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How much leave to take after bub?
... plus a bit of a vent


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#1 misty123

Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:24 PM

Hi guys

Had to post something that's been on my mind a lot lately. How much leave is everyone planning / hoping to take once your baby is born?

I'm still undecided and this whole "how much leave to take" is getting me down a bit. I'm in a lucky situation where I was able to have 12 months off with DS1 while still recieving some type of income (mainly due to accured leave I had kept up my sleave over many years of continued service to my employer). I had 12 months off work and I loved and cherished every second of it. I loved being at home with him, and wished i could have stayed at home for a few more years - i didn't miss work at all, but financially, I couldn't stay at home for any longer so returned to work 3 days per week which was enough for us to live off.  My husband works full time and prior to DS1 we where both are on fairly good paying jobs (not fantastic, but not bad, just a smidge above average). My work at 3 days is going well and it's a good balance between home and work life while keeping my fingers in my career so to speak but in the back of my mind, i still wish I could be a stay at home mum - just for these early years. Or have more time at home and less at work.

Now that we are having a second bub, the idea of wanting to stay at home is even stronger and whenever I think about how long to take off I feel horrible. A year dosn't feel long enough with two?  So many of my friends with kids don't work (husband supports) and have no pressure to return as they are in a financial situation where that works for them by either having higher incomes or lower mortgages but they also seem to not miss out on stuff either (they always seem to be buying new clothes, have foxtel, buying new furniture, cars even and new items around the house, going out for dinner all the time etc). Now working only 3 days, we have had to cut back dramatically (even though our "old non family life" wasn't extravant by any means.  Having a family brings a different lifestyle anyway and we are happy to go without to spend more time at home and spend more the kids and what they need than us.  But I find myself getting so jealous (to myself) and asking the question how can couples afford to live off one income? I just don't get it. Our mortgage is high, but it's "average" now days and one average income would struggle to pay it.

In terms of my leave I think I can scrape enough leave to get 8 months with some type of income but not enough for 12 or longer like i had hoped and i'm scared that with two babies I'll just want more time off this time round.

Are any of the ladies here worrying/thinking of the same thing? I'd love to hear what others are planning on doing. I hope I don't sound spoilt or demanding and that this hasn't come out the wrong way. Every day i appreciate that we are happy and healthy and that's all that matters, but in the back of my mind I also know that these next couple of years (especially if we only have 2 kids like we are planning) will go so quickly and i just want to enjoy them as much as I can while they are so little.

Sorry for this long winded post! I sure can woffle on blush.gif

Edited by misty123, 29 January 2013 - 03:32 PM.


#2 MrsLexiK

Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:47 PM

I'm from May but your topic just came up in "active topics." I will be taking anywhere between 6 - 18 months off.  The only expense we have that is not covered by DH's wage is our food bill, I am thankful to the PPL in that I believe we will be able to make it stretch for a minimum of 6 months - 18 months only paying for our food/nappies etc.  I want a part time job either near home or near where my DH works so at around 6 months I will probably start looking for that so if I get it first up great, if I don't we won't have to dig into our savings to be able to survive.  I also want to study, and I will look at options as to whether we receive anything from the govt if I do go back to study and how much this would be. But I want to pick a family friendly profession that will allow me to work part time or flexi hours or from home and be something that I enjoy whilst also adding to our income (I am thinking long term, my DH is 10 years older then me so I we will rely on my income at one point in time I am sure)

We can do that above because we have savings and we don't have a large mortgage.  We brought a home which we qualified for on my wage alone (DH at the time earnt almost double me) We do have foxtel, we do holiday, we have big insurance premiums, we pay rego on 3 cars and 1 bike, my DH has an expensive hobby (I enjoy the hobby as well but I probably go about once or twice a year, he is gone on average once a month) I prefer certain labels.  I have done a budget and unless I am missing something big we can afford the above things still (albeit not all the time and my  shopping habbit will have to only be at sales) on my DH wage along with continuing to save. But really the only reason we can afford those is because our biggest bill (our mortgage) is not all that big in comparision to a lot of people.  We also have a lot of expenses we could down grade (ie PHI is at the moment top, we could go down to mid or basic, Foxtel samething, comp on the car we have a low excess on our insurances but we could if we had to increase them because we do have the money sitting there in savings) if we had to.  We could also sell one of the cars, (we have 2 everyday cars and a 4wd that is only used for 4wd or towing, we would sell my car and DH would just drive the 4wd - which would be a pain as he would have to change the tyers on it all the time but if we had to we could change our ways)

If we were to have a second child before the first was at school, I am not so sure we would be able to do the above still.  We have "free" childcare offered at the moment, but with 2 we would likely split them so the grandparent who has offered would have D1 one day whilst D2 went to CC and then vice versa.

