Missed our chat with author and careers advisor Jessica? You can find all the expert advice she shared here
More of you than ever have or are returning to work after having a baby – so we want to support you every step of the way with our Working Mums Club.
As part of this, we’ve recruited some of the most inspirational working mums we’ve ever met to create a unique panel, who will offer advice, share their own experiences and support you with the joint pressures of bringing up a family and moving up the career ladder.
And with childcare definitely being one of the biggest issues you face, we asked panellist Jessica Chivers to answer your questions in a Facebook Q&A on Thursday. Jessica is the founder of employment coaching company The Talent Keeper Specialists and author of Mothers Work! How to Get a Grip on Guilt and Make a Smooth Return to Work (Hay House, 2011).
From tackling childcare costs to beating guilt, find out what she had to say below. And for part one of the Q&A on how to keep your career on track with a baby, click here.
Q: Why do childcare providers charge so much?
A: Child carers are some of the lowest paid in our workforce, so I don't think this is about greed. A nanny-share with another family might be an option as that would bring the cost down to anywhere between about £45-60/day for you.
Q: Childcare is going to cost more than I can earn, but we can't afford to live on just one full time wage so we don't have much choice. Any advice?
A: Think about whether there any local parents who you've met at playgroups, etc, who you could build up a relationship with and organise some reciprocal childcare.
Q: I have a fantastic childminder but she's full so, if I wanted to extend my hours at work, I couldn't without moving my son somewhere else. What’s your advice?
A: I remember a childminder being full when I had my first child but then a space became available a few days later.
Things are constantly changing when it comes to childcare
Things often change with childcare as people move and work hours change.
I hope more hours become available to you soon. In the meantime would working in the evenings (if you have a job you can do from home) be an option?
Q: I’m due back at work in January and am lucky my partner’s mum will be looking after my son during the week. But I can't help but feel like she’ll be bringing my son up and I’ll never get to see him. How do I balance work and motherhood and not feel like such a bad parent?
A: Children know who their mummies are and you can ask you mum-in-law to mention you to your little boy every day and show him your picture. You can call him at lunchtime and remember there's still time in the morning, in the evening and at weekends.
You're doing a brilliant thing for him by earning and demonstrating the importance of self-responsibility. As he gets older he's going to be very proud of you.