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to want to throw in the towel, give up my FT job and go on benefits because I just can't do it anymore?

(72 Posts)
TheMoistWorldOfSeptimusQuench Mon 07-Sep-09 13:42:17

I mean, I can't cope with working full time and trying to be a half decent parent to my daughter.

I am always knackered. Seriously how-the-fuck-am-I-going-to-get-through-another-day knackered. I never have enough money anyway, and the house is a mess because I have no time or energy to clean it.

DD's after school reading / homework / recorder practice never get done. I have never been able to consistently give her the attention and support that she needs and I feel so guilty about it. She has some problems with learning and really struggles at school. I am constantly battling with the school to try to help her. But she needs my help too.

And I hate the way my job's changed in recent years too. I work in social care and feel that it's moving further and further away from trying to support people and is now all about saving the Council money. They don't get good value from me anyway, because I'm so unmotivated and tired (although I still love working with my clients and trying to improve things for them - it's just that the opportunities to actually do that are dwindling because there's so much paperwork and politicking).

I need a year or two off to catch my breath and work out what I need to do in the future to give us both a decent quality of life.

Would jacking it all in make me a benefits scrounging scumbag?

LadyMuck Mon 07-Sep-09 13:44:23

How old is your dd? Are you sure that you will be entitled to benefits?

Ewe Mon 07-Sep-09 13:44:37


I am jacking my job in and only working two days a week, tax credit benefits will make up the deficit we will lose as a household and I don't care.

I have missed enough of my little girls life by being at work, I feel no guilt, even if people might think of me as a benefits scrounging scumbag.

I think using it as a time to take a break is fine, you've put plenty in, you're not saying you're going to be on them forever.

foofi Mon 07-Sep-09 13:45:22

YANBU - most people would like to give up their jobs, money permitting! Whether you actually would be happier once you had though, or a better parent, is another matter. [been there, done that emoticon]

Katisha Mon 07-Sep-09 13:46:48

Any chance of getting a redundancy ?

Tortington Mon 07-Sep-09 13:47:44

i think if you jacked it in you wouldnt get any benefits

however you could ask the council whether you could go part time ( IME they have good HR policies)

you could up your tax credit - still be in work and therefore - able to move to another job if somethng fantastic came along - there isn't a break in your employment history.

Earlybird Mon 07-Sep-09 13:48:29

Would you be better or worse off financially? If worse, wouldn't that add to your stress a great deal?

How much holiday time do you get? Could you take some time off to get the house organised and really clean so you feel better in your own home?

Could you use some/all of your holiday to essentially work a 4 day week (ie take one day off a week as holiday)? Might help you rest more, and give you more time for the things you need/want to do.

TheMoistWorldOfSeptimusQuench Mon 07-Sep-09 13:49:13

DD is 7. I've no idea what I'd be entitled to, just desperate for some change to be effected really.

Might not make me a better parent or any happier, but at least DD would have a Mummy who wasn't knackered and stressed all the time... that's got to be a good thing, right?

TheMoistWorldOfSeptimusQuench Mon 07-Sep-09 13:53:01

All my annual leave is spanked by the school holidays.

Custy, you're right about the Council being flexible HR-wise (although the family friendly policies stuff is PR bollocks). Part time could be the way forward. I suppose I need to work out what I could claim or not.

I am praying for redundancies. Apparently it's a possibility but could take a year or two to play out.

I don't like the idea of living off the state, by the way. A few years ago I would have been horrified by the idea.

Tortington Mon 07-Sep-09 13:55:37

i reckon part - time is the way to go

it gives you more employment and home options - and you still get the work gossips and things going on and you get to catch up on other stuf at home too.

dya think if you were at home FT that the novelty would wear off after a few months?

Tortington Mon 07-Sep-09 13:56:08

lets face it - you can't leave before the works xmas do and secret santa hmm


bumpsoon Mon 07-Sep-09 13:56:51

definately look at part time working ,as others have said ,even if its only for a year or so ,that way you get the best of both worlds

sweethoney Mon 07-Sep-09 13:57:09

You sound really stressed. Working F/T is hard enough for anyone let alone as a single mom. You are doing great to have got this far. I think you need a little bit of time out, even if its just a weeks holiday from work. During that week off, DD will be at school, catch up on your sleep, clean and tidy the house, go for a coffee and read a trashy magazine and collect your DD from school and go the park and have a run around with her doing silly things. For dinner make her favourite food and generally make a big fuss of her. Leave the school work for now.
During the week off and when your feeling in a better frame of mind, think carefully about what you want. Look into the options of going part time (even working just 4 days a week is a start). See if there is any financial support re credits available. It is easy to think about finding the fantastic job, but generally work is work, you need a job which doesn't put too much stress on you and allows a little more flexibility at home.
Don't put too much pressure on yourself, we ALL fell like this sometimes, so take some time out and reevaluate.

