When I was young ….yes I know I keep banging on about when I was young but there are several reasons for my obsession. The youngsters of today don’t seem to grasp they are not the first teenagers on the planet. They don’t realise how easy some things are for them as they have never experienced anything different. They have never experienced life without a mobile phone. (Queue hyper-ventilating teenager at the mere thought) They aren’t taught some of the basics like sewing, cooking and gardening like we were made to.
When I was young I was brought up fairly strictly. There wasn’t any room for manoeuvre. My parents spoke, I listened. They asked me to do something, I did it instantly. If on the rare occasions I didn’t, there was punishment. There wasn’t though any of the ‘sending to my room stuff’. At the time I didn’t notice, it was only when my children came along and started testing my patience that I had to think back to my childhood and how my parents disciplined me.
When I was young there was no mobile phone, computer games were two sticks and a dot and the internet was not yet born. Having children in the modern day is full of challenges. How many hours should you let your children play on computer games before their eyeballs go square. How do you prize them of the internet once they’ve discovered the ‘wonders’ of facebook?
Donna, quite fittingly, finishes her run of articles at eHarmony with the subject of commitment. The main goal at the end of dating. With our last few weeks of following Donna on her dating articles and my pennies worth of info, I thought I would round up some of what we have learned and a few other tips.
One of the good things about twitter is the amount of fabulous people you get to meet. One of them being the slightly mad Nickie from Typecast. She very kindly tagged me in a meme. I think that’s the correct name for one of these things and no I don’t have a clue what it means. All I know is that I answer the questions and then get to tag some other people to do the same.
This week Donna is talking about two things, what we want in a date and the very fragile subject of financial differences. Of course we want someone who is well mannered, cooking skills and house trained. We wouldn’t ask for someone who can’t cook, doesn’t know what a saucepan is and wears the same pair of socks for 7 days. Keep in mind that we all perceive things differently.
When my parents decided over 30 years ago to move to Cornwall, I did think they had gone rather mad. Being too young to have a valid opinion I had to go along with the idea. Don’t get me wrong I now know I am very lucky to be living here but I do have a love hate relationship with the place. In winter everything and everyone seems to hibernate. The summers are filled with directing lost holiday makers or shouting at them, from the safety of the car, that the country lane is big enough for both of us if they could just move over. If though we are lucky enough to have a glorious sunny day before the season has started then you will find every local outside taking full advantage.
The government are making cuts to a several key grants and other welfare entitlements for new parents. Including
- Health in Pregnancy Grant
- Sure Start Maternity Grant
- Baby element of Child Tax Credits
- Toddler element of Child Tax Credit
- Child Trust Fund
For some this can be a worth up to £1735 over a pregnancy and the child’s first year. These loses aren’t being offset by other benefits so there loss of money will be felt.
The emergency budget on 22 June set out several substantial changes to the tax credit system. Some are straightforward; others less so.
Below, are those changes coming in from April 2011 under the following headings, explaining what each means and who might be affected:
- Increases in rates and thresholds
- Withdrawal rates
- Family element withdrawal rate
- The baby element
- Older workers
With Mothers Day tomorrow I thought I would tell you about my mum. If you saw her in the street you wouldn’t think there was anything brave or remarkable about her. She is like any other 70+ year old with her odd fashion sense and walking stick to help her walk. She is reasonably fit and healthy for her age as long as you don’t ask her to stand too long or walk too far.
But there is something she did 40 years ago that strikes me as very brave. My mother couldn’t have children so I was adopted when I was only a month old. The brave thing she did was not to keep it a secret. I was never sat down and told I was adopted, I always knew. From before I could even walk and talk she told me daily that I was special as I grew in her heart and not below it. She would openly tell anyone that I was adopted if they commented on how alike we looked.
It’s not till now that I have children that I realise how brave her decision was. As a teenager I could have callously thrown it back at her or used the words in anger, I never did. I could have rejected her as my mother, I never did. I could have blamed adoption for anything and everything, I never did.
So my mother may be an ordinary old lady to anyone else but to me she deserves a medal.
Donna is dishing out some useful tips on dating as a single parent in her post this week. I completely agree with her tips and wish I had them when I was first on the dating scene as a single parent. You can read her post Parental Guidance over at eHarmony.
I was going to write my tips for dating as a single mum, instead I here is an example of ‘what not to do’ with one of my very early dating experiences.
I am sure I am not the only one who gets asked how to cope with being a single mum, so here are my top tips on how I cope with being a single mum. They helped as much today as they did nearly 10 years ago when I first became a single parent.
Accept there will be good days and bad - its not just you who will have good and bad days, your children will too. Be as supportive as you can on their bad days and respect the fact they may need to talk about him and the situation.
With all the changes starting to kick in from last year’s budget, it can be hard to figure out what’s happening and when but more importantly how it will affect you and your family. So many people arrive at Confessions of a Single Mum through search terms like..
- What are single mum entitled to
- Single parent changes to benefits
- Budget single mum changes
- Tax credits single mum
- Benefits single mum
If I mention the words mid life crises I bet the first image that would spring to mind is of a balding older man with motorbike, ill fitting leather jacket and eyeing up younger women. A few might even imagine an older woman who is flushed with the menopause and worrying over her empty nest. Probably the last thing to spring to mind would be a younger woman. But according to a recent Relate survey, the mid life crises is no longer an exclusive right of passage for the older man. We women are more and more getting in on the act and not leaving it till were older.