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Can't afford to work, can't afford not to work....

(16 Posts)
KW89 Fri 02-Sep-16 22:15:21

I'm Mum to two boys 1yr and 3 yrs. I work 3 days a week since having my eldest, My husband works 60 hour weeks.
Currently my Mum looks after my boys, but is struggling since looking after my nephew aswell the last 6 months. She was always happy looking after them, but now says that having the three is really hard, obviously I have said that I will find another solution as they are my responsibility, but we cannot afford childcare, and I also cannot afford to give up work, we are in a lose/lose situation and I don't know what to do. How do families afford for one parent to stay at home? I have looked into tax credits as a last option, but even with them we would be over £300 short of what we need a month just for basic bills/food etc.

sparechange Fri 02-Sep-16 22:17:10

Is there any way of doing evening or weekend work so your DH can cover all or part of the childcare cost?
It isn't ideal in terms of eating into your family time but it would only be short term until they are in school?

Cabrinha Fri 02-Sep-16 22:21:48

Your 3yo is entitled to 15 hours childcare funding.
That would cover 2 of the 3 days your mum provides for free, and she's back down to 2 kids again.

rollonthesummer Fri 02-Sep-16 22:24:32

What would you have done if your mum has never looked after your children? Would you have got a childminder?

Will your mum still be looking after your nephew?

crayfish Fri 02-Sep-16 22:29:53

How much do you earn? And how much is childcare? Your answer is in there somewhere. If you can only afford childcare when it's free from family then I think you are in a precarious position and need to think hard about the way you work. Maybe evenings or weekends would be more practical? My childcare for one is less than I earn a day so it makes sense to work, but that would change if I had DC2. You need to do the sums.

user1470997562 Fri 02-Sep-16 22:32:34

When mine were this age I worked two 12 hour shifts in a nursing home (a weekday and a weekend day). But I had my mum for one day a week and dh was off at the weekend.

I brought home about £600 pcm.

Is there a way you could adapt your working hours? Personally when I went to working 2.5 days a week (Wed to Fri) I found it the worst for making any money.

Tricky if your dh is working a 60 hour week though.

Babyroobs Fri 02-Sep-16 23:43:36

The only way we have been able to afford our 4 kids has been to work around each other. I mostly worked nights when the kids were little and dh worked regular days ( although not as many hours as your dh). Now the kids are older I do more days but still lots of weekends and evenings to avoid childcare costs.

namechangedtoday15 Sat 03-Sep-16 17:49:10

What about your SIL / sister (nephew's mother)? Could you have your nephew 1 day and then your SIL/sis does a day in return?

KW89 Sat 03-Sep-16 21:27:04

That could be an option namechanged, thanks I will suggest that to her.

I work as a Teaching Assistant, so a change in hours would mean a complete change in career, but if it's the only option then I guess I have no choice but to consider it.

He doesn't get the 15 free hours until January Cabrinha, missed out on this term by 2 days!

Rollonthesummer, we could afford childcare for one, we wouldn't have considered a second if my Mum hadn't been 100% sure on looking after them.

Crayfish, my childcare isn't free, we pay my Mum, just not as much as a childminder would cost.

RandomMess Sat 03-Sep-16 21:31:45

I would look for an alternative for the eldest and ask your Mum is you can pay far less than 50% of the current for your youngest.

Can your Mum afford to not work and look after her GC instead?

Cabrinha Sun 04-Sep-16 17:44:17

Has your mum actually said she can't do all 3 any more? If you're getting the 15 hours in Jan, and you're a TA then it's not a quite a full day for her (if you're 08:30-15:30) and it's only 10 more weeks of it. Then, 2 of the 3 days is covered anyway.

If not, as it's a temporary situation til Jan, sounds like you'll need to tighten your belts for a while if older one goes to nursery early!

Happi3n3sss Tue 06-Sep-16 23:11:56

Suggest check all bills and see if you can swap them to a cheaper deal

Are there any luxuries that you can stop ?

Food can you decrease the bill ?

Many people do not have parents or friends located near or parents who want to offer free or reduced child care

Can you change to a job that pays more ?

Why did you have children if you cannot afford them ?

KW89 Thu 08-Sep-16 08:47:05

How bloody rude can people be when I come here to ask for some advice/ ideas? We had our children and could afford them, my husband was in a well paid job, but was made redundant and at the moment is working, but has not got a job on the same money as before. I'm sure there are alot of people alot worse off than us who have children, we aren't sponging off the tax payers like some. Thanks for making me feel totally crap. Just because we aren't completely loaded doesn't deny us the right to have children. Thankyou to those who genuinely gave ideas on how to lower cost/ alternative childcare, my husband has managed to swap his hours around at work and is now home Monday and weds, so mum only has the children on Tuesday for 8 hours which we pay £100 a month for.

Bertieboo1 Thu 08-Sep-16 08:51:22

Glad you have managed to sort out a good solution. I agree that people were rude about affording children. Might be worth mentioning info in your op next time, eg husband being made redundant, on lower pay now.

I have just gone back to work as a teacher with two under 3 in childcare, definitely questioning how to afford it all!

woodhill Thu 08-Sep-16 09:07:24

That's mean. None of us would have had any Dc. Who can afford them?

Hope you sort it out OP. TA pay is lousy.

smithsurvey14 Thu 15-Sep-16 22:03:22

I sympathize with you. My DH and I worked opposite hours so one of us was always at home for the children but my employers did not understand that in that situation you can't be "flexible to provide cover" and that when they pay a low wage and we did not have friends of family able to childmind, that providing cover would have cost me money. After numerous disciplinary hearings over not providing cover I had to give my job up due to stress now we too are struggling with our finances.

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