Little Village Camden
Little Village Wandsworth
Little Village HQ, St Mark's Church,
53 Rowfont Road, London, SW17 7AP
I’m too emotional to talk and I keep getting upset because I’m ashamed of the week I have had. It all started with people who are close to me telling me I have changed and I’m not the enthusiastic V they knew a few years ago. My response to that is when you become a mum things change and people change. I can’t keep worrying about what people think anymore.
The next thing I had was the Universal Credit people driving me mad. They wanted me to get back to work, I am now working 16 hours and they help pay for childcare. What they don’t tell you is all the hassle you have to go through just to get the paperwork sorted and how many times you have to visit the job centre or call them to sort everything out. It has been such a stressful week and these hassles don’t help. It makes my anxiety worse because the last thing you want to worry about is money when you push yourself back to work.
I’m sure many people have been in my position, I haven’t had money this week and I was so hungry when I was at work because people are eating and I’m sitting there with a bottle of water and it’s so upsetting because I’m fed up with being a single mum that struggles even when I do have a job. The worse thing is they asked me where my lunch was and I just made an excuse that I didn’t feel hungry because how can a mum with a baby turn around and say I have no money this week. Luckily, I saw my sister in the week and she made me dinner but I didn’t want to tell her because I was too embarrassed.
I don’t think people realise how hard it is to be a working single mum and you still struggle to make ends meet. It’s just impossible and I can’t stand being on Universal Credit but I have to as it’s the only way to survive. I will always put my baby first because this week I had £10 left and I had to buy my babies milk because her needs come first. I really feel that most single mums don’t go back to work because of all the hassle you have and all the stress you put yourself through to work 16 hours. It’s a sad story and the worse week I have ever experienced so far since Isla was born but every day is a new day.
I keep going by thinking positive thoughts and by keeping a smile on my face.
How do you tackle difficult days?
Author: V participated in Little Village’s storytelling workshops. Look out for more of her story, and those of the other women who took part, over the next month.