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panic setting in

havent posted for a few weeks but last night i had a little panic attack and i really need to get things off my chest! i am almost at baby day and i am starting to really worry about money :(

i am the high earner in my house, i earn over double what my boyfriend does, and i am absolutely horrified by the loss of earnings that i will suffer when i go on maternity leave in a few weeks time!!

unfortunately the government are telling me that we are not entitled to a penny of help towards our private rent, council tax or childcare despite my boyfriend being on minimum wage which means that i am faced with returning to work ASAP after the birth. this has really upset me as i wanted time to bond with my child instead of having her raised by a stranger.

i checked how much childcare in my area would cost and its more than my monthly rent which is not going to work for us as we are barely scraping by. i have no family members who could take care of baby while we both work full time. my boyfriend works shifts and i work days at an office that is really far from home.

i am in a really sticky situation and i am scared senseless. does anyone have any advice? have you been through something similar yourself?

4 Replies

Hi Sweetie, don't fret. Fretting doesn't get you anywhere but depressed and fearful - and you do have an obligation to stay calm. I understand completely what you're saying. I think all of us working mums to be must go through the same anxiety. Try to see this as a practical challenge that you have to get creative about rather than doom and gloom. You're a resourceful woman, you're the major breadwinner. You're not going to end up homeless or starving on the streets. I'm sure you've already done this, but put together a spreadsheet of all of your outgoings now. Then match to your income. This clarifies on a page for you and your partner what the shortfall will be. Go over all of your expenses with a fine toothcomb and delete/cancel everything that is non essential. Look at your utility bills and check with providers that you are on best tarrifs. Cancel anything that has fees you can do without. £1 here and £1 there soon adds up. Make sure you have a separate joint account into which you register all your combined household DD's, SO's etc. Don't have them mixed up in personal accounts. Secondly find out what benefits you can claim - child allowance, tax credits for childcare etc. Add these onto your joint income figure. Thirdly, look at your jobs. Can your partner earn more by asking for a promotion? Has he looked for another job with more earning potential? The pressure really needs to sit on his shoulders to earn more now if he can. Even if that means training or getting a qualification to do so. For example in Bridgwater local digger drivers are in such short supply that companies are offering training to help recruit and wages are approx £30-50k. Also think about what support would you get if he wasn't working? If he is on min wage and unable to meet your wage, it may end up making more financial sense that he becomes primary least until he's had a chance to upskill to earn more. I have a few friends where this worked for them once they'd weighed up the support they'd be entitled to as a one earner low income household. Four, look at your skills. Are you missing something you could be doing to earn extra income? Is your partner? There are many ways besides the 9-5 to make money. What opportunities have you got to work from home? Set up a little business selling stuff on ebay/amazon? You only need to take the shortfall as your monthly income target - I'm sure you'd be able to think of sonething. Altho you have to be careful who you go with, quite a few of my new mum friends have got involved in network marketing - pampered chef, aloe vera and make enough money to help tide them over until month end. The important thing is not to panic but turn necessity to your advantage - they say that's the mother of all invention after all. Open your mind and heart to possibility and it always seems to work, just as you least expect it. xxx


Could your partner not take your maternity leave as paternity ? A friend of mine is going back to work after 9 months as she is the higher earner and her husband is doing the finally 3 months entitlement of maternity.


Hi kerry,

This is something that we discussed with his management but because my baby will be born prior to the new changes in the law they will not honor him taking paternity leave of longer than 2 weeks. If we could have shared the leave that would be great :(


Our information on family finances may help you see what you're eligible for:

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