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Discussion Starter #1
<p>I lurk here from time to time and I have debated whether I should post or not.</p>
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<p>A little background: I'm still married but have been separated for over 3 years. I have no family here and very little support. I get no child support and I don't make enough to make ends meet.</p>
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<p>Marriage: I'm still married because I cannot afford to get divorced. Plain and simple. Not even doing it myself. If I had that money it would need to go to something else that is dire.</p>
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<p>Support: I have a few friends that can help me from time to time with childcare, but their schedules vary greatly from mine. I don't want to burden them and I have no money to pay them.</p>
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<p>Child Support: There is an order for it, but he is so far in arrears that when he does pay something (very little), it goes towards that. I have asked time and time again if he could give me "something" each week, but all he says is that he'll try.</p>
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<p>Work: I work retail. Not a lot of money, but either they don't give me enough hours or when I do get hours, I don't have adequate childcare. I've already had to refuse 10 hrs in the last 3 days. We were homeschoolers (and would LOVE to get back to it) and the dad was watching them and we had (what I thought was the "perfect" setup.) He then began taking them to his mother more. She doesn't like me. He doesn't like or respect me. They'd talk about me in front of my children, which burdened my DD very much. My DS was getting SUPER spoiled. (I literally didn't recognize him. He would throw MAJOR tantrums and tell me he didn't want me and he was REALLY attached to me). My DD on the other hand was getting cut down because she can express my wishes which was not wanted by the dad or gma. When my 8 yr old was having crying fits because I was going to work, it sent major red flags. I therefore, put her in school. My DS can only go to daycare 2 days a week. That's the equivalent of what money the state offers. So, I can only work roughly, 2 days a week. I can't do nights or weekends and my job is hassling me about that. I have been applying to other jobs weekly since getting this job and NOTHING! No call backs. Nothing! I cannot afford to live in this drafty, yucky (no matter how much you clean it doesn't look or feel clean) money pit of a house. I am afraid of the next utility bill. Seriously! I am behind in rent (landlord is working with me..A POSITIVE!), but if I can't get the hours then I can't get the money. If I don't have childcare, then I can't get the hours that will give me the money, *SIGH*</p>
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<p>I feel like I'm doing all that I can and am still just spinning my wheels. I know no one even close to being in a similar situation. When I read other posts by single moms, they're getting ahead because they can write, edit or freelance or have a degree. I have none of that. I have some skills. i was in banking and have done childcare for many years. I can't do childcare now because this house isn't up to par. I have applied to dozens and dozens of banks and credit unions. Nada!</p>
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<p>I feel lower than low right now. I can't see a way out of my situation. I know that it's a matter of time before I'm asked to resign from my job. (Was asked once, but the store manager put me in another dept. until after the Christmas rush). This too shall pass, but WHEN? LOL.</p>
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<p>If you read this far, thanks. I feel alone in this situation and I hope that maybe someone can suggest something I haven't thought of but I swear I've thought of it all. :)</p>
 

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<p>Since you say this is the absolute worst-case scenario, would you consider enrolling your older child in public school and your little one in Headstart?  I know this isn't your ideal, but would you do it if it meant you were able to 'get ahead' in the long run?</p>
 

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<p>You said you used to be in banking - are you in any form of contact with former employers/c-workers?  Knowing someone is KEY.</p>
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<p>Also, try to branch out when you apply for jobs - what did you do in banking exactly?  Think about it, and then look up job posting websites to see if there are other types of jobs that would require similar skills.</p>
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<p>Could you go back to school?  i don't know where you are located, but going back to school and living off loans is far from ideal, but it gets me by for now (I'm graduating Friday.....EEEK!!), and some schools have childcare that is hugely subsidized for students (I pay $30/day) so your state assitance may go further (school loans don't count as income).</p>
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<p>Good luck!  Get creative - you'll come up with something, and you can only go up from here!</p>
 

