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Shifts, childcare, the housing ladder, making ends meet ... help!

(13 Posts)
violetbouncer Sat 08-Jan-11 22:06:33

I'm currently on ML from a professional job having had DC2. Until recently DP has been a SAHD and worked part-time, but he's just started what is close to his dream job and it's very important that he gets the chance to put his career first having been the one to make sacrifices until now. He takes home less than I do when FT and it's not enough for us to live on as things stand so I'll have to go back to work.

The problem is that he works shifts on a rolling 28 day basis so while he could potentially take on a fair bit of childcare it would vary from week to week. Finding childcare to fit round him will be expensive assuming we'll have to pay for a place that won't always be required. So it seems best to work childcare round my job - but my employers sound like they want me to work 2.5 days. The nature of my work means I am needed to work full days into the evenings so finding a CM who'd do it will be hard, and actually leaving two very small kids for so long seems horrendous.

I'm toying with selling the house and moving nearer DP's work to rent, so less financial stress, huge saving on fuel and possibility of locum work or more sensible part time work for me but it seems very radical. Although maybe stepping off the housing ladder right now could be a wise move, we'd probably only pocket around £10k max from selling this.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? Or even just where both partners work shifts - how do you do it?it?

NonnoMum Sat 08-Jan-11 22:10:54

Don't know really. Can you get an au pair perhaps?

violetbouncer Sat 08-Jan-11 22:11:06

Also the basic problem of cost of childcare for two kids means I really will struggle to make much cash unless we use minimal childcare - and I need to bring home around £800 a month to break even I think!

Sorry that's so long, a medal to anyone who ploughs through it.

violetbouncer Sun 09-Jan-11 09:02:48

Thanks. Aren't there rules about au pairs only doing so much childcare or something? Nowhere for anyone to live in here anyway

Sequins Sun 09-Jan-11 09:30:44

Do you have to sell? What if you rented out your house and rented near DP's work?

violetbouncer Sun 09-Jan-11 13:05:17

I'm not sure that would work - rent would bring in less than we're paying on the mortgage. I guess we could extend the term. I'm currently on interest only while on ML but don't want to keep that up for a moment longer than necessary. Worth considering though, and I hadn't thought of it, so thanks

Sequins Sun 09-Jan-11 15:35:02

What about a 2nd job on a Saturday for you or DH? Or do either of you have any skills to set up a small business e.g. selling home-made candles on a market stall?

violetbouncer Sun 09-Jan-11 17:06:55

You see this is part of the trouble - DP works three weekends in 4. Our best option financially would be for me to go back full time and him work part time but we both feel like we've done our time with that setup, and for the sake of 18 months til DS starts school I'd hate him to jeopardise his job - the number of applicants was in 3 figures!

Thanks for helping me think it through though - writing it down is helping too. My head's spinning with it all.

Sequins Sun 09-Jan-11 20:33:43

How predictable are his shifts? I think some childminders don't mind covering on that basis.

dottyhenson Sun 09-Jan-11 20:42:05

you need to start looking for childcare asap. you might end up finding a childminder/nanny that is willing to be very flexible. we need to have v. flexible childcare as dh is selfemployed and so sometimes we need 2 days a week sometimes 5. just be honest, upfront and get incontact with lots of people. things have always worked out for us in the past, these things always do.

violetbouncer Sun 09-Jan-11 20:51:46

That's so reassuring, thank you. His shifts are totally predictable and rotate over 28 days. I'd envisaged us having to pay out for full time places we were barely using - our old CM would have worked round us no problem but she never did things like other CMs, she was like family - sadly she's moved away .

This has made me feel really hopeful though, thank you.

Scorpio54 Sun 16-Jan-11 11:43:56

I don't know what area you live in but I am a registered childminder and all 'my parents' have become friends and as you say 'like family'.
I would only charge you for the hours you had booked in for.
I live in Greengates, Bradford - have excellent references from past and present parents (and children) and if you want to contact me to see if we can come to some arrangement I would be pleased to hear from you. I can send you my email address if you are interested. Tricia

Scorpio54 Sun 16-Jan-11 12:22:29

Sorry - re above post I am listed on here under Registered Childminders, my area is Bradford and it is Tricia's Childminding. If you want to read more info or my email address is

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