But onto more serious matters, this time money and finances. Lone parents have not done well financially under the current government, although obviously we all are in different financial situations, with some struggling more or less than others.
Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation reveals that over 2 million lone parent families are living on incomes below what they need for a decent standard of living and that in fact almost three quarters of lone parent households live below that standard. This is saddening, staggering and surely must be challenged and changed as a matter of priority?
Further research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation proposes that a lone parent with a preschool child has to earn £28,450 to reach a minimum socially acceptable standard of living in the UK. This is a significant wage! Just one more damming statistic, this is that a lone parent working full-time on the minimum wage in 2008 with help from tax credits had a disposable income just £520 a year short of their needs. Following almost a decade of tax credit cuts under the previous coalition and current governments lone parents in this situation are about £3,640 a year short of their needs. This is a lot of money to be short of a basic living standard with your child(ren). Frustratingly, there is enough money in the UK as a whole to easily rectify this.
Living in poverty or struggling financially can have many affects for families, be they two parent, lone mother or single father families. This includes beyond the obvious and demanding issues of trying to get enough food to eat, pay the rent and afford the basics. It can stimulate feelings of shame, powerlessness and alienation that can make a parent feel like they are failing their child(ren) and socially inferior. When you add in that being a single father or mother can come with stigma, feeling different and social exclusion, this can be so very difficult to cope with each and every day.
DadsHouse are currently doing some fantastic work, with food banks, support with accommodation and a buddying service. But without taking away from this fantastic support is this a sticking plaster for a much bigger wound? What do you think needs to change so that all of us as single parents can be financially safe and secure and our children can have enough to flourish and blossom?
Finally, do you worry about money and wonder where you can get help? If the answer is yes please come forward for support, as at DadsHouse you will not be judged or made to feel ashamed.
Thank you for reading and take care everyone!