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<p>I can't offer anything but moral support. I'm in a similar situation. I have been out of the workforce for 10 years raising and homeschooling the kids while he makes $75k. I had a pretty good PT job from December last year until this past July but then he quit paying me support and threatening to take the kids and my head just wasn't in the game and I got fired. First time in my life. So I've been desperate for a job.</p>
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<p>I have been doing mystery shopping and make $150 to $200 a month doing that and sometimes I can sneak the kids on jobs with me to make it look more valid. I do get spousal and child support, which barely pay the household bills.</p>
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<p>Friends have suggested I put the kids in school and preschool, which would make things easier on me financially; however, I worry about who picks the kdis up at 3 o'clock or stays home when they're sick or there's bad weather? I think employers would get tired of it quickly. The STBX is mainly fighting me for custody so he can put the kids in school, even though he was in agreement they be homeschooled this whole time.</p>
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<p>I can suggest some mystery shopping companies to you, but like I said, it's minimal and you have to hustle to get jobs, but once you show you do a good job, you get assignments faster.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #6
<p>Thanks for your replies!</p>
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<p>Bluebackpacks~ I ended up putting my oldest in school the day after school started. My DS can only go to daycare 2 days a week.</p>
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<p>Super~Single~Mama~ I live in a completely different state from where I was in banking. I was a SAHM until recently. I tried going back to school, but recently discovered I wasn't done paying back a loan I thought was done. So no financial aid for me. :( Congrats on your upcoming graduation!</p>
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<p>SummerLove~ I'll have to look into that. Thanks!</p>
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<p>blueholly~ I would love some info on mystery shopping. Thanks! We have similar issues. I had to call off on Friday (4 hours) because a friend couldn't watch my son. I had to call off today (6 hrs) because of inclimate weather, my DD school was closed and I had no one to keep her. I can only work certain hours because there is only me to pick up the children.</p>
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<p>Yes! It can only go up from here.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Forsanda</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285257/is-my-situation-really-that-unique-i-e-i-don-t-think-anyone-is-as-bad-off-as-me#post_16114496"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><p> </p>
<p>Super~Single~Mama~ I live in a completely different state from where I was in banking. I was a SAHM until recently. I tried going back to school, but recently discovered I wasn't done paying back a loan I thought was done. So no financial aid for me. :( Congrats on your upcoming graduation!</p>
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<br><br><p>Doesn't matter - if you still know them and they think highly of you, ask if they know anyone in your area.  If they are upper level management and there's a branch of that bank, or one they used to work for, or one they work for now (if they switched) they might know someone in your area.  Even if they don't, its good to try and network a bit.  Talking to people in the feild you want to be in is great practice for a job interviews, and its all about who you know.</p>
 

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<img alt="hug.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif">
 

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<p>You said that you have done childcare for a number of years. Have you considered working at a daycare center? They often admit your child for a reduced, and sometimes free, rate.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Minxie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285257/is-my-situation-really-that-unique-i-e-i-don-t-think-anyone-is-as-bad-off-as-me#post_16114680"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>You said that you have done childcare for a number of years. Have you considered working at a daycare center? They often admit your child for a reduced, and sometimes free, rate.</p>
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<p><br><br><span><img alt="yeahthat.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="width:35px;height:25px;"></span></p>
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<p>Also, look into merchandizing. There are a lot of part time merchandizing jobs where (for example) you go to a grocery store, retrieve a box of clutter that hangs on those clip strips, and swap them out. I've known multiple moms who have done this with a small child riding in the cart. It's usually only 4-8 hours/week, but since you can bring your kid(s) along, it's easy money. HTH!</p>
 

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<p>That's a really hard situation. I've been super lucky to have a family who helped me, especially as far as getting an education. Without their backing, I could easily be in that same spot.</p>
<p>--Have you gone to the social services office to apply for all the aid you're eligible for? Specifically, is there child care aid that you're eligible for? Are there other non profits or churches that could be able to help you?</p>
<p>--Are you on an affordable housing wait list?</p>
<p>--Have you talked to the child support people? Shouldn't they be garnishing his wages?</p>
<p>--Could you find some financial certification program through your local community college that would be relatively inexpensive but increase your earning power?</p>
<p>--Are there apartments that might cost less than your current house?</p>
<p>--Could you try to find another single mom and be roommates, or find another single mom and swap child care? Co-abode.com is a pretty cool website that tries to help single moms hook up and share resources.</p>
<p>--Sell plasma? Work in childcare? Clean houses on the side?</p>
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<p>Basically, you're going to be in pretty dire straights unless you can find a way to increase your earning power, get child care set up and find housing that's in line with your income. There are about a zillion constraints in your way, but that needs to be your long-term goal. If nothing else, your son will be in school in a couple more years, so that will make thinks easier.</p>
<p>Good luck to you. I really wish our country had a better safety net for single moms and their babies. Keep fighting, it's the only way you'll get your head above water.</p>
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<p>ETA: Also, if you're comfortable sharing the city or state you live in, there might be some people who know about specific resources you could access.</p>
 

