December Lower Income and/or Struggling Mama's Support Thread - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just thought I would start a new one for you all!



For any struggling mama in need of support, though the majority on here are low income or in a large amount of debt... *all* are welcome.


Play nice, no flaming... SUPPORT ONLY!










.

Resistance is futile Matey
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#2 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Last month's thread:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=780446

Posts: 1,292

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:


Wonder if we will break it?

Resistance is futile Matey
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#3 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a new "challenge" to ponder.... post or keep to yourself *one* thing you will do to better yourself in some way this coming month.


That can mean many things.


I need to ponder this too.

Resistance is futile Matey
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#4 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 12:30 AM
 
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Just subbing for now...gotta head to bed...catch you all later...
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#5 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 12:54 AM
 
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...didn't realize a new thread was started....

sorry for the double post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy View Post
Nature, I hear you I was in the dollar store the other day trying to find craft stuff so me and dd could do Christmas crafts... so we could feel like it was a holiday -- and I left the cart at the store without buying anything because I just couldn't justify the expenditure

I hear you about lurking too -- I lurked here for a long time before jumping in ...please stay and accept all the wonderful support from these mamas
I do that a lot. I get the urge to go out and buy just a little something to make our life happier or more fulfilling. Little things. And I end up putting it back and walking out with nothing. I have such a hard time justifying purchases.

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Originally Posted by Thystle View Post
Just jump in (that goes for everyone) and you will be part of the party too!


Do you have the "Dollar Tree" dollar stores? I would send you a gc to one if that would help!


I bought my CL minivan for $450. And while it's done decently and my dad is a great mechanic... I am going to shoot it soon.


My 6 yo has been dx SPD and technically fits the PDD NOS scale. Hearing test issues might be CAPD which number 1 and 2 deal with also. {{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}


I hope you get your better housing soon! That really sucks!!!


{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
My dollar stores are Dollar Tree! :

I really wish sometimes that I had income tax returns like "normal" people.
Or maybe had family that would lend us money. It just sucks so much never having a chunk of money. In order to buy something for even a few hundred dollars, we have to save for months. And its hard to save when you're living so close to the edge ya know? And we so very much need a van..

My dd's hearing eval went well and she passed. Next Monday is her OT and speech observation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zahirakids View Post
Just found this thread. my Dh's hours have been cut drastically since the beginning of November. He is now trying to get a second job so we can at least make it by.

we can't catch up on bills and I can not work because of my disabilities.

It is nice to have a place to come and share and talk especially when times are so hard.

My dh and I are both disabled. Welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
Why am I so happy that I just cleaned out the bottom of a couple of my purses and found $50 in change. Great can take care of a few items without using the credit cards.
Whoohoooo!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy View Post
Yeah, we just got declined for modest needs. Super. We don't make enough money. I thought that was the point... if I was making enough money I wouldn't be @#$@#$@# applying to !@#!@#@!# modest needs would I? :

Oh I get it! They want people who make good money but have fallen on "hard times". Not scuzzbags like us who work hard but just don't seem to get ahead. Sorry, I am pissy. No insult intended to people who make good money and have fallen on hard times. It just sucks.
Oh no! I am so sorry. That makes no sense at all! I've been to the site and even thought about signing up for it, but honestly the things I needed it for.. like car repairs.. I couldn't wait a few months to see if we would get it. And the amount of stuff they needed made me :

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Originally Posted by mrskennedy View Post
Hi Nature ! I remember you.
We've been fortunate not to have any recalled toys. DS has 2 Little People toys--a train and a gumball machine that were gifts--and he loves them. They're plastic as plastic can be, but I'm not taking them away either. They distract him long enough for me to throw on some warm clothes!
Hello!
I know my crunchy card has already been taken away years ago.. but my little ones are happy with the toys they have. In a perfect world.. I'd have all the money I needed to buy the highest quality wooden Waldorf toys money can buy. ... but I don't see that ever happening.

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Originally Posted by DuchsLove View Post
To the mom that needs stocking stuffers...What were you looking for? I have a ton of little toys/brand new girly beauty stuff etc that I would be willing to send you. Let me know, please.
My girls are 9, 4, and 2 so little toys and girly stuff is exactly what I usually get them. Hair pretties, chapstick, little things. And I usually fill the rest of their stockings with food type things, because I can buy that with food stamps and every little bit helps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
Looks snow is coming this way early next week which means gotta get boots for dd.. sigh..
Oh crap! : I totally forgot about boots... there is no way I can add 3 pairs of boots on top of christmas expenses. Gah. The money sink hole never ends...

Snow Monday right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
I am PMS'ing and feeling a little down, but does anyone feel as if their RL friends don't really understand what it means to be financially struggling? I have a couple RL friends who I have recently told just how bad things were and now I have that sense like they are staying away because maybe my brokeness will rub off on them.

On the surface we don't appear broke, or like people who are having a rough time but the reality is if FIL wasn't helping us with the mortgage we'd be really screwed instead of just a little screwed.

No one seems to get it, I really am happy to have this group to lean on though at times I feel like do I belong here.

Ok, vent over...

