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To want to be there for my DS?

(2 Posts)
SprocketAndTubbs Thu 24-Sep-09 07:57:55


Apologies in advance if this ends up being a bit long winded.

I have worked full time from leaving school (I'm 34 now). I even cut my maternity leave short and went back when DS was just 5 months old hmm. I am a single mum and like to think that I have been independant and supported myself and DS with mainly my wage. Any hope of working less hours has never been an option - or so I believed - so I had put it to the back of my mind and got on with things.

Anyhoo, over the last couple of months, I have been quite horribly bullied at work (believe it or not, I work in HR). A lot of this seems to have been resolved now for the time being, but when the bullying was at its peak, I had a week off work to try to get myself together - and I saw the light!! For the first time ever I collected my son from school (he is 6 and has always been to an After School facility). I don't know who was more excited to be at the school gates every day - him or me!! It has made me realise what I have been missing out on for the last 6 years and admit to myself that, for me, I have got my priorities completely wrong.

I am now back at work still with the frosty atmosphere and have considered asking for flexible working, so that I can collect my DS from school every day. The problem is that as a lone mum, I am absolutely broke. Not in any debt, luckily but I also don't have a penny to my name. I have been up all night with the calculator and worked out that if I do reduce my hours, every pound that I earn will be going to pay bills (I get a good amount of tax credits which we live off but these would be stopped if I stopped paying any child care). We would have to live off chid benefit and my ExP's maintenance money, which has only recently been awarded to my DS through the CSA.

So, I would really, really appreciate any advice - AIBU if I throw away good money in the middle of a credit crunch and to take a huge risk that my ExP will keep up the maintenance payments so that we can eat for the month, so that I can be a (IMO) better mum?

I just feel that I am being completely wreckless, but I am so desperate to be with my DS a bit more and am disappointed with myself that it's taken me so long to realise what we have both missed out on so much time and fun together.

I am off to work now but will try to respond to anybody kind enough to post here as soon as possible.

Thank you for reading.

Tombliboobs Thu 24-Sep-09 08:11:47

Why don't you compromise, wait a few more months, try living on what you will be getting once you have reduced your hours and see how you get on. In the meantime, save the difference as a small back up for when you do reduce your hours.

I think you should go for it if you really can afford it. There is nothing wrong with relying on Exp maintenance payments as part of your income, unless there is a reason for you to believe he won't pay them?

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