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    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 6th Sep 17, 6:31 PM
    • 4,838Posts
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    iammumtoone
    parents full time working
    • #1
    • 6th Sep 17, 6:31 PM
    parents full time working 6th Sep 17 at 6:31 PM
    It looks like I may be taking a full time job currently I work 20 hours within school times.

    I have some questions how people manage. I am a single parent but I don't think that is necessarily relevant in this situation it can't be that much different to two parents working full time.

    How do you do homework? I will not get home until 6.30 then will have to sort tea straight away with everything else bath etc not sure where the time comes in for this?

    What about dentists/doctors for child? I am not allowed time off for this (only my medical needs) so how do I arrange this, my son needs medical appointments/assessments for his ADHD and upcoming ASD assessment so not just talking about if he gets ill. Do you take holiday for this? this will mean cutting the amount of holiday available to do fun things with him.

    Time for yourself to relax - How do you find it. My son does not sleep he is never asleep before 12pm. Do you just manage on the occasional 10 minutes here and there when everything is quiet?

    House work - where does this fit in when you are either at work or looking after your child(ren).

    Shopping - how do you manage to get things that are needed (my son will not go shopping it stresses him) Food shopping I can order online but what about everything else? Do you order everything online?

    Clubs - this is probably irrelevant in my case as my son dispite me trying to persuade him will not attend clubs but I am hoping this will change in the future. How do you get your child there most start at I guess at 7 do you rush everything to get them ready in time. I am afraid my son does not do rushing

    Child is in year 6. My other worry is secondary school when there is no childcare available but my son is not safe to be left alone in the house. What do others do in this situation?

    Anything else I need to consider?

    I am dreading it my son is hard work (you may have seen some of my other threads but this isn't about that its about how full time working parents manage).

    I have the opportunity of a well paid full time job meaning I will come off benefits completely not sure if my conscious will allow me to turn it down, isn't that what everyone should be aiming for? However on the other side not sure if my MH will cope with the stress of not the job but looking after a child as well or if indeed it will damage my child health by taking it. (he is certainly going to be a nightmare at first but I hope he will get used to it)

    Its so hard, in some ways I wish the opportunity didn't come up.

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    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 13-09-2017 at 9:14 AM.
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Page 4
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 9th Sep 17, 1:47 PM
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    iammumtoone
    No worries. Just going to say also that Gingerbread have given you poor advice. No way would you get refused UC or JSA, if you turned down a job prior to going on benefit. You would only face a sanction if you refused a job while on benefit or got sacked or resigned.
    Originally posted by annandale
    Thank you for that, this is what my interpretation of the rule was.

    Trouble is it is very difficult to find out exactly what the rules are (I suspect there is a reason for this )

    Ginerbread didn't give me false (if it is) information on purpose likewise nobody on here is deliberately trying to mislead me. I am not sure where to turn to get correct (supported by documentation so I can check it myself) information quickly as I do not have much time .

    Thinking about it I suspect you and my original thoughts are right and gingerbread have interpreted the rule wrongly. I am still working and not claiming any out of work benefits so what I choose to do in that time have no bearing on those benefits.
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 10 #017
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    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 10th Sep 17, 7:42 AM
    • 19,505 Posts
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    Spendless
    No worries. Just going to say also that Gingerbread have given you poor advice. No way would you get refused UC or JSA, if you turned down a job prior to going on benefit. You would only face a sanction if you refused a job while on benefit or got sacked or resigned. Even then there are allowances made, for example I gave up a zero hours job to focus on getting a full time one as by the time I paid travel costs and deductions were made I was working for pennies and travelling hundreds of miles to do so.

    Im surprised that theyve given you duff advice but it is duff. At no point during my claim for UC was I asked if I had recently been offered a job and turned it down.
    Originally posted by annandale
    I must admit I've wondered the same thing. How would they even know you've been offerred a job, that you've said No to, prior to claiming JSA?

    I just thought there must be some part of the process of claiming that I wasn't aware of.
    Last edited by Spendless; 10-09-2017 at 7:45 AM.
    • AStar1
    • By AStar1 13th Sep 17, 8:35 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    AStar1
    I empathise with you. I feel the struggles of parenting and working are largely below the public radar. Few tips from me (working mum of toddler)

    1.Check your rights at work. I think someone mentioned carers time off. I would also advise that you keep a look out for family friendly employers. Culture is key and lots of companies are more committed to supporting employees that are parents.

