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Any lone parents working full time?

(58 Posts)
fairytaleoflondontown Mon 02-Oct-17 20:57:48

Hi MN
I'm a single mum to DD age 4. She's just started at school & I was made redundant in June. I've always worked 25 hrs PW giving me time to clean the house/exercise/'me time' as very inconsistent support from ex and no family nearby.
Have struggled to find a job I wanted but have been offered one after a very long interview. The post is Full time
Currently trying to work out the before & after school logistics of childcare...
Feel really anxious about juggling everything and don't want to spend weekends cleaning etx!
Any other single parents out there who just 'make it happen'?
Any top tips or words of advice / support would be most welcome! confused

fairytaleoflondontown Mon 02-Oct-17 20:59:42

PS it's not just about the cleaning!
I just re-read my post .... Just having time to breathe really! Time for me!

Yika Mon 02-Oct-17 21:03:39

Not quite full time but I work 32 hours. My DD goes to after school club and it's very good. She loves it. I also sometimes work from home, and I have a cleaner. To tell you the truth I'd rather work fewer hoursbut then I don't find my job hugely fulfilling although it's well paid. Anyway, be that as it may, if you're going up to full time you need a cleaner. Do not try to do everything. Cut corners and plan. Meal plan, clothes plan, take one day periodically do do all personal admin. Takeout dinner once a week etc. Frozen food. Prioritise.

fairytaleoflondontown Mon 02-Oct-17 21:06:43

Thanks Yika
Planning & prioritising are the way forward... I just feel like I'm never going to see my daughter & when I do, I'll be shattered!

Boopear Mon 02-Oct-17 21:08:48

Any options to work from home at all? That helps and lot of bigger companies are moving to this policy, as cheaper. You could also make an official request, if viable. Other things..is going in after school drop off, rather breakfast club a possibility at all? That assuages the childcare guilt a lot! Also using an after school childminder that provides dinner is really helpful - it means quality time after pick up rather than madly trying to cook dinner.

Good luck. And congrats on the job!

TeachesOfPeaches Mon 02-Oct-17 21:10:46

I've worked full time since my son was 8m and I became a single parent. It's not that hard.

dragonwarrior Mon 02-Oct-17 21:19:27

I’m not a single parent but the hours my husband works dictate that I do everything. He is gone before 6am and home after bedtime, I do all of the shopping, cooking, washing, bill paying etc...as a result I do have a cleaner for an hour and half a week but I still have to tidy daily. If possible, working from home one day a week allows me to do some washing, a dishwasher is my friend, shopping on click and collect, separate school bag, football and swimming bag so that when it’s washed and dry it goes back into the bag ready to grab and take with us on the way to activity.... uniform laid out the night before.
Breakfast and afterschool clubs are relatively cheap to make sure you can fit full time hours in.
Good luck!

Shylo Mon 02-Oct-17 21:22:47

How long is the commute to your new job? I think that can make a massive difference to how easy or not it is to make it work ........ although irrespective of this, your chances of any serious 'you' time are fairly slim

I work full time with three hours of commuting three days a week. My cleaner is my angel

wannabestressfree Mon 02-Oct-17 21:24:53

@dragonwarrior with all due respect it’s not The same thing when you have full lone responsibility.
I work full time it’s knackering and I have learnt to veg at the weekends (I used to cram as much in as possible out of guilt) and we are all happy providing we all pull our weight smile eg boys help with the chores.

fairytaleoflondontown Mon 02-Oct-17 21:28:09

Thanks everyone
Sounds like a cleaner is the way forward.
Working from home won't be an option BUT DD's school & new work place are both a 5-6 minute walk from my house.....😀

dragonwarrior Mon 02-Oct-17 21:33:54

@wannabestressfree with all due respect you seem to have totally missed the part whereby I said that I do EVERYTHING.....

wannabestressfree Mon 02-Oct-17 21:37:23

But you are NOT a lone parent. In a lone parent thread. For lone parents. Which you are not.....

dragonwarrior Mon 02-Oct-17 21:56:34

OP sorry if by trying to offer some helpful suggestions to mange your time when you are managing the household by yourself was out of line of me because I am still with my husband. It wasn’t meant to offend so hopefully you haven’t taken it that way.

As explained he is never here to help with anything really so I am often just as alone and the posts before mine seemed to be part time workers so thought I would give some tips

dubdub17 Tue 03-Oct-17 06:54:53

I work full time and have 2 kids. It's stressful. I have no time for myself. I keep meaning to look at a cleaner but it would firstly involve getting rid of so much crap in the house/sorting stuff, which I don't have time to do. Struggle to fit any exercise into my life. Constantly knackered. The mental load of having to juggle everything exacerbates the physical weariness. Sorry - not much help here. I commute 2 hours a day so it may be easier if you work local to your child's school.

