because in order to sponsor a spouse, you need an income of £18,400 annually before tax, and you won't qualify for WTC with that.

If he did get his visa under the post July 2012 regime, you need to be very careful to make sure you can meet the maintenance requirements for when he applies for ILR in 2015. You can apply outside the Immigration Rules if necessary, but it's a colossal ballache.

As for timing, if it's now or never which it sounds like it might be, I'd do it and be prepared for a hard few years. It would also be worth considering whether a move to a cheaper area is viable.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 20:08:12

ever and what - can I ask what you would do? Would you abandon your dreams of a family?

DH is here because I am. His visa should be fine as long as I am earning more than £18k a year.

happyyonisleepyyoni Tue 07-May-13 20:09:21

Could you career change or move further out and commute to reduce housing costs and/or both work compressed hours (4 long days) so baby is only in paid childcare 3 days pw?
People do manage it, but my small town in commuter belt is full of families who have moved out of London as they couldn't afford to live there. You might find that cheaper housing costs plus one season ticket is still more affordable than living in London and paying for full time childcare. Eg You could rent a flat here for £600 PCM and season ticket about £300pcm. Kings Cross 40 minutes.

everlong Tue 07-May-13 20:09:31

Because they have no money, live in a shit flat ( OP's words ) don't expect their housing situation to improve for years.

Who is going to fund the baby right now? And long term if the OP's situation doesn't improve?

expatinscotland Tue 07-May-13 20:10:11

and yes, it might be more feasible for him to be a SAHD.

Jan49 Tue 07-May-13 20:11:15

Could you cut your costs by moving to within commuting distance of London? That might be a way of reducing your mortgage/rent.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 20:14:09

happy that is a good idea and we will have to investigate if more. Although I think in our circumstance we wouldn't save that much money as we walk to work now so no travel costs. It is worth more investigating.

everlong Tue 07-May-13 20:14:44

OP I don't think I would have a child in your situation, no.

I see it a lot on here. Mums with no money, hating where they live, hating the fact they can't pay the basic bills let alone have a life. It's sad to read.

Babies cost money. Forever.

I'm sorry you're in this situation and I hope things improve for you so you're able to start a family. But I'm just being honest.

Cloverer Tue 07-May-13 20:16:13

MrsHoarder - close relatives don't have to Ofsted registered to care for neices/nephews/grandchildren.

OP, go for it - something will work out. Loads of poor people manage to have babies (including me!). If you have to you'll have to move somewhere cheaper, one of you give up work, find a more family friendly job etc.

You could get a new job, move somewhere cheaper and your DH be a SAHD if necessary.

Sunnyshores Tue 07-May-13 20:19:37

How about becoming a childminder? You could then get paid whilst looking after another couple of children too.Wouldnt recommend it unless you love children, I imagine it gets very loud!!

TSSDNCOP Tue 07-May-13 20:20:04

Sorry, I'm with Everlong.

It's one thing that none of us can see the future when we have children. Anyone's circumstances can change and there should be a net in those cases.

But this is a choice based on the certain knowledge of current circumstances and only suppositions about things improving in future.

MummytoKatie Tue 07-May-13 20:24:45

You mention debt repayments. How much do you owe and when will they be paid off? Will paying them off release the extra money you need?

Is there any chance that either / both of you can work some extra hours over the next few months (either in your current jobs or by taking a second job?) Not sure what employment is like where you are so it may not be feasible. I'm thinking that if you could have a really really horrible 6 months where you both work every hour you can then you might be able to clear some debt and magic up some extra cash before the ttcing.

Plus - are you saving your spare £500 each month. You'll need money for maternity leave.

Have you tried posting a SoA on the Debt Free Wannerbe page of MSE? There are people there who will be able to help you cut your spending amazingly. (It's pretty harsh just to warn you.)

I guess what I'm saying is that you shouldn't wait until 40 but you do need to have a plan.

miffybun73 Tue 07-May-13 20:24:47

YANBU, just do it. I'm sure that you won't regret it smile

MrsHoarder Tue 07-May-13 20:25:59

Cloverer I thought they had to be registered if they were paid, but am happy to hear that they don't have to be.

Nettee Tue 07-May-13 20:26:53

The OP is talking about having her first baby at the age of 36. It is not like she is having her 6th at 25 and already living on benefits. I think it is very hard of people to say she should remain childless due to money.

You will find a way - how would you feel in your 50s if you hadn't had a family for money reasons.

Look closely at the new job's maternity policy though - some places only have a good package after 2 years employment.

mrspaddy Tue 07-May-13 20:29:47

I think if you know you want a baby.. have a baby.. move out of London. Fertility does decline after 36 so why not just go for it. You will regret it I think if it is in your heart and you don't start a family. Best of luck.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 20:30:07

Thanks for all the supportive replies. I'm going to investigate childcare vouchers at my new work - although I doubt they participate at the mo. we'll also do the maths for DH being a SAHD. He'd love that! As long as we can get the childcare costs sorted we'll be ok. The 'stuff' thing (prams, baby bedroom items etc) aren't a big deal as we'll buy second hand, accept gifts or do without. DH grew up without any dedicated baby stuff - he nearly had a heart attack when I told him how much our friend's bugaboo cost!

bigkidsdidit Tue 07-May-13 20:32:33

I'm astonished so many people are saying 'just go for it'. You have no way of paying for it nad might be caught in the gap between eligible for benefits and able to afford it.

It would be really crazy to have one now. what would you do in a year's time?

you could spend 6 month planning it; moving cities, looking into compressed hours, that sort of thing.

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 07-May-13 20:33:22

I wouldnt in your circumstances. If you truly want a child then get saving, take on second jobs and pay off your debt.

Babies cost money, maternity pay can be hard to survive on and childcare costs are high in london. Sheer madness to proceed knowing your salary wont stretch and that you cannot afford to not work.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 20:33:39

Netee - yes, that's another issue. The new job offers 12 weeks full maternity pay (or something like this) so DC would have go to daycare at around 3 months.

BearsInMotion Tue 07-May-13 20:34:44

So people who aren't well off enough should not have babies, even if that means never having a family of their own? Nice.

RubyrooUK Tue 07-May-13 20:35:05

Also, OP, where about do you live in London? My full time childcare is cheaper than 1200 per month; it's closer to 1000 and there are other options around here that are around 800 pounds. We live in London and yes, you can pay a lot for extremely expensive nurseries here but you can also find more reasonably priced options (with perfectly good Ofsted inspections) for a lot less.

Obviously it is all still expensive but a lot cheaper than you mentioned in your OP.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 07-May-13 20:35:07

Yanbu. Have a baby...there are ways to make it work on a low income. I know!

bigkidsdidit Tue 07-May-13 20:37:32

That's not what people are saying Bears. But the OP herself says she has no way of affording childcare, adn no way of affording giving up work. What could she do? All this 'you'll regret it if you don't' doesn't mean anything if you end up hvaing to give up work and live on £56 a week.

OP I left London to afford a second child and it has been great. I'd investigate that first.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 20:38:49

RubyRoo - I spent a really long time looking at nursery costs and all the ones near my home and my work cost around £1200/month. There were some more expensive ones too! I will look at others in different areas now though.

everlong Tue 07-May-13 20:40:41

Bears you honestly think bringing a baby into the world when you describe your house as shit, having no money etc. is a good idea?

I can't see how it can be.

curryeater Tue 07-May-13 20:41:09

the people who are saying: I can't believe you are considering this.
1. do you have children?
2. how would you feel about being told you could never have children?

The OP works, her husband works, she has spent 16 years of her life (guessing) getting a career together. It is unbelievably brutal that people are saying working people shouldn't have children because their money doesn't go far enough.

OP, good luck.

TSSDNCOP Tue 07-May-13 20:41:11

Do nursery fees stay fixed? Would you need to account for them going up? Also does your current £500 include food too? If so your further out than £700 I think.

FourLittleDudes Tue 07-May-13 20:41:18

I would say just do it too.

When I had my first baby I was married, had a house, we both worked etc etc perfect timing.

Now I've recently had my 4th child, I'm divorced, renting, lost my job.

There are never perfect circumstances and at least you are going into
It eyes open. You'll never regret having your child, but you might regret not having one.

Viviennemary Tue 07-May-13 20:42:19

I agree that you should just go for it. You sound caring and responsible so what more could a baby need. There would be options like one of you could go part-time to cut the cost of childcare. Or as someone else suggested your DH could stay at home and you could work then you might get help.

lagoonhaze Tue 07-May-13 20:43:23

Yanbu you will never regret having a baby but regret it forever if you don't .

You Will find a way

jollygoose Tue 07-May-13 20:44:57

just go ahead and do it - things have a way of sorting themselves out, gl

everlong Tue 07-May-13 20:45:01

Curry yes I have children.
But this isn't about me. The OP asked should she just sod it and have a baby anyway.

BearsInMotion Tue 07-May-13 20:45:35

Because what's the alternative? Leave it too late, realise you can't have children and regret it for the rest of your life?

Fairenuff Tue 07-May-13 20:46:44

I left London to have my first dc. The wage difference wasn't that much but cost of living was almost halved. It meant that I could give up my job. I know you said your work was specialist but how about a change of career? Or just get any old job to start with, until you can find something more suitable.

It's easy to say just go for it but what you have to remember is you won't just be having a baby. You will be creating and shaping another human adult. The financial commitment is massive. You can get lots of baby stuff secondhand and cheap (apart from nappies, which cost the earth) but the child soon grows and has many more needs. Childcare would always be a big cost, at least until they start school.

It would make more sense to use the next year to find another job, in a cheaper area, a suitable property to rent and save, save, save. Then you will be in a position to start ttc.

Mumsyblouse Tue 07-May-13 20:52:30

I don't really understand what you mean by 'shit flat'? Millions of people around the world live in small flats, or apartments with no garden, or all share a room- some cultures even prefer to share a bed than have separate bedrooms. I am not talking people in desperate poverty, just people not all living in large separate houses in the country-side. You are better off than pretty much all these people, and have a good wage coming in (not your fault that childcare is higher here than pretty much anywhere in western europe).

I would go for it, you can change jobs/downsize/rejuggle caring responsibilities/investigate tax credits along the way. It is absolutely ridiculous for someone to start to believe they have to be in a perfect large house with a guaranteed job for life (what, in the recession) to have a child- children need love, care and attention and if you go halfway to providing that, then you will be offering more than many parents do, big house or no.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 20:52:55

I have worked since leaving Uni. I've worked really hard! DH works too. Neither of us are in very high paying carers, although I am encouraging DH to take a banking job in the city wink! He's not keen! We're a happy, loving couple and we just want a baby!

hellonewworld Tue 07-May-13 20:57:34

I would go for it, yes it might not be the best of circumstances but your more likely to regret not having the baby than regret having it and whatever happens you will always have your family x

ImpatientOne Tue 07-May-13 20:57:34

Having been ttc for 2 years sad - after sorting jobs, marriage house etc - I would say do it but I think you should look at all of the options discussed such as moving out of London. I appreciate you have a niche career but it doesn't sound very well paid? Could you/DH look at other jobs even for the short term?

Mumsyblouse Tue 07-May-13 20:57:45

And- while I'm on the subject, in my husband's country, pretty much everyone lives in so-called 'shitty flats' without the brand new kitchens/new sofa every few years that people have here- should the entire nation give up having children, even though they can feed and clothe them?

The Uk may be a materially wealthy country, but as survey after survey shows, it is not that nice a place to bring up children in comparison to supposedly poorer parts of the world. A lot of people here don't like children and it is not that family friendly. You may be better off moving to Brazil, renting a cheap flat and going somewhere where people actually like children and don't think you ought to have a pension plan in place before having them.

aurynne Tue 07-May-13 20:58:36

I will definitely be showing this thread to any of the many people who tell me I'm selfish because I am not having children.

So you are encouraging a woman to "go for it" and give birth to another human being, who will by all means be living in poverty, whose father may be deported in the future... because otherwise his/her mother may regret it?

So the only person who counts here is the mother, who may not "realise her dream"? There are people everywhere giving up dreams because their situation is not the ideal, or even appropriate, to fulfil their dream. There are other dreams in life. I personally know many women ho did want to have children, but in the end it did not work because they had no partner/no money/no stable life, so they did the responsible thing and decided not to have them.

And you know what? it was a painful decision, but these women have devoted their lives to other causes, and now have accepted their childlessness and moved on. They are happy and fulfilled doing other things than procreating. Women are not just a uterus with legs, you know? You are still a valuable, worthwhile individual even if there are not bits of your very own genes walking and talking.

I really despair sometimes.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 20:59:34

mummysblouse yes, I totally agree that we are better of than most people in the world in terms of accommodation. We're certainly better off than many families I've seen in DHs home country. We would have to share a bedroom with DC and are prepared to do that until we'd have more money for a 2 bed place. The damp and noise in our flat are the issue! We'd probably have to move to another one bed, but it wouldn't be the end of the world.

Mumsyblouse Tue 07-May-13 20:59:47

auryanne did you miss the bit where the OP just said she really wants a baby? The child won't be living in 'poverty' for gods sake, not compared with 90+% of the world's population!

MyDarlingYoni Tue 07-May-13 21:01:59

If you feel your finances will imprive in a few years go for it. your most expensive thing wil be childcare unless you can have one of you at home for two years....

everything else - you can get free or v cheaply. ie cots, clothes, equipment.

aurynne Tue 07-May-13 21:03:33

Many people really want to be a medical doctor, really want to find the love of their life and marry them, really want to have a father who loves them, really want to travel into space, really want many things they are not in the position to get. You may think that everyone who really wants something should get it, I disagree. Especially when the life of another innocent person has to be affected in order for that person to get their wish.

Wishes are not "granted". They need to be worked for, and they do not always work out. People move on to other dreams.

bigkidsdidit Tue 07-May-13 21:06:26

The idea that because this isn't Somalia, living in poverty is fine, is a very odd one. Growing up in poverty, in an overcrowded, damp flat, sounds miserable to me. You onlt have to read threads on here by people struggling to see how awful it is. And to choose that for a child? I don;t understand.

But I know what it's like to have that biological pull, OP, and I wish you the best. Seriously, look at moving out of London. It is amazingly cheaper and life much more affordable (we will be paying £1000 a month childcare for 2, for example, rahter than 1100 for one!)

Sorelip Tue 07-May-13 21:06:47

Do you live very centrally OP? If so, weigh up cheaper rents further out with travel costs versus staying central.

See what you are entitled to as a British citizen.

If this still doesn't meet the gap, try going on the Money Saving Expert website, posting your statement of affairs, and see what advice you get about cutting costs.

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 07-May-13 21:09:01

Aurynne, i agree. We have become a culture of I want x so am going to have it regardless of the fact i cant afford it.

A child comes with huge financial responsibilities. Having a child when your income doesnt cover it is selfish.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 21:15:19

It's not like I want a horse or pedigree dog. I want a baby. The desire is motivated by biology, which I appear to have very little control over. The thought of not having a baby makes me really sad. If I could stop that feeling I could and life would be a lot easier!

EasilyBored Tue 07-May-13 21:20:50

I'm not going to say you shouldn't have a baby, because for some women it's such a strange, physical, pull it would be almost unbearable not to.

BUT... those people saying 'just do it, it will work out, you'll find away'. That has got to be the shitest bit of advice ever. You don't need to go much further than these boards to see that, actually, you don't always find a way. People are in really really dire financial situations. You would have to be an idiot to knowingly go into a situation like that just blindly crossing your fingers that you'll 'figure it out'. And as for 'you never regret having a child, you would always regret not having one' BULLSHIT? Plenty enough people on here have admitted to regretting having a baby. So just stop with that piece of crap. You're just trying to justify your own selfish need to have a baby - if that is how you feel then fine but admit it, don't spout off trite little bits of rubbish like that, because they just aren't true.

OP - I think you need to really explore all your options, try the CAB and MSE and really figure out your budget, your obligations RE immigration, your rights to state help etc, and make an informed choice. If all those things don't add up, and there is just no way of making it work? Then you have to decide where to go from that I guess.

marriedinwhiteagain Tue 07-May-13 21:26:05

If you want a baby OP then have one; providing you don't expect the rest of the population to subsidise you. Would that everyone had to cut their cloth without recourse to public funds. I had my first at nearly 35 having spent the years between 21 and then building up capital. What has prevented you from doing the same?

Fairenuff Tue 07-May-13 21:32:12

Just start a little research. See how much it costs to rent a one bedroom flat in different parts of the country. You will be amazed at how cheap they are in certain areas (not all undesirable areas either, just in comparison to London).

Then see find out how wages compare. Do the math. You get a much better wage-outgoings ratio and life is more affordable.

