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Being Independent?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

How do you do it? I was with my ex for 10 years, since I was 16. I do not have a high school education or much work experience. I know my ex has to pay child support and he is doing that plus some. We are only separated and he moved out in June. The boys and I are staying in the house (which he is paying for) and he got an apartment. He is giving me $800 a month for groceries/gas. He pays all bills. I would love to get out of this house. Have our own apartment. I just got a part time job at the Y working in the Child Watch area so I can take my boys to work with me. The pay is not much, at all, but its a start. 


How do you go from being a stay at home mom for 4 years to surviving on your own and being independent? My ex is not controlling at all and is very helpful, I would just like to be able to do this on my own. I just don't know where to start or how to go about it. 


ETA - I have no local family. Moving to be closer to my family is not something i am willing to do either. 

post #2 of 10

It doesn't happen over night, but you can set realistic goals and make a plan to achieve them. Start by thinking about the areas you have most experience in or are most interested in (because although you may not land a long-term job right away, it is best to work in the same field so you develop skills and become an attractive candidate for jobs), and what your goals are for work and your family life. I started working part time BEFORE separating, because work was actually 'my ticket out of there', otherwise it would have never happened. I didnt even know if I would make it to the end of each month, but it was totally worth it, and not much different from before wink1.gif actually.

Now, 16 months later I have a full time job I can do from home - how perfect is that! It took about 2.5 years of fierce focus and working at night to make up for time spent with the kids during the day, and transitioning through 4 jobs to get to this place.

Good luck!

post #3 of 10

A wonderful job for a single mom is house cleaning... would that be something you are interested in and capable of?  It is hard work but the hours are flexible and the pay can be great .

That is what I do. I recently took a part time job at a gas station to make extra money while the kids are in school. I get 900 a month child support from xh so that helps us a lot.

post #4 of 10

Honestly, it's REALLY hard.  I have 2 and no support from the ex.  I hate to admit it, but I have to rely on government support.  When I left the ex I knew leaving him would mean I was leaving my middle class work at home mom status, and placing myself and my children into poverty.  However, (due to abuse) I was willing to do that.  However, I hate having to be on the system.  I can't make over a certain amount right now because benifits would get cut.  Cut in benifits and how much it would cost out of pocket in exchange would mean i wouldn't make enough to support me and the kids.

It's rough.  But, I've learned to be humble.  Accept the kindness of friends, family and others.  One day I will repay their kindness and help!



post #5 of 10

It's definitely hard, and it takes more than hard work. A lot of people think that if single moms just lace up their boots and stpo being afraid of hard work, they'd be fine. It's a lot more complicated than that.

In your case, because you do have the luxury of a little bit of time while your ex continues to support the family, I would encourage you so, so, so strongly to continue your education if at all possible. Not having a high school education will make it that much harder to enter the workforce. Most communities have GED adult education programs. After that, you could consider community college programs, especially online classes. More education could really increase your earning potential.

Have you sat down and though about the things that you're good at or the things that you enjoy? Is there a career you've always been interested in? Just sit down, either on your own or with a friend, and play with envisioning your life in five or ten years. What would make you happy?

Your kids are still quite young, and you have, what, four years until the youngest starts kindergarten? So that makes it a little tougher. How do you feel about daycare, at least part time for them? Alternately, you could consider starting an in-home daycare in your house. That might be harder to manage if you move to an apartment, but it's still possible.

But seriously, whatever you do, your first move should absolutely be getting your GED, if you don't already have it. If nothing else, it sets a good example for your children.


post #6 of 10
ITA with PP about your education (!!!) and about brainstorming. I have a writing business that I work on during naptime; a few years ago I wrote down on paper what my talents are, what my interests are, what parts of a job I would enjoy and what parts I couldn't deal with. I ended up with four or five ideas, posted ads on craigslist for each one, and just kept posting the ad I got the most response from. It might not be that simple but it seems like you have a bit of time to figure it out. You can do it mama! smile.gif
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I know getting my GED is something I NEED to do, especially now. I am attending a GED orientation on Monday night carrot.gif This thread was just the kick in the arse I needed to make that call. Thank you!

post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by CoopersMommy0308 View Post

I know getting my GED is something I NEED to do, especially now. I am attending a GED orientation on Monday night carrot.gif This thread was just the kick in the arse I needed to make that call. Thank you!


Good for you! Good luck! That's really the best move you can make for yourself and your kids. Let us know how it goes.

post #9 of 10

YAY! Hope it goes great you can do it mama

post #10 of 10

You can do it!  I am a waitress, even though I have a college degree, because it is the most money for the fewest hours away from my kids.  My degree is in English, and there are no high paying jobs.  I also have a very part time brainiac job doing research and writing papers for a doctor.  It is very intense mental work, and hard to do with the kids around.  But I am hoping it will lead to more work in the field.  I always thought I hated slinging hash...but I have also found that I hate staring at the comp screen doing research, even though writing was always what I thought I wanted to do.  So keep that in mind.  Some childcare gigs have terrible pay.  But I know someone who gets 15 bucks an hour, cash under the table, for watching some rich folks kids.  And that's decent here in a low cost-of-living area.  Good luck!

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