No support, can I work?

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    I’m trying to work out how I’m going to support myself. I’m 31, currently unemployed (left my job to have baby while still in a couple, gah!) and have no support network.

    The only single parents I know who have done well have had one of these:Family who babysit, rich parents who pay their rent, a well paying job to go back to after mat leave.

    I’ve got none of that, am I doomed? What do I do? Childcare is very expensive and makes going back to work or uni seem impossible. I’ve considered becoming self employed but I don’t think being an artist is going to be all that lucrative, I’ll try but its unlikely to make enough for me to live off.

    I really don’t want to end up a benefit dependant mother until shes school age. I’ve always worked hard, but now I’m here, with nothing and no idea what to do.

    I don’t know what to do to go forward. Any advice?

    #40011 Report


    Thats a tough one.  But if you were to call the gingerbread helpline I think they would be able to give you some advice here. Your local job centre and citizens advice could also help with what support could be made available to you to help you get back to work.

    I am currently on benefits due to recent split with ex (I worked up until having kids then was a stay at home mum) but my job centre have been really great helping get me on the path back to work and had a lot of different ways to help. I ended up going for a complete career change and we were making progress before lockdown happened. I understand youre keen to get back to work and thats great but just remember not to put too much pressure on yourself. People throw around the term “benefit mum” and there’s this stigma that comes with it. But I have paid into this system before I had kids and I feel no shame in using it now until Im at a point where Im ready and able to go back to work. Sometimes shit happens and we need a little help and we shouldnt be judged for that. I certainly didnt have dreams and aspirations of ending up a single parent on benefits but Im not going to let other people abusing the system give me a bad name.

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