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Panicking I won't be able to afford childcare!

(95 Posts)
thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 19:57:00

I'm just seeking reassurance - or a reality check. I earn £43,000 a year and am panicking I will be really struggling to find my DC through nursery. The costs seem to be around £800 a month. Please tell me you all manage! grin

Schooldidi Sat 13-Apr-13 20:00:05

We manage. We earn just over your salary between us and our childcare is only £600 per month because we have a lovely childminder who has very reasonable rates. We manage quite happily smile

EMS23 Sat 13-Apr-13 20:00:40

YANBU, it's a nightmare. I work for the princely sum of £10 net, per month after nursery fees.
We're mortgage free so very very lucky but I don't know how others do it.

Is £43k net or gross? If net, not so bad.

MyChemicalMummy Sat 13-Apr-13 20:01:21

Well we have a joint income of only 27 grand a year, which is way less than your single in come. We managed to pay 400 quid a month, so I'm sure you will manage.

Trills Sat 13-Apr-13 20:01:48

YABU to be panicking.

Don't panic, draw up a budget.

Panicking won't help anything.

Telling us your income won't help anything either as we have no idea as to your outgoings.

ratbagcatbag Sat 13-Apr-13 20:03:05

Does work offer vouchers? That helps a lot, me and DH are going to use these and it saves us around £135 per month jointly. smile

catgirl1976 Sat 13-Apr-13 20:03:42

You can get tax free childcare vouchers via salary sacrifice of £124 a month

Then there is the new scheme coming in but I don't know a huge amount about it. Then there are free places when your DC is three

Its a big cost but I manage.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 20:04:15

EM - I wish! grin (no, really, I do!) Gross income. Outgoings the usual really: mortgage (£300 p/m), car insurance, fuel, gas, electricity, phone & broadband, mobile phone, groceries, clothing, shoes. Two cats.


thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 20:04:55

Work do offer vouchers, yes - could anyone kind explain to a numpty how they work? blush

Phineyj Sat 13-Apr-13 20:05:12

I think on that salary you can afford childcare unless your other living costs are very high. If you're talking 5 days 8-6pm, round here (south east) that would be over £1,000 a month for one child. Although obviously it depends how many children you have. Have you looked into childcare vouchers if that applies to you? Also, do a costing for at least the next 5 years so you can factor in the 15 hours free care that kicks in after the child's 3rd birthday (assuming that doesn't get withdrawn). I think there may be a discount for full time care from some providers -- not sure of that as I've been getting quotes for 3 days.

Phineyj Sat 13-Apr-13 20:06:40

If you Google childcare vouchers there is a clear explanation on one of the govt websites I think and if you ask your work for the name of the provider they will have their own leaflet that explains. Basically you get the tax and NI back that you would otherwise have paid on part of your salary.

Sorry for cross-posting other stuff!

catgirl1976 Sat 13-Apr-13 20:07:19

Work will deduct the £124 (it might be 123) from you gross wage per month and the vouche provider will pay that direct to your childcare provider (as long as they are OFSTED approved)

So you dont pay tax or NI on that money and therefore save a bit

If you are basic rate tax payer its £243 but higher rate its capped at £124

I think the scheme closes to new entrants very soon (may even have closed) as there is a new scheme but other than the headline of being able to claim back £1200 per year I don't know a lot about it

Trills Sat 13-Apr-13 20:08:12

"Outgoings the usual really:"

YAB very naive if you think there is such a thing as "the usual".

You should ask your work how their voucher scheme works, there are a number of different variants.

Can I ask if you actually have children, or if this is just speculation?

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 20:08:20

Just one child unless it is twins - god knows what I'll do if it is twins shock

Thanks Phineyj - that's really helpful, so where I pay tax now, in the future some will go towards nursery fees, have I got that right?

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Sat 13-Apr-13 20:09:05

I just worked out that having DD in normal nursery (baby room) is the same as the local private school reception! I am now considering sending her private as the fees are so similar (whereas they drop when she moves up and at 3yo you get 15hrs per week free) but it is a real scrimp and I am on a lot less than you, but thankfully mortgage free.

