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Want to start a family but trapped by work: a bit long sorry

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this but in need of some advice and from what I've seen it looks like you may be in a good position on this forum to help me!

My husband and I are both in our early 30's and would like to start a family next year so I plan to come off the Pill at Christmas. However, I am in a bit of a dilemma at work. I work in quite a senior position in finance and due to a company streamlining exercise my job is potentially at risk. Do I look for a new job now, only to turn around (hopefully!) in a few months' time and announce that I'm pregnant? Or do I sit around here and wait for them to make a decision on our future, only to find that I am perhaps already pregnant when I'm made redundant and don't have a hope of finding another job because of it.

Unfortunately hubby and I desperately need both our incomes so being unemployed or on maternity leave without the maternity pay is not an option.

What are my rights with regards to being pregnant with a brand new employer?

It's really stressing me out thinking that my job could delay our baby plans. I don't want to leave my job but feel I may be forced to - if everything was stable at work then thinking about a baby wouldn't be an issue, just a nice natural way to form our future. Instead I'm worrying myself silly!

Can anyone offer any words of wisdom?

Thanks in advance!


  • check out:
    that has all your rights etc - I think it's something like you have to have worked for your employer for 20 weeks before your 15 weeks preg or something like that but that website will have all the info - to be valid for STATUTORY maternity pay then any additional company benefits will have their own terms!

    I think if I were you I would be looking for soemthing else now but don't know why!
  • Im not sure exactly but think that you have to have been with your employer for a year by your 26th week (6months) of pregnancy before you can qualify for statutory maternity pay (full pay for 6 weeks, the ??112.75 a week until week 39), and the company benefits. However, if you have been in continuous employment without more than 4 weeks unemployed, then you will qualify for maternity allowance which is the same as statutory but you don't get the 6 weeks full pay, you just get the ??112.75 per week from the outset.

    A lot of companies now only offer statutory maternity pay anyway (im not sure what your company offers), so you would have to learn to get by on a tight budget unless you had savings to fall back on, as you can appreciate that ??112.75 doesn't stretch very far when you have a mortgage to pay and all the other costs that come with it.

    It really depends on how much you want to have a family and whether you are willing to put it off until you are more settled in a job. Everyone always says that you can never really afford a baby, and in some respects they are right, as you always live to your means. ie if you got a pay rise you would probably just live a more expensive lifestyle, and so it goes on and the same excuses come out....I can't afford a baby......It does pay to be sensible and plan ahead, but if you really want to start a family then follow you gut feelings. It may take 6 months or so before you get your positive, and by then work may have sorted itself out.

    I know you are looking at your options when returning to work, and again it is good to plan, but you also have to consider that you may feel very differently once your baby is here. I was always very career minded before I had my son, however, I have since discovered that (in my cas anyway), I can;t have it all. I currently work full time, but I desperately missed my little boy as he spends 10 hours a day at nursery, comes home completely shattered and so we get 1/2 an hour a day together before he goes to bed. He also got much mor clingy at home because he hardly saw me in the week, and his sleep got disrupted so although he benefitted from the social skills at nursery, he didn't benefit from having little time with his mummy. I then spent my time after he had gone to bed cooking tea, and cleaning. My husband helped out, but it also affected our relationship too because I was so stressed at having no time.

    I have now taken the decision to work part time from January, meaning I will be losing a total of ??11500.00 pa by moving jobs. If you had told me this time last year that I would be doing that I would have said yeah right, there is no way we would manage if I did that. However, although I know that money will be tight, we will have enough to pay the bills and food just, with a little left over. Our spending habits will have to take a dramatic turnaround, but Im excited about the prospect of spending time with my son, and having time with my husband on our own without feeling like Im neglecting my son.

    I guess what I am trying to say in this long ramble is that if you really feel strongly about trying for a baby then go for it. Everything will fall into place as you go along. You can try and be as prepared as you can for a new arrival, but you will never truly know how it is going to affect you until they are here.

    Good luck and I hope you make a decision you are happy with soon

  • Thank you all for your helpful replies and the clarification on maternity entitlements.

    I think the moral of the story is that there never is a perfect time to start trying for a baby. Neither of us wants to delay any longer really, a few months perhaps, but certainly don't want to delay by years. We are ready as a couple, are happy to adjust to the change in lifestyle, it really just is my work that is holding us back.

    Unfortunately, much as I'd love to work part time once we have a baby, we are very dependant on both our salaries so I need to be doing my utmost to keep my job, either as it is at present or with a new employer. At the moment it just feels like it all hinges on this, and that frustrates me.

    Anyway, you've all helped me to see a bit more clearly so thank you for taking the time to reply.
  • Just wanted to throw something in the mix. If you need 2 salaries what are you going to do when you go back to work and have to pay for childcare? When my 2 eldest were smaller and I had one in school and 1 in full time nursery, August would be atleast ??800 in nursery fees - and that was 8 years ago. I know that tax credits are around now, but am guessing if you are in a senior position then between you and your hubby you will be earning over the amount where tax credits give you any real help. I think the limit is about ??66k - but when I was last employed (now self employed) and a single mum of 2 I did get a little bit of money from tax credits to help with childcare and I was earning ??50k with my bonus.
  • Yep, already thought about that one Carolyn! Nursery fees where we are would be around ??1k per month. We're investigating the possibility of both of us working from home one day a week (yes, we know we're supposed to be working and not looking after a LO but if it cuts down on two days a week nursery fees...).

    Alternatively we wont be able to afford holidays after baby is born and between us we are entitled to around 50 days a year. So if we were to each take off one day a fortnight this would mean only four days a week that lo would have to be in nursery. So, use our annual leave to stay home and look after baby. We wont need it for holidays.

    Other than that we are just frantically saving hard now whilst we are able to and holding out for next year when our fixed rate mortgage runs out and we can hopefully get a deal better than the 6% we are on at the moment, which is where all our money goes at the moment. And we only have a tiny two bed place! Mortgage payment holidays is also something we want to look into.

    My company also offers childcare vouchers as a benefit so this would help towards the cost of nursery fees.

    [Modified by: Angelfish08 on January 21, 2009 08:59 PM]

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