The universal working mother experience

Francesca Varney is urging mothers to pursue a career they enjoy.

Francesca Varney These days mothers need more than just traditional career advice.

Federal budget 2015: Where are the childcare places, Joe?

joe hockey

Amber Robinson It’s all very well to encourage women to work if they choose to, but how can the measures lead to increased workforce participation when women are once again left holding the baby?

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Getting your family finances in order

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Staff writers Whether you're after a new car for a growing family, a bigger house, or are just fixing up your finances, here are the basics on borrowing.

Your guide to the 2015 federal budget

BUDGET

What will the budget mean for your family? Here's all you need to know about the 2015 federal budget.

Federal budget 2015: What it means for new parents and families with young children

Franking

The Federal Government's long-awaited $4.4 billion families and childcare package will see many parents receive greater payments from 2017, with predictions 1.2 million households will be better off.

Federal budget 2015: 'No jab, no pay' tipped to save $500 million

Health Minister Sussan Ley has looked for savings from a range of little-known programs.

Amy Corderoy and Dan Harrison The government estimates it will save more than $500 million from it's "no jab, no pay" policy to stop families of un-vaccinated children from accessing family and child care benefits.

Tool that compares family incomes shows Aussies are out of touch

Tony Abbott said a family income of $185,000

INGA TING It turns out Tony Abbott isn't the only one who's out of touch when it comes to understanding wealth in Australia.

Almost half of all mums to lose government paid parental leave entitlements

The government move to stop 'double dipping' paid parental leave has been slammed by a key consultant.

Judith Ireland and Matt Wade Almost 80,000 new mums will lose some or all of their government parental leave payments in a move that has been slammed by a key consultant of the PPL scheme as "the mother of all insults".

Why Rachel Zoe is many mums' dream boss

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Megan Blandford Stylist to the stars Rachel Zoe recently announced what she believes is “one of the best business decisions [she's] ever made”.

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Budget 2015: Wealthy families to keep childcare

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PHILLIP COOREY The federal government has ignored a recommendation by the Productivity Commission to slash childcare support for wealthier families.

Childcare rebate: tougher rules for stay-at-home mums

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MATTHEW KNOTT A new form of activity testing will be introduced to ensure the highest subsidies go to parents who contribute the most to the workforce.

Childcare crisis: parents of almost 250,000 children unable to access care

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LETITIA ROWLANDS The nation's childcare system is in crisis, with new figures revealing that the parents of almost 250,000 children are unable to access the childcare as they require.

My income barely covers daycare, but I won’t stop working

daycare

Meredith Hale I tell myself I’ve achieved some semblance of work/life balance. But what I don’t have, according to my tax return, is any money to show for it.

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Nanny pilot program to go ahead

Scott Morrison

JUDITH IRELAND The Abbott government has confirmed that there will be federal funding for nannies under a pilot program that is likely to roll out later this year. 

Childcare is a big problem, but there's more to it

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Megan Blandford Let’s keep talking about these issues and not allow them to be put into a neat little box that’s labelled ‘Fix childcare and everything is solved’.

The health insurance advice you can't afford to ignore

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NICOLE PEDERSEN-MCKINNON There's one simple switch that could save you hundreds of dollars a year in private health insurance.

How to babyproof your job interview

Preparing for a job interview after spending time at home with your baby can be daunting.

Masha Rumer Once upon a time, I was a fan of job interviews. That all changed after I'd switched careers, had a baby and decided to spend the first year at home with her.

Getting creative to cut childcare costs

What can families do to beat the childcare blues? For some, the answer is to get creative.

PINKY MCKAY What can families do to beat the childcare budget blues? For some, the answer is to get creative.

Proposed $20 Medicare fee axed

Government cuts to medicare rebates could unnecessarily drive patients in to emergency departments, or make them forgo treatment

Joanna Heath Health minister Sussan Ley has used her first press conference in the role to announce the government will dump planned cuts to GP fees for visits under 10 minutes.

New $20 GP fee: health charge changes explained

Medicare

JULIA MEDEW Why are patients facing a new $20 charge for visiting their GP?

