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CJBAGGINS's Photo CJBAGGINS Posts: 31,792
7/20/08 9:29 P

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Anna - that *is* very lucky that you will have some great things from Ed's siblings. And you sound so very sensible about all of it. That's half the battle won right there! You sound a lot like me. My aunt was visiting the other day and she made comments to my mother about my daughter's clothes, always looking second-hand and not-as-nice as my older daughter. I had to chuckle. My older daughter is very fashion-conscious and seems to know instinctively what goes well together, so even though we don't have tons of clothes and money to spend on them, she always looks very nice. My younger daughter is almost 10 and couldn't care much about fashion and styles. One day she'll wear a torn pair of trousers with a third-hand t-shirt to go to a nice dinner at a friend's house. The next, she'll want to wear a beautiful dress to rake the garden! She just doesn't care about what she wears that much. I'm pretty sure she got that from me! lol!

Like I said before, I'm sure things will work out. I don't know how it does, but it usually does. I remember I was terrified of returning to work at 6 months postpartum as I just wasn't ready. A good friend and colleague simply remarked one day, "Well, just ask for an extension of your leave, like I did." Sure enough, that's all I had to do, and I stayed home for another 6 months (thankfully, my husband's job was able to support us at the time, sot hat wasn't a worry for us). Then, when the year was up I was pregnant with my second child and I was again terrified about returning to work while I was feeling poorly with the second pregnancy and leaving my daughter with I had no idea who. Lo and behold, just before I had to let my workplace know one way or another, I was laid off and the decision was made for me! It just works out sometimes as is best.

Just ask away about breastfeeding, that's what I'm here for! And you can ask about anything, and I mean anything. I've heard it all!

Good luck!
cj

What if we woke up tomorrow with only those things that we thanked God for today?


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ANNAJW's Photo ANNAJW Posts: 581
7/20/08 9:55 A

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Thanks again ladies! there really are some great ideas and advice here!

CJ - Yeah, I know what you mean about all the advertisng that tries to make you think you need all the fab (and expensive) extra geer to care for baby, but I agree that 90% of it is just uneccessary!

We are very lucky in one respect in that all of Ed's brothers and sister have had kids recently, and whilst they don't live close enough to help with childcare, they are all willing to donate things they are done with - we already have a buggy! The few items we may need to buy we can get v. cheaply (already researched!!) so I am not worried on that front, besides which I was never one to be caught up with fads and fashions for the latest "must-have" items - one thing Ed says attracted him to me is my practicallity lol! But sometimes it gets me in a muddle (like when I to plan for the what-ifs!), I guess I can be a bit too practical sometimes!

As for caring for and feeding a baby, I 100% beleive breast is best so, yup, no costs involved there! And I totally agree that a warm, dry, cuddled and fed baby is a happy baby! I am more than happy to put baby in second hand clothing as long as it is well laundered - after all, they grow so quickly they won't be using much of it for long, so why pay full price? and any toys are probably going to be be second hand if they are not gifts, although again only if it is something I can wash thoroughly before hand! But you are right, things like clothing for me, and travel cost are things that we are going to have to account for too.

At the end of the day you are right, until it happens there is lots we don't know. Ed's job may change, my t&c's at work could change, hell, we could even win the lottery! (ok, so I am not pinning my hopes on that last one lol!)

Thanks tonns for the advice though, and when we get to the point of needing to feed then you may well get the 20 questions about breast feeding from me!

Hope you all had a good weekend - we spent it with all our neices and nephews at a family baptism ages 5 moths to 5 years). Great fun!

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CJBAGGINS's Photo CJBAGGINS Posts: 31,792
7/18/08 9:56 P

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You have some great suggestions already, Anna. It can be difficult when you are not in that frame of mind yet, to think of where to find other parents. Story-time at libraries, play groups, parks and playgrounds, swimming pools that offer 'Mom (or dad) and me' programs, etc. You will find other parents I'm sure. Just think to ask them when you see anyone in the grocery store or whatever. Parents for the most part are very willing to offer guidance and info to others. You might even strike up good friendships. The trick is not to be shy. This will be easier when you do have children, as babies are wonderful ice breakers.