Then see how much childcare costs are in the areas that you think might be suitable. You could find out so much in just a fews days and you might be pleasantly surprised at what options are out there.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 21:33:00

marriedinwhite - in my 20s I never thought I'd want kids (or to get married) so saving for that wasn't a priority. Then I moved overseas to work for a charity where i was paid a pittance. It's only in the last year I've really thought about children. If I could have my time again, I'd save more, train for a higher paid job etc etc.

Pigsmummy Tue 07-May-13 21:33:57

I started TTC at 36 (actually on my birthday I panicked and we started then) it took a year to get pregnant, I saved up to pay myself a "wage" now that I am on statutory maternity pay and it's working out ok. If you are the same and stash £500 a month then you could have circa £10K behind you when baby is born, that's a good fund to start a family with.

Also shop around for bargains, I got everything at least half price using good websites (kiddicare, precious little ones etc).

Brices Tue 07-May-13 21:36:19

What would you do if you won the lottery?
Have a baby
I would never have had enough money for my potential child
I'm more in the "sod it"camp I don't think there is a right time but having worked in fertility clinics I would be more aware that choosing the "right" time has little to do with money.
You know maybe it won't be ideal but your child will be loved and wanted

aurynne Tue 07-May-13 21:39:40

KentishWine, so basically you did whatever the hell you wanted during your whole life, not planning for the future, not bothering to create the stable situation which would benefit a child, and your latest fad (as said by yourself, "It's only in the last year I've really thought about children") is to have a baby.

This just confirms what I said in my previous posts, really.

What happens when you have the child and suddenly you want something different next year? Do you think having a baby is suddenly going to transform you magically into a responsible individual? Do you know you can't return them to the stork?

Xmasbaby11 Tue 07-May-13 21:41:35

I think you need to change your situation first, unless you genuinely believe you can magic up an income to bring up a baby on. I'm sorry - it's harsh advice, but I think you know it.

Cloverer Tue 07-May-13 21:42:48

Don't be ridiculous aurynne grin How many people spend 10 years planning and saving before they have children? How many children are planned at all?

Children don't cost a lot of money - living in London does. You don't need a £30k a year income to raise a child.

everlong Tue 07-May-13 21:44:31

' children don't cost a lot of money '

I have heard it all now.

EasilyBored Tue 07-May-13 21:44:42

Children actually do cost quite a bit of money. Childcare fees (if you can't afford to give up work), clothes, shoes, food, nappies etc...

bigkidsdidit Tue 07-May-13 21:44:59

that's harsh aurynne - most people don't think about babies until the urge hits them!

Snazzynewyear Tue 07-May-13 21:46:44

Start your new job, save hard for six months then start trying while still saving. Think about your DH being the stay at home parent. Think about moving out of London.

bigkidsdidit Tue 07-May-13 21:46:51

lol at 'children don't cost much'

breastfed babies, perhaps. Children cost a bloody fortune!

EasilyBored Tue 07-May-13 21:48:07

I'm not sure that's true bigkid I think most people have some things they would like to get sorted before having a baby. I didn't always have a strong urge to have a baby, but I certainly thought it was a possibility and knew that I wanted to have the stable relationship, decent job and own home first etc. There has to be a point where you stop just 'winging' it and actually act like an adult and do some forward planning.

Cloverer Tue 07-May-13 21:48:11

How much should you be earning before you have children everlong? Average wage is about £26k, more than enough to raise a child on.

Cloverer Tue 07-May-13 21:49:30

Children do not cost that much - evidenced by the fact that millions of ordinary people manage to bring up children without saving for 10 years and getting high paid jobs before hand.

everlong Tue 07-May-13 21:51:49

It's not just the initial outlay of baby stuff. Although that does cost a fair amount.

It's the ongoing cost. Childcare, before and after school care. Food, clothes, clubs, holidays, days out, Christmas, birthdays, bigger houses and needing to move as they grow. University, driving lessons, house deposits. Etc.

Yes not all these things are needed but surely every child born deserves them?

Or those saying yes have one are you happy for the OP to stay put in her shit flat with no money bringing up her baby in a dire situation?

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 21:51:50

aurynne I have been working my entire life, not really doing "whatever the hell I wanted". Far from it I'm not going to change my mind about having a baby. Priorities change. In my teens the priority was music and boys. In my twenties it was carving out a career (and music and boys). And now it's having a family with my DH.

What are your jobs? You say they are niche careers but in what?
I think moving has to be an option, move to an area where rents and childcare are much cheaper and take jobs doing something different if you can't find things related to your field.
It's not forever, you can get back into your careers later or start up on your own but as you say the time is ticking for a baby.
Where I live you can rent a perfectly lovely 3 bed family home for £600 a month and childcare ft with a childminder would be about £800
You'd be loaded!! Good luck, I hope it works out for you

bigkidsdidit Tue 07-May-13 21:52:38

Oh yes Easily - what I meant was, most people sort themselves out, and start planning, when the urge hits them to have a baby. Not age 18.

EasilyBored Tue 07-May-13 21:54:38

When you've got childcare fees in excess of £1000 a month, £26,000 a year isn't really going to get you very far.

DontmindifIdo Tue 07-May-13 21:55:13

Can you move out in commuting distance of London?

Check if you would be allowed to claim WTC (if not your DH).

everlong Tue 07-May-13 21:56:47

cloverer surely it depends where you live and what your circumstances are? If you are in debt, with a big mortgage or rent etc 26k doesn't sound a lot.

And it depends on whether you just want to get by.

Fuckwittery Tue 07-May-13 21:56:57

Tax credits and immigration control:

It says here that you can claim tax credits if your partner is British / not subject to immigration control

scroll down about half way to "You're subject to immigration control - when can you get tax credits?
You have a partner"

Cloverer Tue 07-May-13 21:57:10

Really? Every child deserves big houses, holidays, driving lessons, house deposits, University?

Of course, that would be nice - but it's not going to happen for the majority of children.

Again - the initial outlay of baby stuff is not expensive at all.

I think some of you are living on a different planet. It would be lovely for all children to be brought up by affluent parents but that's not how the world works. Doesn't mean they shouldn't be born.

Littlehousesomewhere Tue 07-May-13 21:57:26


I can't believe people are saying you shouldn't have a child as you are poor. Poor people are allowed a family life as well.

Start ttc straight away and then you can plan afterwards. People with unexpected pregnancies manage to change their living situation in that 9 months and you can too. Lots if ideas already given here.

I am surprised you are not allowed to claim benefits though?

i thought you were as long as the British partner did? This would mean that if you did have only one of you working it would have to be you. If this is not the case it is very discriminatory as if you were a single parent you would be able to claim so why not as a partnered parent if you still meet the eligibility income factors.

brdgrl Tue 07-May-13 21:57:49

I apologize because I have not read all the replies (sorry, just a bit rushed) and maybe this has already been said.

When DH and I had our DD, I was subject to immigration control. That meant I was unable to receive any benefits. My DH, however, received child tax credits for both my DSCs and our DD. You should be able to get those. You will also be eligible for all maternity benefits. Your child will of course be eligible for benefits as he or she will be a citizen and not subject to immigration control.

I will say that "how much does a baby cost?" is a question akin to "how long is a piece of string?" It can cost very little - aside from, as you already know, child care.

I was in a worse place financially then what you describe, when I decided to have DD. It hasn't been easy, but it hasn't been so hard, either - and I have no regrets about doing it when I did.

brdgrl Tue 07-May-13 21:58:17

obviously, I think YANBU!

NoSquirrels Tue 07-May-13 21:58:39

OP, I am presuming that you're North London from your username (could be wrong!) If so, there are loads of cheaper (and greener) places to live in London. Sarf London, for example. . .

Why can't you move? Do you own, are you in negative equity?If not, you can definitely move! I bet you could find somewhere you'd be as, if not more, happy with in a cheaper area of London.

Also, £1200 a month nursery fees is a lot, but nurseries are not the only form of childcare... Childminders are cheaper, some considerably so, I would pay much less than that for a full-time spot with my wonderful childminder. And I'd choose her over a nursery anyway even if twice the price!

Consider if you and your DH can juggle working hours with some flexibility from your employers (i.e. both do 4 day weeks,thus needing only 3 days of paid childcare, working fulltime in compressed hours i.e. 5 days over 4, working from home one day etc) and can prevail on your siblings if possible then you may find it is actually not so bad.

Look really really hard at your budget now. If you are serious, see if you can actually find an extra £100+pcm to throw at your debts or to save. 'About £500' is quite vague, I bet if you tried you could cut out some non-essential expenditure you've just got used to having, rather than need. Coffees, Sky, whatever. Gym subscription. Look hard and see if there's something in your expenditure that would be better off sacrificed to your goal for a child.

Make it a challenge for 6 months while you get established in your new job. You need to concentrate on that for a bit anyway, and as that will involve a change in routine etc perhaps you can capitalise on that.

Cloverer Tue 07-May-13 21:59:58

I would rather get by and have a child, than be well off and childless.

I doubt many people on £26k are paying £1000 a month in childcare EasilyBored. Us poverty-stricken plebs work part time, share childcare between us, have evening jobs, or a stay at home parent.

brdgrl Tue 07-May-13 22:00:57

If you don't mind answering - have you only just gotten married? Because after two years of marriage, your DH ought to be able to apply for ILR.

expatinscotland Tue 07-May-13 22:01:35

Or those saying yes have one are you happy for the OP to stay put in her shit flat with no money bringing up her baby in a dire situation?

What's so dire about it? Loads of people come on here with unplanned pregnancies, they're single and on benefits or in poor financial circumstances and no one jumps on board saying, 'Nah, I don't think your child should be born.' How is this different?

She's married, they both have jobs, they can move to another flat.

I would be gutted if my daughter, my only daughter now, didn't have children because she couldn't afford driving lessons, university fees and house deposits for them! None of mine would be born at all if I'd not had them due to that.

everlong Tue 07-May-13 22:01:43

My point cloverer is that a baby doesn't stay a baby for long.

The cost in having a baby is on going. For always.

And yes a house deposit and a car is a luxury for your children but childcare costs, food, clothes, birthdays and Christmas's aren't!

expatinscotland Tue 07-May-13 22:02:11

sorry, missed quotation marks on that.

'Or those saying yes have one are you happy for the OP to stay put in her shit flat with no money bringing up her baby in a dire situation?'

Fairenuff Tue 07-May-13 22:02:22

aurynne op was working for a charity, give her a break, she wasn't just frittering her money away.

However, I was on another thread about school trips and there were loads of posters saying that they couldn't afford £5 a month, or whatever. Some people really are on a very tight budget and it can be extremely difficult to manage sometimes.

Lots of us have suggested moving, you haven't responded to that yet, what are your thoughts on living somewhere cheaper?

Cloverer Tue 07-May-13 22:02:43

How on earth do all these people on average wages manage to feed and clothe their children everlong? It's truly a mystery.

EasilyBored Tue 07-May-13 22:02:57

Every child deserves to have a decent roof over their head though, and enough food to eat and for their parents not to be on the brink of financial ruin every time a big bill comes in. That isn't the case for a huge amount of children, and while I think we should be helping people, I think knowingly going into a situation like this is just stupid.

brdgrl Tue 07-May-13 22:03:19

Birthdays and Christmas presents actually are a luxury, you know. Just saying.

expatinscotland Tue 07-May-13 22:03:52

She's not exactly living in a homeless hostel and relying on food banks to eat, though.

EasilyBored Tue 07-May-13 22:05:18

expat it's different because for whatever reason, those people are already pregnant and the choice not to carry on with the pregnancy is more complicated. The OP isn't pregnant. She would be making a conscious choice to do this, not end up 'accidentally' in this situation and try and figure it out.

teapartiesinsummer Tue 07-May-13 22:05:19


good luck


bigkidsdidit Tue 07-May-13 22:05:50

I am so anxious about this bloody government though. It wouldn't surprise me if they suddenly announced spouses of immigrants weren't allowed to claim tax credits on their behalf, or some other shite like that. And the threshold for help is so low now. It's really tough.

Kormachameleon Tue 07-May-13 22:07:28

aurynne what vile posts. Your attitude and rudeness is disgusting

foreverondiet Tue 07-May-13 22:07:32

If you were 26 I'd say wait but at 36 you should go for it. Would be a massive regret for your whole life if you left it too late.

everlong Tue 07-May-13 22:07:40

expat my ds had a baby with his gf two years ago because they wanted one. They had no job, no money and were living with her mother. To me a dire situation.

There was no reasoning with them, no explaining how hard it was going to be. They knew best. Guess who has bailed them out time after time?

They've split now. Ds has a job and is supporting the baby but she is still living in a small, flat in a pretty rough area with no garden for the baby.

I'm a big believer in 'there is NEVER a right time to have a baby'. There will always be something that could hold you back - time, money, childcare etc.

Go for it!!!

expatinscotland Tue 07-May-13 22:08:26

'expat it's different because for whatever reason, those people are already pregnant and the choice not to carry on with the pregnancy is more complicated. '

No it's not, because if we're talking responsibility then if you're in a truly dire situation, you should double up on contraception every time to avoid pregnancy.

According to the judgey pants on here, a lot of us shouldn't have had children. Including me.

girliefriend Tue 07-May-13 22:08:27

yanbu, babies don't need to cost that much. Although I would say if you can't afford to stay in London is there a possibility of moving somewhere a bit cheaper to live?

NoSquirrels Tue 07-May-13 22:08:54

I'm pretty sure that before I had a baby I couldn't have 'afforded' to pay the fulltime childcare costs on top of our regular living expenses.

Never in my life have my DH and I had that kind of cash 'spare' every month.

And yet somehow we have managed to have DC and pay for their childcare.

To those who are saying she's too poor, and on the breadline, and how irresponsible etc. I truly don't think that's the case here. They're not rolling in cash, no, but they have £500 left over after rent and bills every month. That's not nothing.

LastOrdersAtTheBra Tue 07-May-13 22:09:49

It's the now or never bit that makes this different, if you were 26 and in this situation then of course you'd be better off waiting. Full time childcare costs are only for a few years (yes, wraparound care is expensive even once they're at school but not as bad) and it sounds like other parts of your situation may also improve in that time, biologically things aren't looking hopeful for waiting a few years though.

If you're going to spend your child's early life being stressed and miserable, making your child's life miserable then maybe it's not worth it. If you can provide a loving home and a happy childhood, even if it's short on material possessions, then go for it.

everlong Tue 07-May-13 22:10:30

Birthday presents and Christmas presents are a luxury.

Well they shouldn't be.

EasilyBored Tue 07-May-13 22:11:46

That's why I'm saying she should really do her sums and figure out if it's actually possibly. I just hate the kind of blind enthusiasm that says 'just go and have a baby, it'll be fine!'.

expat that's why I said 'accidentally', not just accidentally.

expatinscotland Tue 07-May-13 22:12:05

ever the OP is not your son. She is THIRTY-SIX, married, living on her own with her spouse and they are both in employment.

'Ds has a job and is supporting the baby but she is still living in a small, flat in a pretty rough area with no garden for the baby.'

When I had DD1 we were living in a very rough area in a one-bed council flat on the 2nd floor.

Excepting for 2 years out of the 9 years of her life, DD1 lived with us in HA and council flats with no garden.

Even now, we live in a HA maisonette with no garden.

We are surrounded by families in this block, nearly all of them in employment.

Guess we shouldn't have had any of our kids. hmm

Cloverer Tue 07-May-13 22:12:47

She's not exactly living in a homeless hostel and relying on food banks to eat, though.

Exactly expat!

At worst, the OP will need to move somewhere cheaper, find a job earning over £18k, and her DH will be SAHD. That sounds absolutely fine and doable to me.

olgaga Tue 07-May-13 22:13:01

You're in debt. You have £500 left after paying your rent, bills and debt each month. Does that include groceries, living costs, clothes, visits to family abroad etc?

I suppose "borrowing" off your parents isn't quite the same - but is more debt the answer? What if they need the money back?

You need another £700pm just to pay for childcare - and then live on what exactly?

You can't give up your job - or even take anything but the minimum maternity leave because you need to be earning £18400 gross pa to meet your husband's visa requirements. Which means you can't claim WTC.

Great idea for your DH to be a SAHD, but a word of warning - it's not everyone's cup of tea.

If you move to a cheaper area then you will have the cost of commuting which will account for most of what you will save on accommodation. Tell me a cheap area where you can move to within cheap and easy commuting distance of London?

I'm sure you both love your jobs but if you've chosen a low paid career and worked for 16 years, it's a shame you didn't start thinking about this 10 years ago and saved some money.

You have no assets, only debts, and an uncertain future. Everything depends on you working full time with no drop in earnings or loss of employment.

I really can't see how you will realistically manage the additional expense of a baby in these circumstances.

Another poster mentioned the MSE website - you might want to take a look at the budget planner.

You might also want to have a look at StepChange with regard to handling your existing debt.

