Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Great Childcare Debate...

One of my twitter chums, @flyingstartmag posted a link to this article in The Telegraph this morning, regarding the soaring costs of nursery fees.  It's really quite frightening.  Especially when you consider the points Liz at Living with Kids made in her post yesterday regarding one of the alternatives - Modern day nanny's (Mary Poppins would be horrified!)

As you'll know, if you're a regular visitor to my blog, I recently made the decision not to return to work after my maternity leave.  One of the biggest contributers to that decision, was of course, money.  Basically, if I had gone back, even part time (which was my original plan), I would have effectively been working purely to pay someone else to look after The Little Dude.  That's all my salary would have covered.  So what would have been the point?

My job was pretty standard office admin and I was reasonably well paid - better than minimum wage, but a long way off what's apparently the national average (£500+ a week - really?!)

Many people, on hearing my decision, responded with 'Wow, you're so lucky - can you really afford to do that?', and truthfully, no, I can't.  But equally, I couldn't afford to go back either!
And yes, it's tight, really tight. The Mr works his butt off for a pretty uninspiring salary, we get very little in the way of 'benefits', (but that's a whole 'nother post!), but we're managing.  And I'm looking at ways I can bring in some money from home, so we're a way off bread & water rations just yet!

So yes, I do feel lucky that I'm able to stay at home with my little monster, be the one who takes care of him everyday & witnesses all the little developments and milestones, but at the same time, it's not really luck at all - it's a leap of faith & a change in lifestyle.  Which is all part of having a baby, no?

And of couse, I know there are women who probably think I'm crazy for wanting to stay at home and be a 'little woman' & not get back to the workplace ASAP, and they are absolutely entitled to their opinions, and I wish them nothing but happiness, but so far as I'm concerned, I had a baby because I wanted one, and all that comes with it.  Not because I wanted to pay someone else thousands of pounds to look after him & only do it myself at weekends.*

Just as well really, I'd have to find a whole lot of change down the back of the sofa to foot a £20,000 nursery bill!

(*And for the record, I am actually thoroughly enjoying the role of domestic goddess thank you very much! My brain is not rotting, I am in the process of setting up my own business, have a very active social life and do plenty of bits & pieces to keep the ol' grey matter working, so please, no comments about me being a down trodden stereotype, thanks!)


  1. I know exactly where you are coming from. I decided to stay at home after having my 2 daughters. I did try some part time work but ended up with nothing to add to the household fund once the Nursery paid been paid. I feel I am the one who 'has it all'. I have been at home for 10 years now. I get to go to sport days etc., help out at school,meet with friends and yet have also started my own business, which is growing with each day. Just for the record I also got great satisfaction from cleaning the kitchen windows yesterday!

  2. Am so on board with this Leslieanne, I have loved being at home with Monty, and ok he goes to nursery now only 2 morns a week and because he is at an age where he is ready for some independnace and more interatcion with his peers.
    Best decision I ever made. We always say we may be skint but we are rich in so many ways...thats kind of what gets you through!!!

  3. I'm same as you hun, I couldn't afford to go back full-time (I didn't actually want to go back full time)and my company wouldn't allow me to do part-time so I decided to be a SAHM. I have been lookinmg for a little part-time job I can fit around OH hours but its tough. I love staying home with BG, but money wise its tough. I'm also in the process of starting my own buisness so good luck to the both of us x x