Single Parent……….. Double Trouble?
Being a parent is not easy. Being a single parent is twice as hard. Responsibilities, worries, bills, school runs, ballet classes, football club…. are borne by one pair of shoulders and even Mr. T couldn’t carry that burden alone.
For whatever reason or circumstance finds you in this position, it is one that is initially daunting but with a bit of support, a leap of faith and a good sense of humour, it is one that you can not only survive but embrace. You can sleep easy at night. You can still have a career. You can pay your bills.
Your life doesn’t stop; it just takes an unexpected direction that can initially throw you into unfamiliar territory with a large pinch of guilt and a sprinkle of self-doubt.
My journey began when my daughter was a baby. I have since learned through first-hand experience about everything from working tax credits to childcare, flexible working hours to making your pound go further.
From my experience, the work/home balance is a fine juggling act for every mother but once struck, it provides space, self-esteem and fulfilment as a working woman and recharged batteries, passion, excitement and fulfilment as a loving mother.
That pearl of wisdom relayed, I am no expert but knowledge is power and it goes a long way. It gave me strength to know that I wasn’t alone or some societal anomaly and that there are a lot of good organisations and websites out there (allmumkind and gingerbread to name but two) that provide practical information and support and don’t make you feel like the pip in the apple.
Over the next few months, I shall tackle a number of topics with the aim of clearing the mists of uncertainty and providing a bit of much-needed sanity. I shall be offering practical advice and support for those of you out there that need a nudge in the right direction or just want a friendly ear to listen to your problems or answer your nagging concerns. I am more than happy to answer questions or comments to my post.
Posted in Family, Guest posts, Mummy and working, Single "super" mummy | Tags: Balance, Benefits, Careers, Childcare, Employment, Financial, Flexible, Mummy, Responsibility, Single Parent, Support Network, Women, Working
Did you know that there are more working mums today, compared with over 15 years ago? Also, nearly the same percentage of women working with children is (66%) compared to women working without dependant children (67%). The gap between the two has narrowed significantly over the past 15 years.
A recent study carried out by the ONS – Office of National Survey, highlighted that more mums today are in fact working in full-time employment 29%, which is 6% higher than in 1996. This is almost a third of the entire female working population. In some respects, this increase in full-time working has become more accessible with higher quality and a varied choice of childcare, an increase in flexible friendly employment and the support of home-working.
Over this period mums working part-time hasn’t shifted either way, however this population was the higher percentage, 37% of the overall study. This I wouldn’t have thought was an unusual figure with many mums wanting to strive towards a “balance” between their family and employment. Since 1996 there have been steps encouraging parents to work and with improved parental pay and leave, introduction of “home-working”, a push for more flexible friendly employers and the right to request flexible working hours.
When you look at these facts and figures above, although there has been a constant drive for more flexible opportunities and attitudes, our working culture has actually shifted in the right direction which is a positive. I believe many working mums (including myself) would think there is still room for improvement, however when you look at what has been created for supporting working mums, this may now be eroded with cuts in childcare tax credits, job losses and the plans to abandon the right to request flexible working.
Will this reduce the number of working mums? I am inclined to think not as the appetite for mums to work is on the rise and as demonstrated even more mums are now working full-time. Let’s hear your thoughts..