Mummy and single

#1
Hey all,

Don't tear me to pieces for asking this....hehe

I'm currently in the TA, but always had the intention of probably joining the regs at some point (would have done all this years ago apart from the fairly unexpected arrival of my daughter 4 years ago....whoops)

I've also got an 8 month old son, and was engaged to be married except it's all sort of gone sour and we've called it off....I'm kind of reassessing my situation and have been thinking more about what I want to do, and even though it's probably not the right time I think I might just go for it now and join properly. Been checking the RAOL for FTRS jobs and that's a bit of a waste of time, so thinking seriously regs....

Thing is, you don't hear about a lot of single mums in the army! I'm not planning on being pregnant again anytime soon (or, EVER!) so it's really just the logistics of lookin after the kids...does anyone know anything about this. Thought I could try and get a posting down Bordon way or something but even if they'd let me have em with me I'm not sure I'd take them there, god knows what they'd catch lol

Any input would be great (sorry about the massive post!)
 
#2
Easy answer, if you can make arrangements for your children to be looked after throughout Phase one and two, will have no problems with child care once you join a working unit, taking into account you may be posted to Germany or hundreds of miles from your family and that the Army is not a normal 9-5 job. If you do not expect special treatment just because you are a single mother and can commit to the same extent as every other soldier. If you have a guaranteed care giver lined up should you be deployed* and being primary care giver will not impact on your service, then you can do it.
If you cannot give a positive yes to all of the above then I suggest you rethink.


* for that read, when you ARE deployed and don't think it's years in the future
 
#3
Cheers Halo, you kinda said what I was already thinking. My ex has already said he's happy to be an army 'wife' if I go for it, so that kind of sorts that. Think it's just me that would need to get used to being away a lot, although probably better that than building an LSW from Lego while playing with my daughter 8O

I am fit (and I do put out, occasionally) hehe, although guessing it wouldn't take them long to ship me out on herrick, seem to be loads of reccy mechs getting medals at the moment so it'd be sooner rather than later, I'm sure.

I have decisions to make!
 
#5
LoopyLiz said:
Cheers Halo, you kinda said what I was already thinking. My ex has already said he's happy to be an army 'wife' if I go for it, so that kind of sorts that. Think it's just me that would need to get used to being away a lot, although probably better that than building an LSW from Lego while playing with my daughter 8O

I am fit (and I do put out, occasionally) hehe, although guessing it wouldn't take them long to ship me out on herrick, seem to be loads of reccy mechs getting medals at the moment so it'd be sooner rather than later, I'm sure.

I have decisions to make!
1. Photos to back up your claim of being fit; that is for us seasoned pervs to assess.

2. You put out occasionally. Is there a queueing system?

3. Think long and hard before committing yourself. Long periods of seperation from your kids (and family) isn't for everyone.

4. Don't worry about medals. They will look for you. :wink:

H.M. speaks much sense, so listen to her...still need photos though :D
 
#6
Recce - I had photos but got in trouble for facebooking them (as we were all in uniform and it's apparently a 'terror threat' - think the ASM just hates me)!

As for the queueing system, I've had a cpl and lcpl so far, but in that order, so unless you're a craftsman there's not much point asking :)

And the seperation issue is the biggy. I am only 24 but already feel I'm just in the wrong place.....aargh I'm too young for a midlife crisis though!

Didn't know about not getting quarters though - maybe a marriage of convenience is on the cards!
 
#7
LoopyLiz said:
Recce - I had photos but got in trouble for facebooking them (as we were all in uniform and it's apparently a 'terror threat' - think the ASM just hates me)!

As for the queueing system, I've had a cpl and lcpl so far, but in that order, so unless you're a craftsman there's not much point asking :)

And the seperation issue is the biggy. I am only 24 but already feel I'm just in the wrong place.....aargh I'm too young for a midlife crisis though!

