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
Schools have broken up and the Easter holidays are upon us! Great for some working families, however this extra long Easter break may become a logistical nightmare for many.
This is a rather “late” Easter as the religious dates go and accompanied with school holidays, Royal wedding and more bank holidays thrown in, unusually, some children will be only attending school for approximately 6 days throughout the whole month of April!
Many parents will agree that the extended school holidays will create pressure as working parents “struggle” to “juggle” childcare for their children. An even more complicated scenario arises when siblings who attend different schools with varying holiday schedules.
The headache doesn’t stop here. The cost! I have arranged a smattering of activities for my eldest child. Thankfully he is football crazy and therefore there are some economical options to keep him occupied over the days when I must work. I have heard of some rather expensive clubs which, on top of usual childminder before and after school fees really add up. I dread to think how much families have to spend when there are more than one child to cater for with school holiday activities. Thank goodness for grandparents is all I can say!
This feels more like a summer holiday break and I have heard of many working parents who won’t even be able to take any time off as their job commitments take priority. I am sure the this is where long bank holiday weekends will be greatly received here!
What are your plans? How are you going to juggle?
That dreaded “G” word. You and I as working mums know how it feels….
I have committed to working in London this week to help out my former colleagues. Great fun, extra cash and a bit of old me back!
Always takes me longer to get ready when I go to work as little ones always demand extra attention and the big arm on the clock, for some reason swings around faster than usual. Two year old is “extra” clingy this morning and as I give mum the rundown I gently distract her, big kisses and leg it for the door. I haven’t noticed she isn’t feeling well.
Into London fully charged, I go through my mental checklist for the day and place the “guilt” far down the list as it “will soon be over and I will be on my way home”…I say to myself…
Rambling on through my first meeting, silently my Blackberry flashes up “home”! Heart sinks, try to keep calm, focussed and start panicking …..
As soon as we take a break, I call mum back and two year old “not herself” and has developed a temperature. Wants to sleep, won’t drink…..I suddenly want to go home. Excitement of day diminishes and I am losing my focus. Count to ten and my mind is back in perspective and I think I can keep going. Mum reassured me. “She’s gonna be fine”…..I carry on.
Afternoon flies by and I can’t wait to get home. Quick call and mum has made an appointment for Doctor as my daughter who is usually “full on” really isn’t well. Heart sinks. Feel really bad as I dismissed her a little this morning. Thought she was playing up.
Get home and take daughter straight to Doctors…..She isn’t right and he diagnoses her with septic tonsils. Now I feel really, really awful. How did I miss that! The guilt! It just doesn’t get any easier in all the years I have been a working mummy.