Another good site relating directly to the cost of having a baby in the first year only (it doesn't get cheaper after that, either - quite the reverse) is The Money Advice Service.

But then, after all that, I notice you've said I am encouraging DH to take a banking job in the city ! He's not keen!.

Is that right? He could take a well paid job, get you out of debt and out of this mess, carve out a career to assist his visa application - and he's not keen?

I hope that was a joke!

When DS was small XH was on a settlement (no recourse) visa. We got housing benefit and tax credits. Because they are claimed jointly it is effectively you who would be claiming with his income also taken into consideration. Every benefit agency saw his passport and visa so it was definitely correct.

brdgrl Tue 07-May-13 22:17:43

There was no reasoning with them, no explaining how hard it was going to be. They knew best. Guess who has bailed them out time after time? They've split now.

So? When I had DD (planned pregnancy), I was a mature student with a VERY small income from part-time teaching. For the first six months of her life, I lived separately from my now-DH, in a 'rough' neighbourhood, in a small place with no garden whatsoever. I had no benefits apart from statutory maternity pay. I had absolutely no idea if I would get work in my field after finishing my degree. I did have years and years of supporting myself behind me, and some common sense.

It has worked out for me. Anecdotal evidence goes both ways.

pooka Tue 07-May-13 22:19:39

I'm with expat.

I think OP should go for it.

Look into childminders OP - i found they were generally cheaper than the nursery option, and i preferred the idea of a home from home setting anyway.

everlong Tue 07-May-13 22:20:45

Expat I'm positive from the little bit that I have got to know you that you did and do your best for your dc. In every way.

Sadly with ds and his gf this is not the case. If you had witnessed some of the things I had I think you would understand where I was coming from.

The baby is kept in the flat all the time, stuck in front of the tv with an Argos catalogue to play with and a bag of wotsits. Not what anybody wants for a baby.

FannyBazaar Tue 07-May-13 22:23:24

I was mid 30s living in a tumble down house in London with no central heating, holes in the floorboards, cupboards falling off and with no job when I found out I was pregnant. That wasn't planned. I got a job, got the house renovated, learned to live off the smell of money when the baby was born so I could stay at home.

When you're not working, you have the time to shop in a variety of different places to get the best bargains. I scrimped and penny pinched, never bought baby wipes, disposable nappies or bin bags, it was back to basics. No cot, no nursery, no processed organic baby foods.

I say, put aside what money you can now, start trying, if you conceive tomorrow, you are still not going to be paying nursery fees for at least a year. That gives you just 7 months until it's 2015! If prospects are looking up from when you are 40, that's before your child would even hit school age.

Life is good for us, I'm now a single mother, we have a pretty good house, a couple of holidays aboard each year and plenty of fun adventures. I no longer have a car (huge saving) and work full time so am still paying for childcare even though DS is at school so it has reduced considerably since I went back to work when he was 2.

Sounds like you have prospects so unlikely to be stuck poor for ever. Your call.

wonderstuff Tue 07-May-13 22:24:26

I didn't save until I was pg, like you I didn't really consider children when I was younger. We have 2 now, I'm shocked at how much money we frittered before. Things are tight, I can't see a time when we won't be private-renting, and there is some instability in that, but we get by, I wonder about the less stressful, more financially secure life I would have had if we hadn't had children, they are very expensive. I honestly don't know if I could have my time again what I'd choose to do, but as the children get older and things get a little easier I more inclined to believe we did the right thing.

Go for it, but be under no illusion that it won't be very difficult.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 22:25:43

We won't be as 'poor' as we are now forever. Things will get better so I imagine in the future we'd be able to send a DC on a school trip and buy a birthday present. I absolutely don't want to claim benefits, not necessarily because of any moral objection, but because I'm not sure how it would look on DHs next visa application. Especially if the recent UKIP support encourages the gov to be even harsher on immigrants. The gov have already made the road to permanent residency (but not citizenship) 5 years insteas of 2. I have to support DH with no third party support. And I'm sure it'll only get tougher.

Another vote to go for it. Good luck.

In answer to everyone telling you to move - please don't be so shortsighted. My husband and I are also in niche careers with few prospects outside of London. We could maybe afford a better flat etc if we moved and took any old job - but we are carving out careers and taking a few years out would dump us right back at the bottom of the pecking order, so longterm it's not a great option.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 22:30:02

olgaga DH as a banker was a joke. He'd be rubbish at it and would hate it!

Fuckwittery Tue 07-May-13 22:30:08

did you see the tax credits link posted
i think you are both eligible

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 22:32:09

fuckwittery thanks for that. I'll have a proper look through in the morning.

Chunderella Tue 07-May-13 22:33:31

Aurynne there is nothing whatsoever in this thread to suggest OPs DH 'may be deported in the future'. Even assuming you meant removal rather than deportation (they're not the same thing but people often use them interchangeably so I can see why you did) that's still a colossal leap. His immigration status isn't particularly precarious at all: he's on a spousal visa and it sounds like they should be able to meet the conditions for him to get Indefinite Leave to Remain without too much difficulty.

I'm wondering now if I ought to start feeling hard done to because I never got driving lessons or a house deposit.

brdgrl Tue 07-May-13 22:34:41

kentish, ah, I take it your DH only arrived on the UK after July 2012, then? OK, that means a longer wait for the ILR...

But seriously - you can safely apply for tax credits and so on. We double and triple checked it and there was never any issues at all.

noseymcposey Tue 07-May-13 22:35:09

I think that you should try to have a baby, but please don't underestimate the radical changes that you will have to make for it to be affordable. You cannot just ignore a shortfall of several hundred pounds each month. I wish I had been more realistic about our finances instead of thinking blithely 'we'll make it work'.

DS is now 2 and is wonderful and by far the best thing that could have happened in my life but it has squeezed our finances to such an extent that I have felt sick with worry for the last 2 years about how to pay for things and it has taken it's toll on DP and I. I wish that we had made big changes when we were ttc to leave as cheaply as possible. I would strongly suggest you think about moving out of London and commuting. What do you do for a living?

You can find a way to make it work but I can't urge you strongly enough to find what that way is before you have a baby.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 22:38:05

There's little chance of DH being deported! I don't know what kind of mischief he'd have to get up to for deportation but it's unlikely. We have to renew his temporary visa in a year-ish. That's it. As long as I'm earning £18k or more there is no issue. Maternity leave will not affect this.

Coristarz Tue 07-May-13 22:38:14

God, after reading some of the parents should have never had me then!! My Dad's business had just gone bankrupt, they had loads of debt, they lived in a rented 2-bed flat (WITH my grandma).. It took years for my parents to recover financially, and we all lived in that tiny flat until I was 9 (and my little brother 2), when we moved to the house they now own. I had the best childhood ever. You don't need to be loaded to be happy.

I'm 39 and just had my first baby 3 months ago. I'm the happiest I have ever been. Our situation is not perfect but things will get better with time. Childcare costs are insane, especially the first 2 years, but...we'll budget and make things work. Like many many other parents.

I agree with people who say there will never be a perfect moment to have a baby... If you decide to go for it, you will make it work.

Fuckwittery Tue 07-May-13 22:38:20

if you missed earlier post re tax credits it seems to say its fine with a partner not subject to immigration control

i also understand tax credits are seen as a tax break rather than claiming a benefit so hopefully wouldnt affect your immigration application later down the line although you may want to check that

Stepmooster Tue 07-May-13 22:38:23

Hmmm what niche jobs do you and your DH have? I have a niche job in the city and so does DH otherwise we'd be back up norf. You say your DH could get a job as a banker?! Do you both work in zone 1 and manage to walk to work? Sounds pretty priveleged to me.

You want benefits to support you to have your family you've only just (within 1 year) wanted.

We can't afford to live within walking distance of the city. I have to sit my pregnant arse on the central line from zone 6 everyday so we can live in a 2 bed.

Childcare is expensive and so are my taxes. I would much rather not pay for folks like you who wanted to have babies but no change in lifestyle to accomodate them. Or for folks who haven't been planning for years to afford children. God I wish I could have quit my long hours to work for a charity but in my eyes unless your minted, its an either or situation. You makes your bed, you lie in it.

Do what everyone else does and move thy self to a cheaper borough, save your money now, stop spending on clothes/shoes/meals out/music etc, take an evening job and get on with it.

expatinscotland Tue 07-May-13 22:40:20

'If you had witnessed some of the things I had I think you would understand where I was coming from.

The baby is kept in the flat all the time, stuck in front of the tv with an Argos catalogue to play with and a bag of wotsits. Not what anybody wants for a baby.'

But that's not how the OP is.

BimbaBirba Tue 07-May-13 22:40:49

Hi, I haven't read the whole thread but just wanted to say that if one person is British and the other subject to immigration control you most definitely CAN get Tax Credits. Every benefit has its own rules so
don't assume that If you can't get one you also can't get another. Having said that, I don't known what the position will be under universal credit for mixed immigration status couples.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 22:41:31

brdgrl yes, DH is under the new rules. The new rules also say that I have to earn £18k a year. In our last ILR we had to tick a lot of boxes saying we had not received public funds including tax credits. I agree that we need to investigate this some more.

Chunderella Tue 07-May-13 22:42:03

Kentish, if DH is on a spousal visa then his road to permanent residency isn't 5 years. The rule for him is still 2 years spousal visa, then can apply for ILR if meets all requirements, then can apply for citizenship after 1 year ILR if meets all requirements.

I am with everlong here.

It is because so many people have the "just do it attitude" that so many children live in poverty in the Uk.

teapartiesinsummer Tue 07-May-13 22:42:31

1) she was joking with the banker comment
2) she doesn't want to claim benefits
3) she isn't spending on clothes and shoes but repaying debts

OP, I am in favour of benefit reform, I'm also fully in favour of helping working people with childcare and with living costs in expensive areas. It isn't like it is permanent, anyway!

I am having a baby in 'interesting' circumstances, not quite the same as yours, but you'll always elicit some raised eyebrows when you plan it. Funnily enough the same people won't dare tell you to have a termination if you forgot to take your Pill.

Good luck.

teapartiesinsummer Tue 07-May-13 22:43:54

I don't think the OP's child will live in poverty.

The OP might. But her child will be put first.


Ashoething Tue 07-May-13 22:44:59

Everlong-i am sorry your ds and partner have turned out to be such feckless parents but i think you are letting personal your judgement in this case.i have 3 dcs who share a room.should i have not had them because they cant have a room each? lol.

BimbaBirba Tue 07-May-13 22:45:08

By the way, you could be eligible for DRO (debt relief order) if you live in rented and owe less than 15k (and other conditions). That would wipe out your debts and free up some cash. Dros work great for credit debts and little assets.

18k per year is a pretty pathetic salary for London, given the cost of living. When I was fresh out of Uni some 15 years ago, my starting salary was 16k. There was a thread here recently debating whether a 16 k salary was good or not, and it was generally agreed to be pretty shit. You are 36, and state you need an 18 k salary. I really hope your salary will be a lot more than just 18k.

everlong Tue 07-May-13 22:46:24

True expat.

I've just seen the effects of a baby being born into poverty and can't say I like it. And the OP did ask for an opinion. So I gave mine.

piratecat Tue 07-May-13 22:46:55

surely you can claim child and working tax credits? It's not like you are not entitled, i am sure, in your own right? well esp the child tax credit.

child ben is £80 a month.

EasilyBored Tue 07-May-13 22:47:44

Plenty of people would suggest having a termination actually. Or at least offer it as an option to be considered.

I'm very very much in favour of a decent welfare state that supports people when they need it. But along with that comes the responsibility of making sure you do your bit to help too. And if that means getting yourself into a better situation before having a baby, then that's what you have to do. The fact that the OP has left it until her late 30's to even consider this is unfortunate, but essentially a problem of her own making. Sorry if that sounds harsh, for what it's worth I think if you look at all your options you might be able to figure it out with juggling work etc, but this is something you have to do first. Look before you leap.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 22:49:16

stepmooster the banking think was a (crap) joke. DH is not and will never be a banker! We live in a tiny flat about an hour's walk from central London. It certainly is not a privileged area! I don't want your taxes to fund my life. My taxes are also expensive as are DHs.

olgaga Tue 07-May-13 22:49:38

I still think you should clear your debts, save as much as you can then plan your budget.

You don't say how much your debt is, but if you have £500pm spare each month right now you could be paying off your debt a lot more quickly.

Then you can start saving to help with the initial cost of the baby, the cost of moving etc.

teapartiesinsummer Tue 07-May-13 22:50:43

I think she is doing so smile and I wish her well.

Everlong, I'm sorry to hear your experiences - all the same I think you are describing an emotional poverty that all the money in the world won't change. I'm as poor as a church mouse (do own my house outright though) but no child of mine will ever be sat in front of the TV with Wotsits!

brdgrl Tue 07-May-13 22:50:44

kentish, when I (a couple of months ago) applied for ILR, we had to tick the box saying we got the tax credits - I was worried because the impression the form gave - by having the boxes laid out as they do!- was that it was a no-no.
I think maybe they deliberately obscure the fact that it is OK for the citizen-partner to get the tax credits!

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 07-May-13 22:50:55

Lol to the "children dont cost much".

If thats the case why do people moan so much when schools ask for money as plenty on here do.

Children cost a lot, childcare, food, clothes etc. its a continual cost until they reach 18. Those that say they dont cost much either have a very high household income or live on benefits so the state not them pay their costs.

Encouraging people to have benefts when they have already said their household income doesnt stretch is simply wrong. Unfair on the child and the stress of money may drive the couple apart.

BimbaBirba Tue 07-May-13 22:51:36

You don't get a medal for paying off your debts instead of going for bankruptcy or a DRO.
Do what's best for you and your DH OP.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 22:52:20

quint I earn more than £18k. That is just the threshold the gov have set for anyone wanting to marry and 'import' a non-Brit.

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 22:54:06

brdgrl I see! I will investigate this.

Ashoething Tue 07-May-13 22:54:32

noone is telling op to live.on benefits Happy-ha-mum ofone.they are merely pointing out she may be entitled to claim cb or wtc as many working parents do.or do you believe only wealthy people should be allowed to have kids?

Cloverer Tue 07-May-13 22:54:49

Quite the opposite HappyMummy - children cost less for people on low incomes because we don't have so much many to spend on bigger houses, holidays, driving lessons etc.

noseymcposey Tue 07-May-13 22:56:04

The more I read of this thread the more I think you should find a way to make it happen. I strongly suspect that the people who are being snotty about claiming tax credits and saying that it's your own fault for not thinking about having children sooner hmm already have children.

It may not appeal but if you can get 2nd jobs and just work your arses off now you will be grateful in the long run. You can't ignore the fact that you don't have enough money to have a child now, but it's essentially a choice between having a crap 6 months - 1 year now to make it happen or a crap time when your baby is here and you won't be in a position then to make those sorts of changes.

I really hope you work something out smile

whatamardarse Tue 07-May-13 22:57:56

No one should have a ''sod it, just do it'' attitude to having children shock

Its not about having a big house, holidays or fancy prams to have a baby, its about being able to pay the freakin bills, to not be bringing children up on/below the bread line. Its not fair on the kids to be born in to that life. Many working parents have to go to food banks too... is this how you envisage yourself with your little LO??

Op has stated she can not finically support a child but is being encouraged to go for it!! The ''oh something will come up gang'' are actually meaning '' just go on benefits'' which is actually so bad for our economy at the moment.

That's not responsible, its bloody reckless, especially with the crap government in now. NO ONE is safe, that claim benefits. The benefit system is not there as a security blanket or a way of life, its a safety net for those under terrible circumstances....this not Op

I'm probably going to get flamed for this but its not every ones right to have a family if you cant afford it. Sorry its not.

Littlehousesomewhere Tue 07-May-13 22:58:07

Op if you can save 500 a month and start ttc and saving now, if you are lucky and get pregnant straight away you will have nearly £5000 to put aside for whatever you choose to do.

Even if you do just stay in your flat and both keep your jobs, this money will offset your own quoted nursery costs (so the 700 a month extra you said you would need) for the first 6 months.

So if you do get pregnant straight away these savings will tide you over with childcare costs until the middle of 2014, and then you just need to sort out what to do between then and 2015 when you can claim tax credits without any worries.

Are these new rules? I am a non brit, married to another non-brit, living in London. I never knew about any such rules..... Maybe because I came here as student?

everlong Tue 07-May-13 22:58:46

But if the OP does have a baby but then doesn't have enough money at the end of each month then what do you suggest she do?

Genuine question.

expatinscotland Tue 07-May-13 23:00:37

'I am a non brit, married to another non-brit, living in London. I never knew about any such rules..... Maybe because I came here as student?'

It would never have applied to you because your EEA and your spouse is EU.

This is for those who marry a non-EEA/EU national.

