Help please. Beginners guide

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  • #52697 Report



    I only found this website after googling information as I am lost and don’t know where to turn.

    My wife passed away on Wednesday unexpectedly and find myself looking after my seven and two year old on my own. I promised my wife I would do my best but with my current emotions, I feel clueless. The family has managed to pull around me and support me but I still don’t know how to be a mum and dad to them.

    I’m also concerned about going back to work. My job involves working late in the evening and at weekends. I feel guilty asking the grandparents to take on the role my wife did due to their age, etc. How receptive are employers to single parents. As I’m worried I may be forced out my role. My wife had some debts that she was hiding and am now forced to face.

    apologies for this introduction but any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    thank you.




    #52701 Report


    Hi there,

    Firstly I am so very sorry for your loss, this must of been an awful week for you.

    Your wife has only just passed and it’s not surprising you feel overwhelmed in regards to your emotions and your worries in taking care of your children, it must be very raw and you can’t be expected to feel at the top of your game after less then a week.  Being a mum and dad to them will come naturally, please, give yourself a break (I mean in emotional/mental terms).  You can still provide them all the love and attention they will ever need going forward just as well as two parents could.

    I would encourage you to speak with your employer, be honest with them, don’t forget they are human beings too.  I have no idea what you do for a living but I hope they can give you some reassurance as to your job security and speak to them about the possibility of working flexibly for the time being if that is an option, I am sure they will understand your concerns.  In my experience my employer has been fantastic with me (I am a single parent to a 2 year old) and has allowed me to change my hours to fit in with the childcare I could arrange.  In regards to the debt situation I would suggest contacting the Citizens Advice Bureau, again I’m sure they will be able to give you some advice if it is something you feel you cannot cope with.

    I’m not really sure how else to answer and hope that you find some help with the above, but please allow yourself and your children some time to grieve.  I cannot relate precisely to what you are going through but I can understand that it must be a lot to take in a short period of time especially as it was very sudden, don’t be too hard on yourself.

    I wish you all the very best xx

    #52704 Report


    Thank you for your advice.

    I work for a large chain retailer visiting people’s home to get measurements for other staff to sell them furniture and check it will fit.I’m on rota system which everyone has to follow, due to the computer booking system. I have had condolences from them on the 1st day and was told I would be taken off for two weeks. People was supposed to call and me by a certain day. I have chased. And just got nothing back. I dont even know if it’s paid. We only get paid sick for the first 3 days of a year and then we have to claim SSP.I’m guessing it’s down to discretion.

    My oldest son goes to the school where my wife worked. Help that was initially offered as suddenly being retracted to get him there when he wanted to return.

    sorry for starting with a negative topic but I have crash landed into single parenthood.

    #52709 Report


    I read your post and I don’t know you at all but I found it heartbreaking.I am so sorry for anyone who goes through something like this.I have no idea how you are feeling but I guess you are in a state of shock still and everything is overwhelming.I am really sorry for what has happened.Please don’t worry about being both parents to your kids.Just be as good a dad as you can and they will be lucky kids.Many kids grow up in two-parent homes but really don’t even have That much sometimes!There are some other bereaved dad’s on here who sound like they are doing a great job as well.I don’t know what your rights are but there will be something.I just wondered what you meant about your 7 year old going back to school/offer of help retracted?

    #52741 Report


    Thank you.

    I am trying my best to get my head around my new identity. I just hope people are understanding to it. No one in my circle of friends has been in a situation like this so it’s hard to get advice.

    #52700 Report


    Hi Drt2000,

    I’m so sorry to hear of your wife’s passing. I can’t begin to imagine how you are feeling. However you are incredibly brave and strong to be looking for information and support at this time. I can’t offer advice really, however, I think there is a forum member called JonathanAndTwoBoys who has been through a similar situation to yourself, he comes across as a nice genuine gentleman on his posts so if you can find him perhaps he would be happy to offer you some advice.

    I have however worked in a payroll and HR role before so I might be able to offer a little advice there. First of all I hope that your employer is understanding and supportive of your circumstances. They, in my opinion, would be incredibly unfair if they were not. They are obligated to allow you a reasonable amount of time off, the unhelpful thing here is the law doesn’t stipulate what a reasonable amount of time is. They are not obligated to pay you for this time, but I hope they are able to offer you some form of pay out of compassion. This link might be helpful regarding taking some leave to help you and your children adjust

    You also have a legal right to request flexible working from your employer. While they can refuse your flexible working application, if they have a valid business reason to do so, they must deal with your request in a reasonable manner, showing they have assessed your application thoughtfully, meet with you to discuss the application and offer an appeal process if things don’t go the way you’d hoped. This link might help with flexible working procedures I really hope you have a supportive employer and that they help make things as simple as possible for you. Regarding the debt the Money Advice Service or Citizens Advice Bureau might be able to advise on whether it is something you are forced to face, hopefully that is something you can get some help with.

    I’m so glad that you have a supportive family around you, I’m sure they wouldn’t want you to feel guilty in asking them for support, especially while everything is so fresh. Feeling emotional and clueless is more than understandable all you can do is take each day as it comes for now. Everything is going to take time. I’m thinking of you and your children and wish I could offer more words or support.

    Take care



    #52789 Report

    Hi Drt200

    I’m Michelle one of the Moderators here.  I’m sad to hear about your bereavement, and I echo what others have said.  It’s really very recent and completely normal to feel the way you do.  It will take time, and that’s appropriate.

    An agency that you could also contact for practical as well as emotional support are Cruse Bereavement Care.  Here are their details:

    Cruse Bereavement Care offer face to face, telephone and online support to those who have been bereaved.

    They are familiar with the issues that surface in the event of bereavement, and will be able to guide you through some of things you may experience or come across in managing your grief.

    I hope that you’ll keep talking and receiving support

    Take care





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