Didn't know about not getting quarters though - maybe a marriage of convenience is on the cards!
Oh dear! First off it is a security to risk to you and your family to splash photos and personal details over the internet. Might seem ridiculous but to those of us who have served through the IRA threat and had friends blown up outside their own house it makes perfect sense not to broadcast details as who knows who might be reading things.
Next bit , temper your 'I'm sleeping through the ranks bit', you might be joking but when some of our site worthies come a-reading you're going to get a reputation you'll never remove and all ranks read this site. Oh and if you're going to do it at least go up the way through the ranks, more scope you see :wink:
You probably already are, but think long and hard about the separation issue, the Regs are not the same as the TA no matter how similar the trade, the reality of life is very different. As it stands you have the best of both worlds. If you give that up make sure you are fully aware that you will spend long periods away from your kids.
As for the marriage of convenience just remember the Army is still stuck in the Victorian era and iyou were caught having what they would see as an affair they would be seriously unimpressed
It's a big move and I can only wish you luck in making the right decision.
 
#8
Thanks halo, it's all good advice (especially sleeping 'up' the ranks and not 'down' them lol). I do have the best of both worlds at the moment, it's just that I live for my wednesday evenings and weekends at the moment (maybe a bit of emotional instability going on there I guess) and want more of it.

Having said that, stripping a foden down every day of the week might get pretty boring!

I certainly need to think about this a lot more. Maybe I'll have another look at ftrs, perhaps just doing a tour would get all this out of my system! Or give me the bug even more 8O hehe x
 
#9
LoopyLiz said:
Thanks halo, it's all good advice (especially sleeping 'up' the ranks and not 'down' them lol). I do have the best of both worlds at the moment, it's just that I live for my wednesday evenings and weekends at the moment (maybe a bit of emotional instability going on there I guess) and want more of it.

Having said that, stripping a foden down every day of the week might get pretty boring!

I certainly need to think about this a lot more. Maybe I'll have another look at ftrs, perhaps just doing a tour would get all this out of my system! Or give me the bug even more 8O hehe x
Trying a tour sounds like a good idea. That way you'll see how a Reg unit works and how you feel being away for months at a time. Hopefully by the end of it you will know whht you want from life.
 
#10
halomonkey said:
Be aware that you will not get a Quarter unless you are married.
As a service-person with dependant children you don't have to be married to get a quarter, viz you will get one but not until you have completed Phase 2 trg.

However your 'ex' will not be able to live in the quarter unless you're married. B...u...t if he is the nominated primary care-giver then this changes things.

I would advise speaking to a Unit Welfare Officer - any Unit - for the full lowdown. Now that the housing has been handed over to MODern Housing Solutions (or whatever they're called this week) it's on gone a bit nightmarishly beaureucratic; not that it was ever simple!!
 
#11
LoopyLiz, you are a parent, furthermore, you are a mother. Do you honestly believe an 8 month old baby needs neglect?

Im sorry, but you have made your bed, its too late, do the honourable thing and look after your children.
 
#13
Maj_Boothroyd said:
halomonkey said:
Be aware that you will not get a Quarter unless you are married.
As a service-person with dependant children you don't have to be married to get a quarter, viz you will get one but not until you have completed Phase 2 trg.

However your 'ex' will not be able to live in the quarter unless you're married. B...u...t if he is the nominated primary care-giver then this changes things.

I would advise speaking to a Unit Welfare Officer - any Unit - for the full lowdown. Now that the housing has been handed over to MODern Housing Solutions (or whatever they're called this week) it's on gone a bit nightmarishly beaureucratic; not that it was ever simple!!
if you're the 'primary' carer of the children and they spend most of their time with you then you are classed as pstatcat 2 and entitled to SFA (a quarter).

maj_boothroyd is incorrect what he states about the father being able to live with you if designated as the carer, infact the jsp is quiet specific and states that a nominated carer cannot be the other parent. your partner could stay with you, but no more than 28 days in 60. you would be entitled to have an au pair/nanny live with you.

MODern housing solutions are the housing prime contractor and are responsible for maintenance, not housing allocation and policy, that remains with defence estates through your local HIC.

my experience of single mums in the army, particularly junior ranks, is that it is seldom a smooth process and they create proportionately more problems than married counterparts.

being in regulars is a lifestyle that requires selfless commitment...i doubt this is possible as a young single mum.

hope this help...now pse post your pics so we can determine whether to keep offering advice...or not!!!
 
#14
I totally agree with halo on this.

It's easy to say yes to all the questions but the reality is often very different.

My son is a single father.
The army bent over backwards to help him when he was fighting for her,posted him back to the uk,unit near home etc.They were also prepared to give him a quarter.