Budget and add a bit just in case. I think most people breathe a sigh of relief when they hit 3 and childcare costs diminish. DD only goes in for 1 day a week but it is the same amount per month as my council tax.

MummytoMog Sat 13-Apr-13 20:09:15

I wish my mortgage was £300 a month smile. It can seem overwhelming, but it just becomes the new normal once it starts. Maybe write out a quick a dirty budget so you know what you've got to pay out each month and what money is left over for your clothes/shoes/pretty things for DCs smile

catgirl1976 Sat 13-Apr-13 20:09:33

had a google

The current scheme doesnt end till 2015, then there is a scheme where you can claim back 20% of your costs up to £1200 per year but only if both parents work, which knocks me out as DH doesnt'

Happiestinwellybobs Sat 13-Apr-13 20:10:12

Vouchers are deducted from your salary - you do not have to pay NI or tax on that amount (which can be up to £243 per month). So it means you can save around £900 per year.

Happiestinwellybobs Sat 13-Apr-13 20:10:58

Cross posting with my slow typing smile

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 20:11:06

Trills - sorry if I was being naïve, my statement there was meant to explain there weren't any huge debts or a massive mortgage for example.

I don't have children yet, no but all going to plan should be trying next month therefore am experiencing mild panic at childcare costs!

Reality Sat 13-Apr-13 20:11:59

£300 a month mortgage?

Arf at 'the usual' outgoings.

I think you'll manage.

catgirl1976 Sat 13-Apr-13 20:12:15 you need ft care or do you have a DM etc who could do one day? My DM does this and its a big help

Obviously not an option for everyone and I am lucky but if you do have family who could do a bit it can help

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 20:12:20

catgirl would single parents therefore be eligible for claiming back costs? I wouldn't be going back to work until 2015 smile

ILovePonyo Sat 13-Apr-13 20:12:31

Our childcare is £924 a month and we are basically paying that and bills every month, and counting down the days until dd is 3 and we get 15 free hours!

I was going to move her to a cheaper nursery when she was 2 but by then she'd settled and made some friends so decided to stick it out. It sucks but it was our decision to put her in this nursery and soon she'll be in school and we'll have some money left a week after payday!

You'll manage op, try proper budgeting as we didn't do this at first and have found it useful recently.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 20:13:03

I don't have family to help unfortunately, as yes that would definitely be my first choice even if not every day it would help!

Trills Sat 13-Apr-13 20:14:02

What I am saying is that we can't do your budget for you. We can give advice on where to get more information and on what help you'll be entitled to but we can't do the maths and we can't just say you'll be fine without doing the maths.

£300 mortgage sounds tiny tiny tiny to me by the way smile You couldn't rent a garage where I live for that amount (unless you mean per week instead of per month).

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 20:15:34

Yes, I appreciate that about not doing the budget smile

The mortgage isn't very big as I had a very large deposit for the house so that's obviously a big help. To be fair it's not a huge house either! grin

we earn 52k between us gross n mortgage is 900 mth n childcare is 650 mth i work 4 days. we manage we just have to budget.

Reality Sat 13-Apr-13 20:17:07

YOur take home on 43k is what, about £2650? less any pension contributions.

MOrtgage of £300

Childcare of £800

That leaves you £1550 a month to feed and clothe yourselves and pay bills.

You'll be fine.

TiredyCustards Sat 13-Apr-13 20:17:51

Childcare is a joint expense. You say you're going to start TTC, so I assume you have a partner? It should cone out of both your salaries.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 20:19:14

Tiredy, no, no partner, just me which is why it's quite stressful in a way as if there's a tough month (e.g. car breakdowns) it's all me.

Take home pay a bit less than that (pension & student loan) - more like £2,100.

Trills Sat 13-Apr-13 20:19:49

Sometimes women do choose to have children on their own.

Trills Sat 13-Apr-13 20:23:14

x-posted smile

£300 on mortgage
£200 on bills, let's say (gas/electric/water/internet/insurance)
£800 childcare

Leaves you with £800 for everything else. Do you run a car? Those are expensive. Do you have commuting costs?

