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TTC with no regular job?

(59 Posts)
DuddlePuck Sat 17-Nov-12 11:43:03

Long time lurker here! Been going back and forth on this in my mind and thought it'd be good to have some impartial advice...

We are not TTC yet - had 'the chat' with DH not long ago and he said he was as ready as me to have a baby, but wanted me to have a full time job with mat pay first.

I am a supply teacher so don't get great mat pay, but would be entitled to SMP, DH is in sales so his pay fluctuates. It's ok, but there's no way we could live on his pay alone.

Full time teaching takes over your life, and having seen other people go through pregnancies doing it I am in awe of anyone who can teach full time and keep a house in order and not go into total meltdown. The thought of applying for full time positions just to get mat pay also seems a lot little inconsiderate to the schools I would be applying to.

I have done lots and lots of sums (this is pretty much taking over my life at the moment) and worked out that if I can work my arse off for the next few months and save up £4,000 ish then I can in theory have 9 months off on SMP and go back to supply teaching part time afterwards.

Is this total insanity? Anyone in a similar position?

I know babies don't happen magically overnight, but I'm desperate to start trying as soon as possible - the idea was to get a job starting in Jan and start TTCing in the early summer...

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 11:56:36

You'd need to work ft for a year before you were entitled to the full package surely?
So take what you are legally entitled to, plus on your return you could negotiate a jobshare.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 17-Nov-12 12:03:03

If you can't afford to have a baby with the way things are at the moment, then you shouldn't be having one. You have to do what you need to do to get yourself into a position where you can afford it.

I agree that applying for jobs just for the maternity pay is inconsiderate not only to the schools, but the children who's class you would lead. If you are going to take a full time class just for maternity pay, then IMO you should be prepared to go back to the job afterwards. If you're sure you will only want to be a part time supply teacher afterwards (which could be difficult with the short notice to sort out childcare) then just keep doing what you are doing for long enough that you can save up the money you need.

nellysaidno Sat 17-Nov-12 12:04:29

Your DH sounds sensible, your plan sounds quite risky in the current climate. The problem with budgeting so tightly is that it often won't allow for unexpected events. Your pg may affect your health more than you expect, or your baby could have problems meaning you couldn't return to work quickly, or you could have twins, or your DH's pay could reduce more than you expect.

I wouldn't be too concerned about being inconsiderate to schools - these things are factored into their budgets, and it shouldn't surprise them if a woman of childbearing age goes on mat leave. There are other advantages with a permanent job - you can request flexible working, pension etc.

F/t teaching is demanding of course, but then so is dealing with a newborn, so you will have to work on those energy reserves! And your DH should be doing his bit to keep the house in order, it shouldn't be all down to you.

CoolaSchmoola Sat 17-Nov-12 12:11:29

I'm sure you have done all the sums - but believe me, there is no way you will have calculated the true cost of a baby. They are expensive - and a lot of those expenses are unforeseen. It's not just about equipment and clothes, although they are expensive enough, it's all the other little things that add up like they're going out of fashion.

My DH and I both had good, well paid jobs and we still found having DD a financial shock. And that was with doing all the sums, budgeting like fury and me getting a full maternity package.

That said we waited until we were in a position to afford it financially and then discovered I have PCOS. It took four years and a lot of treatment to conceive DD, so not sure I would have waited if I had known before hand.

You'll manage, people do - but and it's a big BUT - it is horrible being skint with a child. DH has just taken redundancy and due to us moving countries as a result I have had to leave my job too. Our income has more than halved overnight - and I feel sick thinking about how we're going to manage. I feel guilty every time I have to choose the cheaper option. Things will ease when I get a job - but for now, stressed to the max over money and it's not fun.

DuddlePuck Sat 17-Nov-12 12:15:24

Outraged, if I were to get a ft position I would def intend to go back, hopefully part time if possible. I'd have to work for pretty much a year before I went off, so would have to factor that into my plans too.

Nelly, I was waiting for someone to mention DHs contributions! He works 8am-7pm six days a week. He is getting better at clearing up after himself, cooking occasionally etc, but I do cut him a fair bit of slack. and have accepted that the house will always be a tip

I just feel like I have been waiting forever, so I suppose I'm looking for any way at all that I can speed this up! I am not known for being patient!

ImperialBlether Sat 17-Nov-12 12:18:23

How old are you?

I'm a full time teacher and work with a lot of women. We've all had children and gone back to work. Not sure why you think that would lead to melt down. You're entitled to ask for a proportional job, ie .5 or .6 - you might find that more manageable.

If you are under 33 or so, I think you should definitely wait until you can afford a child.

CoolaSchmoola Sat 17-Nov-12 12:18:29

Our biggest single expense in the first couple of months was takeaways (yes you read that right!)

DH was working very long hours, I was so busy looking after Queen Reflux and cleaning up her oceans of puke (slept through from five weeks - barely napped) all day that I didn't have time to prep in advance and when he came in late we were both so knackered and starving that neither of us could muster the energy to actually cook a meal, so phoning pizza dude was the easiest only option if we wanted to eat.

