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Are any single mamas doing this?

490 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Cohey_Kisses
I am due with DD #2 in two weeks and DF and I just split up. Obviously, I can't get a job, and even if/when I do, I can't imagine how I could possibly pay for child care for two kids, anyways (it would literally cost as much as I would make!)

So, I was messing around with an online child support calculator and found out how much I would get in child support if I made no money. I thought that, added to any state assistance, and I just might be able to live on that money for a while. Of course, I am sure there are loopholes I'm not seeing, like job search requirements, etc. I think I might be able to stay rightfully unemployed for a while as I am about to have a baby, but I don't know for how long.

Anyways, does anyone else live off child support and assistance? What is it like? Is it even possible? Anything else I should be aware of before starting on this path of day-dreaming of continuing to be a SAHM?
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Hugs first of all! It's stressful under the best of circumstances to worry about finances...with a baby on the way and little control over your income, it's so much worse (I was separated when dd2 was born).

First, find out for sure how much money you could get in assistance and what the requirements are. In FL, it was pretty pathetic, I think about $200 cash assistance a month (though food stamps are great, and much more generous, for three of us it was nearly $400, enough to buy organic and save some up). Also, the requirements were ridiculous...something like 20 job applications a week, and after a certain point, if you hadn't found a job, you'd have to start doing 30 hours of community service a week, and they'd pay for your kids to go to child care while you did it. Seemed like the most disgusting thing I'd ever heard of...slave wages and separation of mom and baby. But they did have a three month "grace period" after baby was born before all that set I did get it for three months. be careful, though, because sometimes they'll just deduct child support from your "cash assistance."

As far as dreaming of being a sahm, I'd try to figure out other ways to make that possible, like perhaps in home child care. If you take in just one kid full time, plus get on the food program (which will pay you to feed your own kids, even your breastfed baby, yea!!), you'll be doing much better than assistance and have none of the strings. And the world always needs more AP child care providers...I remember how wonderful it was to be able to take care of AP kids while their parents worked, it felt so nice to continue their gentle lives. (I did in home child care for a while, before my ex left, but when he did I had to move back home with my mom and no longer had the space to do it).

Keep positive, work out the plans, and I'm sure you'll all do great! Oh, and make sure you have a post-partum support network in place...that's so important as a single mom!
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I know people who get by on public assistance and student loans, taking classes by internet. (So they are WAH rather than SAH moms, really.) I'm not sure if they get cs or help from family in addition.

I hate depending on cs. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, because I've seen it happen to others.
From what I've seen, most states take any CS you would recieve if they give you cash assistance. I too would look into something like taking classes and student loans or something like that. It's what I do right now. We barely scrape by, but it works. Good luck!
Here's what we've been doing for the last 18 months:

We are on a HUD housing program where your rent is based on your income and right now our 'income' is $650/month in child support and with four of us living on that, our rent is $0 right now. You get a grace-period after you have a baby, not sure how long it is exactly because I lucked-out and my landlady didn't enforce it, but theoretically after that you either have to work 30 hours/week or do 8 hours community service every month. (I would have opted for the 8 hours of community service, but that's

We get foodstamps, $400/month usually, it's kind of a PITA because you have to fill out a report form every single month and turn it in on time or they close your case and you have to start all over again. You do get used to it after awhile and it doesn't seem like such a hassle...

Every year I apply for Energy Assistance, it usually doesn't pay the heat for the whole winter, but every little bit helps, yk? Where I live we frequently have sub-zero temps in the winter so heat can be $300+/month.

My kids all have Medicaid.

As for everything else, we make that $650/month stretch to the breaking point to cover our other bills, gas, clothes, school supplies, etc. and quite frankly, overdrafts on our checking account still happen more than I like. We buy school clothes at consignment shops. We have no car insurance right now, and I have no health insurance on myself. It is very hard and scary, but usually it's totally worth it to be with your kids (not that there aren't times when the stress of living this way doesn't take it's toll on your general outlook
: ). I tried to see if I could get TANF for us (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, i.e. Welfare) but it turns out I would have only gotten $400-something/month from that so I make a lot more in child support and since they take your child support if you are on TANF, my decision was obvious.

Hope this helps! Good luck mama!
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Thanks for the suggestions. I didn't realize they would deduct any assistance from child support. Obviously I have just started looking in to this.

I'm sure it's been said on this board a million times, but it blows my mind that the state would pay for you to put your kids in child care just so you can go to work! Where I am it probably would cost about $1600 a month for full time care for both of my children!

I need to start making some phone calls about all of this right away. Just wish I had a little more time before this babe comes to have it all sorted out. Oh, well.
i know this is late but you wouldn't be able to recieve cash assistance while on child support. and i would NEVER rely on child support.

the state is paying for daycare for my boys so i can work. its pretty dumb but oh well. they only pay for something like $300/mo or maybe $600/mo. they do NOT pay well. (it comes out to approx $2/hr per kid)
Right. Relying on child support as a sole source of income is dicey at best. I have been able to do it because DS G*'s father is very, VERY career-oriented and would never just quit his job on a whim...he's too obsessed with climbing the ladder and he's doing quite well. If I had only had child support coming in from DS C*'s father we could never, EVER in a million years rely on it. At any rate, I am now going to school so I can earn a decent living for my family and not have to rely so heavily on child support but I am so very, very blessed that for 18 months we were able to make do and I could stay with my baby all that while.
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