Shay
Shay! I get it. And I'm nearby.

No one usually wants to do anything with me because I can't usually afford the things they want to do. Even when they want to meet at Dunkin Donuts or something, I stick out like a sore thumb when I don't order a coffee. They know I love coffee! But I just can't afford it.

Ya.. I don't have too many RL friends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amydidit View Post
I don't have rl friends either. I try, but it never seems to work for me.

So I was wrong... I have 2 more weeks before I get any time off :

And I was reminded this morning that DD1 has a science project coming due that I still have to get her the supplies for. Poster board, glue stick, sapphire colored gems (plastic or glass), etc. ~sighs~ Seriously, do the schools think we're all made of money? If I talk to the teacher I could probably get the requirements lowered for DD, but then she'd be ridiculed by kids at school. They already tease her because she doesn't dress as nice as they do

Oh well... life is life is life. Time to head back in to work.
I know what thats like.. My 9 yo that just moved in with me came with clothes from her fathers house and hardly any of them fit her and are decent looking. (stains, holes, etc...) I wish I could afford to get her new clothes, but honestly... everything has to be budgeted in and I just can't afford it right now. So I wash frequently and hope that I can ride it out until after the holidays. Maybe hit up Goodwill then and pray for things in her size.

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#6 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 01:08 AM
 
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And now I'm going to piggyback on my own post..

I'm talking to a friend on IM, and she said she doesn't have much food in the house. So I've been helping her find food pantries. She tells me all they've been able to eat the past few days is meatloaf, spaghetti and meatballs, and steak.

Um..

Thats better than what we eat period. :

So I'm trying not to judge her. She is in a two income home, 3 kids, one with a special dietary need that is a bit expensive. Her income is not poverty by any means. But they overdrafted due to a mistake and now she can't buy groceries until next week. Her kids are used to a certain um.. way of life, I guess you could say... and she's freaking out that she can't give it right now.

So I tried to give her ideas. Money saving tips for school snacks, and things like that. To try to help her brainstorm ways to save.

And she tells me, (paraphrased) "normally this isn't an issue.. I just want to get out of this rut we're in. I don't really care how much stuff costs normally, so good that you're all martha stewart like and saving money but we don't need to be THAT stingy. We're having a hard week, we aren't POOR! "

:

I told her I was only trying to help and I'd shut up now.. she just laughed.

Ya, I'm gonna go cry now..



somehow I feel like a huge loser now.

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#7 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 01:09 AM
 
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Hello Ladies!

I thought I would wait till the new thread to introduce myself. My name is Jessica and I am married and we have a beautiful 15 month old together!

I am a SAHM and part time doula. We struggle to make it monthly, but things are getting tighter this month, but will soon clear up as half our debt will be paid in December and the rest will be gone in February. We have struggled making ends for quite awhile and I am ready to get out of this circumstance.

I am glad to have found this thread with so many supportive women!!

I can't wait to get to know you all more

Jessica, Single Mama to Lailah(4) and Christopher(2)
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#8 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 01:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post


somehow I feel like a huge loser now.
Oh, I am so sorry you feel this way! You were trying to be helpful and obviously she didn't get that! I am sorry and if it makes you feel any better I would love to have more friends like you!

Jessica, Single Mama to Lailah(4) and Christopher(2)
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#9 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 01:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Nature View Post
And she tells me, (paraphrased) "normally this isn't an issue.. I just want to get out of this rut we're in. I don't really care how much stuff costs normally, so good that you're all martha stewart like and saving money but we don't need to be THAT stingy. We're having a hard week, we aren't POOR! "

:

I told her I was only trying to help and I'd shut up now.. she just laughed.

Ya, I'm gonna go cry now..



somehow I feel like a huge loser now.


Wow; don't you wish you had a tape recorder so you could play back people's words to themselves?? I am so sorry you are feeling like a loser.. you are NOT a loser.. just a really caring friend. ((I have a friend like that, btw..I don't talk to her about money or stuff much because I get a lil tiffed at her attitude with things like this..))

 Mama to my tribe
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#10 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 01:34 AM
 
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So we've been on the recieving end of a TON of generosity lately! WOW! I just got a box of gorgeous wool yarn to knit up baby longies and toddler mittens and hats today. And it's no cheapo yarn that I would buy either. It's gorgeous wahm hand-dyed wool!!!!! Also, I got two PM's on DS about baby clothing and blankets and infant prefolds. PLUS, my manager at work tonight told me that she put my name at her church for an "adopt a family" program for someone who needs a little help. Two years ago they helped her family out and bought bags and bags of presents for her kids plus warm clothing for her and her husband and an entire christmas dinner. So she said that I should be expecting a call soon. A little embarrassing but it would be nice for a little help with christmas since I think it won't be too exciting around here!

