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To wonder if being a full time working lone parent is really worth it?

(9 Posts)
secondchances Sat 01-Mar-14 16:20:23

I had every shift organised at work down to a T including overtime. One of my childcarers is now heavily pregnant, so im looking at other childminders who I now find out finish working at 6pm. I need childcare for up to 10pm. So I found a babysitter who is fab & can cover the shifts I need covering.

I've been thinking about all the planning I've been doing over the last 3 weeks to sort this. I've had a complete shift change at work that im yet to begin, I've found extra childcare cover, I've informed all the right people of this change, I've worked out how much it will cost me, what days & times will be regular & all of this for the sake of working. I cant help but wonder that is it really worth it? When I started working, another parent told me that she feels like most of the time when her partner is working the same days as her, she's giving her wages to childminders because there is no other form of childcare for her.

I'm not saying I want to give up my job because I certainly don't, I guess im just now understanding the full meaning of working lone parent and the troubles that can come with it. Or maybe im having a crap year......

manicinsomniac Sat 01-Mar-14 16:25:28

It's tough and YANBU to second guess yourself.

I was (in a way) kind of lucky as I had a child while I was still at university so I could make my career decision based on childcare. As a teacher in a private school I've had full time childcare on tap from 2-3 months old. I'm 8 months pregnant with my 3rd and will only have to take a few weeks maternity leave. It really is the best of both worlds.

But, back in the real world, I do sometimes wonder how people manage. I think you are right in not giving up your job because one thing that would definitely be worse than being a full time working lone parent would be being a lone parent with no money!!

Things will improve as your children get older of course. I have an 11year old and a 6 year old and was just starting to think that life was getting easy when I (stupidly, not making excuses for myself!) got pregnant again. It does feel like being back at square one.

Kendodd Sat 01-Mar-14 16:31:06

It must be very demoralizing, although I'm married I have no free childcare either, I don't even have any extra names I can put 'in case of emergency'.

What choice do you have though? If you didn't work you'd have no way to support yourself, although I'm guessing you don't have some private income from somewhere.

Vickiyumyum Sat 01-Mar-14 16:31:30

I work full time and have my child care sorted. Two of mine are old enough to be home from after school/college for a couple of hours , but I rely on after school club and holiday clubs.
I'm lucky enough to earn enough to cover my outgoings without any claims. I work because I need to to pay my bills and because I believe it sets a good example the dc can see that to buy something they want the money needs to earnt.

princessalbert Sat 01-Mar-14 16:35:06

Just remember that it won't be this tough forever. The DC will grow up before you know it, and will have had a hardworking. Role model

ImperialBlether Sat 01-Mar-14 16:43:21

It is very hard, OP. I was in the same position as you, though not while my children were very young. Does your XP help out at all?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Sat 01-Mar-14 16:46:02

While it is tough OP (i know i've done it as an LP) i think the thing to keep in mind is whether this arrangement will bring you and your DC any benefit in the longer term beyond these short years that you need childcare for.

For example if you went part time or gave up work would you be penalising yourself in the long term to an extent you think is worth it or would it be too costly to do that and better to stay in work.

missymayhemsmum Wed 05-Mar-14 22:22:15

Yup, being a working lone parent means being skint and knackered most of the time, and the logistics are horrendous, and whenever you think you've got a balance something changes. And wherever you are, whatever you are doing, someone has a good claim on you being somewhere else. Give yourself a massive hug for getting through the week.

Provided you more or less like your job tho it is tho generally better than being bored and frustrated and even more skint on benefits or living with some of the arses lots of mumsnetters seem to have as partners, don't you think?

Blueblackdye Wed 05-Mar-14 22:38:48

Working to pay childcare is tough but it gives you a window to the outside world. I was made redundant when pg with DC2, started working at home as self employed, making pocket money, although I know I am very lucky I can afford to spend more time with DCs, I miss so much interaction with colleagues. Good luck OP. I wish you and I find things easier when they grow up.

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