Edited by MrsLexiK, 29 January 2013 - 03:47 PM.


#3 Mizadele

Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:25 PM

Misty - I feel the same way. I work 4 short days a week ATM. And I petty nervous about taking time off. We are planning on a years maternity leave to keep my options open at work, but have done the math and should only be dropping $100 a week, once we factor in the additional payment. Next year I am hoping to return to study and using the extra govt student income to supplement that missing work pay.
We are naturally very frugal people so we don't go out much out or spend alot of money. So we are saving as much as we can now as a buffer for the coming down period.


#4 Nervy

Posted 30 January 2013 - 02:56 PM

Misty, i will be taking 24 weeks off work. (i only took 3 months off with my first bubby :-( ) We simply cannot afford to live on one wage and because my DH is self employed, there is no guarantee of income if it rains for a month or he breaks his leg etc etc. I dont know how people do it either, i just assume they earn more money than us, or the family tax benefits arent that bad at all when you dont work! (We claim annually because we dont know what we are going to earn, and for DS last year we got $1200, which, for a whole year, does not go too far at our house! We pay what i think is alot for our mortgage AND have two brand new car loans, plus the regular credit card! In saying this, we have been to fiji for the last couple of years and other overseas annual holidays before DS was born, i guess what i am saying is, If we want to live the way we do with the holidays, family weekends away, always nice food & wine & beer in the fridge, being able to go shopping and buy new clothes and toys for my son and drive a nice car, both of us will have to work! I actually enjoy the balance aswell (part time like you) xx

#5 misty123

Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:45 PM

Hi ladies

THanks for responding, it's actually comforting to hear (even though i know there are so many new mums out there with the same issues).  I should count myself very lucky that i'm able to take the leave off that I'm planning to, I know a lot of mums don't even get that option.  I guess I just find it hard not to compare against others and want what I can't have.  

Since posting, I've had time to think the leave arrangements over and I am actually fairly happy now that I've gotten used to the idea.  I had to remind myself that work is not that bad!  Like you nervy, i too enjoy the balance and I must admit find work "a break" compared to running after a toddler at home so when i get home I'm usually fresher and have more energy and really give him LOTS of quality time on my days off which I just love.  And you are right, without me working I'd probably be miserable if i had to scrimp and save every cent just to survive.  Things are still tough for us, but not impossible and I like being bale to buy the odd thing at the shops when a sale is on when I can afford it!

Thanks girls!  I'm feeling much better about it all. xxoxoxo!

#6 balancing.act

Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:57 PM

I'm taking 5-6 months off. We live overseas and even if we came home to have the baby we wouldn't be eligible for the PPL which is a lot of a shame. I'm lucky that my employer has a 3 month full salary maternity leave policy and I can also have 9 months unpaid leave on top of that.

Unfortunately I'm the main wage earner in our house so I have to go back to work or our mortgage payments and savings plan would start going backwards rather than forwards. Luckily I have two months accrued leave so I can stretch the three months to five and can maybe work out a sixth month of part time work before I have to go back full time.

It's our first so I really don't know how I'll feel when I have to go back to work. I guess I'm in the mindset that we don't really have a choice so we have to work with what we've got. Luckily being overseas means we can afford some help around the house so when we're home at night we can cook together and play with our baby and concentrate on spending time together because someone has already done the washing and cleaned the bathroom. I'm concentrating on those blessings since if we were in Australia we certainly wouldn't have that luxury.

