My 24th interviewee is 35-year-old Catherine Owens, a librarian from East Ayrshire who has a 19-month-old daughter.
children when you became a single parent, and how did this come about?
only 20 weeks pregnant and my ex decided he didn’t want to be a dad or have
anything to do with me so changed the locks and made me homeless
found hardest as a single parent?
to parenting alone, in your opinion?
take anyone else’s parenting styles into consideration. Being able to be the mum I want to be.
negative judgements/stereotypes for being a single parent? If so can you share
with us what happened and how it made you feel?
tend to stick to being in my own circle of support. I felt really bad and downtrodden when I had
to go to the housing department and discuss my housing situation when I was
faced with homelessness when my baby was 8 months old. All emotion or understanding was removed in
the interview and I was simply a name on a form with points
relationship do you have with your ex, and how easy/difficult is it to maintain
for your child?
communication with him since he threw me out.
did/does the father have?
maintenance? If so, how did you come to an agreement on the amount?
it was all organised via the CSA
how many hours do you work per week?
child when you’re working? How do you feel about the current childcare
as all childminders were booked and I don’t have family that could take
her. It is very expensive but then I
doubt I could put a price on someone replacing me during the day. I get help with the cost of childcare and I
couldn’t work if I didn’t.
child when you first went back to work? How easy was it to adjust back into
nursery really easily.
guilt by working? If so, why?
way. I make the most of time with
her. I do feel guilty having time to
myself at weekend sometimes when she is looked after by my parents or
Child /Working Tax Credits, and the cost of childcare?
credits at all or how they are worked out but I need them in order to work.
|Catherine and her daughter|
work/home/social life like? Have you managed to find a good balance? If so,
then relax once she is in bed. I suffer
with stressing out about housework/ironing.
I try not to have too many nights out, mainly as I can’t afford it and
also as I miss her.
If so, how long did it take before you were ready to date again?
tips be to a newbie single parent?
build up to the point the stress you out. Talk to someone or if its something
practical either ask for help or if you can pay to get it done. I paid for someone to do ironing once as it
was really getting me down.
good relationship with your health visiting team, I wouldn’t have coped without
their support when my baby was only months old, just chatting to someone who
wasn’t family really let me offload the weight of responsibility I felt.
you are at home all day. Join groups,
any groups, Classes if you can afford
them or if not go to mother and toddler groups.
Even if you go round them all and get to one a day, it gives you reason
to get up and out, entertains your child and allows some face to face adult
chat time, plus it means you then have a network of friend to keep in touch
with once you start working.
organised. I don’t go to bed unless bags
are ready for the next day, dishes are all done and place is tidy. I plan meals ahead and batch cook then freeze