New GP co-payment scheme a triple whammy for patients

Under three new changes to the GP payment plan, the big losers will be ordinary patients.

Stephen Duckett and Peter Breadon Under three new changes to the GP payment plan - one of which has already come into effect - the big losers will be ordinary patients.

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'As a mother I wasn't given a look in': the female funding fiasco

Louisa Forrest found it hard as a female to convince banks to come on board.

Claire Dunn Why are women are often seen by lenders as 'fly-by', rather than serious business owners?

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It's official: the $7 GP co-payment plan has been axed

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the government's planned GP fee does not have the support needed to pass the Senate.

LISA COX Days after announcing that his paid parental scheme is undergoing a major overhaul, Tony Abbott has confirmed that the plan to charge patients $7 per doctor's visit has been axed.

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Confusion as Abbott refines paid parental leave scheme

Tony Abbott has morning tea with local families in a Sydney cafe.

JUDITH IRELAND Prime Minister Tony Abbott has moved to water down his paid parental leave scheme amid worries he'll ignore support for stay-at-home mothers in the process.

The job interview question I always answer with a lie

Job interview

KASEY EDWARDS "What if I get a question about babies?" asked a childless, but clucky younger woman I'm mentoring before a job interview. My response is unequivocal: lie.

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Study: Women with children are most productive at work

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Ylan Q. Mui A word of encouragement for working mums: a study says you are actually more productive than your childless peers.

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Should you have a third child or not?

Tanika Davis I thought our family had been complete with our two boys. I had no idea how much I needed my daughter until she was here.

My children's warped sense of work

phone mum

KYLIE ORR I’ve wrestled with the 'working from home' thing, and have wondered about the impact it will have on my children’s working lives.

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Paid parental leave scheme grinds to a halt

The Federal Government's much-hyped Paid Parental Leave scheme appears to have stalled.

MARK KENNY The future of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's paid parental leave scheme appears to be up in the air, despite the fact it is due to begin in less than nine months.

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Can 'Daughter Water' help close the gender pay gap?

daughter water

JO HARTLEY More than 3000 bottles of 'Daughter Water' were yesterday delivered to the desks of chief executives across the country - all in an effort to help equalise pay for men and women.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

xmas baby

Melissa Browne Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

'A woman's IQ halves when she's pregnant,' boss told pregnant worker

JB Were

Hannah Low A former state manager of a wealth management firm claims she was sexually harassed and bullied to stand down from her job after taking time off to have children.

An open letter to Tony Abbott: please salvage our super

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon

NICOLE PEDERSEN-MCKINNON We face financial ruin, but most of us don’t realise it. If we don’t act together to salvage our superannuation, I have no doubt the new GFC will be the Girls’ Financial Crisis.

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One of the most important things a new mum can do

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VICTORIA BIRCH Finances may not be as cute as a newborn, but with many women’s working arrangements changing post-baby, monetary matters need attention too.

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Future of paid parental leave scheme is uncertain

Prime Minster, Tony Abbott

LATIKA BOURKE He promised to pay working mothers their full wages for six months to look after new babies, but government sources are questioning if and when the scheme will go ahead.

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One in two mums, one in four dads experience discrimination at work

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Elizabeth Broderick One in two mothers and more than a quarter of the fathers and partners surveyed reported experiencing discrimination in the workplace at some point during pregnancy, parental leave or on return to work.

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Childcare costs, not paid leave, the real issue for parents

Paid Parental Leave is fast becoming a noisy distraction to the real issue confronting working parents, which is the cost of childcare.

Jonathan Hastie Given the choice between maintaining their wage for six months to have a child, or having a reduced rate of pay for a time but a better deal on childcare when returning to work, there are no odds on what most working parents would choose.

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Late-night childcare not needed, parents say

Liz Porqueddu

MIKI PERKINS The plan for childcare centres to operate around-the-clock is neither practical nor in demand, according to a nationwide survey.

HECS-style loan suggested as alternative to paid parental leave

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JUDITH IRELAND While Tony Abbott's paid parental leave scheme is looking unlikely, a prominent think tank has created an alternative suggestion.

