Calling single parents who work full-time - how do you do it?(13 Posts)
I have been a single parent to 3 DC (16, 13, 7) for about a year after finally giving up on my lying cheating H.
I work part-time but my company have asked me if I'd be interested in going FT as there's more and more work, too much for me alone. I'm tempted mainly for financial reasons but also because it might help longer term with developing my career.
But I can't imagine how I will manage. XH is in the area but works odd hours so can't help out on set days. I have no family nearby.
How do you get everything done and find time for the DC too?
I lowered my standards. Put childcare into place - you will really only need to do this for your 7 year old and away I went! The house is a permanent tip, but it's all mine and everything I buy is paid for with my money and it sticks one in the face of the ex on a daily basis...!
I bargained to work from home one day a week, which means I do the full school run once a week, which helps a bit. Rest of the time I have a great childminder. It does help that I am home by 5.30 (8.30 start) well as time for beavers etc ..it would be far more difficult if I didn't get back till after 6. If they are pushing you to do full time, maybe you can ask for flexi/wfh? It really does help. Friend of mine does compressed hours, so splits the week into 4 days..hard work, but may also be a option?
I'd probably get home around 6.30 instead of after school run so the obvious solution would be to find someone who could look after my youngest outside school and do some cleaning/chores when he's at his clubs.
I can work from home now, but the extended part of my role would be harder to do remotely. Not impossible though, I'll definitely discuss it with them.
How do you manage school holidays?
I think your two eldest could chip in with some of the childcare while you're at work. School holidays are harder to manage. I used to stretch my holidays out to cover the smaller periods but in the summer, used to take unpaid leave to look after DD. My company allowed me to work from home two days of each week then take the other three days off unpaid. It worked for everyone but now that DD is at senior school it's less of a problem as she goes off on holiday with her friends parents or can stay on her own for the odd day. I'm lucky enough to work from home all the time unless I have to be at a customer.
My older children are great, they help out in the holidays when they are here, but in term time they get home too late to do much (plus homework etc). We're not in UK so school hours are different - longer, so less term time childcare needed, but with longer holidays so more childcare needed!
I'd love an au pair but I don't have the space for one.
I'm seeing my boss this week to discuss hours and options...
school holidays I use holiday clubs/schemes and my own leave. Term time I use after school club and flexi time. My dad does help me out, but ds' s dad isn't around so it's mainly just down to me. House is never as tidy as I'd like it. Fit a lot into the weekend. Always tired.
Its pretty hard but at least all of yours are school age. Find a childminder who is happy to do a drop off so you can possibly start early (an hour or so with a childminder doesn't seem so bad first thing) and then another hour or so afterwards. CM are great as you pay for what you use.
Having understanding work helps though & it sounds like you've got that.
You can obviously get help towards the care through tax credits so have a quick look online which, with your added.income might balance out any additional budget strains.
Holidays are tough though... i found taking a few days every other week meant less of a strain but this was the first summer or being on my own so completely winged it
There is always a way where there is a will!
Before and after school childminder. I work shifts so will do the school run when I'm able.
I take 10 days of summer hols to cover childminders hols and am allowed to book 1 half term and 1 week at either Christmas or Easter by work. X covers similar so childminder covers the rest of the holidays. Hours wise it works out at roughly 38 weeks of 20 hrs pw and 7 weeks of 50 hrs pw.
Agree that the older ones should be helping you out.
They all are old enough to help you out with houseshores, babysitting and even cooking simple meals.
I work full time, I have no help whatsoever but we are coping fine at home, we are a team.
Going to bed at 9 and waking up an hour or two before the children do, certainly helps your sanity, it gives you some quiet me time or the space to catch up with stuff you are too tired to do after work.
One thing that has kept me focused on why is important to work full time is seeing several women ending up in precarious conditions once the tax credits/single parent benefits/child maintenance end when the children are old enough not to get support but still young to support themselves.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.