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Headaches with work and childcare, need a rant!

(6 Posts)
Martha200 Fri 15-Aug-08 00:39:33

After a few years not working in the UK, the family are back and I have a school aged child and 7mth old. I saw a job a few mths ago that is a dream job, pt hours and I know I could do it, so I applied. Heard nothing until today where I have an invitation for an interview next week.. except, DH now earns enough we would get no working tax credits. In theory that sounds a lot of money, well it is good money, yet we are not extravagent and budget and are cautious, though if I went for the job and got it I would be in a position of paying out more (for holiday care that tops it off really) than earning and I find this sooo frustrating as if he earnt less or I earnt more (I am limited really) then going to work would seem more workable, is that not a bit odd? I can't even opt for evening work of something completely different due to DHs work committements either and I feel a bit panicky that having no active CV makes me less employable for the future?

I guess I need to focus on some positives of the situation I am in relating to being a SAHM, but I have found today frustrating, especially as when I called to confirm I wont be going to interview HR had no record of me down for an interview!!

Is it unreasonable to be a Mum and want to do some pt work? Maybe I need to find a hobby or something to tide me over?!

findtheriver Sun 17-Aug-08 12:20:11

Hello Martha.
Yes, you have hit the nail on the head about what's wrong with our systems in the UK. I think the people who are just over the threshold, and therefore not entitled to tax credits etc, are probably the worst off. With the added burden of feeling that you aren't entitled to complain because you earn enough to not get credits!!
I would recommend trying to look at all the other advantages of getting out to work - meeting people, socialising, having a change of scene, raising your spirits and self esteem. I was one of those who worked for nothing for a while (3 preschoolers so all my money went on nursery fees) - however , I tried to look at it that I was working to provide my kids with a fantastic nursery experience which I wouldnt have otherwise been able to afford!
It IS deeply frustrating, but try to look at the long term. Once your children are in school, you are looking at just a small part of the day and holidays that you need childcare for, so it DOES get better!

milojar Sun 17-Aug-08 23:09:35

Hi there,
I hope you won't accuse me of trying to recruit on your thread (well ok, just a little), but I recently signed up with Usborne books as an agent. I looked at the job market locally and laughed at what they wanted to pay me versus childcare costs and what boring admin work I could get part-time (after previously earning a reasonable average wage in a nice little sales & marketing job).

I have a 9 month old son who I love being home with, but I needed a hobby or work interest to keep me sane and ideally something that I could do in my own time (ie during nap times, after DH is home, weekends etc.) and I have found that my own little book biz fits pretty well. I'm on the computer late in the evening, do fairs and stuff at the weekends and make phone calls during nap times (and sometimes I even make time for some housework!). I'm also surrounded by boxes of gorgeous kids books, many of which I can read to my son, or give to my nephews & nieces at Christmas!

It might take me a while to make any real money at it, but I love going out and setting up shop at a fair - my DH and DS can come along and hang out and I also get excited about emails from people that want me to go to their events, it makes me feel like a successful businesswoman in my own little way!

If you don't fancy books there are lots of other direct selling companies like Virgin Vie or Pampered Chef.. you can pick whatever product sounds good to you.

happyhoney Mon 18-Aug-08 00:00:48

Hi Martha,

I am in the same boat as you re tax credits, my husband earns too much for me to get help with child care - we are in the middle band - earn too much for childcare help and I would earn too little to pay childcare.
I childminded for a while and that is a good way to make money without paying childcare fees yourself and it actually gave me that'something else' as you have to do paperwork, adhere to national standard etc.
I can't work evenings either as DH goes away alot - have you thought about weekends?
I agree toddler groups, baby classes etc are a good way to get out of the house.
Good luck

Martha200 Fri 22-Aug-08 15:54:03

Thanks ladies for your replies, I am a lot less frustrated now after our family break away.

I would consider CM except DH works pt from home and with evenings/weekends that could work until he has an evening call (he deals a lot with people in other time zones) or has overseas trips away and then I would be screwed for childcare.

If our parents lived in the area I'd have no problems with going back and giving them something financially as a contribution but it's not the situation.

DH apologised to me for screwing my career up, but truth is he has not done this, I have always supported the moves we have made, and I am blessed with the husband and children I do have, I just seem to feel more efficent when I have something else to focus on!

Rationally I know when I go back to work I will have many years left to work, so really I ought to enjoy the situation as it is now and make the most of it, I was just so gutted at the time that what seemed such an ideal opportunity at the time wasn't to be

honeydew Fri 22-Aug-08 22:34:03

hello Martha,

I really sympathise with your situation and it is frustrating not to be able to take on the opportunities you would like.

i am a SAHM of three children of 4 and under and a former secondary school teacher ( Head of Dept). I find it incredibly frustrating not being able to work. Our situation is that my DH can earn much more money than myself in the city and if I worked it would simply pay for the childcare alone -if that.

Because all my children are pre-schoolers, we found out that you do not get any childcare subsidy for the third child so it would be pointless my going back to teaching. We also have no family support- they all live miles away.

It is very hard adapting to bringing up childern at home when you have a had a career. I get depressed sometimes thinking about all those years I spent at Uni just to end up keeping house and wiping bottoms!

But I do have plans and this keeps me positive about the future. I am hoping to start my own business once all my children are in school and my hobby is writing which I hope to do much more of as the children get older.

Keep positive and keep thinking ahead. Make some plans, do a short college course in something you enjoy and bear in mind once the children are in school you can never have their pre-school years back- even if they drive you to distraction grin.

Do some voluntary work at the weekend if you can, just to give yourself and outside interest. I do various things for my church which keeps me going. My Dh takes the children on a Saturday during the day so I can escape and then I babysit in the evening so he can go out. That way we both get a little time out for ourselves and Sunday is a family day.

I try to enjoy being a SAHM mother at the moment. I do this 'I'm a yummy mummy' thing and embrace the fifties traditional mother role. I bake, paint and see housework as my 'job'. I take responsibility for the children's health, schooling needs and all housekeeping, etc. Even the garden and decorating is my domain! So I try to take a professional approach to the situation now. It has taken me a long time to get there though and by no means means am I suggesting that my place is in the home forever. It's more of a financial necessity right now and an understanding that my children all need me at the moment until that are older.

It's hard though and sometimes I cry because I have no outside help and cannot afford any either. I go to bed totally exhausted and still yet to have a full night's sleep in 5 years.

But it will get better and your children will be grateful to you one day that you invested in them so much. It is worth it, I'm
sure of that. Hang in there and keep goal focused. smile

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