It's 2023 and right now I'm happy each week if I managed to feed and clothe my children without running out of electricity or fuel. There is no expendable income and survival is what this is, not living.
My older two children are fortunate enough to live in a separated parent family so at their dad's they live a completely different life. My youngest son who is 2 only has me and most days I feel so guilty.
My older two have been away this week, my eldest spent a week abroad with her dad and my middle son is currently in abroad where his dad is to be remarried. I am eternally happy for both my older children that they get these incredible experiences but I also feel guilty. Guilty that my youngest son lives in second hand clothes and shoes. Guilty that we have to rely on the community grocery for food. Guilty that during cold snaps he has to get in bed with me to keep warm as I can't afford the heating.
I know that for now on UC there will be no holidays, no trips away, no clubs to attend and some days it just makes me feel like I'm failing him as a parent.
To remain transparent he got money from family and friends for his birthday recently and I took him to the zoo and beach but that won't be happening again for such a long time.
Deep down I know that I spend every single day taking him to parks and playing in the garden with him and children need time and love not money and things but sometimes I just wish I could give him something special. I wish I could buy the sweets he wanted so badly from the shop, I wish I could take him to the mini movers group all of his friends go to.
But here we are in 2023 surviving.
Today I enquired over the phone about a gym membership.
The cheapest contract is for a 12 months. I can not afford to commit to a year of monthly payments of £54.00.
Next option was monthly contract with a join fee, worked it out and its nearly £80.00 per month. I am so disappointed with people providing facilities such as gyms. There seems to be no options for middle aged women or mothers who may be single or on a low income to imrove on their health and well-being at an affordable price. It seems students and younger people get more financial offers and support.
Feeling very low right now.
Life is so hard at the minute. Rising costs and Easter round the corner and children expecting to do activities every day and there’s just not the money to do it. It’s becoming harder and harder to keep my children sheltered from the cost of living crisis. It’s very difficult being a lone mum at this time.
I’m really struggling to get time to myself. If it’s not the children wanting my attention, my partner feels that any free time I have I should be giving him my undivided attention. I would love to be able to meditate and but there’s no time for me.
Feeling a tad frazzled and annoyed. How many more folk are in similar situations to this? My middle son called me half an hour ago, for a lift to work as he'd woken up late. Given I'd have to drive to where ever he slept last night, plus him knowing the car is currently out of use, I'm exasperated with him. There's no way I could jump up and run to his rescue like that in time for his work shift to start, as well as pay tunnel tolls in least 1 direction, plus petrol on top obviously. He told me last night his own car insurance was debited from his account despite requesting it not to be due to lack of funds, which has taken him £60 overdrawn (without an over draft facility). His own car has been having problems since a week after he bought it early March. He's had umpteen cars in the few years since passing his driving test back in 2019. Majority of them ended up scrapped. He currently owes me back £800 (I lent him for repairs totalling twice that on his last car) I had as a nest egg for when my rent increased which it undoubtedly will do, at some point unless I'm really lucky and it stays as it is. There's this amount along with the £350 or so he owes from a previous car he had repaired. He's worked since he was 13 as it is with nothing to really show for it except tooth decay from all the sweets and soft drinks he purchased as a school boy with a paper round.
Needless to say I turned him down over the lift. However I can't help but worry about his mental health. He also struggles with eczema and dyslexia, which has held him back in life at times, so I'm not sure the "turn 2 us" link I texted will mean anything to him.
Regardless of the practical help and emotional support, and as much as I love my son, there's no more pots of money left to help him out any more. He abused my hospitality for long enough whilst he lived under my roof as working adult. As a disabled person I have a little more money to fund the extra living costs there are from having limited mobility and managing a health condition. However there'll be even less to spare in light of the disability white paper proposals and that's a huge worry for me.
There's so much going wrong with this country right now. I'm not confident things look set to get any better. A recent article in the BBC news states Rishi Sunak says, new powers will help prevent pot holes. Forget corruption, cost of living crisis, missing billions, the NHS falling apart and all else in a mess, vote the Tories back in to local government and potholes will be fixed!!!???
Before long the government will be seeing to it we all have to worship them in order to eat. Life for the majority of us is hard and complicated. In my humble opinion the government are narrow minded, entitled and cruel. They don't understand these issues we face, nor do they care other than to force all of us into employment of any description by whatever means so that we become economic slaves to the system.
As a full time carer for my 16 year old daughter who has autism, I am miserable.
As a mother I'm doing what I can, which never seems enough.
I am isolated and unsupported.
Since lockdowns, the support services have been pulled.
The heating bills increased and the house we live in is private rented, uninsulated and cold. I feel guilty I cannot provide the basics of a warm home. I am disrespected by the dance mums as they view me as lazy and a benefit scrounger.
I was ill last year with pneumonia and now had an accident and have stitches in my knee. Nobody has came to ask if I need support to get shopping or housework. I feel worthless.
Apparently that's what the benefits pay for, a cleaner or an assistant.
