You may be still at work pregnant starting your Maternity leave applications, you may be curious and wondering how it all works.
You may already be on Maternity leave and now starting to ponder if you will return.
You may be gearing up to return soon.
It’s a big deal for all of the above.
We have taken some time out to source some helpful tips and to also give some helpful knowledge on the Procedures and process for you.
Things to note:
Always create a paper trail!!!
We feel it is important for new mums to research the cost of nappies, food; wipes etc and factor these in as they will increase the household budget. It is a good time to maybe look at the small expenses that can be spared in this time to help ease the strain.
Currently the Australian Governments Paid Parental leave Scheme is spread out over 18 instalments at a rate of $695.00 per week. (This will also be taxable income)
Knowing the above gives you a clear figure of what you are guaranteed to receive (Unless on the off chance government legislation changes)
So taking the above figure you can really look at what this will afford each week and you can look at how much extra you will need to pop aside to build up a buffer to this if you wish to utilise your entire 12 months or want to allow for extra spending.
We don’t know what surviving on one income is like until we do it really.
For some of us it is easy for some of us it is very much a tight time and need not have extra stress so if we can plan ahead it makes life a lot easier.
There can be lots of hidden costs to raising children and sometimes things don’t work out like we had planned.
We may not be able to breastfeed and have to buy bottles etc, medical conditions, postpartum recovery cost etc.
Having a buffer is allowing for the unexpected it is like a small household insurance policy.
By the time you are ready to start your leave a lot of us kind of walk around aimlessly it is quite possibly the hardest time of your pregnancy.
You are tired, bored, excited, over it and can find yourself NESTING……with your final weeks of wages coming through now can be the time some of us go on a blow out of nesting spending.
I would allow a very tight budget for this as emotions can take over and before you know it you have 50 billion random things and 10 new cushions you never needed (I know some of you are nodding now)
Whoaaaahhhh slow down and lay some rules down for this time otherwise in 6 months you will end up thinking what on earth did I buy this for?....now I can't get a dam haircut.
Once you hopefully start regaining some sleep and life settles down you may be starting to hear the looming tick of returning to work. It can be a really scary thought thinking of work because you are so far from what that life was like, you may feel quite removed, distant and scared others may feel excited and charged to get back into it.
It is important to note we all work at different paces emotionally and mentally so don’t compare or feel you are not moving as fast or slow as others.
This is a very personal journey and "hey" you may not want to go back and that’s fine too it’s all about doing what feels right when it feels right.
Sometimes our values change when we have children and we may not fit in the work culture we used to be in, so it may now be the case of sitting back and looking at where you really want to be and whom you want to surround yourself with.
A few things to put on your check list such as
What is it and how does this look to you is it family? Friends? If I don’t have one how can I build one?
2-Register for Centerlink
For Childcare Rebate and Childcare Benefit you can find the calculator which can help to estimate the price of care based off your household income on the Centerlink Family Page.
3- Scout Local childcare centres in the area.
I always say don’t make an appointment just do a walk in but be mindful of busy times so around 10am seems to be a good quiet time for centres.
You want to see the centre as it operates normally not a glossed over version.
Prepare questions before you go such as, What if we have a routine? Where will my child sleep? How do you communicate with me? What is the staff turn-over like? What will I need to provide? Cost? Operating hours? Values?
The lists go on but think about what’s important in a centre for you and your child and I would visit them all make a day trip.
Some childcare centres have very long waiting lists for the nursery rooms so I would really be establishing local wait times at around 12-15 weeks pregnant.
4-Open the discussion
Open the discussion with your partner and Family with open Communication.
Be open and listen to each other put it all on the table and work through coping strategies as a team this not only helps to build stronger communication but also puts everyone on the same page with no guessing games.
Hopefully some of this information helps.