With what you have said though, I am guessing you have high standards as you put and I will quote "when prams are £200+ and a car seat is £300-£400+ for a good safety rated one" I have 3 pushchairs that all cost under £100 each. The first was part of a set with a car seat. It was in sale and reduced to £50! Bargin! The 2nd again (mamas and papas), on sale, cost £60 no car seat with it but still! Very nice. The 3rd full price was £80. That's an obaby sport one. Our car seat, the above mentioned was our first and was perfect. The one he has been in since he grew out of that one we were given. Their child had grown out of it. We also have 2 more car seats, one for daddies van cost £25 and one for nannies car which was 2nd hand but in perfect condition, we only paid £10. All of the above are all safety tested and DO have "brand names".
You see, this is what I don't understand, people say it is expensive having a child but the only thing we have found expensive is nappies. Toys and such, we wait for sales and I think this is where sometimes people in general (I am not picking on you, just saying everyone or just some) struggle, people are like, we gotta keep up with the latest trends, we gotta be coolest first etc when really it just all adds up to the debt. Wait a while is my opinion. I very rarely go and buy something the minute it comes out. I can wait till it goes on sale because eventually it will. Saying that, the only expense we do have is Mickey mouse lol! An expensive favourite but he only gets new Mickey stuff for birthdays and Christmas. Not just for the sake of it.
You say about going to Uni or getting a job. They are cutting benefits for those who DON'T have jobs. I am a full time mummy and a full time chef. We are quite lucky we have a system that works. My partner works 7am till 5pm, I work 430pm till 11pm. Yes it means we don't see a lot of each other but it works, Oscar gets to interact with a childminder and other children as he goes for a couple of hours 4days a week. £6 a day. He enjoys it, he has come along so much since going there. There are ways and means of working and being a mummy. There is also ways of furthering your education whilst working. If I wanted to I could do all sorts of courses whilst working and get paid at the same time so whilst you say you wouldn't be better off maybe think about getting a job where you could do courses at the same time. Major companies usually do them. I have worked for whitbread for just under 7years and they have offered me so much it is crazy.
As I say though, you just need to look in the right places and then you need to get your foot in the door. I have worked since I left school which was 10years ago. Only had maternaity leave of 1 year. My brother who is a year older than I, worked 1 DAY and decided that was enough and has got 4kids, no proper education and claims he has a "bad back". I know he hasn't and that is the sort of person I despise.
This is all my opinion, Don't hate me for it