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Any lone parents with young DC working full time?

(27 Posts)
williaminajetfighter Tue 14-Apr-15 10:55:28

I have two DCs - 8 year old and a 1.5 year old and have been back at work full-time since DC2 was 9 months. I have always worked full time and my role doesn't really lend itself to part-time or condensed working as I would just end up trying to smush a full-time job into lesser hours. I've always been committed to having a career but I feel like I'm the only person out there trying to do full-time with a small toddler and an older child. And I live in a town where I don't have any family help or support. Everyone at my DC's school works part-time or is not in the workforce at all and I feel like a 'lone wolf' doing this crazy juggling which is pretty exhausting and making me feel like I'm a bit crazy. Is there anyone else out there doing the same? I am in the minority, aren't I?

OP’s posts: |
queenofthepirates Tue 14-Apr-15 11:00:00

Not at all, I work full time with a 4yo DD! I work for myself though so I can wrap my hours around childcare. It's something you might like to consider especially if you're driven to succeed.

williaminajetfighter Tue 14-Apr-15 12:10:06

Yay - there's one more out there. Thanks Queen. Would love to work for myself but just don't think I've got the right skillset to do so!

OP’s posts: |
Lonecatwithkitten Tue 14-Apr-15 12:36:01

Well I work for myself, but I run a 24/7 business employing 17 other people. Ultimately the buck stops with so I started work 8.30am Friday and will finish 6pm tonight having been on call all that time. The only way I survive is by having an au pair who is amazing.
There is only one other single mum in DD's cohort at school and she is a commodities trader so has similar demands on her time including overseas travel.
We help each other out a lot.

notnotnee Tue 14-Apr-15 12:45:43

My 2 children are now grown, but I worked full time with both from very early years and I was a single parent too for 13 years with NO support from their Dad. They have both turned out to be the most amazing, kind and hard working (both at Uni) young adults I know.
It is hard and yes, I found I was the minority. I live in a very affluent area where most Mums don't have to work. Keep doing what makes you happy and that will reflect in your parenting. Sounds to me like you are doing a great job x

Lulabelle14 Tue 14-Apr-15 17:58:42

Hey thank god for your post! I was thinking the same myself today. My little one is 8 months old and I work full time. All my friends seem to be either childless or have a partner to share the highs and lows. I can't help feeling like some sort of pariah in general. Just remember you're doing great most of my coupled up friends don't understand how I do it alone but you've been doing it far longer than me so it gives hope! Xx

fourteen Tue 14-Apr-15 19:26:09

I work full time and always have.

I admit I'm confused when I read on here "divorced SAHM" or considering going back to work part time. I can't fathom how they afford it.

I love it. It's busy but to be honest living on your own with a toddler, if you didn't get out of the house and see other adults five days a week - well I'd be certifiable within days I think.

Heffalumps Tue 14-Apr-15 20:04:01

Hi there
I work full time as a teacher, my DD is 11 and in Y6, she starts school after me and finishes before me...
I am the only FT working lone parent that I know, and it can be really really tough, especially after a long day at work, everything to do at home and then more work later on. I wouldn't change it though (well, not much anyway!) I would love to have someone else to make the evening meal or unload the dishwasher for us sometimes though, it can be relentless but we manage and smile most of the time smile
I have some wonderful friends, but they don't always seem to understand that if I don't get stuff done, it is simply not done so there are quite a few demands on my time, that can be tough. I would also love a 1/2 day or day to myself in the week to just catch up with everything (dreams wistfully...)

williaminajetfighter Tue 14-Apr-15 21:37:33

What lovely replies to my post from very inspirational women. I now feel better knowing that there are at least 7 people out there like me!! I really do feel like a minority and sometimes it can be so tough seeing friends have 'easier'lives or having a lot more disposable income sloshing around. Hey ho!!

OP’s posts: |
fourteen Tue 14-Apr-15 22:12:05

Well there'd be a lot less disposable income if we didn't work!

I'm genuinely mystified as to the alternative to full time work if you're on your own.

I always accepted I had to work to provide a roof over our heads and food on the table. It never occurred to me that there might be another option.

NoToast Tue 14-Apr-15 23:15:03

Another one here....

Full time working with 3.5 year old DD. No maintenance from her dad and no friends or family where I live to help out.

I agree we are in the minority, I know one other single parent and she has family wealth and can work part-time. Among our friends with partners all the mums bar one work part-time. I constantly get 'but I just don't know how you do it all'. Personally, I think not having to negotiate every sodding thing with a partner gives us single parents so much time and energy we could probably all fit in another job or two smile.

I worked hard for years to get a career and I wouldn't give it up, nor would I dare to. I hope I'm wrong but I think austerity for the many and increasing competition for jobs is the new normal.

madamtremain Wed 15-Apr-15 04:40:02

I'm remarried now but this was me for a long time. It felt like I was the only one never at the school gate and running around like a headless chicken. I used to just not get what I was missing as it seemed there was no alternative than to do everything in my power to keep dd and I afloat.