#7 countrychic29

Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:59 PM

Another interloper from May here.
I have the same concerns OP, i currently do not have a huge amount of leave, around 6-7weeks so will be relying on the PPL and supplementing that by spreading out my leave payments.
We have budgeted since finding out we were pg to live of a reasonable amount that we felt we could manage and save the balance, the saved portion, along with leave & PPL will cover our household expenses plus OB fees and all baby needs for 6 months (until DH becomes full time after he finishes uni)
We just wont be saving anything during that time.
We have extra savings that i do not want to dip into but can if necessary.
I'm lucky to be able to go back to work whenever i want and pick my hours and work from home. At the moment i think i may even do 2 days a week from home from when bubs is 3 months (this way i might get my new bathroom)
In a perfect world i would be a SAHM but until DH finishes uni and starts earning a full time wage it will be a bit of a struggle.

#8 RellBell

Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:06 PM

I have no idea how people can afford to live like they do off one income. My sister has two little girls and has not worked since the day she found out she was pregnant with the first. All cruisy kicking her feet up, going shopping and relaxing until the baby arrived.

Her oldest is in school now and she just spends time with the little one. They are NEVER short on money - in fact, she's almost constantly out shopping. I'm so jealous of those mums who are in a position to be full time stay at home and not feel like a financial burden.

I am going to take as long as I can off work. I don't intend to return to proper work for a fair while (at least a year). I know the income will be very slim though, so I will have to work when my DP isn't at work (probably every Saturday night until late and every Sunday). I figure 8 hours a week will probably be more of a "welcome" get out of the house and let daddy spend some time with his little girl, than it would be if I was having to return to part or full time work. (or at least that's what i'm telling myself so I don't feel so resentful towards people who seem to have it so easy financially).

Oh, and my work offers maternity leave. A whole 105 days of UNPAID maternity leave. Hooray? *rolls eyes*.

I guess we all just have to make the best of our situation and try not to think about what we don't have original.gif


#9 NikonMum

Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:32 PM

Iv been thinking about this for a few weeks too.
I'm a full time casual worker so I don't have any leave to use. I'd always thought id take at least a yr or 2 off work but the reality is work is putting the pressure on to come back 2 months after bubs arrives and I don't know how to say no( even though my contract ends at the end of April) another worry for us is if this bub is more than a week late I don't qualify for PPL.
We have done our best to keep living cost low by not having car loans, hire purchases, or extra's like foxtel. But we do have a reasonable mortgage and the usual household expenses (minus power as we have solar panels, also in prep for bub) on an average week DH makes enought to run the household excluding groceries (he is also a casual full time worker) so dipping into savings is a very real possibility.
I too wonder how couples have 2 and 3 kids on one wage, I'd love more than anything to spend every waking minute with my babies but I don't know how that would work while giving them everything I missed out on as a kid (swimming lessons, sports etc)
DH tells me I worry too much and it's not good for the baby lol

Deep down I think I can stomach putting this little bub in family day care at 7/8 months I guess and go back to work part time if they will have me, hopefully when we have number 2 I can stay home longer original.gif

#10 kahm

Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:57 PM

Hi guys,
I guess there's two issues here.
1 - How long can you afford to have off; and
2 - How long do you WANT to have off

Our plans at the moment are that I'll take the first year off and, given it's my first, I have NO idea whether I'll love being at home for that time or whether I'll be desperate to get back to work.  My guess is that I'll miss bits of work when I'm at home (like the grown-up brain work) but that I'll find not working to be really rewarding too.
Our ideal plan is for DP and I to do a swap of the SAHP job after a year and I'll go back to work once bub doesn't need a breast feed feeding during work hours.  He wants to take between 3 and 6 months off to be a full time dad.  
I'm guessing that I'll find the transition back to work much harder than the transition to staying home, but at least I'll be able to leave bub with her dad and know that DP and I will both have a turn at very different experiences.

We're planning on having one more after this one and so the only question is whether we can afford to operate like this for both kids - seems like it wouldn't be fair otherwise.  I'm really lucky and my work gives me 14 weeks at full pay (I'll take it at half, so 28 weeks) and then there's the PPL for 18 weeks, which will help.  DP's got long service leave he can use when his turn comes and between us our employers will hold our jobs for us for 104 weeks but (obviously) not all of that is paid leave.  I can't see us using all 104 weeks between us.

