How did you make being a working Mummy work when your LO was small?

(25 Posts)
hancharu Sat 11-May-19 19:36:13

I'm thinking at this point I would like to return to work after six months or so, but would need to make the money work. Would it better to go part time? How did you make it work for you?

OP’s posts: |
Lazypuppy Sat 11-May-19 20:46:15

I went back full time (always planned to). Dd goes to nursery 5 mornings (costs £300 a month) and then my mum has her 3 afternoons, i have her 1 and her dad has her 1.

Works really well for us. Like i said i was always going back full time, i didn't want to give up my salary

Parker231 Sat 11-May-19 20:49:52

I went back full time when DT’s were six months. DH took them to nursery and I collected. I had to work internationally occasionally which made it more complicated as either of our families live in the UK but we survived and DT’s are now at Uni.

CMOTDibbler Sat 11-May-19 20:51:41

I went back when DS was 4.5 months old. It worked because DH and I were both fully committed to this - we knew that for the first 5 years ds was top of the list, then our jobs (equally), then our marriage, and everything else would have to be very much down the list. We prioritised time together in evenings and weekends, and split everything equally.

Ds will be 13 next week, and neither of us have any regrets about our choices

Blankiefan Sat 11-May-19 20:54:32

50/50 parenting is vital. You both need to be interchangeable as the primary care giver. You need to dump mum guilt (tell me if you work out that one!). You need to not do all of the house management. Split things down the middle.

Lazypuppy Sat 11-May-19 22:08:52

@Blankiefan i complely agree sbout 50/50.

i don't feel any 'mum guilt', never have. My dd has far more fun at nursery than she does for a whole day at home with me. I love going to get her from nursery as well, she's always so happy!

kirstywursty012 Sat 11-May-19 22:23:28

@LazyPuppy - that sounds really good! I actually had no idea you could put them in nursery for just a morning??


hancharu Sat 11-May-19 22:31:55

How did you make the money work? I earn 24k and my partner 21k, so we're unsure of how to play it. We both would ideally like to keep earning.

OP’s posts: |
Parker231 Sat 11-May-19 22:45:52

All salaries paid into the joint account and the same amount of personal money transferred into our own accounts to spend as we wish regardless of income.

Blankiefan Sun 12-May-19 06:55:54

Look into the tax free childcare scheme
I'm in an old one that's closed now so don't understand the new one fully but the scheme essentially gives you back your tax on childcare spend.

yoshismother Sun 12-May-19 07:01:41

I am a teacher so I do have the holidays, but I went back 2 days a weeks for 3 years then after my second I went to 3 and now 4. My husband and mil deal with the mornings and I deal with after school (pick them up from after school club). It definitely is 50:50 and I can keep my salary pretty much. It's also nice to know that I could earn more by just picking up that final day.

GreenFieldsofFrance Sun 12-May-19 07:06:31

You need to look at the hours both your jobs will allow to work / not work. Then look at what the opening and closing times are for your local nurseries. If you've got any possible help from family / friends on certain days, firm that up as a guaranteed agreement with them.

Once you have all this info you will see for each day who needs to do what, drop offs, picks ups. You'll see how much £ nursery will cost. You'll have all the info you need to make an informed decision over whether it's possible or not, practically and financially.

Pppppppp1234 Sun 12-May-19 07:06:51

Hi OP 👋 I too am looking at going back to work after six months however I earn a little more than my DP and this is DC.
He has already condensed his hours over four days so that he had a day home with DC1 financially this made more sense as he earns less.
We use the tax free childcare system so for every 80p we pay in childcare the government put in 20p so we will do the same for DC2 also.

I will look at for the first six months after maternity pay doing a shorter day on a Friday (4hours) but then covering it with annual leave for 5/6 months so I still get a day when DC2 is little.
Have you scooped out nursery costs to see what is financially viable? we are in Yorkshire and the nursery we are looking at is £44 a day, so we’ve worked out our finances around that.
Full time nursery based off that figure is around the £900 mark.... so for yourself and DP it might worth both looking to condense your hours over four days? (Full time flexi) and both choosing a different day to have off, ie like we do Monday for him, Friday for me?

Pppppppp1234 Sun 12-May-19 07:09:13

We also all pay into one pot and everything comes out of there,’I found it easier to write down the household outgoings, mortgage, bills, Loans etc.... then off that work out how much we want for extra spends... then work out how much you will get for X amount of hours and then how much nursery would be for X amount of days etc . And then work out which works best

Starrynights86 Sun 12-May-19 07:24:51

I drop off, DP picks up. DP finishes earlier then me so gets dinner started so we all get quality time together in the evening. I prep bags and clothes before bed so everything is ready for the morning.

As others have said, all our money goes into joint accounts and gets paid out, there’s no faffing about who pays for what.

