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Getting On : Family

Ideas needed for single parent.

from MsLambsdown - Sunday, September 12, 2004
accessed 1359 times

How do I balance work & kids in a single parent/single income environment? Need ideas.

I left TF a year ago & my husband wanted to stay in the group. Our original deal was that we would share the kids, until they were in school. Of course he did not want them to go to "system school" & ruin their young fragile minds. So he said if I was going to put them in school then he was not going to be responsible for them.

I was very lucky to have two great friends who also left TF at the same time that I did. (Art & Paula I am for ever in grateful to you for all you did & continue to help me with. You rock!!) I just moved out on my own, I work fulltime in order to support our family but it's taking its toll on my kids because I don't see them much. If I work fewer hours, I don't make the money that we need. I'm feeling the shock of single parenting, working fulltime & depending on a single income to provide for us.

My ex has said he will give me X amount every month, but that doesn't help much as I still have a baby sitting-daycare dilemma. How do I get everything done, be reliable at work while not digging myself a hole to pay for childcare costs?

I am in the process of filing for divorce & collecting child support. Money aside, it is hard enough being a single parent in TF, let alone out. Does any one have any ideas how to do this? I left TF in order for my kids to have stability & a chance to experience life differently than I had it. In order to do that, I need to set my self up for success as well. But it seems like an endless cycle just trying to make ends meet, that I don't have time to go to school or do any of the things that I need to do to give them the lifestyle that I would like for them.

Adjusting has not been easy because I have no family in this area. I also want my kids to have a relationship with their dad; I feel that regardless of how my relationship is with him, he will always be their dad. I don't want them to resent me for taking them away from him. If he leaves the area because of where "God called him to go" then it will be his fault & they will see that. I want his actions to speak to them.

I would like to hear from any of you who are raising your kids on your own. If you have practical ideas or suggestions that could help me adjust I would love to hear them. Especially if any of you have a spouse still in TF, how do you explain to your kids what is going on?

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from Woodstock
Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 18:03


You should find a Tall Hansome Bald Man with the initials G. I. and he should have good networking skills.

It wouldn't hurt if he called you Boba.

With Love - G

(reply to this comment)

from breakaway
Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - 12:45

I too left TF with two small kids (daycare age). At the time I was in Brazil, a "third world country". My salvation was finding other people to live with (others who left TF around the same time I did). We shared the bills and whenever I would be home late (I worked until 8 or 9 pm sometimes), there was usually someone who could pick up my kids from daycare or the neighbor (who was a wonderful lady) would help out. My main suggestion is to try to develop a network of friends, whether in the US or not. Of course, this is not always easy but it is possible. I used to invite other kids and their parents over for kids' parties on the weekends etc & organize sleepovers so I subsequently was able to find people who didn't mind doing small favors to help out. At the same time, this was very beneficial for the kids because they made new friends and weren't so desperate for mommy all the time. Eventually, I got a boyfriend and he loved helping out. My kids' father also helped out on weekends and gave them lots of attention. I truly understand your frustration at sometimes feeling overwhelmed or inadequate, especially given our lack of education and professional experience. If this is of any consolation to you, kids grow up. Although they always will need your attention, they begin to get more and more independant, especially if you encourage them to develop their study skills and set things up in a way that they can learn responsibility.
My kids' day, after much effort and organization on our part, is organized and scheduled to the minute. There is a time for homework, packing the next day's lunches, reading assignments, cleaning the room, putting the school uniforms to wash and playing with friends. They know I work all day and they do everything possible to help out at home. Now that they are a bit older, I've re-started studying. I know things are hard, but every bit of sacrifice is worth it. If others can you can too.
(reply to this comment)
from passion
Friday, September 17, 2004 - 08:36


I understand your situation very well, I myself am a single parent of three children with no family support system in place. But what helped me was like what Xhris! said, go to your local social service and find out what they offer. Where I am they have this program called TANF which is really great. They pay for childcare, give you food stamps, medicade, and a small monthly grant to live off of. They also can get you started in school if that is what you are interested in. At least here whare I am, they helped me get my GED, and then assisted me in getting financial aid to be able to attend college. They also put me on a wait list for section 8 housing which can sometime take up to 3 years to get to the top of the list. But with their referal I was able to move into my current place within three months. I'm not saying things will be easy as they diffenetly have not been for me but at least the financial strain is not as heavy anymore.

I know that in some ways my kids have suffered, since right now I am on a quest to better myself and get a new life started for us. But at the same time they are having a blast with all the fun things they get to do while in school and at daycare. I was lucky to find a great center where the kids get to go horse back riding once a week and durning the summer they go swimming and bowling. They do get a bit disipointed when I can't make it to all of their schools parties and funticions, but I just explain to them that I try my best to be there for them but I am only one person and that I am trying to make our lives better. They are very understanding and forgiving. As a single parent we have to do what we can and leave the rest, there is really no choice.

