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The price of working for a living

(35 Posts)
couldntgiveahashtag Thu 21-Sep-17 09:51:42

Am I the only person in the whole wide world thinking what is the point in working after paying out for nursery and after school clubs each month?! Sat down and worked out I earn less than 450 pounds a month for working 22.5 a week!!!! Literally half my salary is to pay for a stranger to look after my children! I can't be the only person who just wants to quit and say I'm done adulting!

I want to be an example, I want an active mind, I want to be able to talk to someone who is older than six wink

But at what cost?! And am I the only person who feels like this?!

OP’s posts: |
Lovemusic33 Thu 21-Sep-17 09:55:44

I feel the same, though I don't pay for childcare (I work part time when my kids are at school or with their dad), I am a single parent, both my dc's are disabled. Because I am dd2's career I don't have to work but I chose to because I don't like the stigma of not working and because I want to get out of the house and talk to adult people smile, I am not much better off for working than I would be for staying at home.

Badders08 Thu 21-Sep-17 09:56:11

So a sahp isn't an example??

zippydoodaar Thu 21-Sep-17 10:29:40

What are you doing and how much are you earning?

It's worth it if you enjoy it and want to keep your hand in, keep your pension going, etc. etc.

If it's something like retail or waitressing that you can pick up fairly easily later on then I wouldn't blame you for giving up. There are lots of jobs out there for appalling salaries at the moment.

CoffeeAndCupcakes85 Fri 22-Sep-17 13:21:10

I totally understand how you're feeling couldntgiveahashtag. I'm returning to work after mat leave and will be taking home around £20 a day after childcare costs and travel, for working 15 hours a day and odd bits at weekends. I'm also expecting my second baby, so if I return to work then we'll be paying childcare for two for at least a year. This means I'll actually be paying more to go to work than I will bring home!!!

It is galling, BUT I am trying to focus on the long term and see this as an expense me and DH have to suck up now to protect for all of our futures. It is tough, especially as I would MUCH rather stay at home with my DCs while they're little, but by staying in work now my salary won't drop over the next few years and will hopefully go up a tiny bit (whereas if I even managed to get back into the job in a few years' time, I'd go in at a much lower level than I am now and would need to work up again), I'm paying into my pension, I'm slowly paying off my student loan so am decreasing my debt etc. It's so hard when it feels like you're working long hours for free and don't get to see your DC as much as you want, but I'm really hoping it will be worth it in a few years' time when things won't be such a struggle financially.

Trust me, you're not the only Mumsnetter feeling like this!

SocksRock Fri 22-Sep-17 13:22:36

I worked 30 hours a week for about £150/month for a while.

It's worth it now those that as I kept my hand in, and now all of them at school means I actually earn decent money. And I got to keep part time hours.

It's fucking hard though at the time.

mrsvilliers2 Fri 22-Sep-17 13:53:38

OP I did what you are thinking of doing. 6 years on I'm trying to get back into the workplace but am struggling. I'm glad I did it but I'm not sure I would do it again if that makes sense. A lot of my identity was tied up in work and trying to live and buy a house on one salary is tough.

YerAWizardHarry Fri 22-Sep-17 13:57:51

I used to do 37.5hrs a week for £130 a month for 3 years, it doesn't last forever

troodiedoo Fri 22-Sep-17 14:02:50

I'm seven months in to maternity leave. Don't plan on going back to work if I can help it. Agree totally there is no point working to pay someone else to look after your child. Unless you really love working. I know that's not a popular view on here though!

gillybeanz Fri 22-Sep-17 14:08:39

It's the same for a lot of people, so some choose not to work.
Some people prefer to work though as they aren't capable of being a sahp.
I don't mean that nastily, they readily admit to it, and not everybody is cut out to parent 24/7
others have careers they wish to keep going so are prepared and happy to work for nothing or it to actually cost them to go to work.

Babbitywabbit Fri 22-Sep-17 16:07:02

You're not the only person who feels like that- you just need to think through how you deal with the situation. I worked for no immediate financial benefit for probably about 2 years, and for very little benefit for considerably longer. I could quite happily have stayed home as an alternative, but for me, I just as happily combined working with parenting, and I knew I'd probably struggle to get back into a decent job if I took a lengthy stretch out of work. I've no regrets at all- but I totally feel your frustration at the moment because it's a tough gig when you've spent the week working hard in a professional role and working hard parenting but have no money to show for it!
One thing I didn't think about at the time (but think about a lot now I'm over 50 grin) is that although I didn't feel any financial benefit back then, I was continuing to pay into my final salary pension. Believe me, a good pension is worth its weight in gold

gincamelbak Fri 22-Sep-17 16:13:11

I never hear people say "I work for £50 a week once you've taken off the gas bill and sky bill", it's only childcare that people seem to do this.

The only way I deal with it is to think that this is another household expense.

I work to keep my career going. I went to uni and I do a job I studied and trained to do. Giving it up after having children seems to be more of a waste and expense than just keeping going through the expensive childcare years.

