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  1. You know, the tin foil-hatter that lurks inside of me has come to the conclusion that there is a concerted media (backed by dark forces, obviously!) effort, especially in the Daily Mail, to paint a very negative picture of working mothers in order to keep women out of the workplace and thus out of competition for jobs. I have seen numerous articles recently basically saying you can't work and have a good family life and from women saying how much they had regretted being working mothers (I wish I had the links). Another media source (yahoo I think so it comes up on everyone's BT homepage) reported that kids in child care had such elevated levels of circualting cortisol (stress hormone) that working mothers were most likely damaging their brains. As a part-time working mother I think the childcarers do a stellar job with my kids. Eldest is now at school (6 years old) and is top boy in his class. He started nursery at 8months old. God, with all that cortisol he's had pumping round him damaging his brain I guess there's a chance he'd be at Oxbridge by now if I hadn't mucked with his neurochemistry! Youngest is only 16 months old - rules the roost in nursery and when I go to collect her invites me to join in until she has finished her game and is ready to go home! Still, here I am working (well not right now, obviously!) and if I quit wouldn't feature in the unemployment statistics as my husband would support the family. Meanwhile someone else could be in my job. Net result? Unemployed count down by one As I say, I am sure this is just my over-sensitive inner tin foil hatter and there is no concerted campaign to make working women feel like crap and that it's not worth it financially given all the damage you are doing. But just in case, I am off to buy tinned food, batteries and possibly dig a bunker if I get the time - who know what other plots are out there?
  2. Yes, you do feel more secure as a parent and of course the cost of the system is covered in the fees. However, it is nice to know that my kids are secure (the need for this is actually a poor reflection on society) and the system works both ways so I have the added peace of mind that the little blighters can't escape! (Joke - staff watch them constantly so not a genuine concern) Unfortunately it is necessary to limit access to nurseries in this day and age and there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a high tech solution in place. In an ideal world it would have been made in Britain and contributed to a manufacturing base too.
  3. There really isn't one, except I wish I could afford this place as a home. As for the landlord, lives abroad, no intention of selling, rents cheap and called up because he was scared we were thinking of leaving! So, no you can't have him! And don't forget, the lifestyle is only there because we have chosen not to plough all our resources into home ownership
  4. We have 2 pre-school kids. My husband works full time and I work part time. Whilst I am at work, my children are at a wonderful, but expensive, nursery. They love it and I feel secure that there are so many staff there to look after them and they are never at a 1:1 ratio with an adult that I do not know well. The nursery also has secure finger print entry, full access to the carer's qualifications and back ground checks and a wonderful location overlooking the sea. I chose to have my children and I chose to continue my career - I don't work because I have to (from a financial perspective). I do not expect any further help from the taxpayer (getting back to the original post) and I did the maths on whether or not we could afford the kids before they came along. Yes, I could do this cheaper but only by sacrificing quality of care and I would never do that. The children are my (our, actually, my husband would go nuts at that one!!!) responsibility and therefore we opt to spend whatever necessary to give them a good start. I do not begrudge one penny of my childcare costs. Of course this means we rent a 5 bedroom house on a half acre of land (with spare cash to save for the deposit on our home) instead of struggling to pay the mortgage on a tiny ex-council property where we'd have no space to enjoy ourselves... Ahh, the sacrifice of not owning a house
  5. My husband is a depute head in a secondary school and he and his colleagues have just been job-sized. All of them went down and one guy, who started recently and therefore doesn't have a conserved salary for the next three years, got a £4K pay cut. It is, of course, possible that they were all paid too much anyway but it seems more likely that the boom days for the public sector are very much over and that these kinds of methods of decreasing salaries may become more widespread.
  6. As a woman, I hate to say it, but there is a grain of truth in this. Most of the people I know who are seemingly obsessed with property and 'doing the place up' are female - check out the Rosie Milard article on another thread for a classic example. We used to live in a new build estate where the women were scary in their pursuit of having the best house . It was also a woman on that estate who commented to me when I bought a second hand car, 'How do you feel about the fact that someone drove it before you?'! I think many women today aspire to a lifestyle that is not attainable by living within your means. Nonethless I am not sure we should all be turfed out of the workplace...
  7. Well how judgemental can you get??? As a working mother I am proud of what I do and have a great relationship with my son who, incidently, has no discipline problems. I was the child of a working mother and I am damned proud of everything she did to bring us up and educate us. In what dimension do you live that you can claim that I am 'farming' out my child? Also how dare you assume that 'It is verging on child abuse to place mothers in the economic position where they are forced to relinquish the care of their babies to strangers; it is against every maternal instinct.'. When 1. Not all mothers work for economic reasons - I do it because I want to (no doubt in your opinion this makes me a terrible parent) 2. You assume that by having a working life as well as spending time with my family I am going against maternal instinct, perhaps you imply that I don't have maternal instincts? 3. I spend c. 18 hours a week at work, 18 hours a week working from home and the rest of the 148 hours a week with my family... I guess it is all my fault for wanting to use my multiple university degrees! One of the biggest problems in this country is the rush to judge. Not all single mothers are bad people and not all working mothers are executing behavious that verge on child abuse.