Glenshee Tue 07-May-13 23:00:54

Haven't read the whole thread but agree with many others that there will never be a right time to have a baby. And you will never be quite ready. That's okay. That's how it is.

Crucially, your relationship with DP is stable, and you both want a family. This is really, really great. And rare. Be grateful.

Our 2 children were born under similar circumstances, we're better off now, but when children were young we were beyond stretched. I'm glad we didn't wait for perfection, you can always find an excuse / reason to delay it year after year after year.

olgaga Tue 07-May-13 23:03:53

You don't get a medal for paying off your debts instead of going for bankruptcy or a DRO.

No, but you do get a decent credit rating.

You do get to free up money to spend on living costs rather than paying off debts.

How would you rate the OP's DH's chances WRT immigration status if he or the OP had to apply for bankruptcy or be subject to a DRO? grin

OrbisNonSufficit Tue 07-May-13 23:04:43

OP when I'm faced with this kind of situation I try to imagine myself at 80, looking back on my life, and thinking about whether I'm glad I made a decision one way or another. If I think I'll be filled with regret, I don't do it.

Then, if it's not the practical course (isn't always, logic can't win all the fights) I come up with plan a, plan b, plan c and assorted other subsidiary back up plans. I usually manage to find a way to do the things I really want to do. Where there's a will and all that.

Signet2012 Tue 07-May-13 23:07:16

Just do if.

It's a long time to live regretting not having a child until it was too late.

You will find a way I have and I didn't have that left over money

AllBoxedUp Tue 07-May-13 23:09:19

OP - have you thought about going to your GP to get your fertility tested. My SIL (who is 37 and single) had it done recently and apparently it was relatively easy. Might give you a bit more information to make your decision.

brdgrl Tue 07-May-13 23:14:32

Lol to the "children dont cost much". If thats the case why do people moan so much when schools ask for money as plenty on here do.

Because necessities - even using that term generously - don't cost much. Extras like the ski trips other nonsense the kids' school puts on - those do cost.

minouminou Tue 07-May-13 23:15:11

OP - if I were you I'd get my FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels tested to see how much wiggle room you've got with your fertility. The lower the levels the better....if yours are low, you might not have to take any action on the baby front for at least another year.

Lots has been said about saving/paying off debts and so on, so I won't add to it, as most advice has been very sound.

However - niche career? What in? Not asking to be nosy, but you never know - other posters might be able to offer you some really useful advice if we know what you do. What are the chances of doing a bit of freelancing or consulting? This way you could maybe do a bit of work in the evenings or weekends while the baby sleeps or is cared for by DH.

What about other freelance work? Writing website content - real no-brainer work, but it can pay OK - for example.

I feel for you. I started to think about children in my late twenties, and DP is a very cautious person, and wanted a stable job and some savings before children. I had (and still have) my second fiddle freelance work. We had a tiny flat when DS was born, and we found a buyer when he was five days old! We upgraded to a small two-bed, and had DD two and a half years later. We're now in a three-bed house, and each move has taken us further from the centre of our city.

If you can, wait until DH's status is more certain (I can't remember if he can apply for jobs yet).

Stepmooster Tue 07-May-13 23:18:08

I lived in a flatshare in Dalston and walked to work in an hour. I couldn't afford to bring a family up there so I now live in zone 6 and have a 1.5 hour commute each way.

Just move out of inner london, its greener, less polution and quieter. Its not trendy, its the boring burbs but you're having a family.

I had a pretty crap childhood. My parents had no spare money, I wore hand me downs until I got a part time job at 16.

I promised myslef I would never do that to my kids. So in order to save up for our children I worked 7 days a week and all hours. I cut back on everything I could.

Forgive for me for not sharing the enthusiasm for living off the state because you had a very carefree and fab 20's and early 30's.

I'm not saying don't have a baby but don't expect those of us who have worked hard to have a family to be hugely sympathetic to your plight.

Jan49 Tue 07-May-13 23:19:46

KentishWine, can I ask why you're struggling financially with 2 FT salaries? Is it due to high rent, debts, something else? It just seems crazy to me that 2 FT wages in niche careers (so you're not flipping burgers in McD) and no travel costs aren't enough to afford even a 'good enough' 1 bed flat. A job should provide you with enough to house yourselves but these 2 jobs appear not to.

I've just tried looking up some 1 bedroom flats to rent in outer London and the prices are horrendous. Surely it's got to be worth considering moving out within commuter distance and paying travel costs instead of high rent?

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Tue 07-May-13 23:19:54

YABU. Now. Save, scrimp, and see where you are in a years time.

I grew up very poor, I thought long and hard before I posted. I just think with all the government cuts right now would be bad.

whatamardarse Tue 07-May-13 23:30:22

Because necessities - even using that term generously - don't cost much. Extras like the ski trips other nonsense the kids' school puts on - those do cost. gringrin ha ha ha

No,winter shoes and coats, hats scarfs, warm clothes , cool clothes , pjs , food extra gas/electric milk, nappies,school dinners, school bus fares, ect these cost money not bloody skiing trips!

I've seen children turn up at my school with there mothers over sized broke coat on when it was snowing because they couldn't afford one. It's hideous , child poverty does exists in britan!

But hey! If a woman wants a baby then a baby she must have regardless of anything else !!

KentishWine Tue 07-May-13 23:30:43

I earn a decent (ish) wage working for a small charity. This is offset by DHs crap wage. He's at the very start of his career and needs to build up a reputation over the next couple of years. Then things will improve. In about 3 years time we'll be in a very stable position. But by then I may not be able to conceive (given my DM went through menopause in eatly 40s).

I really don't want anyone to support my life through their taxes. I pay taxes too. So does my DH.

I hadn't thought about fertility testing but that sounds like a good idea

Bobyan Tue 07-May-13 23:33:16

I second getting your FSH levels tested, because frankly the fact that you are considering bring a baby into a flat that has one damp bedroom is very unfair.

I want a baby well I hate to break it to you but children aren't possessions.

Littlehousesomewhere Tue 07-May-13 23:41:35

To the people saying wait.

Age of menopause is strongly genetic and ops mum had it at 43.

Iirc fertility declines sharply 10 years prior to menopause which is why women aged 40 have difficulties with fertility as the average age for menopause is 50.

Following this rule ops fertility may well have started declining at 33 and you are still saying she should wait?

She could face costly fertility treatments or miss out altogether.

minouminou Tue 07-May-13 23:44:27

The only way to get some idea of this is to have the FSH test, then OP can make some serious, informed decisions.

Littlehousesomewhere Tue 07-May-13 23:53:05

A friend of mine went through menopause in her late 30s when she had just started ttc after making sure she was financially stable etc.

Her mother and sisters had all had their own children in their teens and 20s (and some of them were financially unstable when they did so) and failed to mention that they all had experienced early menopause.

This would be a big factor in my decision if I were the op.

Littlehousesomewhere Tue 07-May-13 23:53:55

Yes go talk to your gp ASAP

brdgrl Tue 07-May-13 23:56:14

What is the point, though, really, of having fertility tested when the OP has not been actively trying and has no reason to think that she has present fertility issues?

Her DH would need tested as well.

But the point is - Even if her fsh levels are good now, there is no guarantee that she would be able to get pregnant in a year, or two, or four. No one will be able to tell her that she will. So actually, she still will have no idea whether she can have a child in the future if she waits, or not.

brdgrl Wed 08-May-13 00:02:48

No,winter shoes and coats, hats scarfs, warm clothes , cool clothes , pjs , food extra gas/electric milk, nappies,school dinners, school bus fares, ect these cost money not bloody skiing trips!

Look. You asked why people complain about schools asking for money if kids don't cost so much. My point is that even parents who can meet the financial needs of their children are entitled to complain about luxury expenses.

And yes, of course there are people who are in poverty and cannot afford necessities for their children. I guess "much" is the problematic term. We all know it costs more to have kids than not to have kids - but when people begin to treat things as necessities when they aren't, it distorts the true cost.

I am not going to put my precise financial details on mumsnet - but we earn little enough that we are classified as a low-income household, and we care for our three kids with that.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Wed 08-May-13 00:06:44

I'm conflicted.

I grew up very poor. Obviously I'm glad I'm alive but I would be devastated if I ever ended up in a situation where my DC had the same childhood. I have many painful memories.

However I have extremely close to my DM as we 'get it.' She sacrificed everything for me and Dsib. But she and DF suffered in doing so.

So my gut says no, please don't do it but my heart says you sound like you'd be a wonderful role model to a DC (charity in your 20's etc)

So... I don't know.

Sorry to be so blunt.

minouminou Wed 08-May-13 00:11:55

Getting tested now means that OP can, if her fertility is already on the wane, make big "do or die/now or never" decisions, like moving to the burbs/changing career/picking up part-time freelance work/sorting out DH as a SAHD and so on.
If she's OK for now, spend a year saving like a loon, get another FSH (or whatever) test and take a view from there.

brdgrl Wed 08-May-13 00:16:36

If she's OK for now
A fertility test can't tell you that you will be able to get pregnant.

But even if the test shows her fertility not to be "on the wane", that could completely change within a year (as it did for my friend). Or there could be other issues in a year.

minouminou Wed 08-May-13 00:19:51

I know - it could change the next month!
However, that's her best shot at finding out how her chances are. She's not in an ideal situation financially or biologically, really, and so the more info she has, the better, as it will inform her next moves.

Littlehousesomewhere Wed 08-May-13 00:20:14

Also getting tested now means if the news is not good that op can start whatever nhs treatments are available straight away.

cantspel Wed 08-May-13 00:20:47

My mum went through the menopause at 38. I am 10 years older than that and still no sign of it so just because your mum had an early menopause it doesn't mean you will.

I dont think you really have an option but to wait as it would be financial suicide to have a baby now as you just cant afford it.
Babies are expensive even if you just buy the basics and there is nothing like having a new baby and no money to put extra strain on the strongest of relationships.

minouminou Wed 08-May-13 00:20:47

We're looking for signs of early menopause here in particular here, remember.

mameulah Wed 08-May-13 00:30:30

Go for it!!! Maybe one day you don't have a child but imagine thinking over this time and knowing you had on purpose prevented it?

Try and see what happens. It really is the most wonderful thing ever and you will make it okay.

But (on a more helpful note) have you thought about living overseas and raking it in for a bit? If you don't mind me asking what do you do? I used to live overseas (three countries, five years) I could give you some pointers.

Cravey Wed 08-May-13 01:21:31

So you can't afford a baby but still want one. I want a Ferrari but can't afford that either. YABU it's a hopeless situation in which o bring a child into. I actually can't believe that people are telling you to go for it.

Morloth Wed 08-May-13 01:51:52

What you need OP, is a plan. Given your age, it needs to be a tight plan.

Here is what I would do:

1) I would move out of London, even if this means a lot of time on the train - the rent costs would offset the travel costs by quite a bit (if I remember London right).

2) I would plan to be at my job until I was eligible for maternity leave.

3) Any spare money, down to the penny needs to be saved, if there is anywhere at all you can save money right now, do it.

4) Given your visa/job/childcare situations your DH is going to need to be a SAHD in order for you to have a baby in the near future. That is it, there isn't really any other option from what you have posted. If he can find some work local to where you move to then all the better.

5) Give yourself 6 months to get the above together, do it and then start trying for a baby. While trying keep banking every penny.

Your situation isn't hopeless, it isn't an 'either or' just yet, but you need a plan.

Good luck.

cafecito Wed 08-May-13 02:26:09

I think you should have a baby. Your complaint of £500 after expenses paid, well, I think you'll find a lot of people earn a lot of money but their outgoings are high, and it all disappears again- mortgages, nursery fees, school fees, whatever- and suddenly a very very good salary comes to nothing.
You will be better off planning to return to work yourself with DH as SAHD. If you can leave London, do so, renting is ridiculous in London (says she, renting in London)
I think, life is short.. and if it feels right to you, go ahead.
There are relevant EU law provisions re your DH and your right to things like tax credits, too.
No it's not ideal, but not everyone has a perfect life plan and has the opportunity to follow things on the perfect timeline. It may not be the best timing, but as long as you are realistic about the immense life change involved and plan for it, I see no problem at all

cafecito Wed 08-May-13 02:28:30

I don't think fertility testing is relevant here

Stepmooster Wed 08-May-13 02:35:18

Its a shame that at 36 and with family history of early menopause the OP has not thought about babies until recently. Or has not even considered discussing with her doctor about her own fertility until now.

I just hope for her sake and once her and DH have got their arses into gear financially that she can have this baby.

Being pregnant over age of 35 is not without risks, more things to go wrong for OP and baby. There is potential for heartache ahead and please be ready for that OP. Have you thought about a back-up plan? IVF or adoption?

Mimishimi Wed 08-May-13 02:42:22

YANBU. Sad truth for the majority is that there is never a financially rational time to have a child. A good book on that subject I read recently is Jonathan Last's "What to expect when noone's expecting". Didn't agree with all his conclusions/remedies but informative without being dreary nonetheless. Could you consider having the child and then sending it to Brazil to be raised by your DH's family? A fair few immigrant families do that here. Their reasoning is that they are going to be working 12+ hour days anyway and at least their kid is likely to be looked after by someone who loves them. They can also afford a better quality of education for them in their country of origin.

NapaCab Wed 08-May-13 02:53:47

Having a baby is an optimistic thing to do. It forces you to believe that your future is going to be better than your past. If you feel that in future you will be in a better financial position then you should go ahead and try to have a baby now.

Ask yourself: what would you regret more

a.) You don't try for a baby now, improve your financial position but can't conceive and so you are richer but childless at 40.
b.) You TTC now and have a baby and are really horribly broke, possibly in council housing and on benefits in 2 years time so you are poor but you have a baby.

Which scenario is your worst outcome for you? Some people would prioritize having a baby over anything, others would dread poverty and prioritize their financial security.

It's a tough decision. Good luck whatever you choose but don't underestimate the pressure it puts on a relationship to have a DC and no money.

LittleMissLucy Wed 08-May-13 03:04:42

I thought they didn't like to do fertility testing unless you'd been ttc unsuccessfully - !
I was told this, prior to ttc.
I was told that they don't like to skew the results with completely fertile women who are simply curious... (that's what they said) as it buggers things up for everyone else (I don't know why).

But I'd say go for it - you never know what is around the corer - total poverty, or indeed, an even better paid job for you and / or your DH.

LittleMissLucy Wed 08-May-13 03:05:13

corner, not corer. I'm not talking apples here.

Thumbwitch Wed 08-May-13 03:08:23

TBH, and I don't usually say this, just go for it. Because as DT says, if you leave it much longer it might be too late. Start trying now, if it happens, it does, and you'll find a way to make it work.
SAHD is one option...

Morloth Wed 08-May-13 03:11:21

I don't think the OP should 'just go for it'.

The reality is right now they have 2 mouths to feed and 2 people able to do jobs.

Throw a baby in and there are 3 mouths to feed and 1 person is hamstrung in their earning potential.

I wouldn't be trusting the state to help me out with this if it goes pear shaped.

Whether it should or not isn't the question, but whether it will.

There is the very real possibility that the OP will end up with a baby, no job and no benefits - how on earth does she pay the rent/eat?

LittleMissLucy Wed 08-May-13 03:26:06

Do you have children Morloth?

WeAreEternal Wed 08-May-13 03:49:24

I'm sorry to say but I agree with others that have said YABU.

Having a baby is expensive, even if you get all of the baby 'stuff' (cot, pram etc) given to you or from charity shops and somehow manage to find the extra money for child care it still costs a fortune to have a baby.

Nappies are not cheap, even if you get the cheapest 'value' ones, they still go through a huge amount of them. Then there is formula if you can't/don't want to BF.

If you decide to go with the idea of your DH being a SAHD that will save child care costs, but it will also reduce your income even more and as your DH will be home all day your electricity bills will increase massively. In fact this will also be true for when you are on mat leave.

New born babies are expensive, even if you decide to BF you still need to spend money on breast pads and nipple creams, and when you go back to work you will need to express, which means investing in a pump bottles and a steriliser, and even if you can get them cheap there is still the added cost of running the steriliser several times a day and warming the milk (little things I know but they do make a massive difference in the long run).
And if you decide to formula feed there is the cost of the formula, which I believe is nearly £8-£10 a tin now, and they don't last as long as you would think/hope.
Add on top nappies, wipes, creams. If he's colicky you will want gripe water, if he is feeling a little under the weather, infant medications (like calpol). Baby sun cream. Then there is how much more often you will have to run the washing machine.... And they are just off the top of my head.

It is terrible that you are in a situation which means you can't realistically afford to have a baby.
But I do think the 'just do it' attitude is totally wrong given your situation.
You don't have the safety net of benefits to fall back on if something were to go wrong.
I mean what if you lost your job. What if you suffered complications that meant you would be unable to go back to work.
If it came down to if and you did lose your job you may be left with a choice that would keep a home for you and your baby but ruins your DHs visa application.

