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to think i might be able to afford p/t work once baby at school?

(72 Posts)
areyoureadyforpie Sun 31-Jul-16 13:14:38

would be really grateful for some help with this.

had a horrible pregnancy and first 5 month with lovely baby, and have had to do it about 95% on my own (no partner and not much support).

my housing costs are between £150-200 p/m (thank goodness)
my pay is about £15k gross
it seems I can go back to work when mat leave ends and afford to just work 2 days a wk (WTC will pay some childcare from what I can work out)

do you think I can still live on 16hrs p/w work when she is in school? as it looks like this is the only way i'm ever going to get any decent amount of time to sort out the dilapidated house and other things l need to do in order to have my second (and last) child so that my son doesn't grow up a lonely only child (we don't have enough support for him not to be lonely, no decent family nearby etc)

LIZS Sun 31-Jul-16 13:22:29

Doubtful , sorry. Tax credits will only get harder to come by so you can't rely on receiving them for your second child or long term. Wouldn't it be more sensible to only consider a second child if your circumstances change.

LyndaNotLinda Sun 31-Jul-16 13:27:03

I'm confused. You've said when she is in school then talk about your son growing up lonely.

And if you're going to have another child, then you'll be on maternity leave/have an under 5 again? confused

Cabrinha Sun 31-Jul-16 13:31:06

hmm at lonely only.
There are plenty of only children around you know, who are perfectly happy with a combination of parent(s) and school friends. Good luck with a future second if you want one, but forget the "lonely only" claptrap - it isn't true just because it rhymes!

And yes, I'm defensive because I have an only. Who isn't lonely.
But I also have 2 brothers and 3 sisters but rarely played with them because of the combination of age /gender /personality!

Babyroobs Sun 31-Jul-16 13:33:29

I think when universal credit is introduced you will have to work more hours. I may be wrong though. The amount of hours you should be working definately rises at age 12 I think. Anyway your circumstances could alter drastically beofre then, you might meet a new partner. Does you dc's dad pay maintainence?

XiCi Sun 31-Jul-16 13:37:34

Being an only child does not mean you will be lonely. And there are plenty of children in large families that are lonely. I would base your working hours on what works for your situation now not on some hypothetical future.

XiCi Sun 31-Jul-16 13:39:15

I missed the 'lonely only' pun. Really hate it when people spout bullshit about only children.

ohidoliketobe Sun 31-Jul-16 13:44:07

So confused here. . . Do you have a daughter or a son? Do you have a partner or not? confused
How will working part time enable you to sort out your house? Surely additional income would be a better help towards that? Also, if I read right you're still on mat leave, so you're talking 4 years off? I'm all for future planning, but thats a bit extreme. Why not see what your circumstances are like in 3 years time and take it from there...

AGruffaloCrumble Sun 31-Jul-16 13:47:48

How are you going to have a second child with no partner?

ghostyslovesheep Sun 31-Jul-16 13:50:34

And how do you know it will be a boy ????
OP why not sort out the house and stuff before having a baby

Lostwithinthehills Sun 31-Jul-16 13:58:22

How do you plan to have your second? Are you hoping to meet a partner, fall in love and create a little family together? If yes then surely your circumstances will be completely different and, with luck, between you school runs and childcare will be covered, meaning you can both keep working.

If, however, you are actually intending to remain single and are planning to have a second (with who?) while working the minimum hours you can and claiming the maximum tax credits then yabu.

If the only way you can manage home, work, childcare and finances is by working 16 hours and claiming tax credits to make up the balance (and I can fully understand why that would be the case) then you really shouldn't be planning a second.

Why would an only child be lonely? There are plenty of groups and activities to join, loads of friends to be made.

rollonthesummer Sun 31-Jul-16 14:04:55

Have you got an older son? I'm confused?

Are you saying you want to only work part time to give you time to do up your house and you'd like tax credits to help top up your wages???

LoreleiGilmoreIsMyBFF Sun 31-Jul-16 14:20:09

Few odd things about your post, OP. You don't have a partner, so who will be the father of the second child? Are you psychic - if not, how do you know you're having a boy? Is this going to be yet another sly single parent/ benefits-bashing thread? I hope I'm wrong, but you need to add a little more detail. I work 16 hours, with top up benefits, not ideal but until DS starts school, I'm a bit stuck. I absolutely could not afford another child right now! Re: 'lonely' - there are tons of playgroups etc for your child to mix with other kids.

Ifiwasabadger Sun 31-Jul-16 14:22:46

I'm a poor old lonely child, and an expat too, so no family around...so terrible.

Dear god have we not moved on from these stereotypes! I LOVE being an only child! Please don't have another child to provide a sibling, there are no guarantees.

DragonsEggsAreAllMine Sun 31-Jul-16 14:22:47

Windup surely.

Nobody is going to say yes it's fine to barely work so you can play house hmm

Calaisienne Sun 31-Jul-16 14:24:16

We seem to have gone off at a tangent here, although some very good points raised about assumptions you have made about a "lonely only".

No one can advise you what the state benefit system will be in 4 1/2 years time. However, the only guarantee is that there are no guarantees when it comes to benefits. The current driver is to reduce benefits to subsistence level or worse with an expectation that people will work to support themselves.

Do not make plans to rely on benefits in 2, 5 or 10 years time, it is extremely unlikely that they will be available in the form they are in now. You need to do everything in your power to ensure that your child is financially supported by your own efforts, as these are the only thing that you have any control over.