  8. So sorry yo hear that. I am amazed at the number of job losses being reported right now and it makes you wonder just what a secure job actually is in this environment. Here's hoping you find something else soon
  9. Actually, it was not a mind-numbingly stupid comment. I opted to have a family and I work as well to support them. By paying taxes I also support the sub-set of women who opt not to work and who get everything paid for by the state. Like it or not, many single mothers are happy with this system and know that the more kids they have, the bigger house they will get paid for by the state, etc, etc. In addition, I would like to add that I do not consider being a mother as 'work'. So I agree with the other poster - these people ARE non-working mothers. It is just sheer pleasure to be a mother - it is not work to care for and spend time with your family. Now getting out of bed in the mornings and doing my job to earn money - that is work. Back to the original topic of this thread, it does concern me just where we are going to put all the people who lose their houses in the crash. In our town, a friend's daughter who left an abusive husband was told that she would wait years for a council house in the area, so she ended up moving miles from her family. My point is, the housing stock isn't there so unless we can build up a stack of social housing very quickly there will be a massive housing crisis in this country very soon.
  10. We recently looked at a really nice (seemingly) cheap house and went to our bank about a repayment mortgage (Alliance and Leicester). We had absolutely no problem getting an agreement with the bank. I think there are still plenty of mortgages out there if you have a reasonable deposit, good credit rating and don't want to borrow a large multiple of your income. I have come to the conclusion that the credit crunch is not a problem if you want to borrow responsibly (3x my husbands salary, no accounting of mine in our case) but it is a real problem if you want to borrow in the style that so many people in the UK have become used to (high multiples, low deposit, many other loans for car, plasma TV, 3 credit cards, interest only, can go on and on...) We didn't buy the house - the owner was looking for 30% over asking (Scotland) and we are offering 5K under asking (this was what it surveyed at). The house is still for sale...will offer 25% under current asking this time next year!
  11. I love Scotland and have lived here all my life but since Salmond and co are planning to almost triple our family local income tax bill, why should I stay? And tell me, what the **** are they going to spend the money on? The Commonwealth games that he thinks we can stage for 10 pounds fifty and a bottle of buckfast??? All they have done since they came to power is spend money like water, so you have to wonder, what happens if 3% isn't enough? What happens if I buy a house in England, claim it is my main residence but continue to rent here, am I exempt then? Or what if I work for an English company but stay in Scotland, am I exempt then? This will be a shambles...
  12. I thought the popular argument (from bulls - remember them???) was that there were an increasing number of single person households and that this increased the demand for property, thus pushing up prices. I seem to remember that the demographics tend to reflect this increase in single person households and not the increase in double income households that you mention. This would suggest that 3-4x one salary would be a more reasonable level for the av house price
  13. This really annoys me - I don't need or want £150 just because I have a family. Why can't the government keep it and invest it in making this country the sort of place that people would want to set up and maintain businesses. That will be of more benefit to kids in the long run.
  14. xyz

    Moving To Fife

    Sensible reply about Fife! The market in this tiny kingdom is driven by a couple of things. In South and West Fife, a lot of people buy to commute to Edinburgh and that has inflated prices. We live in St Andrews and here we have had a classic BTL boom which again has inflated prices. I have been watching the relevant indices for a few years now and have a few comments that might help. The major thing here is that the supply of properties is up, and it is up a lot. The f-kspc.co.uk website usually has a peak of around 500 properties for sale (in the last 4 years this has been the case). This year there are over 650. Therefore supply is markedly up. In addition, prices have not fallen here yet although an increasing number of properties are having their prices reduced and so lower sale prices should feed through into the data in the next few months. Although everyone likes to tell you that it is different in Scotland because prices are lower here in the first place, it is worth remembering that: 1. Average salaries are lower in Scotland than in England 2. We too have been busy increasing our debt burden over the past few years 3. The proposed local income tax will put a further squeeze on the salaries of those who do earn significantly more than average (I will personally pay twice what I do in council tax) 4. The squeeze on mortgage lending does not stop at the border so the availability of credit is reducing here too. Personally I would rent but it depends on your circumstances and how long you plan to stay. The bottom line is a teacher can afford to buy property in Fife right now if they want but if you hang on a bit, you will most likely be a teacher in a much nicer house!
  15. There have been quite a few threads on here about how the educated thirtysomethings can't afford to have kids. The truth is that having kids is not a right. It is something that will cost you in terms of money, time and damned hard work. The rewards are great and far outweigh being a single 30 year old owning your 3 bed house (there's only one of her, right? So she didn't really need anything that big - could have bought smaller or cheaper or rented). I am bringing up my family in rented accommodation. We have two nice cars but they are not exactly Ferraris and we both work to afford decent nursery care and a good standard of living. I suspect that by downsizing their expectations on the lifestyle they want, a lot of thirtysomethings would suddenly find they can afford kids...
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