Realistically your only sensible option is to start saving and plan for a baby when you are in a better financial position and your DH has finished his immigration clearance.

If you are worried about early menopause you would always have some eggs frozen 'just in case'.

Morloth Wed 08-May-13 03:52:02

Yes and I know you are going to say things like I believe only rich people should have children.

I don't believe anything like that, but I HAVE been the hungry kid with too small shoes and the crying mum who just doesn't know what to do.

What do you suggest the OP does to pay the rent? And not 'she will find a way' an actual concrete idea.

Given the current UK government it would be VERY dangerous to assume any support especially given the OPs partners visa status.

Of course the OP should be able to have her children and she CAN.

Love is not enough, it doesn't fill bellies and it doesn't heat houses and it doesn't buy shoes.

From the outside in, it looks like the UK is devolving in many ways. People ARE having to choose whether they can afford kids or not.

It doesn't matter how it should be, merely how it is.

So back your 'just go for it' with concrete advice.

LittleMissLucy Wed 08-May-13 04:29:16

Hang on Morloth you actually have no idea what I'm going to say. I was just interested to know if you were coming at this as a parent or not.
Personally I'd love an extra two kids (I have two) but we can't afford it at all and don't have the room, so it will never happen.
I don't know how I'd react in the OP's position. I think going through life without having the longed for kid must be one of the greatest losses ever.

Morloth Wed 08-May-13 04:40:48

Ah sorry - I had assumed the 'do you have kids' question was to make me feel bad about wanting to deny the OP something I have - my apologies I did jump the gun a bit there.

It is horrible, it really is and it must be heartbreaking, it really and truly sucks and the OP has my sympathy.

But once again, sympathy doesn't actually help.

What should happen (IMO) is that the OP has her baby and does the best she can - two people working hard and in love and doing their best are people who should be able to have babies. If they can't cover it then they should be assisted with providing their baby with a warm, safe home and enough to eat by their community/government/society we should look after people. No quibbling from me about tax money or anything like that, I am happy to pay for kids to be looked after regardless of why they need looking after.

But things are not as they should be. And 'just go for it' doesn't acknowledge the reality of kids who simply don't have enough and a society/government that does not care enough about kids who need help.

As I said, I was the kid who didn't have enough, I had love, plenty of love, but often not enough to eat etc.

I have two kids and we are pretty well off, and I lie awake at night worrying about it because I know how hard it can be. I too would like more kids, but I can't provide the 'back up' I would need to feel comfortable with that decision.

Saying 'you will find a way' fails to acknowledge all the mums who haven't been able to find a way, not through lack of care or trying but just because there might not be a way.

nooka Wed 08-May-13 04:41:52

I think that people need to remember that the OP and her husband are also not in a normal situation. The worst case scenario with the 'have a baby and it will all work out' is not just that she might be 'really horribly broke, possibly in council housing and on benefits so you are poor but you have a baby' but that when it comes to the time to renew her dh's visa the home office (or whoever it is now) decide that she is not able to support him sufficiently and decline to issue him one.

It might be an outside chance, but it is a possibility (we are an emigrant from the UK and living in that non citizen space is stressful so I am totally sympathetic). OP please do not just 'go for it', plan and research and save and then see if you can make it work. You probably can, it will be about what you are prepared to give up, as it is for most parents.

LittleMissLucy Wed 08-May-13 04:46:01

No problems Morloth. Also I am living outside the UK as an immigrant and I do understand the pressures around visa renewals and the like. Its enormous.

But while this may sound completely simplistic to say, what about all those countries in the world where welfare / government funding doesn't exist? People have families everywhere in the world, it seems to be the thing that sustains folks in some way, despite whatever circumstances you face.

This is an observation by the way, not an assertion of anything. Too tired to do that!

runningforme Wed 08-May-13 04:54:44

Do it. You'll always regret it otherwise. you'll find a way to cope, most of us do... just start researching all your options thoroughly

Morloth Wed 08-May-13 05:14:15

People don't always find a way.

Have a look around at the world, there are many children going without.

There is a real possibility in the OP's case, that it does pan out with her DP being denied a visa renewal if she doesn't make enough money to cover him.

OP, would moving to Brazil be an option for making this happen sooner?

I am normally the last person to say don't have a baby if you can't afford it but given your circs, I think I would go for it.

If you conceived tomorrow, you would give birth in march 2014 so 12-18 mnths before DH would be entitled to financial help? How much maternity leave would you get? (Am guessing just statutory if you are starting a new job). Childcare vouchers would help bring down the cost of childcare. Childminders are also generally cheaper than nurseries (for me living just outside of London using a fab childminder saves me approx £25 a day). Also nurseries have an annual pay rise, childminders often don't up their costs every year.

Could you/DH/both have a flexible working pattern that minimises childcare (anyone with children is entitled to apply for it). Dh and I work 'compressed' hours so he does his 5 days worth of hours in 4, I do 4 in 3.5, so only pay for 2.5 days worth of childcare. could you both do 5 days in 4? We stagger our hours too to minimise the time dd's are away from us (which also minimises costs).

Again I am never one to recommend asking for a loan from parents, but given that its hopefully temporary and for good reason, I think I would also ask - they can only say No.

Morloth Wed 08-May-13 05:32:22

'No recourse to public funds' is a pretty scary thing - it used to worry me so much when we were in the UK.

It means that you really are up shit creek if it goes wrong.

FarBetterNow Wed 08-May-13 06:21:58

Don't do it.
The fear that is created by having no money is absolutely paralysing and all consuming.
You will not always be able to find away to buy formula if you FF.
Love doesn't pay the rent.

You could end up with credit card debts out of control.

We have food banks in this country and women sell themselves for sex because that is the ONLY way.

everlong Wed 08-May-13 07:02:32

morloth your post at 03.52 is excellent. I totally agree with it and you.

Mumsyblouse Wed 08-May-13 07:49:36

expat it's different because for whatever reason, those people are already pregnant and the choice not to carry on with the pregnancy is more complicated. The OP isn't pregnant. She would be making a conscious choice to do this, not end up 'accidentally' in this situation and try and figure it out

I think some of the attitudes on this thread is why so many women in the Uk get accidentally pregnant even though there is access to free contraception and prevention rates are 99%. The rates are way higher than the stats would suggest they should be. If you are accidentally pregnant, no-one judges and you have to get on and make the best of it. Whereas if you are not living in optimal circumstances, and you choose to have a baby, the wrath and judgement descends.

I am not saying the OP should have a baby if they genuinely have no money or no roof over their head, but they have both these things and with a bit of flexible thinking (going abroad- I wasn't joking about going to Brazil, moving out of London, one parent flexi-working as a consultant in their niche area and doing childcare) this is perfectly possible.

Someone else up thread said the biggest predictor of your own fertility (aside from having it tested) is your mother's menopause age. The OP's mum had an early menopause, she may well be in the perimenopause, I wouldn't wait a second before starting to try, but talking with the partner about realistic changes that will make it a better situation for everyone.

I also think some people should take a look at the Spirit Level which says exactly what is happening on this thread- in countries like the UK which are materially wealthy compared with many around the world, it is the constant social comparisons, the division between rich and poor that is making us sick (and literally eaten up with jealousy). I think when a charity worker is berated for not having done a more well-paying job the last few years and told not to have children it's extremely sad and says a lot about what we do value- presumably if she'd come on and said her husband works in the City, it would have been ok thensad

I think it is worth making comparisons, not with very poor countries, but with other European countries in which living in a flat, not having a garden, perhaps living in a one-bed with a small baby is not considered some type of neglect or poor judgement, but normal everyday life.

As for the poster who thinks a person wanting to have a baby in a loving relationship is somehow a judgement on her childless friends- words fail me!

jacks365 Wed 08-May-13 09:12:00

My mother went through an early menopause at 43 but i'm 44 with a 18 month old, its a predictor nothing more.

People talking about claiming tax credits are probably giving you the wrong information because you shouldn't qualify as you will come under universal credit and you can bet your life that they will exclude visa applications if claiming. Possible uc won't be rolled out across the board but i think they will push ahead with it.

Go back to your budget and redo it for the future, babies are not expensive but toddlers upwards are, food, clothes shoes toys etc. I'd allow the same for a child as you would for yourself, add in childcare costs and see what you need to do to make the budget work then make it happen.

expatinscotland Wed 08-May-13 09:18:09

When does your spouse get his ILR?

This person isn't living in a homeless hostel.

Morloth, what ifs are just that.

Morloth Wed 08-May-13 09:22:32

I know expat but I would say it would be safe to assume that the OP will be getting zero help from the government in the UK.

I believe she needs to proceed on that assumption and get a plan together, it might still go pear shaped but it has got to be better than having a baby and just hoping for the best.

I am extraordinarily risk averse though - my back up plans have back up plans!

LeBFG Wed 08-May-13 09:24:33

Newborns are NOT expensive. If you buy second hand and take pass-me-downs and don't fall into the gotta-buy-every-new-gimmick you'll get by on very little. Remember, relatives love buying clothes too.

The only real expense is nappies, but even these can be bought bulk on amazon deals (even cheaper, reusables bought second hand - but not for everyone I realise). Even my 2yo's only real expense at the minute is books as I have to buy online as secondhand english books are not available (overseas). His clothes come from my sister (who were passed onto her from a friend).

I don't envisage any great expense until they are asking for mobile phones and the like. For the moment, really cheap presents like a spinning top or sparkly windmill keep them happy for hours.

realtalk Wed 08-May-13 09:24:35

"you will never regret having a baby" such bullshit

Fairylea Wed 08-May-13 09:29:37

You could do it. Dp becomes sahd during the day and works a few evenings a week in a pub / bar etc. No childcare costs then. Of course that's assuming he could find something.

curryeater Wed 08-May-13 09:38:55

If two able-bodied employable and employed married adults "can't afford" to have children, according to some of you warbling about university fees, etc, then that's practically eugenics. Vile.

brdgrl Wed 08-May-13 09:40:57

I would say it would be safe to assume that the OP will be getting zero help from the government in the UK.

Why would you say this? You would be wrong. The OP is entitled already to several forms of benefit and tax credit. In a few years (before her child would be starting school), her DH will most likely have his settlement visa and there will be no question about benefits eligibility.

Of course, the government is stripping away the help available to all parents - but the OP is not in an exceptional category in this regard.

I think people are really getting carried away and exaggerating the "dire" financial circumstances of the OP. It would be a shame if this couple, both earning an income and with good prospects and reason to expect a continuing future income, with no major debt issues (based on OP's reported situation) and with a £500/month cushion at present - let other people put them off from having a child. Ridiculous.

pictish Wed 08-May-13 09:43:13

OP - I haven't read the thread through but just wanted to say this....

You will never regret having a baby. x

Fakebook Wed 08-May-13 09:46:41

Sorry if this has been said before, but your DH may not be entitled to Tax Credits, but YOU are. You can apply for it, and will definitely be accepted because the money will be given to you. It will still be a joint application.

IME, there is never a best time to have a baby. Even when you're doing well financially, there is always something else happening that will stop you from taking the plunge. If you know that you want a child, then get the tax credits sorted out (one phone call) and just do it.

Mumsyblouse Wed 08-May-13 09:50:37

"you will never regret having a baby" such bullshit

There are a few people who do regret having children (I don't know any myself, all my friends seem luckily to have made the right decision including those who actively didn't want them and are happy with that), but I don't know if it is just because of not having a garden/struggling with money in the early years- this is pretty standard stuff around the world. It is a bit of a cruel twist in our lifes that people's fertility is at its peak at a time they are not necessarily the economically best placed, which is why around the world, even in developed countries, people do things like- move to other countries (yes, immigrants!) to get more money/better life/live with relatives to share costs/childcare/work two jobs etc. Or limit child numbers, it's very common in some countries for people to only have one for this reason. But to have none, when you are in a loving relationship and want to have children? I think this kind of self-sacrifice is not called for, and I really think very few people on this thread, including the people so kindly advising the Op not to have kids, will have made it themselves.

plinkyplonks Wed 08-May-13 09:51:05

If you want a baby have one.

You've earned any benefits coming your way through your tax contributions. I agree with the previous posters, there is never a right time...

I'd like to have my own house before having a child, but if I wait for that I'd be waiting another 2 years and pushing close to my mid thirties before starting. It's not worth the extra risk to my health and to the child of miscarriage and downs syndrome etc, risks that only get higher the longer you leave it. I'm pushing extra hard, paying off debt and getting some savings together so I can start later on this year. I'm using it as motivation to get as many good things in place as possible so I can make the best out of a less than perfect situation.

Perhaps you can start getting some OT, taking on an extra job to pay off some of your debts to give you more disposable income per month. if this is really what you want, set yourself some goals - perhaps:

- clear X amount of debt
- find x amount of extra disposable income
- find more suitable accommodation for you and your family
- take on extra OT or get an extra job for 6 months to get some savings together or clear off debts that will allow you more disposable income per month

Set these for the next 3 months and if you still feel the same way about having a baby, go for it? If you feel that would be too much to take on, maybe you would find having a child whilst holding down a full time job too much?

melbie Wed 08-May-13 09:52:40

Have the baby. In 5 years you may be vaguely pissed off with yourself that you are still broke but better that than heartbroken that you can never have a child because it is too late. If you were 26 it would be another story but you have a time limit on you. People manage to raise kids on a pittance so I think it is a case of accepting you are going to potentially have to drastically alter your lifestyle but it will be do-able

MrsHoarder Wed 08-May-13 09:54:52

LeBFG the children themselves may not want anything expensive, but from what the op says they need 2 incomes and don't have the spare cash for childcare.

She can't give up work because then her dh will loose his spousal visa and if he gives up work she can't afford to improve their situation alone (I read that its his career that should take of soon).

This is more difficult because of the visa issue and the current political climate in the UK. Neither of these is the op's fault, but they wouldn't be the fault of her child either, so it seems unfair to give a child a hard life because the op enjoyed her 20s and did what she wanted with them.

Some of us did consider limits of female fertility and time needed to find a stable home at around 20 and made the call add to what to do in what order then. I'd be much more sympathetic to an op who was saying she is 36 and running out of time if she had a string of men who messed her around, but not trying to create a stable home in the country you intend to love un until your mud-30s by choice is fine if you accept the consequences of that choice.

TheBigJessie Wed 08-May-13 09:55:53

OP needs to save. The whole thing is probably doable with careful scheming. She's worked for a charity, so I'm guessing she isn't one of those self-indulgent madams who's convinced a baby will fall apart if it wear a second-hand baby-gro. grin Now, those couples find children very expensive.

Charity shops, NCT sales are good for clothes. Many charity shops have great big baskets of newborn- one year old stuff for 50p each. (After that, the picking get slimmer, as parents aren't given clothes as presents, and toddler wreck their clothes before it's gown out of!)

But, plans can go wrong. We planned carefully. I had bought second-hand newborn stuff before we even conceived. We had children when we wanted just one baby. Twins. So make sure you have loads of wriggle room in your budget.

Fairylea Wed 08-May-13 09:59:58

I think it's a bit daft to delay having a baby or potentially never having one because you don't earn xxx or own a house or can't put them through university .....! For a start, jobs can be lost... gained... redundancy or whatever else. .. house markets can go up and down...graduates are one of the largest groups of the unemployed at the moment - maybe university isn't as great as it was! No point in worrying about it now. If your children want it badly enough they will find a way to go, just like the millions of other poorer dc out there. And maybe having to REALLY want to do it isn't such a bad thing!

Two adults, one with a job and another that is capable of working... you will manage fine.

I have gone from earning 40k plus to becoming a single parent when ex left and working 16 hours a week for minimum wage when I was made redundant from big wage job.... and then I got married again and husband works full time on minimum wage and we have two dc and I dont work at all. Financially we can't afford everything but I am happier than I've been for a long time.

If I had planned to have ds only when I found another well paid job we would never have had him at all.

SamraLee Wed 08-May-13 10:00:21

I'm not sure if anyone else has mentioned this as far as immigration.

My husband supported me for a visa and he didn't have a job, only benefits. You can claim benefits regardless of his visa, you are a citizen of England. They only thing I would mention is if you both leave the country for a holiday or something, when you come back into the country they could ask for proof of you being able to support him if they want to be difficult. They didn't ask me and we didn't have any problem when we went on holiday, but they can be difficult if they want. Also, you won't be able to claim for him on any of your benefits as he doesn't "count" as a person until he has his indefinite leave to remain. This is all assuming your husband has a spousal visa and the laws are similar when I got mine which was 5 years ago.

Hope this helps.

olgaga Wed 08-May-13 10:02:17

OK, just to recap:

I live in a shit flat and I'm about to start a new job

You aren't able to move from your shit flat with one tiny damp bedroom because you can't afford it - but you might be able to afford a baby?

