A Grandparent Orientated Society

Thinking back to my own relationship with my grandparents, it is very very different to that of Little Miss and her relationship with her grandparents.

My memories of my grandparents were the fact that they did not physically love me, they never hugged or kissed me and they never told me that they loved me.  They might have loved me in their own way, however, as a small child and one who was very loving, this hurt me.

None of my grandparents are alive now, but I had an experience which changed my opinion that my grandad (Daniel, my Dad’s dad) did love me.  I went to see a Tarot card reader, something I have never done before and the reason I went along to see her was, in all honest, curiosity.  Deep down in my heart, I did not believe that anyone would possibly know anything about me or my history, so when I sat down in the chair, I did not expect to be crying within the first 5 minutes.

She described my Granddad as I remembered him, sitting in his chair looking outside of the window at his garden.  She talked about the tattoos he had, how he was tall and what a lonely man he was.  She talked about things that were impossible for her to know and the turning point for me was when she spoke about a golden cross that my Nan may possibly have, that my Grandad wanted me to wear it so that he could be closer to me.  That touched my heart in way that I cannot explain.  The cross is now around my neck and is never taken off.

Little Miss treats her nan and granddad’s home like her own – something I would never have done with my grandparents, she is also very loving towards them too and is never afraid to ask them for anything or even give them a love or a kiss.  In all honesty, when I see her do this, I do feel a twang of jealousy, not because it’s my parents but because that is something I never experienced with my grandparents and never will.  On the other hand, however, I’m proud and I love the relationship the three of them have and I know that I can leave Little Miss with her grandparents and she will be safe.

I feel that I am not the only person when I say, Little Miss’ life is grandparent orientated.  I don’t think that I should feel guilty about this either as I feel that having Little Miss 6 years ago was the right time for me to do so because my parents have had a good relationship with her to date and have enjoyed her grow up and have not missed out on any of her special achievements, but if I had had her later in life, it could be a different story.  My parents are hands on in Little Miss’ life because they want to be and not because they feel forced that they have too.  The reason they choose to be part of her life too is because it helps me to achieve my aims too, whether it be a college course, job or SODA.

In reality, there are many different reasons why grandparents play an active role in their grand-children’s life and society shouldn’t be so judgmental on why they do so.




Single parents

From my own personal viewpoint, I feel pressure s a single mum. 

Being a parent is hard work full stop.  Whether there is a mum and a dad, two mum or two dads.  It is hard.  I am responsible for a 6 year old girl and that scares me.  As an adult I am more aware of the dangers compared to that of my daughter who is far too young and pure to understand how people and society work.  It is my responsibility to get her into school on time, make sure her uniform is washed and ironed, to make sure she is fed, watered and loved – and they are just the basics.  It is also my duty to answer, to the best of my ability, all those awkward questions and being truthful and honest with her.  I have to talk about her periods, sex, babies, boys – it scares me to the point where I just want to wrap her up in cotton wool so she never gets hurt but life is not so simple.

The pressure, I feel, at the moment is , she needs all those presents for her birthday and Christmas because she is an only child and I don’t want her to miss out on the things that a child from a two parent family may have.  Maybe that is wrong of me because it is me that is me using being a single parent as an excuse and I am focusing on what society thinks of single parent families rather than the fact that she is loved.

Job seekers allowance

When I left high school, I went onto Further Education and in 1999 I got my first job as a legal secretary within a firm of solicitors. It was so easy to leave college and get a job immediately. I was 19 years old.

How very different things are now aged 32.

It certainly is not through lack for trying. As a single mum I want to be able to set a good example to my daughter. I have been a volunteer since 2007 as a Sure Start Centre and of course running my own domestic abuse support group. It is my way of giving something back to society and helping others. It gives me a sense of achievement too.

I got a temporary job as legal secretary in April 2012 which ended in June 2012. That experience, I feel was a huge part of my journey as a survivor of domestic abuse. I was a legal secretary when I was with my ex perpetrator. I was always suited and booted, always worked to the highest standard and more importantly I was in control. I was never late for work and loved my job. However, returning back to my old job this year was tough for me. So many memories came flooding back and the one issue that struck me most is what I could have been. I could have been a legal executive or quite possibly a solicitor but instead I was now at the bottom of the ladder trying so desperately to work my way up. It was difficult. I was so honest with the organisation I worked for and was so grateful for the chance that they gave me. But my heart and soul was not in that work anymore.

I am now on JSA. Again, this is another learning curve in my life. For me, it is not just the fact that I am on JSA it is the whole stigma attached to it. A single mum on JSA; stereotypically I am a sponger someone sponger off tax payers. Every fortnight I have to go to my local job centre to sign on and prove that I am looking for work. I am the most keen individual wanting to get back to work, I know and I thought that every fortnight when I sign on the job centre adviser would do just that, advise me on how to get a job, but that does not seem the case. I am not very good at selling myself and I asked the job centre adviser if I could get some support with updating my CV as I feel this is the thing that is holding me back and the reason why I am not hearing back from employees. When I asked for this particular support, the look I got from the adviser was as if I had asked something in a foreign language and her reply was, “oh yes, erm, if that’s what you want”. Of course that is what I want because I want to find a job. I felt that instead of such a negative response from her she should have offered me a more positive reply such oh yes of course, I’ll just get you a leaflet with the details, why do you feel your CV is letting you down, in what way? The next time I went to sign on, I explained to a different adviser that I was going to enroll on a part time college course he seemed to look down at me when he found out it was an evening course because I was a single parent.

