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Do you work full or part time?

(31 Posts)
qumquat Mon 12-May-14 14:03:43

I am currently on mat leave and things are bad with dp we are considering splitting. I need to decide next week if I am going back to work full or part time. I'd assumed if I were single I'd have to be full time, but a lot of single mums seem to work part time and I wondered how you make it work financially? I dread working full time and barely seeing dd, then not seeing her when she is with dp as well. I am a teacher and barely coped with full time pre dc, although of course the holidays will be a godsend once dd in school. I also figure full time will safeguard my pension. Just scared I won't cope and dd will suffer. I'd appreciate any of your thoughts and experiences.

LadySybilLikesCake Mon 12-May-14 14:07:59

If I were you, I'd go back part time for now. Working full time with a small baby and a house and you're doing all this alone is exhausting. It's better to pace yourself. Give it a try and if you find that you could cope full time it's always an option for next year.

Lioninthesun Mon 12-May-14 15:12:59

You also need to figure out if your wages full time cover full time nursery costs. I think that is the main reason LP mums work PT or not at all.

Lucyccfc Mon 12-May-14 15:33:41

As others have said - work out your finances first. Have a look at the cost of a nursery or child minders where you live. Does your employer do child care vouchers? Could you guarantee your DP would pay regular maintenance? Do you have a mortgage and would part time wages cover it?

Some people find managing a full time job, house and baby exhausting, but not everyone. I've done it since DS was 2 and of course I get tired, but not to the point of being exhausted. My job takes me all over the country, but sometimes I get to work from home, so it balances out. If I have had a particularly mad week, I will answer e-mails in an evening when DS is in bed.

DS and I still see lots of each other and have quality time. We have tea together every night and we spend time together before he goes to bed. It's a bit easier when they get older. He see's his Dad every other weekend and when he is there I catch up on cleaning, ironing etc and also get to go out once in a while.

kimlo Mon 12-May-14 15:40:53

I went back to work as a single parent when dd2 was 7 months, I went back 30 hours over 4 days.

That worked well for me because I finish work on a monday in time to pick dd1 and now dd2 up from school, then I have a friday off.

I would never have been able to do it without taxcredits.they paid 70% of my childcare which at its worse was over 1000 every four weeks. Now they are both at school its alot cheaper. I also got working and child tax credit so wadnt too badly off really.

revealall Mon 12-May-14 18:18:11

There is lots of help with tax credits, housing benefit etc. Where were you planning on living in fact often it pays not to work full time especially taking into account how much time you'll have with the children and getting things done. Especially true of teaching when you'll only have weekends to book appointments and get stuff done.
Child maintaince isn't taken into account for benefits so if he pays you'll be better off then many.
Can you go back to full time teaching later on when DD is older.? Maybe consider other types of schools EBD, private or lecturing all pay better than state?

Minime85 Mon 12-May-14 18:35:48

I'm a teacher too. I agree look at your finances first and work out what you would get paid part time and then what tax credits u would be entitled too.

I was part time when kids smaller but ex and I were still together. i would have struggles to be full time with little ones. ironically gone back full time and we separate. been a god send to keep me sane but mine are both at school now so bit different .

also worth considering will school go for this? they will have probably pretty much finished timetable now, how will that go down at work and will it even been possible? also how many days would u do? part time teaching isn't easy. also what subject do u do? will it actually decrease workload ebough to warrant pay difference. if secondary expect to loose classroom, split classes out of loop with meetings etc. I'm not trying to be negative just speaking from 7 yrs experience! I just accepted it was part of being part time and that was worth it it have 2 days a week at home with my dds and keep me sane and still keeping my hand in. just go in eyes open. good lucksmile

mammadiggingdeep Mon 12-May-14 20:28:54

I'm a 0.6 and get help for childcare through tax credits. My advice is go part time. Running a house single handedly and looking after dc is a full time job in itself. If you can go part time then opt for that.

mammadiggingdeep Mon 12-May-14 20:30:12

Ps- my two are pre school age...I'll prob go back full time once youngest is in year 1, possibly reception.

justtoomessy Mon 12-May-14 21:21:38

Full-time plus one extra shift (including nights) a month but I have a wonderful mother who does my childcare. I'm knackered and tired and my DS certainly does not get the best of me most of the time. However, to be able to pay my mortgage, go on holidays and pay bills etc I have to work full-time.

My friends work part-time and cope because benefits top it up to not far off what I am getting. You need to look at things like paying a mortgage if you have one plus being able to take over mortgage in your own name which will be hard with the new rules if you are only part time.

Meglet Mon 12-May-14 21:27:21

3 days a week.

