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To think it's crazy to work for a loss of money

(95 Posts)
AsongforEurope Mon 10-Aug-15 22:40:16

I know it will only be for a year or so and I need to think about career prospects for the future but I'm soon to end mat leave, I have 3 dc's under 3 and I have worked it out, I will be returning to work and I will be quite considerably out of pocket. It's crazy. I can't afford to be paying to go to work but I don't want to loss my independence. My return to work will also mean my DP will have to do drop offs and pick ups as my part time contract means I work long hours the days I work. He will have to drive to two nurseries (the first, cheaper nursery doesn't take children until they are two). These nurseries are 10 miles apart (rural location) so he won't get to work until late and has to leave early and will have to make the hours up on a Saturday. Just can't see it working despite the fact I want it to. Any advice?

lostinikea Mon 10-Aug-15 22:43:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Seriouslyffs Mon 10-Aug-15 22:43:35

Is it in a industry where career breaks are unheard of or very damaging? From what you've written it would be madness, yes. Could you not employ a Nanny for a similar cost? At lease you'd be working, the children wouldn't have the long days and your husband wouldn't have to work Saturday?

19lottie82 Mon 10-Aug-15 22:44:19

Surely when deciding to have 3DC in such quick succession, you must have been aware of the total cost of childcare?

Purplepoodle Mon 10-Aug-15 22:44:19

I worked because I wanted too not financial viability (and I'd never get back into the same job which was main deciding factor).

However I wouldn't be having kids in daycare so far apart it sounds like a logistical nightmare

AsongforEurope Mon 10-Aug-15 22:47:01

19lottie82 twins! I earn what I thought was fairly good money and that it's not affordable to work is so demoralising.

reddaisy Mon 10-Aug-15 22:47:24

You have to see childcare costs as a family cost that you both have to bear the brunt of.

My youngest is a September baby so we will have had five years on very low income before he goes off to school but then I will be able to continue my career and my friend's who gave up work are struggling to get even remotely comparable jobs back.

It does suck but it is how it is. Have you checked out the website entitledto to see if you can get any kind of top ups?

Husbanddoestheironing Mon 10-Aug-15 22:48:50

You probably have already but could you look at other childcare options? Childminders near the eldest's nursery? It all depends on how you see the future panning out really and whether you can afford it, want to, and whether you will be forever unable to work again in a job you like if you take a break? Or would you be able to train to do something else? Some fields just don't work with a career break. Painful paying for the 'privilege' of working though. I only broke even for 2 years but that was bad enough (and only did it as I work in a very specific area and liked it)

AsongforEurope Mon 10-Aug-15 22:49:20

We do look at the costs as a family but it still bears out that I'm paying to go to work, whichever way we look at it.

Purplepoodle Mon 10-Aug-15 22:50:40

Have you worked out childcare vouchers/tax credits? If your twins are the younger at the more expensive nursery I would consider putting other child there too or looking at a childminder.

There's no point doing and getting horribly stressed as a family.

Alanna1 Mon 10-Aug-15 22:50:49

Fungers crossed for you. If you can afford it by your DH cross-subsidising and savings, I'd do it. Three children in childcare is always going to be expensive, but its whatever the long term is for you that matters. Good luck. I have a number of friends who couldnt make it work and 5 years later either arent properly back in the labour market or are years and years behind those of us who just made it work. In my case its my social life that has suffered.

carriebrody Mon 10-Aug-15 22:51:50

Would a nanny be cheaper than 3x nursery, especially if you could make space for someone to live in?

tinkerbellvspredator Mon 10-Aug-15 22:53:05

It must be cheaper to use a Nanny for 3 children surely?

AsongforEurope Mon 10-Aug-15 22:53:53

Have never really considered a nanny. I always presumed it would be way too expensive for us. It's worth a bit of research I guess.

sleeponeday Mon 10-Aug-15 22:54:48

Career breaks cost a lot further down the track, though.

I would also point something out: is it half the childcare/travel costs you're setting against your income? Or are you seeing the costs of the children you and your DH share as solely costs against your salary? If you split it down the middle and then apply half to each salary, it may look different.

If you were hit by a bus tomorrow the cost would be against his alone. They are his kids, too. I know we all know that, but it always amazes me that it is so rarely reflected in this conversation. He is not subsidising your working. He is paying his share of a childcare bill.