I'm looking forward to being a parent who works outside the home though, I think it's something I'll be proud of doing, even if it's a juggling act at times.  I really value knowing that I do good work and I'm looking forward to letting my kids see that I'm proud of myself, I think it'll be good for all of us original.gif



#11 tenar

Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:04 PM


We are doing it by running down our savings.  We were way ahead on our small mortgage before having DD1.  Now we are not in nearly such a good position financially speaking.

It means living in a small place (2br flat) with no options to move, limiting spending in other areas and accepting that to us it's worth it to go backwards financially in order for me to be at home with our girls while they are so young.  

Some families wouldn't have that option, some wouldn't take it.  But to us it seems to be the best decision we can make, for the time being.

#12 BellaMoja

Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:06 PM

Hi there,

Just came in from recent topics as this is dear to my heart....

Its the reason why we are putting off having number 2 as I just cant afford to take another year off - I took 1 year for DD which was no where near enough in my head..... but was only able to as we had saved the mortgage repayments for that year and our mortgage was small but now we have a house the mortgage is huge so I just don't know how we would manage and really don't know how others do it.... I guess their partners earn really great money and their mortgage must be small.

If you do the 8 months I think that is still a great amount of time but I completely understand wanting more time with your precious kids.

Best of luck to you

original.gif

Edited by BellaMoja, 30 January 2013 - 08:07 PM.


#13 alwaystired

Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:18 AM

Hello All,
Its a tough one but everything will work out in the end. And Don't worry about what other people say cause someone will ALWAYS have a problem with what you are doing  rolleyes.gif
I went back to work full time after 6 weeks with my 1st and and will be doing the same with the 2nd. Hubby and I pretty much have 50:50 share on the income so we just cant afford for me to be off work without pay. And the government paid leave is a bunch of crap re TAX.
However I am lucky as i can do night shift and therefore can spend days with my children so the 1st didnt go into child care till he was 6 months (then i finally got some sleep) and i'll do the same with number 2.
I dont know how people manage on one income but good on them, id do it if i could!


#14 Nel118

Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:10 PM

Both DH and I work for the state government at the moment - not sure what his leave entitlements are as he still hasn't managed to bring me home a copy of the relevant policies.

I am entitled to 14 weeks ML, but will take it at half pay (so 28 weeks) - I will also take 8 weeks MLWOP - This means I will be taking 8 months off.

What we are not currently sure about is what will happen after that .... we know we don't want bub to go into day care until after he is 2yo. At the moment we are thinking that I will go back to work full time and DH will become the SAHP.

We both earn about the same .... but I am hoping for a promotion and DH is an electrician so there is the potential for him to start his own business and work part time.

It's all so hard to know how I'm going to feel about it all though ......

#15 kate_123

Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:55 AM

I will be taking 12 months off. I work in gov job so get 14wks pay (which im taking as 28 wks half pay) and then 18wks gov pay so that takes me up to earning something for almost a year. Wont be full salary but it will be something in the bank so should be enough for us to get by. I must say I was quite suprised how generous my maternity leave is and i can imagine how hard it would be if your workplace wasnt so generous.

#16 antsy

Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:13 AM

I came in from recent topics as well. I became a SAHM after my third child. DH earns less than the average income. It is a bit tough, but the only way we manage is because we are renting, not home owners. I believe the ridiculously high cost of housing in this country makes it impossible to live off one income. We have put off buying our own home until all of our children are in school. I knew there was no way we could afford the repayments while I was off work.

Misty the friends of yours who are able to afford it probably bought their homes a while back, when prices were reasonable. Or they may be renting.

I can relate to the feelings of jealousy you are experiencing though, as I felt them after my first and second children, when I returned to work and a lot of my friends were SAHMs. But like someone else said, work can actually be a blessing, because it gets you out of the house and breaks up the routine. Since being a SAHM I have found I have a lot less patience with the kids, I didnt realise how much work used to help by giving me some time to myself.

#17 bonnybabe

Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:20 AM

QUOTE (Relly23 @ 30/01/2013, 05:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have no idea how people can afford to live like they do off one income. My sister has two little girls and has not worked since the day she found out she was pregnant with the first. All cruisy kicking her feet up, going shopping and relaxing until the baby arrived.

Her oldest is in school now and she just spends time with the little one. They are NEVER short on money - in fact, she's almost constantly out shopping. I'm so jealous of those mums who are in a position to be full time stay at home and not feel like a financial burden.

