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Tanya’s story: struggling with relationships and other family pressures

20 April 2021

Our Family Resilience report shows two in five parents say they have built stronger relationships with their children during the pandemic, however, one in 10 feel less effective as a parent. We look at how one mum, Tanya struggled with family relationships and how our FamilyLine service, supported by LV= General Insurance has made a difference.

When Tanya* contacted our FamilyLine Service she was struggling with many of the key relationships in her life.

She was entering court proceedings to discuss contact arrangements with her child’s father and was also navigating the difficulties involved with living with her parents.

At the time Tanya said that she was struggling to cope with her situation and looking after her child alone, as the baby’s father had left before she was born. Tanya has a disability and she also felt that she was viewed as “difficult” during the court process and as such found it a strain upon her.

Although legal professionals had suggested accessing counselling during court proceedings and it being offered following her initial call to FamilyLine, she felt unable to commit to further appointments in what was already a busy diary due to her situation.

Instead, she preferred to contact the line frequently to talk about her feelings in a less formal manner.

Our helpline volunteers provided a listening ear so Tanya could explore her feelings regarding the relationship with her ex-partner and her parents, as well as share her feelings about the court process and the effect it was having on her. She explained that she felt like she had low self-esteem, anxiety, confusion and stress and felt lonely and let down by her family.

We responded with reassurance about her parenting and her positive relationship with her child and encouraged her to be honest about her feelings.

Over the months of accessing helpline support Tanya recognised she needed support with housing and benefits to move forward, and guidance and support by FamilyLine and its specialist volunteers were available for her to do so.

Tanya was given information and signposted to local housing charities, council housing and Citizens Advice.

“I am very grateful for the support, and I think your organisation is fantastic”

Eventually, regular contact with volunteers on the helpline helped Tanya develop her confidence to access FamilyLine counselling support and hopefully move forward towards a happier future.

She said: “This past year has been the worst time of my entire life and thanks to your organisation providing such fantastic practical & emotional support I have been empowered to stay strong for my little girl.”

“I am very grateful for the support, and I think your organisation is fantastic.”

“It is a true lifeline, thank you”.

*Name changed to protect anonymity.

Read our Family Resilience joint report with LV=General Insurance, looking at the impact of COVID-19 and find out more about how we are working together to build stronger families.