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.

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It’s Hell and it’s been Frozen Over

Accurate depiction of my home when I walked in

It all started at about 1:30 when I, to my horror and amusement, I fell asleep at work.

My daughter has been sick and not feeling good, so she has been keeping me up a lot at night as well as this weird cycle I am on of waking up multiple times and unable to go back to sleep.
Then the two year old decided to scream all the way home. And then I got home and am surrounded by nothing but dirty dishes, counters, floors and toys strewn all over. A sink that has needed scrubbed for months and dinner looming ever-closer.
Laundry that I folded last night was still in need of being put away, with several more loads to do.

And it’s been a fan-freaking-tastic -15 degrees, warming up to a balmy seven with a lovely wind accompanying the delightful temperatures. And my can opener broke. It’s the fifth one I have managed to destroy in a year. And I swear I am fucking cursed when it comes to those things.

I also got a delightful email from the ex. That was just great, too. I love getting communications from the person I have a restraining order against.

So, I began to frantically make dinner only to discover that several key ingredients I can’t access because I have no can opener. All the while being screamed at by three small children who either need dinner RIGHT NOW or they are GOING TO DIE or by the sick baby who needs her mama to hold her and pack her around all the time. I gave up and opened a can of stew (thankfully I did not need the can opener for that one) and warmed it up and served it with bread. My poor starving children ate a whopping five bites and decided they were full and wanted to go play. At this point…I really don’t care.

I hung in there until six, then made them go potty and kiss me and I put them in bed. I really don’t even care if they fall asleep or not. As long as they are in their room knowing they have to be quiet and stay in there, I will be more than happy with that.

Okay, so it wasn’t a bad day. Really. I am just cranky because I am tired and feeling like I need a maid. Desperately. Unfortunately, I don’t think I could hire one. Unless they’d be happy with $3 a day.

“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.