She used the chocolate I had bought as a bribe to draw monsters all over the desk. The wonderful single-parents I made friends with at Trinity’s tiny student parent group had signed up for four-year degrees. Not one of them successfully escaped the poverty trap.
Trying to win the lottery While single parents generally aren’t much revered in public opinion, I’ve encountered very little ill-will over the years. All of my bosses and lecturers have been supportive and kind.
I’ll make an exception for the lady at the social welfare office who asked me why my daughter’s father had left me.
But childcare for those ungodly hours was impossible to find. Soon after, I landed a different part-time, zero-hour-contract job, working mostly evenings. I later moved on to my current family-friendly part-time job.
54% of my income goes on the rent which is now about 400 per month below market rate (please don’t tell my landlord).
It’s soul-destroying to drag someone, whom you might have once loved, through the family courts to make them cover half of your weekly Lidl bill.
Even if you succeed, the money you get from the other parent is then taken straight out of your social welfare payments (if you’re poor enough to qualify).There are three reliable ways in which a single parent in need can lift themselves and their child(ren) out of poverty, though they will remain permanently elusive to most: landing a 45k/year family-friendly job, finding a rich and generous spouse, or winning the lottery.In their absence, we’re left with three, fundamentally un-sexy, long-term solutions: decent jobs, affordable childcare and secure, long-term housing.I don’t like those stories much, because I tried to live that dream myself, and failed (call me bitter).I’ve also seen a good few of my closest friends try to live the dream and fail.The rent remained stable at almost €1,500 per month, the discounted crèche fees exceeded €500 per month, and the little one still needed to be fed.