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What support is out there for people like me? Does it exist?

(82 Posts)
Newnamechchchchange Sat 16-Mar-19 18:07:08

NC today.
Lone parent. 2 KS2 kids. No support. My dad dead, my mum has dementia, siblings cut me out of the 'inner circle' due to living outside the home city and put formalities in place to that effect (LPA my mum has no recollection of, all put in place before I knew anything about it & had never heard of an LPA to even pre-empt this happening). No cousins, no aunts / uncles.
House a mess due building work that went horribly wrong. Washer dryer recently broke for good. Leaking kitchen roof, water coming in presently at 8 separate points.
Zero hrs contract part time job for less than living wage (best I could find after taking 9yrs out raising my kids, previously worked for a global medical company for a decade on good wages / benefit package, after getting a 1st class science degree from a Russell group university, now feel worthless in the job market).
I am currently undergoing tests to get to root cause of some physical issues, hospital appt tm afternoon (who knew Sunday hospital appointments were a thing), recently had breast cancer ruled out which is one of the few positives of recent times.
To top it all I slept funny last night & have a stiff painful neck today. Me & the kids are cooped up together so I'm trying to act like the constant dripping (can be heard all over the house & they don't want to be away from me) is nothing to worry about. Weve got half the kitchen cleared into the lounge which doesn't help.

Life shouldn't be this hard or difficult. There's not enough waking time to keep on top of everything, it all needs sorting urgently, more bad fortune keeps coming before I've been able to deal with the last blow. I have no one to turn to. Feels like there's no help in these sort of situations for people struggling. AIBU in thinking this? I don't know where to start getting us out of this mess.

No criticism please, but constructive advice or pointers to support avenues I'm unaware of appreciated. Thanks for making it to the end of this post.

Craftylittlething Sat 16-Mar-19 18:16:34

Your local citizens advice might be a good starting point, they can advise re benefits etc. If there is a local gingerbread they might also be able to give some support and sign post you to services in your area.

Bibijayne Sat 16-Mar-19 18:20:47

Check out turn2us to see if you can get help smile

HeathRobinson Sat 16-Mar-19 18:24:57

Check with your Council to see if they run a Home Improvement Grant scheme.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Sat 16-Mar-19 18:25:32

Step by step - what do you think is your most pressing problem?

I'd say the house. 'Building work that went wrong'; DIY or a builder bodged ? Have you got house insurance with legal cover, can you make a claim on his liability insurance ?

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Sat 16-Mar-19 18:25:32

Step by step - what do you think is your most pressing problem?

I'd say the house. 'Building work that went wrong'; DIY or a builder bodged ? Have you got house insurance with legal cover, can you make a claim on his liability insurance ?

Newnamechchchchange Sat 16-Mar-19 18:26:40

No gingerbread within 30-40 minutes (by car) of me.
I don't qualify for benefits beyond child tax credits & child benefit.
CAB and in fact any support services I've identified seem to be aimed at people in debt, people who need financial advice. Or counselling. I don't feel either will help. We aren't well off but we just manage, I'm not in debt. I don't have time to talk about my feelings, i have very little free time & attending something to talk about the mess we are in for talking sake feels like it would cause a worse situation as itd be less time to sort out the mess we are in.

I need the sort of help a family gives: advice, a friendly pick-me-up, lightening the practical load here & there. I know that's not something you can get off the shelf. Am I missing something? I'm aware I could be being blinkered as I feel we're in such a deep hole. Feels like a mountain to climb to get back a normal existence.

Mammajay Sat 16-Mar-19 18:27:38

Your father is dead, but is the father of the children around?

Newnamechchchchange Sat 16-Mar-19 18:29:56

No comeback on the builder, he went bust.
My insurance company doesn't cover poor workmanship.
It all falls to me. And I'm scared of making mistakes again & wasting more money. Espec now with no one to even talk things over with. Last time I at least had my ex & my mum was well, still errors were made.

Newnamechchchchange Sat 16-Mar-19 18:32:24

Father of kids walked out when dc1 was toddling & I was 36weeks with dc2. For a woman he'd found on a dating website. He has literally never bothered with them since & now lives 200 miles away.

fifipop185 Sat 16-Mar-19 18:33:08

I feel for you OP, you sound so lost and overwhelmed. Agree with PP, tackle one thing at a time. The leaking roof - do you know any neighbours well enough who might be able to help patch things up? School mums/dads you can call on? Sending hugs to you.

bluejelly Sat 16-Mar-19 18:35:18

No practical advice but sending thanks
Things will get easier in time.
Are you able to get a better paid job? You sound highly qualified.

user764329056 Sat 16-Mar-19 18:36:14

Roughly where are you OP? Obviously not details but general area

bluejelly Sat 16-Mar-19 18:37:27

Actually can you afford a washing machine? That would be my priority. They do refurbished ones at the British Heart Foundation that are really good value

Chottie Sat 16-Mar-19 18:38:58

Is your local church part of Churches Together group?

Is there a college nearby running childcare courses? Maybe some of their students need some practical childcare experience and would come and help out for tea / bath / bedtime for some evenings?

Local sure start scheme?

MyNameIsArthur Sat 16-Mar-19 18:46:15


ghostyslovesheets Sat 16-Mar-19 18:50:36

Home Start?

Young Carer's (for the kids) if you are poorly and they have some care responsibilities YC help out with day trips, youth clubs and support

Social Services might know of other local options.

Dragonboysmum Sat 16-Mar-19 18:56:13

Home Start is a good call if you have one in your area. I know a lovely lady who volunteers for them. She visits a family once a week I believe and has supported them through a lot.