Reality Sat 13-Apr-13 20:23:32

Still leaves you a grand to play with.

More if you get childcare vouchers, which you shoudl be able to, even if your employer doesn't do them you could ask them to, it benefits them as well I think.

It's doable.

PLus you have £25% (?) reduction in council tax as a single person so it all helps.

We've been saving lately so living on £800 for everything after bills and there are five of us, and honestly it's been no struggle.

Also, don't forget that it's only that much childcare for four/five years.Aim for an August baby and then they'll start school a year earliergrin.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 20:26:10

Trills, yes, I do have a car smile I wish I could get rid of it to be honest but while I'm not hugely far from work it's in the arse end of nowhere and I'd have to get two trains and a bus or three buses which isn't really doable obviously! If I change jobs in the future I might seriously consider this though as I'm within walking distance of train and bus station.

Yes, August baby would be perfect grin but if it works when it's meant to it'll be Feb/March - mid year!

VelvetSpoon Sat 13-Apr-13 20:33:57

You will be fine - when Ds1 was a baby I used to earn half that, pay a mortgage (£400 a month) and childcare (£300)...wasn't easy but I managed!

My DC are now old enough not to need childcare, I am earning a lot more but my mortgage is £1500 a month so in real terms I am not massively better off!

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 20:48:47

Thank you grin I'm really looking forward to being a parent but just scared of being completely broke!

Nursery feed them so I suppose should the worse happen the DC will still be fed!

You have to look to the long term too.

My wage barely covers child care and commuting costs. However, it won't be like this forever, the DC's will go to school and the costs will drop. But hopefully, having stayed in employment, my earning potential will be better.

There is no getting away from it. The early years are hard money-wise when you have young DC's. However, you also will find that you adapt your spending and your way of life to accomodate this.

difficultpickle Sat 13-Apr-13 21:07:23

Ime affording childcare is the least of your worries. It all becomes much harder when they start school and you need to be around to help with homework. Having a job that pays enough and doing the hours you need to fit in that is very difficult to find indeed. That is the time I found it hardest being a single parent. In the end I chose to send ds to a school that did wraparound care and cut my hours so I could fit in with that.

slightlysoupstained Sat 13-Apr-13 21:09:12

If you're just about to start TTC, then you have a while to save up to cover mat leave/childcare. Try doing a statement of affairs (for current outgoings!) to figure out how much you can reasonably afford to save each month:

difficultpickle Sat 13-Apr-13 21:09:36

My costs didn't drop when ds started school as the CM increased her hourly charges for before/after school and holidays. It meant that I was paying the same money as I had been when ds was a baby. When I enquired with other CMs they all quoted the same sort of cost. It worked out cheaper to choose private school until ds got to year 5 where the costs were equal.

slightlysoupstained Sat 13-Apr-13 21:09:39
thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 21:13:07

Wasn't after school club an option bisjo?

What sort of help did your DC need with homework?

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 21:14:02

Ooh and slightly thank you very much for that grin

Pigsmummy Sat 13-Apr-13 21:20:08

I too am panicking a bit, check out the vouchers from work also visit Ask anyone and everyone you know locally who they use, consider a combination of nursery and CM as full time nursery can be more expensive but also a bit "full on" for a baby. If you have friends with a baby it might be worth considering a live out nanny at one of your homes and share the cost?

Fairylea Sat 13-Apr-13 21:25:04

I expected you to say you have a salary at least half of what you have! And a mortgage double the £300 a month you have! smile

You should really have no problem at all.

When I worked when dd was little I was earning about £16K and I used nursery 3 days a week and I managed ok.

You'll be fine.

Mandy21 Sat 13-Apr-13 21:28:20

You should be fine, but as others have suggested, you need to budget now, and start saving. You need to ensure you can afford maternity leave, depending on what your employer offers and how long you're planning to take, and then the childcare. You also need to be prepared - in our situation, Number 1 turned out to be Numbers 1 and 2 smile. Anticpated childcare costs of about £700 a month (to cover the 3 days a week that I was going back) suddenly turned into £1300 if I remember correctly (we got a 10% deduction on the 2nd baby's fees). If you're planning on going back full time, you're looking at about £1100+ per month for one place at a nursery around here.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 21:32:18

I've already chosen the nursery grin blush in my defence I DO have to be prepared. Got enough money for my fertility treatment and for maternity leave but there won't be any much left to act as a buffer should something go wrong and I need to pay nursery fees as well!