    2. Beyond carers time etc schedule appointments around holidays.

    3. Food shop online (or click and collect which can be free). You can also use amazon prime for other bits with a guaranteed next day delivery.

    4. Get a cleaner if you can afford one. Find time to sort clutter out of house and slimline your belongings - a daunting task but will help to keep things tidy

    5. Have a meal plan for the week, shop according to it and try to batch cook or batch prepare.

    6. Lower your standards re house. In the evenings I am knackered. Sometimes just leave it if it won't harm. Time in morning to sort bits of you have it can be helpful as you are more refreshed.

    7. Enlist friends, family where you can do you can have time to yourself every once in a while. At very least, have someone you can talk to. It helps to take the edge off things. And maybe there are groups where you can connect with parents in similar situation

    Wish you all the best
    • Shortypie
    • By Shortypie 13th Sep 17, 12:16 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 802 Thanks
    Shortypie
    I haven't had time to read all this, as I'm at work but my initial reaction would be not to take the full time job, maybe go and look for TA work/school office work, claim DLA and Carers Allowance if you're not already/if he gets diagnosed.


    I'm a single mum to 3 children (became single last year but my ex-husband worked shifts so hasn't made a massive difference tbh) twin boys in year 6, who have ADHD and ASD, and a 7 year old girl. I simply couldn't work full time. I need to take time off for appointments, mainly for the one who is on ADHD medication: paediatrician, dietician, ENT mainly as well as meetings at the school. I'm lucky enough to work term-time, 25 hours a week, so I can swap my hours etc pretty easily (I work for the council in the area of SEN). I couldn't afford childcare during the holidays for 3 kids, and my ex is spectacularly unhelpful, only has them once a week, regardless of whether he has annual leave etc.

    The boys will be attending a specialist secondary school, and won't have after school clubs. Not sure what I will do about that yet.

    I do feel your pain, it's not easy, even with a part time job. I'm not in until 6.30pm 2 days a week, 4.30pm the 2 other days, and my day off I'm usually rushing around doing the food shop, making up work hours (I'm doing that 3 weeks in a row right now) or if I'm lucky, meeting a friend for coffee or go to the gym.

    Homework - honestly, sometimes it doesn't get done. Same with reading. I think they get too much anyway and I just don't have time, since they can't do it unaided.

    Shopping - as I said, I tend to do it on my day off, or when the ex does have them, or worst case scenario I take the kids. It doesn't stress them, it stresses me more! I don't do online as I buy at L!dl. Could he have ear defenders/a toy etc?

    Clubs - mine only go to an Autism social club, Fridays 4.30-6.30. They used to go to a SEN swimming class on a Sunday but I've stopped that now. I do feel like I should get them into something like martial arts or dance, but they'd rather be at home playing Minecraft anyway.

    Time to relax - Wow. Like you, my kids are awake late. One is on melatonin but doesn't make much difference, usually about 11pm the last one will drop off. They all share a room, which doesn't help. I don't even put them to bed until 9.30pm, and the getting ready for bed routine is exhausting, it's like herding cats. By the time they've gone to bed, I can't be bothered to pack their lunches or do anything, I tend to flop on the sofa and try and watch one episode of something (or waste hours on facebook, which I'm trying to get out of). I basically do the bare minimum - load dishwasher, make sure we all have clothes for the next day. My house is a tip, honestly. I try and do housework on the weekend, but often we are out, and in any case I find it next to impossible to get on with them all under my feet in a tiny bungalow, they constantly want feeding, or they're trying to kill eachother. I once spent 2 hours deep cleaning my kitchen, I was so pleased with it, then went in their room and found all the mattresses and bedding on the floor, and they were jumping on them. Also my clean kitchen lasted about a day. I've had to lower my standards but it's depressing. I'd love to get a cleaner but can't afford it. I don't think you can understand how exhausting it is having children with additional needs unless you have them.

    If there's anything that could help you e.g. dishwasher/tumble dryer but you can't afford it, you may qualify for help from the Family Fund when your son gets a diagnosis.

