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Working full time as a single parent

(17 Posts)
SausageSimon Sun 22-Dec-19 10:13:56

I'm currently looking for full time work which is likely to be 9-5 meaning I'll be out of the house roughly 8-6 Monday to Friday.

I'm ready to start working properly and hopefully making a proper living.

I've been fortunate because as DS turned 1 I started university meaning I had 3 years being around a lot of the time as I could pick and choose what to go in for and work from home a lot writing essays and studying.

Then I worked part time until I got my own business which is a lot of hours but with the type of business I can do the school run most days.

How do you find it being a full time working single parent?

I'm worried I'm not going to be able to be there for him as much as I am now. The school holidays will be hard but hopefully I'll be able to use my holiday days to make sure I'm there for school plays and sports day etc

He's 6 now so in full time school which will help massively but I hate that he'll have less time with me than he already does

OP’s posts: |
bpisok Sun 22-Dec-19 10:56:15

Hard work....but necessary (no financial support from ex) . I was lucky that my parents were close by and DD has a good relationship with them. She saw them every day (still sees them all the time - she's now 18!!). I tended to take 2 days a week leave during the summer holiday which gave me 4 full days with her.
The slight difference is that it was all she ever knew because I went back to work when she was 2 months old (she went to my mums while I was at work). She's turned out a confident, stable young lady with a good work ethic. Nailed her GCSEs, applied to Uni this year and says that she didn't resent me working but instead sees it as me doing everything in my power to give her a good childhood. She still remembers the things we did over those summer holidays too 😁

SausageSimon Sun 22-Dec-19 13:12:01

That's really lovely to hear @bpisok I'm fortunate that I've got family nearby so Thursday's and Fridays are covered anyway.

Some weeks his dad can get him Tuesday and Wednesday so at the best of times it'll just be Mondays he goes to after school child care. Sadly they don't have it at his school so a childminder will have to pick him up and take him!

I think I worry because growing up my dad worked full time and my mum worked school hours so she was always there after school and all the way through the holidays too. I didn't realise other kids parents weren't at home during the holidays like my mum was!

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FunnyInjury Sun 22-Dec-19 13:15:39

For me it just wasnt possible (after trying for a year) and I went p/t with a few side gigs also.
I went back f/t when youngest was in first term at secondary and still feel that I wasnt around for them 'enough'. Now youngest is 16 its loads easier but my goodness I've aged 20 years in the last 5 grin

SausageSimon Sun 22-Dec-19 13:19:46

@FunnyInjury in what way was it not possible for you? Was it the stress of too much to do or from not being around etc.

I do worry about housework and getting washing done etc, I worry I'll be out of the house 8-6 5 days of the week then stressed and knackered the other too

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SausageSimon Sun 22-Dec-19 13:19:57

Two*

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bpisok Sun 22-Dec-19 13:48:02

You will be fine.
Some things will have to give....never buy clothes that need ironing, put washing on when having dinner. Hang to dry while he's in the bath getting ready for bed time. Saturday morning housework (while he gets to watch tv). Pick own toys up every night before bed.
Help putting dishes away (and drying up if you don't have a dishwasher).
It's really not so bad....most things you would need to do if you are single regardless of having a DC. Make sure that you have quality time with him - it's way more important than quantity.
When you feel a bit stressed after work keep reminding yourself why you are doing it....to give your son a better life.
As an aside, DD is my best friend and she says I am hers too. When she leaves for Uni in Sept that's when it will be hard.

Northernsoullover Sun 22-Dec-19 13:50:01

Don't forget parental leave. Its unpaid but it will help in those early years. There was a whole thread on it but I'm crap at searching.

HugeAckmansWife Sun 22-Dec-19 14:15:43

If you can possibly manage it, try for 4 days a week or one afternoon or morning off (obviously depends what kind of work you do). I work about 40 hours a week but I teach and my timetable varies a bit so I can sometimes pick them up at the end of the day instead of from the wraparound care. I also can use the odd free + lunch to run errands etc child free. My parents are close by and help me hugely. Systems for washing and other chores help, a blackboard in the kitchen with what is needed each day and a cleaner once a fortnight if you can manage it. It's v hard but there is vast satisfaction in knowing you're doing it.

SausageSimon Sun 22-Dec-19 17:01:23

Thank you so much for your positive posts, if I can get this job (or one of similar pay) it will mean I will make a proper living for the first time which will take a lot of pressure off in other ways and I'll feel really proud too.

Parental leave was a great suggestion too! You can't request it until you've been there a year from what I can see but that is fantastic it never crossed my mind smile

I'm feeling much more positive about it! I wish it was workable over 4 days instead of 5 but beggars can't be choosers and all that

OP’s posts: |
bpisok Sun 22-Dec-19 17:32:26

Your DS will be really proud of you.

Have a great Xmas and hopefully 2020 will be a great year for you both.

SausageSimon Sun 22-Dec-19 22:17:33

@bpisok what a lovely thing to say, thank you ever so much. I hope 2020 holds great things for you too smile

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MoominCake Sun 29-Dec-19 15:30:48

I've been a full-time working lone parent for two years now with one dd (4). My exH has her every other weekend but moved an hour away and in any case travels for work so is never around to help in the week and my parents are no longer around. I won't lie, there have been very tough moments when I have beaten myself up, this wasn't what wanted for her and it is exhausting. However, with an understanding, supportive boss, a little flexibility, good planning and help from friends, I'm managing well. I'm also proud of the example I'm setting my dd. You can do it op! Just make sure to make time for you to rest and look after yourself so you stay fighting fit, and be kind to yourself - done is better than perfect x

undercoveraessedai Sun 29-Dec-19 15:42:03

I'm single, no DC, but had caring responsibilities for my Gran a few years ago and managed to get full time hours over 4.5 days a week so I could pick up the Monday afternoon which no one else in the family could do, and still maintain full time income which I needed living alone. Worth looking/asking potential jobs if condensed hours is something they offer - for me at a university it became an option after I'd completed six months probation. Good luck!

undercoveraessedai Sun 29-Dec-19 15:43:13

Oh, and although I worked it as full time over 4.5 days, a couple of my friends at same place work a nine day fortnight instead smile

FunnyInjury Fri 03-Jan-20 07:33:14

For me it was really the holidays that made it impossible when dc were little.

I used wrap-around care for term time but after about 4 terms with 13 weeks school hols, plus 5 teacher training days, plus odd late starts/early finishes for unmissable dc events I had used up all of my own leave options, and I did have friends who helped if possible and did swaps/play dates etc with other working parents.

Life was exhausting though and I felt like I never saw the dc very much.

Dropped down to 3 days, and got a pt evening job at weekends, took the extra help from tax credits.
Life became much more manageable smile Easier to plan for 3 days childcare per week in the holidays and I had time to just be around for the dc more.

HollyBollyBooBoo Fri 03-Jan-20 08:30:55

I've done it since my DD was 11 months old. It is hard but being super organised is a must so you can make the most of your time at home.

Make sure you make time for yourself to do whatever your 'thing' is - exercise, reading whatever it may be.

Best of luck!

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