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To think if you can volunteer you can work?

(82 Posts)
BoyMeetsWorld Fri 19-Jul-13 22:35:59

Now I may get flamed for this, not sure, but I'm not saying it as a personal dig against ALL people on benefits - obv every persons' situation is different.

But my DM is on a full wack of benefits for disability. Her disability is based on being scared of public situations (lots of people) & that she can't handle stress. So she doesn't work & she gets circa £28k per year.

Recently DM relocated closer to us because we are seriously struggling with childcare costs with baby 2 on the way (who isn't!) obv that's our problem, not hers, and we were exceptionally grateful for any childcare help - but as she literally does NOTHING else with her life (gets up at 10am most days, goes back to bed 3pm, plays on the computer all day) it didn't seem too unreasonable.

Fast forward few months & she was claiming she didn't want to get up in mornings to do any school runs. Fair enough though annoying - again, not her problem. Then she announced the stress of doing ANY childcare for us had given her a nervous breakdown. Cue days of slurred speech, acting oddly, lots of guilt tripping. We found a fulltime childminder - all pressure removed. 95% of our salary gone on house & childcare but, again, that's the same for hundreds of couples.

Found out today that she is volunteering 2 days per week at a very busy local animal sanctuary / tourist attraction. A)how can she claim benefits as cant be around people, then work somewhere with hundreds of tourists per day? B)how can she claim benefits for being unable to work as it causes too much stress, but is fine to spend 2 days volunteering? (she has no plans to ever work again btw)? So she lives 5 mins away from us but can't help us with any childcare yet is happy to help the animals.

Whole thing boggles my brain AIBU?

ImNotBloody14 Fri 19-Jul-13 22:38:16

Ask her, not us hmm

HeySoulSister Fri 19-Jul-13 22:38:24

You are bitter... And you are talking about your mums situation

Your title generalised about volunteers...

WorraLiberty Fri 19-Jul-13 22:38:32

What did she say when you asked her about it?

PearlyWhites Fri 19-Jul-13 22:39:44

Yes yabu

beyondthepaleandinteresting Fri 19-Jul-13 22:39:46

Hmm, I see where you are coming from, but I volunteer and find it comparatively stress free compared to being in paid employment. I can see how the responsibility of a job might feel too much but volunteering (especially if in a low responsibility role, or one which you personally find cathartic e.g. being around animals) might be ok. So yes, I think YABabitU.

moogy1a Fri 19-Jul-13 22:39:56

I agree with you OP. always bemused when peole who "can't work" can do volunteer work

HeySoulSister Fri 19-Jul-13 22:41:21

Job centre encourage it because it can build confidence and it looks good on a cv!

Also gives you a good reference..... Improving job prospects

DevonCiderPunk Fri 19-Jul-13 22:42:47

DMs don't have to help with care of grandchildren. It's hard work. If she wants to volunteer for a cause she's interested in, good for her.

DorisIsWaiting Fri 19-Jul-13 22:43:09

Wow just wow.

Reread your OP you sound like a child who hasn't grown up yet.

You minimize your mothers difficulties, You seem to disbelieve her problems You now have to pay childcare like hundreds of thousands of other families and you are pissed off that she is volunteering. Regardless of the fact that working somewhere with animals (not necessarily with the general public) may actually help her overcome her fears.

Oh and not sure where you got the £28000 from that highly unlikely as a single person.

YAB Completely U

BoyMeetsWorld Fri 19-Jul-13 22:43:23

When asked she just gets very aggressive or starts slurring her words. Same with any type of confrontation or suggestion she's doing anything wrong.

Yes, happy to admit I do feel bitter about it all - I've had many years of her games.

It's two separate issues really - 1 that she won't help us even though she easily could but also 2 that I feel she's blatantly fleecing the benefits system.

Did explain v quickly in my OP that it's about one situation not all people on benefits (though I would like to learn more about why people who can't work can volunteer except in obvious situations ie getting people back into work or when they have physical disabilities but v much want to do something useful)

coppertop Fri 19-Jul-13 22:44:13

So you're happy for her to 'volunteer' if it takes the form of childcare, but not if it involves working with animals instead? confused

Turniptwirl Fri 19-Jul-13 22:44:23

I work and volunteer and I find volunteering much less stressful than work!

Yabu. I used to volunteer on top of my part time work pattern. I cannot commit to more work hours, but can commit to voluntary work as with the type I was doing I could drop out last minute if need be, which I couldn't do for work. Could be the same storey.

Though a lot of benefits can be cut for volunteering so I doing think it's that common :/

Don't think

nenevomito Fri 19-Jul-13 22:48:49

YABU - I have a lot of friends who volunteer. They all have health problems that mean that regular work is out of reach to them due to a) people not wanting to employ them because of their health and b) because their health is too unstable for them to work to fixed hours etc.

Volunteering means that they can still contribute - and most contribute a heck of a lot - but in a way that doesn't negatively impact their health.

bearleftmonkeyright Fri 19-Jul-13 22:49:18

You've muddled two aibu. You are clearly upset that your mum does not childmind for you.. I don't think yabu but you need to talk to her. You do seem quite judgy about how she spends her time and difficulty accepting the fact that she isn't well. The wider issue of volunteering on benefits I think should have been left out of your op.

dashoflime Fri 19-Jul-13 22:50:17

Agree with beyondthepale Volunteering is much less stress than work. I can completely see that someone suffering from anxiety may manage a volunteer role but not be able to do paid work.

Also agree that GP don't have to help out with childcare although I can see how its disapointing for you.

The guilt tripping was out of order. She shouldn't have done that.

kotinka Fri 19-Jul-13 22:50:19

YABU

Doesn't exactly sound like she is living it up on her benefits either.

MrsDeVere Fri 19-Jul-13 22:52:29

I find it odd that you cannot see how volunteering is less stressful for someone with MH issues than working in paid employment.

It doesn't take a genius to work it out.

How is she getting 28k a year? That would be over the benefits cap.
Unless she is getting high rate DLA which is VERY hard to get for MH reasons.

If you dislike your mother so much why do you want her to provide you with free childcare?

Perhaps she feels uncomfortable working as your unpaid childminder as you make no secret of what you think of her.

If you have evidence that she is claiming benefits fraudulently stop bitching about it and report her.

FFS

Kleptronic Fri 19-Jul-13 22:53:21

Kewf. Don't diss the volunteers. This is about you and your mother.

bearleftmonkeyright Fri 19-Jul-13 22:54:07

The word slurring, is she on medication? Wonder if that could account for the difficultied she is having committing to a permanent job.

chateauferret Fri 19-Jul-13 22:55:22

You can work in the widest sense of the word but getting paid employment and holding it down are harder than just 'working'. YABU.

ImNotBloody14 Fri 19-Jul-13 22:56:12

Can i just ask how baby 2 on the aay is affecting childcare costs? confused

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