BendingSpoons Sun 12-May-19 07:31:03

I work 3 days, DH works 2. We both wanted to do part time and childcare costs were so high (naice part of North London at the time) that most/all of one salary would go on childcare. This means we are both still earning and keeping our careers going. Both of us could probably increase our hours quite easily if/when we want to. We are lucky to have flexible jobs that way.

VashtaNerada Sun 12-May-19 07:36:02

Went back FT when DC was 6 months. Used a fairly cheap nursery and grandparents when I could. It’s tough, but childcare vouchers help. It gets cheaper as they get older which feels nonsensical! We also timed our second child so they started nursery as the eldest started school so never needed to find money for 2x nursery fees. I’ve never once felt guilty about it. I’m a better mum for having a life of my own and I’m teaching them a good work ethic. My parents both worked FT from when I was 3 months old and I never minded.

surroundedbyblondes Sun 12-May-19 07:50:35

I went part-time, taking one day a week of parental leave. This meant I could maintain almoat a full-time salary but most imoortantly I had a full-time job once the kids were older.
DH used his parentsl leave days when they were smaller to take extra days leave during the summer holidays.

I have always worked locally. DH commutes. It means I earn less. Nevertheless we share finances. None of this my money, his money. We are a team.

Same for drop-offs and pick-ups. We share them. Usually DH will drop off and I will pick up. We are lucky that we both have flexible working hours and can occasionally do some admin at home.

We use after-school club and when they were smaller we used breakfast club. Where we live most parents work so it was quite natural to do so. We're lucky that there are child-care subsidies from the government here too.

Baloonphobia Sun 12-May-19 07:53:23

Money into a joint a/c. Creche paid from this. Our DD is in creche full time.

ememem84 Sun 12-May-19 08:05:24

I went back full time with ds. I asked for reduced hours but work said no. Ds goes to nursery 3 days a week and dparents have him the other 2.

Full time was hard. But it was important to me to go back.

When I go back after dc2 (due in July back in January 2020) I’ll be on 4 days a week. I asked for the reduced hours again and they didn’t want to lose me. I would have easily found a job elsewhere on reduced hours (probably more money too...) and they knew this.

It will be tough again. But I’ve done it once.

Ds is so happy at nursery and I hope dc2 will be too.

QuickQuestion2019 Sun 12-May-19 08:15:42

Well if either of you cut your hours it should be your partner as the lower earner?

eurochick Sun 12-May-19 09:13:06

As another poster said, it needs to be fully 50/50. You are the higher earner, so is your husband on forums asking how to make life work as a working dad and researching childcare options? If not, that's the start of the inequality.

Lazypuppy Sun 12-May-19 10:25:10

@kirstywursty012 the nursery she is at, you can pick your hours, drop of times are anywhere between 7:30 and 10, and pick ups are between 1-6:30pm. You pick the slots you want.

We don't do 1 pot of money. We have a joint for bills, but own seperate accounts for personal, so we have different amounts each month to spend on ourselves

itwasalovelydreamwhileitlasted Sun 12-May-19 20:44:21

I went back full time when DC was 20 weeks - couldn't afford Nursery so have used Childminder's. I earn almost 3 times more than DH so had no choice so I pay almost all the childcare costs. Luckily had help from parents for first 18 months. It's bloody hard financially but we always knew things would be tight for a few years depending on how many children we were lucky enough to have and so in the grand scheme of things it's a relatively small sacrifice

RussianSpamBot Fri 17-May-19 20:44:49

On relatively low salaries OP and paying for childcare, it's possible you won't have much/any less money coming in if you both drop a day, maybe even two. Especially DP. Reason being that because of the way tax works, your 5th day of the week is the worst paid. Whereas people who earn less keep a higher percentage of their wages. And the personal allowance, what you can earn before paying tax, is quite high at 12.5k. So it makes sense for you both to earn enough to use your full allowance.

So if your childcare costs the same each day, it's possible that you will earn enough to be in profit on your first 2 or 3 days, where you're effectively only paying NI, but not on the 4th and 5th days when income tax kicks in.

For example on 21k the take home is is £1484 per month without pension or student loan. If DP does 4 days a week at this rate, it's 16.2k annually which is £1212 per month. So £272 less for dropping a day, which some people would have to spend around that for the 5th day of childcare and commuting costs anyway. On 3 days a week, 21k pro rata is £12,400 per annum is £995, which is £489 less than you'd get for full time.

If you have cheaper childcare and/or commuting costs, it may still be more profitable to work full time. And you'd want to factor in any help you might get from tax free childcare plus impact on pension. But if your combined childcare and commuting costs are more than £55 per day, which many people's are, it doesn't necessarily have much impact on your pay packet to drop a day or two on a modest salary.

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