I am a single parent with twin boys. I don’t receive any financial support or any other input from the boys’ dad or his family. I am about to begin work two and half days so that we can afford to rent our own two bed house in the local town.
Since having the twins, and finding myself alone as a parent, I chose to move in with my extended family as I was financially stuck. I am a professional, and have previously paid high tax as I was a high earner. I never complained about paying my taxes and I still lived comfortably. Since my situation changed, and I found myself providing for two infants and myself, I have struggled to adjust. However, I have been able to manage, and now we are just about covering our rent, bills, food and childcare needs, but this is with the help from housing benefits and council tax reduction.
With the proposed cuts to tax credits I will struggle to cover the cost of childcare. If I am to work more hours I will pay more on childcare and will take home less money. If, on top of this, there are housing benefit freezes, I won’t be able to afford to cover the rent and housing bills.
I enjoy work, and I love being a mum and nurturing my children. I work so that we can survive and so I can provide our home. I don’t believe working more hours as a single mum would improve mine or my boys’ quality of life. I believe that it’s better for me to work part-time so that I can have a happy family life. I want to continue to enjoy spending time with my young children and believe that this is incredibly important for their happiness and well-being.
The cuts to tax credits don’t just mean that I will need to work more, and take home less money; it means that my work life balance and the time spent away from my children will be increased. As the main carer for my children, I believe that this is more than any single parent should be made to.
As a single parent, life can be very demanding. You need to ensure that you do your best and be the mum, the dad, home provider, bill payer, professional as well as carry all the financial and emotional responsibility for your children. This can be incredibly stressful and pressurising.
The proposed cuts are making me, and I’m sure all other single parents feel even more anxious. It’ll mean that most, if not all of us, will again be feeling the strain of dealing with yet another tough call!