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#11 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 01:36 AM
 
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So we've been on the recieving end of a TON of generosity lately! WOW! I just got a box of gorgeous wool yarn to knit up baby longies and toddler mittens and hats today. And it's no cheapo yarn that I would buy either. It's gorgeous wahm hand-dyed wool!!!!! Also, I got two PM's on DS about baby clothing and blankets and infant prefolds. PLUS, my manager at work tonight told me that she put my name at her church for an "adopt a family" program for someone who needs a little help. Two years ago they helped her family out and bought bags and bags of presents for her kids plus warm clothing for her and her husband and an entire christmas dinner. So she said that I should be expecting a call soon. A little embarrassing but it would be nice for a little help with christmas since I think it won't be too exciting around here!
That is so great!! Don't you love when things seem to work a bit in your favor?!

Jessica, Single Mama to Lailah(4) and Christopher(2)
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#12 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 01:37 AM
 
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Hello Ladies!

I thought I would wait till the new thread to introduce myself. My name is Jessica and I am married and we have a beautiful 15 month old together!
Welcome Jessica!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy Doula View Post
Oh, I am so sorry you feel this way! You were trying to be helpful and obviously she didn't get that! I am sorry and if it makes you feel any better I would love to have more friends like you!
I think she got defensive because it made her feel poor, ya know? Like Shay said earlier.. people seem afraid it will rub off on them. I was just giving her little tips like, if she has popcorn she can pop some for the kids snacks at school instead of buying individual snacks this week, and using a reusable bottle for their drinks instead of prepackaged ones. Not really rocket science, but from her reaction.. it was too low class for her. She even asked me if my kids got made fun of in school for that stuff because hers would be. : We don't live in Hollywood. I'm quite sure her kids wouldn't be made fun off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fruitful4Him View Post
Wow; don't you wish you had a tape recorder so you could play back people's words to themselves?? I am so sorry you are feeling like a loser.. you are NOT a loser.. just a really caring friend. ((I have a friend like that, btw..I don't talk to her about money or stuff much because I get a lil tiffed at her attitude with things like this..))
Its weird. We've been friends since high school. We're the talk quite a bit but never see each other or do things together type of friends. I've gone a few years without talking to her before because of weird attitudes like this. I just can't relate money wise with her.. and I guess she can't with me either. She thinks that not going out to eat 5 times a week is poverty. I can't remember the last time we were able to go out to eat at all.

Heh. I think she's just on a roll tonight.. she was complaining how her husband never puts food away and wastes it. I said mine does that sometimes too, especially if I don't specifically tell him to put it away. I told her that most of the time I put the food away myself so it doesn't spoil and not worry that he's going to do it or not. She said that we have a different lifestyle and different expectations. My husband apparently has an excuse to be "that way" because he has mental issues. Yes, he has ADD but I was trying to agree with her frustration about food.. I was telling her something we had in common... and instead, she started telling me things like, "Yes but my dh is normal. Yours isn't. Thats why he's always depressed and stuff. Your dh is messed up. Mines not, he just acts it." .........

: I told her I was going to bed and logged out.

Ever feel like someone is knocking you down and continually kicking you in the head for no reason? wow tonight sucks.

Thanks for all the hugs mamas.

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#13 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 01:40 AM
 
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...Oh crap! : I totally forgot about boots... there is no way I can add 3 pairs of boots on top of christmas expenses. Gah. The money sink hole never ends...

Snow Monday right?
What size boots do you need? Will a pink and white and black pair of kids size 13 help you???? Bought brand new, worn 3 times. I'm pretty positive I have a pair from Lulu that are all pink from last year. They might be a 7???? I have to look though. PM me if either will help. They are sitting in the basement doing nothing.






Anyone need any summery clothing in 0-6 months? Not the BEST condition(ie, some staining that may come out. some is in excellent condition), but cute stuff and I won't be using it.

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#14 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 01:41 AM
 
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Welcome Jessica!



I think she got defensive because it made her feel poor, ya know? Like Shay said earlier.. people seem afraid it will rub off on them. I was just giving her little tips like, if she has popcorn she can pop some for the kids snacks at school instead of buying individual snacks this week, and using a reusable bottle for their drinks instead of prepackaged ones. Not really rocket science, but from her reaction.. it was too low class for her. She even asked me if my kids got made fun of in school for that stuff because hers would be. : We don't live in Hollywood. I'm quite sure her kids wouldn't be made fun off.



Its weird. We've been friends since high school. We're the talk quite a bit but never see each other or do things together type of friends. I've gone a few years without talking to her before because of weird attitudes like this. I just can't relate money wise with her.. and I guess she can't with me either. She thinks that not going out to eat 5 times a week is poverty. I can't remember the last time we were able to go out to eat at all.

Heh. I think she's just on a roll tonight.. she was complaining how her husband never puts food away and wastes it. I said mine does that sometimes too, especially if I don't specifically tell him to put it away. I told her that most of the time I put the food away myself so it doesn't spoil and not worry that he's going to do it or not. She said that we have a different lifestyle and different expectations. My husband apparently has an excuse to be "that way" because he has mental issues. Yes, he has ADD but I was trying to agree with her frustration about food.. I was telling her something we had in common... and instead, she started telling me things like, "Yes but my dh is normal. Yours isn't. Thats why he's always depressed and stuff. Your dh is messed up. Mines not, he just acts it." .........

: I told her I was going to bed and logged out.

Ever feel like someone is knocking you down and continually kicking you in the head for no reason? wow tonight sucks.