Garlicansapphire Tue 03-Oct-17 06:59:26

Lone parent - worked full time since the kids were 6 and 4 (now 11 years older). Not a problem at all. I have a cleaner and I had a wonderful after school nanny till a couple of years ago. I am very organised and then sometimes things slip through the net - but hey thats normal right?

Pinkandpurplehairedlady Tue 03-Oct-17 07:02:33

I work full time and am a single parent of 2. I've found staying in a routine really helps. I put a load of washing in a day and iron and put away everything once the kids are in bed. I also do the majority of the housework in the evenings so all that really needs doing at the weekend is run the hoover round and change the beds. Online shopping is my best friend and I meal plan a lot. I get milk delivered from Milk & More who will also deliver basic food stuff so if I run out of bread for the morning I can get it delivered along with the milk.

It's hard work and sometimes I feel like I never get a break but we make it work.

Mumteedum Tue 03-Oct-17 07:06:22

I work 30 hours officially but probably full time in reality. (academic). I juggle. Have after school club and breakfast club. The house is untidy but actually stopped worrying about it. My Ds and I have lost of laughs. I try and focus on the important stuff.

Online food shop or bits from small shops instead of big shop. Don't feel guilty about letting Ds play on ps3 while I get some work done. I have to work from home partly. I'd say you'll be able to relax better if you don't have that option. When you're home, you're home.

I don't think about me time. I don't have it. V occasional babysitter and I go out to pub with friends or cinema. That's it.

You'll get into a rhythm.

Mumteedum Tue 03-Oct-17 07:07:06

Oh yeah, stop ironing! Only essentials!

AgSiopadoireachtAris Tue 03-Oct-17 07:09:15

Yeh, about to leave the house now. Spend the weekends cleaning, shopping and doing laundry.
Marking place for the 7.30 bus
grin

TheDonald Tue 03-Oct-17 07:16:56

Yes I did from when dd went into year 1. I did work from home 2 days a week though which helped enormously. 2 hrs a day commute otherwise. No family nearby but ex picked her up and gave her tea one day a week.

I found it ok during primary years. She enjoyed after school club and did other sports clubs too.

It's a long way off for you but the hardest was when she was in y6 &7. She stopped going to asc because she grew out of it but then was home alone from 3.30 to 5.30.

If she got scared I was an hour away, and if she didn't answer the phone I couldn't do anything. She started hanging round the park and had a few scrapes and I couldn't get to her.

I actually changed jobs to one 5 minutes away because I found it so difficult.

And yes to a cleaner. I only did it 2 years ago because I was embarrassed about the state of the house. Best thing ever!

AgSiopadoireachtAris Tue 03-Oct-17 07:19:48

Don't have a cleaner but I send the laundry to to laundrette when it builds up.

marble11 Tue 03-Oct-17 07:38:26

I was made redundant last month. I decided to go full time. DD is 6 now. I am a single parent too. I now work Mon-Fri 8-4 I have to use a nursery for school runs and after school club. I am finding it OK so far. I pick DD up about 4.30. I used to work 30 hours including all day Saturday so it has worked out well for me as we get weekends together. I try to clean and tidy when DD goes to bed and while the soaps are on.

For half term I will be using holiday club in the nursery.

I felt guilty at first as I can't do the school run but financially we're doing great and I can finally afford my bills without living week to week.

WinchestersInATardis Tue 03-Oct-17 07:44:15

I'm a single parent and work full time - one 9-5 Mon to Fri job, and also freelance stuff from home in the evenings and on Sundays when DS is at his dad.
Honestly, it's manageable if you're organised but is utterly exhausting.
I think it does also depend on your finances. Bring able to afford a cleaner for example would make a huge difference.

LaughingElliot Tue 03-Oct-17 07:48:03

Dragon it isn’t the same. There is so much more to single parenting than doing all the childcare and chores. The mental load is enormous.

It really isn’t very wise to offer advice on a subject you know nothing about and I’m not surprised you have ruffled feathers. Single parents are sick to death of double parents telling them how to manage.

inmyshoos Tue 03-Oct-17 07:59:22

I work part time and am a single parent to 3 dc. I have to say the one good thing I find on work days is the house stays tidy!! So if I was full time this would be my plan... It's also what I mostly do on work days.

●Get up earlier than the dc. Tidy kitchen and put on a load of laundry.
●Put something for tea in slow cooker or take something quick and easy out freezer.
● Online food shop
●Employ a cleaner to Dust, Hoover round, change beds and clean bathrooms.

Could you book DD into a club at weekend? Dancing? Drama? Pony club? Use that time to chill/go for coffee etc

It's not easy fairy but it will get much easier once dd is older. Does she have a friend who she could have over for a play date that could be a regular thing and maybe week about? I'm now friends with a mum from school and we help each other out with the odd day after work. I'll have her guys for tea while she goes to dentist after work or takes one of her dc to dentist etc.

You'll get into a routine I'm sure and use any extra money you'll earn to make life easier - babysitter/cleaner etc

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