My schedule is very busy everyday, I have a full school schedule plus I work and have three kids, but I some how manage. It is in no way easy but if you let the "system" work for you it can get a little easier. I try to keep my weekends as free as possible to spend time with the kids since durning the week it's just go, go, go and it seems to be working out fairly well so far. I wish you the best and hope thngs work out for you.
(reply to this comment)

from xhrisl
Friday, September 17, 2004 - 02:12

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Ok, this is probably going to come off sounding like “well duh---I’m already living it” but the fact is that answers to the dilemma you are faced with are neither plentiful, nor easy. While I commend you for your courage in taking a stand and seeking to provide a better life for yourself and your children you are by proxy caught between a rock and a hard place.
The unfortunate fact of single parenting in this country is that there is rarely enough $ to go around particularly for single parent households headed by a female parent. This coupled with the ‘vast amount of education’ that most of us brought up within TF received leaves the majority of us at an extreme disadvantage, couple this with the fact that you yourself are probably struggling to acclimate to a completely new lifestyle as well, no doubt places you in great difficulty.
Firstly, I would recommend to you that you seek the aid of your local social services department, who can help you get food stamps and subsidized housing cost. While these will in no way place you on ‘easy street’ they should help to mitigate some of the cost you are undoubtedly bearing on your own. Also, many states provide free medical care coverage for children (under 18) of low-income families---this can also be obtained through your local social services department. Lastly, contingent upon which state you live in there are programs which will help you further your education and thereby enable you to provide a better standard of living for your family.
Secondly, regardless of how much you ‘love and care’ for your former mate, the fact remains that by his choice to stay in TF he has proven beyond doubt that he is not as concerned as you are with regard to the welfare and safety of your children. Your former mate has made his choice, and that choice precludes you and your children from his affections, he has chosen TF over you, in much the same manner, as have your parents. As such seeking to remain in the same area as him so that your children can have a relationship with their biological father seems an imprudent choice when weighed against the possibility of a support structure. If you have relatives or extended family on the outside I would recommend that you open up communication with them, as they are much more likely to be in a position to help.
Thirdly, take him to court! By fathering your children his body made an implicit promise to nurture your off-spring, and while his is no doubt reaping the benefits of having ‘forsaken all’ to be in TF (including the benefit of ‘sharing’ with and quite possibly impregnating some poor unfortunate) you are stuck with the task of creating a better life for both of your children. While there is no guarantee that you will receive any child support your filling for it will definitely put a damper on his freedom of movement (lets face it the last thing TF wants is to take responsibility for his legal problems). Furthermore, such legal attachments will in effect guarantee that should he come into $ at some future time either as a result of a ‘windfall’ or because he latter leaves and gets a job, will serve to insure that some of the cost of raising your children might be taken care of.
Lastly, while raising kids on your own is a difficult proposition, take heart. It may sound callous but you are more likely in a better position than most---due to his involvement in TF and the unlikelihood of his leaving you will be in a better position at some future date when you decide to reenter the dating scene. With the amount of single parent and mixed parent families that abound the less he has to do with your future relationships the better. It will be easier on both yourself and you children, as it is far better to have one single caring parent than to have a conflict habituated relationship between two parents. I wish you the best and commend you for your courage to do what is right by your children.

(reply to this comment)
from cassy
Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 10:21

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

From your profile it says you're in the States, so I guess that answers my question. I've been lucky to have the support of Family nearby. It must be tough completely on your own. Here they have single parent support groups in local areas as well as other benefits from the Gov. for single parents. If that's not available there, I would definitely be firm with your ex about help and support. He should not get away with not doing his part both finanically and otherwise just because he's in the group, but it's going to be up to you to hold him to it regardless of whether he agrees with your beliefs or not.
(reply to this comment)

from cassy
Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 10:14

A lot depends on what country you live in. Would be helpful to know. If you are in the UK I'd be happy to share some of what has worked for me. If you are in the States, or elsewhere you probably should get in touch with those in that country, because the provisions are different.
(reply to this comment)
from exister
Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 08:22

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
After the child support is ordered and The Family convinces him to go overseas and shirk his responsibilities be sure to look into all of the creative ways that the legal system provides for making his life hell. These recourses range from revoking his driver's license to issuing an arrest warrant for contempt of court.

Good Luck!
(reply to this comment)
Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 08:12

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

"Of course he did not want them to go to "system school" & ruin their young fragile minds."

OK, so it sounds like however wrongheaded, he cares. But then we find out "So he said if I was going to put them in school then he was not going to be responsible for them."

How is that caring? This shows that the desire to keep them out of school is not out of supposed concern for the children's well-being, but as a selfish point of "religious" or whatever pride. Ugh.

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