BonaDrag Sat 13-Apr-13 21:49:23

You'll be okay. You'll get used to a reduced income.
Children are expensive..

difficultpickle Sat 13-Apr-13 21:51:19

No after school clubs at any of the local state schools (they tried but when it was only one child out of three schools they decided it wasn't economic to continue).

As for homework help I'm not sure what you mean. Most children have homework even if it is just listening to them read. You need to be there for that. If they have other homework to do then you need to be there to help and encourage them (or if you are pushy then do for them!). Maybe there are children who are 5 and who will sit and do their homework without asking for help, I have just never met anyone like that. Ds is now in year 4 and does homework at school every day.

difficultpickle Sat 13-Apr-13 21:52:16

You also need to have a back up plan for when they are ill and can't go to nursery/school.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 22:01:58

That's a nuisance for you re after school clubs.

I suppose what I meant with the homework help was just that really - I'd certainly hope that reading with a child would be a daily routine anyway but insofar as homework is concerned, I'd hope a primary aged child wouldn't have so much it would take up the whole evening smile and I wouldn't be happy at all if it did.

I realise they will get ill from time to time, yes.

Highlander Sat 13-Apr-13 22:12:30

Do be aware that using childcare vouchers decreases your pensionable salary.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 22:20:44

Really? How odd; why is that? Thank you for the information.

difficultpickle Sat 13-Apr-13 22:24:32

Homework shouldn't take up an entire evening but my point, which you've missed, is you need to be there as their parent especially when they are young. When they are older it doesn't matter as much (excluding the transition from primary to secondary which can be a difficult year). When ds was a baby he could be at the CMs from 7am to 7pm and it didn't matter. He was doing baby things and having a lovely time and I would collect him and put him to bed. At school age most children want to tell their parents about their day, talk through what has happened, help with homework etc etc. It is far more full on than when they are little.

I had ds late in life so all my friends had pre-teens or teenagers when he arrived. I remember having a moan about how tough it was and they all said if I thought it was tough then then wait until he started school. They were spot on.

Ds is 8. He doesn't talk much about school unless he chooses to share or wants advice on how to handle an issue. We talk that through, we talk about politics, the economy, what is going on in the world. I have to allow that talking time, which means I have to be around for early evening/late afternoon to be able to do that.

difficultpickle Sat 13-Apr-13 22:25:09

Childcare vouchers = salary sacrifice.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 22:32:50

Bisjo - I don't think I did miss your point to be honest as your post was about "being there to do homework." If you'd just said being there, I wouldn't have missed it. smile

I'm not really sure what the point of your post is -not being rude there, but as I haven't said what job I do, how long the DC will be in childcare for in terms of the day or similar I'm genuinely a bit stumped as to what you're trying to get at?

TiredyCustards Sat 13-Apr-13 22:41:47

Sorry op, I misunderstood your post.

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Sat 13-Apr-13 22:44:03

bisjo interesting to see I'm not the only one who sees nursery cost and private as the same! I only just started to look at primaries and was [shocked] I am a single mum and I don't work, so only put DD in for 1 day a week so I can get the housework/other bits like building her garden furniture sets while she isn't around to 'help' and live on appx £9k a year, with no mortgage, and we are fine. Getting tougher with the gas hikes and to be honest when she is in school I will probably get a part time job, but OP you will be fine on your own with your salary. I am just very stingy frugal and don't drive or take holidays. I think bisjo is saying that you need to make sure your career is flexible if you need to call in sick for them - DD gets sick maybe every other month or so (20mo), nothing like nursery to pass on a vomiting bug or cold that means they can't sleep. If you are worried about school collection (part of the reason I stopped work was because I knew I would have to work late regardless) perhaps a couple of hours with a nanny should be factored in for school pick up?

difficultpickle Sat 13-Apr-13 22:45:56

You said you planned to be a single parent so I, apparently erroneously, assumed you worked full time. If you have a school hours term time only job that pays £43,000 then I am completely envy.

