I have two children aged 5 years and 15 months. They have the same father but unfortunately we broke up over a year ago because of issues between us nothing to do with the kids. I am a single mother and he doesn't give me money because he did but he abused the power of having me ask for it and it was very awkward trying to get it. He then got nasty and embarrassed me over it a few times so I said just stop and now he will go to the shop and buy nappies or socks if they are needed but I try not to because he is SO unreliable. We get on a lot better when money isn't involved and we can even go out for days the four of us which is nice for the children I think. I however have to pay for said days out, rent (although I have moved back with my parents I cannot expect them to pay for our gas/electric and water use without some input!) I pay for our own food and clothes. I am also working on getting a car my driving instructor has said hopefully before the end of summer. My five year old is very sporty and is learning to swim, tennis and football and he loves them very much. He also has a map on his wall where he likes to add stars of the places he's been but sadly there aren't many stars up as travel is so expensive (the map is only of the uk!) My problem is that my job is in a hotel on a zero hour contract so if I don't do the hours I don't get paid. I work Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the day and then some evenings a week. I feel like I have to work a lot and my mother said the other day that I was the reason that my son was so upset although when I asked him he said it was due to the ulcer in his mouth. My ex has also told me that I shouldn't work as much. I do see my children though on the weekends I see them in the morning and I am normally fished by 2/3 o clock and my evening shifts are at about 7 so I have them bathed and reddy for bed my 5 year old may not be necessarily asleep but he won't be far off. I need the money to be able to afford to live however and the more hours I do the more holiday hours I can save up. Hopefully when I get my car and my 15 month old has some more childcare hours I can get a non weekend job, although my ex has them on the weekend anyway because he doesn't see them during the week.
I just wanted an unbiased opinion on whether I should stop my evening shifts, bearing in mind I'm minimum wage, and just work the three days a week so I can see my children more but then not be able to afford to have days out etc. I may be being cynical here but I feel like my mum and ex complaining is more because they don't like doing the childcare so I would just like some unbiased advice please.