We were spending between £30 and £40 a week - so up to £180 a month on junk. But it takes a while to get into a workable routine, and to not be knackered unless you have a baby that sleeps and naps too.

nellysaidno Sat 17-Nov-12 12:18:44

How old are you both? It sounds like it would be in your interests to wait, but as Coola says, you need to take into account the effect that might have on your fertility.

CremeEggThief Sat 17-Nov-12 12:25:22

I also think your age is a big factor in this, although it's difficult getting any sort of teaching work anyway sad.

DuddlePuck Sat 17-Nov-12 12:28:10

I'm not very old really blush at least in childbearing terms, not too far off the big 30 though. I know people have babies plenty older, but I'm thinking if we don't start for another 6 months or so, then it takes longer than expected, then I'd like two ideally... I have babyitis so badly I sometimes feel like my heads going to explode with all the plotting...

Imperial, I had a seriously shitty time last year, working full time, was thoroughly miserable and the thought of getting a job and going through that again makes me feel physically sick. I know you can visit, talk to staff etc, but you never really know what a place is like until you get there. It's also knocked my confidence a lot and I really don't feel good enough to take on a full time position. I guess there's more than one issue at play here...

Meh, thanks for the advice ladies, Especially about the cost of takeaways! Not something I'd even considered!

ImperialBlether Sat 17-Nov-12 12:42:10

OK I'm going to repeat what I've said before on these threads.

You are feeling broody. Having a child will not stop that. There are women on these boards with several children who still feel broody.

Once you have your baby you will probably find that you immediately want another. That's your hormones at play, just as they are now. Does that mean you would immediately get pregnant again? Some do.

Get to understand your body. Your body is producing hormones which make you want to get pregnant. If we didn't have those hormones, the human race would die out. The hormones don't consider whether it's a good time for you in your life, they don't know about your finances or your relationship.

Take charge of your body and don't be ruled by your hormones. Get your life in order. If you want to marry before having children, do that now. Get yourself a full time job; if you don't take to teaching, then try something else. Maybe you'd be happier as a classroom assistant or doing something completely unconnected to children. In my opinion it's good for you to work full time and have something to go back to when the children are born/older. Tackle that first.

Once your life is in order and you have a nice home, a stable and committed relationship, a full time job and some savings, think of having a child then.

DuddlePuck Sat 17-Nov-12 13:04:16

Um, while I get your point imperial, I am in control of my hormones, otherwise I would have stuck with the job I had before rather than retraining and would have hopefully been lucky enough to have a baby years ago. If you'd read the original post carefully you would have noticed that I am happily married, it was our choice to be married before starting a family, but wouldn't have been a deal breaker for me. We also have a house with a mortgage that isn't unmanageable, so apart from my job, most things are stable and committed.

I have considered becoming a teaching assistant, but as my annual income would be considerably less than what I make on supply (even taking holidays into account) I would consider that to be the less responsible option.

If I do decide to stick with supply we will not be TTC until I have adequate savings to cover at least 6 months of maternity. I suppose I was really looking for those with experience of having a baby whilst on an unreliable income.

loveroflife Sat 17-Nov-12 13:19:23

I say go for it! Life is too short and if you are coming up to 30 that is an ideal age, why don't you see what happens? I think on average it takes 9-12 months to conceive (need a reliable source though?) It took me 6 months with no.1 and over a year with no.2. The thing is you WILL survive - you have the best of 9 months to do extra shifts, get a second job if need be to save as much as you can and you still will be entitled to SMP - is that £500 pcm?

The thing is there is never an 'ideal' time to have a baby, one can never afford it and I do honestly think babies cost as much as you want them to cost. e.g beg, borrow and steal for hand me downs - don't BUY everything new. Get a buggy from birth from Ebay, breastfeed if you wish to save on formula. The only new things we bought were a mattress for cotbed (Amazon) and carseat and buggy. People can be very generous and if not go to the NCT second hand sales, charity shops and when dc is born just go to all the free classes like stay and play, singing at library etc.

Of course when the babies grow they do start costing more but again that is really controlled by you, how much you can afford and want to spend on classes, clothes, gadgets. Good luck.....

loveroflife Sat 17-Nov-12 13:22:23

Also, have you researched child tax credits, child benefit and see what you will be entitled to on your DH's salary - that I'm sure will help you.

AlwaysBizzy Sat 17-Nov-12 13:27:30 asked frr advice & was rude when Imperial offered hers. I refer to the 'if you'd read my post carefully' phrase, which was unecessary as Imperial was not being unkind. Perhaps you are too young and need to mature a little more 1st before having children.
I did none of the things Imperial suggests & whilst happy I started my family...i could have waited until life was more secure & stable.(I was 30 BTW).
This would have stopped me from going back to work when my child was 3 months old which broke my heart. Many years later, I still don't forgive myself for having done that. However, I am intelligent, headstrong & take full responsibility for my actions, financially & otherwise...but it was still my heart that broke.

blonderthanred Sat 17-Nov-12 13:42:27

DH and I waited. We kept saying, in a couple of years. When things are more settled. Then things were taken out of our hands and we had to wait a few more years for health reasons. Started trying age 34, conceived a year later, our beautiful baby was born 3 weeks ago and I'm now age 36.