    I don't think you should feel any shame in claiming benefits, you're in a difficult situation. With the amount I get in my part time wages plus CTC and WTC (I also get DLA and CB) I'd have to be on about £30k to replace that. And then I'd just be paying more on childcare. And probably convenience food, if I was getting in at 6.30pm every night. I'd be more exhausted and grumpy and my children's quality of life would suffer. Of course I'd love a fulfilling career but there's more to life, and it will happen eventually. In the meantime, I don't feel any shame in my situation, I work hard but with a mortgage of £1200 to pay and my ex only paying half the amount of maintenance he should, 2 children with needs etc, I just do whatever works for us as a family. Sending much love.
    Last edited by Shortypie; 13-09-2017 at 4:07 PM.
    Mummy to 3

    March Grocery Challenge: 152.06/£300
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    March NSDs 1/13
    • Shortypie
    • By Shortypie 13th Sep 17, 2:46 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 802 Thanks
    Shortypie
    Ps. Dla
    P.s if you need any help with DLA forms, I am very good at filling them in, and happy to help. It helps that I work in SEN but I know how to word things appropriately - I was awarded Middle Rate Care and Lower Rate Mobility for both boys, at the time they weren't even diagnosed. Some of the families I've known have had more severely disabled children and not been awarded appropriately as their DLA forms haven't been entirely reflective.
    Mummy to 3

    March Grocery Challenge: 152.06/£300
    Decluttered 59/2016 since Feb
    March NSDs 1/13
    • psouth
    • By psouth 13th Sep 17, 8:54 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    psouth
    Lists, lists and more lists!
    I had to live my life by lists, when working full time. Make a list of essential chores then break it down into days...the house will never be perfect but good enough. Make a list of meals your son will eat and work out how best to prep and cook these - batch maybe? I used to prep the slow cooker the night before and let it cook all day so we could eat as soon as we got home. A friend used to SC a day ahead and plate up the meal as there were sometimes staggered meal times in their house. List essential activities and schedule time together to have fun - just as important as housework. Make lists for your son to follow and gain independence and save you from nagging. We had a "getting up" list which included having a pee and cleaning teeth and coming downstairs - don't leave anything to chance with ASD children Check out services in your area for SN and ask the school liason officer for input too, they may have days out etc which mean you HAVE to have time together. Cinemas also do special screenings and is great for catching a few zzz's (just don't snore) without anyone noticing. Homework after food is more successful IMHO. Most importantly, if you can't hack it, give up... at least you tried and will have learned a great deal for your second attempt.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 14th Sep 17, 2:30 PM
    • 4,838 Posts
    • 9,996 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    UPDATE

    I told work I was withdrawing from applying as I was unable to work full-time. A few days later they approached me to see if I could work 34 hours at times that suited me. I proposed 2 (very) late days and 3 days where I can finish in time to collect from school, they accepted on a trail basis

    Its still very nearly full time but the fact I can collect from school 3 days makes all the difference, my son will not be happy in childcare for the long hours 2 days but I can't have everything, he will have to get used to it. Its the best I am going to get with still earning a good wage.

    I will be putting into practice a lot of the tips on this thread, thanks again everyone.

    I am really pleased and can't quite believe my luck. Its going to still be hard as there is no time for me in this situation (it will be a rush every day straight from work to collect him) but it is the best outcome for my son I just have to remember that.
    • chelseablue
    • By chelseablue 14th Sep 17, 2:33 PM
    • 2,196 Posts
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    chelseablue
    That's brilliant news!!
    Mortgage starting balance 26.02.16 £231,294
    Mortgage after Year 1 £225,078
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 14th Sep 17, 2:38 PM
    • 15,786 Posts
    • 39,461 Thanks
    FBaby
    Well done! You must clearly be highly valued that they were prepared to negotiate, so you've done fantastic. Good luck and don't despair if it feels overwhelming to start with. There will need to be a time for adjustment for everyone, but it will get better. Make sure you use the extra ££ to treat your son and yourself.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 14th Sep 17, 4:04 PM
    • 5,866 Posts
    • 7,618 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    How do you do homework?
    Encourage your older son to get into a routine of doing this himself. Check with him, when you get in, what he has, and what he has done so far.

    What about dentists/doctors for child?
    For routine appointments, try to book ahead to get evening appointments, so you can go outside working hours. Ask your employer if you can make time up if you have to go during the work day - for instance, if you can get a 6 p.m. appointment you might be able to leave work half an hour early, and take a short lunch break to make up the time. For longer appointments you may need to use some of your holiday time or ask to take unpaid time off.

