Musings of a single mum
If love could pay the bills, I’d have a secure roof over my head, my house would stay warm and water would be free flowing.
If compliments could buy food, I wouldn’t go hungry, in fact I’d feast every day.
If likes and follows could pay for diesel I’d go exploring and could journey for miles.
Sadly, that’s not the world we live in.
I’m blessed to be surrounded with love, to receive amazing, flattering compliments and to have people enjoy my work enough to like and follow ‘little old Kim from Devon’ across my social media. For that I am humbled and grateful. Thank you.
But it doesn’t pay the bills.
I only ever wanted to be a mum. It’s a blessing to have my dream fulfilled (a dream not afforded to everyone). However, I didn’t choose or envisage that I’d be a single mum, but that’s the path life sent me on. A challenge I accepted and have grappled with independently for the last 12 years.
I saw this day coming a while ago…but maybe I buried my head in the sand? Possibly I didn’t expect it to be quite this bad? Perhaps I thought “everything would work out”? But here I am today, broken, defeated and deflated.
As a single parent, on “low” income you get tax credits to supplement your income. When your “children” leave education, they stop. Just like that. So, last week, the Government deemed that as a household we needed ‘x’ amount to live on. This week (as my children have now both left education) my salary is supposedly enough to live on (I don’t have a “bad” salary either).
I did a degree – got a first-class honour, hoping to better my opportunities, but alas the roles in that specialism are few and far between here. Anyway, I now have a job I love and I am passionate about.
Before the naysayers interject with “get your children to work”. Both my children have come straight out of college into a job. In fact, my daughter has been working up to 60-hour weeks sometimes.
What upsets, angers and frustrates me the most here, is that without the financial support of my children, I would no longer be able to afford this roof over my head, the food on my table and the diesel to travel to work. I work full time, on a relatively good income. If both my kids were to move out, the life I have just grafted for 12 years for, would no longer be sustainable… and trust me, it’s not an opulent, extravagant life either.
So, if you’ve read this far, I hope at the very least you may feel empathy and congruence with this situation I have found myself in. If you’re feeling kind, you may want to share this – because I can guarantee I’m not alone in this situation and it will hopefully reach out to others.
It’s hard to write this last part eloquently without sounding like a begging, charity case but perhaps together, we can turn the empathy, love, likes, follows, compliments into something productive that can help me resolve my predicament?
So many people have said to me “you should sell your photos”, “those photos would look great in a calendar”, “you should run Instagram workshops”, “you should come and help ‘x’ with their social media”… yet the reality when I have attempted any of this, is that the response is poor, and is at best ‘pocket money’.
I do have confidence in my skills and what I do and I believe that it’s possible to make it more than pocket money… but I lack the business tenacity, nous and balls to get it there.
So….In the words of Dr Evil (Austin Powers) “Throw me a frickin’ bone here!”