Balancing work with being a single parent

(10 Posts)
rubbishfamily333 Tue 26-Nov-13 09:26:39

My dd is 6 and I am working part time - school hours four days per week. I have one day off which I have an appointment for every week and usually spend the rest of the time cleaning or trying to do DIY.

Money is tight and housing benefit had decided I'm not entitled to any help with rent or council tax.

I'm thinking maybe I should work full time but I already feel I don't have a minute to myself or enough quality time with dd. yes I do pick ups and drop offs but we are always rushing around and it all seems quite mundane!

I have done some training recently to teach but I need some experience so want to do voluntary work to gain the experience so that I can get paid work. As I think the best option is to get a better paid job bug still part time so that I can have enough money but not spend all hours working then being tried and grumpy when I'm at home with dd.

How do all you other single parents manage?? Is so hard.

Btw I've been a single parent for years but its still a struggle

Onmyown3 Wed 27-Nov-13 22:54:54

I work full time & originally struggled with the guilt of not being around to do the drop offs / pick ups etc especially as my children are all young and I still do struggle and it's hard but I also feel it is very rewarding that I am able to provide for my dc and be a role model for them.

Financially I couldn't survive without working full time although it it's a juggle with childcare and so on.

I just make sure all the time we do spend is quality time - my house is a home and is tidy but lived in and there's always a washing pile but I would rather spend all my time with dc and then tidy when they are in bed.

Everyone different, sure u will find what's right for you and yr family - good luck x

queenofthepirates Thu 28-Nov-13 18:45:38

I work part time from home and also run my own business when my DD's gone to bed. It works really well; the part time job keeps food in the fridge and my business pays for the added extras like holidays.

I think that single parents need to find jobs that give them the flexibility they need and running your own business can certainly give you that.

KellyEllyHasMincePiesAndMulled Wed 04-Dec-13 14:20:48

How come you don't qualify for Housing Benefit if you only work part time? I'm sure as a lone parent on a low income you should. I work 32 hours a week and get a large chunk of my rent paid by the council. I must admit, I am a bit frazzled on work days but have Fridays off so that gives me at least one day where I can take her and drop her to preschool nursery.

moldingsunbeams Sat 07-Dec-13 19:12:31

What do you do for childcare if you work full time?
I cannot find anyone to work past six pm. I work from home at moment but just had to turn down a good job offer as I could not get childcare.

AmIthatTinselly Sat 07-Dec-13 20:11:40

I work full time, have been on my own for 11 years. DD has ASD so still needs after school care.

My life consists of rushing away from work to pick DD up, take her to activity she is doing, sometimes go back into work for an hour while she is doing her activity.

It is a never ending juggling act, and I can't have anything or any time for myself, but I'm her mother and I want her to experience all the things that she wants to.

I don't do my job as well as I would like, as I am always clock watching, and if I am honest, I would have progressed much more if I didn't have DD, but this is the reality.

I get really fucked off at some other threads that go on about the disproportionate roles taken by mothers and fathers.

I have to do everything. ExP suits himself, does what he wants career wise and sees DD about 3 times a year, despite living 5 minutes away.

I work FT because me and DD need to eat and need to live somewhere and aside from child benefit and DLA, we get nothing else to help us.

Sorry for rant, feeling a wee bit sorry for myself tonight <other people out partying, I'm in again>

Minime85 Sat 07-Dec-13 20:20:05

only 4 weeks into lp life and went back full time after long time part time. good job as it turns out! I spend the week rushing from a to b but try and enjoy evenings with DDS and weekends. think its crazy in run up to Christmas too so should calm down afterwards. I hope! I think u have to let some things go. mine is tidy house. its never been and certainly not now! i have to bring work home too.I get DDS to help and have school dinners so dont have to cook and I generally eat at work too. I think you just have to have lots of plates spinning in the air at once and prioritise which ones to keep spinning smile

FudgefaceMcZ Sun 08-Dec-13 21:54:27

I think part time is actually a bit harder than full time (have done both as single parent though only pt when I was married), because you're still feeling like you should be doing all the household and out of school things that I feel like I can slack off on and say 'well I'm a full time working single mum what do you expect'. I don't really bother cooking anything much in the week, both kids have either cooked school meal or now thank god I've found a nursery which has a kitchen so they serve (really nice) cooked dinners, so at home I just do pasta or fish fingers or sandwiches/baked potato and don't feel like I need to be guilty about that. I er also only wash up every other day as too knackered some evenings (job is quite demanding physically with fieldwork). House is a tip. I do try and tidy on weekends but then feel bad about not getting kids to activities.

Have you checked you're getting all the tax credits you should? They really are a lifeline, esp if you have childcare but just generally, there is no way I could survive really without them and I'm not even very low paid. When I was part time they were even more vital.

TBH not sure I 'manage' well, often forget bills until the last minute if they aren't direct debit (if they are I sometimes end up in overdraft because I've forgotten them and not left enough in the right account), and shout too much at kids, plus I would dread anyone 'professional' seeing the state of the house, but we're all alive and no one is completely miserable so you just have to keep thinking it'll get easier one day, right? Your dd will be old enough to do more for herself soon, and later will manage to get herself to activities and things (my older one has just started secondary and gets to all sorts there, choir and hockey and eco club so she doesn't miss out on activities though I try to keep it to one thing per child per weekend for out of school activities otherwise you spend all the time rushing about and everyone is irritable).

FudgefaceMcZ Sun 08-Dec-13 21:54:47

Sorry that was way more massive than I intended!

Meglet Mon 09-Dec-13 21:32:51

I struggle, physically and mentally to just work part time, the NHS is propping me up TBH. And it feels like I'm always the only one on here admitting it's killing me sad.

Everything is organised the day before and I do almost no housework, but nothing will prevent illness and the hourly tantrums that never fail to put a spanner in the works. My personal priorities are paying the bills and getting to the gym as much as I can, without it I think I'd be sobbing in the corner.

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