The past week has been one of big decisions. My wife went back to work last month after almost a year off on maternity leave. Since then we’ve been adjusting to the challenge of getting 2 small children to childcare once a week and me doing regular solo bedtimes.
She’s a nurse so works 12 hour shifts, days and nights. Which is great because you get a lot of hours done in one go and of course working nights means no childcare needed. But it’s also very tiring for both of us.
I’ve been juggling work and meetings around childcare times which is hard when you work for a multinational. While my wife has to summon the energy to look after 2 demanding small children after working a night shift.
Not easy at all.
Which brings us to last week’s family summit and the big question ‘is all this effort worth it’? Sure we’re earning a few more pounds which is never a bad thing, but we’re more stressed, more tired and most importantly the children are more unsettled. There was always going to be some adjustment needed with moving house and my wife going back to work, but they’re definitely not enjoying not knowing if they’re going to childcare or if my wife will be there or not.
The conclusion of all this? My wife has handed in her notice and we’re going to try and survive on one income. I think we’ll be ok, clearly we won’t be flush with money but we’ll pay the bills and have enough left to not have to sit at home every day. We’ll definitely need to get better at budgeting and monitoring our spending during the month to ensure we don’t run out of cash.
But we think it’ll be worth it, the children will have their mum there every day and for us that’s really important. Certainly beats going to work and knowing 50% of your earnings are going to pay childcare and petrol. Of course seeing these happy faces every day is going to make things a little bit easier.
I guess now we also need to start thinking about cheap and free things we can do, any suggestions welcome. Definitely easier in the summer when you can get out in the great outdoors but what about those rainy days?