We're still not rich, or even secure. We can make it work and eventually having a baby became more important than having everything perfectly in place. I would honestly have to say that I wish we'd done it years ago. Yes, having a baby with no money is not easy but it doesn't sound like you're on the poverty line and it seems like you've thought about how to make it work.

If you had a burning desire to get a ft teaching job and a happy side effect would be mat leave benefits, by all means go for it. But personally I would say don't put off something you know you want to pursue a route that might not work out how you are hoping, especially when the thing you really want might have unforeseen delays of its own.

honeytea Sat 17-Nov-12 13:44:33

I would say go for it and have a baby. I think it depends alot on what kind of parents you want to be, do you want to have a new full nursery set up and ever "educational" toy and new clothes and expensive baby photos and the "best" pram?

I disagree with those people who say babies are expensive, we are expecting our 1st in December and have spent very very little. We have nearly nothing new and we don't have lots of the things I see as extras like a swinging chair and lots of lovely outfits. Our baby will be warm and fed and loved and for us that is good enough. We have asked our families to give us baby things in place of birthday/christmas pressies we have been kindly given the car seat, sling and pram that way.

I think your idea of saving is a good one, don't feel worried about spending loads of cash on takeaways, if that isn't in your budget you just won't be able to spend it, frozen pizzas would be a cheaper alternative.

What would be your childcare plans once you go back to work? I would personally feel more worried about that cost that the cost of a new baby.

Viviennemary Sat 17-Nov-12 13:49:31

Won't it be difficult to get childcare if you are a supply teacher. That would be the thing that would worry me most. You could delay for two or three years I think considering you are under 30. Or even longer. If you decide to go ahead would private tutoring be an option instead of supply teaching.

DuddlePuck Sat 17-Nov-12 13:49:34

Lol, it says a lot about my state of mind that I am homing straight in on your post loving and ignoring the very valid and helpful advice of others!

I have always been very much 'make do and mend'. I have a few friends who have offered their baby stuff ( whilst doing the standard 'you'll be next' comment...), and everything else will come from eBay/free cycle etc except the absolute essentials. I am also starting some evening work, it's not much but will give me about £100 a month that I have earmarked as the baby fund.

To make myself feel better, I think I'll tell myself that April is our 'start date' and then reassess finances before we actually start trying... Does that sound fairly responsible?

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 17-Nov-12 13:56:46

I love the fact that people say babies are not expensive!! Childcare alone can eat up a hefty chunk of a salary without food, clothes etc. you only have to look on he for posts moaning about costs of new shoes, childcare, school events etc.

Your DH is being sensible, finances should always enter the planning of a baby. If you truly want one then why would working full time before out you off.

honeytea Sat 17-Nov-12 13:57:02

The only things you need new are the car seat and cot matress, ebay is great for bundles of baby clothes and in my experience you get flooded with gifts and secondhand clothes.

My other advice is to start shopping/collecting things as soon as you find out your pregnant, i know some people like to wait till after the 20 week scan to make sure everything is ok and maybe find out if its a boy or girl. I found we saved loads buying stuff in the sales, things like a snow suit/pram suit were a couple of pounds reduced from 20/30 pounds in the spring sales.

DuddlePuck Sat 17-Nov-12 13:57:34

And I apologise imperial if I came across as being rude, I felt a little put out that it seemed to be assumed that certain aspects of my life which I consider to be stable and committed were the opposite. As general advice though, I do appreciate the statement that it is wise to have as much as possible in order before starting a family. If as a couple marriage and a mortgage are important to you (and they are to us) then it will certainly be a lot simpler to do that first.

maybenow Sat 17-Nov-12 14:03:09

I am freelance and so will only ever get SMP - I am saving like crazy and am going to ease into working a lot sooner than I would have if I were full-time employed. I think i'll probably only take about three months off totally, then do my KIT days then go back at about six months (but 'back' means back to my desk in the house so even if we haven't sorted weaning or whatever that should be ok, i will try to find a cm very close to my house or if worst comes to worst i'll work evenings and weekends while Dh does childcare).

If you get pregnant still working supply, will you be able to do that right up to due date? Or will it get too hard? When will you go back to supply shifts? I'm guessing that they can be quite lucratiave compared to a staff job? So will it mean you can work fewer days?

jellybeans Sat 17-Nov-12 14:03:40

I would say go for it. We started with nothing but were very young (teenagers). Things have only got better. I am a SAHM but worked f/t with first. Love working and love having kids but not both at same time! Part time is no option for me due to DH's job so I SAH and love it. I do study and volunteer though to keep links going should I want/need to work. I agree that childcare could swallow most of a second income. Have you looked into tutoring etc and maybe you could work around your partners job? It's often never a 'right time' to have a baby. I sadly know a few who waited for the right time and now it is too late or they are tied to two incomes full time and long for one to cut back or stay home.

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