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'I hadn't a clue what I was doing on the first baby'

Case Study

With four children under nine, Dublin mum Lucinda Carty reckons she finally has the system licked.

"I hadn't a clue what I was doing on the first baby with forms and benefits, and relied on mums I worked with to tell me what to fill out.

"Friends tell me that in some companies they get very agitated by you becoming pregnant with all that entails for them, but some HR departments are grand and will help you out.

"As an accountant, I found the application forms straightforward enough, but the MB10 (to apply for maternity benefit) is quite confusing. You have to get it signed off by your doctor which many mums don't realise, and the date of delivery sent in six weeks beforehand.

"It's also based on the previous year's PRSI benefits, which makes it difficult, and some people who are self employed may not be entitled to it at all. It's also taxed now, and it wasn't for my first three babies. I found Citizens Information very helpful."

Lucinda decided to give up work after her last son James, now three, was born.

"It really didn't make financial sense; I had three under five. There'll be no more," she adds.

Irish Independent