Panicing about returning after mat leave - wwyd?(9 Posts)
I am a marketing freelancer, been going 2.5 years. I am due to finish my mat leave at the end of Feb. I have been fairly successful so far before the baby and last financial year I have managed to get back up to my previous senior role salary level.
DH and I have worked out our money from Feb now we have to factor in nursery again and basically it is looking grim if we just take into account his money as we know it is guaranteed.
We can just about cover the bills with DHs money but there isn't much left. We cannot cover 4 full days of nursery and 4 days of breakfast/after school club - for older DS - without me working (obv I wouldn't need that level of childcare if I wasn't working). It adds up to £1300 a month.
I do have a retained role (2 days) I can return to in Mar but the rate is low but the money is guaranteed.
So my options are:
1) Return to retained role and hope I can generate enough cash on other 2 days to cover costs and make it worth it.
2) Work retained role school hours and put DD with a childminder paying just for the hours used (assuming I can find a CM willing to do that). The upside is reduced childcare costs, downside is there is then little chance to generate additonal income.
3) Dump retained role and use all 4 days to try to generate enough money. There will be a lot of pressure to earn enough to cover costs and then some.
4) Get a job. Biggest issues: lack of 4 day a week jobs out there, cannot get to school meetings during the day as I can as a freelancer.
The best guaranteed income senarios are either 2 or 4. I guess it depends if we want security over potential...
How have you found going back post mat leave?
Horrible situation for people with bloody childcare costs.
The only suggestions I can make is re Number 4 - are there really lots of daytime school meetings to make? It was rare for me, to be honest when mine was younger.
Also have you considered an au pair?
But I would say that potential is better, although a risk. Otherwise you are on a treadmill...
There have been quite a few meetings etc at school, but none that were that vital.
We don't really have room for an au pair.
I have spent some time plugging in figures into a spreadsheet. I am thinking that working longer hours within the day at the retained job might help. I think 1) is the favourite at the mo...
Whatever happens. I think you will eventually come out trumps. You have really thought it through and you sound extremely intelligent with lots of initiative. Good luck!
In the same boat-ish.
Sitting here waiting for the phone to ring with work (supply teacher) and yet, have had to pay out for nursery this month already (lovely £400 for 2 days a week!) .
If I get no work, we will be £800 down this month (£400 we're short of meeting the necessities anyway, and the £400 for nursery).
Just to say, you're not on your own!
In your case, I would take a risk, at least maybe for a month or so? See if you can generate enough? You do earn enough with DH to cover the bills. If not, then you can always do the safe option.
Do you have to be physically 'present' for the retained role, or could you squeeze it/do some of it at night, creating some time for business development and other work? I'd be tempted to do that for the first few months, with the baby in nursery for two days. Then, as you start to generate more work/money (which you will) you can fund an additional day of childcare, then another - so slowly working up to the 4 days.
The only disadvantage is when you're ready to add a day nursery might not have a place, so you may have to do some juggling around.
OR do that, generate some more jobs/income then dump the retained role, once you've replaced it with more lucrative work. If you get lucky you may be able to generate enough income in one day to replace both retained days. You could then put the baby in three days a week, so overall working a bit less but for the same money, with reduced cc costs.
I'm a great believer in going back to what you know post-mat leave, I've given that advice often and normally within 6 months people change their circumstances again.
Thanks for the additional comments and the compliments Punkatheart .
Sorry to hear of your slow month ocean is there anything proactive you can do as a supply? I guess not, there is either a need or not? It is depressing isn't it.
Thanks Wilson pragmatic and helpful as always. I don't have to go into the office for the retained but they would expect me to be working during the day. I do think it is helpful to be there though, there are lots of nuances that I miss by not going in.
Re childcare. Nursery places around here are v competitive. DD was down after the 12 week scan and I don't actually know if she'll get a place. She is on "the waiting list" - the best bit of marketing a nursery does! So I kinda feel I need to make a decision and stick with it initially. I can always drop a day, less easy to acquire one.
The retained role has lots of benefits; really good pay for what I have to do, good location for me, I like going into an office and they are very flex/understanding if I need to juggle days. Plus I also won a proper day rate project through them last year. So in a way I feel I'd be mad to let it go. As you say Wilson it needs to be a short term prop which I can lose once I am incredibly successful and rich, or something like that!
Thanks all. It is helped to write it all down.
If you went back to the retained role for 2 days - but then cut down on childcare costs on the other two days and basically squeezed other work into school hours / evenings, would that ease the financial pressure if you were paying less for after-school club (not sure how your nursery charge and if that would make a difference or not)?
Of course, that adds to the pressure in other ways re your time & losing evenings, but might be a short term compromise whilst you find your feet again...
Thanks. Not sure I can give up nursery space, but I could drop breakfast/after school club on the other two days at first. Not something I had considered....
More thinking required!
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