This past week has been a mixed bag of parenting duties…running errands, visiting family, seeking work opportunities, attending baby groups, taking my baby to a toddler’s birthday party and seeing her squeal in delight whilst on the bouncy castle. Then there was the painful experience of watching my baby have her 3rd set of immunisations (all you parents out there know exactly what I mean)
In between the above I was also chasing my 6 week old claim for working tax and child tax credits (they say the claim process is no longer than 3 weeks ). I mentioned this to a few other new mums who also complained about the lengthy process, but I was more shocked to hear that half of these mums weren’t even aware that they were entitled to these tax credits.
During my pregnancy I attended the The Baby Show at Excel, London and since becoming a mum have joined a few online parenting groups and forums and am now bombarded with emails from many sources about the latest deals and baby and toddler events anything to do with spending money!!! Most of these emails are from companies I have never heard of, so obviously my details are being shared.
In this continued and worsening recession I feel it would be more useful if organisations like HMRC maybe had a stand at the Baby Show or got involved in this sharing of email addresses to contact and remind new mums to claim for their entitlements. Mums seem to get a bit of a raw deal in the media…everyone has an opinion. We’ve all seen the conflicting headlines ’Redundancies driving women out of the workforce’, ’Stay at home mums are lazy’, ‘UK has most expensive childcare costs in Europe’, ‘Working mums are neglecting their children’, ‘Single parenting to blame for rioting teenagers’… I say give the mums a break and focus on helping them during the challenges they face whilst supporting their family.
If you are a stay at home mum, I applaud you!! My week was a hectic emotional rollercoaster and that’s with one child. However, I did manage to end the week with a needed trip to the hairdresser. When I entered the salon my hairdresser remarked on how long it’s been since she last saw me. What she really meant was ‘your hair is a mess, take a seat’ :o)
Anyway, less about me. All you Mums and Mums to be I encourage you to research online and have open discussions with other mums so you are aware of every resource that is out there to help you. Whether it be NCT groups, benefit entitlements, recommendations for childcare, new business opportunities or part time/flexible work options.
Remember, if you don’t ask you don’t get!
What useful information do you have to share with other mums?
Find out what benefits are available to all parents —> UK Parent Benefits