BlueberryHill Sat 13-Apr-13 22:48:50

Bisjo may be getting at the following, forgive me if I'm wrong bisjo. The time between them finishing school and going to bed, although it is about 4 hours, is actually quite short when you get down to getting home, feeding them, doing reading / homework and just chilling. I always find it a rush and it is an important time to spend with them and see how they are doing. I remember driving to get DS1 from nursery and screaming at the traffic because I was going to be late, I found it stressful. It can feel like being on a conveyor belt, if is screws up for whatever reason it all screws up.

The logistics of it can get it a bit tricky, they work out but it is a real balancing act. If you haven't got a partner get to know local mums and do each other favours so there is someone to call if you are stuck in traffic / meetings.

Children are expensive, there are still significant costs when they go to school it you need before and after school care. However, good luck, it is worth it (even though I had to give up designer jeans.)

Also don't forget that while it might be a struggle sometimes in the early days, if it means keeping up your career to a reasonable level so that you don't drop out of the market it is an investment of sorts for the future if it means a better professional pathway.

difficultpickle Sat 13-Apr-13 22:50:35

OhHullit I didn't but my spreadsheet proved otherwise. I was shocked but it was in black and white and I couldn't argue with that. I had no plans to consider private until my CM said she wouldn't continue to do the school run (she had been taking ds to nursery) and then said she would consider it but on new terms. Her new terms meant she would be earning the same as if ds was with her full time, which made me look around and consider options I hadn't even contemplated before he was born.

Mind you I was very lucky with ds's CM. He was poorly from birth to about 4.5 years and she would take him even if he was ill and administer his medications. If he had been at day nursery I would have had to give up work!

difficultpickle Sat 13-Apr-13 22:53:13

BlueberryHill spot on and that is assuming the OP has the sort of job that enables her to collect at school finishing time. Ds used to be the first at before school care and practically the last at after school care every day. Fortunately he loved it but it meant we had not a lot of time at home to do a lot. Now he does homework at school, has tea most nights at school and does flexi boarding so life is easier.

VelvetSpoon Sat 13-Apr-13 22:57:19

You're better off with a childminder than nursery as a LP - I found that friends with children at nursery were sent home all the time for a runny nose/cough, whereas my CM was always happy to have them with colds etc if they were not clearly unwell. When my DC had chickenpox I only lost a week off work (3 days of which was due to me catching it as well hmm) whereas I know one friend who was told nursery would not take her DD back for 2 weeks.

In terms of illness, I used my annual leave to cover it. You should also be entitled to emergency leave (I have used this to collect an ill DC from school) I think it depends on your employer if this is paid or not.

I do think also it's quite possible to manage working FT and being a LP irrespective of the age of DC (mine are 14 and 11 now, I have been out of the house 11-12 hours a day most of that time), it may not be easy but if you have bills to pay etc has to be done!

gallicgirl Sat 13-Apr-13 22:57:29

Do you have someone who can do emergency child care?
Once the child starts nursery they will very likely catch every cold and bug going and nursery will call you to come pick up your child. In my first year back after maternity leave I probably used 10-14 days of annual leave looking after a sick child. Luckily my employer is really flexible and DP could often rearrange rotas but if you're by yourself, you might struggle. If you don't have a support network who can help in an emergency, then start building one!

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 23:00:31

I don't doubt it will be stressful. However, many parents who are married and/or in relationships both work, particularly when the DCs are at school: I almost certainly would even if I had a spouse or partner because I have seen so many people (women) left in a very tricky financial position after giving up work and being unable to get back into employment then the marriages fall apart. Cynical maybe, but true.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 23:03:42

Gallic, no. No one whatsoever. grin

Am I mad? Yes, probably. Will that stop me? Unlikely. I have fixed holidays, no annual leave so would have to work around that somehow.

