Whilst very rewarding, being a parent can be difficult at times. It can be even harder when you are a single parent. Juggling everything takes meticulous planning and great organisational skills. Add working into the mix and it takes it to whole other level. Here are 3 reasons why many single parents are opting for self-employment.
Relying on one income can be stressful so we are always looking for ways to reduce our outgoings. We switch energy suppliers, regularly compare mortgage rates and look for the latest online deals. Anything to make our money can go a bit further. Whilst being self-employed comes with many financial downsides, it can reduce our outgoings drastically. It will come as no surprise to anyone that excessive childcare costs are one of the reasons why it is so hard for single parents to work.
Depending on the number of children you have and their ages, they can be astronomical. If you work fulltime, you may find that you have very little money left at the end of the month once childcare costs are deducted. Whilst low-income families can apply for some government assistance, there is little to no help for those earning an above-average salary.
Whilst many people are blessed with having extended family close by, many are not. If you get a call from the school to say your child is poorly, what are your options? A childminder won’t look after a sick child. You have no one to count on and thus need to ask for time off work. Whilst employers have to show compassion about situations like this, as a parent it can become very stressful and unnerving.
If you are self-employed and your child is ill, it’s not as much of a concern. It can still prove difficult but you have a flexibility that you wouldn’t have as an employee. Many companies do understand the difficulties faced and are being far more flexible with staff. Some will allow working from home from time to time and many will agree to flexible working hours.
This is a step in the right direction but it still doesn’t solve the issues many are faced with. Children are off school for around 14 weeks every year. Childcare can cost anywhere from £20 per day per child, sometimes it’s double that depending on your geographical location. Trying to pay for and coordinate these holidays every year is not easy.
Time with the children
For many, this is what drives them to make self-employment a success. Working typical core hours can mean that your children are in childcare for around 10 hours every working day.
Once you come home you have just enough time to make dinner, give them a quick bath, a bedtime story and put them to bed. Being self-employed gives you options. You can collect them from school, attend organised events and most importantly, spend more time with them. After all, they aren’t children for long.
Interesting related article: “What is Logistics?“