A mother of four fears she will have to tell her children the truth about Santa this Christmas because she doesn’t have enough money to give them presents.
Rachel, from Scotland, has four children under the age of ten and is currently paying her bills in a ‘bill roulette’ amid the cost-of-living crisis that will cripple Christmas this year, with millions cut on gifts – or don’t buy them not at all.
In a TikTok video, the 30-year-old claims Universal Credit, saying going back to work would be too crippling financially.
She said, “If I had family to help me, I would go back to work. People say I sit on my butt all day, but I’ve been a working mom and now I’m a stay-at-home mom and feel like I’m doing ten people’s work.
“When I’m working, at least I can drink a cup of tea and sit down. I was a manager for Samsung when I had my son, who is now eight, and I worked my way up the ladder so that I could pay childcare costs and have a living wage, but then I got pregnant with my daughter, who is now five, and I was planning to go back, because I loved my job.
‘When I started looking at creches and the cost of creche and after-school care for two, it cost around £1,800, which understandably ruined my salary.
‘I could work 50 hours a week and be lucky to have £50 a month to spare, or I could stay at home and be the one raising my children instead of someone else, being in the same financial position.
Rachel has been inundated with messages from trolls telling her she shouldn’t have had so many kids and how she spends her days “hanging out.”
She added, “People assume I don’t want to work, but I would love to! No one in their right mind would work 50 hours a week for nothing.
Rachel (pictured), from Scotland, has four children under the age of ten and currently pays her bills in a ‘roulette bill’.
‘I feel trapped because my youngest is 19 months old, so he hasn’t started school yet.
“We raise four children with the money that is given to raise two children. One is my husband’s child from a previous relationship, and the other is mine from a previous relationship and then we had two together.
“I then got pregnant with my youngest while on the IUD, so it’s not like we hadn’t tried not to have one more.
“But to be honest, it’s nobody’s business with my birth control. I hate the assumption of people telling me I shouldn’t have handed out kids I can’t afford.
‘We’re just surviving! We play roulette with our direct debits, whoever comes to us first can have the money. Will it be gas and electricity or car financing?
The 30-year-old is claiming Universal Credit, saying going back to work would be too crippling financially
‘I don’t feel like we were built just to survive and not have fun, I should be able to buy clothes for my kids without stress. I’ve been sewing the same pair of my own leggings for four years!
“People who say they don’t understand and have never been in this position, I tell them, if I got a job, who would take care of my children? I can’t return them or leave them at home.
“Someone even told me to work night shifts, but what am I supposed to do with my 18-month-old? I wouldn’t survive.
‘People want to offer solutions without thinking whether it is possible. I’ve heard all possible solutions!’
To shave money off her grocery bill, she buys clothes at thrift stores, chooses sausage over chicken, doesn’t buy as many snacks, and has even sold her husband’s phone for extra cash.
She added, “I just want to make my kids happy. I don’t want them to be ashamed and as a parent you do everything. I always think of ways.
“It’s terrible in the run-up to Christmas, it makes me physically ill. My daughter’s birthday is just before Christmas too, so I’m essentially doing Christmas shopping for four and also birthday shopping, which then feels like I’m shopping for five.
‘I’ve never bought a present for my husband and he hasn’t got it for me, not even chocolate, everything goes to the kids!
“You can be ashamed to take something for free, it’s almost like begging and betraying your pride, but the stakes are getting higher and higher. We are fighting an impossible battle.
“What if the kids get older and want more expensive clothes because their friends wear them?
‘If nobody speaks up, nothing changes and people feel alone.
“I know I’m not alone in this situation, and I know there are people out there who are in a worse position, but I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.
“I don’t care about other opinions, but if people think I’m lazy and don’t work hard, it’s not fair. I wish I could work.
“If people lived my life, I’d like them to tell me where you can fit a job in?”