If the above sounds like I am being flippant, I'm not: it's just that I've come to realise that if I think of every possible scenario (and believe me, I have - what if its triplets, what if he or she has an illness or a disability, what if I have triplets and they all have a disability ...) then I'll never do it and that means never getting a chance to have a family of my own. Somehow that scares me more than any possible future situation.

I'll manage, somehow. It won't be easy but then I am a firm believer in nothing in life that means something being easy.

difficultpickle Sat 13-Apr-13 23:05:47

You also are entitled to a total of 13 weeks unpaid parental leave up to the age of 5. I used to use my annual leave for odd days and then use parental leave for holidays (most employers have a rule that PL has to be taken in one week blocks minimum). I made full use of that and miss it now ds no longer qualifies.

MummytoKatie Sat 13-Apr-13 23:06:00

Feb / March is a good time to have a baby as the 15 hours kicks in from the 1st Jan, 1st Apr or 1st Sept after their third birthday. Our NCT class was Late March / Early April and there are four of us on each side of the divide. Am very pleased that dd was 4 days early!

VelvetSpoon Sat 13-Apr-13 23:10:19

You will manage. There is something about knowing from the outset you will be doing it alone that makes it easier somehow, I know that was the case for me.

When I had DS1 I had no emergency childcare. I don't have any family, all my friends worked FT and none had DC. I couldn't get to any antenatal classes etc so never got to meet any other mums to be beforehand (although tbh it was such a 2 parent family area I would have felt uncomfortable going!). Within 2 weeks of going back to work, DS got seriously ill and admitted to hospital, and I had to take a week off work. Not the best start, but I figured after that it could only get better (and it did!)

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 23:13:39

Velvet I agree with that. I am a member of another forum and a number of ladies who have partners/spouses working shifts are complaining about how lonely they feel in the evening - bizarrely they are describing my 'normal' life! grin

I'm so glad your DS is better.

I don't doubt many challenges and obstacles will be set in my way but that's just life: you find a way over or around them. After all, we could all find hundreds of reasons not to have children but they mean nothing compared to the bleak thought of life never having had them.

difficultpickle Sat 13-Apr-13 23:15:38

I signed up for NCT classes but never got to them as ds arrived 7 weeks early (another possibility to add into the mix). I ended up meeting up with what should have been my group and some of them became my best friends and were my lifeline during what turned out to be the toughest time of my life (not child-related). I went to various mums and babies groups too but found it hard to fit in with the other mums and their wonderfully supportive husbands.

difficultpickle Sat 13-Apr-13 23:17:48

I'd also planned to go back to work when ds was 6 months old but couldn't as he was too ill and I had to get a bank loan to fund my ML (I couldn't live on £0 income). As you are planning ahead I would plan to cover a year's ML even if you choose not to take it all.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 23:23:09

Have done so bisjo which, along with saving for fertility treatment was no mean feat, believe me. I've planned and accounted for what I can plan for and account for.

Sorry to hear your DS was unwell flowers

difficultpickle Sat 13-Apr-13 23:28:35

The other thing to plan is that you really won't be able to plan everything. Things will happen and you will just have to work out how to deal with them and sometimes you will be faced with almost impossible decisions to make. The hardest thing about being a single parent is having to make every decision about everything yourself.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 23:35:06

I agree, with the first part at any rate. I think your second point though is one that highlights the difference between making an active choice to go it alone, from conception onwards, and those who find themselves in a situation not of their making, even those who split with their DCs father while in the early stages of pregnancy.

In all honesty, I'd rather make decisions myself (and without wanting to sound conceited, I'm an intelligent person and the decisions I make are usually sound ones) than have to consult with somebody else who may not share my opinions or agree that something is or is not the right thing to do. Yes, it's easier to share things and so on IF the person you are in a relationship with is a kind, rational and sensible person but all too often they are not as just a quick skim of the relationship board here shows.

VelvetSpoon Sat 13-Apr-13 23:37:42

Thethings you have a great attitude to it all. I think it's all as complicated as you want to make it. As you say, you can't plan for every contingency.