I hope things get easier for you OP. Sending an unmumsnetty hug thanks

MyNameIsArthur Sat 16-Mar-19 18:58:24

Am sorry OP . You are obviously feeling down and also down on your luck. Where abouts do you live? Is there a church near where you live? You may find you can get a lot of support and friendship there. Im not talking about bible bashing or anything, just a bunch of people who will be happy to make you feel not alone xx

Mammajay Sat 16-Mar-19 19:01:16

What a shit your ex is..hopefully he at least pays maintenance. I was going to say money is not enough and that as the dad he must also offer emotional support for the good of you and the children. Think that is a dead duck, to be honest. I will now reread the thread before offering any advice ( if I have any).

Mammajay Sat 16-Mar-19 19:04:25

I think you need a friend or two. You have been through some very hard times. Did you make any friends at uni?

Newnamechchchchange Sat 16-Mar-19 19:11:50

Not 100% what homestart do but I thought they were for families with kids up to age 5? Mine are 8 & 10. I could get a new washer dryer just about, but itd go in the leaking kitchen which I feel is too risky now the leaks worse & new inlets spring up suddenly.
Actually just dragged the kids out to make the laundrette so the day wasn't a total write off. Loaded us all up with bags & we walked down in the drizzle to find it was shut early. No idea why. Another blow. Small, but tipped me over the edge when we got back, had a little cry away from the kids. Literally nothing goes our way it feels like.
Thanks for posts so far. I will look into YC to see if that's any good to us.
The thing with any job is that with only being me for the kids i need to balance working hrs with free time to keep on top of the house etc. It only takes 1 thing off the agenda occuring to throw everything. I've no flexibility, no one to pick up any f my responsibilities in an emergency. DC2 has allergies which mean I would only trust certain people trained to administer meds & feed safe food. Not that there is really anyone anyway.
I hope I don't sound negative. It's literally like everything has a block or barrier.

hidinginthenightgarden Sat 16-Mar-19 19:16:30

Where abouts are you OP? Maybe someone can give local advice?

theWarOnPeace Sat 16-Mar-19 19:24:50
Put in your postcode and see what comes up. Also google your area X white goods X grants or charity and see what you may find nationally.

Your two most pressing concerns are the roof and the washing machine, but the washing machine I would say is easier and quicker to resolve. If you have to, and I’d never suggest anything to get someone into debt really but if your credit is ok and you can find something interest free somewhere then I would consider that. Life without a washing machine is infinitely harder than life with one. I literally keep £500 in a separate account and have done for years in fear of the washing machine dying.

Re: family support, I can totally understand why it upsets and frustrates you. It takes a long time, maybe some people’s entire lifetimes, to accept the lack of a sense of family. I do find, in my experience, that with a lack of family you have to start changing your expectations for your own sake, and also opening your mind to the idea of friends helping etc. I used to always turn down people’s offers to have the kids to give me a break, and no family were around/offering, but I thought it was something friends shouldn’t have to do, that family I would say yes to. Thing is, Family offering to help was something I was lacking, and I had to understand that my friends were offering because they were happy to do it. My kids are sweet and good, they’re not a nightmare for anyone to watch for a few hours - so I occasionally said yes! Once you start getting mentally on top of things, you can reciprocate. I really hope there are some kind people in your life that you could consider accepting help from. Your family aren’t going to change, you can mourn the loss of the idea of a lovely supportive family, I know I have done, but you must shake off the hope and expectation of it. I know that sounds harsh but it does you no good, I promise.

You haven’t said, but have you pursued all avenues with your ex for maintenance? Or not because you don’t want contact?

Is the kitchen roof a low level one story extension? Is there even a kindly neighbour or any friend at all that could help with pulling a massive sheet of plastic over it? Someone you wouldn’t dream of asking, because you don’t like to ask, but realistically would be happy to help? Not ideal but will stop the drips and further damage as it would on say a building site.

We’ve lived in some absolute shockers, mostly because we’ve only ever been able to afford doer-uppers, never anything that’s actually just done. I totally understand that deeply depressing feeling when it’s all chaos and water is coming through and it feels cold and damp and you’ve got kids looking up at you like you’re something from Angela’s Ashes. It all encroaches on your day to day things to do and general enjoyment of life. The anger sometimes towards builders, for me, has been all-consuming! OP I think if nothing else, keep coming back to the thread and work through your feelings and let off steam.

Newnamechchchchange Sat 16-Mar-19 19:26:48

mamma yes I get child mantainence but not much. As he's gone on to have 4 more kids plus doesn't earn a lot. It's all done through CMS as he'd pay nothing otherwise & often didn't with CSA.
Uni was 20+ yrs ago... lost touch with most friends over the yrs. No one local. Nearest good friends are 20 miles away but busy lives & no time to get my life on track. I'm not critising them for that. An afternoon here or there wouldn't achieve much. I'd need a bigger commitment to get anywhere I think and they have kid(s) although also have husband's & big families supporting them, but ultimately I'm not their child & I would hate them to see me as a burden or obligation, they don't owe me that commitment. If it's not there aturally it's not there, i wouldn't push for it as it would ruin the friendship on both sides. We are old school friends of 30+ years & without them is feel emotionally more isolated, i value that aspect of our friendship. It's hard to make proper new adult friends when I haven't had a night out in about 7 years. I don't think most people believe me when I say I have no one to look after the kids and I can't host with the house as it is, it's dreadful. Not a place to begin new friendships, maybe a longstanding friend would be more understanding but largely it's probably me that wouldn't enjoy it here at present as it's horrible & I'd feel embarrassed.
I feel like every thing leads no further forward.
I'm in the NW by the way.

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