I realize that living in England is very expensive. I was thinking of that the other day when I was visiting with my aunt who lives in the Midlands. Everything is soooo very dear there. I feel for you, I really do.

Just a note about expenses. Don't get sucked into believing everything that you read about how much a baby costs. Many advertisers will try and make you believe that you need this and that and the other for a baby. The truth is that a baby never looks twice at expensive nurseries or whatnot. A baby would always choose to spend more time in a hovel than in a fancy nursery as long as he/she was in mommy's arms! Babies need to be dry and fed and held. That's really all they *need*. Anything else is extra. When the time comes, try not to get sucked into purchasing expensive mobiles and high chairs and seats that are deluxe models, there is usually always a more practical, inexpensive version of everything.

Also, as a breastfeeding counsellor, I gotta tell you, breastfeeding is pretty frugal! And nothing to wash, purchase, or prepare!

Keep in mind, too, when calculating how much money you think you will make when returning to work at 4 months post-partum, you will need 'work clothes', which are usually more expensive than stay-at-home clothes. You will also need transportation money to and from work, as well as more convenience-type food than if you were staying at home. All of that adds up very quickly. Some women do the math and realize that it actually pays more to stay at home and cut coupons, use creative budgeting techniques, than getting a paycheque but having to pay for childcare.

Good luck.
I'm sure it will all work out. Who knows? Maybe when the time comes, your hubby will have a super- paying job and you'll be able to stay home a little longer, which will avoid the needing childcare in the first place!

cj

What if we woke up tomorrow with only those things that we thanked God for today?


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RUSSETT98 Posts: 155
7/17/08 10:56 P

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Hi Anna,

Childcare is so outragiously expensive now a days! My grandsons Mother signed him up for day care to start next mo. She wants to try and go back to college. He will be in a church day care. She told me the other day that she got a $300 scholarship to help pay for it. So now instead of paying $355/mo. she will only pay $55. This is just for one semester. She will have to apply again for spring semester. You might check into the churches in your area and see if they have day care and the cost and if they offer scholarships. This church takes babies through preschool I think. My grandson is 21 mo. It is good that you are thinking ahead...good luck in finding childcare and then having a baby.

Edited by: RUSSETT98 at: 7/17/2008 (22:55)
russett98


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IMMACULATEHEART's Photo IMMACULATEHEART SparkPoints: (20,062)
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7/17/08 8:20 P

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Hello Anna,

Have you tried to approach some of your friends in fellowships or church groups. Most often, they have some activities that will surely help you. Also, this could bring attention to these groups. I'm sure they will be very willing to help.

God bless,


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7/17/08 6:13 P

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Anna,

I know when my kids were little (25 + years ago) and I used a sitter, she charged half the weekly fee for the time we were on vacation (to hold my spot), so don't be surprised if you have to pay while you are on vacation too.

Jeannie

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So I will make the BEST of it!

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ANNAJW's Photo ANNAJW Posts: 581
7/17/08 4:52 P

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Oh, that makes sense! Yes, I think those type of classes/groups are, and I am sure it'll be a great opportunity to make new friends/find the info we need. I think I am just having an emotional wobbble!

Thanks everyone for being the voice of reason! I really appreciate it.

Edited by: ANNAJW at: 7/17/2008 (16:51)
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MEL_UNRAU's Photo MEL_UNRAU SparkPoints: (104,677)
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7/17/08 2:30 P

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Anna,
I know that my sister in law found the friend that they share the child care with when they were in prenatal classes. they had a really good program where they took several classes about childbirth with the same people and they found great friends that were in the EXACT same place in life that they are in. Since they all delivered around the same time, they became really close and continued to go to coffee and bond over their newborns. I don't know if programs like that are standard all over the UK, but if they are, maybe you will find someone there who could help you out. Maybe one of the people who teach the childbirth classes could point you in the right direction. I really do wish you the best of luck.