It was a long time ago for me but I wanted to say that I survived and that my dd is growing in to a confident, driven, happy young person - not the truanting, shoplifting, attachment disordered brat that The Daily Mail would have us believe these children of working mothers will become wink

Well done on keeping all those plates spinning thanks

WordsFailMe Wed 15-Apr-15 12:56:29

I work FT too, lots of travelling and have 2 primary age kids. Not much help from their dad and no weekends covered by him either. I also live in an affluent area with lots of mums that don't work or do PT so am in the minority. That said once a lot of them realised my situation I've had no shortage of offers to help me when I get stuck in traffic on my way to pick up from school or late meetings. My mum helps me out too which I am so lucky to have.

My boys are lovely, I'm so proud of them and they do try and do a few jobs at home to help. We've got into a good routine and somehow we all survive!

PeppermintPasty Wed 15-Apr-15 13:00:34

Full time solicitor here, with ds 8 and dd 4. Lone parent with all my relatives 240 miles away. Well that was clever of me wasn't it?!

I manage with good friends helping out, paid and unpaid, plus it helps that I was recently offered the job I'm in now out of the blue and it's fab as its a 15 min commute instead of and hour and a half.

It can be done!

PeppermintPasty Wed 15-Apr-15 13:01:37

Oops typos.

WoodliceCollection Fri 17-Apr-15 20:46:33

Yep, I'm full time with 5yo and 13yo, though have been since they were younger. It's actually worse with school than with nursery, because schools seem to expect a parent to be available at any time to do random things (e.g. dropping off at 9am at sports centre today, rather than to school breakfast club which is 8am, meaning I was late, and they'd only given one day's notice of this ffs). I am lucky in having an employer who has fairly generous life-work balance policies so I get special leave for child sickness (though not usually paid- think you can get a half day paid if they are rushed to hospital, but I had to take a week off for chicken pox due to nursery exclusion policy, and no relatives locally, etc, which they allowed without question as unpaid leave). I think in more urban areas you can get more emergency childcare or suchlike- here it's practically impossible, hence the need for sympathetic employers.

I don't know many other single parents here tbh- most of the 'school mums' are on 3 days a week, and have partners. I would love to go part time, but I would probably not get permission due to being the only full time person on my team at work, and also would struggle a bit financially. It's not ideal but we aren't dead yet. grin

lizardqueenie Sat 18-Apr-15 18:47:19

Great thread to read!im going from 3 days per week to full time in 2 weeks time & am half way through divorce.

When I asked ex H to help out more with pickups so 2 nights a week from nursery rather than one thinking he would be pleased given there will be more cash in the pot & things won't be so tight going forward he went berserk & asked me didn't I know how important his job was!! Btw it's a job, he's not a brain surgeon, nurse, dr, or anything else particulalry valuable- certainly nothing in my view that is more important than being there for his child, but hey we're different.

Planning to get help from my parents following their kind offers & work 1 day at home if I can.

Any other top tips to make sure we are fed, watered & I manage to find time to tend to my moustache?

fourteen Sun 19-Apr-15 16:47:32

It works for me because home, work and cm are within a very small radius! Makes this so much easier.

I have no family help and ex sees DD whilst I'm at work so I just cut down as much as possible on the logistics.

Solasum Sun 19-Apr-15 17:04:02

And me, working FT since DS was 4mo. There was simply no question of having longer off for me, it would have eaten up too many savings which I needed for nursery. The fees for which have just unexpectedly risen 15% sad.

I don't know any other single parents, but would like to. I would very happily babysit occasionally in return for having someone I can call in case of something coming up last minute at work.

Takedeux Sun 19-Apr-15 17:06:17

Lizard any chance you can work shorter hours during the day then make up time in the evening? I find having a bit extra time with DS early on makes all the difference about how doable the day to day is

LegoStuckInMyHoover Sun 19-Apr-15 17:54:06

i'm one! 2 children and work full time and have done since my youngest was nearly one. they are 9 and 14 now. no help from their father finacially [or any other way] so i've just had to work ft to survive! really exhausted by it, its hard going. but we do ok mostly. i dont have any family nearby but ive always managed to get a brilliant childminder for before and after school. i know what you mean by feeling like the only one-its like that at my childrens school :-(

lizardqueenie Mon 20-Apr-15 15:48:34

Yes Takeseux-I'm going to have a work laptop so could always catchup with a few emails etc in the evening.

That will mean it can spend a but more time with dd. I've actually taken this week as leave - FT starts next week- it was a fairly last min decision but meant that I can get the house sorted although we are currently snuggled up watching monsters inc so I have a clean slate before starting back & maybe cooking a few things & filling the freezer. Might try to get hair appt this week too so at least that's done.

mysparkleismissing Sat 25-Apr-15 22:08:42

I work more than full time. lol
I'm out the house 65+ hours a week with 11/12 hour days and commuting!!

I'm very lucky my son comes to work with me. But leaving home at 645 and getting home at 715 plus at least 1 late finish a week. It's hard!

lbab1702 Sun 26-Apr-15 14:41:22

Another one. I work FT and have since DD was a baby ( and she's now 15). No contact or support from her father and no family close by. It's hard and quite isolating as I don't know any other lone parents in the same situation, and I'm too knackered to have a social life, but I'm sure once DD is at Uni, I'll be able to start socialising againsmile

AnneElliott Sun 26-Apr-15 14:56:56

My friend is one! Two DC aged 7 and 4 and no help during the week from their dad as "he works!". As the rest of us parents clearly don't wink

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