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To ask if people judge single mums for not working?

(777 Posts)
PigsCanSoar Thu 14-Mar-13 22:56:03

I have a 11 m/o, and am a 22 year old single mum. I have handed in my notice to work now, as I don't feel he is ready to be left yet. He has always been very clingy, he will happily go off and play with anyone if I am there, but as soon as I leave the room he will just cry and cry.
He is also still breastfeeding every 2-3 hours, and ideally I would like to let him self wean up until 2.

I have no doubts about this being best for DS, and am planning to stay with him until 2 then look for a job again, but I just feel a bit anxious about actually telling people this, as since he was born it seems to have been constant "so when are you going back to work then" off everyone.

I am very lucky to be back living with my mum, so money isn't much of an issue as this will just postpone moving out for a bit.
So there's no necessity to leave him before he's ready, but I just feel like I'll look "lazy" for not going back yet.

LittleChickpea Fri 15-Mar-13 06:07:40

I certainly would not judge you if you are fortunate enough to be financially secure and be able to financially (be it via your parents or savings ect) support yourself and the baby.  In fact "hat off" to you, enjoy your time with your little one and all the best for the future. I won't judge anyone for been a stay at home mum or dad if they are in this position.

BUT, if your intention is to resign from your job and then go straight into the welfare system and claim full time, well that's different. In that case yes I would judge you because you are making a life choice and choosing to go on benefits.  Benefits should be there as a safety net for those that find themselves in a difficult position (redundancy / disability etc), not a life choice. There are other parents that have to make very similar and difficult decisions to leave their children and work so they can financially support them.  Can you imagine what would happen if every parent simply decided to resign and go on full time welfare. With this in mind, I wouldn't judge you if you carried on working (part time /flexible hours etc) and then needed financial assistance in terms of top ups.  Under these circumstances you are still contributing to the economy and bringing up your child as a single parent.  

znaika Fri 15-Mar-13 07:11:44

Blimey, I was going to say I would judge depending on the age perhaps- thinking DCs in secondary school or something. But an 11mo? All the people implying you're a scrounger becasue benefits are a safety net. 22 years old with an under one and working full time, this is about as hard as it gets. Quit if you need to , take stock, enjoy your son, and make sure that you are doing all you can to stay in touch with the job market. Do not feel guilty about this.

SminkoPinko Fri 15-Mar-13 07:28:16

if you are in childcare why don't you become a childminder or look for a nannying position where you can take him along? staying at home with a young child is fine in my book (bit jealous!) but I think the people who are mentioning the potential problems getting back into work when you're ready have a point.

allnewtaketwo Fri 15-Mar-13 07:40:58

I don't judge someone who is unable to work due to looking after a child or if they simply can't afford to work and pay childcare.

I think I do judge where someone has a child without any planned means if financially supporting it other than from the state. And I apply this equally to men and women.

I do judge also where someone doesn't want to work but to be supported by the state solely because they want to spend more time with their child in the daytime. This is the reality for working parents and I don't agree when some people think its their right to have this luxury that working people don't, and be paid for the pleasure.

AnnabelKarma Fri 15-Mar-13 07:51:42

Yes, I judge those who choose to live off benefits.
Whilst you enjoy the luxury of SAH other women can't because they are working to fund your lifestyle choice.

JollyYellowGiant Fri 15-Mar-13 07:58:59

There is a single mum on my facebook friends whose DC is 3. She doesn't work, and constantly whines about how shit the council are, particularly because they won't give her a different council house (hers is suitable, she just doesn't like her neighbours). She annoys me.

There are other ones on my facebook and that I know in real life and none of their choices bother me smile

wordfactory Fri 15-Mar-13 08:00:02

Personally, no I wouldn't judge. Who am I to know your situation. However the truth is MN is pretty tolerant compared to the real world. We are a bubble. In the real world you will be judged and judged harshly. You will also be putting yourself at the mercy of this bloody goverment! Who knows what they may do next? Why would anyone do that intentionally?

LynetteScavo Fri 15-Mar-13 08:02:14

Wow, no judging or disapproving here!

You sound like an absolutely fabulous mum, and your DS is very lucky. smile I think the job questions are sometimes about making conversation.

bigkidsdidit Fri 15-Mar-13 08:04:49

well, whether we judge or not doesn't matter, frankly. But I'd be terrified to voluntarily give up a job and rely on this government. WHo knows what they'll cut next.

Areyoumadorisitme Fri 15-Mar-13 08:07:56

I agree with many to be honest, I would judge if there are benefits involved.

Staying at home with dc is a luxury, whether you are married or not. If you can afford to support yourself to do that, then all well and good. If however you're relying on the taxpayer to support you then frankly you need to work and support yourself. It's not the taxpayers job to fund your 'choice'.