Imperfection is important. If we were all perfect, then there would be no such thing as growth, and everyone would be extremely boring, which is, paradoxically, not that perfect.-- Dr. Matt

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MYTHICALANGEL's Photo MYTHICALANGEL Posts: 6,691
7/17/08 12:09 P

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At least you have time to prepare. Right now due to similar expense we have two little ones and I need to go back to work....child care is very expensive...so i plan to work at night when DH is home this way the money is not going to someone else...just a thought best of luck

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*RENEAT*'s Photo *RENEAT* Posts: 215
7/17/08 11:29 A

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Try asking at places like the hospital or local pediatricians, the library or children's museum, or local schools for help. Quite often they have, at least, a word of mouth network about quality, affordable childcare. It is tough sometimes but soooo worth it. (this said as I plot to punish my 17 year old for his latest infraction. Hee Hee) Good Luck!!

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ANNAJW's Photo ANNAJW Posts: 581
7/17/08 11:21 A

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I will look into it, but I don't think our goverment is being that helpful her in England. There are certain child benefits and tax credits we could claim if we were in a low enough pay bracket, but we earn too much to get the majority of those, but not enough to afford it all on our own. I know we are not alone in this situation, there are thousands of families in the same position as us across the country - the so called "middle income" families.

Oh well, we will work it out I am sure.



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MISSG818's Photo MISSG818 Posts: 1,276
7/17/08 10:47 A

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There are many websites to refer to:
Metrodaycare.com
daycare.com
yellowpages.com


We have a network in the state I reside in called Bright from the Start. They provide licensure all day care centers and in-home day care providers in the state of Georgia. In lieu of that, they provide a listing of licensed day cares for those that are seeking care. Look in your local area, I am sure the state (government) is mandating child care providers and day cares to have specific requirements (i.e. CPR/First Aid, Child Safety, Education) prior to opening.

Edited by: MISSG818 at: 7/17/2008 (10:51)
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ANNAJW's Photo ANNAJW Posts: 581
7/17/08 10:35 A

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That's also a good idea, but I have no idea how we would find a service like that (I have tried the internet and the phone book) but I guess it is something we are more likely to have the contacts to find once we actually have a baby.

For a little while I thought about setting up that kind of business, but the amount of training I would need to do, and the cost involved in getting trained and set up is too prohibitive!

Still I am sure someone somewhere round us must be doing something like that.

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MISSG818's Photo MISSG818 Posts: 1,276
7/17/08 9:43 A

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My mother and I opened an in-home child care service over seven years ago. When I was a single parent, I had a difficult time seeking child care beyond standard hours, so we open a 24-hour, in-home, child care service for parents who work standard and non-standard hours. It was a wonderful idea until parents started taking advantage of our service (i.e. picking up late, not paying for two shifts or leaving the child for 18-24 hours). It was an affordable idea for parents who needed us. Now, we care for children during standard hours (6:30 am to 6:00pm). I find with the influx of fuel and utilities, I am overwhelmed with parents who can not afford to cost of a child care center. I would suggest looking into home day care. We care for children from 6 weeks until Pre-Kindergarten. Our rates are affordable and parents feel more comfortable with our low child/caregiver ratio.

Lastly, we have quarterly meetings where parents are able to converse with one another. Some parents swap hours for no money. It is a great way to get child care on weekends. If you have a friend who has the same number of children, develop a calendar and trade hours without the exchange of money. As parents, we need to network.

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ANNAJW's Photo ANNAJW Posts: 581
7/17/08 9:42 A

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Sadly no, we have no-one in the vicinity that we could do that with, no friends with kids and no family with kids that live near enough for it to be an option. Good idea though!

