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To not get F/T childcare because DH doesn't earn enough to cover it?

(46 Posts)
MummytoMog Fri 23-Nov-12 14:36:52

To insist that we can’t afford FT childcare unless DH earns more money? I earn basically twice as much as he does, but after tax, NI, tube fare, Student Loans, Mortgage and bills we have about £500 of my salary left each month. Now, OH is a self-employed musician type so his income is massively variable, but generally is about another £1500 a month (before the whacking great tax bills we forget about EVERY year and really struggle to pay because we’re hideously disorganised). But we don’t know when it’s coming in, when he will have work and when not etc, so it makes organising childcare pretty difficult.

We’re getting someone full time (actually more like eleven hours a day EEP) for January because he has a particular job on, but normally we get people through likeminders, or have the kids at our childminder, who is happy to have them on ad hoc days. OH is being incredibly whiny at the moment because he’s ‘stressed’ and has ‘so much on’. The only person who controls how much work he has is him. I have told him this. Every time he gets overcommitted and me and the DCs suffer his bad temper and general prickishness. I understand the desire to take every bit of work being offered because you don’t know where the next job is coming from, but when he is ‘working’, he’s also eating long lunches, going out for runs and messing about on twitter and facebook. Which is fine, except when you’re paying someone £10 an hour to look after your children so you can ‘work’.

Anyway, he is now saying that he is ‘so busy’ that we’ll need someone full time permanently. Erm, not on your salary mate! It would cost us around £1500-£2000 a month to have the kids in full time childcare. Last year, which was a good year, he cleared £27k before tax and NI. If his work doesn’t pay him enough to cover this, then it sucks to be him. Maybe he should have done something useful with that Oxford degree and got a proper job.

AND he doesn’t do the laundry, the cleaning, tidy up after the kids or anything useful around the house when he’s at home during the week. Oh, actually he will put a nappy wash on, but only because it’s unavoidable. Last night I got home to find that DD had wee’d on the sofa, and he’d just left the sopping covers and cushions on there. It smelt like a urinal in the living room. [I know this is irrelevant but my BFF has suffered enough]

StuntGirl Fri 23-Nov-12 14:39:49

Blimey, what are his good points?

OneMoreChap Fri 23-Nov-12 14:49:21

I agree. It's so much more sensible having your money and his money. Why anyone ever thinks that family income is a good thing is beyond me. hmm

Having said that WTF is he doing not pulling his weight. Maybe he'd be better learning to live on his own and then come back when he realises how lucky he is. If you want him back.

Nah, LTB.

SpringierSpaniel Fri 23-Nov-12 14:53:38

Do a spreadsheet of income and expenditure to demonstrate your point.

Show 2 separate income columns (1 for you and another for him) and allow for all tax/NI being deducted from yours and estimate tax at 20% plus NI at say 6% on his net earnings which he will be due to pay also and his flat rate NI at £2.65/week to give net income then deduct travel expenses and any other costs of doing your job.

Then split all childcare 50/50 and allocate them to each persons column on the spreadsheet.

This then gives your respective contributions to the household budget. Allocate mortgage and all household costs 50/50 across the 2 columns and see what you are left with. Take out savings etc 50/50 unless they are going into personal accounts and ditto with pension contributions.

When you can see how much each of you is putting into the pot it might prove the basis for a more detailed discussion on family finances and childcare arrangements.

Does he work evenings and weekends as you will be providing free childcare for him then in addition to the weekday childcare already paid for ?

hairytale Fri 23-Nov-12 14:54:23

Yes what are his good points?

ClippedPhoenix Fri 23-Nov-12 14:59:16

Blimey he's coming across as a right lazy entitled manchild there OP.

MyLastDuchess Fri 23-Nov-12 15:00:27

Sounds fair enough to me. We have a similar setup, our DS has 2 set days a week at the creche, and when a big job comes in then we have almost always been able to get extra days at the creche for him (biggest one so far was for 6 weeks, they could only offer 4 days per week but we just made it work).

I think your attitude that he should do the child care because he doesn't earn as much is a bit unrealistic, but my DP and I have the basic understanding that paid work trumps unpaid work when it comes to who does the child care. Not as a value judgement, just because we have to pay the rent. We share all our money though, what there is of it.

AThingInYourLife Fri 23-Nov-12 15:00:46


There's no money for full-time childcare.

Where does he imagine you're going to pluck it from?

expatinscotland Fri 23-Nov-12 15:04:43

The laziness at home would be enough to make me see red. Sorry, but it's not helping or helping out and one is not 'lucky' to have a partner who pulls their weight. That's what it is: doing your fair share in life and that includes work generated by the children you chose to have with someone.

Cherylkerl Fri 23-Nov-12 15:05:30


LessMissAbs Fri 23-Nov-12 15:10:29

Yes, whats the point of him?

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 23-Nov-12 15:11:41

Well, I was all ready to say YABU. The childcare covers both of you and if his job is badly paid it's not his fault. However, I have two points. One is that using childcare to faff about is stupid. Two is NEVER MARRY A MUSICIAN. I speak from bitter experience. I know it is too late now except it isn't, I divorced mine.

EuroShagmore Fri 23-Nov-12 15:16:00

This makes me so glad I didn't marry the muso who proposed to me.

I don't think it's appropriate to only consider his salary in terms of childcare costs. You are both the child's parents. But his laziness around the house is completely unacceptable.