The dc's don't see their dad so I have them every weekend, and it's chaos. It means I need 2 days in the week to catch up, tidy up, make appointments and get to the gym.

MissWimpyDimple Mon 12-May-14 21:32:31

Part time. 16 hours. It's the minimum that still qualifies you for tax credits rather than income support.

I would do more hours, ideally 22, but that's not available at the moment.

I would start as low as you can (as long as it's 16 hours or above) and then see how your DC takes onto nursery and how you are getting on.

MissWimpyDimple Mon 12-May-14 21:34:08

One point to add - if you rent then a portion of that will be covered by housing benefit if you work part time. If you own and want to cover a mortgage, it's possible that the only option will be full time.

milkysmum Mon 12-May-14 21:40:11

I am a community nurse and was working monday- friday 9-5. When h moved out a few months back I checked out my finances re tax credits and found out I could drop to 30 hours and pretty much be no worse off as tax credits seem to top up to what I was earning before and I get that little bit extra time with dc's age 5 and 2 which is fab!

Theincidental Mon 12-May-14 21:50:10

I now work ft hours over 4 days. My Ds is three. It's pretty exhausting for both of us as he does 4 10 hour days at nursery, but it works financially.

The best was when I worked 3.5 shorter days and had a half day at home on my own to keep up with the house.

Turn to us and entitled to have good calculators for tax credits and benefits so you can get reasonable projections for what you'll take home.

fedupbutfine Mon 12-May-14 22:13:09

run the figures through benefit checkers - it will probably tell you what you can afford to do (or not). I am an NQT having retrained to fit around the children. Am full time. Am knackered! If I had the choice today, I would drop to 3 days but as I've been single over 5 years now, am over 40 and have no pension to speak of, I don't really see that I have much choice but to plough through it full-time. My head of department is understanding and my mum is a godsend. My ex is helpful when it suits him (hit and miss!) so all in all, I've managed to miss one lesson in total this year, despite having 3 primary aged children who (unusally) have had every bug going between them.

Juno321 Mon 12-May-14 22:34:31

I'm a full time student, so only really part time uni and lots of studying at home smile

WillYouDoTheFandango Mon 12-May-14 22:38:12

I work 30 hours over 4 days. I ran the sums last week and I'd be better off working 22.5 h (3 days) as I'd then qualify for CTC/WTC but that's not doable in my job ATM.

qumquat Tue 13-May-14 09:40:33

Thanks everyone. I will look at entitled to. Pension is the reall worry for me, even if I'm better off in the short term part time, I worry about retirement. Wow this is terrifying!

WillYouDoTheFandango Tue 13-May-14 10:22:59

I know what you mean qumquat. I've always paid as much as I can afford into my pension but I think that once the house sale goes through I'll have to scale my payments right back to afford the mortgage alone. It's shit because my employer matches my payments so I'll be underpaying by twice as much.

TrickyTreeLou Tue 13-May-14 19:38:40

I work 4 short days, from 9.30 - 3.15. DS is just one and I've been a single parent since he was born (H buggered off before I found out I was pregnant). I went back to work in January and still find it very tiring juggling these hours and getting him to his childcare, sorting out housework/chores etc. I haven't had much of a social life since I've been back to work because I'm permanently knackered.

Will echo what everyone else has said, I couldn't do it without tax credits etc.

Russettbella1000 Tue 13-May-14 19:39:25

I have a 3 day 0.6 contract, I find it strikes a very good work-life balance (teacher too, but without own class responsibility so makes things easier)...LO is 2 and with childminder, but tax credits covers that....If I worked more I'd been knackered and have to pay more of the childcare balance... I have a small mortgage too so that's fine although if you rent you might even get housing benefit which a smaller wage could trigger...
Good luck...
Oh and as for pension, I just hope I get in what I've paid in....Nothing is guaranteed and I certainly don't believe our 'gold encrusted' final salary pensions will look anything like what we think they should when (if) we finally retire...Goalposts will be moved! Sorry for the cynicism.

outoftherut Tue 13-May-14 19:59:46

I work 23 hours over three days. I don't qualify for tax credits as over the threshold but would find full time too much stress - my job involves a long commute and unpaid overtime.

nocheeseinhouse Tue 13-May-14 20:09:19

Retirement?! Unless you are a much much older mother, your child needs you now.

It's hard balancing finances/work/family, but family has to come top.

What's a social life?

qumquat Wed 14-May-14 17:00:08

I I will be renting after selling our flat, which will mean I have a decent amount of capital, but not enough to buy own house, and it seems this capital will make me in eligible for housing benefit. I will definitely be better off working full time, but not sure if dd and I will cope.

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