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7/17/08 9:24 A

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Anna,
My sister and brother in law live in St Albans and have encountered much of the same issues. The solution that they came up with is nanny sharing. Do you have any friends who have children that also need child care? If so, you can hire a nanny together and split the cost of the care.

We struggle here in the states, and I look at the costs across the pond and just don't understand how people can manage. I know it is somewhat easier when you make pounds or euros, but looking at making USD and spending in pounds... YIKES! Hang in there and you will find a way to make it work. I promise.

Imperfection is important. If we were all perfect, then there would be no such thing as growth, and everyone would be extremely boring, which is, paradoxically, not that perfect.-- Dr. Matt

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7/17/08 8:57 A

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I know how you feel. But, just like others have mentioned here, our children are worth the sacrifice. Do not worry too much. One day, you will realize, "My kids have grown up!"

I have 3 children but my husband and I are still going...going and going... God will provide. In Taiwan, it's very hard and expensive to have nannies, too. And, because my husband and I are both overseas Chinese here in Taiwan, our relatives are not here, either. And what else, just the two of us and our 3 children.

Your children will be very proud of you, you'll see.

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7/17/08 8:35 A

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Yes everything had went up but to me my kids are well worth it. So far God has provided me a way with all the things that I need and my two are now 7 and 8. I am now getting them ready for school again and getting school supplies and clothes which also have gone up. My grocery bill has all but doubled in the past few months also with prices going up around here. Just take it a day at a time and you will make it. They are all well worth the money.

Cherly
I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me Philippians 4:13



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LYNNE5767 Posts: 134
7/17/08 8:24 A

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Dont worry so much.......I know it sounds easier than it truly is.
Commend yourself on working on the financial aspects of becoming a parent, it is the most costly investment you will ever make, more so than purchasing a home or car........These children we so easily just Have now days, are a HUGE factor in life.
And few stop to consider the costs of raising a child, just watched a Dr Phil show reporting on the cost of caring, raising supporting a child till 18, this doesnt include college..........250,000.00!!!!
1 quarter of a million dollars!!! So, plan and save.......you are doing things right, control what you can and make the best "difficult" choice in all cases. It sounds like you are on the right path. Dont give up your dreams of family......Children are worth every sacrifce we make.
Blessings


And He said unto me, My Grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the Porwer of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmites, in reporoaches, in necessitites, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10


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ANNAJW's Photo ANNAJW Posts: 581
7/17/08 7:53 A

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**Warning! long winded rant!**

I had some time to myself yesterday, and that allowed me to review our finances in veiw of the fact that the cost of living has sky-rocketed.(that's food and fuel etc, the actual cost of living, not the government published measure which is based on helpful things like the sale of TVs and DVDs and new cars). So I worked out that we are breaking even right now, and once the renovations ( the ones that have to happen, the rest of the list can wait) then we will have enough to pay off our debts. This is all fine, and is in the "plan" and accounted for.

What we did not account for is the huge increase in the cost of childcare in our area (we are ttc, which is why I was looking). I figured it would make sense to have a look at what our options are and how much we will need to put asside for this baring in mind that I WILL have to go back to work after 4 months maternity leave in order for us to pay the mortgage.

All I can say is I am now in shock! and a certain amount of panic. After a full day's research the cheapest I can find is 220 per week (so aprox $440)!!! I know when you break it down to a price per-hour figure it is actually not much, but it still means we are going to have to find a minimum of 10340 per year, or 940 a month assuming that we get aprox one month paid annual leave so wouldn't need childcare for that time.

There is no way on earth that doing our current jobs we can find another 940 per month.

I would look at family caring for the kid(s) but we live a 2-3 hour drive from family, and all our friends work full time.

Basically I have no idea what we are going to do!!! We desperatly want children, but now I am not sure how we are going to cope!

Sorry for going on, and thanks for listening (ok, reading, but you know what I mean!)


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