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Stay at Home mums vs Working.....don't know what to do for best....advice!!

(16 Posts)
Anna85 Mon 01-Aug-11 15:20:47

I currently work shifts and do 22.5 hrs per week which is going to be reduced to 16 soon.

My DS ha ASD and obviously shift work and throw him out etc!

Just lately I am thinking would I be best giving up work but that would mean relying on some benefits! My DS currently gets MRC and LRM so I could claim Carers Allowance I suppose. My husband works and on around £16-17k per year!

Has anyone any experiences of giving up work or thinking of doing so?


EllenJaneisnotmyname Mon 01-Aug-11 18:10:27

Anna, how old is your DS? At school? I know DC with ASD can come to rely on routine, but it can be good for them to learn that life doesn't always follow a strict routine. Only you can really say what you can manage as a family. Don't feel guilty whatever you decide. More time 1:1 would be good if you are trying different strategies/therapies at home, but less time of a better quality could be better. Can you really afford it? You still need a life yourselves and treats/holidays. If the CA means you can live adequately on your DHs money, then why not?

Maybe do a list of pros and cons. See what actually can be managed. Do you have a preference yourself or are you really undecided?

EllenJaneisnotmyname Mon 01-Aug-11 18:13:16

By the way, I didn't go back to work myself until DS3 was at school, but my DH earns more than yours, so a different situation.

SparkleRainbow Mon 01-Aug-11 18:22:14

I have still not gone back to work, but my dh also earns more than yours which gives us more possibilities, and that can't be over looked. Having said that our situation is dd2 was 11 months when ds condition became critical, so I was still technically on maternity leave. I can't go back yet because although ds is at school, emergencies happen any time, and do. I am a teacher and I can't be standing in front of a class and get the phonecall and just disappear it makes me unemployable sad, also no after school care around here can meet ds' emeregncy needs so he can't access that either. As a consquence though we have no money, no holidays, no treats it is a balance. I know my ds is different, but a good childcare facility could provide/meet at leas some of the needs of routine, and it could be planned well in advance so your ds can cope???? Sorry I am not being much help, just posing more questions.

Anna85 Mon 01-Aug-11 18:32:31

Do the Citizens Advice advise on benefits and what you could get etc...not that I want to live on Benefits but things like housing benefit may help!

cansu Mon 01-Aug-11 18:52:28

I went part time for a while which helped, but am now more or less full time again. However working as a teacher means I am home in holidays. I personally find that working gives me something else to focus on and keeps me sane. Having said that sometimes it's hard and I feel torn as I have to employ carers to help out after school until I can get home. Financially I could never maintain our current lifestyle if I didn't work. I guess it depends on how you would be fixed financially as well as whether you enjoy your job and if you can get good enough child care.

chocjunkie Mon 01-Aug-11 18:56:37

Anna, citizens advise bureau should be able to help. They helped me in the past with similar things.

shaz298 Mon 01-Aug-11 21:53:21

Hi, we are in the same positon as you financially. My hubby on £16-17K and I can't work due to the medical needs of my LO.

We manage fine withChild benefit, DLA, Carers and we get Child tax credits too, which help a lot. xxx

mariamagdalena Mon 01-Aug-11 22:45:29

If you worked 15 hours you could claim carers too (depends on our earnings obviously grin. And with a disabled child you have to be seriously considered for 'flexible working' which for you would mean not~flexible ie fixed regular shifts. I work part time and though it's worse for DS, I think the extra sanity it gives me helps him indirectly. And also the money of course.

Don't know how part time work wd affect the childcare elements of working tax credit if you get that, I think rules are that one parent works more than 16 hours and the other should too unless there's a good excuse (hopefully disability would count as a sensible reason).

bigbluebus Tue 02-Aug-11 13:02:33

Anna Our LA has a Welfare and Benefits Advice Dept who are very good at working out what you are/would be entitled to and are particularly good on disability benefits issues. Try contacting your LA and see if they have such a dept who could help you work out what you would get if you weren't working. I'm sure they would be sympathetic if you explain the reason why you need to give up work. I found them to be much better than the DWP.

AlysWho Tue 02-Aug-11 13:17:20

I worked p/t (24 hrs pw) until dd went to secondary, then due to childcare isues and general stress levels, I decided to go to college and retrain, which would give me the school holidays and more flexble hours. However a year and a half into my degree I had to defer, due to impossible situations at home, massive behavioural, school refusal etc.. so much for plans..! Now I'm hoping to go back this Sep having deferred in the end for 2 years. ANYway. I found it MUCH more stressful staying at home full time, lonely and isolating. Work gave me a break from homelife, meant dd was being cared for by other people ( after school club with a 1:1), and I felt MY life had some direction. I'm a single parent, and with tax credits, CA, DLA and low mortgage interest rates, I managed OK financially. I love my dc to bits and plan to remain fully involved in their life and care, but I need something for ME, and dd needs to build relationships with other people too.

I'm not presuming your situation is the same as mine, but thought I'd tell you my story anyway!! x

TheTimeTravellersWife Tue 02-Aug-11 13:27:27

I work part-time. My difficulty was finding childcare. DD wouldn't cope with a nursery so I needed a childminder. I was so sad that some many didn't want to take her, but I now have a great childminder, DD loves her, and it works very well.
What I find hard is juggling taking time off work for all the appointments that DD has! I never seem to take holiday for holidays sake, it is always to have a meeting with some professional involved with DD. sad

AlysWho Tue 02-Aug-11 18:00:05

My dd is 14 and still needs 'childcare', although it does not exist!!

We FINALLY have direct payments, and as she is now at SS, they have an after school club for some of the days.

Even after we got the DP through, it has still been a struggle to find someone to do the hours, 2 hours after school p/w is a bit 'bitty' for most people, and also they have to come to our home as dd has BIG transition issues. Still, we've got someone now and she is TRUELY fab.x

TotalChaos Tue 02-Aug-11 18:05:11

agree with Cansu and others, do you actually enjoy your job, as it can be nice to spend time in the adult world iyswim.

Agnesdipesto Tue 02-Aug-11 20:17:25

I think there is a website called entitledto where you can try out various options. You would get a reasonable amount of tax credits on that wage which might make you wonder why you bother working, but be warned the LibCons are looking to reduce these year on year, so best not to rely on them too much longer term.
You can earn £100 a week after tax, NI and childcare (so £133+childcare) and still get carers allowance so depending on your wage you might be able to get a job for far fewer hours a week and earn similar
Carers is not affected by how much your partner earns, but does affect tax credits
We have had periods where we have not been able to work and have managed on tax credits and carers+ 1 lowish wage
It does make life less stressful in many ways, but you do miss the adult company

Anna85 Wed 03-Aug-11 20:48:37

I still get lots of adult conversation as I go to 2 toddler groups and there is a good network of mums in my area!!

Going to CAB tomorrow for advice!

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