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Panic - how will I do it all

6 replies

Kw1311 · 11/11/2021 15:57

I adopted 2 DS’s 6 months ago a 1 and 2 year old.. I am due back to work in March ish time but I’m already panicking how I will be able to do everything, logistically I just see it working. I need to work for financial And sanity reasons but I’m petrified something will drop!! I’ve hit panic mode and feel sick when I think about it!! I’m hoping to drop to 32 hours over 4 days if they agree it.

My support network seems to have done a complete 180 and now isn’t open to helping with childcare. I just want to cry. Hubby is going to try drop a day but that still leaves me with 3 days a week and a 3ish month window with having to work and no childcare for littlest one. But 15 free hours for biggest..

My head is spinning, How does everyone do it?

OP posts:
IknowwhatIneed · 11/11/2021 16:29

It’s a lot to juggle, isn’t it. Did you adopt on the assumption that you’d go back to work full time and are now finding that childcare costs make it impractical?

In terms of support, I don’t think it’s at all unusual to find your supports changing significantly post-adoption once the reality sets in. I have no local informal childcare, so have to pay which isn’t cheap (though mine are in school, so not full time childcare). Have you looked at childcare in your area and got a sense of the costs involved?

Remember too that childcare is a joint responsibility so you and your partner need to decide what to do, and how to cover costs together - don’t fall into the trap of your salary alone covering childcare, it’s a joint cost like your mortgage or rent.

RatherBeRiding · 11/11/2021 16:39

I think the first thing is to get a clear idea of the costs of childcare - nursery and childminders. Look at the worst case scenario of needing 5 days a week. Will this cost more than your salary? When mine were very young and pre-school I ended up working for literally some pocket money once the nursery fees had been paid but I really wanted to keep the job open till they hit school and the financial drain lessened.

I know you say you need to work but have you considered a career break for a couple of years until the children are older and approaching school age?

Basically, you need to look at all options and do the sums.

JohnPA · 11/11/2021 19:44

When I adopted my two kids of a similar age to yours and returned to work, I reduced my work hours to 35 hours spread over 5 days. That means that each day I can drop and pick up kids from nursery/school at around 3:30pm. Financially, due to reduced nursery costs each day, it means that I am better off at the end of the month. So you could check with your employer if you can work less hours each day and with the nursery if they accept less hours in the afternoon (e.g. from 8am to 3pm). You may find that financially it actually works better for you. Another thing I negotiated with my employer is to work from home 3 days a week, but I know this isn’t possible for all jobs. Good luck!

Ted27 · 11/11/2021 20:35

When you adopted the children, what was the plan for returning to work? what’s changed?
Why is there childcare for the oldest but not the youngest? Or do you mean free childcare?

The short answer though is you don’t do it all, you have a partner and you do what all families do, look at the options, do the numbers and see what works.

Smellymoo · 12/11/2021 08:24

This is filling me with slight dread as I’m on leave for the second time. I’m a way off going back to work (will return properly in sept next year, but I’m not really sure how we will cope! We will have two kids going to different places (school and nursery), and so one of us will have to drop each of them off as the earliest drop off is 7:30 (we are both teachers). Pick up is thankfully 6:00 (but I’d never leave them there till then unless I absolutely had to!).

The cost is immense. We are lucky in a sense that we will get the 2 year funding for the littlest and the oldest is starting school but I honestly don’t understand how people afford it. We are both on ok salaries and majority will be spent on childcare.

It’s only for a short while before they’re both in school and you gradually get more and more funding so just think of it as difficult in the short run but it gets easier as they get older (cost wise……. Sure other problems will tear their heads. And also other activities like swimming, karate, music lessons start to come into it!)

I could never give up work entirely and my partner suggested me going down to 3 days instead of 4, but then I’d lose the responsibility I have and I like my job….! I’m having a great time being off but to be honest my mind is being slowly eroded by Bing and the baby club.

sunshineandskyscrapers · 12/11/2021 10:13

It's tricky with two little ones. You do need to look at your outgoings on childcare to see how they stack up against what you'll be bringing in and ask yourself is it worth it. I have one friend with twins who won't be going back to any kind of work until her two get to the three-year funding point. Another friend with twins took on an au pair as it was a more cost effective way of ensuring she and her partner could both work full time. And a third friend put her two children in nursery and went back to work earning hardly more than the cost of the childcare, but she needed to work for her own mental health and her partner was bringing in enough so it was the right decision for her.

The 2-year funding of 15 hours a week is applied differently depending on the setting and only applies to term time. If you want to stretch it over the year, and some settings insist on it, then it works out as closer to 10 hours a week. So while some settings may say 15 hours is three mornings, others might say it's one full day (8am-6pm, whether you use all of that or not) and may still ask you to cover the cost of snacks and lunch. Start to feel out your local nurseries and childminders not only for their charges, but also for how they apply the 2-year funding, and importantly for whether they actually have space.

One thing I did before returning to work was ask my HR team to provide me with take home figures for 50% 60% etc. of a full time contract so I could make the right decision about how many hours was right for me. While you are crunching the numbers, look at tax free childcare as there is x amount of earnings that you shouldn't have to pay income tax on that will make what you spend on childcare go further. I am not sure on the detail of this as it's a different system from what was in place a few years ago, but search for tax free childcare to get information on this. Once you have costed up your incomings and outgoings put it through a universal credit calculator. If your earnings are not spectacular and you have high childcare costs you may well be eligible for something.

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