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Parenting question


Duke
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Dear mums and dads, 

My wife and I have started talking about kids. We were going to start trying soon, but she wants to put it off because she wants to take a year off, rather than 6 months. The reason this is a challenge is she earns a  more than me (I'm on about 27k she's on 30) and when her pay runs out I'm really worried we'll struggle to make ends meet. We can obviously save to help this, but it feels like it's looking to be 8-10k for her to take those extra 6 months,which j will require a couple of years of saving,and then using all of it. That seems like a lot to me. 

 

My question is, is this a typical occurrence? Am I worrying over nothing? Or this unrealistic on her part? 

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Oh dude honestly unless your super rich you will always end up struggling too some extent financial wise. 

However man ive got a 2 and a half year old boy and we are expecting our second child we found out th day after boxing day. 

Our money is all sorted now, I'm disabled and my fiance is my carer and for a year we lived on 60 quid a week for a full year and when you have a kid you just find the way to make sure they are well and have everything they need.

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My wife just went back to work after a year off for maternity. If you can afford not to have to put your kid in childcare for a full year I heartily recommend it. The difference between a baby at 6 months and 1 year is huge. Or even if not a full year, then a few months longer. Is there any scope for you to take a bit of time off when she goes back after 6 months perhaps?

That all said I'm saying that from the perspective of being a parent and enjoying the time with your kid. Your child will be fine either way whichever you do so don't stress too much. How much flexibility does she have to play it by ear about how soon she goes back to work? Can you see how you go and then if you start to struggle / worry about finances she can go back earlier than planned?

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She definitely can go back earlier. The issue isn't with her job, it's with her. I probably could take time off after 6 months, but she doesn't count that because it's not mother and child time. We can make anything work, I'm trying to work out if she's being obstinate. 

 

I'm pretty convinced she'll be climbing the walls after 6 months alone,tbh. 

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It's natural to worry, I worried like mad when we were expecting our first. But one thing you might notice, which is similar to when you leave home for the first time, is that you develop a whole new level of money-management that you never realised was possible. Well, that was the case with me anyway. The takeaways stopped, started shopping almost exclusively for stuff on offer when it came to food, me and my wife limited Christmas presents to very small amounts/gifts etc. Then after time when we were more comfortable we'd up the Xmas pressie spending, order in pizza now and then etc.

You'd be surprised that you can make it work. I look back and A) Wonder how we managed to get by those days on one salary and B) What the fuck are we spending our money on today??

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My wife was certain she'd want to go back to work after 6 months. I told her she'd change her mind, and by month four she conceded that I was right and there was no way she'd be going back early. Totally depends on personalities though.

I don't think it's at all unreasonable for her to want to do that if it's a possibility. From the sounds of your situation she won't get that chance again if you have another kid after.

But yeah - the other guys are both right about being able to make it work financially. We weren't in a great position this time last year and then had some unexpected expenses on top of that whilst my wife was off. And yet a year later we feel totally comfortable.

Edited by Chest Rockwell
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Have a look at shared parental leave as well. Essentially your wife can gift some of her maternity to you. So your wife could take say seven months off and you could take 3 or so. That might put her at ease a bit more. 

In short you could find an argument for it never being the right time to have a baby. My advice would be save as much as possible during the pregnancy and keep it for a backup load of funds during the maternity leave.

Also, best of luck mate. Having a child is one of the biggest joys we are afforded in life. 

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To be honest mate i'd say even one of your salaries you'll be ok. If not if you look objectively you'd probably see that you are spending too much. Me and the wife want to move back to the UK to raise children and we will be lucky if our combined income is equal to one of yours and even then that would be comfortable. I worry about this fact a lot but I know we'll make it work even if I have to go out and drive an Uber all night long or wait tables on top of a full time job. 

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We’re currently on month 11 of my Mrs being on maternity leave and we’re struggling, but not terribly. I earn 25k and she earns 22k. We aimed to save around 2K to tide us over, but with car trouble and other things we ended up with a lot less.  

The problem we have faced is we have racked up a little bit of debt, by using credit cards and overdrafts for unexpected things. 

Each situation is different, I feel we have benefited from the year out and wouldn’t change it for the world. If anything, it’s made me think what the hell did I spend my money on before?

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As soon as baby comes along all your priorities will change anyway. I imagine a childless couple who earn a combined £57k per annum probably have a few areas they can cut back on unless you live in that London and all your money goes on rent, bread and water. Rather than looking at how worse off financially you will be and saving appropriately for that look at how you can make that £8k back in budgeting.

The main thing to remember though is that your lady will have carried that little life around for 9 months and if she chooses to take the whole year, 6 months or leave work completely you just need to support her. As much as I'd have loved to stay at home whilst either of my baby mamas went back to work the argument of "fuck off I carried him/her around, you never pissed/shit yourself or tore your private bits open" was just to a compelling an argument to go against. Maybe that's an out of date attitude though.

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Yeah, for the record, we live in Wimbledon and have quite high fixed outgoings. We're not throwing all our money on chippy teas and hasbros. 

The most helpful thing is understanding how big of a difference maker a year vs 6 months is. I know we can make lots of things work and she's not pregnant so we can prepare. From what yous guys are saying, if you can do a year you should, so that's what we'll do 

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49 minutes ago, Duke said:

We're not throwing all our money on chippy teas and hasbros. 

But the Hasbros will be useful for your child later in life, a sound investment!

In all seriousness, I benefited massively from having a few months off (admittedly it wasn't planned that way, but redundancy actually worked in my favour for once), and I am now working three days a week, which thanks to some frugal saving my myself and my wife while she was pregnant has seen us through nicely. The time your child spends growing up will fly by, even now at nearly 8 months ours is so different from how she was even a few months ago, and having the time at home with her isn't something I would trade for any amount of money. It's not always financially feasible, but if you can make it work, you won't regret it. It sounds like a massive cliche, but those first few months (and from what I've seen this seems to be continuing onwards now as our daughter continues to develop) are genuinely precious, and worth making the most of. 

Whatever you decide, best of luck to you Duke. Being a Dad is literally the best thing. 

 

 

 

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