Thanks for all the hugs mamas.

She doesn't sound like a very nice friend.: I"m sorry she made you feel stupid and like a loser. I've felt that way before with people who were supposed to be my friends and treated me like dirt. It's no fun to FEEL poor and like a loser.

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#15 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 01:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Crunchy Doula View Post
Hello Ladies!

I thought I would wait till the new thread to introduce myself. My name is Jessica and I am married and we have a beautiful 15 month old together!

I am a SAHM and part time doula. We struggle to make it monthly, but things are getting tighter this month, but will soon clear up as half our debt will be paid in December and the rest will be gone in February. We have struggled making ends for quite awhile and I am ready to get out of this circumstance.

I am glad to have found this thread with so many supportive women!!

I can't wait to get to know you all more
Well Jessica! Glad you could join us! This thread is awesome! It's my salvation sometimes when I feel like the entire world is out to get me and kick me while I'm down. I think you'll find that you can come here feeling like crap and leave feeling a little down but otherwise supported, loved, and like you aren't alone battling the world anymore!

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#16 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 01:51 AM
 
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Hi, all. I'm joining in.

I'm Maureen, and I'm another mama who's fallen upon hard times, but unfortunately, they are not temporary. I have 3 kids, ages 17, 6 and 7 mos. I am married but in the process of divorcing

Two years ago, I was a hard-working lawyer married to a SAHD. My marriage was rocky, and I started having a lot of trouble at work. One day, I just sort of broke down, and wound up in the hospital. I was diagnosed wtih bipolar disorder, and have not been able to work since. I'm in a constant state of anxiety, and I have not yet found any meds/treatment to stabilize my bipolar.

STBX resentfully got a job, and my marriage started going downhill pretty fast; stbx relapsed into drug addiction, quit his job and fell completely apart. The last time we saw him he was in handcuffs. There has been so much emotional fallout because of this, but I'll spare the details.

Financially, I was okay for a while: For 6 mos., I got short-term disability = fullpay; then long-term disability = 60% pay. In September, my short-term ended b/c my disability is psychological; if it were physical, I could collect until I retired (yes, I've filed a complaint). Since September, I've been only getting SSDI. None of this would even be unbearably bad, except I incurred so much debt when I was making much more money. For example, I have a $3500 mortgage payment, which is double by SSDI. I have student loan payments of over $1000/mo. I could go on. I am cutting everywhere I can, but just my fixed expenses alone are more than 3x my SSDI.

Right now, I am taking withdrawals from my 401K to meet expenses for several reasons: dd was going to graduate in May, and I didn't want to transfer her senior year; my house is under water, and I can't afford to pay any shortfall if I sell now; I sent my resume around, and I'm hoping there is some job I can perform in spite of my bipolar; law is one profession where a bankruptcy is really bad, and I worked too, too hard to get my degree to take any step that would ruin my chances of ever practicing again; I may win my discrimination complaint against my disability insurer; or I may win the lottery.

Until any of those happen, though, I'm really, really struggling, and could sure use some support! And, I hope I can offer other low-income/struggling mamas as well.
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#17 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 01:55 AM
 
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[/B][/I]I told her I was only trying to help and I'd shut up now.. she just laughed.

Ya, I'm gonna go cry now..



somehow I feel like a huge loser now.
Some people are beyond clueless, and just, just . . . words fail. No one is immune to hardship. You are not a loser!
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#18 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 02:10 AM
 
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...

Hi again to all the regs and WELCOME to Crunchy Doula (and any others that I may have missed ~ I won't ignore you, I just need more time to read through the rest of the November thread... I've been crazy bogged down with work, school work, NaNo, and of course doctor's appointments... so many drs appointments....



on Thystle's challenge: I'm planning on volunteering more around the community... I don't even know where to start (so I guess that will be really the first step ~ learning how to volunteer, making the connections within the community)... But I realized there are so many places around here that need help, that need bodies in there doing things that need getting done... so, I'm going to see what I can do. Probably will start with the Convalescent Hospital and Women's Crisis Shelter (does anyone know if volunteering with kids is acceptable --???? -- I know the food bank allows kids to help to but not sure with other places)...


My points of gratitude / happy things:
1. I finished my NaNoWriMo novella!!! 50,730 words.
2. That written checks take at least a few days to process ... meaning that when my account is negative because of an error with my frakking food stamps and I have to use my checking account to pay for it, I can still buy other things I need with a check. :
3. That I have three awesome social workers on my side with CalWorks and MediCal, helping me as much as possible to get the treatment paid for that I need for my endo, and providing me with resources and contacts to get the laws changed too. Some workers shy away from people who are totally proactive and aren't just trying to take care of themselves but fix the system, too (LIKE ME, hahaha) ~ and are intimidated or freaked out by people who know the laws and research their own rights... but these three aren't, and have been totally helpful.



