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to ask how many mums out there can actually afford to go to work?

(203 Posts)
tinky19 Wed 14-Sep-11 12:51:05

Ok, so I'll start by saying I'll win all prizes for ignorance with this but please bear with me.
DS is 16mo and DC2 is due in Dec. Now, up until my maternity leave starts we have been very fortunate to have GPs looking after DS so I have worked 3 days a week.
DH has now got a new job so we are moving 250 mile away from all family sad and having looked into child care, I've realised we can't afford for me to work. It's not like I have a badly paid job (I'm a teacher) but at most after paying childcare I'd have £100 a month left from my pay.
Now I know some mums would choose to work anyway but unless I'm really makibng an extra contribution, I'd rather be at home with me children.
So how do people afford it? Are you all high powered, high earners? This is a genuine question and I'm not critising anybodies choice to be a working mum or SAHM.

squeakytoy Wed 14-Sep-11 12:54:21

I can understand how disheartening it is, but once your children are at school, the situation will change anyway, and being a teacher is surely an advantage with term time etc.

It is also not just your pay though that should be taken into account, if your husband is earning more by moving away, his salary should be added into the equation.

£100 more a month is better than nothing though especially if going out to work is what you actually want to do.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 14-Sep-11 12:55:58

For a start, many treat child-care costs as a shared expense rather than something that comes solely out of 'her' wages'. Why is it £100 left from your pay but he gets to keep all his? hmm And then there's the long-term consideration... if you're planning to continue your career after the children go to school it's often better to tolerate the child-care costs short-term than stay at home for a few years and then struggle to re-enter the job market at the same paygrade. I'm a single parent on a reasonable salary but, in the early days, I used to sub my income from my savings.

SeaChelles Wed 14-Sep-11 12:57:43

I can afford it at the moment. Although, we only have one DS at the minute - we can't have DC2 until DS free childcare hours kick in or he goes to school - as in true catch 22 styley we can't afford two kids in child care but also cannot afford for me NOT to work to look after them full time.

I currently work 30 hours a week. And am lucky enough to work one of those days from home, which is challenging looking after a 1 year old and working but it seems to work for now....

Woodifer Wed 14-Sep-11 12:58:03

Also think about your pension as well as re-entering the job market.

tinky19 Wed 14-Sep-11 12:59:22

Well, personally £100 for me doesn't seem worth it as I would rather be with my children. I am just genuinely quite surprised at the cost (as I said - very ignorant I know)
Of course DH salary comes into it but he be continuing with work regardless so it's my salary-childcare or no salary from me IYSWIM.

knittedbreast Wed 14-Sep-11 12:59:23

hi i am not a high earner

i get round it by working 5.30-8pm from my (mums) house in the eves and at work at the weekends. i hardly see my children and its really rushed all time. now i am dropping sundays but still working sats from home. more time with little ones yay! i take my eldest to school. collect him prepare dinner listen to him read, sometimes i even get to eat with them before work!

its hard but i feel its right too

Rhian82 Wed 14-Sep-11 12:59:53

I can afford it, but we only have one child, and don't plan on having more. Nursery is expensive, but as long as I earn more per day than we pay out, we need the money.

redfairy Wed 14-Sep-11 13:00:25

Squeaky's right...look on it as a means to an end. I was in the 'fortunate' position of being a single parent when my DS was small so nursery fees were pretty much covered by childcare tax credits. Now I am married and pay full cost childcare DS is at school so wraparound care is cheaper. I still do find school holiday care really stings though.

cjbartlett Wed 14-Sep-11 13:00:55

Well presumably you weighed all this up before your dh went for his new job away from the free childcare?

cory Wed 14-Sep-11 13:00:59

If you are £100 pounds better off every month then clearly you can afford to work. Whether you want to is a different matter.

Don't forget to factor in your pension/higher chances of promotion if you stay in the job/difficulties of going back to the job later etc. I carried on working part-time though I was actually losing money (the CM earned more than me), because I calculated it would pay off in the long run- and it has. My children are now at secondary school=no childcare costs, I still have a job and get to keep all the money.

Are you looking at the most economical childcare options? We found nursery was beyond our means, but had some very good childminders over the years.

squeakytoy Wed 14-Sep-11 13:01:26

But your husband should be contributing to the cost of HIS childrens childcare.. why should it just be your wage that covers it?

worraliberty Wed 14-Sep-11 13:01:31

I didn't read it as the childcare costs come out of the OP's wages...more that, that's how much extra will be coming into the household after childcare costs are taken out.

It's swings and roundabouts no matter whose 'wages' it comes out of...they're still left with £100 extra per month.

soverylucky Wed 14-Sep-11 13:01:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ginmakesitallok Wed 14-Sep-11 13:02:08

We can only afford it because I have a very helpful and wonderful MIL who looks after DD2 and does the school run for the 3 days a week I work

moondog Wed 14-Sep-11 13:02:30

It's interesting isn't it ,this sense of entitlement where a job has to fit around one's personal tick list of priorities and not vice versa?

squeakytoy Wed 14-Sep-11 13:02:42

It also may be worth considering having a live in nanny if you have the room in your new house. That can often be a heck of a lot cheaper than nursery fees.

tinky19 Wed 14-Sep-11 13:02:43

Just to clarify, it's not DH's money, all money we earn is shared, I'm saying that as a couple we'd be £100 a month better off if I worked.
Woodifer, a good point about the pension and re entering job market situation, and that will be a big consideration.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 14-Sep-11 13:06:03

worraliberty.... we know that's what they mean but the way it's expressed always comes across as childcare costs having to be covered by mum's wages. It's a subtle way in which women are made to see themselves as 'sole child carer' ... with the responsibility to either finance it themselves or do it themselves.

ladyintheradiator Wed 14-Sep-11 13:06:34

What cjbartlett asks - and as pointed out if you come out of work in profit then of course you can afford it.

Fuzzled Wed 14-Sep-11 13:06:48

I looked into childcare and while DH and I share all our funds, it would mean that after paying for it (based on old hours) my salary going into the pot would be virtually wiped out and we'd never see DS.
Going part time would actually mean we'd be worse off as my salary would be exceeded based on additional travel costs (as opposed to DH dropping me off).

Luckily my job means that I can work from home part time (with trips into the office once a month or so) and DH taking a day off every 2 months for me to have a full day at work. My work has really nice people smile

As DH gets older and goes to school, my workload will increase.

I truly have the best of both worlds. <thankful emoticon>

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 14-Sep-11 13:07:35

"after paying childcare I'd have £100 a month left from my pay."
Not 'our income', not 'our shared money'.... you see how conditioned you are?

tinky19 Wed 14-Sep-11 13:08:54

No, I don't see myself as the sole child carer at all. It's just the mathematics of it.

LilBB Wed 14-Sep-11 13:08:58

I've just worked out that childcare is 18% of mine and DHs take home pay. We both earn similar amounts, not high earners but not low either. Unless childcare is the same as or more than one of our wages we will both work. I enjoy work though and I enjoy having a comfortable amount of money. If you don't want to work and you can afford not to then don't.

larks35 Wed 14-Sep-11 13:10:17

I'm a teacher and went back part-time initially and DS went to a CM. We were more like £600-700 pm better off especially as CM doesn't charge for school hols (when I obviously look after DS). I'm now full-time and DS is with CM full-time, I get childcare vouchers and we're now about £1200-£1300 pm better off (thank god as DP is getting no work at all at the mo). Am expecting again now and will return FT after maternity as it is the only way we can afford to live at the mo!
Am main-scale teacher btw no tlr. Where are you moving too? Have you looked at CM or just (usually more expensive) nurseries?

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