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back to work for more money or stay on benefits but be a more relaxed mum?

(139 Posts)
penandpaper Sun 05-Jun-11 11:48:07

have an interview for a well paid job which i know will be stressful at times, and worried that i might end up snappy and miserable with my children tea time, always worrying about work the next day etc etc. am a bit of a perfectionist so know i would be like that, have been in the past.
have loved being at home after school for them past few months, no rush in mornings, less stress - but obviously don't want to be on benefits forever, and money is tight. really can't decide what's for the best for all of us. single parent of three. any comments - stop my head going round in circles?!

rainbowinthesky Sun 05-Jun-11 11:50:29

Trying not be too harsh but I cannot understand how you can justify not working and claiming benefits when you have an opportunity to get a well paid job. Those people who are stressed and working are the ones who are paying for you not to work...

coccyx Sun 05-Jun-11 11:51:46

think you should work, benefits should not be a long term option

pozzled Sun 05-Jun-11 11:55:45

I agree with Rainbow. I have no issue whatsoever with people claiming benefits if they need to for whatever reason. But I think if you have the option of working then you should do so. You don't give any details about the job or why it would be stressful- I would be more sympathetic if there were big childcare implications, really difficult commute, barely earning after paying for childcare etc. But 'stressful at times'? That's just life.

penandpaper Sun 05-Jun-11 12:08:53

gave up my previous job as i had had to cut my hours due to childcare problems, and it meant i was working for more or less nothing, and traveling long distances for childcare, petrol costs etc. i know it doesn't make sense, but i think some single parents do find that the 'better off calculations' that the DWP work out for you mean you are better off staying at home. i have always worked up until end 2010 as don't particularly want to be on benefits - but being a stressed out single parent trying to be in two places at the same time is no fun either.
i appreciate your comments that people should work if they can, just a bit worried about my mental health if i do go back, which at the end of the day is more important than material things for the children!

rainbowinthesky Sun 05-Jun-11 12:11:29

But going to work and having children is often stressful. Probably unusual for it not to be. If everyone were not to work because of this then there would be no money to pay for your benefits.
I am all for you claiming if the impact on your mental healthy is serious and not in line with the usual stresses of working life but I see benefit as being there only for people who are really unable to work.

AlsoAvailableSober Sun 05-Jun-11 12:11:40

I am less stressed when i have been working than at home 24/7 with the DC's grin

slartybartfast Sun 05-Jun-11 12:15:05

work will give you pride as well as extra money.
not that yoou dont have pride you understand.

tis totally up to you.
if you were a sahm with a rich partner that would be one thing, but you are a sahm with a poor partner (the state)

i dont like to work too many hours myself, not for benefits, but because i hate being ratty with dcs. and i do get ratty after a full day on the coal face.

woudl holidays and dc sickness be covered if you worked?

meditrina Sun 05-Jun-11 12:16:07

I think you should take the job. You've identified your potential areas of difficulty, and that's the first step in dealing with it. If you've not worked since you have had children, it will seem like a huge mountain, but your self-awareness will be a huge positive in getting you through the early weeks.

You say you don't want to be on benefits for ever, and this sounds like a brilliant opportunity to take that step.

LadyLapsang Sun 05-Jun-11 12:24:10

Work can be stressful at times but I think you also need to think about the message you are sending to your children if you remain unemployed. Worklessness can be a pernicious inheritence and I think you need to show them that you can stand on your own two feet (hopefully with some financial contribution from their dad too). I have no problem with my taxes going to support those that can't work e.g. severely disabled and unable to work (although many people can work with the right support and aids etc.) but expecting others to support unemployment as a lifestyle choice is wrong, I think. Most UK mothers work, I think you need a convincing argument if you want other mothers' taxes to pay for you to stay home while they go to work.

Gooseberrybushes Sun 05-Jun-11 12:26:22

Well so much for people saying it's not a lifestyle choice.

Gooseberrybushes Sun 05-Jun-11 12:28:44

I'd love to be a laid back mum. Unfortunately I have to leave before they do, before school - they have to get themselves off and get themselves back and get their own tea. I don't particularly want to do that, and I don't particularly want to do that so that you can be a relaxed mum.