It's hard not to compare to others, especially when they have support, their children attend school and grandparents on free childcare duty, with no issues of what my daughter has with autism. I am not allowed to choose where we live, not deserving of respect in the eyes of others in the town. I am lonely. Counselling has not helped.
It doesn't change the situation. I cannot force others to like me for who I am and what I do. There is no support system in the area. There is a lack of affordable housing as rents increase. I have lost my confidence and faith in a system that is on its knees due to lockdowns and cost of living crisis.
You hello I'm going to answer the question of the week what's your relationship with paid employment? So at the moment I'm doing three jobs and I have a daughter, nearly twelve that still lives at home so when this school holidays about? Luckily she can spend about half the time with her dad which gives me a bit of space but I basically just run in and out of the house doing my job and I think if I didn't have my job I would really struggle with just doing childcare because I just have to keep going all the time. I enjoy working but sometimes I enjoy having a rest that I don't get much chance to do or just going somewhere nice in the school holidays, which would be good. York is particularly good to visit, but yeah, I think when my kids were younger it was hard but I still always worked and I was also doing a degree at university that I did struggle with as well at the time there was a lot going on so being a mother is also a full time job. Working as well is quite stressful. When your kids are about, I think it's important to have time for yourself. Just sit in the garden, look at the flowers, go for a mindfulness walk or just something that didn't have to cost money to give you some space.
I’m enraged by the Spring Budget. It feels like an attack on mothers.
In principle I support universal free childcare (as long as it is correctly funded and does not compromise quality which I’m deeply suspicious of here) but the problem with the lobbying power of Pregnant Than Screwed is that it’s not particularly intersectional. Whilst great news for mothers who WANT to return to work sooner, who enjoy their jobs and have careers that offer fulfilling progression, that is still only two fifths of mothers surveyed. That’s not even 50%. It’s a minority. And it has opened the doors for the government to target mothers on benefits. Currently the main carer (which is so often mothers) isn’t required to look for work/take work until their child turns 3 years old. I was strongly encouraged to start looking when my child turned two (because of the 2 year old offer) but it wasn’t a requirement. Once the free childcare from 9 months kicks in, mothers on benefits will be REQUIRED to send their baby into childcare and look for/take work from 9 months after giving birth. Often in jobs they don’t love and have no career progression. That CHOICE will be taken away from them. The right to be a stay-at-home mother whilst children are young will become a PRIVILEGE of the better off.
I am a feminist. But I am a feminist for policies that support ALL people who identify as women, and do not trade improvements for one group of women (and this primarily improves life for white, middle class women) at the detriment of another.
Great question!! Taking my coat off as soon as I get into the house. Rather than, walking straight into the house and being bombarded with teenage angst and drama. Small boundaries are making a big difference. Knock on effect - help with house work - a good result from just taking my coat off before I engage with the 'house'.
Someone online was spouting off inaccurate and judgemental comments about UK benefits being the most generous in the world, and allowing single parents to be "paid to stay at home" til the children were 11, and claiming that no one with a middle class salary would be eligible for benefits. I corrected them, not for their sake but so that others wouldn't be misled, and it became a ridiculous argument where they kept shifting the goalposts and trying to claim I was saying that single mothers shouldn't have to work.
I don't understand why people have such vicious and illogical views about benefits. Why do people get so worked up about benefits and yet don't say anything about other situations where taxes are funding things that not everyone uses? Why can't people accept that sometimes they don't know what they're talking about?
Expecting baby this weekend, not having enough money to feed on. Have to skip meals to try to get baby food as I have no other choice.
As a single mom, I really don't think I have any time to myself. I have a nine year old boy who's quite challenging behavior, and not a lot of people that I would trust either to mind him. And I have a nice 14 year old daughter at the minute. I've been pushed into a situation where I've been forced to homeschool, much to my dismay, because of my son's challenging behavior. There's a backlog in Northern Ireland of statutory assessments and children getting a statement. Unfortunately, without the support of the statement, the school are finding it really hard to get behavioral support. And as a result, then I'm homeschooling. Which means, to be honest, I have less time to myself. No, I'm just finding it really difficult as a single mommy, not just with the cost of living crisis. I'm paying extra gas and electric having the child in the house. Twenty four seven. And really, I don't put the heat on during the day, but I'm being forced into a position where I have to put it on. And now I'm feeling that I don't even get to breathe. This is the type of child where you go to the bathroom and they're talking to you while you're in the bathroom. It's literally like no privacy, no escape. And it can be really tough. I knew as a single mommy it was going to be tough, but at least during the school days and on Facebook, and there was loads of pictures of people cheering whenever the children went back to school. And it was all funny. And, you know, I wasn't in that position where I was cheering because I was still having my child in the house. So the answer is no. I do not get any time for myself. On the odd day, tomorrow, I'm looking forward for my daughter's 14th birthday, for my son to be minded. So I can actually go for a cuppa, but I think I might want to go to bed and sleep because I'm so exhausted.