I speak as a SAHM, by the way.

Glitteryarse Mon 10-Aug-15 22:56:42

This is the reason I gave up work. I get so bloody bored!

sleepyhead Mon 10-Aug-15 22:57:18

If you can't afford it and it makes no sense logistically then yes, it's a no brainer for one of you to give up work.

If you can afford it, then there are other calculations and factors to make/consider to see if it makes sense in the longer term:

- future employability
- belt and braces (ie if your partner's job isn't secure)
- future pension
- future earning potential

None of these matter a jot if the sums don't add up though. I was seriously worried about multiples with ds2 - no way would we both have been able to afford to stay in work. In our case though it would have been dh who would have had to SAH for a few years.

sleeponeday Mon 10-Aug-15 22:57:20

www.childcare.co.uk will show local people, and vague indications of cost. Cheaper than an agency (though goes without saying you have to check them out so, so carefully - which tbh is often more than agencies seem to do, if the horror stories are true!).

If you have 3 sets of nursery fees then an individual carer may be cheaper, or the same cost but massively less stressful.

SelfLoathing Mon 10-Aug-15 22:58:59

Short answer is no.

Loss leaders happen all the time in business.

Working for a year at a loss to improve your future prospects or keep you in the market may very well be a totally rational decision.

Only you can decide whether it is a real loss leader. If you don't do it, do you have other job options or not?

Also have you looked at a nanny share with a nearby family?

AsongforEurope Mon 10-Aug-15 23:00:24

Thanks all. There are some really useful posts here. We hope to make it work. I would be so sad to leave my career.

sleepyhead Mon 10-Aug-15 23:00:33

Can your dh work permanent Saturdays and have a day off in the week instead? That's one of the ways we make childcare work for us.

Not ideal having a day less family time, but it's not forever.

Nettletheelf Mon 10-Aug-15 23:03:54

You don't say how old you are, but you have to plan for the future, including your future career.

Let's say that you're 35. You'll probably be working until you're 70. That's another 35 years of career. If you give up work, you will jeopardise your future earning potential; as others have pointed out, it's difficult to get back into a career you chose to leave.

You may feel that you are paying to work in the short term, but you have to set that against your potential future earnings. You're speculating to accumulate.

BackforGood Mon 10-Aug-15 23:05:08

I think - as you say in your OP - you have to consider if 12 months of doing this, balances out against what you gain by staying in your job. I know, by staying in my job, when the dc were little, it meant I had a career - which I was able to go part time in - and, longer term, it was definitely the right decision for me to struggle for those first couple of years. Whether it's the right choice for you will depend on what your job is - what the prospects are like of you being able to take 4 or 5 yrs out (because, lets be honest, once you've made that decision, you will then stick with it until the little ones are in school I should imagine) and then be able to pick up where you left off?
You see threads on here on a monthly basis about difficulties of getting a job after being a SAHM for several years - that's one thing if you've made a conscious decision to be a SAHM and loved every minute of it, but it's not an inviting prospect if you are just thinking about how you can afford to manage the next 12 months.

So, IMO, it's NBU to struggle for a fixed period, when the benefit over a longer term is that much greater. It would be very short sighted to not look into all possibilities - from tax credits and childcare vouchers, to employing a nanny to things such as taking a mortgage holiday for a year (or rearranging at least so payments are lower for a year??) to just tighteneing your belts and "managing" for a year until things ease.

EmeraldKitten Mon 10-Aug-15 23:17:43

Sleeponeday - I completely disagree with you.

What does it matter if the op only considers half the childcare against her salary? In a household where all income and outgoings are shared the end result will be the same. It's just easier to reflect the relative cost of xhildcare compared to one partners salary.

Op in your position, no I wouldn't go back to work, I'd take a couple of years out.

DelphiniumBlue Mon 10-Aug-15 23:18:08

Could you re-organise your working hours, so that one of you does drop-offs and the other pick-ups, maybe working extra time at home to make up the lost hours?
Another poster mentioned that you might be better off getting a nanny than faffing around with 2 different nurseries. I think that's good advice, we found it cheaper to have a nanny for 2 children, let alone 3.

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