mama2b3 Mon 07-Sep-09 13:59:28

hi. if you were to give up your job and live solely on benefits you would recieve approximatly - jobseekers allowance £57 as your dd is 7, and child tax credit of £45 plus child benefit and free school meals. plus housing and council tax benefit but not sure if this would cover all of your rent or council tax depending on how much you have to pay. hope this helps. i agree that spending time with the dc is far more important than spending every last minute at work, must be so stressful for you. however it is hard living solely on benefits and trying to make ends meet. you cant win either way!

LadyMuck Mon 07-Sep-09 14:01:03

Well you can't claim IS from Oct 2010 (or sometime during the year after - not sure of the transition). I assume that you rent rather than own, and have no cash savings that you want to hold onto?

Given that you would have to go back to work in a year or so, or face hassle of signing on, you'd need to think carefully; it would be easier to look for another job from the comfort of having one, rather than having to look for one having not worked for a year.

"Would jacking it all in make me a benefits scrounging scumbag?"

Well it isn't an option available to women with a partner, and I suspect that many of them are also fed up of trying to juggle everything.

It might be easier to look at some form of part-time option, with hopefully some tax credits picking up some of the burden?

skybright Mon 07-Sep-09 14:02:02

Any chance of doing long days? I waved the family friendly policy about and have managed to work three 13 hour shift a week (4 every 8 weeks). It works so much better for me,i could not have went back to working short shifts,long stretches but could not cope financially working part time.

diddl Mon 07-Sep-09 14:03:36

Howcould the OP be entitled to Jobseekers allowance when she isn´t intending to work?

frogwatcher Mon 07-Sep-09 14:04:00

I know of at least 5 people that have thrown in the towel in the past year and live off their dh earnings and tax credits. Amazingly in all cases, tax credits went up and they were no worse off (and in one case they were bizarrly better off) but had loads more time and less stress. My sister-in-law is currently considering giving up her and her dh two, above average income, jobs where they work long hours and get exhausted, and one of them take a job 20 hours per week. The tax credits they will get (according to tax credit office) will be so high that they could live really well and given the fact that they would not need two cars, work clothes, fuel to get to work and back, child care costs in holidays etc etc, they reckon they will have the same amount of money in real terms as they do now working really long hours with lots of responsibility. My dh is about to look into it for us as we are knackered and fed up of constantly working but being the working poor. I say go for it.

LadyStealthPolarBear Mon 07-Sep-09 14:04:55

Can you use some unpaid parental leave to have a break if all your paid leave is used up. In that time you'll have time to consider your options a bit more.

alwayslookingforanswers Mon 07-Sep-09 14:05:29

hmm ladymuck I sort of agree with your sentiment there - although lets face it - unless they've got a shite partner (in which case they should throw the towel in on them wink) a full time working mother in a relationship is not going to have to do as much at home as a full time working single mother.

LadyMuck Mon 07-Sep-09 14:14:13

Always, my point is that the entitlement to benefit only exists for lone parents, not for those who have lots to do. So a woman living with a working partner with say 4 children wouldn't be entitled to IS, but may well be more stretched than a single mother with a 7yo. One would hope of course that the partner is wonderful, but there would be fewer lone parents if there were more wonderful men?

alwayslookingforanswers Mon 07-Sep-09 14:20:19

actually scrap the "wonderful" bit - just a man that's "ok" and really does very little other than work and occasionally stop the kids fighting wink.

LadyMuck Mon 07-Sep-09 14:34:07

In which case doesn't he simply contribute to the amount of work to be done - eg laundry? My laundry halves when dh is away (sorry - OT, and probably unhelpful to the OP).

I think that Custy has summed the pros of part-time working very well. I think that especially if you are a lone parent then it is easy to overlook at the social aspect of work. All the more so if you have been working FT for a while and don't have a network of other SAHMs.

MissSunny Mon 07-Sep-09 14:35:07

Message withdrawn

alwayslookingforanswers Mon 07-Sep-09 14:40:17

"How long are you think of doing it for? Until she leaves school?"

OP says "a year or two off" smile

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