MyDcAreMarvel Fri 22-Sep-17 16:22:12

The example you are giving is a)that you should prioritise the company of adults over that of your children , b) that children are boring and don't " challenge the mind" and c) that money for non essentials is more important to you than spending time with said children.

Getabloominmoveon Fri 22-Sep-17 16:29:01

Agree with others above. Yes it's tough financially in these early years - I used to clear £10 per day after paying childcare. But keeping in the game meant I eventually got better career prospects and have significantly increased my lifetime earnings as a result (now in my 50s). It was hard juggling work and childcare, and it felt like it would go on forever. But it's actually a relatively short period of your life and now I'm so glad I took the hit then, rather than the potential impact of lower wages and opportunities for the rest of my life, and the overall impact that would have had on our family's choices.

TalkinBoutNuthin Fri 22-Sep-17 16:32:04

MyDc - that is the biggest load of rubbish I have seen in quite awhile.

NapQueen Fri 22-Sep-17 16:35:01

If you want to work, then even if it balances at zero income to the family purse, if your family can cope on that then why wouldnt you work? You want to.

If you dont want to work, and can afford not to, then why would you?

Babbitywabbit Fri 22-Sep-17 16:41:31

Oh jog on Mydc. You clearly can't get your head round the fact that many mums adore their kids as much as you do, enjoy their company, don't find them in the least boring BUT simply want to continue other important aspects of their life too.

MyDcAreMarvel Fri 22-Sep-17 17:07:32

I anger my head around it , but the op shouldn't claim she is setting a great example , see isn't. Wohp or sahm , neither are a better example.

CoffeeAndCupcakes85 Fri 22-Sep-17 18:25:15

MyDC - there's no need to be aggressive and try and pull working mums down, especially as the OP came on here because she's feeling a bit down about her current situation and needed support. Most working mums aren't doing it for the reasons you're suggesting, they're working their arses off to help their kids in the future. I would absolutely love to stay at home with my kids all day, but I know in the future I want to be able to afford for them to do things they're interested in (sport? Music?) and I want to be able to help them with uni fees and house deposits and stop them getting into mountains of debt (which will restrict their options later in life). I won't be able to do that if a quit my career now. Also, I worked my arse off at school and uni so that I could get the best job I was capable of. What was the point of doing all of that if I just quit in my early thirties? There are so many working parents making huge sacrifices now so that they can help their children in the future, it's really not very kind to tear them down just because you're making different choices.

Babbitywabbit Fri 22-Sep-17 18:54:32

Everything coffee says is true.
And in addition to that, many women continue to work because they simply don't buy into the idea that becoming a parent means the woman gives up her work life. There are so many facets to this- not just the fact that many of us have spent years getting qualified and experienced in a professional role, but many people do jobs which are essential, socially useful etc. Also, it's far easier to achieve a balance of earning and other responsibilies (child care, housework etc) if you are in a partnership where you both do all those things. Of course it suits some couples to carve up very specific roles so one is sole earner and the other does all the child and domestic work. And that's fine. But it shouldn't be any huge surprise that in this day and age a lot of couples don't see life like that.

I know some people will say, that's all very well if you have an interesting professional role, but what about more menial jobs where work is simply to pay the bills? TBH I tend to think if dh and I were in that situation, it would be even more important to try to carve things up so we both had a balance.... I wouldn't want to be sole earner in a boring job so I wouldn't expect dh to either.

MyDcAreMarvel Fri 22-Sep-17 18:54:56

"Wohp or sahm , neither are a better example."
Maybe read what I wrote.
If wohm is an example then the opposite is true for sahm.

Backingvocals Fri 22-Sep-17 19:00:30

I get where you are coming from but the ability to earn is something that will pay hugely in future years. When you reach your 50s you will have friends struggling through divorce, bereavement, illness and those without earning power really regret their lack of independence. Maintaining your work life throughout your life may save your sanity one day even though it can seem really hard/not worth it.

gillybeanz Fri 22-Sep-17 20:57:32

For me I couldn't justify paying someone to look after my dc so I could work to not gain anything financially.
I never saw it as losing any identity or independence, I suppose it was because I was happy at home with the dc.
Once they started school there was loads of time for me to pursue hobbies, interests, do stuff for the family and lots of opportunities to provide for their future, that I wouldn't be able to do if working.
I'd never suggest anybody elses choices were worse or better than my own, because we choose whats best for us and we are all different.

PolkadottyRose Fri 22-Sep-17 21:02:25

While those not working while raising children don't have the same problem while the kids are little, they do pay a heavy price in the future for having not worked. I say that as someone who was a SAHM.

barefootinkitchen Fri 22-Sep-17 21:45:27

I know it depends on what kind of job you have but my experience was that I took 4 years off full time work but kept in touch, went in for visits, met up with colleagues and my manager always said they were happy to have me back whenever I wanted.
I'm now working school hours at a different place, same industry, slightly better position and shorter commute. The 4 years off made no difference to my future earnings as ex colleagues in same place. I know it's different if you're on a' fast career path' type situation.

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