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Single parent joining the force


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I am a single mum to a 7yr old boy. I have just passed my final interview and fitness test and have my medical, which i'm pretty positive i'll pass. I reckon i'll be starting my training in Feb.

My question is, do you think it's feasible for me as a single mum to become a police officer? my parents are close by and are happy to help whenever necessary. Do you think i'd ever get to spend any time with my son? Can anyone tell me what the shifts patterns are like after the first 20 wks training? And do i get any say in the shifts i get?

I don't have any friends or anyone to talk to who would know, and the recruitment dept weren't able to be very specific, so anyone who has any advice or recent experiences they'd like to share, I'd be massively grateful!!! I so want to do it as it's been a life long dream, but i dont want to never get to spend any time with my son, but think i'd regret it if i didn't take this opportunity! confused!

Thanks in advance!!

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Welcome to the Forum Suzie. There is no reason why a single mum shouldn't make a good copper, as long as you don't rely on 'but I'm a single mum' when things don't go the way you planned, or you are held on duty when you want to be snuggled up with your kid. You WILL have to make sacrifices, but will also get used to it, over time.

As for the shift pattern, well that depends on what force you are joining. We have members from every force, so if you want to identify the force, you may find some enlightenment.

Good luck in any case.

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Hi Susie,

I guess you would have expected more responses than you have got to date... to be quite frank, I would not recommend the Police Service as a career to anyone let alone a single parent. I am still a serving Officer and have 3 more years to do. I spent most of my time on the CID. When I found myself as a single parent and requiring to drop my hours to look after my three year old boy, I was met with discrimination and victimisation.

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Hi Suzie,

you are going to make some sacrifices. You will get used to the shifts. You will find a diary will be mandatory - buy one for your parents and make sure they have your shift pattern for as far in the future as it's published..........I'm guessing they have a life too so it will help them plan their lives!

Your parents are going to 'have' to help you out. Your child is not going to like some of the stuff you end up missing out on. He's going to get used to it. Your rest days are, sometimes, going to end up being on days when you can't spend much time with your son. Sometimes they will fall perfectly and you'll both make the most of each other.

You will find yourself attending jobs where your emotions are going to have to be kept under wraps until you get home, because they involve children of your son's age.

You can do it, but as long as your son and parents are fully supportive then you'll manage.....

Having said that, I wouldn't recommend The Job to anybody at the moment either - but I guess it depends on your own circumstances!

The very best of luck!!!! :grin:

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Suzie I was a single parent new to the job with kids aged 2 and 4. I nearly bankrupted myself paying for child care and missed out on loads, but I kept going because I knew it would get easier and I would have a good career out of it. Any parent that works experiences guilt for things they miss, but providing a good future is important. My kids are now 23 and 25 years old, they are proud of my profession and both say they don't feel they missed out on the most important thing - my love!

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Have you properly researched the job and understand what you will be getting in to

I ask because this far down the line you are asking the questions you should have asked at the begining

Having said that in my opinion you should go for it the job at present is not as good as it was but the same can be said about most jobs at present it all goes in cycles

Will you get to see your son of course you will, yes you may be late of duty sometimes and you will have shift to work especially when you fisrt start, but its not has bad as some would have you beleive at lot of the issues is getting your head around shift patterns and the fact everyone who speaks of childcare seems to think we al have 9 - 5 jobs its a case of differnet approach and making the best of the time you have together

the first two years wil be the hardest after that you can look at applying for variations under work life balance, depending on force and its no a automatic right

shifts not only depend on hte force you are joining but can vary even down to individual stations in some forces, will you get a say in what you work in short no,but you can always enquire as i said above but a a student the first two years are your learning curve and depends on each force as to flexibility


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Sorry computer had a moment

what i was going to add was if its want you want go for it about three ywears ago i tutored a single parent she found it really hard at first but everyone helped her along supervsion were excellent, once she got into the way of life became more experienced she started to enjoy the job its not affected her or her daughters in ayway infact she argues it has made their relationship better as she is doing something she always wanted to do and appreciates their time together

Good luck, stick with it you will regret it if you dont try

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