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Scared and in Need of advice(20 Posts)
Hi, sorry in advance for a long post!
I found out 3 weeks ago that not only am I pregnant, I am due January 5th! Quite a shock to say the least but I have a long term DP and due to fertility issues we though we may never be given this chance so are over the moon, if not a little terrified.
Currently we live with his parents and sister, in an extremely overcrowded bungalow. There is no way we can take a baby back there unless we wish to keep it in the sink!
We are inundated with support from both family and friend and don't think we actually need to worry about buying any clothing, nappies etc any time soon, leaving us to concentrate on bigger purchases.
I have not long started a new job but they are being nothing but supportive so no worries there either.
Now I know so many are a lot worse off than us and cope but I am terrified of how we are going to get by. We have found out that my company only offer SMP which is going to make finding somewhere to live extremely difficult. I am so conscious about money that I can't bring myself to buy anything right now either for myself or the baby.
I am trying to think up ways of getting a little extra money in between now and when I would go back to work after baby but all I am hearing for everyone else is 'oh don't worry, it will work itself out'. I don't think I am BU to be worried at all, if anything I think it would be irresponsible not to be.
So I think the purpose of this post is, does anyone have any tips or advice that might be of use. I think the biggest fear is not having the luxury of time to get prepared. 2 months isn't long to prepare for a baby let alone to sort a living situation and financial situation as well!
Congratulations on the baby ;) In terms of money, could your DP work a few extra hours a week? You'll need to look after yourself and the baby and might feel very tired...
Congratulations! Babies actually need very little in terms of big purchases - a car seat needs to be bought new however things like pram can be picked up cheaply second hand.
Work out your finances in minute detail - how much are your and DP's salaries? As you may be entitled to some benefits to supplement your income. Look at your outgoings - can you decrease these at all? Bear in mind that things like travel costs to work won't be occurring while you're on maternity leave, I know of lots of parents who get rid of their car (or SORN it) while on maternity leave to get rid of that expense.
Thank you both for replying!
DP works the opening hours of his company so no overtime there. We already share one car so no chance of taking one off road.
I will be refunding my season ticket and paying back the company loan so that will help a bit.
I think the scary thing is my salary is really good normally and is our majority income but SMP is less than a third of what I would normally take home monthly. Where do you stand with help if your normal salary is good, will they asses you for the period of time you are on SMP?
A friend of mine discovered she was pregnant with three weeks to go. You will cope too.
A moses basket is fine for the first three months.
A changing mat on the floor.
Baby clothes ... Put the word out that you want practical stuff.
Go ont your local Facebay and Freecycle.
Find NCT sales for odd bits.
When I had my kifs, SMP ran for 6 weeks. You will cope.
Enjoy your sleep while you still can
Look what family tax credits you are eligible for. That may include help with rent while your income is lower on maternity.
My children are now old teens. When the 1st was born we lived in a small house with difficult access. We had money so that wasn't an issue
Both my children had a simple folding buggy (the same one) from birth. No fancy pram
Moses based then basic cot
I had a high chair but only the basic Ikea plastic one - no tray they ate at the table. We had a clip on chair for relatives
No changing mat- I had a small piece of pic tablecloth type fabric that I folded into my handbag. No changing bag with 1st as I breastfed and only used an old bag we already had with the 2nd.
No baby bath- stick them in with an adult. I bathed them in the sink for many months. used Johnson's baby shampoo for everything- no other toiletries.
best thing was probably a sling- I had the posh strappy one as a gift but it was crap. A basic click fastener one was much better
No nursing chair etc- sit on the sofa. No muslins- never saw what people used them for
had a basic rocking car seat which also doubled as sitting seat when tiny. So popped them in while I cooked etc if they were asleep
Dont be afraid to ask family for specific gifts. They will be buying something anyway. We got loads of newborn baby clothes and neither of mine fitted in them. When you get stuff you dont want then just take it back- they will often give you a credit note that you can use in the future. Ask for nappies (in 1st size not newborn) and baby wipes- better than frilly newborn outfits.
I also only got 6 weeks basic maternity pay. Babies dont need expensive stuff.
Take the amount of money you will get over the 39 weeks (6x90% then 33 at £136ish a week) and divide by 9 months. Use that amount as your monthly budget. That way you won't have more at the beginning then less at the end.
Have you spoken to the council about housing? Citizens advice are really good at financial advice.
It's always daunting when you are going o get less money than you are used to, but I bet once you cut out some stuff you find it works. Write down everything you have spent money on in the last month and cross out the stuff that's not needed. With a few cut backs you will be surprised what you can save.