I am going to take as long as I can off work. I don't intend to return to proper work for a fair while (at least a year). I know the income will be very slim though, so I will have to work when my DP isn't at work (probably every Saturday night until late and every Sunday). I figure 8 hours a week will probably be more of a "welcome" get out of the house and let daddy spend some time with his little girl, than it would be if I was having to return to part or full time work. (or at least that's what i'm telling myself so I don't feel so resentful towards people who seem to have it so easy financially).

Oh, and my work offers maternity leave. A whole 105 days of UNPAID maternity leave. Hooray? *rolls eyes*.

I guess we all just have to make the best of our situation and try not to think about what we don't have original.gif


it is your govt protected right to 12 months maternity leave without pay from your employer if you have been employed for 12 months, ie 3 months before becoming pregnant.


#18 Ally'smum

Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:54 AM

I have been wondering the same thing, but I am due later than you. With my first I took 12 months off, but being at home didn't suit me and I would have preferred to go back at 10 months.

With two little ones I feel like I should do a year, but, for me to take maternity leave we need to have 1 year worth of mortgage payments in the bank, we don't have that so will be saving like mad for the rest of this pregnancy.

At a full time salary I earn more than DH, but I have only worked part time in the past year and intend to do that until both children are in school.

As to wondering how others do it, I hear you on the jealousy! We spent our twenties travelling and working overseas and didn't save much (if anything) until we met each other and settled down, this meant we bought an apartment (for the price everyone we know paid for their house) and can't afford to upgrade in the next few years. Our mortgage payments are still high, we have no equity in the house, but I am too old to delay having any more children so we have to go for it and live with the consequences. It was either earn a good income and no children, or to have two children and struggle - we chose to struggle.

I am hoping in the next few years the hard work now will pay off.

It is not all bad though, I know people who went into debt to have kids, we have managed to avoid that.

#19 Boyz_Mama

Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:12 PM

How do we afford to live on one wage?

QUOTE (tenar @ 30/01/2013, 08:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We are doing it by running down our savings.


This for us too.


Hubby is student and works parttime on a training wage. Long story, but im not eligible for parenting payments despite his low income im pretty sure is below the threshold.  So we're just trying to survive next 2 years til he finishes study and can work fulltime, and our bub due in june is old enough i can go back to work parttime.

With hubby's crazy work/study schedule i have to be available for kids, and would be working for so little (if i could find a job) if paying to putting kids in childcare for me to work. So im a sahm.

We have moderate loan. Bought about 4yrs ago when prices high (our house value may have gone down :s) but paid off as much as possible in first few years when i was on leave before i had to resign my job.  recently we refinanced to extend loan to 30yrs again for slightly less amount which has lowered repayments.

We struggle and have to be really cheap in general with occasional small extravagance (eg dinner at out at a cafe). No going away for holidays original.gif buy things on clearance (kids clothes have to be normally about 60% off or more or i wont buy them -- its kind of like a sport for me wink.gif ), op-shops or accept hand-me-downs etc. no pay tv. Hire dvds on cheap tuesday($2) instead of going to movies, borrowing books from library... Etc. we dont drink except maybe once or twice a year at home, and dont smoke so dont have those expenses.

Our friends probably earn between double and quadruple our household income on average, which is hard sometimes... We get invited places and sometimes have to say no due to cost. But we just try to do our thing and enjoy what we have... And that i can stay home with the kids.

Im sure to other people we make it look like its easy for us to be on one income, but it is real struggle. Im so conscious on what we spend, and barely spend money on myself except the money my parents give me for birthday & christmas (which i try to save as long as possible in case i need it).

All the best with your decision- its certainly not an easy one and every person's situation is so different!!

#20 LisaM07

Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:08 AM

This is our first and I am planning on having 12 months off, and seeing where I go from there I'm not sure if I'm going to go back full time or look for something part time but unless I want to DRASTICALLY change our lifestyle I will have to go back to work in some capacity...

