New lone parent - how do I manage childcare?(3 Posts)
Long post, but don't want to drip feed...
I've recently separated from my husband due to his MH issues - it may be permanent or not; I'm not quite sure. The more immediate problem is childcare and finances. He is unemployed and has no income, so I am the sole breadwinner. I currently rent an expensive 2 bed flat in London and that and the nursery fees for my 2 year old takes up a good 2/3 of my income. I have a good job with good prospects, but it does entail travelling and my prospects are dependent on my flexibility to do said travelling. My husband has previously been able to cover pick ups and drop offs and the occasional overnight stay, but I think it would be best for us to have some space and boundaries while we work out where to go from here.
I think I ideally need an au pair to provide the wraparound nursery care, but don't have the space for one. I could move to a 3 bed property, but the additional cost plus an au pair's wages would leave me struggling. I have a decent cash deposit to buy, though not a 3 bed in this area, so I'd probably have to move DC's nursery and the transport links for 5am train journeys are likely to not be as good. The more radical option is to move back up north - I have family who are there part of the time, but, more importantly, I could afford to buy a really decent property and save a chunk of money every month, plus afford live in help. Renting up there is less of an option, as the city I'm looking at has pretty high rental prices, possibly because of all the Londoners that have gone there!
My preference is for the last option - quality of life, much less financial pressure and the opportunity to finally own my own home rather than paying extortionate SE London rental prices - but my husband feels it will cause huge trauma to our child, plus he will obviously have less visibility. My main concern, of course, is for our child. Is this going to be hugely stressful for them? Am I being selfish even considering this? I would say they are generally a pretty robust personality - very outgoing and have been used to a variety of caregivers through nursery - but maybe this is too much for a 2 year old. And if I do this, and my husband and I manage to reconcile next year, and we decide to come back to London, will it cause them even more distress?
I guess the question is - WWYD if you were me?
One thing I have learned after my wife left me and the kids is you can never put a price on the value of family and living close to them. We have lived all over and I am so lucky to have moved back home close to my family before she walked. I would find it very difficult without them. Remember when a parent leaves to household you take a significant loss to your recourses to raise kids. But when family live near each other there is nothing they cant achieve as a collective. Family is always stronger and able to help each other when they are within a few miles of each other.
I would say there is a lot of potential benefit to moving out of London and where the pressure is less and your money will go much further. But you are right to consider the fathers rights. Also the impact that moving away from the father will have. It is important they see him. If you were to move away how would their unemployed dad be able to afford to visit it them? Would you take them to see him at his cost? Maybe he would benefit from moving out of London too and close to the kids if you did move?
There is loads to way up. But remember priories. I would say the main one would be living with a parent who is stress free and more financially comfortable. Also don't under estimate the value the kids would have from being around the rest of their family rather than isolated in London. Food for thought anyway.
if you move away from the father of your kids, who is going to be taking care of them when you travel? If you are going away over night regularly you need a nanny, an au pair is not supposed to be left taking the whole children responsibility for long periods.
I think that there are some benefits on moving near to your family, especially if your ex is not pulling his weight and you are experiencing financial hardship (which I assume you are not, as you have some good savings) , but I don't think it would be in the interest of your kids to stay in that job, which will support this move, if you are parenting on your own.
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