Tag Archives: Benefits

Single Parent….. Double Trouble?

Posted on May 12, 2011 by Vicky Knights | Comments (26)

Single Parent……….. Double Trouble?

Being a parent is not easy. Being a single parent is twice as hard. Responsibilities, worries, bills, school runs, ballet classes, football club…. are borne by one pair of shoulders and even Mr. T couldn’t carry that burden alone.

For whatever reason or circumstance finds you in this position, it is one that is initially daunting but with a bit of support, a leap of faith and a good sense of humour, it is one that you can not only survive but embrace. You can sleep easy at night. You can still have a career. You can pay your bills.

Your life doesn’t stop; it just takes an unexpected direction that can initially throw you into unfamiliar territory with a large pinch of guilt and a sprinkle of self-doubt.

My journey began when my daughter was a baby. I have since learned through first-hand experience about everything from working tax credits to childcare, flexible working hours to making your pound go further.

From my experience, the work/home balance is a fine juggling act for every mother but once struck, it provides space, self-esteem and fulfilment as a working woman and recharged batteries, passion, excitement and fulfilment as a loving mother.

That pearl of wisdom relayed, I am no expert but knowledge is power and it goes a long way. It gave me strength to know that I wasn’t alone or some societal anomaly and that there are a lot of good organisations and websites out there (allmumkind and gingerbread to name but two) that provide practical information and support and don’t make you feel like the pip in the apple.

Over the next few months, I shall tackle a number of topics with the aim of clearing the mists of uncertainty and providing a bit of much-needed sanity. I shall be offering practical advice and support for those of you out there that need a nudge in the right direction or just want a friendly ear to listen to your problems or answer your nagging concerns. I am more than happy to answer questions or comments to my post.

Posted in Family, Guest posts, Mummy and working, Single "super" mummy | Tags: Balance, Benefits, Careers, Childcare, Employment, Financial, Flexible, Mummy, Responsibility, Single Parent, Support Network, Women, Working

New paternity rights…Great idea, but what’s the reality?

Posted on March 30, 2011 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

Extended Paternity leave will come into effect from April 3rd 2011. This means that under the new rules, father’s can take up to 26 weeks paternity leave. Great idea, but will your husband/partner be taking advantage of this flexible benefit?

A generous contribution from the Government and a modern approach in identifying “hands on daddies”, but I think for some families it is simply not a reality.

A recent study carried out by uSwitch.com found 26% of fathers felt that, by taking advantage of such a benefit would be detrimental to their career’s. 16% were fearful about losing their jobs.

With the pressure of increased responsibility and workload, over half the fathers questioned simply couldn’t afford to take the time off. Financial constraints was a major factor and this would hinder nearly half of the men questioned. Some men taking part in the survey, went as far to say that they wouldn’t be happy to cover the workload for father’s taking this length of paternity leave.  Money concerns seemed to be a recurring theme, however on a positive note, in general, many men embraced such a benefit.

During a time of economic uncertainty along with financial fears, unfortunately these factors will prevent many father’s from being the “hands on” parent they would want to be.

I think it is a real plus supporting new father’s, but until there is an increased shift towards flexible work patterns and perhaps some improvement on certain stigma’s attached to such parental rights within society, then I am not sure families will embrace such an opportunity nor have the choice to.

Posted in Family | Tags: Baby, Benefits, career, Daddy, Economy, Family, Financial, Government, Paternity