7th February 2013
Four kids fed, cupboard 8 weetabix and 2 giant bowls of porridge oats lighter. Teeth cleaned, beds made, washing machine turns. Coats and fruit snacks, water bottles and bags, door opened and we all brace the fresh crisp morning air. Their chatter busy and I carry Esmie on my back, Mitzi skips, Lola scooters and Monty tells me his plans for our time when the girls are in bed, I listen and smile and watch and I love this school run I am blessed to be able to do. To begin the day, almost every day with our kids, to be able to see them, listen to them, to walk alongside them is my morning joy.
I spend the first hour in Esmie's class and it was P. E, parachute games with 30 4 and 5-year-olds. It's a lovely distraction and I love the time I'm able to spend helping out at the school, love being part of normal day-to-day life for them. The fact Monty asks me to come in and do reading with his class, his smile his look of pride that his mummy is there! It'll all change very quickly, I have to make the most of it while I can!
I sit after the day, all of them finally asleep in my room. Three in the bunks, only one in my bed. I open my emails., there's one from the council. It's a cross between a heads up and an underlying message. The government are making huge cuts it seems, it starts in the Summer, they'll be reducing my weekly benefits by over a third. Unless I get Alex home, or choose this house an hour away from here, then they won't be affected. Leaving me and I quote 'living in hardship'...
It's not a personal ultimatum, it's the way the Government are obviously penalising those who need the money. Leaving many, not just me 'living in hardship'. What's going to become of our society as people ( including me) will barely be able to feed their kids left on the amount they propose to leave us with?
It makes me feel scared, vulnerable. Trapped! Yes so I go out and work full time, and basically give up on you baby, I'd never be able to see you because I'd spend all the hours I wasn't working looking after our kids, and how would I get them to and from school? There's no option house wise except the one an hour away.
I'm fast approaching the Summer deadline, with no options and a dead end with 'hardship' ahead! It's like I'm sitting on a spiralling train that is not going to stop, I'm about to witness our lives crash, I can do nothing to prevent it.
I'm livid for the people this will affect. Livid that this will start sweeping areas as the Government impose these cuts.
And the consequences terrify me for us and our kids.
Time to not be scared and fight.