Family Magazine

Why Am I Be Forced into Employment and Pay Someone Else to Look After My Child?

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum

Why am I be forced into employment and pay someone else to look after my child?

This post is an anonymous guest post


2004 was not a very good year for me. I had just turned 18 and was halfway through an NVQ when I found out I was pregnant, despite being on the pill. When I first found out I was pregnant my partner at the time had told people that he didn’t want the baby and I had decided I was too young, so I booked in with the doctor and had an appointment made for a termination. Sitting in the waiting room was the scariest moment of my life, and sat there I realised I couldn’t do it and left.


When I was 10 weeks I moved in with my then partner and at 7 months we moved again into a 3 bed house with 4 other people. At 9 months I found out that my partner had been very unfaithful but chose to ignore this fact until after I gave birth at 9 months and 11 days. Three days after I left hospital with my baby my partner was sacked from his job for theft and chose to continue seeing someone else behind my back, usually leaving me on my own with a new-born for up to 12 hours a time. A week after my daughter was born the owner of the house decided to put it up for sale so homelessness was also looming closely.


When my daughter was just over a month old I decided to kick my partner out and put myself on the homeless list with the council with only a month left before I would have no home. One day whilst my claim was being processed my then ex was visiting our daughter when a woman from the council phoned and he answered. The woman then jumped to the wrong conclusion and told me to either take my name off the homeless list as a single parent or be charged for fraud, I took my name off the list. I moved in with my mum and dad and spent 6 months on their dining room floor with my daughter next to me in her Moses basket.


Every day of those 6 months I spent in the housing office, from 8.30am until 4.30pm, and every day I was told the same story, intentionally homeless. Eventually they helped me find a privately rented flat, and with the deposit paid by path, I moved in in September 2005. By my daughters 1st birthday he dad had stopped seeing her and then for the next 6 years I went it alone. It was very far from easy, I never had any money but always had something that needed paying.


After living for a year in the flat, next door to a paedophile and under a cocaine dealer, and 30 seconds away from the man who abused me as a child, I decided to move house. Once I had moved I put my daughter into nursery so I could go back to college to train up so I could have a good job to support her. It killed me going to college and doing work experience, keeping up with the housework, shopping, doing coursework and still trying to find time to be a good mummy, but I did it. I was so pleased with myself. So with an NVQ under my belt and my daughter about to start school I began my job hunt.


After 2 years of searching, and another house move due to a mould problem in my house that affected my daughters’ health, I found a job as a MTA at a special needs school. But eventually I had to stop, as I already had to travel for 2 hours a day to do 1 hour a day’s work, but they were stopping the bus to get there and I would have had to travel 4 hours a day on 6 busses to get to and from my 1 hour job. Since then I have applied for an average of 6 jobs per month, and still had no luck in finding employment.


My daughter is now 7 and I want to be back at work, despite having clinical depression and having no help with childcare outside of school hours. I think people are too quick to judge stay at home mums and young mums. This is not the life I had planned for myself but it’s the life I have and the life I love. I have spent 7 years struggling to stay afloat but every second has been worth it to be able to sit down at the end of the day to have cuddles with my daughter. I am proud to be a stay at home mum because I know how hard I have worked to get where I am and I did it alone.


So why now must I be forced into employment and pay someone else to look after my child when I am seeking employment to suit my daughters school hours already? I am sure in time I will find a job with suitable hours but added pressure from the jobcentre to find fulltime work makes it very hard.


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