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Really don't know what to do

(80 Posts)
Beccarollover Thu 01-Apr-04 12:53:49

Im at work so cant really type much but just need to offload

I started back at work a month ago - 3 days a week
Childcare fees have just gone up

I earn 520 a month after tax - childcare is 604 a month - DPS salary has recently gone up so we dont qualify for any help anymore with the childcare.

So for me to leave my babies at nursery and be rushed off my feet morning and evening (leave house at 7.45 get back at 6.15)3 days a week Im paying almost 100 quid for the privelage not to mention petrol/lunches/work clothes.


Company operates bonus quarterly so might end up getting some cash for coming to work but it isnt enough to cover fees etc

DD starts school in September/October where fees will go down but will have to pay for before and after school care.

What would you do?

outofpractice Thu 01-Apr-04 13:01:13

Find a job that you enjoy and go full time!

GeorginaA Thu 01-Apr-04 13:02:22

Ugh, Becca

I guess I would have to assess how much I was enjoying being at work. If you love getting out and the challenge of doing something "non-mummy" then I would stick with it - as you say, the costs go down in September which isn't that far away.

If I wasn't enjoying the work though, I have to say that the added money stress would probably be the deciding factor to going back to staying at home.

Difficult situation

Tinker Thu 01-Apr-04 13:06:21

Becca - can I ask why the childcare comes out of your salary? Won't it come out of your joint salaries? Wouldn't this mean you come almost £200 on top each month? Sorry if I've misunderstood

jac34 Thu 01-Apr-04 13:14:38

When I first went back to work after having my DS's five years ago, I wasn't out of pocket, but wasn't making alot out of it either.
I stuck with it because,I loved my job, would have lost valuble skills if I'd given up, the position I have is very few and far between as it is so specialised, especially in this area, and I knew that in a few years time we would be paying very little or no child care at all.
You just have to weigh up the pros and cons( not just on the basis of money), and see if it's still worth it.

Beccarollover Thu 01-Apr-04 13:43:23

I take the childcare out of my salary as if I didnt go to work and earn the salary I wouldnt pay the childcare!

Kittypickle Thu 01-Apr-04 13:46:57

If I loved my job I'd take the same approach as jac34. However if it was doing something that was OK but not what I really wanted to do then I'd quit. I'd then look at retraining doing something that I really wanted to do & that was easier to fit around childcare.

Beccarollover Thu 01-Apr-04 13:56:52

I'd LOVE to retrain - had Meg when I was 18 which took me off my education path and I stumbled across my current career out of necessity really!

Thing is, would I get help with childcare costs if I was studying as at the moment we couldnt afford to finance them out of DP's salary.

It just really fucks me off that I cant pick kids up in time to give them a bath before bed, that I missed the mothers day service at school (sob) when Im not getting any benefits from being here except career progression, my salary being included in mortgage calculation etc

Beccarollover Thu 01-Apr-04 13:57:34


Please ignore bad language I forgot to use ****

Marina Thu 01-Apr-04 14:02:33

I think it depends what you retrain as Becca...a lot of courses such as midwifery, nursing and teaching can and do provide help and funding for childcare. Problem is, I would not describe any of these as especially family-friendly, especially if done full-time.
I was going to say take the long view if you possibly can, but it sounds like your job provides you with no satisfaction other than the money. I totally sympathise with the feeling of not seeing your children enough, I really do. I'm lucky enough to have a rewarding job but still miss my babies all the time. My salary is 50% of the mortgage and other outgoings or I would not be sitting here now...and like you, I'm currently working for buttons until nursery subsidies kick in at aged three. Dd is still only 8 months old

Kittypickle Thu 01-Apr-04 14:05:50

Have a look at your local college to see what's on offer. There may be help available depending what it is you want to do. Probably worth seeing if you can have a chat with a Careers Officer about your options.

aloha Thu 01-Apr-04 14:11:40

I agree with Tinker. Childcare should be a joint expense, but all too often isn't. If you both work, then you both benefit from childcare and should both pay for it, surely?

florenceuk Thu 01-Apr-04 14:55:05

Aloha/Tinker, I know what you mean when you say childcare should be a joint expense. But in truth, if Becca's salary is outstripped by costs of childcare, then financially she would be better off being at home - that's just financial arithmetic. I presume that scaling up to 5 days a week would also mean childcare costs also rose, so that wouldn't help.

However, leaving the workforce also has a cost - in terms of future promotions/opportunities. I know if I left, I'd find it harder to go back. So at times it may make sense to keep working IF you think these future opportunities are worth it, and/or you really enjoy your job and would go crazy staying at home.

aloha Thu 01-Apr-04 15:16:13

I suppose I mean it's like the mortgage - just a fact of life that you pay it for your family. Yes, I could sell our house and live in a tent and so have no mortgage but am not about to do that so *we* pay the mortgage. If someone actively wants to give up work and be a SAHM and it works for their family then that's great of course. But for other people work is valuable in terms of offering freedom, self-esteem and a chance to use certain talents. I think that fact that most women say that they pay for childcare is just part of the sexist belief that a woman's duty and real job is to care for her children 24/7. If other family financial obligations are split, then I do think childcare should be too. Which, of course, doesn't deal with Becca's real problem which is, it seems, that she doesn't like her job much. Becca, would you prefer to work (in another job perhaps) or be a sahm and be dependent on your partner?

aloha Thu 01-Apr-04 15:17:38

Also Becca may just be using the concept of having no money left over as a figure of speech - I hope you really aren't left penniless!

aloha Thu 01-Apr-04 15:18:45

I think we agree Florenceuk - but I suppose I have a feminist objection to the idea that childcare is solely a mother's responsibility.

lydialemon Thu 01-Apr-04 16:11:36

I think what Becca is saying is that as a family they are £100+ worse off.