    Time for yourself to relax - How do you find it. My son does not sleep he is never asleep before 12pm.
    catch it when you can, and if you find that you are struggling, consider tying to find room in your budget for a babysitter to give yourself a break.

    House work - where does this fit in when you are either at work or looking after your child(ren).
    evenings and weekends, make sure that the children are helping in an age-appropriate way, consider getting in a cleaner if you can afford it and decide that you time is more precious, and accept that you may have to let some things go and blitz it at weekends.

    Shopping - how do you manage to get things that are needed
    Online shopping and forward planning. Make lists and set aside a day when you do the things you can't do online. It may mean giving up (part of) a weekend but if you plan you shouldn't have to do it very often.

    Clubs - this is probably irrelevant in my case as my son dispite me trying to persuade him will not attend clubs but I am hoping this will change in the future. How do you get your child there most start at I guess at 7 do you rush everything to get them ready in time.
    Depends on the child and the club, but again, forward planning. this might include making up bags with the necessary kit in for each club n a Sunday so on the weekday they just need to take the appropriate bag as they leave the house in the morning. Things such as breakfast clubs or homework/after school clubs are easier as they don't need to take anything extra, it's more about adjusting the routine.

    Child is in year 6. My other worry is secondary school when there is no childcare available but my son is not safe to be left alone in the house. What do others do in this situation?
    Childminder? After school clubs? support from family?
    also think about why your son is not safe ad what you could do to change that
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 14th Sep 17, 7:32 PM
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    iammumtoone
    I have put together a plan, most of the ideas came from this thread

    Shopping/Food - meal plan and buy on-line. Late working days I will eat at work, son will have something out of freezer these nights.

    Homework - no homework on late working nights will be done other nights up the table straight after tea, possibly before desert. Desert to be good on these night(s) to encourage homework to be done.

    Laundry - I will buy more school/work clothes so this only has to be done once a week at weekends. Buy another basket one for work+school the other for play clothes. Other clothes can be washed during week whenever the basket gets full.

    House work - will think about a cleaner but I do have an issue with people coming into my home will see how I get on.

    Will make a big effort to get up at 5am on two mornings, this will give me 3 hours per week 'extra' time.
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 14th Sep 17, 7:51 PM
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    Spendless
    Re- some time for yourself. Does your son's father not have him at weekend's some times?

    Really pleased work came up with a suggestion for you.
    • Kim kim
    • By Kim kim 14th Sep 17, 8:04 PM
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    Kim kim
    Presumably as you are only doing 20 hours a week, it's only 4 hours a day?
    So if you are getting home late I presume you're starting after lunch.
    You could do your shopping & housework in the morning after your son has gone to school.
    Also try & book all medical appointments early in the day, then you won't need to take leave.
    Use a slow cooker for dinner - they are brilliant!
    Can your son do his homework with whoever is looking after him after school?
    • clairec79
    • By clairec79 14th Sep 17, 8:47 PM
    • 2,243 Posts
    • 6,062 Thanks
    clairec79
    Presumably as you are only doing 20 hours a week, it's only 4 hours a day?
    So if you are getting home late I presume you're starting after lunch.
    You could do your shopping & housework in the morning after your son has gone to school.
    Also try & book all medical appointments early in the day, then you won't need to take leave.
    Use a slow cooker for dinner - they are brilliant!
    Can your son do his homework with whoever is looking after him after school?
    Originally posted by Kim kim

    No, she's been doing 20 hours a week (during school time) and managing all the appointments, hoousework etc but upping her hours - hence asking for suggestions for ideas to help
    • Magic Sister
    • By Magic Sister 15th Sep 17, 1:15 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    Magic Sister
    I worked full time as a single Mum, with no help as DD dad had died. It is hard, but doable. I have three older children too and although their dad had them alternate weekends I had no help during the working week. They all have a strong work ethic, and tho I was always short of time, they are all very proud of what they now call my 'resilience'.
    School hols are the hardest without doubt, so that needs thinking about OP.
    CAMHS should do after work appt, I always insisted for DD
    The appt every few months will need to be a holiday I think.
    Do look at your entitlement to unpaid parental leave-
    https://www.gov.uk/parental-leave/entitlement
    Good luck!
    • pipkin71
    • By pipkin71 17th Sep 17, 10:10 PM
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    pipkin71
    Something else for you to think about - you'll get maybe four or five weeks of annual leave in the year; your child will have 13+ weeks of holiday in the year. You need robust arrangements to cover the difference, plus there is no guarantee that you'll be able to take all of your annual leave during the school holidays as there may be colleagues who want the same weeks.