Now, weird comment: People keep thinking we're homeless. I don't know why, and the first time, I just kind of laughed it off... but now I'm beginning to wonder if I really look that trashy or something. : (I guess it bugs me so much now because I've worked really, desperately hard to *not* be homeless again... and even when I WAS I don't think I "looked" like it...)
So anyway, case in point:
This morning I was walking to the bus stop (my van didn't start, again, this morning so we had to walk the ~mile to the bus stop) ~~ and I had my purse (a huge hand-embroidered one), and a bag of cans to donate to the campus food drive (which, ironically, is why I ended up going negative in my bank account ~ because I tried to pay with food stamps and my card was rejected because of a frakking computer glitch )... along with my jacket, and a bag of pull-ups for my dd's daycare, and of course my dd, who was wearing her enormous jacket and a scarf I knitted her, and you know, we were both all decked out in our usual hippie garb, headscarves and hand-knit things and etc etc.... well anyway this guy pulls up alongside us and gives us this really pathetic look, and pulls over, stops his (brand-new, shiny-clean sparkling monster SUV), hops out, approaches us, doesn't make eye contact, thrusts some money at us and backs away, mumbling something about that maybe I can get my dd something for xmas, etc... and he's not the only one, I have had at least three others come up to me and ask me ~ directly and indirectly ~ if I'm homeless, if I need help, if I need money or a place to stay or a ride...

And as much as I'm totally blown away by this generosity (I started crying as the guy drove away, just overcome by it).... it's kind of freaking me out. Like, do I LOOK like a homeless person?? Granted, I'm skinny and I wear a lot of mismatched clothes but.....

ARGH.
Anyway I took the money, and then I felt guilty about taking the money, and put it aside for my dd even while I was writing a check to cover our dinner for tonight.
And I know I shouldn't let people's perceptions get the better of me, but... it's so hard not to, especially when I do so much work, and I try to help so many people, and I stick myself out there into the world to try to make positive social change, and then I get slapped in the face with the reality that most people just think I'm some vagrant chica looking for work or something. Around here they probably think I'm a crack addict. I don't know. It's just depressing.


And classes..... Lanky, I feel you. My finals week is ONE WEEK AWAY and I'm totally and completely unprepared. Or at least that's what it feels like. I've been doing horribly in my statistics class, despite my great start, and I feel totally overwhelmed by my Sociology work, although I know I have the material, and I just need to start writing it. It's just... so much.

So, there's my saga, and as time allows tonight I will be reading and responding to you all. I've missed coming to this group.
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#19 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 02:20 AM
 
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I do that a lot. I get the urge to go out and buy just a little something to make our life happier or more fulfilling. Little things. And I end up putting it back and walking out with nothing. I have such a hard time justifying purchases.
Me too.
I "window" shop online a LOT... I spend hours sometimes, particularly when I'm depressed, just click-click-clicking, looking at all the stuff online... it's like this endless sea of Things You Could Buy. :
And then sometimes I marvel at the things there are out there... like, the sushi-flavored, sushi-shaped candy...


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I really wish sometimes that I had income tax returns like "normal" people.
Or maybe had family that would lend us money. It just sucks so much never having a chunk of money. In order to buy something for even a few hundred dollars, we have to save for months. And its hard to save when you're living so close to the edge ya know? And we so very much need a van..
I know this feeling. It's impossible, when you're negative or so close to negative every month, that you can't ever get ahead because you're just living hand-to-mouth.
And on taxes, yeah it's about that time of the year, I need to file mine so I can get a return. However... I don't know how to do my taxes. Last year I just didn't file : and every other year my (now-ex) MIL did it for us. And ... of course now that's impossible. So I really really need to figure out how to do it myself. :


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My dd's hearing eval went well and she passed. Next Monday is her OT and speech observation.



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Oh crap! : I totally forgot about boots... there is no way I can add 3 pairs of boots on top of christmas expenses. Gah. The money sink hole never ends...
Maybe the boots can be their xmas presents - ?

My kids looked funny this year for awhile, because I bought them their winter boots when I got my last financial aid check (right before the aid was cut), so they started wearing them in summer. Although I made them frequently wear their old worn out shoes, just so they wouldn't wear out their winter boots too soon ~~ and then realized my son's sole had fallen out of his shoe and he had taped it back on. And when I asked him about it he said it had been like that for about a week, and his teacher kept telling him to fix it.
~~ shame - guilt - etc etc ~~
so I let him start wearing his winter boots.
In a way I'm kind of glad we live in such an impoverished community as ours, because nobody made fun of him for it (that I know of, or that he mentioned, and he's been really up front with me about when teasing / pressure happens)... because everyone else has worn out and broken down clothing too.

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No one usually wants to do anything with me because I can't usually afford the things they want to do. Even when they want to meet at Dunkin Donuts or something, I stick out like a sore thumb when I don't order a coffee. They know I love coffee! But I just can't afford it.
s
One year I got a tiny bag of coffee grounds in my Santa's Express food basket, and I was so happy I almost cried.

