My Number One Maternity Leave Worry.

Pregnancy is supposed to be a time of joy and downtime, of calmness, retrospection and fun. With Carter, it was. He was out first child and I therefore had a lot of time to Pinterest nurseries, buy booties and literally put my feet up after a long days work. The second time around – and as much as people tell you – it really is so very different. Firstly, any money you thought you didn’t have before baby 1 is now well and truly not there. Secondly, there is zero downtime – one does not simply get home after work and put their feet up. One fetches kid from school, goes home to play, cook, clean an then work some more when everyone else goes to sleep.

We are having our Pip in exactly 92 days. And we have done absolutely nothing. Not a frame has been purchased, not a onesie has been folded and not a name has been decided. Life is just so hectic, and every single spare minute I have is taken up with me furiously trying to save money for maternity leave. I am shooting my ass off and when I’m not shooting each and every weekend I am editing late into he night. You see, unlike the first time round, I wont be getting a full maternity leave payout and it is safe to say, I am freaking.the.fuck.out.

As we stand, I have enough saved to see me through 2. 7 months. And it’s breaking my heart to consider that I wont be able to take the full 4 months (which is revoltingly little as is) like I did with Carter. If anything, I was hoping for 5 or even 6 months, to well and truly bond with my baby daughter. I have booked shoots up until 2 weeks before I give birth and have a wedding 29 days after she is born. I will also be working my corporate job until the day of her birth. This will all help, but it still wont get me to where I need to be.

This is before the payment for the actual birth, which medical aid doesn’t cover (not even close) and all the other expenses that come with being at home with a newborn.

I’m genuinely curious as to how other women do it – It rarely comes up in conversation and the majority of my peers don’t seem to be too fussed about how they will afford to live – salary free- for their maternity leave. UIF is a joke, and even though I will be claiming, it will be a minor addition to what I’ve already saved. Do your hubby’s help out and pay you a ‘salary’ while you’re at home, do you have savings, does your company pay you in full? Perhaps you’ve had to go back to work early, take on freelance work or maybe you’ve managed to cut down on expenses over that time?

I honestly can’t go another day (and sleepless night) without a cold skeletal hand of financial fear grip my throat. I can work a bit while I’m on leave but I also don’t want to end of my limited time with my newborn resentful that we had, actually, no time together at all.

Advice and ideas, moms?

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Kate, if you are going to be claiming from UIF please let me know. I went through an agency, a lovely lady, who charged me R500 only. She emailed me all the forms with clear instructions of what to fill in and then I sent them back to her. She applied for me and I received money each month, starting from the first month that Matt was born. In the end I was off work for 4 months and received the equivalent of 3 months. Not too bad in the end. Let me know if you want her details.

  2. I am 10 weeks pregnant and just started a new job in May. I don’t qualify for maternity benefits. My first born is a mere 13 months old. So even though my heart is overjoyed at being pregnant, it feels like a struggle everyday. I had a little rainy day fund which I am going to dig into. I managed to free off a lot of debt which reduces the amount of cash I need for 4 months. I am claiming from UIF as well. One option might be to work from home a few days so you get paid while spending time with baby. I think the best is to make a list of what needs to be paid for the 4 months, establish how much you will need and try to aim for that. It has to be strictly bare minimum payments just to cover you. And where you can freeze payments for 4 months (some policies allow this), go for it. Dad has to help out as well, it’s a small sacrifice when you think about the first 4 months of life .. its the time you will never get back so make the most of each day!

  3. It’s not going to be easy and at the end of the day the most important thing is that the whole family pulls together. Also time to prioritise , keep away from shops and tempting deals. One day you’ll wake up and realise how much you do have and material things aren’t nearly as important as health, friendships and the enjoy,won’t of being a family.

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