Walking into the job centre itself gives me a sense of negativity as though I have failed some what in my life, as thought I shouldn’t be there. I feel as though everyone is looking at me as I enter the job centre and they are “assuming” I’m just a single parent on the dole. I am naive in thinking that when people see me they know ho w I hard I work how hard I try to get somewhere with my life, but it doesn’t work that way. I feel ashamed of myself each time I go to the job centre too, and I feel so let down each time I look at the job point but I don’t find any suitable jobs. I feel that the staff may think that I am being too picky in what I am looking for or they may even think I’m not really trying.

I am always on time for these appointment yet the advisers seem to want me to sign and get out of there as quickly as I possibly can. Why is this?

Yes, I am a single mum, yes I am on JSA and yes I am unemployed but I want a job but sadly I don’t seem to be getting the support to help me achieve this. Is it something I am doing wrong, should I be asking more questions, should I take an action plan with me each time I go to the job centre? What can I do to improve my chances of getting a job?

I have decided to finish my counselling course and become a counsellor. At the moment I am looking for some more volunteering opportunities to help me achieve this aim.

I also feel that society needs to get over this stereotypical barrier of single parents being on the dole. People should not be judgmental but learn to understand why a person is a single parent and why they are on JSA. I didn’t wake up one day and think right, my ultimate aim in my life is to become a single parent and claim JSA. I took the wrong turn in my life and events put me in this situation. But this does not mean that my life is going to be like this forever, although to me it may seem that way, I intend to work hard and achieve my aim of becoming a counsellor so I can be a good role model for my daughgter.


Hi everyone, it is Sammieb1980 here! I came back off my holiday yesterday and decided that I would like to set up my own blog. I’ve decided to do this for many different reasons; blogs are quiet popular, those that follow me on Twitter and who are my friends on FaceBook and SODA can learn a little bit more about me; blogs are a ways of sharing other people’s view points too which I think is important and interesting.

I think, anyone can going on holiday can find the experience quiet stressful. It is not just a case of, right we are going on holiday and that’s it, there is so much to plan before the big day! For us, my parents and Little Miss, we all had to decide what place we wanted to go on holiday, which was quite tricky. Obviously the main person to keep happy on the holiday was Little Miss. We needed a place which would keep her her entertained for a week, however I wanted somewhere where my parents would enjoy a weeks break but I didn’t want them to feel that they had to go somewhere just too keep Little Miss happy. Me, I wasn’t bothered where I went. It could be in a caravan in the middle of field for all I cared. We decided on Unity Park, Brean a place we had been too a few times before.

I brought me and Little Miss new clothes and a new suit case for our holiday. I felt the need to do this because I wanted us to look as though we had at least made an effort!

We decided to go to this particular caravan site because it has a lot of activities and entertainment for Little Miss. One thing I notice was that parents seem a little competitive where it comes to their children taking part in the different activities such as making flags and designing their own t.shirts. Some parents, I guess, take a back seat and let their children carry on and others become very involved. Some parents like taking part in all of the dances and parties dances too, but also, some parents hide behind their children and use them in order to take part. For me, one of the tings I noticed on our holiday was the strain it had on my parents. My mum and dad are both in their sixties; my mum has COPD and is diabetic and my dad has trouble walking. I feel that they both need a break of their own, without me and Little Miss with them.

Little Miss is only a child and although she does have friends who come and play at home, she didn’t seem to mix as much as I would have liked her too on holiday. To me, she seemed a little bit of a loner who did not really mix, however, those she did mix with were girls what were younger then herself. However, she did make friends with a boy called Richard who is 6 and friend Hereford which was really nice too see.

We don’t have a shower at home and Little Miss has always been apprehensive about having a however, but on holiday this, she had a shower every morning and every evening before going to the club. She had her own independence and seemed to enjoy the experience too.

Something I also noticed on holiday was that a lot of people, mainly parents and guardian, took lots of photos of their children and children on holiday. I wonder if this is because parents feel the competitive need to do so, i.e showing off where they on holiday on holiday or simply because whey want to remember the memories of their holiday.

I feel that, this holiday, I learned something about myself; I am a wall flower who simply prefers to sit in the audience and watch everyone have a good time, rather than joining with other people who I may not see again. However, I did have a go at playing bingo something which I have never done before.

We were holiday for a week and during that particular she did experience her first time of exhaustion and managed to have a lie in until 09.40 am something she she hasn’t don’t at home before.

During out holiday we went to the fun fair. Little Miss has been a few times before but she has been before on the younger children’s ride on her, however, this year I decided to go on some of her rides The with her this year. The reason I did this was because, we don’t know what next year may hold and we may not be able to go on holiday. I learned that as a 6 year old child she did not see any of the dangers of what me, an adult, saw. Going on some of the rides with Miss I over come some of my own fears by hiding behind her. I comforted her as best as I could by laughing and smiling the whole time when deed down I was scared!

A learning curve form on this particular holiday was a family I saw with a beautiful daughter who was in a disabled and in a wheel chair; it reminded me how lucky was and how hard it must before for that particular when sometimes,society can be so judgmental.

I had a fabulous time with Little Miss but this year we felt that one week was long enough. It is now time for us to safe and hopefully next year have two weeks away instead of one.