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The Dog Eats The Leftovers

About This Blog

This Blog is meant to be a light-hearted look at how a parent as to navigate his or her way through life whilst bringing up two teenagers on a very limited income. We want to share what we have learnt and hopefully help anyone else out there struggling to make things work in a seemingly chaotic world. I don't always get it right and I am certainly not perfect.....


Money Matters Posted on Sat, September 12, 2015 15:02:30

For anyone that claims family tax credits you know how damn complicated the paperwork is. I completely went into meltdown recently when I thought I was losing a considerable amount of money because Noel had left school.

I am not good at reading forms and when I went and read the form again a few weeks after the meltdown I realised I needed to TELL THEM which college and course he was going on so that I could still claim benefits.

I also forgot that my earnings have plummeted this year and I had moved down into the lower working hours bracket. So I phoned them up and estimated my earnings and I assumed it was put right. But then I got a letter with the new information and half of it was wrong………. So I wrote to them…….

Word of advice…….read your tax credit details VERY carefully and follow up with a letter reinforcing what you told them on the phone if you need to change anything.

ALSO……TALK TO PEOPLE. My neighbour suggested I apply for housing benefit as I am on a low income at the moment. I really don’t want to live on benefits…..I would prefer to earn my own money and be able to support myself. But life is difficult and if the help is there ASK. Its not a case of pride. If you know you can turn it around and get the job you want you will do it. But don’t be too proud to ask for help. Check out your local council web sites and also the Government benefits pages. Even the best and greatest people have tough times.

What to do when your kids don’t need you.

Families Posted on Sat, September 12, 2015 14:42:58

I’ve worked in schools for most of my life, primarily as a freelance drama and dance teacher. I used to enjoy the school holidays even though money was always tight. Unfortunately I never got paid during holidays, but you can’t have it all can you?
Spending time with the kids when they were young was a privilege. I was never one of those parents that said “I’m glad they’ve gone back to school” or “They’re doing my head in!!” (popular Leicester expression).

To be truthful, I always felt very depressed when they went back after the holiday. The house felt empty and the thought of six weeks depressing school run in the slowly darkening mornings and evenings put a dampener of everything. Not to mention the Autumn term being the longest and toughest for most teachers and and the oncoming Christmas the most expensive.

This Summer break was different. I’d just lost a job, had no money and no chance of a holiday (not had one for 10 years! nothing new there). But, apart from that… kids don’t need me anymore. They need me to provide food, hugs, counselling and laundry service. They also need me as target practice when something or someone gets them angry and they need to project it onto a crash test mummy/dummy.

To be honest, it was a very lonely 7 weeks and I’m feeling like I’m wasting my potential.

So….time for a new outlook. Time to think ahead.
Maybe a career change. its never too late.

Noel can get a job though. He’s eating too much.