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WWBU to start trying to get pregnant?(9 Posts)
(Would we be unreasonable!)
Hopefully one of you helpful people will be able to give us some unbiased advice...! DP and I really want to start a family. But we are both really unsure about if it's "the right time"- particularly financially.
I'm 29, he's 36. We are both quite senior junior doctors. If all goes to plan I will be a consultant in 2 years, he has longer to go as he's doing a PhD just now.
Our joint earnings are around 65k a year- I am in a job with on-call from home so lower pay, and he is "unbanded" while does his PhD in our local university, which will end in a year. No guarantee he'll be placed near where we live when he finishes his PhD. Earnings on reaching consultancy would be around 70k for me.
We bought our house 2 years ago. It's a nice 3 bed in a good-ish area but is quite cramped, 3rd bedroom is a study/box room. Big mortgage but it's gone up in value.
DP has debt of around £50k and my debt is around £12k plus we have credit card debt of £5k related to essential renovations when we moved in.
We would seriously struggle on less than half-pay for me. We are aware of high childcare costs and I'd probably go down to 60-80% PT after mat leave but we'd still need to pay for a few days childcare. Mat leave and PT would massively extend the time for me to make it to consultant level.
His family are abroad, mine are 2 hours away. We look after his nephews a lot and LOVE having them, but his widowed DB would struggle helping us with a baby.
If I waited 2 years, I could be a consultant with MUCH better pay (and associated mat pay) and could easily afford to work at 60% as a consultant. However I can't help feeling it would be a bit shit to get a new job, announce I was pregnant and leave. But then I'd be left waiting potentially til I was 32 to even start trying. It would also have more clarity about where DP was going to end up working if we waited a bit.
We have 6 months where we can't start trying anyway as we're just back from a wedding in central america (zika risk) so our current feeling is that we should work our socks off for 6 months, do as many locums as possible to at least try and eliminate the credit card debt then start trying. And obviously we know it won't happen straight away! But is this irresponsible?
We would just really appreciate some advice about others' experiences- when is a good time to get pregnant? Is there a good time!? Lots of our medical friends have started having babies but they are all from well-off families, most of whom have bought houses/helped them with deposits, and so our friends are a bit bewildered that we might even be concerned about money
This has been such a long post I'll be really grateful if anyone replies!
PS I am aware that this is very much a first world problem
Just wanted to reassure you with the age thing, I got pregnant by accident at 35 (happy surprise) so 32 is probably no drama. I think your location issue post PHD for your husband is quite key. Lots of doctors I know manage with minimal childcare by manipulating shift patterns but it's getting harder and you would def have more flex as a consultant. You won't be the first to get a new job then get knocked up straight away! Good luck whatever you decide x
50k worth of debt? Student loans or other debt?
Thanks london - yes I agree about the location thing. If he gets a lectureship post PhD then it will be local, and his training number will be moved here. I have a good chance of consultant posts here also. But neither are guaranteed.
pottering the 50k is partially student debt as he was classed as an international student (is now a british citizen) but also a personal loan he took out after his father died to pay for the funeral as there was no money at the time
Medic here too, though husband not. Had my first halfway through st4 (also non-resident on call) - been back at 60%for just over a year, stepping back up to full time in a couple of months to get through training quicker (with added bonus of full mat pay if we have another). I know what you mean about training taking forever, but I decided it was easier to start having children in training and having a job to go back to, rather than trying to get a handle on learning to be a parent and a consultant at the same time.
Financially, have you considered splitting the parental leave with your husband if your salary is bigger? I'm considering having mine take over for the last bit if there's a next one to get through training quicker.
The only other thing I'd check is what maternity entitlement you'd have as a new consultant - if it was a new trust, you might not be eligible for full mat pay for a year after starting (in case this affects when you would want to start trying)
All that said, you still have plenty of time so if you decide you want to wait I'm sure it'll be fine too! I agree with previous posters though - there is no perfect time practically. Good luck!
I can only tell you my experience but I started my first (locum) consultant job when I was 10 weeks pregnant and had to go off sick at 30 weeks. I went back full time when DS was 4 months old (my choice) and have been there coming up two years now. I was offered a substantive job but have taken one elsewhere as we wanted to move back closer to family.
At the time I thought it was a terrible time to choose to pregnant (IVF baby aged 33) but it was actually brilliant. As a consultant your time is so much more flexible than as a trainee, I work 10 sessions (so full time pay) but once on call and spa is factored in I often have a couple of days off in any given week. I do nursery drop off so don't get to work til 8.10. As a surgical registrar that would have been completely unacceptable, but as the boss it's fine! I'm very good at managing my time well at work and keeping on top of admin so when I'm at home I never do any work, unlike when I was a registrar, having to write papers and revise for exams. My work life balance is better now (working full time and with a 17 months old) than it's been for the past ten years. Honestly!
Saying all that, there's probably benefits to doing it as a trainee too, I think what I'm trying to say is that it may never seem like the right time, but you'll make it work.
Oh and you'd be entitled to full mat pay even if different trust, although I had to claim maternity allowance rather than SMP.
This is really helpful- thank you. I am about to start ST5 and OH will be a surgical ST4 once he returns to training next August. I'm a psychiatrist so generally do work 8.30-5 and rarely stay too late unless on-call. On-calls are only 1:6 (a massive privilege I know!)
We'd like to share the leave, theoretically maybe 9 months/3 months but his health board are notorious for being unsupportive of women on mat leave, let alone men taking time.
We are in Scotland- I don't know if that makes a difference to the SMP/trust/board issue- I hadn't even thought about that so again thank you!
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