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I know what thats like.. My 9 yo that just moved in with me came with clothes from her fathers house and hardly any of them fit her and are decent looking. (stains, holes, etc...) I wish I could afford to get her new clothes, but honestly... everything has to be budgeted in and I just can't afford it right now. So I wash frequently and hope that I can ride it out until after the holidays. Maybe hit up Goodwill then and pray for things in her size.
Are there any other thrift shops in your area?
I have found that sometimes, the little, tiny, cramped, hole-in-the-wall thrift shops have some of the greatest deals...
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#20 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 02:22 AM
 
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I think she got defensive because it made her feel poor, ya know? Like Shay said earlier.. people seem afraid it will rub off on them.
It sounds like she has low self esteem and it makes her feel better to try to kick other people down.. ((perhaps I am projecting some of my own negative experiences with "friends"?)) I am sorry though.. if she doesnt want to feel defensive because you are trying to HELP maybe she should keep her "woes" to herself, eh?:

 Mama to my tribe
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#21 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 02:24 AM
 
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And now I'm going to piggyback on my own post..

I'm talking to a friend on IM, and she said she doesn't have much food in the house. So I've been helping her find food pantries. She tells me all they've been able to eat the past few days is meatloaf, spaghetti and meatballs, and steak.

Um..

Thats better than what we eat period. :

So I'm trying not to judge her. She is in a two income home, 3 kids, one with a special dietary need that is a bit expensive. Her income is not poverty by any means. But they overdrafted due to a mistake and now she can't buy groceries until next week. Her kids are used to a certain um.. way of life, I guess you could say... and she's freaking out that she can't give it right now.

So I tried to give her ideas. Money saving tips for school snacks, and things like that. To try to help her brainstorm ways to save.

And she tells me, (paraphrased) "normally this isn't an issue.. I just want to get out of this rut we're in. I don't really care how much stuff costs normally, so good that you're all martha stewart like and saving money but we don't need to be THAT stingy. We're having a hard week, we aren't POOR! "

:

I told her I was only trying to help and I'd shut up now.. she just laughed.

Ya, I'm gonna go cry now..



somehow I feel like a huge loser now.

You know, I went through that stage too ~~ denial, angst, shame (RIDICULOUS amounts of shame, to where I wouldn't even accept help when I needed it) ... and it took me looking back on my own brief period of homelessness... evaluating my levels of debt... and then getting to the point where I couldn't pay bills and I was dumpster diving food and hand-washing cloth diapers ... that it started to fade.


And, don't feel like a loser.
Obviously she has some major hang-ups that she needs to work through.
Who knows, maybe she goes home and sits on her bathroom floor and cries because meat makes her sick?? Or something?



And on a side note, DAYUUM your food pantries have STEAK!!??? :
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#22 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 02:32 AM
 
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Hmm, not much to say tonight. I'm feeling kind of tired and desperately not wanting to go back to work tomorrow ~sighs~ It is so frustrating to be working so blasted hard and full time and still not being able to get caught up.

Jaime, the box came today... thank you so much! I haven't had a chance to try it all on but I think it'll all be great ~smiles~
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#23 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 02:35 AM
 
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And, after reading more ~~ Nature, that "friend" sounds like she really... isn't.




Now, Welcome Iris' Mom!

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Hi, all. I'm joining in.

I'm Maureen, and I'm another mama who's fallen upon hard times, but unfortunately, they are not temporary. I have 3 kids, ages 17, 6 and 7 mos. I am married but in the process of divorcing

Two years ago, I was a hard-working lawyer married to a SAHD. My marriage was rocky, and I started having a lot of trouble at work. One day, I just sort of broke down, and wound up in the hospital. I was diagnosed wtih bipolar disorder, and have not been able to work since. I'm in a constant state of anxiety, and I have not yet found any meds/treatment to stabilize my bipolar.

STBX resentfully got a job, and my marriage started going downhill pretty fast; stbx relapsed into drug addiction, quit his job and fell completely apart. The last time we saw him he was in handcuffs. There has been so much emotional fallout because of this, but I'll spare the details.

Financially, I was okay for a while: For 6 mos., I got short-term disability = fullpay; then long-term disability = 60% pay. In September, my short-term ended b/c my disability is psychological; if it were physical, I could collect until I retired (yes, I've filed a complaint). Since September, I've been only getting SSDI. None of this would even be unbearably bad, except I incurred so much debt when I was making much more money. For example, I have a $3500 mortgage payment, which is double by SSDI. I have student loan payments of over $1000/mo. I could go on. I am cutting everywhere I can, but just my fixed expenses alone are more than 3x my SSDI.

Right now, I am taking withdrawals from my 401K to meet expenses for several reasons: dd was going to graduate in May, and I didn't want to transfer her senior year; my house is under water, and I can't afford to pay any shortfall if I sell now; I sent my resume around, and I'm hoping there is some job I can perform in spite of my bipolar; law is one profession where a bankruptcy is really bad, and I worked too, too hard to get my degree to take any step that would ruin my chances of ever practicing again; I may win my discrimination complaint against my disability insurer; or I may win the lottery.

Until any of those happen, though, I'm really, really struggling, and could sure use some support! And, I hope I can offer other low-income/struggling mamas as well.