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<p>When I got divorced, I used the local law school. The fees were low, but they were waived because of my income. I have a law student plus her supervising attorney and they were really on top of things.</p>
 

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<p>mama community. community is what you need. community is like a bank, retirement, child care, convalescent home, therapist - everything tied into one. </p>
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<p>i have NO family where i am. none in this country. </p>
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<p>that community has come through for me in amazing ways. right now i have NO real income (issues with Financial Aid). my ex proff allowed me to stay at his place for 6 months and in exchange i cooked and generally helped with the house and yard. why did he do this? because he sees i am an older non traditional student and he wants to help me succeed to get my degree. </p>
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<p>i still have no income (it is almost impossible to get a job around my school schedule in this economy, plus in most cases i am over qualified) and i have to move out. through friends of friends i might find a similar situation. </p>
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<p>however i am not the only mom able to find something like this. i know a few single moms at school who have the same kind of support. </p>
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<p>i did not go looking for community to help me. i went because i was alone. and i discovered them all over the place. and when i did i jumped in and within my means did a lot to help them. in kind as i had time then with dd in tow. so when my hour of need came they took care of me. </p>
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<p>one way of recovering from my pain was to become involved in my community. doing everything whereever i got the opportunity. i found a community garden. i got a plot and made friends there. i became open and started talking or initiating conversations. anywhere. and they became friends. i went to stores i was scared to go in. and once i went in i saw they were really cook people and wasnt as expensive as i thought they were. we became friends. i shared some of my knowledge where they had holes. so on certain days they hired me. when i volunteered at the reitirement communnity some people asked me for help. some became temporary payers. for instance right now i am volunteering at our local urban farm twice a week in exchange for fresh organic food. how awesome is THAT?!!!</p>
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<p>however i will say i live very VERY simple. yet i have not been happier. on paper my life looks like crap - it is DEFINITELY not the American dream, but i AM living MY american dream. community helping each and everyone out. </p>
 

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<p>Also you could try a paper route; sounds crazy but you would probably be able to bring your kid along in the car and the pay is decent, from what I hear.</p>
 

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<p>Another popular suggestion here is to drive a school bus. I seem to recall that others have done this, and strapped carseats in for their children that require them (which I assume you do since your youngest can only go to daycare).</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>momof4peppers</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285257/is-my-situation-really-that-unique-i-e-i-don-t-think-anyone-is-as-bad-off-as-me#post_16121549"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Another popular suggestion here is to drive a school bus. I seem to recall that others have done this, and strapped carseats in for their children that require them (which I assume you do since your youngest can only go to daycare).</p>
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<br><br><p>This is a great idea.  A school bus route can be with the traditional yellow buses, or you may drive one of the minivan school buses for the SPED program.  Our SPED bus driver has a toddler who comes along on her route.</p>
 

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<p>what about watching another person's child in *their* home, instead of in yours?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #18
<p>I do not like to be one of those people who seek support and never come back. I'm just getting bck to this because I finally got some hours due to the Christmas season.  :)  I haven't had a chance to read, but thank you in advance for your responses. I will be back to respond shortly.  I need to pick my DD up from school.</p>
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Discussion Starter #19
<p>Ok..I'm back...</p>
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<p>I got some really good suggestions here.</p>
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<p>I have applied for aid. I get food stamps. When I applied for cash a few months ago, it came back that I make too much and then my food was cut by $100. TRUST ME, I make very little a month. The childcare is being paid by the state. They pay $2.34/hr so, that's the equivalent of 2 days at my son's daycare. There are more programs, but you have to be on cash assistance. If you're not on cash assistance, there's very little. Go figure.</p>
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<p>I will definitely look into driving a school bus, (although, I check the school consortium quite often) and merchandising jobs and a financial certification program.</p>
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<p>There's not much out there that is lower in rent than this house. It's really low and affordable, it's just not in the condition it should be in. There pipes are constantly leaking. (I'm having an issue with that as I type this).</p>
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<p>I'm always looking for paper routes and office cleaning jobs. Those would be ideal. Part of the issue is the area I'm in (MI). I really think that I want to be out of here by summer.</p>
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<p>A friend of mine is getting the info for me about a program in the area that can help me start the divorce proceedings. It should have happened long ago.</p>
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<p>I thank each and every one of you for taking the time to reply.</p>
 
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