Introducing the million-dollar baby

Baby Juke

MARC MONCRIEF Juke is only three weeks old, but he's joined a generation of children whose education costs could reach $1 million by the time they finish university.

Childcare is expensive, but worth it in the long run

Susan Krieg The cost of childcare is in the spotlight again. But highlighting the cost, rather than considering its overall benefits to children, families and Australian society, is missing the point.

Can a working mum be as good at her job after maternity leave?

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Antonia Hoyle Working mothers seem doomed to feel they're failing both their career and children. So how do you break the double-guilt cycle?

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We need to look at the big financial picture

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JUSTINE DAVIES It’s something that gets very little attention, either in the media or in discussions of long-term family budgeting, but superannuation losses can have a big impact on your financial future.

Childcare costs skyrocket

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AAP with staff writers Some women earning less than five dollars an hour once childcare fees and income tax rates are taken in to consideration.

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Single parents face tax slug of 80 per cent

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GARETH HUTCHENS A quirk in the Abbott government's plans to cut family payments means single parents will soon have a huge disincentive to earn more than $48,000 a year.

Grandparents make grand carers

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COSIMA MARRINER The use of costly nannies to look after children is on the wane, with grandparents and childcare centres taking up the slack instead, a survey of 1900 parents shows.

When every cent counts: a mum's story of spending her last $7

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LETITIA ROWLANDS A mother's heartfelt plea about what $7 can really mean to a family facing financial hardship has gone viral.

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Is working from home really the answer to work-life balance?

Juggling childcare and working from home can be tricky.

Fiona Macdonald While working from home sounds like a great solution for someone combining paid work and childcare, research has identified some common issues and problems with these arrangements.

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Budgeting for life with your baby

piggy bank

Jane Ratcliffe A new baby pulls on your purse strings as well as your heart. The key is to have a plan so you’ll be ready for the change in finances that comes with your new arrival.

Budget 2014: a sneak peek

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Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey's first Federal budget is to be handed down tonight. Here's what we think it is set to include, based on early leaks and discussion.

Single parents face tax slug of 80 per cent Grandparents make grand carers When every cent counts: a mum's story of spending her last $7 Is working from home really the answer to work-life balance? Budgeting for life with your baby Budget 2014: a sneak peek Overweight people could pay more for health cover How the Commission of Audit would affect my family How Abbott's PPL scheme will cost women too much Tony Abbott amends paid parental leave scheme Half of all mums experience discrimination at work 'Shocking' treatment of pregnant women at work Updating your resume after parental leave Life as a 'latte papa' in Sweden 'Employers see mums as a risk' Childcare issues contributing to major productivity concerns Abbott firm on paid parental leave scheme, but will it really go ahead? Fighting for the right to lean out, or why I hate Sheryl Sandberg Childcare rebate vital to working parents Trial of flexible childcare a flop

Forums

Managing Money Forum

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Chat with other parents on topics around studying, employment, fundraising, party plan, being a working parent or owning your own business.

Working Parents forum

Are you a working parent? Share your stories and experiences with other mums who understand what you're going through.

Business

Working mums

Be inspired by Australian mums who have created their own businesses.

The day my daughter almost drowned

We had six adults standing there, so I felt like I could relax a bit. After all, what could go wrong with so much supervision?

Sydney siege survivor names baby after victim Katrina Dawson

A Sydney barrister who survived the Lindt cafe siege has named her newborn daughter after her best friend who died in the tragedy.

Banishing bloat

How to avoid a bloated tummy

Here are some foods to eat in order to escape feeling ghastly and gassy.

The great new picture book for anxious kids

My son is a worrier by nature. I learnt long ago that it was completely pointless to say to him "Don't worry about it!".

Budget stripped more than $15b from families

The combined impact of the two budgets for low and middle income people was "devastating", new analysis by the Australian Council of Social Service shows.

Pregnant women urged to get flu shots

As the winter chill starts to arrive, NSW Health is urging pregnant women to get their flu shots.

