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Is it worth going back to work

55 replies

wingingit987 · 17/10/2021 21:28

I've just had my second baby and I'm due to go back to work in the spring.

I'm starting to wonder if it's worth it may be to soon to be thinking but our childcare fees are going to be almost £800 a month and I only earn 1100 at most a month is it worth it?

We when I say the child care fees would take up £800 of my wages u mean jointly it's all one pot in our house. I mean working 3 full days a week for maybe less that 300 is shit!

But on the other hand I really love my jobs and the people who I work with we have a great team the money isn't great and career progression is abit crap. I also don't like
The thought of not working incase my relationship goes down the pan atleast I still have my career.

What does everyone else do? Any way to help with fees? Or what is being a sahm?

OP posts:
Barbie222 · 17/10/2021 21:30

I would say keep working if at all possible - it's only a few years paying for this level of childcare, but you've got years and years after to wish you could get back into the job market, if you leave and can't.

CareerConcerns1999 · 17/10/2021 21:32

You arent just working for 300pcm. There are other benefits to you staying in your job, of which you've acknowledged some.

What are those things worth? Lots, I'd say.

PumpkinPie2016 · 17/10/2021 21:33

If you enjoy your job, I would say, go back.

Yes, nursery fees are expensive but once your little one is 3, they can get 30 free hours. You don't say how old your other child is but the same will apply if it doesn't already-30 free hours once they turn 3.

Try to think long term - staying in the job market, maintaining your career, pension etc. Are all worth a lot.

I went back after 10 months (although I only have one) and I did wonder at first if it was worth it. However, over the last 7 years, I moved to a better job and gained two promotions. My earnings have more than doubled as well. So, in the long run, it has been worth the nursery fees.

AlexaShutUp · 17/10/2021 21:36

I would keep working if you possibly can.

AutumnLeafy · 17/10/2021 21:38

You'll get pension payments and it's easier to find another job when you have one so I'd stick with it.

Hankunamatata · 17/10/2021 21:40

Each to their own. Iv gone back to work after each child. After the third the childcare bill was well over a 1k and more than my wages alone but wasnt just my childcare it was dh too. So we sucked it up and paid. I'm glad I did. It made my mental health, made me happier and gave me my sense of self but appreciate everyone's circumstances were difference. It was also a job I wouldn't have gotten back into

VladmirsPoutine · 17/10/2021 21:43

If you spend too long out of the job market getting back in can be very intimidating. There are more benefits to working than the money as you've already acknowledged in your post.

Xiaoxiong · 17/10/2021 21:44

I would also go back if you can. I know so many people who thought they're only young once, it's such a short time, just a few years...well it is, but not as far as the job market seems to think and many people I know really struggled to get back into work after a few years at home.

Camandmitch · 17/10/2021 21:47

I work 3 days a week for about £50 a month after childcare and commute costs (if that, a couple of times a year I'm in a negative) but I get money in my pension. I was a sahm for a couple of years and I found it hard. I like the change of scenery of work.

MammaBear18 · 17/10/2021 21:48

To me it wasn't worth it so I'm not going back. They're only this little for so long and they change so much in those early years. If you have a career you can easily go back to, it can wait 3 or so years until you have 30 hours free childcare (which still would work out at £300 for us, it's definitely not free!) or your DC goes to primary school and you have more time and less childcare costs.

Staying at home for us had other benefits too - I can sort out all the meals and chores which means that when we have time together as a family on weekend we can focus on that.

Flackattack · 17/10/2021 21:55

That is rubbish - it annoys me when people say it’s a joint cost because the fact is you have to weigh up if it’s worth you going to work as the main care giver and what you are left with after fees.

are your fees after you have factored in after the tax free childcare?

Can you take holiday at the start of your return to keep costs lower at the start?

It’s harder getting back in if you fully come out. Can you work longer days to earn more?
Are there any opportunities for promotion or payrise?

Nogoodusername · 17/10/2021 21:59

The first 3 years I was probably only earning statutory pay after childcare fees (all our money goes in a shared pot, I’m just illustrating what we ‘made’ from my salary after childcare) BUT it meant I stayed in the job market, was paying into my pension, paid off my student loan and was ready to increase in seniority and pay when the children were bigger

Nogoodusername · 17/10/2021 22:00

statutory maternity pay amount

wingingit987 · 18/10/2021 01:17

Thanks for the replies.

