Talk to me please about having a 2nd DC - finances, practicalities etc(10 Posts)
Me & DH have a 14m old DS and have always wanted to have 2 DC. Now we're thinking about trying but I'm worried that we maybe need to think it through a bit more.
I don't believe you should overthink these things but at the same time I don't want to go diving in & find that having 2 is a strain financially & practically. On the flip side I know there are people out there with 3,4,5 kids that make it work.
Situation is complicated by my work in that I commute 2hrs each way so 3 days a week I don't see DS & DH has to do nursery drop/pick up/dinner/bed/other household stuff. Financially I'm about to reach a point where the cost of my commute is going to rise to the point of wondering if it's worth it. However my job is specialised & if I want to get something closer to home I'd need a whole new career change. Also not worth changing jobs before get pregnant eh? If I want maternity pay.
Also, with 2 x nursery fees how does anyone afford it??
Is having more children one of these 'just do it' situations that works itself out in the end?? I would appreciate some 'been there done that' advice please - both good & bad!
I really don't think it should be a "just do it" tbh. I have 2 and am in the fortunate position of being able to afford nursery fees. I also only commute 45 mins, but my job means I miss bedtimes at least once a week.
Practically, you adjust to finding ways of managing 2. Though I have to say having a bigger gap is easier from what I've seen. We have 2y10m and it's great, friends with a smaller gap have had some horrific bedtimes when coping solo. How you cope v much depends on the personality of dc2. If you get a jealous toddler and a refluxy non-sleeping high needs baby your life will be pretty horrific for a while.
Nursery fees are also easier once the free 15 hours kick in at age 3. Before that it often doesn't cost any more to have a nanny, and this can work much better from a logistics perspective. Dealing with illness in both obviously doubles the amount of parental leave and they give each other the bugs too.
To me, it's not just the money now but budgeting for education, school trips, holidays, university fees for 2. The initial costs are fine, it's childcare and later stuff.
I wouldn't rush to give up work, but that commute doesn't sound sustainable. Once the kids are older they may start to resent you not being there half the week. If you wait for mat leave you'll almost certainly have to return for a period afterwards?
So, if you have financial concerns, I'd do a budgeting check and then consider waiting til dc1 will get the free hours, and perhaps use that time to look at other job options or do the retraining while you work if possible?
Good luck. Fwiw I think you're taking a v sensible and responsible approach rather than just following gut feeling.
I have 2 but have a bigger gap between them than I wanted (3.9 years) however, financially having that bigger gap is a godsend as I've taken a years mattie leave now, which means I'll only have 3 weeks of double childcare fees when I return to work as DS1 will be starting school (I'll pay the CM for an hour in the morning for him, and DS2 will be at CM for 5 mornings a week).
I leave very early for work so my DH will have to do bfast and get both of them out the house and dropped at CM for 8am, he's been dreading this for months! But he will cope (as he'll have to) and with our older being more independent it should be fine.
A smaller gap would have been financially hard for us in terms of childcare fees, but we have savings and we'd have probably used them up until the eldest started school.
I'm not worrying about future uni fees / holidays at all just now, those are worries for a different time IMO, but I'm a bit laidback about stuff generally. I would love number 3 (although fertility issues may make that unlikely) which would be a financial disaster for us (and probably a practical nightmare for me in the early years) - but I keep thinking I'll be working for the next 25 years or so anyway, so plenty of time to get back on track...
I love love love having 2 though, and despite the age gap, DS1 adores his 10 month old brother (and vice versa) and while the bigger gap means they won't be playing games together on an equal footing, once they're a bit older it won't be so much of an issue.
For us the only issue is nursery fees. They only go part time but bill is £2000 a month
Otherwise I find its far easier as permentant playmate. However we have a much smaller gap. Ds1 was 15 months when ds2 was born
Hmm yes I have to admit it's nursery fees that is one of my top concerns. DS only goes part time too but the bill is big enough!
Would be ok to leave more of a gap before DC2 but DH is 40 next yr & don't think he want to hang about much longer!
u32ng - I'm 42 with a 10 month old - not what I'd have chosen, but you don't always get to choose when you have your children - I dye my hair though to keep looking young... ;-p
Hi, just wanted to let you know that if you stayed in your current job until you went on mat leave, you don't have to return afterwards and you'd still be entitled to all your mat pay from your current employer. They have a legal right to pay your maternity pay from beginning to end if your still in their employment when mat leave starts. You just have to give them the normal notice period while your on mat leave that you wouldn't be going back afterwards!
Jo - with respect that may not be true. Plenty of companies offer additional maternity pay which comes with a requirement to return for a period of time.
I have to go back for 3 months otherwise I have to pay back a chunk of my mat pay.
OP - I think it's wise to plan as best you can, but remember no one ever has quite enough money for a baby.
Yeah I'm pretty sure I'd have to go back to work for 3 months afterwards, unfortunately!
Assuming you accept the enhanced package, of course. Nothing to stop you taking just the statutory amount and not going back afterwards, if preferred.
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