Before I became pregnant with my daughter I was running my own pub, I had been there 6 months before falling pregnant and there was only there for only another 20 weeks after falling pregnant due to complications with the pregnancy. I did go back to work when my daughter was 4 months old; I thought this would help me as I was suffering from postnatal depression.
I have always supported myself financially but working when depressed was not doing my mental health any good. My depression became worse and life at home was not good, my partner had become controlling and I hated leaving my new baby with him. I was scared to go back to work each day and longed to stay home with my baby.
I separated from my daughters father when she was 21 months old, due to him kidnapping her, luckily he didn’t get far with her an my daughter was back with me 12 hours later. After that incident I didn’t trust anybody to look after my daughter and wanted her with me 24/7, I had no choice but to go on income support.
I devoted all my time to my daughter, reading writing, colouring, playing and baking to become the best mum I could be for my daughter, after what we had been through. I was on income support then for 3 years. I didn’t go back to work till my daughter was 5, but I choose to work night times and paid a babysitting service to sleep at my home, my daughter didn’t know I was gone, as I left once she was asleep and got back before she woke up.
There are a few people out there who give mums on benefits a bad name and that is not the case for most.
I was too scared to work in case he ever came back and tried to get her again. I suffered badly with postnatal depression and I had to concentrate on getting better.
I didn’t choose that life at the time, it was chosen for me. When I did start work again I was only earning £20 a week more than what I was getting on benefits, but that £20 a week meant I could save and take my daughter on holiday. My ex had left me in a lot of debt which I had to try pay off and still am.
At the time I was claiming Income Support my daughter didn’t need me at home, it was more that I needed her near me. I do not regret the choices I made.
This inspirational post was written anonymously by a mum who is a member of my Facebook mums group. I have full permission to share her story. If you can relate to this post and would like to share your own anonymous post please contact me.
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