Cabrinha Sun 31-Jul-16 14:26:35

The question is impossible to answer, anyway - you haven't shade nearly enough of your outgoings and income.

But yes - if you can afford to work only 2 days now, why would that be any different in 5 years time when your baby goes to school?

Of course, that's very far ahead to be predicting the benefit situation let alone your own life circumstances.

I'm curious what on earth needs to be done to your 'dilapidated' home which can't be done in the next FIVE years, but requires you to then be part time to do it.

Your baby will get 15 hours a week childcare funded at age 3. Can you not do your decorating then? grin

The big thing I'd watch out for is that your housing costs sound unusual and precarious if so low. Especially when you say £150-200. I don't know anyone with a variable housing cost - are you including utilities and those are variable?

If there is any chance your housing cost will rise (surely it will!) then I think that far from trying to work as little as possible now, you should be looking to maximise your hours to build up a safety net. Also, in a low paid job on 2 days a week, I'm guessing that there won't be much salary / position progression. I think it's better to work more, progress and be able to support your child without relying on TC. I think that's the "right" thing to do - but I also think it's the sensible thing too, as those TC are far from guaranteed.

RortyCrankle Sun 31-Jul-16 16:32:40

A sibling is no guarantee of companionship - my sister and I may as well have been born on different planets for all the companionship we shared - ie zero - and we now speak to each other once a year.

Plus it is totally wrong to assume you will be taking benefits while you have the second child. Benefits are for those who need temporary help, not those who are happy to take other people's money for no good reason. You're an adult presumably - the default should be that able-bodied adults are self sufficient.

areyoureadyforpie Mon 01-Aug-16 00:09:02

firstly, sorry for the confusing typo, I have one child, a baby boy.
he doesn't have a dad, I don't want him or me to be outed so i'm not going to give away unnecessary personal details but there's more than one way to have a family.....I wasn't lucky enough to find a partner in time so thank goodness we have private fertility treatment and adoption in this country, because those are the routes open to people in my situation.

I know the benefits system may well change and the Conservatives in particular just crack down on it more and more in general, I can only use what's happened previously as a rough guide, and I don't get the opportunity to ask about that in real life....I forget to ask at baby groups cos everything's a bit of a whirlwind with my very active baby!

I agree that a single parent can have an only child and that child doesn't have to be lonely, but like I said, we don't have the support network needed for that to definitely be the case, and it looks like I can't build one up soon enough. And I understand what one or two posters have said about not being close at all to their siblings, I'm not close to one of mine, they're a horrible person BUT if my house got flooded or something, they would put me and my son up (they're only horrible to me in private/in the past, they're lovely to my son). I've always wanted more than one child, I just don't feel that I'm enough to entertain a child, other single parents might be but I don't think I am.

Cabrina do you know how the 15 hours at 3yrs works currently? I'm guessing that if you work p/t, they expect you to use that 15 hours whilst you're working and so tax credits would only fund from the 16th hour upwards?

I have hardly any support, it's a long story why that's the case but it's not my fault and i'm working hard to change it, but for that reason I make hardly any progress in the house because I have no one to watch the baby and we spend a lot of time out of the house so that he gets input from other people. So I manage to keep on top of the housework etc but not to sort out the boxes of stuff we have from moving house, the repairs etc etc, we don't have a proper kitchen for example, it's much more than decorating. I've got about 2 decades of stuff that I've never had the chance to properly sort and have been lugging round with me because poverty has meant I can't afford to throw stuff away, and not having enough time has meant I haven't had time to sort it out cos some of it does need giving to charity shops etc.

My housing costs are low (that figure is my mortgage) because I bought before the boom and have kept my mortgage low by basically living in hovels and doing them up, which is just as well!

Answers to some of the other questions: I'm on mat leave and going back to work 16hrs a wk. If I adopt the second, they won't necessarily be under 5.

It's always disappointing that people jump in to "benefits bash", I'm used to working over 50 hours a wk for minimum wage (the overtime is volutary, don't even get paid for that!) for charities, how many of the benefits bashers do that?! That's the work i'm longing to get back to (on normal hours now I have a family), but first I need to establish a family (and better support network) of my own.

Thanks for the helpful responces.

itsbetterthanabox Mon 01-Aug-16 00:21:16

If you live as you say in poverty then how will you afford private fertility treatment? Or be allowed to adopt when you are unable to support the child.
Your baby doesn't need a sibling. There's nothing wrong with only children. It's irrelevant that you don't have wider family. Can the babies fathers family see him at all?

PaintYourWagon155 Mon 01-Aug-16 00:30:23

It sounds like OP used private fertility treatment for her DS, hence OP saying he has no dad.

arethereanyleftatall Mon 01-Aug-16 00:34:28

I would sort all the stuff out whilst your baby sleeps. The average 5 month old child sleeps 15hours per day.

areyoureadyforpie Mon 01-Aug-16 00:35:01

itsbetterthanabox, some of your questions I can't answer because it's too identifying but if you read and think about what I've already written, the answers are there.

You can adopt even when you're claiming Job Seekers Allowance, it's one of the most common myths about adoption (that you need to not be claiming benefits). You don't have to have a job to be a good parent, you just need to want to work (in whatever way).

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 01-Aug-16 00:45:05

If you don't have time to sort out boxes, do you have time for a second child?

SalemsLott Mon 01-Aug-16 00:51:30

Could be tricky when Universal Credit replaces Tax credits, the premise being that all claimants will have to look for full time employment or be penalised.

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