There’s a sadness to the end of the summer holidays approaching - which is odd really because I haven’t loved them. In fact, the sadness comes from my guilt at not having facilitated non-stop fun and activities throughout. We’ve managed a couple of days away (to a soggy coast) but generally we’ve been at home, whilst I’ve worked and the kids have entertained themselves. The pretty rubbish weather hasn’t forced me to spend on expensive activities inside so we have endured “pandemic, stay at home vibes” and done what we do best. Now in reflection I’m questioning if I should have done more…but I’m one person and I’m so tired!!! Maybe next summer will be different?
The summer holidays is nearly over. It’s been a tough one on entertaining 3 children. Wish I could have done more for them but hopefully next year I’ll be able to, even if that means planning a few months in advance.
But I feel optimistic about the future, surely it can only get better.
Wondering if I should try and go back to university ... for a third try at getting a degree ... this seems like a possibly good time (seeing as how I appear to be unemployable!!) ... but ... I'm just so time poor!! I can hardly even get to swim more than twice a week, even though I love to, and it's good for me ... so I don't know how to make space to study, when I'm always feeling guilty about how much I can't do for the kids, and when we really can't afford to lose any of my side hustles!
Hi Ella, thank you for your question.
My Son is in Year 10 now, so it will be things like GCSE material, books, finding extra support, for me that will be the concern. This is an important time for him. Finances are so stretched it's difficult to squeeze a little bit of money for extra support for him. I do feel helpless and guilty for not being able to help him the same I did for my older two boys.
Well here it is, officially summer and the rain hasn't stopped. Mum what’s to eat? Mum I’m bored? Mum can we have ice cream?
Honestly, I’m down because I can’t afford to do a lot. My son explained the other day that he feels terribly resentful that other kids get to have holidays and days out and lots of things that I just can’t afford.
It will be really lovely to spend some time relaxing though and not having to rush in the morning!
Grateful to be a mum, but so so sad that I cannot provide a more dynamic life for my son, and I feel I have not given him the best childhood because we have been really poorly off financially for a lot of his life.. most of it really.
We have been struggling during the last few weeks, trying to keep an 11 year old entertained has been hard without the money to do anything deemed ‘fun’.
How do you tell your child no when the rest of her friends are able to do things so freely, there is only so many excuses a mum can come up with
Summer holidays always means spending more money we don't have. We are at an awkward age where my kids do not yet qualify for any school summer camps as they aren't in school yet - so I have to fill our day with as many cheap or free things as I can. Even a trip to the coffee shop costs in excess of £25, so I have to think twice about simple outings. I feel guilty keeping the kids home so much, but we can't afford to do much, so what choice do we have?
Really upset today, Sunday and what does my son get for tea the majority of a tin of beans, while most others get to have a Sunday dinner, feeling like a failure and worry about what to do rest of week as there’s no food not even any bread not that I could toast it for him anyway the toaster broke a few week ago and I can’t afford to replace it when I can’t even afford to buy food. One last toilet roll to last until Friday, this is the life of a single mum who works full time, it’s beyond a joke and to top it off I got a email from gas and elec to say it’s going down but as I’ve got a budget plan (where I pay the same amount each month to build credit for winter) my price won’t change until the annual review which I’ve just had so another year of paying £210 per month, do I stop paying but can we live if it gets cut off, I work from home a lot too so I need it, but I’m also not earning enough to live anyway
I rely heavily on support from the school, and extra funded clubs.
It’s been difficult this year more than others due to my daughter finishing primary and entering secondary school after the summer: the added expense for prom, leavers disco etc has had me awake at night crying wondering how to make ends meet without her feeling like the odd one out and left out of doing x, y & z with the rest of her classmates & friends.
My youngest daughter is now 16, in the past of school holidays, I found her very lonely.
Other children from school we're taken away abroad during Easter, summer and autumn holidays. I couldn't work out how the parents could afford this and have so much time off work considering most workplaces only gave out 28 annual leave per year.
The council would put on free activity holiday clubs at the sports centre. However, the wealthier children who got holidays abroad parents seemed to be quick to book their children into these clubs on a first come first served basis. I was working and unaware of the holiday clubs advertised on social media.
It seemed unfair how some children would be allowed to attend the free holiday clubs and have 3 or 4 holidays abroad per year.
I would take my daughter for walks with our dog. Into the woods or to the beach. As if by magic, as soon as schools broke up for school holidays, the rain poured down for weeks.
On one occasional dry day walking in the woods, my daughter burst into tears and said she loved me but she felt rubbish as other children were away for a 2 week holiday abroad. The guilt would eat away at me.
For the rest of the summer holidays, other children were packed off to grandparents houses to enable the parents to work. When I was working, in holiday time it cost me more in childcare. Even the childminder took 2 weeks off in summer to take her children abroad. I had to revolve around her leave. The childminders children were mean to my daughter. I grudged every penny I handed over to the childminder knowing that I (and tax credits) was supporting her demon children to have a better quality of life than mine.
I offered other parents to look after their children to keep mine company but they had routines and free grandparent childcare, who kept them overnight and took them out for day trips, so they declined. I soon felt not good enough.
As secondary schooling commenced, my daughter's autism traits became evident and she was bullied. 6 months into 1st year of Academy, she never went back. Out of school activities such as dance camps were expensive at £100 for 5 days and tax credits did not consider these clubs as childcare. She was too old to be baby sat yet not emotionally mature to stay home herself so I could work.
All the fun, bonding and memories to be made were not there for us. I felt punished as a single parent who had to work more hours to provide basics of food and rent, whilst wealthier 2 parent families with grandparents for support got it all.
Today I felt the pull of parental guilt again.
My 11 year old has SEND and as such struggles to form and keep peer relationships. Today he's asked for his friend from school to come over for tea tomorrow night.
Obviously I want to promote this for him so said yes but now I'm sat here wondering if I'll have enough food to go around, whether they will actually like the food as I can't afford processed goodies ATM. I'm wondering how I'll afford the fuel for the extra journey to drop them home.
He has little concept of money right now and thinks it grows on trees as at his dad's house its never an issue so when he asked if I could treat them to a chippy and I said no I saw the disappointment in his face.
The thing is he doesn't ever ask for much, probably because I always have to say no. But now I'm sat here thinking about what other corners I can cut or belts I can tighten to give them a simple treat.
Sometimes poor parenting is just hard.