You're about to start a new job, so you have no protection against unfair dismissal for the first two years of your employment.

Have you checked your employment contract to see whether there is a length of service requirement for the 12 weeks full maternity pay? If so you will only be entitled to SMP at 90% of pay if you have worked for your employer for 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before your baby is due.

In any case, you will not be able to afford to take more than the most basic time off, and go back to full time work.

At which point, you will either have to pay for childcare, or lose your DH's salary so that he can be a SAHD. Either way you will be much worse off than you are now.

After rent, bills, debts etc, DH and I have about £500 left over each month for everything else.

You have debts and no savings, and are currently unable to save anything from the £500 left over "for everything else" - or you wouldn't still be living in a "shit flat".

You currently walk to work and have no travel expenses, so what you gain in moving to a cheaper area is likely to be offset by the cost of commuting.

DH is subject to immigration control until 2015. His visa should be fine as long as I am earning more than £18k a year.

So if you lost your job, or became ill and unable to work between now and 2015, you would be in breach of your maintenance undertaking and your DH would have to go back to Brazil.

I'm tempted to ask my parents for a loan that is paid back once we're earning more

You're thinking you might take on more debt...

I think you need to sort your finances out first and foremost. Start earning more before you have your baby. Get the debts paid off, and get some money saved.

Then think about having a baby.

What's the worst that could happen?

You end up in emergency housing, on subsistence benefits. Your DH goes back to Brazil.

Triumphoveradversity Wed 08-May-13 10:06:07

I feel the same way as special agent.
Circumstances change, due to illness we are looking at possibly losing my wage totally or me earning considerably less. So I totally get the there is never a right time.

Because of my extremely poverty stricken childhood, I would not have tried to get pg in the situation the op is in. That is me though, I think this is one of the hardest posts I have ever read because I can see both sides.

I really did sit down with a spreadsheet to see if we could afford to have dc. The good thing now is we have a cushion which due to the change in circumstances will get us through.

Good luck op with whatever you decide, maybe one child is the way to go.

everlong Wed 08-May-13 10:06:57

No you won't regret having a baby. Children are wonderful. They bring an indescribable amount of love. I would never say any different.

That doesn't mean that when you haven't enough money to feed them, buy them warm clothes, shoes that fit, heat their bedroom and a present at Christmas and birthdays, along with all the other bills that are ongoing that you won't feel desperate and at your wits end.

It's very easy for strangers on the Internet to say ' just do it '
Listen to the women that were those children who were constantly hungry, had shoes that were way too small and witnessed their parents crying because they couldn't see a way. No child should have that.

Mumsyblouse Wed 08-May-13 10:08:12

Mrshoarder I think the main issue here is that the OP didn't know how much childcare would cost in London. If she had £500 round here, it would be more than enough for at least 2/3rds part-time childcare, if not more with childcare vouchers/new scheme. Childcare costs are simply obscene and it is very very sad if we blame a dual income couple for that instead of campaigning to get cheaper childcare or a more equal distribution of maternity/paternity rights.

So- fairly easily solved then OP, you need to pay less in rent or get cheaper childcare. Move out of the centre, have your partner as a SAHD but working in evenings/consultancy (I used to do this) and then, by the time the child is three, they get some funded care and the financial burden eases.

Don't obviously spend any time worrying that you did not consider the limits of female fertility at the age of 20 and not make the right choices. There is a deeply misogynistic strain running through this thread about women and the pattern their lives often takes, particularly because biologically we have the constraint of the time-limited nature of our fertility (marrying a foreigner? not settling down at 20? not got a husband in the City? doing socially worthy work instead of financial planning?) Nothing like this vitriol is ever directed to the millions of dads who drift in and out of their children's live with really very little financial planning at all- yes, people say it's bad, they shouldn't, but they do save their judgement for the women in all these situations.

And, for women, there's no good time to have time out of your careers, and the stats show women's finances suffer after having a child often throughout the rest of their career. Next someone will be on to suggest perhaps women shouldn't work at all if they are only going to have time out and have babies and can't fully contribute to the economic life of this country.

Morloth Wed 08-May-13 10:10:13

The OP is of course not an exceptional category.

But given what is happening to the benefits system would you actually want to rely on it if you had any choice? Especially with the added visa complication. OP may be able to claim as a UK citizen but I would be willing to bet that they would take into account any money her DP brings to the house when calculating those benefits whilst at the same time excluding him from claiming any.

olgaga has summed it up with her worst case scenario.

But as expat says, life is full of what ifs.

No arguments from me that it is a ridiculous shame that two working adults will struggle to provide for a child.

2rebecca Wed 08-May-13 10:12:12

I'd wait until the end of next year, then if you get pregnant it will be 2015 at the earliest when you have the baby. It also gives you time to settle into your new job and an extra year to pay off the debts.

Morloth Wed 08-May-13 10:13:06

Our society has the whole kid/career arse backwards IMO.

We need to support women in their younger years in having their babies/studying etc so that they don't feel they need to put it off until mid to late 30s when the clock starts ticking.

everlong Wed 08-May-13 10:13:53

olgaga that's sadly a good summary.

Treaclesmart Wed 08-May-13 10:16:29

Go for it. It will be fine, don't leave it too late.
I'd be looking at moving out of London if possible to a cheaper area. Think about working part time if possible. You will take home more than you expect because you pay less tax the less you earn.
And good luck!

KentishWine Wed 08-May-13 10:17:01

There is a deeply misogynistic strain running through this thread about women and the pattern their lives often takes, particularly because biologically we have the constraint of the time-limited nature of our fertility (marrying a foreigner? not settling down at 20? not got a husband in the City? doing socially worthy work instead of financial planning?)

I 100% agree with this, and you have described my life very well! My 20s were about finding my feet and finding work I enjoyed. I didn't meet the right man because I didn't care about meeting men. I was young and happy. Getting married and having kids was not on the agenda. Now I'm in my 30s it is. I don't think this pattern is unusual.

monkeymamma Wed 08-May-13 10:21:10

Sorry op, I haven't read the whole thread but I agree with posters saying that it would be a huge fertility gamble to wait until you're 40.

Financially I've found that it spend a lot less now I have ds and my maternity leave was a very cheap year. We don't eat out much, don't drink, I don't need new clothes for work etc. I really didn't realise how much I was spending on lunches coffees etc when was working. On mat leave I could shop at cheaper places eg lidl, get things on special offer, cook cheap meals from scratch and not pour all our money into m&s ready meals like we did when both working full time. Plus no transport costs.

If I had any advice it would be can you think about moving outside of London? We did and don't regret it one bit. W both still work in London, in the town we live in you can get 4 bed new house with garden for 250k and the commute is 40mins. Transport costs are higher but literally EVERYTHING else is cheaper.nursery costs are £40 per day inc meals compared to £80 in London. If selling your flat is not an option why not consider renting it out and renting somewhere in commuter belt? (Or just move, if you are renting, and rent somewhere outside of London.)

Don't get me wrong, I adore London and love working there, but living there is so ridiculously expensive nd stops you doing so many things you'd like to do. We got pregnant then moved and since we did, we've been really happy. Here our mortgage is much smaller, we can afford to run a car, and I can afford to work part time and put ds in nursery part time.

Would this be an option for you?

minouminou Wed 08-May-13 10:22:20

I think the OP is very level-headed and has already done a lot of the maths in this situation.
Without speaking for her (OP, correct me if I'm wrong), I reckon she wasn't really asking a black or white, yes or no question, really. It was more of a WWYD? Outside, objective input is always valuable, as you can feel very mired in your situation, and OP has definitely had some good suggestions.

This is not so much a should I/shouldn't I thread as a how can I do this properly (as it were) with the hand I've been dealt thread.

KentishWine Wed 08-May-13 10:24:08

We are pricing up our options for moving out of London, but I don't think we would save much at all. We rent our flat and it's very cheap for the south east. Plus we have zero transport costs. I had not realised childcare was so much cheaper outside the centre, but this is something I am now investigating.

minouminou Wed 08-May-13 10:24:25

I also think that moving a bit further out is the key. Travel will not eat up all the money you save.

KentishWine Wed 08-May-13 10:27:53

minouminou you're totally correct. I'm just trying to elicit opinion and see how others would cope in this situation. If I genuinely thought that having a baby would mean a life of extreme poverty and a deported husband we would not do it. I don't think this is the case though. I think there must be a way around it. We just need some good planning and some ideas on how to handle the situation.

minouminou Wed 08-May-13 10:33:02

Fab!'ve found out that there's cheaper childcare out there, which is one piece of the puzzle!

I see some frenetic and exciting research for you over the next year!

Clearly you have been young and carefree for a very long time when you suddenly find yourself nearing the end of your thirties, unable to afford anything more than a damp one bed flat, with debts, and unable to neither save nor move up on the accommodation ladder despite expendable income.

Sounds to me you are still carefree (though not so young) and the newest whim is a baby? A living human being? It is not a toy you know! Not something you can put in a closet when you decide the commitment is too much, or too expensive!

Well, Level-headedness seems to have descended overnight (but how long will it last?).

I say, get a puppy.

Read Olgagas post again, she sums it up well. And when your husbands visa restrictions have lifted, and you can relax on the earning front, then think about a baby. Meanwhile, try clear some debts and start saving!

Mumsyblouse Wed 08-May-13 10:34:42

How would your partner feel about staying home some of the week and working around childcare hours? Or part-time childcare?

I think one of the key things here is: are you both on board that this will be hard, require sacrifice (of all luxuries like coffees out, lunches, trips abroad, everything non-essential) for a few years? Would you be prepared to work extra jobs/one of you away/change careers for a better paid one to have a child?

If you are strong as a couple, and flexible in your thinking, this is all possible. If you have few life options, are very rigid in what you want (so career progess or having the perfect job is out the window for a few years), and have few prospects (e.g. no capacity to earn much money) then this set of circumstances could indeed be difficult.

Find out when your husband will get ILR as well and work backwards for that. If you had to live separately for a while (this was threatened for me when I was pregnant as my husband did lose his work visa during that time and might have had to return home and reapply from there) could you do that, even if undesriable? Do you have any support around you (not just family, but friends, other relatives)?

I would stack up your resources and look at what you have got. Although I don't think you should delay having a baby whatsoever, I think you need to get planning and talking about the 'what ifs' and create more than one plan for how this is going to work.

olgaga Wed 08-May-13 10:37:59

We just need some good planning and some ideas on how to handle the situation.

Yes - some good financial planning, including getting all debts paid off, moving, and saving everything you can for the next two years.

Making money as tight as possible, saving all your spare cash, foregoing luxuries - it'll give you a better idea of what life will be like when you have the expense of raising a child.

Do take a look at those websites I linked to above.

minouminou Wed 08-May-13 10:38:36

But Quint, if they take living in London out of the equation, that'll remove a lot of pressure.

Mumsyblouse Wed 08-May-13 10:40:05

And- whilst I agree with lots of posters that women don't think about settling down in their twenties, I don't see many men in their twenties trying to persuade them to, either. I think that it is often not women driving the carefree lifestyle, but the men who don't want to marry til late-thirties/even early forties, if the ones my single friends meet on dating websites are anything to go by (and reading the Relationship board here). You can't say women really have made a choice not to marry and have babies til their late-thirties- this has become the social norm because there is no taboo on sex outside of marriage. Sadldy for women, they are then more heavily penalised for it because of biology and socially castigated for not having planned it better.

Remove some, add others, if you still need to work in London. OP said herself that this is the only place they could work.

You must investigate monthly rail travel into London, be prepared for hours on a packed train, early up and late home, etc.

minouminou Wed 08-May-13 10:43:17

I know, Mumsy. I remember an old male chum blithely telling us that he didn't fancy kids until he was around 40 or so. His partner was about a year older than him. So, that's ok, then.....

I dont get why not settling down should have to equate not building up a sound living environment, getting on the property ladder, and making savings, rather than accumulating debts.

These are two totally different things! I know plenty of single women with careers, who own their own home, have a car, savings, go on fab holidays. You dont need to live like a student and never build up a life for yourself just because you are not settling down with a man and a baby!

olgaga Wed 08-May-13 10:45:54

Just about anywhere in the South East which has a good commute to London is expensive! Not as expensive as London, obviously.

You can rent reasonably cheaply in (say) Gravesend and other Medway towns, but your season ticket will be about £3,000pa.

Mumsyblouse Wed 08-May-13 10:46:29

I think the OP should really really look at jobs outside London. I know, it's a niche area blah blah, but unless it's suddenly going to kick in financially, it isn't going to get better for years. I used to live in London, I love London and would probably do my career a power of good by moving there, but I'm not giving up the house and nice schools I have here, thanks! I think the Op needs to really think about whether this 'all these jobs are in London' is really true- charities are also based in Bristol, Birmingham etc. Lots of companies have moved to regional offices (e.g Met office, even BBC) precisely because of living costs.

That's what I mean about flexible thinking- you can't fix on 'we have to live in London in the centre, our lives are going to be crap' - you have to start thinking creatively about how you could reduce outgoings/get more money in- and changing location/job is a tried and trusted one (or even change location- how much would you get paid in Brazil!)

curryeater Wed 08-May-13 10:48:33

"Clearly you have been young and carefree for a very long time when you suddenly find yourself nearing the end of your thirties, unable to afford anything more than a damp one bed flat, with debts, and unable to neither save nor move up on the accommodation ladder despite expendable income."

To me this sums up the snottily materialistic, mindlessly quasi-moralistic ("quasi"- and mindless, because relating to things that are actually morally neutral, but treating them as things that have ethical value) attitude that I find most obnoxious about mumsnet, and increasingly, the culture at large. It is a sly and stupid way of allowing oneself to despise people instead of thinking empathetically. It's a form of ethical, social, and emotional laziness and selfishness, and it is vile.

The op has been working for a charity, and abroad, which are not the best ways to accumulate cash or property. This doesn't make her in any way inadequate or feckless. There is nothing morally reprehensible about not owning a mansion at the age of 36, or, indeed, any age. Nor is there about not wanting children the second you turn 21. And so the flat is "damp" - and this is a stick to beat the OP with! Surely that is the landlord's fault, if anyone's.

I would not have much sympathy for the OP if she were wondering about, for instance, getting a brand new car despite those life choices. No, people who work for charities have made the decision that they have second hand cars, if they have one at all. (as by extension have I - my DP works for charities)
But - not to have a CHILD? Are you serious?

minouminou Wed 08-May-13 10:49:19

The biggest pressure's deffo money, though.
OP, are there def no jobs like yours in, say, Oxford?

olgaga Wed 08-May-13 10:49:49

I dont get why not settling down should have to equate not building up a sound living environment, getting on the property ladder, and making savings, rather than accumulating debts.

I agree - surely the whole point about women having careers is that you work towards financial independence?

Oh, I missed that the op works in the charitable sector. sad

Good Luck ever earning a decent salary!

Can your skills be transferred into the private sector? Or try find work with more high profile organizations?

Mumsyblouse Wed 08-May-13 10:51:40

Quint- I would agree, except the poster works for a charity in London, with the best will in the world, getting on the property ladder won't have been an option, or indeed that much of a necessity when 25. At 35 it is, it's just that we have been seduced by the idea we all have as much time in the world as we need, and it's not true, and a lot of British men's desire to string out their single/batchelor lifestyle well into their late thirties/early forties really doesn't help change this.

In my husband's country, getting settled down/having a family will be very much on the mind of the 30 year old men you meet, whereas most of my friends at 30 were dating UK boy/men who still wanted to meet up with the lads and seemed to think settling down was some type of endurance where you held out as long as possible, time-wise (scuppering their partner's fertility in the process).

Mumsyblouse Wed 08-May-13 10:53:51

curryeater I completely agree with you.

curryeater, it is not necessary to twist having decent accommodation into "living in a mansion". The opposite of one bed damp flat is not necessarily a mansion.

DumSpiroSpero Wed 08-May-13 10:54:21

Just a thought which I don't think has been mentioned... could you look into getting your hormone levels tested to see if you are likely to heading for early menopause?

Obviously this is no guaranteed indicator of your ability to conceive, but if the results are no worse than average for your age it might take the pressure off a bit.

It might then be worth thinking, 'OK, we'll wait until the residency is granted' and in the meantime maybe one or both of you could get a second job to enable you to clear some debt/save some money.

Also being devil's advocate, how would you cope if baby had issues and you were unable to tho back to work? Hopefully not likely but you would be in a much more precarious position than most if it did happen.

DontmindifIdo Wed 08-May-13 10:57:27

Actually, conversely, moving further out of london but near a stop on a 'fast' service into London can give you a commute that's under an hour while costing less for housing than being closer into the outskirts of london.

I'd start by working out which train station you need to come into for the best links to your office, then look at stations an hour out. move now, so you can start saving the difference.