When I worked during the day after having DS1, me and DH split the childcare costs. However, when I was pregnant with DS2 I decided I couldn't go back to my job because the childcare costs would be greater than my income. It doesn't matter that DH would actually be paying half, our family income would go down as a whole.

Becca, if I was in your situation (losing money by working) I'd leave. Stay at home, enjoy your kids and look into retraining into a career you'd enjoy!

Tinker Thu 01-Apr-04 16:18:15

lydia - I understood (or misunderstood ?) Becca's post to say that since she was earning 510 and childcare was 604 the 'almost 100 quid' referred to that. Hence was wondering if there would be a loss if the childcare came out of the joint pot.

lydialemon Thu 01-Apr-04 16:29:34

Becca, come back and clear this up!

As I see it (made up figures of course!)

prework DP income (£1000) - childcare (£0) = £1000

now DP income (£1000) + B's income (£500) - childcare (£600) = £900, and thats were the 'loss' is.

But if I'm being really dense, and missing the point of everything please send me away

Tinker Thu 01-Apr-04 16:32:28

Not missing the point, I'm confused as well

Joint income 1500
Childcare = 600
Balance = 900.

900 split between 2 = 450 each, not 100 loss to Becca.

Becca help!

florenceuk Thu 01-Apr-04 16:48:16

Yes but the point is Tinker if Becca were off work, then childcare costs would be zero = £100 better off all round. Now we could also do the arithmetic by assuming that DP stayed at home - so Becca would earn £600, and they would be £400 worse off, which is also a "logical" conclusion of saying that childcare costs should be shared equally.

One thought is that if you are in training, you may have flexibility to deal with after school care - if you could arrange courses to fit. Maybe wait until your DD starts school and think about what you really want to do?

Crunchie Thu 01-Apr-04 16:56:09

Personally I can't see the confusion, as someone else said, She earns £520 childcare is £604 the implication to the family budget is a loss of £100 (ish).

Yes it is un PC to talk about the childcare costs coming out of the womens salary and that it should all be joint, but in our family all the childcare comes from dh's salary - so we look at his earnings to determine if it is 'worth' him working (purely fanicial worth, not self esteem) Ultimately if working costs money to the family budget I would tell my DH to stay at home. He used to work for £50 a week, so it just balanced the books. However if in a year or so's time he doesn't get his contract renewed he will have to stay at home unless he can get a job that adds to the family budget.

hercules Thu 01-Apr-04 17:17:20

We think of it in terms of not sharing childcare but whether childcare is more than one of our wages. If it is than that person might as well stay at home rather than us paying to go to work.
Of course this is not looking at career, pension etc.

Beccarollover Thu 01-Apr-04 18:18:29

Im so dilemmaed I don't know how to order my thoughts!!

I agree that childcare costs are a joint obligation BUT I begrudgingly went back to work to bring in some money to the family - this now isn't the case so I do feel that *I* am out of pocket.

Here are my pro's and con's of working

* I feel I have something to prove - I left my previous job (family business) during a very messy argument with my step family - I think they thought I would go to ruin so I was determined to show them I could find myself a job without their support.

* My salary, even though I don't *make* anything out of it is still worthwhile in that we want to move and our joint income will be higher for mortgage borrowing purposes

* I could go for my MCSE with this company and have an extra qualification to my name (although if I would ever use it again is questionable)

* I would feel I was letting the company down (I was "head hunted" for the job as know the MD)

* If I hang around I might get a payrise!

* There is talk of a quarterly profit bonus


* Not actually bringing any money into the family

* I find it hard to leave the kids for such a long day

* The awful guilt I *sometimes* feel about the kids being in nursery

* The guilt of not being able to care for the kids as I would if I was at home (eg I sent DS to nursery on Wednesday when he wasn't 100% as I felt really unable to ring in sick as I'd had the previous week off due to DD's sickness) - was crying in the middle of the night on that ocassion at the guilt of it

* I feel rather inadequate at my job - surrounded by super whizz kids and constantly feel nervous at work

* I do have a few dreams/ideas that I would love to do which would require retraining

* Have put DD's name down for before and after school care for next year and there are no morning places

This is all rather hard for me to deal with as my previous job I was earning 2.5 times thiat I am now so I don't think the reality that we actually are running at a loss has hit home yet!

OOOOOooooo I don't know!!

Sonnet Thu 01-Apr-04 18:26:00

If I were in your shoes:
if the "family income" wasn't any greater by me being at work AND I didn't enjoy my job I'd leave BUT if any of the two factors differed I'd stay!!
Home this makes sense...
Goodluck with whatever you decide to do..
also school my mean an end to nursery fees BUT there may be before and/or after school care and holidays...

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