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?