HoorahHilda Sun 05-Jun-11 12:32:47

I think it depends on the ages of children , and if you have a support network who can help when children sick and holidays etc.

penandpaper Sun 05-Jun-11 12:44:53

Have only been at home coming up 6 months, and not proud of being a claimant. I have also judged other people who have been out of work a long time, yet have better homes, cars etc than mine. It's just hard that pushing yourself at work, forcing children to go to school when should be at home, covering holidays etc when only a few pounds better off - unless i go for a higher paid job which means a lot of stress and my nerves aren't what they used to be.
I am doing voluntary work with two projects which I really enjoy, so not at home watching tv all day (the children don't understand why I work for nothing, tried to explain that the way the system is set up i don't benefit from paid work at the moment). but with voluntary work i don't take any stress home with me, and no sick children/holidays worry.
thanks for your comments tho, I agree with some of what's being said - that's probably why i'm struggling with my choice at the moment!
also have to add that both my sister's work and have very supportive partners, v different being a single parent.

Jajas Sun 05-Jun-11 12:49:01

I'm sorry but you should take the job. Your OP makes it appear that you might quite like the life of riley living off the rest of us confused. I do understand if you have childcare issues but think you could have worded it differently to not make it sound as though it is as someone else said a lifestyle choice.

GetOrf Sun 05-Jun-11 12:52:38

You sound like you have made up your mind tbh.

I think you would be mad not to work personally. You have the opportunity to get back out there and work, I don't understand why you would not jump at it.

Yes it will be stressful but tbh how on earth can you say a bit of stress about getting the scjhool bags will damage your mental health?

It is not just about earning money for material things, it is about earning money to pay your way and support your only children rather than relying on welfare payments.

GetOrf Sun 05-Jun-11 12:53:36

Oh christ - creap typing.

getting the school bags ready I meant

Earning money to pay for your own children

Gooseberrybushes Sun 05-Jun-11 12:53:59

"back to work for more money or live off the rest of your hard work?"

doesn't sound so nice does it

Meglet Sun 05-Jun-11 12:54:09

I'm a single mum who has to work sad. And yes, I am snappy, miserable, ill and tired all of the time. I am taking a job off someone who could easily do it.

I really wouldn't reccomend doing it if you can't cope and you don't have to. If I could stop I would.

bibbitybobbityhat Sun 05-Jun-11 12:57:51

You've made your point Gooseberrybushes. And there was you saying Mumsnet was full of bullies on that thread yesterday.

LIZS Sun 05-Jun-11 12:58:03

The longer you put it off the more significance the issues will take on and less committed you will be to seeking work. You would be better taking up the opportunity now and facing it before you lose your self confidence to cope.

Gooseberrybushes Sun 05-Jun-11 13:01:42

This is not bullying hmmnot like I've seen.

In fact this makes me feel pretty bitter actually. Sorry if that bothers you - I don't have any choice.

moondog Sun 05-Jun-11 13:03:47

'just a bit worried about my mental health if i do go back, which at the end of the day is more important than material things for the children!'

So, the long and short of it is that it's ok for us to pay for the children you chose to have whilst you indulge yourself?

Christ alive, the sense of entitlement expressed is staggering.
Shame on you.

lynehamrose Sun 05-Jun-11 13:05:17

I think u are underestimating the long term stress and negatives for you and your children of you being long term unemployed, with the lack of purpose that brings. Outcomes for children of single parents are statistically poorer to start with, and even worse for unemployed single parents. No doubt someone will flame me for posting that fact. But its true. You will also become less employable as time goes on- those good jobs of which you speak will be snapped up by others who aren't out of the loop.
Ultimately, children can cope far better with the pressure factors of having a busy parent who sometimes feels rushed because they need to do the lunch boxes and get into work on time, than with the pressure of having a parent who is reliant on the welfare state, is not getting the validation and self worth from paying their own way, and also (on a practical note) is making no financial provision for the future.
To sum up- I think by choosing to remain unemployed you are giving your kids a worse deal.

penandpaper Sun 05-Jun-11 13:06:28

Gooseberry - only been doing it for 6 months, and not comfortable with it, hence this constant conversation in my head!
Also i worked out how much it cost the country in terms of childcare tax credit etc and my being at home works out cheaper in terms of cost to the taxpayer. I am getting just over a £100/mnth towards my mortgage, a lot less than what they pay people in private or LA/HA rental. but obviously v grateful of the help.
Plus my carbon footprint is far less now i'm not doing as many miles going to childcare and on to work!!!!!!!! Have to think about all angles - ha ha

Meglet - sympathies, i am lucky in that i do get maintenance payments which help a lot, could not be making this choice otherwise. I am also having blood test in the morning as i was practically falling asleep at last job, and feeling hungover all the time even though i no longer drink. Have you been checked out?

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