    Personally, if I were a single parent, I wouldn't work full-time.

    I don't have to cover the holidays as Marley is a stay-at-home parent, but it is still tricky to juggle the need for a break as a family with the need to use my annual leave days for our lad's various appointments including school meetings. I know that I could take parental leave, but that is unpaid so it impacts our household income. And as a Mum I feel really guilty going to work when our lad is poorly, even though Marley is home to take care of him, it's just a "Mum" thing.

    I work with a colleague who is single mum to a young girl who isn't disabled, for whom finding a childminder or holiday play scheme is easier.. Dad is on the scene and can help when he's in the mood. But she still struggles to stretch her annual leave to cover the school holidays; our employer allows a paid emergency day if our child is poorly, but only the one, after which you're expected to use paid/unpaid leave; and she too has the guilt of not being there all the time for her daughter.

    Sorry, probably not the answer you were looking for!
    Originally posted by Tigsteroonie
    I would agree with this, OP, especially since your child has additional needs.

    I didn't work while my children were growing up but can imagine the extra stresses placed on parents, when the children are little, and still need supervision.

    It can be stressful now that I am working, and my children pretty much take care of themselves. I work from home but there aren't enough hours to get everything done. To go out to work, and look after your child, with all the difficulties he has, I would seriously consider if this is the right move for you at this moment in time.

    I would also agree with getting a cleaner. They can take some if the pressure off, so that you don't feel as you are being stretched in every direction.

    Good luck with whatever you decide
    There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you - Beatrix Potter
    • pipkin71
    • By pipkin71 17th Sep 17, 10:18 PM
    • 18,840 Posts
    • 82,729 Thanks
    pipkin71
    I'm sorry to say this, but it doesn't really sound as if working full time is the right thing for your current situation. It would be hard enough without your son's disability and illness, but taking that into account I think you would exhaust yourself trying to just manage each week!

    There is no shame in claiming benefits if that's what you need to do in order to live and care for your child with additional needs.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    ^^^^^ This.

    There is no shame in claiming benefits, where they are needed - at least, there shouldn't be.
    There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you - Beatrix Potter
    • Doody
    • By Doody 18th Sep 17, 7:31 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 168 Thanks
    Doody
    UPDATE

    I told work I was withdrawing from applying as I was unable to work full-time. A few days later they approached me to see if I could work 34 hours at times that suited me. I proposed 2 (very) late days and 3 days where I can finish in time to collect from school, they accepted on a trail basis

    Its still very nearly full time but the fact I can collect from school 3 days makes all the difference, my son will not be happy in childcare for the long hours 2 days but I can't have everything, he will have to get used to it. Its the best I am going to get with still earning a good wage.

    I will be putting into practice a lot of the tips on this thread, thanks again everyone.

    I am really pleased and can't quite believe my luck. Its going to still be hard as there is no time for me in this situation (it will be a rush every day straight from work to collect him) but it is the best outcome for my son I just have to remember that.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    Wonderful news, I've been reading this thread as another ASD mum and was suspecting that going full time in a demanding post was not going to be the best thing for you or your son. Then this on the last page. You must be very wanted, which also gives you a better position in any future negotiations over time off for appointments.

    Congratulations
    • Kim kim
    • By Kim kim 18th Sep 17, 7:57 PM
    • 2,023 Posts
    • 3,072 Thanks
    Kim kim
    UPDATE

    I told work I was withdrawing from applying as I was unable to work full-time. A few days later they approached me to see if I could work 34 hours at times that suited me. I proposed 2 (very) late days and 3 days where I can finish in time to collect from school, they accepted on a trail basis

    Its still very nearly full time but the fact I can collect from school 3 days makes all the difference, my son will not be happy in childcare for the long hours 2 days but I can't have everything, he will have to get used to it. Its the best I am going to get with still earning a good wage.

    I will be putting into practice a lot of the tips on this thread, thanks again everyone.

    I am really pleased and can't quite believe my luck. Its going to still be hard as there is no time for me in this situation (it will be a rush every day straight from work to collect him) but it is the best outcome for my son I just have to remember that.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    That's what my daughter does, two long days & 3 short days she can collect them on.
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