I find it hard to believe that you would get the exact same amount of benefit working or not working. Isn't there a 'better off in work' pledge?

Shagmundfreud Fri 15-Mar-13 08:08:16

I judge the man whose child you're raising who isn't paying for your upkeep while you (beautifully by the sound of it) raise his child.

scottishmummy Fri 15-Mar-13 08:18:19

It's not a single mum issue.IMO if you can work you should work,provide for your kids
With 2kids you need a plan and employment to be solvent,or study for career
you have responsibilities.The father has responsibilities too.reliance on benefits isn't a great strategy

FasterStronger Fri 15-Mar-13 08:18:31

Society has changed and marriage status doesn't seem to matter most the time (I am not and never will be married), maybe you get occasional judgment but its certainly not continuous.

don't work by all means, but don't expect it to be funded by people who are working, other than the father obviously. the uk is very expensive. you have to earn over 26kpa to pay enough tax for the services you, as an individual, use in any given year.

also if you choose to depend on others, you are more vulnerable than if you are independent.

scottishmummy Fri 15-Mar-13 08:23:50

Are you extending bf to delay returning to work?
Of course people ask when you'll return to work,you are parent you have responsibilities
Think you'll Look lazy for not going back,thinking benefits are decent amount? Yes

BertieBotts Fri 15-Mar-13 08:25:04

There is Areyou, but it doesn't take into account (enough) childcare - childcare is covered but only up to a certain amount. And travel costs, higher food costs because you no longer have time to walk to 5 different shops in a week, the cost of occasional convenience food because you're more tired. Most people don't end up better off in work, not full time anyway. Although of course if you're working towards a career then it's still beneficial. But if you work your arse off in a dead end job it can feel quite pointless when you're doing it for less money.

BertieBotts Fri 15-Mar-13 08:25:51

Er, scottishmummy, BF has nothing to do with working. A 9 month old + can be happy with BF at night while mum works in the day!

scottishmummy Fri 15-Mar-13 08:28:38

Bertie that's rudimentary budgeting,if on limited budget be careful.convenience food pricy
Cook own food,take sandwiches to work,shop online for groceries
Being tired isn't a reason to be bad at budgeting,we all get tired,so get organised

scottishmummy Fri 15-Mar-13 08:30:05

She bf every 2-3hr,errr thats going to impact given can't bf at work?

Morloth Fri 15-Mar-13 08:33:44

I don't really judge anyone, mostly because I am pretty indifferent as to what most people do.

However, I think this is a bad idea. Your safety net is not very safe. In your situation I would be hedging my bets and staying in work if it is at all possible.

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 15-Mar-13 08:34:53

I find the assumed "judging" of single parents the oddest thing here. I'm a lone parent and have never felt judged by anyone. Maybe I just have a hide like a rhino? certainly a similar size I do work full time though so perhaps that's why I don't feel the judgement?

I think if you're secure in your choices and believe you're doing the right thing, surely what anyone else thinks is completely irrelevant?

So, no, I wouldn't judge you. I'd think you're mad because looking after a child is much harder than working but I wouldn't judge you. wink

scottishmummy Fri 15-Mar-13 08:38:07

you're voluntarily giving up work that may affect eligibility.giving up job in recession is risky

LittleChickpea Fri 15-Mar-13 08:43:00

BelleDame I certainly wouldn't judge you and I would be surprised if anyone did. You are a single parent and working full time, that's a balancing act. If anything I admire, respect and applaud any parent (man or woman) in your position.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 15-Mar-13 08:43:13

yes you will

i was often asked or told well you support yourself through benefits

not true i was made redundant while on maternity leave a very good package (it was a pay off) that i could live on for 2 years then i worked part time and with the ex money combined we were ok then i went back to studying so have a loan. i did sign on for about 3 months when my money had totally run out and i was ill at the time it was awful i was made to feel like scum (have worked since i was 17 to 35 paid lots of tax)

i do get around £1.19 more child benefit a week a £50 more a month tax credits than my friends who are in relationships

but society judges women very harshly

sydlexic Fri 15-Mar-13 08:43:58

I think parents, single or otherwise should do their best to be financially independent. The state should pick up the tab if through no fault of their own they are unable to do so, for the minimum time possible.

If your family are supporting you and you are not relying on the state then it is up to you and yours.

eavesdropping Fri 15-Mar-13 08:45:57

No, I wouldn't judge you at all.

Some of the views on this thread are frankly ridiculous. Looking after an 11 month old baby isn't a LUXURY. confused It's a job, and I believe that every family should be entitled to have one parent stay at home should they so wish. As you are a single parent, then that falls to you - you don't have the financial support of a partner so yes, you bloody well should receive benefits if needed! Until (shock horror) they're school age if that's what you want.

I for one am happy for taxes to go towards supporting single mothers to be SAHMs when they have no other means of doing so.

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