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any single mums working full time + 4 year old + new baby

(7 Posts)
kosh71 Thu 31-Mar-16 21:50:02

how do you do it?! confused

OllyBJolly Fri 01-Apr-16 10:29:26

I had a three year old and a 5 month old when I went back to work as a single parent. It was a long time ago (kids now in their 20s) but I do look back and think that was the easier time! But that might just be selective memory!

I had a brilliant childminder who lived across the road from me. I had some older teenagers, young adults who the kids knew through church and clubs. If I was working late, one of the older kids would collect from the CM and take the DCs home. My only real issue was summer holidays as my CM took almost a month off. Two years I had a student nanny. My parents lived 200 miles away so they could go there for a week at a time (but not for just overnight)

CM had kids same age and all went to same school so that was easy as well. I had a spell where I worked mainly from home and kids still went to CM.

What I found harder was when my two wanted to do different after school activities so DD2 wanted to go to rainbows but DD1 and CM's DD1 went to gymnastics. I did have to rely on friends which meant building up a favour bank!

The hardest time by far was when they were teenagers, no childminder, no real solution apart from just trusting them not to burn the house down between finishing school and me getting home. Thankfully I had a job just five minutes away at that time but it was still a worry.

The downside would be no time for yourself; weekends were laundry/housework/shopping and never being able to go for a drink after work or commit to social events.

We had a lot of fun though and are probably much closer as a result.

Flowerpower41 Sat 02-Apr-16 08:52:21

Surely Olly you could socialise once your children were teenagers they didn't need you at home every single evening?

I plan to go out sometimes when ds is 13. Other friends do. Just 2 more years to go!

EnglishFern Sat 02-Apr-16 08:55:01

Agreed the trick is a reliable CM.

Mine saved my bacon many times when the kids were young, and even when older I could call on her to help in a crisis.

Elfieselfie Sat 02-Apr-16 13:39:01

It's just bloody hard. Ive been on my own since one was a baby and one in lower primary school and always worked full time. It's been a constant juggling act between school, nursery, breakfast clubs, after school clubs, granny collecting them etc. In all honesty I doubt I would have managed without granny's help- especially during school holidays and when they are sick. Their dad does spend time with them (so I do get a break) but just isnt interested in the day to day childcare/school run difficulties. Easier now they are in the same school as the nursery was about a mile away so was essentially two school runs each morning/evening. Granny also takes them to swimming lessons otherwise I just couldn't do it.

I also left a job where the management was completely unsupportive of allowing time off (even in lieu) for school assemblies, nativities, teacher training days etc and work as agency staff so I can pretty much take time off as and when I need it - I just don't get paid. I also do not have any security in the form of sick pay or company pensions but it's either work this way or go part time and I can't afford that thanks to the useless CSA not retrieving a penny from their father.

If the kids did not go to their dads a couple nights per week(whereby i catch up on laundry and general chores) and i did not have granny helping I would have given up/gone very part time and lost the house a long time ago. I genuinely admire those that truly are a lone parent with no help whatsoever.

Does get easier as they get older. Online supermarket shopping is your friend.

kosh71 Sat 02-Apr-16 22:20:52

Thanks for the reply ladies
No CM here, DS goes to nursery and will be starting reception in September.
No grandparents or family around either. Have a couple of friends whom I could call in a real emergency but no one to give me a hand just because I'm a bit late from work.
I am not a lone parent at the moment, but I could well become one....
I wanted an insight of what it really is. I admire you all.

OllyBJolly Sun 03-Apr-16 10:20:43

Surely Olly you could socialise once your children were teenagers they didn't need you at home every single evening?

Strangely, it was easier to socialise when they were younger and I could pay a babysitter! It was probably more my two, but I couldn't trust them not to fall out/argue and then a bit later -not to have loads of friends around when they were teenagers.

When they were very young - preschool and a baby as in the OP's post - no, socialising was very difficult.

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