Being a working parent is not always an easy task and it often feels like an endless round of housework, shopping, trips to daycare, kindergarten, school, & grabbing a bite to eat on the run. For sex workers, there are extra obligations with work and parenting. The purpose of this information sheet is to provide common concerns of sex workers including:
- Managing home and work
Daytime – There are many good childcare facilities available for children of all ages – from infants to toddlers and preschoolers, as well as before and after school care options for older children. Many sex workers opt to work during the day, as it is easier to accommodate the needs of their children. It is best to visit a couple of centres with your children to see how they operate, and decide on one that is suitable for your needs. Childcare can be costly, however you may be eligible for a Centrelink child care benefit – contact them for more details.
Night time – The best solution is probably to hire a babysitter/nanny to come to your home. Some sitters offer overnight rates. You may need to leave your child at their place and collect them in the morning. Finding a good sitter can be difficult – you may need to contact some babysitter or nanny agencies for some decent referrals. Prices for overnight care vary according to experience etc. Some childcare centres are also open late, or even 24/7. Try searching online to see what is available in your area.
Tip – Relying on the generosity of friends or family can sometimes be a strain on the relationship. It may be better to come to some sort of business arrangement.
Managing home and work
Find ways to cut corners if possible. Preparing and freezing meals in advance can be a timesaver, and keeping healthy snacks such as fruit can be helpful when you have children who always seem to be hungry! Paying someone to do the more tedious tasks such as ironing, and cleaning, may assist when your time is limited. Encouraging children to be involved in housework and encouraging them to be responsible for their bedroom tidiness can also be beneficial.
Spending – Work out a budget, organise direct debits from your bank account, bpay or periodic payments for bills. This is a time saver & can keep you up to date.
Saving – Opening a separate account for savings is always a good way to save money.
Time out for you
When overloaded with responsibilities, many working parents forget to take care of themselves. Before long, they feel exhausted, burnt out and dissatisfied.
Some strategies to prevent burnout occurring are:
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Eating well balanced meals
- Balancing work and leisure time
Spend some time relaxing – some workers suggest a weekly massage or soaking in a long leisurely bath.
Ensure you and your children have quality time together without the pressure of always having to hurry.
What should I tell my children I do for work?
This is very much a personal choice and up to the individual. It depends on the relationship you have with your child. Whatever the decision, it is one only you can make. Respect Inc are available to provide support to you if necessary.
Can my children be taken from me if I am working in the sex industry?
No, not unless your child is being harmed in some way. Government agencies and welfare services are only interested in the wellbeing and care of children they suspect to be at risk of emotional or physical abuse or neglect.
Can my ex-partner get custody of the children if the court knows I am a sex worker?
Every Family Law Case is different, and the Magistrate takes into account many variables. We suggest you contact Legal Aid for legal advice. You may also wish to consider resolving your differences out of court by lodging a parenting agreement – this can be arranged through mediation. Your best option is to contact the Family Law Court counselling service who offer free confidential advice on all issues concerning Family Law.
Can I still claim benefits if I am working?
Your ability to claim benefits depends on your income. If your income from sex work is less than a certain amount, you may be entitled to receive part or full benefits, including your family payments and childcare fee relief.
If your income exceeds a certain amount, you may not be eligible for benefits, but you may be entitled to some family payments and/or partial child-care assistance. For more information, contact Centrelink.
All material in this information sheet is provided for your information only and may not be construed as legal, medical or health advice or instruction.