Childcare costs force mums to give up work
MOTHERS are under pressure to give up work when they have a second child because childcare is unaffordable in this country.
Too many women suffer from "mother's guilt", according to Laura Haugh of online parenting community MummyPages.ie.
"Our working mums are struggling financially to make ends meet, while many more stay-at-home mums feel they have no choice but to give up work after their second child because of the nature of Ireland's unaffordable childcare model," she said.
She said MummyPages mums welcomes the initiative proposed by the Labour Party to cap childcare costs and further subsidise providers so that quality is not compromised.
"While the decision to return to work is financially necessary for most of our MummyPages mums, according to our recent research on this topic, the cost of childcare has prevented nearly half of our mums in returning to work."
Ms Haugh said mothers want choice, and many of them feel that this choice to work outside or in the home is taken away from them due to the prohibitive costs of childcare.
"Unfortunately, the 'mummy guilt' will remain for those who do return to work, until such time as we have a more inclusive society where both parents are viewed as primary caregivers to their children and not just the mother," she said.
"It's time for the next government to step-up and put proposals into concrete action, last year's National Childcare Proposal had a 10-year implementation time frame - we need action now," said Ms Haugh.
She says now is a good time of year to overhaul household finances.
"MummyPages would advise our mum community to monitor and analyse all monthly outgoings, no matter how small they may seem and to compare the market."
Ms Haugh said there are hundreds of euro in savings to be made if mums are willing to take the time and shop around. This is money that could be better spent on a family holiday or on upgrading the family car, she added.
"In a bid to attract new customers, service providers are offering more competitive packages and others are offering discounts to current customers in order to prevent them from switching to a competitor. Furthermore, internet and mobile service providers are offering a range of competitive packages so it pays to review your existing contracts on a regular basis," Ms Haugh added.