I always had a couple of back up plans, so when I was pregnant with DS1, I saved lots, so I could cover 6 months off work easily, 12 months at a push (I was leaving the job I had at the time, so no mat pay etc, and no job to go back to, but I figured if I started looking soon enough, I'd find something inside 12 months).

Plan was if after about 9 months I hadn't found anything I would do evening/weekend work or deliver leaflets or whatever, and ultimately I knew I could always sell my house and get a flat or whatever if I really needed never came to that but it reassured me knowing that there were alternatives if my initial plans didn't work out.

VelvetSpoon Sat 13-Apr-13 23:41:09

I agree TOTALLY re the decisions thing.

I was on my own with DS1 completely, his father has never met him.

I was with DS2's dad for several years.

Whilst yes on one level it was nice having another pair of hands etc, it was much easier doing it all alone. I didn't have help, but nor did I have criticism, or to discuss what I was doing and why, to try and agree decisions or negotiate over them. It's much harder when you have to consider another person's opinion, especially if that person is completely unreasonable

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 23:41:48

Thanks Velvet that does mean a lot smile I do have a flat (ha! one room, a shower and a kitchen you couldn't swing a cat in!) I own outright but I generate a small income from rent in that. The plan is for that to go in a savings account for the DC as well as finding fertility treatment in future for a brother or sister for DC1. Seems so strange to be thinking about DC2 but I would like more than one child ultimately. But, it will have to wait until DC1 is in school full time! grin

difficultpickle Sat 13-Apr-13 23:48:45

Decisions in abstract are fun. I have a job where I have to make decisions all day every day, some involving large amounts of responsibility.

None of the work decisions can compare to those I have had to make since ds was born, nowhere near. Not having anyone to share the responsibility of the hardest decisions you will ever make in your life is tough.

There are times when I would have loved to be able to share that burden with someone who had the same responsibility as me but there isn't anyone else and much as my family and friends love me they cannot do that for me. Having freedom to choose is not always a freedom.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sat 13-Apr-13 23:58:08

bisjo but again, I know that from the start, I am going into this with my eyes very wide open.

I really have done my research, over a year of it, in terms of the best method of getting pregnant and finding a clinic and selecting a route. I have had to deal with snooty receptionists, with being told what I should do with my body, with being on one occasion, lied to about cost - none of that has been easy

I have saved, and saved, and saved some more. I have taken on promotions at work (partly for me, admittedly, but also to generate enough income to allow me to comfortably support myself and a DC.) I have in those promotions taken on difficult and challenging roles. I have had to deal with awkward, non-compliant and rude colleagues and some extremely delicate situations, alone.

On a more personal level, I have moved house, alone, many times, bought and sold property, again alone, four times to date. I have dealt with the car breaking down in the middle of nowhere, with no signal on my mobile phone (bloody Welsh mountains! grin) alone. I have travelled alone. I have organised funerals (sadly) alone. I have been in hospital and dealt with serious illness including one painful operation, alone.

Why? Because I have a schizoid personality type and enjoyed it? Hardly! Because there was no other choice! I didn't enjoy it but then I didn't dislike it either, in the same way that one doesn't enjoy breathing, you just DO it! grin

I'm not sure if I should be reading between the lines for some sort of "don't do it, you will hate it" or whether you're just sharing your experiences but I think a lot of new mothers, those in a relationship and those who are not, find it hard. It WILL be hard but as I say, that just doesn't strike me as a reason not to do it when the alternative is not to have a child at all.

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Sun 14-Apr-13 00:08:51

OP you sound like me in many ways. Agree with you and Velvet it is much simpler to go it alone in many ways. Only rough bits are when you are ill with a small child - I had a tough time after an emergancy c-sect, followed by mastitis on top of what they thought was de quirvines (probably because tendons stretched in pg and I was doing so much heavy work). It was a tough first 6 months, but I knew I had done the right thing. DD is everything to me, and I think you will feel the same. I think Bisjo is just trying to make sure you have covered all of the negatives as well. As you probably know MN is not great at rose tinted glasses wink

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Sun 14-Apr-13 00:10:49

I should have said 'rough bits' rather than 'only rough bits' - lack of sleep and no lie in for nearly 2yrs is a bit annoying too especially when your friends boast about lie in's or nights out with their partners/parents looking after DC

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sun 14-Apr-13 00:14:10

Ah but I do heart mumsnet!

