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Childcare & work
16/09/2012 at 17:45
I returned to my full time, very stressful job on the 23rd of July this year, and I had to put my 10 month old daughter in nursery. Because my husband has thursday and friday as his normal days off work every week, we are lucky that we only have to pay for three days of nursery care each week but it's still £108 just for that. This is a sizable chunk out of our wages, to be honest the £54 per week my husband gives me as his "half" of this is almost what I am paying for my half of the mortgage.
We earn a little over £27,000 combined income per year, so we just miss out on any tax credits. I have just discovered we could get a very small amount towards paying our council tax bill and maybe something towards nursery fee's but to be honest I've had enough, and so has my husband. I finish at 5pm, then go to collect my daughter from nursery. I get home at around 6.10pm and she's usually napping. This gives me just enough time to make up her bottles, then my husband gets home at about 6.30pm. He takes the dog for a walk whilst I feed our (now awake) daughter some rubbish from a jar. He gets back 30-45 minutes later and, if I haven't got the energy to cook anything, we eat out of a packet or takeaway box at about 7.30pm. We get a precious hour to play with and bathe our daughter before she goes to bed. Once she's asleep, it's time to do the cleaning, or, if my husband has had time to go shopping during the week and buy in fresh food, I might be cooking a meal. This means we often don't eat until 9-9.30pm. Then we carry on with the cleaning/looking after the pets we have/organizing ourselves for tomorrow e.g. getting our daughter's nursery bag ready, making our lunches etc.
If we are lucky, we might get 30-45 minutes together in front of the tv and this is all we can class as "quality time" now. This is of course, if we are not arguing because we are both so tired and irritable. Then it's off to bed, not usually before midnight these days, and our daughter generally wakes at least once during the night. The following day it starts all over again. Our days off are not much better, they are usually spent shopping for food or tying up other loose ends. Due to my rota pattern, my husband and I only get to spend two days together every 5 weeks, and it's not usually enjoyable.
I desperately want to give up work, but how can we afford it? It would mean we would literally be in the red every month I am sure, even if we just spent on essentials only.
I feel at the moment my health is suffering (I have an appointment booked with a counsellor at the end of the month because I have been diagnosed with depression), my relationship is in bits and I barely see my own baby. I don't enjoy my job anymore (and felt like this before I was even pregnant) and I just want someone to tell me they have given up work on a similar income and been fine. We would be left with about £14000 per year to live on and we pay a mortgage, does anybody else manage with this?
20/09/2012 at 13:12
Sorry to hear you're having such a tough time.
Would you be able to ask your boss if you could work part time? Then you'd keep the benefit of earning some income but have more time with your little one. Also, if your household income did reduce you would probably then be entitled to some working and child tax credits. The Citizens Advice Bureau website would probably be able to give you an idea of any help you could get.
Do you have any friends or relatives nearby who could help with childcare, or even just look after your little one for an afternoon/evening to give you a few hours to yourself?
If you really dislike your job could you look for another, or perhaps become self employed doing something you enjoy? Personally, I wouldn't leave your job unless you have something else to go to, but maybe that's just me. I don't know anyone who's paid a mortgage etc on an income of about £14k, but there must be people out there who have.
Sorry if this isn't much help, maybe the counsellor will be able to give you some tips on improving your work/life balance?
03/10/2012 at 11:48
Thanks for your reply. I can't work part time in my current job because of the shifts I'd have to do...basically I would either have to work thursday and friday every week (meaning I'd never see my husband as these are his only days off) or mon-wed in which case my daughter would still be in child care and I'd be more or less paying to go to work when factoring in transport costs etc.
Both our parents help out a lot and I am very grateful for this, but because of this I don't like to ask them to any more.
To be honest I think part time work is the way to go but it would have to be elsewhere, somewhere I can decide on my own hours and where it's close enough so that it doesn't accrue transport costs. I'm going to keep looking and do a few CV drops, I think just being pro-active and knowing that maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel is helping, and I've bought a couple of books to make me feel better...one is the mumsnet "How to be a Happy Mum" which has tips in on how to have a less stressful time, and the other is "The Stay at Home Mum's Guide to Making Money from Home." We worked out that I need a bare minimum of £250 per month to leave my current job, so I figured if I took a job (probably going to have to take a minimum wage position) of about 16 hours a week this would easily cover it, and I'm also going to look at doing a couple of creative side-lines to see if I can make a bit extra.
03/10/2012 at 13:21
Good luck with your ventures! X
04/10/2012 at 21:05
07/10/2012 at 20:23
27/12/2012 at 14:25
22/08/2014 at 11:23
I was going to suggest you maybe switching jobs rather than stopping work entirely. Do either of your parents live close enough for you to drop your daughter with them for a few shifts a week. I know you say they do a lot for you and you don't want to ask for more help but surely if you're entirely honest with them they will understand. I am so sorry to hear you are going through such a tough time and I hope it gets better for you soon x
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