A new survey carried out by Mumsnet has discovered that more than a third of working mums would consider quitting their jobs as the cost of childcare proves to be too high. In this climate it is simply not economical enough.
The study questioned around 1000 mums and it found that already over 10% had decided to quit due to childcare expenses.
Interestingly over a third of mums spent their entire earnings on childcare which was almost the equivalent of a mortgage and other living expenses. Sadly a fifth admitted that once they had gone through the process of finding a job, they were forced to turn it down when the reality of childcare costs was identified.
A large outcome from the findings felt that the government was simply not doing enough to support women back to the workplace and that in this country we have one of the largest childcare costs in the whole of Europe. It was even suggested that some of the women would forgo other benefits if they could receive support with childcare and assist them back to the workplace. There is a huge amount of work this government needs to do to encourage more mums back to work.
It doesn’t come as a complete surprise that the number of stay at home mums is on the rise for the first time. And I am not surprised to read that the UK has the most expensive childcare costs in the world.
More women than men are affected by unemployment and this number is rising. The main reason for the increase is that women are losing their jobs within the public sector, due to government cuts. This has been reduced by 70% in order to reduce the welfare bill.
Currently there are over a quarter of a million women who are jobless and have been for over a year, according to the IPPR – Institute of Public Policy Research. A high proportion of women included in this figure have no choice but to quit their jobs as the government cut Childcare Tax Credits. Equally there are a proportion of women who can’t economically justify the huge increase in childcare costs and it doesn’t make going to work worthwhile.
Unfortunately for some working mums the decision has already been made as they have been made redundant from their jobs. Within this population of women there may be some mums who had a good family balance and now may struggle to identify a similar job that suits them and they are forced to stay at home.
I would love to hear from you if you have been affected if this includes yourself;
- Where you made redundant from your job?
- Have you been forced to leave your job due to costly childcare rises?
- Have you been forced to leave your job due to government cuts i.e Childcare Tax Credits?
- Have you simply opted to become a stay at home mum?
Thanks for your continued support!
This day hung over me like a black cloud for most of my maternity leave if I am honest. I am a worrier by nature so this new experience of going back to work, with the responsibility of a baby to add to the equation made my stomach churn….Sound’s a little drastic I know.
My plan first time round was to take the 6 months off as I believed life would pretty much be the same and it would all slot into place..I couldn’t have been more wrong. As soon as my son was born I never felt the same and found it hard to function, let alone cope with a baby! The thought of entering the world of work in a matter of months filled me with dread. It wasn’t just the changes I experienced becoming a mum, it was the thought of leaving him and even worse with someone else.
I worried about this a lot and one day came clean with my husband and presented him with my fear and anxieties. We hatched a plan, reviewed our finances and decided we could just about manage until our son was 1 and then I had to return to work….phew! I still had to go back at some point.
My increased maternity time I relished every moment. My worry and panic subsided a little as I had “time” to pick up those feelings in the future. I was not going to waste a moment!
I enjoyed every minute of my “extra” time but as we hurtled towards a few months prior to returning, those pangs of guilt, dread and panic came back again. It wasn’t going away and I had to accept it would be my turn shortly and join my peers and friends who were working and juggling their family lives. This is what other mums had warned me about. I found it really hard whichever way I dressed it up or down.
“That” day approached fast and to lessen the pain I treated myself to new work clothes – a new me. Helped a little but the reality was I didn’t want to leave him. Yes the money was a huge plus….financial independance again, holidays etc “I am giving him the best start in life” “Better to provide for a easier life than constantly worry about money”. These where the conversations I would have with myself regularly.
The day came and I thought I would never survive, but I did. Plenty of women do. It’s hard and emotional but if you are organised, have selected the best childcare which works for you, don’t beat yourself up too much and try and select the positives from the working/balancing life then you will get through it. It also made it a little easier when I had some close friends to lean on when it was all too much….
If I could get through a good week without dropping a “ball” and more importantly no sickness from nursery, including baby and I then I had succeeded! The biggest reward of picking my son up from nursery and the time we spent when I wasn’t at work was worth it…..I will never forget those cherished times of indulgence…
Single Parent……….. Double Trouble?