We are doing it with savings, paid maternity leave from work (I get 16 weeks but 8 when you go on leave and 8 when you come back very sneaky  tongue.gif BUT I am VERY grateful as I know lots of people get nothing) and the government paid parental leave - question on this though alwaystired what did you mean this is a bunch of crap re tax? Do you not get as much as what they say or do you have to pay extra back at tax time next year? Sorry if I'm being dumb by not getting it  blush.gif

I'm really nervous that we won't have enough to last us even though I've gone over it and over it and DF assures me everything is going to be just fine but I think my worry just comes from having worked full time for the last 13 years and it will feel REALLY weird to not have my pay come in each month is anyone else feeling a little nervous about this? I have however set up our bank accounts so that I will still continue to 'pay' myself into our joint account each month from our savings so there is no temptation to overspend  tongue.gif

I agree with the other comments that no matter what you do someone seems to have an opinion or feels they have the right to judge so you just need to do whats right for your beautiful family, I think its totally fine and absolutely normal to feel jealous sometimes so don't beat yourself up over it.

L xxx




#21 kate_123

Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:36 AM

Lisa, It would be really weird to not work full time after doing it for so long. I'm on the other boat tho. Because I have been really sick for many years I have only just slowly built up to working 3 days a week and its an accomplishment that has brought a lot of pride and satisfaction to my life. I really have had more than enough time sitting at home all day and so Im probably less looking forward to this than most, although I want to spend time with my bub too. Im lucky i can return to work at whatever capacity i want so I may decide to return earlier for my own mental health point of view (health and lack of sleep permitting!) rather than purely financial reasons.

#22 LisaM07

Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:23 PM

Wow Kate that is a great achievement for you and you should be proud congrats lovely original.gif I think its definately up to every women when is the right time for her to go back to work and no one should need to feel judged because of the choices they make.

It's funny how many different walks of life we are all from original.gif

My bestie had 12 months off and has now gone back to work 3 days because of course she LOVES being a mummy but definately needs that time at work for her. She thinks I'll be very much the same.. we'll see I'm open original.gif

But a big cheers to all the mummas out there working FULL TIME!!!! You're all amazing original.gif

L xxx


#23 RellBell

Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:41 PM

I having been whinging to my DP about maternity leave for a few weeks, and how annoyed I am that my sister and some other couples seem to have it so easy. But I realised that by whinging to DP, I was making him feel sh*tty about his ability to provide. He said to me the other day "I really want you to be able to be a stay at home mum, and I feel kind of sh*t that I can't give you what you need and deserve... and i'm sort of feeling that you are wishing you were having a child to a richer man".

And I realised that IS kind of what i've been doing - blaming him for not being richer and a better provider. Whoops, I had better stop that :\

On another money note: I was talking to a friend the other day (who has a husband who makes a fair bit of money, and they're constantly jetsetting off to other parts of the world), and said that I won't be using my car for bub as it is quite old and DP doesn't feel it is the safest way for baby to get around (which I was quite annoyed about as I find my car very reliable, even if it is 25 years old) and she said very matter of fact-ly "WELL, if he doesn't like it, than HE can buy YOU a new car!".

Hahahahaha. Yes, I live in fantasy land where money grows on trees and I will simply make him buy me a new car, I can't believe I hadn't thought of that solution before! *facepalm*.


#24 alwaystired

Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:25 AM

Hello

LisaM07 - If your planning on taking a year off then the paid parental leave is great, however if your not taking that must time off you need to take into account how much money you'll be making when you go back to work. Because the paid parental leave is TAXED!!!!!!! the human services website has a calculator witch works out weather your better off with the baby bonus or paid parental leave.

It just really got to me cause we cant afford for me to take a year off and then because of how much i'd earned in the year DS was born it wasn't  worth me taking the paid parental leave. So i ended up only having 6 weeks off (annual leave saved up) and taking the baby bonus.

Anyway thats just me having a rant!



#25 LisaM07

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:23 AM

Thanks so much for clearing that up for me alwaystired I thought I was missing something, but totally see what you mean now how it wouldn't be much good to you unless you were taking extended leave due to additional income.

I can totally understand how that would get to you so rant away!

L xxx





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Doctors remove foetus from 'medical marvel' after 36 years

Doctors in India have removed the skeleton of a foetus that had been inside a woman for 36 years.