65-year-old gives birth to quadruplets

A 65-year-old German woman, who already has 13 children, has given birth to quadruplets.

What you need to know about pregnancy and health insurance

It's not just waiting periods that couples need to consider - there are other factors to consider when thinking about health insurance.

Yummy mummy

Nicole Trunfio breastfeeds baby on Elle magazine cover

Australian model Nicole Trunfio has taken the concept of multitasking to a fashionable new level for Elle Australia.

Warnings after baby girl died while sleeping in bouncer

Parents have been warned about the dangers of letting babies sleep in bouncers and swings following the death of a three-month-old girl.

Coping with fatigue as a parent

Sleep deprivation is a real hazard of caring for a baby. But there are ways to manage the challenges of fatigue better.

A very 21st century issue: parents, parks and smart phones

It's not all the parents, and it's not all the time, but there is often at least one doing it. And sometimes, that 'one' is me.

Appliances

Faulty washing machines linked to house fires

More than 80,000 faulty Samsung washing machines pose a fire threat in homes throughout Australia despite a nationwide recall of the machines.

'I had a lotus birth and I loved it'

Lotus birthing is not all that common, but for a number of women it feels like the most natural thing to do.

7 things you might not know about postnatal depression

Despite its widespread nature, there is still a great amount of mystery surrounding PND - and it's important to try unravelling as much of that as we can.

Is your family's car part of the world's biggest safety recall?

More than 50 million vehicles recalled for potentially lethal airbag fault - is your car affected?

Why drinking water can be deadly for babies

H2O is one of the necessities of life, but for babies a seemingly harmless amount of water can be fatal.

Mother-in-law faceplants during proposal

He had it all planned: a romantic proposal on a windswept beach. The whole family would be there so they'd all be able to celebrate the joyous moment together.

A preschooler suddenly goes mute - and it's not just shyness

When our son stopped talking, our sense of loss was painful and acute.

The mums who ask for a 'wife bonus'

They run their homes like domestic CEOs and work tirelessly to improve their family's social standing. And now, according to a new book, they want an annual perk from their husbands.

Woman shares photo of dimple on breast to warn others of cancer risk

A widely-shared Facebook photograph of a British woman's breast has raised awareness of a more subtle breast cancer symptom.

Starting a family despite a low sperm count

"I'd never really failed a test - how could I fail this particularly manly test?"

It's official: we must better protect our kids from toxic lead exposure

New guidelines have been released, aimed at reducing children's harmful exposure to lead. But they still don't go far enough.

Trouble-shooting toddler social skills

Chances are your toddler's behaviour is all completely normal - but here's how to tackle some common social problems.

Helping your first-born welcome a sibling

We did sigh with joy at the arrival of a royal princess - but, mostly, we sighed with pity at the sight of Prince George being taken to meet her.

Farewell, daytime nap

I've been in denial and I'm not too proud to beg, but it appears I must accept the fact that you have gone. I need to let you go.

The identical triplets who are one in 50 million

The father of identical triplets born in a Texas hospital says his three daughters, including conjoined twins, are "a miracle" sent by God.

Seven questions you should be asking about your health cover

If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there’s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. To ensure it’s still right for your family, click here for seven questions to ask.

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What's hot on EB

How to use gas effectively in labour

Many women in labour don't use gas effectively and suffer more side effects than benefits. Here's how to get the most out of this pain relief option.

'He has gastro but that's okay, right?': sick kid etiquette

We cannot place all children who are sick in a bubble till they recover, but we can give other parents a choice about exposing their kids to them.

Welcome to Winter

Now that the colder months are here, Essential Baby as all the information you need for staying healthy and happy during the chilly season.

Ada Nicodemou: 'I can never be completely happy again'

Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.

10 things to consider when you're thinking about trying for a baby

Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.

How special surgery and IVF can create a post-vasectomy baby

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.

Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.

Doctor's mobile phone 'left inside c-section mum'

A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.

I'm a mum and I'm following my dreams

I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.

Those first daycare days

I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.

Top baby names

Baby Names

The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.