Save as much as possible, do'nt get pregnant until you've been at your new job long enough to be entitled to any enhanced materntiy package, and if yours is the wage that matters for your DH's visa, consider the possibilty of him taking on some of your mat leave.

It would be worth doing your research about which benefits you would be entitled to claim and if you can claim, not your DH. Childcare vouchers can be bought by both parents, so again, find out if you can if you've been there for a set amount of time.

everlong Wed 08-May-13 11:00:01

But curryeater in the OP she says ' we have no money, live in a shit flat, are in debt '

Does that not matter?

Mumsyblouse Wed 08-May-13 11:00:15

*I agree - surely the whole point about women having careers is that you work towards financial independence?*- so women who can't afford £1200 nursery fees after their rent, bills and everything else are just financially rubbish and shouldn't have children? The only thing that would give that degree of financial independence to a woman would be working in the City, lawyer, medicine, a few other professions (not mine, for sure). Weirdly, women in these high-paid professional sectors actually have fewer children, i'm sure I can't think why money obsessed long work hours culture in which you have to sacrified your soul and any hope of a family life

olgaga Wed 08-May-13 11:00:47

snottily materialistic, mindlessly quasi-moralistic ("quasi"- and mindless, because relating to things that are actually morally neutral, but treating them as things that have ethical value) attitude that I find most obnoxious about mumsnet

I disagree. I'm afraid if you fanny around in a daze during what are the 15 best years of your working life not earning very much, you will never achieve a comfortable life, let alone financial independence, savings, secure housing, a pension etc.

Fanny around if you want to, but it's a bit foolish to turn around in your late thirties and realise you don't have the money to do what you most want and then wonder (too late) what you can do about it short of a lottery win.

This didn't happen to me because I never wanted any child of mine to have the childhood I had. All those years of grinding financial hardship, insecurity, instability, moving from place to place, waiting for "something to turn up", the physical and emotional toll it took on both parents and children.

Unless you're rich and privileged, it's foolish to imagine you'll wake up one day and all will be well, and you'll be able to afford the life you want as if by magic.

Bromley is an option. Fast track to Victoria.

monkeymamma Wed 08-May-13 11:02:09

In defence of the Op, I too do a job I could not do outside of London (ditto my dh) and can see how finding work somewhere else isn't an option. But moving is. As the poster above has said, transport will be 3000 per annum minimum in most commuter towns. Rental costs will be much lower, as wil all other living costs. And your quality of life will be so much better, I don't mean to criticise anyone bringing up children in London as that has lots of offer too, but for me personally a backyard lawn, plenty of living space and friendly neighbours seemed important for little ones.

Frankly, if you are currently renting then you are footloose and fancy free as far as property is concerned - you can move any time you want.

We did the oh sod it thing and got pregnant, we found it definitely accelerated our rather lackadaisical research and property search and by the timer I was 30 weeks we were moving in! So it worked for us but op the decision is for you and your dh to make.

curryeater Wed 08-May-13 11:02:58

Quintissential: " it is not necessary to twist having decent accommodation into "living in a mansion". The opposite of one bed damp flat is not necessarily a mansion." No, but in order to a. live somewhere reasonably nice in london, b. "get on the property ladder" in london, you do need to have what would have been the price of a mansion, in most times up to the present, relative to average salaries.

A "normal" flat or house is cripplingly expensive in the SE. (I am always noticing my family from the NW and, in the case of my parents, from the 20th century, trying to disguise their horror and pity at what we can afford / what we are paying for it.) If the OP were in debt on paying rent to have one (no chance of buying one) just how much would she be slated then?

minouminou Wed 08-May-13 11:02:58

To me, though, Everlong, that statement says that OP is realistic about where they are now. She knows it's not ideal and that it needs changing stat!
She's at the start of this journey, and has firm expectations that will prove to be obstructive. Thankfully, she seems ready to recalibrate them.

Mumsyblouse Wed 08-May-13 11:05:50

everong- the OP has said they have £500 left over after paying the bills. Not enough for a London nursery, but not 'no money'.

Her 'shit flat' is what millions of people, in developed countries, find ok as a starting point for having one child (and moving on when they have more money). She can go to another better quality flat, one bed and stay there, moving up as itme/career allows. Or stay in a one bed flat and sleep in the lounge on a sofa bed for a few years, with the child in the bedroom, or get a partition, or sleep in altogether as is standard in many cultures.

The OP only feels crap and devalued and like her life is shit because she has been sold the line that material things are incredibly important to small babies, they are not, once basic needs such as food, heating and shelter are taken care of. She feels bad because there are lots of very wealthy people whose lives have become models for us as the way to live, and those of us who have to do perfectly normal things like share a bedroom, eat value food, don't go on every single school trip, are made to feel like bad and neglectful parents. Our happiness index is low in the UK, as are measures of children's happiness, it is much higher in materially poorer countries, and yet we can't seem to see the connection.

KentishWine Wed 08-May-13 11:06:55

QuintessentialOHara your comments above could not be further from the truth. I have worked very hard in my 20s but not in a well paid sector. The work I did was needed in the country I worked in. My job wasn't easy and living overseas for a long time wasn't all fun and games. I was an still am really good at my job. Yes, I find myself in my mid-30s and I don't own a house or have a massive amount of savings..and my flat is damp. But what should I have done?

minouminou Wed 08-May-13 11:08:32

Let's just focus on a plan for OP to get up the duff without ending up in a garrett, eh?

everlong Wed 08-May-13 11:08:43

Yes but the OP also says that her housing/financial situation won't improve till at least when she's 40 and if she stays in London she will be £700 short for childcare.

I hope she can sort it out but just blindly telling her to go for it is madness.

There has to be a fall back for when the bills need paying.

minouminou Wed 08-May-13 11:11:06

Only a few people have blindly said to go for it. We can disregard them, as well meaning as they are, they haven't talked fax 'n' figs.

everlong Wed 08-May-13 11:12:35

OP's first four words were we have no money - that was what I was referring to.

Dahlen Wed 08-May-13 11:12:39

I think it might be helpful to separate the two moral arguments running through this thread.

The argument that in your particular situation it would be irresponsible to have a child is very different to the more general argument that no one should have children unless they can afford it.

I think something has gone badly wrong if, in a Western country that is one of the wealthiest in the world, two parents working on salaries greater than NMW cannot afford to have children. The right to family life is an enshrined right. Children have two biological parents. It should be the case that it is possible to have a child with either one parent working and the other being a SAHP or both parents working and their combined salaries covering childcare. Not necessarily easily, but adequately, without living in poverty. That is not the case, and I think that's a damning indictment on the greed reflected largely in our morally bankrupt housing situation (the main reason for the artificially inflated cost of living in this country). I think it is a crying shame that the OP has fallen foul of this - as have so many other people.

However, being able to justify your right to do something, still doesn't make it a good idea. You don't need a huge amount of money to have children, but worrying about every penny saps an incredible amount of energy and joy from your life. The first 12 months after having a baby is a very high-risk period for marriages failing (for obvious reasons) and financial stressors are one of the main reasons for marital breakdown. Factor in the fact that your DH is currently reliant on you for his right to stay in the UK and that his immigration status will affect what help you can get, you could end up resenting him once baby comes along and you can't find any money for the gas bill or your next packet of nappies.

That said, best laid plans and all that. I saved more than enough for my DC to keep me going until they started school. Life still threw me a curve ball and I got through all that in 12 months. Yet I'm still here, with two happy, healthy children and a great life (although I'd be lying if I said it hasn't been incredibly hard at times). People do find a way of muddling through.

Lots to think about OP. I wish you luck making the right decision.

olgaga Wed 08-May-13 11:15:33

These were your choices Kentish. No-one is saying they weren't the right choices for you.

It's fair to point out, however, that the consequence of your choices - low earnings, taking on debt, not being able to save any money - were always going to limit your freedom to make other choices.

Emsmaman Wed 08-May-13 11:19:16

For those recommending moving further out of London and commuting - yes you will save on housing but it makes it so much harder for childcare (if you need paid childcare that is!). We live 40 mins out of Waterloo and to work 9-5 in the city I drop DD at nursery at 7:30 and pick her up at 18:15. When DD starts school that will add to the cost of needing before and after school care, probably longer hours than after school clubs can provide. Many nurseries don't offer such long hours, nor do most childminders.

FWIW I think YABU to do this without proper budgeting, saving and consideration, but if you can plan well it is doable.

Chunderella Wed 08-May-13 11:19:39

Please can people stop giving advice on immigration when they're not in the field or have extremely up to date experience? I know you're only trying to help, but I've seen a number of things on here that are just plain incorrect.

Olgaga, if OP loses her job during the spousal visa period, DH will not have to go back to Brazil. That's not how it works. Any problems would not arise until they come to apply for further leave, and even then his earnings could be used to meet the maintenance requirements. Your worst case scenario is unrealistic: if they stay together and DH doesn't commit any serious offences, the odds are very much against him having to leave even if the finances go tits up. Having a British child would make him less likely to be removed, not more.

As for people worrying about them having a baby and not being able to meet maintenance requirements so DH having to go back, that's not realistic. Let's say they have a baby and are unable to meet the maintenance requirements when it's time to apply for further leave. DH would make a discretionary application, outside the Immigration Rules, based on having family life in the UK with his British wife and child. It would be very likely to succeed. Now it's a pain in the arse to go down that route, for various reasons, and not one I would ever recommend if it can be avoided. But it's an option.

jacks365 Wed 08-May-13 11:20:23

I've been trying to find out information re the visa if you claim. You can claim tax credits and be fine so long as your income is over the minimum but you would be denied the visa if you also claim housing benefit however chances are that by the time you have a baby you would go straight onto universal credits and then the position is less clear as it is just one payment. I would expect the government to try to use it to cut numbers. The issue is the flat, if you owned your own you would be fine but renting is dodgy as you have to be able to provide a home without recourse to public funds. I would seriously suggest trying to get a straight yes or no about uc out of the border agency depending how the government plays it you do run the very real risk of being separated as a family

Try to research uc and find out how it will effect you or if you would even qualify, everyone can tell you have it affected them having to apply for tax credits etc but no one can advise you on this (new claims for working adults are on uc from April 2014 so if you conceive soon you would be one of the first) my concern would be the government wanting to come down hard to look like its doing something about immigration figures.

olgaga Wed 08-May-13 11:26:08

Chunderella to be honest I was thinking more about the strain it puts on a couple, having to live in unsuitable housing, having a baby with no money, as well as the ongoing uncertainty of DH's immigration status.

I freely admit I have no specialist knowledge of immigration, I was only going by the comments the OP had made and my own experience of how difficult family life can be in substandard housing with no money.

WeAreEternal Wed 08-May-13 11:34:27

Olgaga sums it up very well.

I just want to add that realistically even if you can manage to budget for the essential expenses like the cost of child care, nappies and formula/BF necessities, and you manage to get all of the essential items free such as a crib, carseat, clothes.
you still need to think about the increase in basic bills.
while on mat leave you will be in all day, using gas/electricity, if your DP decided to be a SAHD that will be a permanent increase.
you will be running your washing machine a lot more, which uses a lot of water, so that bill will go up.

Also when the child is older your food bill will grow a lot.

A child is an extra person, you need to consider the increase in all of your household bills that an extra person will cause

curryeater Wed 08-May-13 11:42:52


"I think something has gone badly wrong if, in a Western country that is one of the wealthiest in the world, two parents working on salaries greater than NMW cannot afford to have children. The right to family life is an enshrined right. Children have two biological parents. It should be the case that it is possible to have a child with either one parent working and the other being a SAHP or both parents working and their combined salaries covering childcare. Not necessarily easily, but adequately, without living in poverty. That is not the case, and I think that's a damning indictment on the greed reflected largely in our morally bankrupt housing situation (the main reason for the artificially inflated cost of living in this country). I think it is a crying shame that the OP has fallen foul of this - as have so many other people."

Absolutely. There are horrific problems with wealth distribution in this country. There are too many people in work and struggling.

Within this, people have to make their own happiness, not listen to people on the internet who think you can't have a child because your flat is damp.

Perhaps there are a few people - very few - who will look back on life from their death bed and think "glad I got on the "property ladder" instead of having a child. I would have hated renting when I was 40." Most will look back and think "God bless my children and grand children" and will completely forget the times they wished they could go on holiday not in a tent.

You do see posts on here from mothers who are really struggling, and they are miserable. But if you were to ask most of them, "do you wish you didn't have children so you could pay the bills more easily?" most would say "No! No, I want to be able to pay the bills more easily because I have children, who are at the centre of my life, and it breaks my heart every day that I work every hour and can't give them more".

Chunderella Wed 08-May-13 11:47:23

Ok olgaga but you did talk about the possibility of DH actually having to go back to Brazil. That's very unlikely to happen provided he behaves himself. His status isn't really that unstable, though I know many people do find the pre-ILR stage stressful and hard to live with. But his immigration status and the potential for poverty are two different issues here and need to be considered separately. The fact that DH is very unlikely to have to leave doesn't cancel out other problems they might have to solve.

Also I wonder how relevant the no recourse to public funds thing is anyway. The tax credits threshold for one child is 26k and I seem to remember reading it's going to go down to 23k under UC. Based on what we've read this thread, I should think there's a fair chance at least one of them is earning that or more, and certainly that much between them. So even if one is a SAHP, there's a good chance they'll get either nothing or not much. I get that being on a no recourse visa is very scary. But for people in the income bracket that OP and DH sound like they are, it's kind of academic because they'd get nothing anyway. Where people get really poor is if the family is reliant on benefits and not all members qualify.

TheBigJessie Wed 08-May-13 11:47:23

Question: If all the poor-ish people stop having children because they can't afford a three bedroom detached, who will staff our nuclear power stations in thirty years' time? There will be nuclear meltdowns all over Britain!

I think we need to extensively invest in robotics, as our birth rate will drop massively (birthrate is presently 1.8 children per British woman)!

I would hope homes would be more affordable, and work better paid, before then!

minouminou Wed 08-May-13 11:59:28

Those changes will only happen with somd massive readjustments to the market. I can see the birth rate taking a massive nosedive in the next few years, and that'll have a big impact on the future.

We will need more migrant workers to keep up the demands of an aging population, needing care homes, rather than school teachers....

Littlehousesomewhere Wed 08-May-13 12:26:11

The ops near future looks to improve financially so it is not as if they will be bringing a child into a life of poverty.

I would be hesitant for your dh to take more than just a year off paternity leave as a sahd as I don't think you should risk his future career plans.

If a loan from your parents is possible I would also discuss this with them, I know that I would want to help my dc (if I could) if they were in the same situation.

olgaga Wed 08-May-13 12:42:32

Chunder I didn't! What I said was in response to the OP's question "What's the worst that could happen?"

I responded You end up in emergency housing, on subsistence benefits. Your DH goes back to Brazil.

I did not say "is sent back to Brazil". He might decide for himself he wants to go back!

That probably is the worst that could happen.

The OP herself has said:

Last time we applied for his visa to stay in the UK I had to show I could support us both without benefits.

His visa should be fine as long as I am earning more than £18k a year.

It doesn't take an immigration expert to ascertain that their situation is far from ideal!

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 08-May-13 12:50:10

NTFT, but I don't think people get that OP can't claim any state help, because, even though it would be her not DH claiming, she is his sponsor in effect, until 2015.
There are new rules regarding spouses/fiances from outside the EU, and one of these is that the UK partner must be earning over 18 k a year, and not claim any state help.
This is very tricky for mixed nationality couples in the North btw, as wages are much lower here.
I know someone who is about to have a baby, and due to being a freelancer is not earning right now.
Therefore her DH is due to be shipped back to his home country, even though he has a job here.
It's totally fucked up.
I know you say you do a niche job OP, but actually, if having a baby is really important to you, I think you need to move out of London, and then you will be able to afford it, doing a different kind of job.
Easier said than done, I know.

Mumsyblouse Wed 08-May-13 12:55:36

The thing is, we won't be in a recession forever. Lots of times in history, people have had to take a chance on having a family when it was less than ideal- my granny had her first when her husband was away at war and might never have returned (who would approve of that now but she didn't care, she just wanted a baby with him even if he died)! Hardly financial stability. People had lots of babies in the 1950's when there was still food rationing and living in a bedsit starting out married life was quite normal; then in the 1970's my parents also had children whilst having very little money and living in a small basement flat, we had very little money in those early years and ate a very strict mealplanned menu whilst mum made our clothes, but in no way were we poor, everyone at my school had parents in pretty similar situations.