I bolded one section that seemed to stand out in particular... yes your problems may FEEL right now like they are not temporary, but (and I'm trying to take this perspective more myself lately, and it seems to help me, maybe it will help you, if not ignore me ) ~~~ if you think about your problems as ongoing then they WILL be. But if you take a moment to think about yourself... and to know that your life will be much longer than just a few years... and looking at the scope of the universe... well, EVERYTHING is temporary. When times get rockier for me, I try to remind myself of that... that everything is temporary. And even if something seems endless right now, there will be an end to it. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel, we may just not be far enough along in our journey to see it yet.

As far as bipolar goes ~~ what it seems like, from what you described, is that you were already under an enormous amount of stress, and ~ people crack under stress.
But I would hesitate to call it bipolar and treat it as a disability because if you label yourself you run the risk of forcing yourself to become the label. You are much more than a label, or a collection of medications. You are YOU: a whole woman who is in desperate need of more social support and a not-crappy life right now.

I think ~ in fact, I'm willing to wager ~ that once your home life evens out, once you are past the rough patch with your dh / stbx, and you get away from the abuse, and you work everything out in terms of custody and whatnot, and you ease back to work... that your "bipolar" will begin to correct itself.

And finally ~ man, you were a lawyer. That is not something that a person gets by sleeping through classes. You obviously have a demonstrated capability to be focused, self-directed, and not to mention extremely intelligent and competent. You need to trust that you can make your way through this wilderness through which you are currently stumbling, and that eventually, the sun will shine on your face again, and the ground will finally be smooth under your feet.

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#24 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 03:16 AM
 
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And she tells me, (paraphrased) "normally this isn't an issue.. I just want to get out of this rut we're in. I don't really care how much stuff costs normally, so good that you're all martha stewart like and saving money but we don't need to be THAT stingy. We're having a hard week, we aren't POOR! "

:

I told her I was only trying to help and I'd shut up now.. she just laughed.

somehow I feel like a huge loser now.
Nature, I think you are commendable for NOT trying to judge her, because it is my reaction that she is not your friend and how awful of her to make you feel bad. : You aren't a loser! Poor does not equal loser.

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Hello Ladies!

I thought I would wait till the new thread to introduce myself. My name is Jessica and I am married and we have a beautiful 15 month old together!
Hi Jessica! It's really nice to meet you. This is a really wonderful bunch of mamas and I'm so glad to be here. : I'm sure you'll enjoy it also.

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So she said that I should be expecting a call soon. A little embarrassing but it would be nice for a little help with christmas since I think it won't be too exciting around here!
You know, I have a hard time with being given things sometimes because I feel like I should be ashamed if I "have" to be given things. It feels hard to hold one's head up at the same time as you say that you would like others' to provide for your children. But, I don't think its something to be ashamed of. With a little extra help, I can make my childrens' lives better. So I try to act as if my head is held high even if inside I'm trying to find the rock to hide underneath.

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Hi, all. I'm joining in.

I'm Maureen, and I'm another mama who's fallen upon hard times, but unfortunately, they are not temporary. I have 3 kids, ages 17, 6 and 7 mos. I am married but in the process of divorcing
Hi Iris' mom - it's nice to meet you also! I hope that you win your discrimination suit and that things get easier for you. s

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...
And classes..... Lanky, I feel you. My finals week is ONE WEEK AWAY and I'm totally and completely unprepared. Or at least that's what it feels like. I've been doing horribly in my statistics class, despite my great start, and I feel totally overwhelmed by my Sociology work, although I know I have the material, and I just need to start writing it. It's just... so much.

So, there's my saga, and as time allows tonight I will be reading and responding to you all. I've missed coming to this group.
s So I am a sociology grad student and am taking statistics this quarter and well......it makes me want to :Puke most of the time out of pure anxiety. What Soc classes are you taking? I have to write a 20pager like now.

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And finally ~ man, you were a lawyer. That is not something that a person gets by sleeping through classes. You obviously have a demonstrated capability to be focused, self-directed, and not to mention extremely intelligent and competent. You need to trust that you can make your way through this wilderness through which you are currently stumbling, and that eventually, the sun will shine on your face again, and the ground will finally be smooth under your feet.

Wow, I really like this.

My $250 check dropped in for the month so now I pay bills : And then race pellmell through the last two weeks of the first quarter.....and then its Christmas : But I have to confess that I am looking forward to it.
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#25 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 03:35 AM
 
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Hi. I hope you don't mind my "crashing" your thread. I've been lurking around but always was too overwhelmed to post anything.