Are you me perdialost
Congratulations, good news
No fancy stuff. Cold water steriliser- lidded plastic tub & sterilising tablets,
washable flannels not baby wipes.
A big pack of baby grows & vests, it was much easier than faffing about with clothes for the first few months.
I have some lovely photos of mine in the sink, he'd sit for ages while I cleaned up
My ds is 18, he's turned out alright even though we had a mothercare buggy £50, & not a bugaboo £££ travel system.
I agree that you should see where you can cut back and you might be surprised.
You will probably be entitled to a tax rebate in the spring if your salary is good. It won't be loads but could be a useful cheque at that time.
Tax credits can be difficult because they look at your earnings for the previous year, but hopefully as you're on maternity leave and relying on a single salary between you you will be eligible to receive something.
There are lots of nearly new sales where you can pick up things cheaply, and lots of free things you can do to get out with a baby once it arrives.
If your joint income is less than £26k then you may get some child tax credits once the baby is born. When you go back to work and pay childcare then you may also get help with those costs.
Thank you all for your replies. They have been really helpful and I really appreciate the advice.
Now starts the journey of looking for a property! Can't wait to be settled and just enjoy waiting for LO to get here!
How long are you intending to take as leave? And what about your DP? If you are the higher earner it makes sense for you to go back to work asap, and then for him to take parental leave for a bit.
I am planning on 6 months.
I have missed out on so much of my pregnancy and am having to work right through up until I am due. Also due to my commute I have to leave the house at 7am and don't get back until 7pm. I'm just not comfortable being away for that length of time 5 days per week any earlier than 6 months. Ideally I'd like longer but it's just not financially possible.
Why aren't you comfortable being away for 12 hours? Would you be comfortable if your DP was away for 12 hours if you were at home?
Not having a go at you, just getting you to ask questions of yourself and hopefully help you work out your priorities. If you take any more than six weeks off, then you are sacrificing money so that you (rather than your DP) can spend time with your baby. Which is fine - I did and would again for a few months, to establish breastfeeding - but if you are the higher earner, that needs to be an active decision.
I'm assuming you understand the new(ish) rules around parental leave? Your DP has a right to take time off (and be paid ShPP, which is at the same rate as the end bit of SMP). He can essentially take over your maternity leave and pay, and you are allowed to overlap.
I honestly just feel I would miss out on so much. I have missed out on the majority of my pregnancy and these 2 months that I have are more worry about trying to do everything in such a short space of time. I love my job and work have been truly incredible with me, DPs work, not so much. But as much as I love my job and being able to work but feel I would regret it if I missed any more time with LO than necessary.
I will look more into shared parental leave, thank you for the information as I wasn't aware of this.
Also my company are very good with flexible working hours so I may look into going back a bit sooner but on a part time basis rather straight back into things. May be a good compromise.
Going back part time might indeed be an idea.
I don't know about you, but for me it helps to know what the backstop plan is. If you run out of money, you can go back to work and DP can stay at home with the baby. That isn't a completely terrible, world falling in scenario. That's as bad as it gets... and it's not very bad at all.
Anything better than that (taking more time off, getting somewhere less crowded to live, going on holiday, buying a fancy high chair [btw, don't - the Ikea one is better]) is a bonus, and you can decide (i.e. be in control of, at least to some extent) on which of these things you want to spend any spare money.
I completely agree. Right now trying to come up with as many plans as possible so we have options and I couldn't agree more that sharing leave with DP would definitely not be the worst scenario in the world.
That you so much for your advice and help. It really has given m more to think about and helped with another backup plan!
Congratulations Unexpectedbaby! You will cope.
You can get baby things off freegle and freecycle. I dampen clean muslin cloths for pressing clothes.
It sounds like you have a lovely husband and supportive inlaws, and a good job. And soon you will have your much longed for child. Good luck with finding somewhere to live.
Very best wishes,
The other big thing that you might not have had time to think about is the longer term plan for childcare.
Nursery? Childminder? Nanny? Will one (or both) of you request to go part time or flex your hours or WFH? Or even be a SAHP. Worth discussing sooner rather than later, especially as you are the higher earner. Women are socially conditioned to think PT or SAH roles are normal. Men not so much, depending on where you live and with whom you socialise! My DH is a SAHP now, but it's taken us a while to realise that this is the best setup for us.
You might also want to consider marriage, especially if one of you ends up working less or taking a financial hit in other ways. You don't need to have a wedding - an appointment at the registrars office with two randoms off the street works just as well - but it puts in place a set of legal protections in the event of you splitting up.
Oh, and I've just realised I never said: congratulations! Exciting times!
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