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How can I help my cousin?

(9 Posts)
twinnies26 Thu 16-May-13 20:42:29

My cousin is now a single parent with 18mo and 3 year old DDs , she has just come through a terrible breakup DH a terrible guy and even 7 months on since sepatAtion he still doesn't help out with kids etc... And has left her in dire financial situation.

Just wondering what else I can do to help her? She has support from her mum ,but her dad and two brothers and their wives are lowsy and never offer help.

Myself and DH make baby food in bulk( we have 19mo ID twins so just treble everything) and of course I visit as much as possible. I know she is lonely and is over tired but we are limited to the amount we can help as we live about45 mins away do its hard to just drop in

Just wondering if you have sny suggestions from experience about other ways we can help her- when we visit we always bring cooked dinner to save her cooking over the next few days and myself and DH try to do few chores when she's not looking

She s doing a great job and so brave but is finding it very hard at the moment unfortunately. Unfortunately for her her 'closest' girl friends are quite selfish and not particularly nice so she doesn't have the best support group.

I just want to help as much as I can and want to in the most useful ways!


ladyjadey Thu 16-May-13 21:30:08

Tell her she is doing a great job, offer to babysit and keep up the being lovely!

It's hard to help financially, but when I was at rock bottom and on my own with DD, my sis, her Dh and their 2 Dc had a little break at centre parcs. As it cost the same no matter who went, DD and I have a lovely little holiday with our loved ones that we could not have paid for ourselves at the time. I'm not suggesting you take her on holiday but saying that having people care when I was stuck meant so much. I also remember my sis giving me telco vouchers that I exchanged for a day in a museum with DD that I couldn't have paid for at the time. Little things mean a lot!

I Am now in a far better position, being free of debt and recently promoted thanks to hard work and extra study, but the ride was made so much nicer just knowing I had people who cared even when they were 100 miles away.

Good on you!

twinnies26 Thu 16-May-13 21:36:06

Delighted things are better for you now ! That holiday you went on sounds lovely but I don't think we're in same country as don't know of anywhere like that and were not in holidaying position ourselves I'm afraid this year

Just had to post she was crying on phone earlier and my heart just goes out to her!

twinnies26 Thu 16-May-13 21:36:49

Btw-Good idea about the tesco vouchers!

ladyjadey Thu 16-May-13 22:29:10

It's the little things that help, and they mean so much. If you or she has free time, what about doing some market research online? There are a few companies that pay vouchers for a variety of shops for doing surveys, and some even pay cash. It can take a bit of time to accrue but free things are free things!

If you inbox email addresses I will send you links to the ones I use.

HerrenaHarridan Thu 16-May-13 23:52:56

Keep doing what your doing!

I second offer to babysit. I have only ever asked someone to baby sit for my driving lessons, I would never do it for some down time, but I would take the offer!

How often do you visit? Could you commit to one day a month, so she can join a book club or whatever and get out and meet people.

My other suggestions would be, include her in days out, I actually find the best times are the hardest times to be a lone parent, it's good to share the joys.

When you visit be conscious of taking pics of her with her children and giving her copies ( obvs only if she wants you too but it's a real bug bear of mine)

It works out a lot cheaper going on holiday if you split accommodation costs, even if its not 50/50 it might just make it affordable for you, if not plan for next year it's always good to have something to look forward too.

When you visit take kids out for afternoon, museum or park whatever it doesn't have to cost a bomb but it would give her time to do her own housework ( or collapse on the sofa!)

Little treats for her, nothing to bankrupt yourself but leaving behind a wee box of chocs or a book you know she'll like, a snuggly dressing gown or set of bed sheets. If she's struggling for money she won't be treating herself and things like that can give you a real lift.

The problem with lone parents is they take care of their kids and neglect themselves, pamper her a little and it doesn't say charity, it says I care about you


PurpleThing Fri 17-May-13 08:24:08

Yes offer to take photos of them. That is a crap thing about being a single parent.

Remember her around special occasions, bank holidays, Christmas, her birthdays. I dread these days that families usually look forward to.

mumandboys123 Fri 17-May-13 12:10:59

I agree small things for mum really make a difference - my mum would pick up an extra bottle of bubble bath, or box of chocolates, that kind of thing when shopping and give it me. She still does, even though she knows I'm OK now. When you're struggling for money, the odd treat is great and it's also great that your budget is reduced a bit 'cos someone gave you an essential like bubble bath! Even thinking of giving her the 'free' item on a BOGOF or three for two when you're out shopping is helpful - washing powder, washing up liquid, toilet roll, toothpaste...all expensive, all essential, all make a difference (depends what your budget is, obviously).

I would also agree that doing surveys and 'saving' for Xmas this way makes a difference, as does small things like saving 50ps or £2 coins to build up a small savings nest she can fall back on in emergencies and/or use for Xmas and birthdays. The moneysavingexpert website is really helpful and offering to sit with her and work through her bills, insurances etc. to make sure she's getting the best deal would also be helpful. It's amazing how many people are paying way over the odds for the basics in life.

It takes a while but it is possible to get back on track financially. You do have to adjust your priorities but once it's done but it's possible.

iwantanafternoonnap Fri 17-May-13 21:44:23

Well I am single parent with no input from twatty ex so I never get a break. These are things I would like to be able to do every now and then:

do the food shop without DS in tow
have a lie in
go to the cinema
have an afternoon nap
not have to cook in the evening
have someone cook for me/make me a cuppa
have someone else do the bath/bedtime routine
have some photos taken of me with my DS
be included at weekends

I never ask for help and I just wish that some of my friends and family would just offer and/or insist on looking after DS so that I can have some free time. If you can help your cousin in any of the above and be quite forceful in meeting the above I am sure she would be greatful. I am lonely, tired, bored and despondent and if any of my family did any of them above i would be over the moon.

You sound lovely by the way x

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