In my nightmares I have triplets, a c-section, at least one (usually all 3) have a disability - oh and the washing machine breaks!

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Sun 14-Apr-13 00:16:12

It always happens when you least need it to!
You will be fine. PM me if you ever want to chat about it, but you sound like you will cope fine.
Gingerbread is a good site for books and stuff too. Good luck. DD waking up so off to get her...

BlueberryHill Sun 14-Apr-13 08:41:27

I would never say don't do it, children are great. Good luck, most things can be worked through and a balance found. Do build a network of support, through ante natal groups, playgroups etc - some are awful but mostly I found that people were lovely and provided a couple of 'me too' moments that helped.

Would you have any support around the birth? If not, does anyone else have any advice, a doula on standby in case you do have a CS or a difficult birth?

Good luck it is worth it.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sun 14-Apr-13 08:56:20

Funnily enough I was doing a search on Mumsnet about giving birth alone - probably a bit premature because I haven't even had the treatment yet but never mind! Most of the ladies seemed to be in that position because their husbands had to look after their older children.

I did consider a doula but in all honesty funds are quite tight since obviously when I go off on ML I'll only have my maternity pay and also I think I'd feel a bit awkward having someone in the room with me for the duration - I would prefer I think to be on my own, apart from the midwives of course.

I do have friends who could help out in the immediate aftermath to give me a lift from the hospital home but most have their own jobs, partners and DCS so it could be a tricky one definitely.

You will make it work. I had the same income but bigger mortgage and a loan and credit car to pay as a single parent a few yrs back.

My monthly net pay was £2100 and £800 childcare plus the rest left me with just under £400 per month for food, clothing, any unexpected extras and the odd bottle of wine/takeaway with a friend.

I was pretty hard up but I just accepted that I wouldn't have nice stuff or holidays or anything frivolous. You get used to it! You just budget accordingly. Good luck!

bigkidsdidit Sun 14-Apr-13 09:32:10

it is astonishing how quickly you adjust. You know how you spend what you earn and if you get a payrise it just disappears because you soend more? It's the same the other way (assuming you have a decent income obviously). We have rent £950 and childcare £600, thought we were struglging but wanted DC2. When I go back to work in January we'll be paying £1300 in childcare shock

we don't go out any more, haven't had a holiday in years, shop at lidl, all that sort of thing. It's bearable when you have a timeframe (only 3 years between maternity leave and school...)

the good thing is, when the children go to school it'll be like winning teh lottery! imagine!

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 14-Apr-13 10:03:27


This isn't really an AIBU so we've moved it to Money Matters.

LouLouH Sun 14-Apr-13 10:15:13

Sorry I haven't read all replies so this may have been suggested already. Do you know anyone else that will be having theor baby at the same time as tou who lives near you? You could look into a nanny share although I would make sure they are ofsted registered as then they will have paediatric first aid, CRB checked, safeguarding/child protection training and food hygiene training. Also more often than not a childminder will be cheaper than a nursery and if you find the right one they will provide LO with all theyn need.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sun 14-Apr-13 10:25:16

Thanks Rowan; wondered where it had gone!

No, unfortunately Lou I'm not in that position. I feel uneasy about using a childminder due to a past experience (me, not one of my children of course) so it would have to be nursery for my own peace of mind.

LouLouH Sun 14-Apr-13 10:29:57

Oh that really is a shame sorry to have brought it up. Make sure you research into your chosen nursery thoroughly. A lot of regulations have changed since September to ensure of childrens welfare.

thethingsiforgotinfrance Sun 14-Apr-13 10:35:42

Oh no not at all! It wasn't anything huge, but it just has made me very aware that one adult in their own home with children who are very small has a lot of power and I know most would always behave professionally and kindly but I wouldn't be able to remove that worry.

The nursery is LOVELY smile

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