What’s the next step?

This is real

Okay, you held it together. You quit your job and got your GED. You are in college now. You have a good part time job that you really like. But you know it’s temporary. You know it won’t last and, more importantly, it won’t get you to where you want to be.

If you want to buy that home, buy that rig that isn’t 20 years old, want a yard and a dog and an office/library, you know you have to pick yourself up again and soldier on.
And this time, though it isn’t as hard mentally, emotionally or physically, is trying in it’s on way because now it’s just time. Waiting to finish your education. Waiting to see what opportunities you can dig up for yourself. Waiting for the education and knowledge you need to be able to find something that will get you to this next goal. And you know, realistically, it is a lot of time. Just a waiting game until you are capable enough to move forward. And it is almost harder in some areas as you have come so, so far in such a short time and yet, still have so far to go.

So, bide your time. Listen to Black Veil Brides. Do birthday’s and the flu and cleaning and laundry and figure out and balance bills and rent. You are surviving now. It’s miraculous now to even do that with almost ease compared to what it was like last year.
Wait for spring. For something amazing to happen. For a degree. For a job. For the kids to get older so it is a little easier. Take a step back and look back. Reflect. Enjoy the now (as hard as that is) because just LOOK. Look at YOU! You did it. You are making it. You have a home and a van and enough money to even buy a few gifts. Take a breath and cherish this sweet, fresh day. The birds actually out for the first time in months. Those little hands grasping yours. Take a breath and love it. Because you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

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Grit Among Desperation

There are so many single moms who struggle and fight and never give up. There are so many who pray, cry and stay up at night brainstorming for a way to make it. Just to provide homes for their children, food, a reliable vehicle, and the necessities. And they view that as being “comfortable” and even well-off.

So many people never realize that many single moms make less than $2,00o a month. My income caps out at $1,300. I pay rent, a court fine, my phone, internet, child support, buy diapers, wipes, toilet paper, laundry soap and quarters to wash clothes and am so, so lucky if I have $20 at the end of the month.

I am sure you have searched frantically on Google, Pinterest, read websites and blogs on how to “make it” as a single mom with children and just feel overwhelmed and defeated. You know those “Here’s How I Made 6 Figures In A Month As A Single Parent…”, all the “tips” for starting your own business, how to save up and invest by not buying those $5 coffees every day (HA! Like I have even a dollar to spend on coffee every day!) and they all just seem to be making fun of you because you don’t have a clue, or an extra $10, to invest in anything. You have no marketable skills. No training or knowledge. And see no way of ever becoming that success story. I am right there.

Today is my 27th birthday. I have been single two years. I don’t get child support. I own a 1994 Plymouth Voyageur that was donated to me. I live in a two bedroom apartment with a crotchety man living above me who stomps his feet on the floor every time my children play loudly. I have no yard. I owe 3k in back child support. I have no credit. I work part time for minimum wage while going to college. I have six children total. Three I see every other weekend, three I have full custody off and who have no father at all in their lives. I have to borrow money to pay rent this month.

What do I do? Now that you know the highlights of my story. How do I make it in a town of 1,600 people? How do I become a success? How do I make it through this and provide a wonderful life for my children? I need an answer. And if you are reading this, I hope you have one or, if you need one, that you get it.

I am not giving up. Because I can’t. But I don’t know where to turn or what to do. I will keep on. I will try to take one moment at a time. I will try to keep breathing and loving and moving forward in hopes that one day things will be wonderful for us.

“First Day”

It’s what I have dubbed it. The first day back at real life after being home either sick or on winter break for a few weeks. I have been simultaneously looking forward to and dreading First Day.
I knew it would be hard as getting up early again (5:00-5:30) and rushing all morning to get out the door is never easy, but also because First Day is always just crazy and hectic. Stressful. Chaotic. Definitely chaotic.

So. Today was my First Day. And it may have just made me cry a few times. Not sobbing and bawling in the car. But definitely a few tears trickled down my cheeks. It was one kinda bad thing after another and a whole lotta’ nothing I can do about it. Let me run you through it…

Late leaving the house. Boys screaming and fighting. Door on the van wouldn’t open. It was FUCKING ZERO DEGREES. Van was still cold. Coat doesn’t fit. Coat made my hair a static mess. Fingers freezing all the way in to town. Stuck behind morons going 40-45 all the way into town. Two year old screaming because he got snow on his boots. Financial aid didn’t come through and my tuition has not been paid yet. Found out I have to stay until three every day to get my hours in. No missing work or being able to leave early because of class schedules. Found out that my beloved class (Accounting 202) is now all online and videos and therefore I won’t actually be in class at all. (That was actually the hardest blow as it is the only thing I look forward to). My plant was pretty much dead from being frozen and then dehydrated for weeks. Had court. Found out I had to drive back home to get documents for court. Got stuck behind someone doing thirty. Got to the passing lane and began to pass. They blew by me going way over 60 mph. Screamed and gave them the finger. Got home and got the document (it is still freezing cold) and began to drive back to town with less than 20 minutes to spare for my court hearing. Got another review hearing for next month. (MORE FREAKING COURT.) Picked up children. Door on the van wouldn’t open. Stopped to get diapers and groceries. Two year old screamed all the way home. Door on the van wouldn’t open. Made five trips out to the van and back to get all the kids, groceries, diapers and my stuff in. (Have I mentioned it is FREAKING cold?) Hair was still a static mess and I kept getting shocked. Last trip in and my fingers got wet. Froze to door handle. Managed to piss off the guy I love (who yeah, doesn’t love me back) and he isn’t talking to me. Oh. And I have been up since three. FIRST. DAY.

I hate you, First Day. Thank God you only come around every few months because there is no way in hell that I could deal with you and your shit every day.