MummytoMog Fri 23-Nov-12 15:17:10

He does have good points (although I struggle to remember what they are from time to time) but he has this incredible sense of entitlement about the kids, that people should help him out with them. So he'll go to a party with the kids, and expect other people to keep an eye on them, or we'll go to his parents and he will basically ignore the kids while I/in laws make sure they don't get eaten by the dog etc. He does have to keep working, as his career wouldn't survive a break for a few years, so becoming a stay at home parent isn't an option for him (although I do think longingly of it now and then). What I've been thinking of suggesting is two days a week at the childminder and more as we need it. We're probably spending about that in an ad hoc way and if he promised to be more organised about 'meetings' (honestly, four hours childcare for a production meeting does not strike me as good value for money) and only had them on childminder days, then it might work out ok.

Yes he works in the evening. Basically I get home between 6-7, having left at 8 am and then do dinner, bath, bed, tidy and laundry while he works (or goes out, because he of course still gets to see his friends while I have to make arrangements weeks in advance which still get cancelled because the assumption is that I will do all childcare in evenings and at weekends). At the weekends it's more of the same basically, he works all day Saturday and Sunday and generally Sunday evening as well and will then get home at eleven and insist that 'he has to eat something'. Because he's never organised enough to eat before a show and it apparently makes him 'really sleepy'.

He does nice things, he does nice things, I like him really, I like him really. He puts up with my bad temper, he gets the wood in, he feeds the chickens, he cleans the bathroom (badly), he cleans the cooker, he mows the lawn, he takes the kids for long walks, he doesn't mind when I spontaneously buy ridiculous furniture, he hoovers now and then, he cooks dinner more than I do.

expatinscotland Fri 23-Nov-12 15:18:18

He wants to get the kids out of the way so he can go on long lunches, runs and Twitter/Facebook, he can pay proportionally for it. Otherwise, well, you can't get blood out of a stone.

The temper tantrums would peeve me, too. Life's rough.

PhilipLarkinwasright Fri 23-Nov-12 15:20:31

Cocklodger. A masterful assessment.

LarkinSky Fri 23-Nov-12 15:20:52

Tricky, would ft childcare improve his earnings overall, help push his income up a bracket? If so it might be worth the investment. However, if you only have £500 left each month won't he be paying for the childcare from his earnings? Or is it just a theoretical question? He does sound very lazy though, and should pull his weight on housework.

expatinscotland Fri 23-Nov-12 15:21:51

'What I've been thinking of suggesting is two days a week at the childminder and more as we need it. We're probably spending about that in an ad hoc way and if he promised to be more organised about 'meetings' (honestly, four hours childcare for a production meeting does not strike me as good value for money) and only had them on childminder days, then it might work out ok.'

He promises? WTF? If you know they go to childminder those days, then those are the days you're available for meetings. End of!

Don't 'suggest' jack shit! It's 2 days at childminder, that is plenty if he's working mostly evenings and weekends.

ethelb Fri 23-Nov-12 15:30:29

£27K from music isn't bad money tbh.

So I don't really beleive he is doing nothing.

expatinscotland Fri 23-Nov-12 15:32:54

She said that was exceptional, however, and of course varies but it typically £1500/month before taxes and NI.

MrsMangoBiscuit Fri 23-Nov-12 15:35:22

OneMoreChap, it's all well and good having joint finances. That doesn't mean one partner gets to use all the disposable income to cover their share of the childcare, without ensuring it's financially viable. If the OPs DH needed more childcare to be able to further his career, or to increase their income, I could understand it. But it sounds like it's just because he's not making the most of the time he has.

MummytoMog Fri 23-Nov-12 15:36:38

He's not doing nothing, he does work really really hard. He just does it in a rubbish way so that instead of getting all his work done when I am free to look after the kids, or when we have booked childcare, he ends up doing it in the evenings when it might be nice to spend time together without him having to email or programme, or we end up getting ad hoc childcare because he's gone out to town for a meeting which has taken an extra three hours of prebooked childcare because he's stopped off to see a mate on the way home so he hasn't had a chance to finish a job off.

I know he thinks it's unfair because I have lunch hours and can nip out to the shops in them, have coffee breaks and basically have down days when it's quiet, but that's the nature of my job. I also have to get up an hour earlier than him every morning at least, go to work monday to friday whether it's busy or not and not get home before seven most of those days.

Or he does work for free for his brother, or for cheap for his mates. Which is fine when he's free, but not fine when he's doing it in time he could be doing paid work and then getting childcare for the time he then needs to do that paid work.

LiegeAndLief Fri 23-Nov-12 15:42:03

In general I disagree with the notion that the person who earns less must earn enough to cover the childcare should they be at work. However, if you're going for long lunches and runs, that's not working.

You're very lucky to have the ad hoc childcare. Maybe you could pretend the childminder is no longer happy to do this? (although you'd hope he would be mature enough to sort this out without resorting to something like that). What would he do if you didn't have ad hoc childcare?

Re the going out thing - you have a calendar. If you're going out, you write this on the calendar. This should then be treated as if it were written in fire and blood and does not get changed for anything. His night out does not trump your night out if yours was on the calendar first.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 23-Nov-12 15:45:28

OP does he understand your family's budget in any way?

MummytoMog Fri 23-Nov-12 15:54:37

No. He doesn't. Because we don't have one, despite my begging and pleading that we sit down and sort one out, rather than use the enormous credit card when we run short [he still borrows money from his parents].

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