Dealing with government departments
- Ask for the name of the person that you are dealing with for future reference.
- Keep copies of documents provided to each department (record the date, person and section they are sent to).
Getting time off work
- Speak to your superiors and colleagues, and explain your situation.-Suggest a possible compromise – Friday afternoons off for an extra 35 minutes a day.-Set a period of time for this then review it.
- Know your limitations and let others know them too.
Smaller social network
- Consider volunteering where the work is done on a group basis e.g. fire rescue service, life saving, your child’s school Parents and Friends network.
Learning to cook
- Ask a friend to teach you to cook in exchange for doing some handy work, mowing their lawn, baby sitting or help with some other project they might have on.
- Borrow a book from the library on cooking basic meals.
Maintaining the car
- Look on the web for information on your brand of car.
- Get road service membership such as NRMA, RACQ etc for when you lock your keys in the car, have a flat tyre, your battery suddenly goes dead, or your car breaks down in an inconvenient location.
- Take a course in car maintenance.
Shopping for groceries
- Look on the web for home shopping grocery sites such as Coles or Woolworths.-Browse through each section and make a list of what you need – use this as a prompter each time you shop.-It also gives you an idea of the costs involved.
- Generic food brands are often cheaper and just as good as the label brands.
- Contact your local utility service company to arrange instalment payments for your electricity, telephone, insurance rates etc.
- Join a group that buys groceries in bulk – this can be cheaper.-These are usually co-ops or local community groups.
- Ensure that the important people in your children’s lives are invited to school plays, religious ceremonies, music recitals, sports events etc.
Understanding your children’s routine
- Have a calendar or notebook with important dates highlighted, e.g. sports carnival, swimming carnival, parent reading at school, doctors appointments, weekend sports locations, etc.
Organising care for the kids
- Talk to your child’s school and see what school care programs you can access e.g. before and after-school care, and holiday programs.
- Place a notice for parents in the school newsletter requesting child minding after school.-In return, offer something that you can do for the other parent.
- Enquire with your local community service provider about available child care programs.
Extract from “What about Me?” Practical ideas on looking after yourself after separation.