Everything Dahlen said is right, it is ridiculous for two middle-income (the op is hardly 'poor') married people to not be able to afford one child in one of the wealthiest of developed countries. The current situation is primarily caused by the over-inflation of the housing market and the commercial exploitation of benefits/tax credits to pay low wages. But, it is partly about expectations- if you expect to own a home and not rent, have a garden, have separate bedrooms for your children, trips, holidays (even modest ones) then you will feel 'poor' if you don't have them but for most of history even professional people simply did not have those things- and whilst I'm sure they worried and fretted about the lack of money, I don't think the evidence is that they were more unhappy generally than us, who have so much more materially but a huge proportion of the population is on anti-depressants and feels cheated and deprived of a 'good' lifestyle becuase undoubtedly living standards have dropped between the boomer generation's peak in older age and our own.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 08-May-13 13:00:58

I totally agree with Dahlen and curryeater.
And I don't think you should move to London burbs, I think you should move totally out, like, Sheffield or Bristol.
There are some great cities in the UK to live in with kids.
Agree with making a plan too.

Chunderella Wed 08-May-13 13:04:18

Olgaga said 'So if you lost your job, or became ill and unable to work between now and 2015, you would be in breach of your maintenance undertaking and your DH would have to go back to Brazil'. 'Have to' certainly implies him not having a choice, but even if you meant a voluntary return, nothing OP has said in this thread suggests that would happen. Sure, he might, but there are lots of other bad things that could happen but are not indicated at all by OPs posts. Also, he could return to Brazil at any time voluntarily, regardless of how financially stable they are and indeed regardless of his immigration status.

So no, their situation is not ideal, but actually with regards to the immigration aspect it simply isn't anything like as precarious or worrisome as the tone of this thread would imply.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Wed 08-May-13 13:09:44

One thing to note is even if your child has a full belly, a roof over their head, treats etc, they will take on the 'living pay check to pay check' stress you and DH feel and worry no matter how hard you try to hide it from them.

That wasn't me trying to be a downer, just telling you some of the things that I struggled with when times were 'good' for us.

My other question is what will you do if you have a disabled child?

olgaga Wed 08-May-13 13:26:47

Yes but again, Chunder, I was only going by what the OP said. She said she had had to sign a maintenance order . I presumed this was important as it was obviously something the OP was taking into consideration.

It was you who pointed out:

while you can claim tax credits in your own right, if your income is low enough for WTC or CTB you won't meet the maintenance requirements for when he needs to apply for ILR. That's because in order to sponsor a spouse, you need an income of £18,400 annually before tax, and you won't qualify for WTC with that.

If he did get his visa under the post July 2012 regime, you need to be very careful to make sure you can meet the maintenance requirements for when he applies for ILR in 2015. You can apply outside the Immigration Rules if necessary, but it's a colossal ballache.

Hardly ideal!

MikeOxard Wed 08-May-13 13:27:51

if I was 36 and wanted children, I wouldn't be sitting down with a calculator, I'd be getting straight on with it. Yanbu, it shouldn't wait until you're 40 or whenever it might be too late. Only you know the figures and the possibility of eg moving to a cheaper area etc. If you can make it work at all, then it will be worth the financial struggle imo. Good luck. x

ICBINEG Wed 08-May-13 13:39:53

OP - I would definitely look into the SAHD option. It would fit your circumstances perfectly.

My DH is SAHD and it has worked out well for us....all you need is a bloke willing to escape the 'bread winner' pigeon hole.

olgaga Wed 08-May-13 13:40:11

I agree with you IfNot

You won't find anywhere "cheap" with a good commute of around 1hr.

If you want low housing costs you have to be prepared to travel up to 2 hours each way and expect to pay around £5,000pa for the privilege.

It's only worth it if you earn good money.

noseymcposey Wed 08-May-13 13:43:55

With regards to whether it is cheaper to live in London or commute, for us it is still cheaper to commute.

For example a quick look on rightmove tells me that the cheapest rent for a 2 bed in my area is £595pm and my childcare is £600 p/m for 4 full days with a childminder (who is wonderful). Travel is £300 p/m. I also live on an expensive train line, and in quite an expensive town so there would be other places where could make bigger savings I think.

Thought some real numbers might help you compare!

plinkyplonks Wed 08-May-13 13:45:13

Depends how much is a lot for rental. I pay £870 per month for a 2 bed house, garden etc with less than 1 hour commute to London. Places like Reading have 1/2 bedroom flats for around £600 in the city centre with less than an hour commute into Central London.

noseymcposey Wed 08-May-13 13:53:49

and a 1 bed which you are in now I think, is £525

olgaga Wed 08-May-13 13:54:17

A season ticket from Reading to London Paddington costs £3960 - £4704 if you add a zone 1-6 travelcard.

noseymcposey Wed 08-May-13 13:54:45

and I am 35 mins from London...

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Wed 08-May-13 13:57:40

OP Id wait until you know if your DH can have ILTR, I think it would be very unwise and foolish to get pregnant before then. A friend of mine is currently having an nightmare trying to sort out his wifes ILTR, they have a baby born over here but she may have to go home, and naturally she wants to take the baby with her leaving him to potentially have to decide to go with her or stay here without his baby. he of course will go with her, but I know it will kill him to leave his elderly mother behind, and Im not sure their relationship will survive it in the long run.

noseymcposey Wed 08-May-13 13:58:36

So basically, housing, childcare and 2 lots of annual rail travel would be £1800 where I live. If your rent is more than £600pm at the moment then there are potential savings by considering a move (I haven't account for tube travel if that is necessary)

MrsHuxtable Wed 08-May-13 14:00:28

Sounds like the OPs husband being a SAHD is the solution.

Mumsyblouse Wed 08-May-13 14:02:23

I was told my husband might have to go back when his work visa ran out for three months (contract broken, then renewed) but in the end the immigration services really didn't care at all even we very honestly stupidly informed them, and we swapped onto a marital visa- and he didn't go anywhere. I do think if you marry someone from another country you have to consider you may have to live in their country and not yours. Chundarella has some excellent advice on this thread on the likelihood of this happening- having a baby may increase the chances of him staying, not decrease them.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Wed 08-May-13 14:16:51

OP: Genuine question. What will happen if your child is disabled and needs a carer?

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Wed 08-May-13 14:35:00

I agree the likelihood of her DH having to go to his home country isn't very great, but its still a possibility, as I am seeing my friend experience.

AThingInYourLife Wed 08-May-13 16:11:30

curry - I love to read your posts.

It's not just that I agree with you (although I do), it that you manage to clarify in my mind things I have been thinking anyway.

To me this sums up the snottily materialistic, mindlessly quasi-moralistic ("quasi"- and mindless, because relating to things that are actually morally neutral, but treating them as things that have ethical value) attitude that I find most obnoxious about mumsnet, and increasingly, the culture at large. It is a sly and stupid way of allowing oneself to despise people instead of thinking empathetically. It's a form of ethical, social, and emotional laziness and selfishness, and it is vile.

This is brilliant smile

Kentish - I'm more than happy for my taxes to be spent helping a couple like you to have a family.

I would caution against the idea of your DH being a SAHD. If he is not working he will be reliant on you to an unhealthy degree (IMO).

I really hope you can make it work. smile

Mumsyblouse Wed 08-May-13 16:18:31

OP: Genuine question. What will happen if your child is disabled and needs a carer?

I guess the same as what I would have to do in this situation, make the best of it, one of them give up work, claim the benefits to which I was entitled or accept any help of offer. Be really very poor indeed. i certainly don't earn enough to privately employ a carer out of my usual salary, who does have that kind of money spare?

I think once you start going down the 'what if there was a real disaster' almost no-one should have children. Very few people's finances wouldn't be affected (in our current two working parent culture) by having a very dependent child who was disabled, or by being made redundant, being unemployed long-term, becoming disabled themselves, having a bad accident and so on.

If the Op is very worried about having a child with a disability, then the most obvious thing to do would be to lower the risk as much as is possible (given these things are not really in our control)- having a baby right now, and not when she's early forties or older is one way to lower that risk slightly (and something I have factored into my own decision-making when considering whether I could financially afford another child over 40).

olgaga Wed 08-May-13 16:43:31

Hm well you could just as easily say

"What if it's twins/triplets etc".
"What if you become disabled/die in childbirth".
"What if your DH becomes disabled/dies/shoots thru back to Brazil"?
"What if you have PND and can't work"?

If we all dwelt on the "What ifs" how many of us would have baby? We all know there are risks involved but we do it anyway, hoping for the best, knowing that the odds are in our favour.

The point is, even if everything goes well, the OP is going to have her work cut out making ends meet.

That's what she needs to concentrate on.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 08-May-13 16:45:06

I know AThing, I kind of want it on a T-shirt!

impty Wed 08-May-13 16:46:00

Well as someone who was once pregnant with not a bean I say go for it. Worked out fine for ussmile

Chunderella Wed 08-May-13 17:35:14

Yes olgaga and I'm asking people not to presume things where DHs status is concerned! Its true that the maintenance undertaking is important, but it's quite a big step from that to him having to go back to Brazil if it's breached. I'm not saying this to nit pick, but as you can tell this is my field and I genuinely do care about people having accurate advice and about correcting misapprehensions. Nor do I think there's anything wrong with you not knowing- you've given some good advice in other respects on this thread and no doubt I don't know any more about your line of work than you do about mine. I agree that the money situation is not ideal: this is a different issue entirely from what would happen to DHs immigration status if the finances were to get worse.

TheToys has your friend taken legal advice? I might be able to recommend somewhere reputable depending on the area of the country. She or he will probably have to pay for it: I would say it is worth it!

AThingInYourLife Wed 08-May-13 17:48:53

It's not exactly a catchy slogan, but I'd wear that t-shirt IfNot grin

Wannabestepfordwife Wed 08-May-13 18:23:45

Op I think it's definitely worth looking at moving out of London. I'm Luton/beds area you can be in st pancreas within 35mins it's only 10 mins longer than if you were harpenden/st Albans and you get a lot more for your money.

I don't know if your dh being sahd is necessarily a good idea when the next 3 years are crucial to his career. If you moved somewhere bigger would you consider an au pair it would work out cheaper than a nursery and it wouldn't be as inconvenient if work over ran or your train broke down etc etc

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Wed 08-May-13 18:35:59

Yes chund they have a solicitor who is hopefully going to be able to sort it, but he has been honest and said there is always the chance she won't get it.

KentishWine Wed 08-May-13 18:36:56

Thanks for all these responses. There have been some genuinely useful ideas (e.g. move out of London for cheaper childcare, SAHD, etc) and some less good ideas (e.g. get over yourself cos children are not possessions and you have no right to one). When DH and I imagine us at 80, we DO imagine children and grandchildren and great family memories. This thread has cemented that fact for us. So we will do everything in our power to make this happen. We won't have a fancy pram or a lovely nursery, but we're happy and positive people and we'll have a well looked after and loved child. And in a few years, none of this will be an issue as we'll both be earning well.

Over and out!

minouminou Wed 08-May-13 18:53:59

Come back and let us know how it all goes, won't you?

TheBigJessie Wed 08-May-13 19:00:10
greenformica Wed 08-May-13 20:00:09

Start Now, this second! Seriously no time is a good time and you will never regret having your kids.

We had problems due to my mid thirties age - but a little boost from some clomid drugs helped.

brdgrl Wed 08-May-13 21:07:58

good luck, kentish. I think you sound lovely and as though you've made pretty good life choices up to now, so I have a feeling you will be just fine. Tell us when you're pregnant, won't you??

bishboschone Wed 08-May-13 21:16:40

A childminder would be cheaper , also I would give you any baby stuff I had spare as I'm sure others would .. Go for it .

Jengnr Wed 08-May-13 21:29:55

Him not having recourse to public funds doesn't mean you don't.

showtunesgirl Wed 08-May-13 22:36:43

OP, you don't have to move out of London if you don't want to, just look for a different part of London.

We pay £800 pcm for our lovely childminder though if you were to go over the hill from us, the nursery costs would be about £1200.

You just have to be smart and get looking.

I am in the just do it camp being someone who is also in a "niche" industry as is my DH and we don't have a lot of money and we are absolutely fine and very happy with 17 m/o DD.

If we had waited until everything was in place, it would never have happened for us. And no, we don't get handouts and benefits either.

cafecito Wed 08-May-13 22:50:55

Kentish, hope you have a happy and healthy future smile there are many EU law case precedents to indicate your DH would not leave the country at all, so don't worry about that side of it. hope it all goes well.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 08-May-13 23:14:21

I hope it works out for you. Dont forget to come back and update, and hopefully get loads of hand me down baby stuff!

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Wed 08-May-13 23:31:26

I actually think it is vaid to ask what will OP do if baby is disabled or she has twins, since this thread is about financing one NT child.

I'm not saying OP will have multiples or a SN child, I merely meant those variables should be on the list of things to consider.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 00:30:24

Chunder I am rather downcast to read your latest post directed at me. Do leave it out. It contributes nothing whatsoever to this thread.

I thought your comments to the OP - which were actually far more straightforward than mine - were very useful.

That's why I picked up on them.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 00:32:15

I might add, I think you have a great attitude OP, and will be a great mum. I just hope it's not too hard, but hopefully your parents will be able to help. They'll have to!

raisah Thu 09-May-13 00:51:12

You will find a way to make it work. I had my first at 34 & second dc @ 36, financially it is tight but we manage. You dont know how long it will take you to get pregnant so to delay it might work against you.

Before ttc check your company maternity policy discretely to see how long you have to be enployed by them to qualify for maternity pay. If you become pregnant v quickly you might not get maternity pay so will have to depend on your dps wage for a year.

With regards to childcare, consider a cm rather than a nursery as it often works out cheaper. My cm charges £45 per child daily whereas the local nursery is £55 per child. They get more one to one care as she has 1 other baby in her charge. Whereas they would have been in a much larger group in the local nursery.

Good luck

MyBaby1day Thu 09-May-13 02:58:13

YANBU, go for it!. Just stick to the one (unless it's twins)!. LOL and go for your dream baby!!. Good Luck x

Chunderella Thu 09-May-13 07:30:40

I really can't understand why you're making such a big deal about being asked not to presume things on a subject you admit you don't know a lot about, Olgaga.

Morloth Thu 09-May-13 07:34:02

Well to be fair Chunderella you can't really ask people to do that, we have no idea who you are.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 07:44:02

Chunder the only thing I have presumed is that the OP, and you, might know what you're talking about.

My mistake! grin

Illustrationaddict Thu 09-May-13 07:46:19

Do it, life's not tidy and as a woman, unfortunately you only have x time to do it. It is a disgrace that anyone should be too poor to have a child, it is a basic human right and would be awful if only the rich we're allowed to procreate. Yes you need money, but you also learn to cope on not a lot. We do it, and actually we are going to be worse off with me returning to work in the next few weeks, but I can see in the long term we will be better off for me working.

Gerty1002 Thu 09-May-13 08:04:35

Do you have a lot of family/friends around you who could help?

I was in a slightly similar situation 15 months ago in that DP and I thought I had PCOS. Though we'd only just moved in together and got engaged, and we weren't exactly rolling in it, we decided to go for it. 9 months on and we were getting nowhere fast.

Then a new job opportunity cropped up for me and we discussed whether to stop trying for 6 months. We decided no, though it would be inconvenient in a new iob, it was what we both really wanted and we didn't want to jeopardise our chances in any way.

I found out 7 days before starting my new job that I was pregnant! I'm now 23+6 and think it was the best decision I've ever made - and that's despite having to leave my new job because they were VERY unsupportive when I told them I was pregnant.

As for money, when we really worked at cutting costs we found that we had a lot more spare money than we originally thought, so I was able to go for a part time job to see me through pregnancy and the first few months of being a working mum.

However, we have been extremely lucky in that our family have been so supportive, bought us most of the big things baby needs and we know they will be more than willing to help with childcare. My grandmother has already provisionally been hired as a very cheap nanny.

Just do what is right for you - and remember it may take a while to become pregnant, your DH's benefit sanctions may have run out by then.

Littlehousesomewhere Thu 09-May-13 08:44:15

Good luck op!
Hope you get pregnant straight away and it all works out, I am sure it will.

I still can't believe people were advising you to wait hmm. That clock has been clanging for good reason.

C999875 Thu 09-May-13 19:46:17

No of course you're not being unreasonable. It's your body your life your choice. If you want a baby I say go ahead. It's not onlt the rich that have the right to procreate It's hardly the crime of the century to want to create a new life. I am a single mum trying to concieve, does that make me wrong. Things always work themselves out. xx

KingRollo Thu 09-May-13 19:58:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gettingeasiernow Thu 09-May-13 20:12:22

If your mum was 43 when she went into menopause, you do need to hurry. I was told by a fertility specialist that most women are infertile 6-7 years before their last period. In your shoes I would get a move on, hope that somehow it would all be doable. Having gone it entirely alone at age 43, I can say it's really tough at times but you do always seem to manage somehow. If you can visualise a happy life without one though, maybe come to terms with that? I'm sorry this isn't more positive, but honestly, I would assume you've got to decide one way or another now, and I know which way I'd choose.

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