What do I do?(18 Posts)
I’m currently on mat leave and due to return to work around the end of Jan as that’s when mat pay stops otherwise I would have taken a year off. When I was pregnant everyone was saying they would be happy to babysit if I wanted to go back full time, we were even organising days etc.. now I’m struggling to find childcare! It’s basically all down to my mum & sister. My mum isn’t in a good place atm so i would feel unbelievable amounts of guilt leaving dd with her as I’m not sure how she would cope. My sister has random weekdays off and although she over having dd I would feel guilty taking up her only day off (works some weekends) and dd would be with dh on the weekends I would be cue to work, obviously there’s no issue there. So really other than weekends I feel like I have no childcare. The last thing I want is to return to work and it doesn’t work out. My work days would be 8-5.30 and I couldn’t do half days either which would be a lot easier if I could & would plan to go back 3 days per week but on a rota basis if that makes sense. Any less days and I couldn’t afford it. I’ve looked into what benefits we could claim if I didn’t go back and it would be nothing because of what dh earns. However his wage barely covers his outgoings so covering mine too would be out the question. I’ve been in tears over what to do for weeks now as have to give Work 8 weeks notice to come back which is in the next few weeks and I just feel completely stuck! I’m sorry for rambling and not even sure what sort of answer I’m looking for really, guess I just wanted to voice my worries!
Find a good childminder?? That's what a ot of us do
This is why childminders, nannies and nurseries exist, OP.
However his wage barely covers his outgoings so covering mine too would be out the question
Childcare for your joint child are his outgoings too. Because it’s his child too. So look at the outgoings you can reduce.
Have you spoken to your Employer about working hours? What about childcare vouchers?
What is your job?
Could you try and get set days rather than rotating days as you'll end up having to pay for 5 weekdays just to make sure you have childcare when you need it. If you can't get set days I would probably start looking for something else that has set days even if they are Monday to Friday. If you are going to be paying for a full week's childcare you might as well be using it and getting your w'ends with your DH.
Also, have you looked into getting childcare vouchers through your work and through your DH's work? That saves a bit of money each month.
Thank you for your replies. I did think about childcare vouchers but to be completely honest, I’m just not comfortable leaving her with someone I don’t know and she doesn’t know whilst she’s still so young. She’s hard work 90% of the time and I’m not sure how they would deal with her. I totally get they are experienced and it’s their job but it’s something I’m not very comfortable with until she’s a bit older.
We’ve reduced outgoings as much as we can but he’s also had his hours cut down, which means he’s home earlier so that’s nice but also his wages have gone down.
I’ve been at my job for 8 years and love what I do, I just didn’t want to have to leave, even if it’s to find something else with more flexible hours. I have no idea what I’d do even. My employer is flexible with the days I want to work, I can pretty much do what I want but just can’t do shorter days.
You've still got a couple of months to get to know a cm or nursery worker. Maybe you could phase your return to use up accrued leave so it would only be for a day or two a week fir first few weeks.
You need to find paid childcare if you want to go back to work.
It’s not your family’s job to look after her - you need to find a nursery, or childminder. If your husband has had his hours reduced then he can do more childcare. Childcare needs to come out of your joint budget, not just your wages.
I hate to say it but your circumstances are like a lot of mothers when they come to the end of their maternity leave. Many women don't want to leave their dc with someone else and struggle to cover the cost of childcare but it's just what they have to do.
Your DD will settle in childcare and between you and your partner you will have to work out how to make returning to work work.
As your DD gets older childcare costs will come down so this is short term and being back at work will increase your earning power.
First of all you need to look at the income as family money, all of it wherever it comes from.
It isn't his money and covering your loss of income, it's a joint pot.
Secondly if you are both working childcare comes out of the pot, nobody pays for it, the pot does.
I know what you are going through not wanting to leave your baby, I was the same.
I had to make it happen though as I was physically incapable of leaving mine, we just had to live a lifestyle that allowed for a sahp.
We had tc and cb as low income, would this not be possible now your dh hours have been cut?
We moved to the stix, lived mostly off the land went off grid, and lived like this for about 5 years. We were 12 years in the country and they were fab years, very few luxuries and these were xmas and B'day presents from others, but we loved it as we were able to spend time with the dc when they were little.
Sorry I never meant to imply that it would just be me paying for childcare, it would be us. I just meant if I don’t return to work we couldn’t afford to live on his wages.
Even though his hours have been cut he’s still out the house for the same hours as i would be whereas before it used to be 12 hours a day plus travelling.
I’m not sure what tc and cb are
Family have sad to me that they’d rather be looking after her than a childminder anyway, I haven’t just put this on them, they’ve offered. I just still feel very guilty about it.
I think maybe I’ll research some childminders or nurseries.
It is one thing for family to offer but a casual arrangement may also mean you get let down more readily, not necessarily deliberately, and find it harder to insist on the way she is cared for. It would be more consistent for you all to book childcare.
OP I would be wary of using family simply because my mum was desperate to have my Son, she went on & on about it before I even got preg, she did 2 days a week (sometimes 3 if I had training or similar) but she soon found it hard to manage & started moaning about 'Not having any time to myself as I've ALWAYS got the kids' (She had my Sisters too) So we put him in nursery. Mum was furious that we would 'Rather him be looked after by strangers' but they had a much better relationship thereafter.
I'd be very wary of leaving a 'difficult' baby with family (grandparent or sister on her day off) as it would require commitment that I don't think you can guarantee they would give. They would want your baby to fit around them.
S childminder would be far better as they dedicate their day to giving high quality care to their mindees, they have lots of resources and activities and generally, you know, is their job!!! You need to trust them more. Go and meet some, talk to them, visit they homes, before making assumptions that they won't be good enough.
You've decided you have to go back to work, so therefore you have to find good, reliable childcare. Speak to your employer to see if you can work less hours, set days or whatever suits your family. Then arrange a childminder or nursery and have some settling in sessions. In many ways it's better not to have to rely on family because you/they can feel it's a burden at times, and they can let you down at short notice. Paid childcare will rarely do that.
It is possible to find flexible childcare if you're unable to get set days at work, I have a childminder who is flexible because my shifts change every week. I pay more than I would for set hours, but not as much as a full time place.
It's hard when you return to work and gave to leave your child, but you and your DD will be fine. Working parents all have to do it and it really isn't that hard after the initial days. Good luck
Thank you everyone. It’s made me feel slightly better. There’s a nursery at my local leisure centre so I might have a look into costs of that and have a look around in a few weeks.
I wouldn't leave it tbh. The popular nurseries often have waiting lists or have limited days to offer which you may need to negotiate to work for your employer.
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