Being a parent is not easy. Being a single parent is twice as hard. Responsibilities, worries, bills, school runs, ballet classes, football club…. are borne by one pair of shoulders and even Mr. T couldn’t carry that burden alone.
For whatever reason or circumstance finds you in this position, it is one that is initially daunting but with a bit of support, a leap of faith and a good sense of humour, it is one that you can not only survive but embrace. You can sleep easy at night. You can still have a career. You can pay your bills.
Your life doesn’t stop; it just takes an unexpected direction that can initially throw you into unfamiliar territory with a large pinch of guilt and a sprinkle of self-doubt.
My journey began when my daughter was a baby. I have since learned through first-hand experience about everything from working tax credits to childcare, flexible working hours to making your pound go further.
From my experience, the work/home balance is a fine juggling act for every mother but once struck, it provides space, self-esteem and fulfilment as a working woman and recharged batteries, passion, excitement and fulfilment as a loving mother.
That pearl of wisdom relayed, I am no expert but knowledge is power and it goes a long way. It gave me strength to know that I wasn’t alone or some societal anomaly and that there are a lot of good organisations and websites out there (allmumkind and gingerbread to name but two) that provide practical information and support and don’t make you feel like the pip in the apple.
Over the next few months, I shall tackle a number of topics with the aim of clearing the mists of uncertainty and providing a bit of much-needed sanity. I shall be offering practical advice and support for those of you out there that need a nudge in the right direction or just want a friendly ear to listen to your problems or answer your nagging concerns. I am more than happy to answer questions or comments to my post.
Posted in Family, Guest posts, Mummy and working, Single "super" mummy | Tags: Balance, Benefits, Careers, Childcare, Employment, Financial, Flexible, Mummy, Responsibility, Single Parent, Support Network, Women, Working
Schools have broken up and the Easter holidays are upon us! Great for some working families, however this extra long Easter break may become a logistical nightmare for many.
This is a rather “late” Easter as the religious dates go and accompanied with school holidays, Royal wedding and more bank holidays thrown in, unusually, some children will be only attending school for approximately 6 days throughout the whole month of April!
Many parents will agree that the extended school holidays will create pressure as working parents “struggle” to “juggle” childcare for their children. An even more complicated scenario arises when siblings who attend different schools with varying holiday schedules.
The headache doesn’t stop here. The cost! I have arranged a smattering of activities for my eldest child. Thankfully he is football crazy and therefore there are some economical options to keep him occupied over the days when I must work. I have heard of some rather expensive clubs which, on top of usual childminder before and after school fees really add up. I dread to think how much families have to spend when there are more than one child to cater for with school holiday activities. Thank goodness for grandparents is all I can say!
This feels more like a summer holiday break and I have heard of many working parents who won’t even be able to take any time off as their job commitments take priority. I am sure the this is where long bank holiday weekends will be greatly received here!
What are your plans? How are you going to juggle?
Did you know that there are more working mums today, compared with over 15 years ago? Also, nearly the same percentage of women working with children is (66%) compared to women working without dependant children (67%). The gap between the two has narrowed significantly over the past 15 years.
A recent study carried out by the ONS – Office of National Survey, highlighted that more mums today are in fact working in full-time employment 29%, which is 6% higher than in 1996. This is almost a third of the entire female working population. In some respects, this increase in full-time working has become more accessible with higher quality and a varied choice of childcare, an increase in flexible friendly employment and the support of home-working.
Over this period mums working part-time hasn’t shifted either way, however this population was the higher percentage, 37% of the overall study. This I wouldn’t have thought was an unusual figure with many mums wanting to strive towards a “balance” between their family and employment. Since 1996 there have been steps encouraging parents to work and with improved parental pay and leave, introduction of “home-working”, a push for more flexible friendly employers and the right to request flexible working hours.
When you look at these facts and figures above, although there has been a constant drive for more flexible opportunities and attitudes, our working culture has actually shifted in the right direction which is a positive. I believe many working mums (including myself) would think there is still room for improvement, however when you look at what has been created for supporting working mums, this may now be eroded with cuts in childcare tax credits, job losses and the plans to abandon the right to request flexible working.
Will this reduce the number of working mums? I am inclined to think not as the appetite for mums to work is on the rise and as demonstrated even more mums are now working full-time. Let’s hear your thoughts..