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How do you do it?

(16 Posts)
Smellycatt Tue 12-Jun-18 23:31:25

Don’t know if I’m in the right forum here so please feel free to move me 🙈
But how do people afford to be a single parent? Stupid question I know but I am literally at my wits end with struggling with money and pestering my ds (2yo) for some support financially.
I split up from my sons father last year but that is a whole other story. I have always worked but had to give it up as I literally only have my mum to rely on for childcare and she works full time. So for the first time in 28 years I have had to claim benefits which I am so grateful for before anyone thinks that I’m not.
I don’t get full rent paid for, so the benefit I get has to go to my rent. The money I get for my son obviously goes on my son and all my savings I had went on our new home and furniture etc and stuff we needed as ex wouldn’t give me a thing.
My little boy has just got free childcare hours (15) so I’ve been looking for work, but will have to pay £48 a day for childcare as these free hours are only for unemployed until he is 3.
I just want a better life for me and my boy but I am finding it really hard to keep my head above water with literally no money and no other support. My friends all have jobs and families of their own and my mum needs the money so can’t cut her hours!
I don’t know what I’m after by posting this, I think I just need to get it off my chest how hard I am finding things at the moment and sick of living day to day on little or no money at all.
Someone tell me they have been in this position and it does get better. I just want my son to be proud of me x

Smellycatt Tue 12-Jun-18 23:32:06

That should say ds father at the beginning of the post. Sorry 🙈

Singlenotsingle Wed 13-Jun-18 00:41:48

I don't know your circumstances so this might not be practical, but have you thought about childminding? You'd have to look into it, and I know there's a lot involved in getting registered. But if you just limit it to 8 years and older, maybe just drop off and pickup from school, you don't have to be registered. My neighbour does it. She's like the Pied Piper with the trail of kids, and I can hear them playing in the garden after school. Just a thought! (I'd do it myself but I can't be arsed)

bunchofdrapes Wed 13-Jun-18 08:32:15

Can you move with parents or family?

The problem is that the less you work the less employable you are so in the long run it's better to compromise now on comfort in exchange for a more solid future.

Cricrichan Wed 13-Jun-18 08:34:33

Are there any other single mums that you know that you could share childcare with?

hellsbellsmelons Wed 13-Jun-18 08:40:07

Have you spoken with CAB to ensure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to?
I became a single parent when my DD was 11 so it's a totally different scenario.
Hopefully someone will be along soon who knows more about it all.

category12 Wed 13-Jun-18 08:40:33

If you haven't involved them yet, get CMS to chase your ds' father for child support instead.

They grow fast, it won't be long until your ds is at school and then it'll be a bit easier to find more hours. Just keep looking for something and keeping afloat and you'll get somewhere. Your ds will be proud of you.

FatCow2018 Wed 13-Jun-18 08:43:59

I was in the same position 10 years ago with DD1. I chose to work full time ans claimed WTC which covered the majority of childcare. Yes i wasn't wealthy, but we had enough and were much better off than if I didn't work and claimed income support. 10 years on, my career has progressed leaps and bounds and I am earning lot of money, so it was absolutely the right thing to do for me.

krustykittens Wed 13-Jun-18 08:46:39

Of course your son will be proud of you! You put a roof over his head, food on the table and shoes on his feet, please do not belittle this. And as others said, it will get easier when he is in school. It's crap being skint but far worse to be in an unhappy relationship. flowers

TheFifthKey Wed 13-Jun-18 08:46:50

When I got 2 year old funding the woman on the phone told me even if my circumstances changed I’d still get the funding as once they’ve qualified for it, that’s it. So if you got a job you wouldn’t suddenly have to pay for those 15 hours - worth checking.

Theusual Wed 13-Jun-18 08:47:20

It’s really hard. Perhaps look on it as just temporary and make plans for how to get back to work in a year or two.

Smellycatt Wed 13-Jun-18 08:47:58

Thankyou for the replies!
That’s what I’m frightened about, the longer I am out of work the harder it is going to be.
I live in a small village, and the friends I do have (single mothers) are lucky enough to have family and decent exes what share their childcare.
I have thought about moving back in with my mum but I would feel like a complete failure and there isn’t a great deal of room.
My ex isn’t actually down as working (he quit his job when we parted) so I can’t axfually prove he’s working even though I know he is doing it on the side.
I just feel really lost and stressed at the minute. My sons dad has a lot of money and won’t even buy a packet of nappies. I know I was stupid spending all of my savings on our home when in reality once my money has gone I can’t even afford in hindsight to live in it with the money we are receiving.

I just hope things get better soon x

StormcloakNord Wed 13-Jun-18 08:50:05

I was in the same position as you about a year and a half ago.

I worked full time, claimed Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits. Nursery fees for DD were about 750 a month, I got paid 1500 and got around 650 a month from Tax Credits. I didn't have much left after all my bills came out but it was more than I'd have had not working!

Worth looking into.

Smellycatt Wed 13-Jun-18 08:50:14

I have already asked about the funding for childcare when he is 2 and what would happen if I went back to work.
Apparently these house are for unemployed families so their children have the same start as employed families, but I will look into this again thankyou x

BitchQueen90 Wed 13-Jun-18 09:05:35

I was in this position, I was a SAHM so when I left exh I went on benefits. Fortunately though I got my full rent paid as I was within the LHA and my ex does willingly pay maintenance. When DS got the 15 free hours I started doing voluntary work to keep me busy and to gain a few skills.

I went back to work last year when DS started school in a school hours job so I get working tax credits now. We are actually fairly comfortable day to day now as I don't have any childcare costs. We don't live a lavish lifestyle but we don't scrimp.

Are you in a council property or private rent? Might be worth applying for a council one for lower rent.

Smellycatt Wed 13-Jun-18 09:49:17

I’m in private rent. And after I have payed the extra to my rent I am left with just £70a month to live on. Obviously that doesn’t include my sons money.
I think I’m going too look at applying for a council house actually x

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