To work or not to work

Hi currently I work full time Monday to Friday 9-6 I get paid 17,500 per year but after tax only works out to be 1200 or so. I've worked since I was 14 (I always had little jobs when in school etc) and I'm now 26, so the prospect of not being able to work is quite daunting. My office job is 'ok' but for talking to the other girls at work who have children they are paying approximately £480 a month In childCare! How awful, where is that actual incentive for mothers to return to work if child are costs so much! My baby is due on the 17th of may, and I will be taking full maternity (last 3 months unpaid of course) but what to after that, I dont know, I'm quite against taking a small baby to nursery, and I would like to be a full time mum until my child is at pre school, but we just seem to be up against it us women. If we work full time, we loose precious time with our baby, and have to pay an arm and a leg for the privellage, if we leave work and you have a partner who earns a decent wage (you get next to no support) and will then struggle to find a job Later on.  . . . . . For me to return to work I would have to put my baby into child care, as my partner works shifts, and both our parents work full time, oh what to do. Anyone else to there who's in the same position? Or have any advice? xoxox

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