Reality was that we decided(and thats just us)it just wouldnt work.
It was all sorts of things,money,he was still 40 miles away from me.What happens when he goes on tour,how would i get her to school.

I have her during the week and he takes over at weekends,although i do let him be a normal 21 year old at least one night at the weekend :) She is 4 and she totally excepts thats the way things are.I think children adapt very well.She knows Daddy does his soldiering when she is at school and will see him at the weekend.
 
#16
Ref the qtr issue, if you are going to join the REME, the married ph2 recruits gets qtrs (you can wait for ages at SEME) so I cant see why you wouldnt.

be aware that childcare is thin on the ground in some areas, you will pay through the nose for it as you will need overnight cover and occasionally long term to cover exercises.

it can be just as hard when both of you are serving due to dual deployment on exercises etc, be aware that it is a lot harder than you think, my wife was in tatters when we had to send our boy to the in-laws for 3m (aged 18mths)

think long and hard before committing to it, as another poster has said, maybe try a tour first, after 2 mths away you may think a lot differently!
on the plus side you will have a steady income a roof over your head, not a bad thing in these current times!
 
#17
I was a Sapper once, do I qualify? But pics first! Seriously though, good luck with it, you sound committed enough to carry it through.
 
#18
armr617 said:
Ref the qtr issue, if you are going to join the REME, the married ph2 recruits gets qtrs (you can wait for ages at SEME) so I cant see why you wouldnt.
i'll be very suprised if this is the case as its a clear breach of housing policy particularly given the paucity of housing in the Aldershot / bordon area
 
#19
With MQ's its simple,

If you are registered as the primary carer (single parent) with FULL time custody and you are on station for over 6 months your entitled. Absolutley no co-habitation (you can get away with weekends soemtimes), the 28 days in every 60 rule is not a get out clause to this. Get caught out and expect your 28 days eviction notice to drop through the letter box. There will be plenty of people on site who will let housing know becuase they hate leeches and if housing is tight they will be watching.

There is a bit too much blue sky thinking going on in this thread and most of it from LoopyLiz.

You dont join the army to then get posted next to your friends and family, your not being recruited into Tesco's. There will not be any comfortable arrangment which will give you extra time in the morning to drop of the kids and finish early to pick them up from childcare. Start looking at boarding schools now as once you are through phase 2 you will be on the list to deploy fairly soon.

In all honesty from my jncos' who are single mums its a great way to get to know the local SAAFA careworker. Trying to live and work like a singley and then fit in with the pads (it doesnt work). Complaints about your car stealing boyfriend, the constant excuse about childcare becuase the squadron is suddenly parading or a guard duty came up, the dramas just stack up.

I wish you luck with it but I wish your future troop staffy more.
 
#20
OK....ouch! Well you lot are nothing if not honest, hehe. There is blue sky thinking going on from me, I am aware of this. And yes, bollock chops, I have made my bed and been lying in it for a while, and will continue to do so, just in a different way. The advice about housing etc is extremely useful but calling me a neglectful mother is not.

About 2 years ago I went down the Sandhurst route (which was always my post-university plan after my mother vetoed my place at welbeck when I was 16); even though I'd had my daughter while still at uni my parents agreed that if it was what I wanted to do they would take her for the year (and the rest...) while I sorted myself out, provided that she was older (she was only 2 at the time).

So this is not a new concept for any of my family, and she's at prep school now and already asking to board in the week (she's obviously a real mini-me) so I don't think she'd be bothered at all. She loves seeing me in uniform and looking at photos, and has always joked that 'mummy is like other peoples daddy and daddy is a mummy' lol that says a lot about my ex relationship doesn't it?!

My son is a different story, and no, I don't think an 8 month old needs neglect. But he won't be 8 months old forever, and I don't feel that me doing this would be neglectful. As I already said, better to be happy and fulfilled when I see them than have them day in, day out and resent every minute like a lot of mums do when they wear sweat pants all the time and talk about 'getting your life back' yadda yadda....

I think the primary care thing is the main issue. Having them on base wouldnt work, whoever said the thing about moaning about childcare etc is right. If I'm a soldier, I'm a soldier. I don't want to be classed as a whinging woman!
 

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