Single parents and whether they should work instead of relying on the state benefit system is always a topic up for debate. It was with interest a fortnight ago that I read the article with regards to Tracey Wright who is a single mum of two children aged sixteen and ten. She is fortunate to have never had to rely on the state benefit system because she is of the wealthy side. Her former husband is a millionaire Equine Surgeon that since their split in 2006 has supported his family with £75,000 per year – oh the thought of that amount of money! Not only that but he has given her a yearly allowance of £33,200 as a personal allowance for herself. She was also left a mortgage free home of £450,000.

In 2006 when the marriage broke down it was highly appropriate. They were married, Mrs Wright had given up her own career to be at home with her children and Mr Wright had enough money and a duty to ensure that his ex-wife who cares for his children were provided for and stable, so that the children didn’t suffer.

However, 2006 was quite a long time ago and Mrs Wright is 51 and her ex-husband is considerably older still and will be retiring. He doesn’t think that it’s fair that he continues to pay such a high maintenance contribution or yearly upkeep for herself. The judge sided with the male for reasons that are completely agreeable.

The rest of us single mothers who are lower down on the chain have to get on with it.

And all praise to the judge who has probably judged many cases from ladies of different scales of wealth from the poor to the wealthy. I admire his recognition, that other mothers ‘get on with it’ and that he has spoken up and told Mrs Wright that she has made no attempt to work since her divorce or re-train. She is now naturally devastated because she is saying that she has to go and find work as a cleaner because she is 51 and who will employ her now? I felt appalled when I read her quote. She has written herself off because of age. She is not looking at her life skills with a clear head. And, what is the matter with being a cleaner on a low wage? She has more money behind her than the average woman. Should she really be complaining? Plus her children are not babies. They are ten and sixteen. One doesn’t even live at home most of the time because she is at boarding school. But she is saying that she wants to be around for her children. I think that she needs reminding that children do go to school. Personally I think it’s a sign of a lady who has lost her confidence and indeed women do need support when they go back into the workplace after a long break. It is daunting but it can happen successfully and be very rewarding. Besides Mrs Wright has a long time yet until she herself is of retirement age so why has she written herself off? She was a former Legal Secretary. Surely she can look for an Administration or Secretarial role… Why a Cleaner? I suppose that’s what sulking makes you do, come out with what you consider to be the worst option.

The benefits system states that single parents of children must find a sixteen hour a week job once their youngest child reaches seven otherwise they will have their state money that they rely on for a basic existence terminated. This woman is complaining because her life of luxury is going to be reduced but somebody needs to remind her that her life of luxury has a long way to dwindle before she hits the lowest paid ranks. Mrs Wright, it has been a fortnight and I hope that you have picked your chin up off the floor and you are doing exactly what the judge has said. Getting on with it. You never know, this could be a whole new exciting chapter for you. Just like it is for seventy year old Princess Michael of Kent who is now working in an Art Gallery due to financial difficulties. She’s nineteen years older! And to give you inspiration. Think about Madonna, older and bolder… I wish you well.

 

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