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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  • #36730 Report



    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 and mental health problems with absolutely no support for anyone. I just counted the days till September when he started school.


    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 3 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 his 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 PYSD 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




    #36809 Report


    Hi Rachel,

    I’m so sorry that you’re going through such a rough time, much of what you’ve said many of us can relate to, it won’t last though and in time you will feel much better.

    You’ll find folk here to be very supportive and understanding, anyone who isn’t is dealt with swiftly both by the users and the moderators. It may take a little time to get some replies but that is nothing personal, it’s just the way the forum is run atm but that is likely to change soon.

    Please keep posting and you’ll soon build up a network for friendship and support.

    It might also be worth checking to see if there’s a local gingerbread group to you, here’s a link:

    Hope this helps


    #36840 Report


    Hi Rach,

    Sounds like a really difficult time.

    Don’t dread the holidays, your son loves you and wants to be with you more than anyone else in the world. And you don’t have to worry about childcare.

    Pound shops do basic kites, balls and shrimp nets. You are rural so can go exploring together. Play football or pooh sticks, build dens. Kids love to get messy.   picnics in the garden on fine days – blanket, radio, sandwiches, sunshine. Start collecting craft bits & pieces now. Crayons & colouring books.. Jumble sales for books to read together. Check your parish magazine for community events. Does the church have a play group? Councils hold free activities in summer holidays.

    If you run out of ideas, just ask on here. Someone will always come up with something new. 😊

    What county are you in?

    #36842 Report

    Hi Rachy

    My name is Sandra and I am one of the moderators on the forum.

    I’m so sorry to hear you are having a hard time at the moment, but it’s great to see that you are receiving positive support from some of the other single parents who use this site. Most of us know how hard it can be at times. That’s why we are here. It isn’t easy and there are times we all feel overwhelmed.

    I am going to send you a private message about some of the support options that are available for you, as it is important that you look after your own wellbeing. It is so positive that you recognise you are struggling and are reaching out for help. That is a brave and positive thing to do, and I can hear how much you love your son.

    You also might want to think about giving the helpline a call on 0808 800 0925 as they might be able to give you some advice about your financial position and there may be something you haven’t thought of – it’s always worth a try.

    I hope you get more positive messages from other single parents and do keep coming back for other suggestions. We are all here to help and support each other

    best wishes


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