It’s only February but I’m already dreading summer holidays.

Home Online forum Gingerbread Forum It’s only February but I’m already dreading summer holidays.

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  • #36731 Report

    Rachy89
    Participant

    Hello.

    I know it might seem a bit early to think about this as it’s only February, but I know that these next 5 months will fly by.

     

    I’m a single parent, no car, on benefits, no mummy friends, no local family for support, and to top it off live in a very rural area with expensive and very poor bus services. I also have Ptsd due to domestic abuse and my son has severe trauma related behavioural problems as a result, he’s 4 so in reception at school.

     

    Me and my son have never had a good summer. Its either been my son either witnessing abuse or tragically being a victim himself. When I wad in a woman’s refuge during the summer my son got to witness me losing just under a stone due to sheer starvation (I had no money and put him first, we fled dv with nothing and I had to rebuild clothes, etc with benefits money). Last summer my son got to witness me having a breakdown and going to my GP twice for suicidal thoughts twice in one month. The were meant to send a mental health crisis team to my house, but they never did. I had no choice but to deal with very difficult personal life circumstances (stalking, miscarriage, criminal charges against ex dropped,) and mental health problems with absolutely no support for anyone. I just counted the days till September when he started school, as school provides some respite from well, life for me and my son.

     

    I have no job and as I have not worked for many years due to domestic abuse, plus a very rural with very limited opportunities its most likely I’m going to be unemployed.

    I can just about cope with half terms as I visit my mum who’s 6 hours away by public transport. I get a break, my son gets to be with extended family and I get adult company so my mum and siblings are my entire social life. Whilst at my mums me and my son have to share with my sister who’s 13. She’s fine with us sharing for a week or 2 but 6 weeks is too much.

     

    I tried making mummy friends but no one likes us due to my sons bevahiour issues and my Ptsd, it makes things worse and has lead to bullying and mum shaming. Other mums tell their children not to be friend a with my son and a neighbour spread rumours about me in the town so I have a bad reputation. It’s a small gossipy town.

     

    Tried speaking to social services, mind gp and other mental health services but they just isn’t any way I can get therapy. Play therapy is not available. I’ve been told my son has to wait will aged 11 before he is able to get funded mental health help. My social worker has sympathy for my situation but has not come up with any practical advice or support.

     

    I cannot afford holiday clubs as to be honest with being forced to take an advice for the dreaded 6 week wait for my first universal credit payment I’m trapped in debt whilst I pay it back for most of this year. We are relying on food banks and that’s during school time what on earth are we going to do during summer. Feeding him will be a struggle let alone activities.

    Children’s centre and play groups tend to close during summer.

     

    I feel guilty saying this as I love my son and I know there’s going to be mums reading this thinking I’m a horrible person for dreading what they see as 6 weeks or quality time with my son or to keep reminding me of fast they grow up. I have been shamed enough. I already feel like the worst mum in the world, I really don’t need more shaming. And for anyone that does shame me for this post, please consider this:

    What do you honestly think your going to achieve by shaming me. How is calling me a bad person, rubbish mum, etc honestly going to make things better. I already know my PTSD isn’t good for my son, that’s why I always make an effort to take him out even with the bullying and name calling. I put up with it and grit my teeth as I don’t think it’s fair my son should be stuck indoors because of others people’s issues. I have tried everything I could to make things better by trying to find work, make friends, etc but it just hadn’t happened.

     

    Advice and support desperately needed

     

     

     

    #36733 Report

    Sherinam
    Participant

    It’s really sad reading this and am sorry that there are some cruel people out there.

    I am not in your situation but when I was made redundant I did voluntary work and you know what it will give you confidence to get out and believe in yourself. Hospitals want people to work on wards and shops need staff. You can try it as you are a victim of a vicious circle and the negativity will rub off on your son.

    Making a picnic and going to the park in the summer  is still getting out!!!

    #36734 Report

    Sherinam
    Participant

    You can only break this cycle and forget about rotten people and what they thibk. Honestly do you care? They are not in your shoes and they don’t pay your bills!!!!

    #36735 Report

    Rachy89
    Participant

    Hello.

    Thank you for your kind responses.

    Im doing voluntary work in a charity cafe during term times, but cannot do it during the holidays as there is literally no one to watch my son. I know universal credit do pay towards childcare but that’s only for paid work.

     

     

    #36737 Report

    Sherinam
    Participant

    Talk to the children centre at your council and see if you can get a case worker. Its. Not all doom and gloom plenty parents struggle.

    It’s good that you are able to see your family during the holidays. Take care and dont give up hope xxxx

    #36738 Report

    Rachy89
    Participant

    The town centre is so small, there’s like 5 shops and the rest are charity’s shops. The town is very small, very rural, and very deprived.

    The job market is mainly factory work and that’s casual they call you when they need you, and it’s 2 2hour shifts. Can’t realistically arrange childcare and pay for it in advance for irregular shifts. Need set hours and days per week.

    #36739 Report

    Rachy89
    Participant

    12 hours shifts I meant

    #36740 Report

    Rachy89
    Participant

    The children’s centre are good during term times when my son was preschool age. They had lots of play groups. But that’s just term times.

     

    In terms of actual support. It’s turned into a social group for the few middle class mums to socialise rather than it being for those in need. The head of my local community centre along with myself have complained to our local MP about how they operate, but nothing has come of it.

     

    I already have a social worker.

    Trying to get the council or move us to a different area with more opportunities, closer to family, but that’s a slow process

    #36741 Report

    Rachy89
    Participant

    What’s a case worker?

     

    #36742 Report

    Sherinam
    Participant

    Same as social worker and most centres do provide holiday club during school holidays.

    #36803 Report

    Hi Rachy89

    Thank you so much for posting this on our forum.  It is good to see that other parents are chatting with you. Hopefully that will be of some comfort and I hope more parents are also able to share their experiences.   You have spoken about a number of issues and I recommend that you speak to one of our helpline advisers.  They should be able to help you explore your options.  I hope this will be of some support, Justine

    Here are their details:

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