How OPFS has supported me
Shanan is a mum to a three-year-old son. She works part-time and lives in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire. In this blog, she describes the ways OPFS has supported her as a single parent.
I am more than just a mum
Initially I found it challenging being a single parent getting back into work. I found it difficult to balance and manage home life and work, but this has eased, and I have now managed to create a routine for me and my son. Planning has helped me to be more organised and prepared for work which has reduced stress and made life easier for me and my son.
OPFS has helped me knock down so many barriers and supported me back into work. I’ve attended a programme called Transforming Life’s which was an 8-week course that ran 3 days a week and it offered childcare. This offered me a break to think about myself and my future. As well as preparing me for work the course also helped me build my confidence and made me realise that I’m not alone. This made me appreciate that I am more than just a mum and I do have other options. I then received support on a weekly basis within OPFS from emotional support to just having someone to talk too, who would listen and understand my situation. I even got help making my CV and preparing for my job interviews. This support and advice, I believe, was why I had been successful in getting a part-time job. So much support and reassurance was received from my adviser at OPFS who then helped me prepare for work by advising me about finding childcare, benefit advice and supporting and helping me step by step as this was a big move for me and my family.
It’s ok to ask for help
Having a routine helps so much and reduces stress. It’s okay to ask for help. Take care of yourself and don’t feel guilty. Take one day at a time. Try thinking and being positive.
I don’t feel alone
I am so grateful for the support and advice I’ve been given from OPFS and I would highly recommend it to other parents in similar situations. As now I don’t feel alone, and I will always have my adviser to thank and I know I can always contact OPFS if needed.
My son knows he’s loved
I am proud to be a single parent because my son knows he’s loved, I am achieving the hardest goal life can throw at me.