Friday, December 18, 2015

Single Parenting: That's Me

I went from having your normal "family" life, being a stay at home mom for many years, having a husband that went to work and helped with the kids, to doing everything on my own. I feel like some times people don't quite understand how hard things are for me and how every day of my life is a struggle.

I haven't received a dime in child support since the first week of June. My ex husband went from fighting to get shared custody of the kids in the beginning, to pretty much only talking to the kids or seeing them when it is convenient for him. As time went on, it became less and less convenient for him to make time for his own kids. Even a year ago, things were easier for me, despite being a single mother, the small amount of child support I got still helped, and I had a little bit of freedom when the kids would be at his house every other weekend. In the past year, he began making excuses as to why he couldn't keep them on the weekends. At the beginning of October, he moved out of state and now barely talks to the kids at all. The only time he contacts me is to blame me for "keeping the kids from him" (even though he hasn't asked to see them), threaten and intimidate me.

I am doing everything on my own. I work full time making chump change compared to what I should be making. I have 3 pre-teen kids that I am supporting, and I do it all. I am the one who makes sure they have what they need. I'm the one who makes sure they have all of their school supplies, clothes, shoes, food, homework done, extra curricular activities while still trying to ensure that we have a little bit of fun thrown in now and then. It's all on ME. All of their lives depend on me. I don't really have much time for myself at all. The only time I am away from the kids is when I am at work. I can't go out and do other things because either I don't have the money or because I always have my kids. Although I do talk a lot about dating, most of the time, I feel like, what's the point? I don't even have time for dating.

On top of the stress of being a single parent, I am always struggling with my depression. I try to put on my 'happy' face but some times it doesn't work as well as I would like it to. At work, I'm the only single person there, seriously, the only one. While everyone else is driving nice new cars, I'm driving the clunker that sounds like it's going to fall apart.

"When are you going to get that thing fixed?", someone will ask.
"Maybe when I can shit $700 out of my ass.".

It's embarrassing. I feel like the loser of the office, like everyone else is better than me. This one girl I work with, I have become pretty close with but there are things she says or does that just really irks me. She has a husband who makes over $50,000 a year. They also own 2 houses, both have very nice vehicles and can go spend money on whatever they need to whenever they feel like it but yet she will sit there and complain about how broke they are or how much in debt they are. Well, maybe they are in debt but it's because of their own choices. I went to her house once... it was a mansion compared to mine. When I left, all I could think about was how embarrassed I would be to ever have her see my house.

Recently, actually, just last night, my office had a little Christmas party at a fancy restaurant. When they first talked about it, I made up an excuse to not go because everyone else was bringing their spouse or significant other, and I didn't want to be the odd man out. As it got closer, the same girl, kept bugging me about going. I finally told her that I just didn't have the money to go. It's Christmas time and I am trying to scrape up enough money to make sure that my kids have a Christmas. She made some snotty comment like, "well, it's only once a year that we all get together like this, but that's up to you". I feel like a lot of people just don't get it. Even when I have tried to put things into perspective for her, she still attempts to throw it back at me, saying, "do you know how much debt I am in?". I really don't care how much debt you are in because you CHOSE to be in debt. You are the one that chose to buy a house and fix it up and buy the top of the line EVERYTHING for it but I'm supposed to feel sorry for you? Your life doesn't even compare to mine. Some people don't realize what it's really like to struggle, to live paycheck to paycheck, just scraping by to pay the necessity bills, constantly worrying about something big going wrong, like the car breaking down or something going wrong with the house. I don't have a fat bank account to fall back on. I don't have credit cards to charge things. All I have is my piddly ass check. No husband that makes over $50,000. Sometimes it's all I can do NOT to say, "just shut the fuck up!!! you have no clue what it's like to be me!"

I understand things could be worse. At least I have a warm bed to sleep in at night and so do my kids. Through my struggles, I hope I can teach them right from wrong and how to work hard for what they have, and not to expect everything to just be handed to them. I hope I can raise my kids to be caring, respectful, compassionate human beings. No one knows what it's like, unless you have been in my shoes.

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