I know the benefits out weigh the negatives I'm always one for thinking working is really important for my sanity as well as the financial benefits.

As we are at private nursery we get 22 hours a week from January. Which to be honest helps but there wrap around fee is still £30 a day. Xx

OP posts:
Sally872 · 18/10/2021 01:22

Are you likely to get a similar position if you have a break for a few years? If so I would quit. If not then I would stay so that I still have the job I enjoy in years to come.

ThePoint678 · 18/10/2021 01:22

I’d keep working. Think long term.

blueshoes · 18/10/2021 01:45

OP, it is the right decision to keep working. People say children are only little once but actually your teenagers will need you more than your toddlers. Your toddlers will be fine with any attentive carer but teenage issues are more complex and only parental input with do.

Get your credits in the workforce early on to give yourself more flex for later. Think of your pension and compound interest that would have been built up from keeping your hand in the workplace. It is not to be sniffed at particularly where teenagers start to realise the power of money.

letsmakethishappen · 18/10/2021 01:59

Definitely keep working. Am on Mat leave it’s ok for now but I can’t stay at home to do housework by choice for 5 years no chance. Nursery fees aren’t long term heard from someone that these days you get 15 hrs funding from the gvt when the child is 2? I’d do some research. And that 30hrs at the age of 3 is helpful.

wingingit987 · 18/10/2021 04:46

I think your house hold income has got to be less that 16 grand for you to get 15 hours free at 2.

And even with the 30 hours free at 3 it still costs £30 a day as the government funded hours they aren't paid enough. As it's all under funded.

So don't get me wrong the help is great but it only covers the cost of 2 half days a week for me I basically pay the other half and i can't put him in a normal preschool as I will have no help during holidays. It's a right pain in the ass!

OP posts:
Wiredforsound · 18/10/2021 04:55

Stay working if at all possible. In the longer term it means you build up pension contributions, keep your skills up to date, will be ready for promotions if you want, etc.

Notsurewheretogo · 18/10/2021 04:57

My opinion is that it's worth working. With not working you will be £300 down. You are still going to be worse off for not working, in immediate monetary terms.

As others say, there's other benefits too. Is your career permanently stagnant? Or will experience help you progress? If progression is likely, you could find you earning more. Staying home, obviously impacts that progression.

I also agree with pp above. I have always worked. Its only now, with my kids as a late teen and preteen, I wish I could go part time. I am actually, starting retraining now, so that in a few years I can go part time. Teenagers often need you more than people think. The nursery years were a breeze compared. We are going through the uni application at the moment and dd needs lots of my time. We are also applying to secondary which is taking lots of time.

Luckily, my job is quite flexible. So I have been able to provide most of the support. Their dad isn't bothered. My partner supports us as do my parents. But it isn't just the early years they need you.

They are small for only a short time. But it doesn't stop there. I wish I had been able to be part time for the last 4 years.

Waxonwaxoff0 · 18/10/2021 06:05

Yes, it's worth working. Not to be a doom monger but I didn't go back to work, then we unexpectedly split up and that was it, I had no job and was on benefits. Wouldn't encourage anyone to take that risk. Childcare costs don't last forever.


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traumatisednoodle · 18/10/2021 06:10

With 2 children in 2007 working fulltime as a registrar (senior junior doctor) after travel and childcare I took home £500 pm, that included nights and weekends. I too wonder if it was worth it. Now I make £125,000 , no childcare, cracking pension and a good degree of autonomy and flexibility. Yes it's worth it.

Hollyhead · 18/10/2021 06:17

Are you factoring in tax free childcare too which you can have alongside any free hours in the future? It’s 20% of the cost.

onelittlefrog · 18/10/2021 06:30

I think it's worth going back. Do you work 3 days? If so that is actually quite a good balance and you'll still have a lot of time at home with little one, and you'll get all of the benefits discussed above.

Another thing that hasn't been mentioned on here is the benefit for your child of going to nursery. They will have lot so of experiences that you can't give them at home. It's healthy for children to get out of the home and have social interaction with others, learn independence, communication etc. I really would have them in nursery if possible.

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