I'm Sherry, mama to DD, 16 & DS, 9. I'm a SAHM but also a full time college student. My DH works his butt off to support us but it just seems that things have been so out of control for so long..I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm so frustrated. I do so much to be frugal and it just doesn't seem to help. I only have 1 semester left but I am so tempted to stop school and get a full time job because things are so tight and behind. I'd love to even work a part time job but with the kids' school and my school and all that a typical day entails..I just don't have any time to do it. I've tried selling jewelry that I made on Etsy, I've sold nearly anything and everything of any value on eBay (which wasn't much since most everything we have is a hand-me-down ) and it just doesn't seem to cover anything. We took out a loan a few years ago to pay off medical bills from my back surgery and about the time we got it 1/2 way paid off..we had another couple grand in medical bills from another surgery (and all of the appts. leading to it) (hysterectomy for cervical cancer). My husband feels like he's not doing his job taking care of our needs but he's working his butt off and also tries to do airbrushing jobs for extra money here and there but that hasn't been working so hot the last few months because things have been really chaotic since we lost my dad in September. It's just one thing after another after another. I just want to get our heads above water for once and see what the air up there feels like. I find myself distancing from some of my friends who are "well off". I seriously can't understand how they can pay for cars that are hundreds a month and mortgages that are through the roof and they shop and just spend like the cash is never going to end. I know part of it is jealousy/envy/whathaveyou and I HATE myself for being like that. I am truly happy for them but then I just get all weird about it and can't bring myself to want to be around them. My one girlfriend called this week to talk about their new remodeling project. $19,000 for redoing their kitchen--that was remodeled about 4 or 5 years ago! We desperately need a new roof but can't come up with the 4k to do it. So, I just feel myself closing off. It's not her fault for pete's sake. What is my deal?
Sheesh, I didn't mean for that to get so long.
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#26 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 04:00 AM
 
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Hi everyone! I am exhausted so I will reply to everyone tomorrow. I just wanted to ask for prayers (good vibes, etc.) for DS2. He was exposed to mennigococcal mennigitis at his preschool yesterday. We took him for an antibiotic shot at the hospital outpatient center (that goodness for Medi-Cal) and now we just have to wait & hope the antibiotics work and he doesn't get sick. He has a history of being immunocompromised so I'm trying hard not to freak out. to all

.

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#27 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 04:07 AM
 
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~~ prayers ~~ and s Cali.


gradmama ~ right now I am in 2 Soc classes, Sociology of the Family and Sociology of Death and Dying. They both totally rock (in fact I changed my major to Sociology as well ) but it is a TON of work. :
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#28 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 04:23 AM
 
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And now I'm going to piggyback on my own post..

I'm talking to a friend on IM, and she said she doesn't have much food in the house. So I've been helping her find food pantries. She tells me all they've been able to eat the past few days is meatloaf, spaghetti and meatballs, and steak.

Um..

Thats better than what we eat period. :

So I'm trying not to judge her. She is in a two income home, 3 kids, one with a special dietary need that is a bit expensive. Her income is not poverty by any means. But they overdrafted due to a mistake and now she can't buy groceries until next week. Her kids are used to a certain um.. way of life, I guess you could say... and she's freaking out that she can't give it right now.

So I tried to give her ideas. Money saving tips for school snacks, and things like that. To try to help her brainstorm ways to save.

And she tells me, (paraphrased) "normally this isn't an issue.. I just want to get out of this rut we're in. I don't really care how much stuff costs normally, so good that you're all martha stewart like and saving money but we don't need to be THAT stingy. We're having a hard week, we aren't POOR! "

:

I told her I was only trying to help and I'd shut up now.. she just laughed.

Ya, I'm gonna go cry now..



somehow I feel like a huge loser now.
YIKES! Well maybe she wouldn't be having such a hard week if she bothered to care about how much things cost normally. She over drafted her account. I bet they are living beyond their means. A little stingy never hurt anyone. She sounds like a rotten friend. You are SO not a loser.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.
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#29 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 04:36 AM
 
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#30 of 1547 Old 12-01-2007, 04:45 AM
 
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Hi everyone,

I'm in a serious downer mood tonight We made a huge move to a city (NEVER thought I'd live in the city) for a whole bunch of reasons and I am seriously stressing, I can't even job hunt without finding a sitter first and I can't find a dang sitter! Rent is due tomorrow and its going to more or less zero out the bank account and the last check I have coming is gone to cover the deposits for utilities. I'm seriously freaking out about not being able to get a job immediately, there's lots of jobs out there but without childcare... I ran an ad but all I'm getting are people who want more money then I'll even make or there only available crazy hours or a few hours here and there. I need the standard 8a-5p and due to their health issues I can't use a center and need a private sitter. I figured with a city this size I'd find someone fairly easy but in 2 weeks of running ads nothing I have to interview one next week but it sounds like she's already overwhelmed with her toddler alone forget adding a home schooled 7 yr old who she'd have to do 1-2 hours of work a day with and an 18 month old plus her own child. We applied for aid and it doesn't even cover the rent and this is the cheapest place I could find that didn't have gang bangers for next door neighbors (literally). xmas is almost here and outside of a couple of playsilk blanks I ordered and a robe we have nothing My dad is supposed to be getting a play kitchen for the baby and a huge doll house for dd but knowing him he's going to do what he does every year and give me the money at the last minute when there's no more toys on the shelves and that's IF he remembers at all. Year before last he totally forgot xmas all together! I don't know what my moms getting them. I feel like I'm failing my kids I know I shouldn't complain, we have food, the bills will be paid this month and we have enough clothes to stay warm but right now I'm freaking out about what happens come January if I haven't found a sitter yet? I've come this far manifesting a bunch of stuff and I know I need to work on manifesting a sitter but for tonight I just need to freak out some more ya know? Get it out of my system and hopefully tomorrow will be better

Seriously?
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