Nine months in six seconds: new parents' Vine clip a hit

We?ve seen some memorable time-lapse pregnancy and birth announcement videos before. Now one new couple has taken it to the extreme, capturing it all in just a six-second Vine video.

Sonia Kruger speaks of baby joy

Celebrity mum-to-be Sonia Kruger has spoken candidly about using donor eggs and IVF to fall pregnant at age 48.

Dressing to not impress: life through the eyes of a three-year-old

When it comes to getting dressed, my three-year-old has only one criterion: ?I don?t want to look beautiful.? And now I've worked out why.

Special nappies made with love for angel babies

Angel Baby Nappies make and provide tiny bereavement cloth nappies for pre-term stillborn babies and premature babies who pass away in the NICU.

Inside the brain of a tantruming toddler

What's going on in your child's mind in the lead-up to a tantrum? And what?s the best way to respond?

5 secrets to a long-lasting relationship

When it comes to keeping your relationship strong, it?s what you do - and not what you want - that really matters.

When 'furbabies' meet real babies

I am obsessed with my dogs, and can't imagine loving them any less once my baby arrives. But that doesn't stop everyone from telling me I will.

The least popular baby names of 2013

Looking for a baby name that?s nowhere near the top 10 ? or even the top 1000? Try the bottom five.

'I was so sleep deprived I crashed my car'

There are no laws regulating driving while tired, but statistics show that driver fatigue is one of the top three contributors to the road toll.

Why are there so few sexy maternity bras?

Rather than feeling ashamed of their post-baby bodies, women should be free to buy lingerie that makes them look attractive and pretty - no matter what stage of life they're in.

Toddler Alliyah one step closer to first trip home

She has lived the first 14 months of her life in a hospital intensive care unit, but Alliyah Broadby's parents hope to finally take their little girl home with them.

'Put people before IVF profits': IVF pioneer Alan Trounson

IVF could be done for hundreds of dollars in Australia instead of $8500 if clinics stopped charging what ''the market will handle'', a pioneer of the technology says.

Expectant parents urged to swap the pub for bub

Nearly one in five women drink while pregnant, but a current campaign is trying to drive down that unhealthy statistic.

Nutella supplies threatened by bad weather

There's bad news for fans of Nutella, the gooey, chocolatey hazelnut spread.

The cost of growing your own vegies

Does it make financial sense to grow your own veggies, or are you better off ordering produce from the local food co-op?

Breastfeeding mums less likely to suffer from PND, but all need support

A new study has shown the a complex relationship between a mother?s intention to breastfeed, her ability to do so, and postnatal depression.

Win back some precious time and get FREE coupons

Membership to eBay's Bubs? Corner is free and includes a $10 coupon to spend on nappies each month - a win for multitasking mums!

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
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What's hot on EB

Win back some precious time and get FREE coupons

Membership to eBay's Bubs? Corner is free and includes a $10 coupon to spend on nappies each month - a win for multitasking mums!

Do you suffer from Precious Firstborn Syndrome?

Testing ?no more tears? shampoo in your own eyes, warming cucumber sticks so they're not cold straight from the fridge, waking a sleeping baby to check they?re still breathing: these are all symptoms of Precious Firstborn Syndrome.

Ezra's tragic death not in vain, mum says

Little Ezra was a "Harry Houdini" who loved trying to escape the family home. Now, after his tragic death, his parents are doing what they can to help others.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend ? me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum ? I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

Video: When adults act like children

Ever wondered what would happen if adults were allowed to act like children? This dad's hilarious video clip will give you an idea of what life would be like.

Mums hit hardest as flu cases skyrocket

The number of confirmed cases of influenza in Australia has doubled the number for the same time last year - and women are 25 per cent more likely to get it.

The mum who had four babies in nine months

Feeling exhausted due to the demands of caring for a baby? Imagine the life of this mum, who gave birth to three boys and one girl in just nine months.

Everything baby at Big W

Lowest prices on everything baby, only at Big W. Sale starts August 4 and ends August 20 2014.

Smiggle is painting the town red!

We have 3 Red Smiggle prize packs to give away! Enter by posting a photo of something red to your Instagram.

Going viral

Mum gives birth at school

After four decades in the industry, pest controller John Birkett couldn't believe what he found in one woman's bedroom.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

 

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.

 
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Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.