Monday, 7 December 2015
Single Parent Spotlight
I want to highlight how hard, but also how rewarding being a working single parent is, and to hear how other people in my position handle the tougher times, in the hopes I learn how to be the best parent I can be!
I’m sick of seeing the bad press single parents get in the media, because some single parents have taken the choice to live off benefits, or even worse, have children in order to get benefits. We all seem to get tarred with the same negative brush!
My 27th interviewee is 34-year-old Monta, a nursery teacher from North London who has three children, an 8-year-old dauighter and 2-year-old twins.
How old were your children when you became a single parent, and how did this come about?
It was a year ago when my twins were one.
What things have you found hardest as a single parent?
Almost everything- financial struggle, physical and emotional struggle, keeping motivated, lack of social life and personal life.
What are the benefits to parenting alone, in your opinion?
Don’t argue about how the children should be brought up and there are no arguments in front of the children.
Have you faced any negative judgements/stereotypes for being a single parent? If so can you share with us what happened and how it made you feel?
Some people have said to me "You will never find boyfriend who will support you and 3 kids" and others judge me for living off the government.
What sort of relationship do you have with your ex, and how easy/difficult is it to maintain for your children?
None, he changed his phone number and doesn’t want anything to do with us.
Does he pay maintenance? If so, how did you come to an agreement on the amount?
He pays nothing.
What’s your job, and how many hours do you work per week?
Nursery teacher 16 hours per week.
Who looks after your children when you’re working? How do you feel about the current childcare arrangements?
They come in with me, but are in a different group. The amount I have to pay is terrible and governments cap on childcare depresses me.
How old were your children when you first went back to work? How easy was it to adjust back into work?
The twins were 17 months old.
Have you ever felt guilt by working? If so, why?
No because they were with me in the building and I still get to see them.
What’s your view on Child /Working Tax Credits, and the cost of childcare?
Way too low, there shouldn’t be cap on them especially for single parents who don’t have support from ex partners.
What is your work/home/social life like? Have you managed to find a good balance? If so, how? I only live to go to work, do the school run, go shopping, do the cooking and then all over again the following day it seems.
Are you dating again? If so, how long did it take before you were ready to date again?
No as have nowhere to leave my 3 kids and can't afford pay for a babysitter to go out.
What tips do you have for other single parents wanting to meet someone?
Hang on there I guess, because when they get older you can leave them home alone then your life or they will stay with friends and you will be able to have a social life again.
What would your top 3 tips be to a newbie single parent?
Have good friends around you, have counselling sessions to process what has happened if you can, and keep busy so that there is no time to think bad thoughts.
If you want to be interviewed for Single Parent Spotlight, just answer these same questions on this online form here.