It’s January. Blah. It’s cold and wet and dirty outside. I find myself spending entirely too long every morning standing under a hot shower just thinking and not wanting to get out. It is so not good for my oil bill, and I pay for it the rest of the day with dry, itchy skin. Still, I can’t help it. One of my favorite bloggers recently wrote about her struggles. Now, I shall write about mine (not that I don’t, constantly), feel free to skip over this post if you don’t wish to
hear read me whine.
I feel totally stuck. In – a – total – rut. January 1st was the 6th anniversary of my single parenthood. Let me put that in perspective for you – Dominic is 6. Through the years I have worked full-time out of the home, part-time out of the home, full and part time from the home. And always more than full time in the home. All of you mothers of large families know what I am talking about. I get comments here and there telling me that I should get off my lazy butt and get a job (or 3) to support my children, it’s my problem I have them. True, it is my problem I have them, but I didn’t spontaneously pop out eleven little people on my own. I did raise them on my own, however, regardless of who I was married to. Anyway, I can count the number of child support checks I received in 2012 on one hand. If you have been a reader of this blog for long, you know it was years when the money never came, and it was never the full amount when it did. And yes, support enforcement (the state) has my case. This is with his check attached.
And yes, I receive food stamps. $900/month. For eleven people, in the uber-expensive Northeast. No, I am not proud of this fact. If you have read this far, and can bear with me a tad longer, I will explain the whole conundrum that is my rut. I have a BS in English. It is worth this. I cannot go back to school to further my education because a fafsa is only good for an undergraduate degree. I cannot go to school for a trade of any kind without the money to do so, for the same reason. I cannot get a job in this economically depressed area I live in, because there are no jobs outside of Walmart, which pays minimum.
Part 2: If I work at a minimum wage job (which, after taxes, is roughly $300/wk), and receive a child support payment, the state immediately deducts the money from what I receive in food. So, in essence, I am leaving the house, paying for gas, to drive to a job, to pay for the food, which I was getting for free. Yes, this makes me sound as if I am “using the system.” Believe me, I am not. $900 a month is a stretch, but we are doing it. The problem is, if they take my food away, then how do we eat, AND pay the rent, electric, heat, phone, and everything else (which is not cable or dinner’s out, I was talking toilet paper and shampoo). Then the support always stops, and it takes months to get back to below poverty level again.
I know how to stretch a dollar until it screams. I make my own laundry soap, we make our own bath soap, we use the .97 shampoo, we get hand-me-downs and knit our own hats and scarves. I am talking basic rent, electricity, heat, phone, gas, car insurance, household, which at the very minimum, is $1800 a month.
I was not a single mother who went on welfare and had more babies. I didn’t ask for this. To support my children, 8 of which I am still responsible for, without food and to pay the minimum bills, I would need to make $500/wk. If I had to pay for my own food, it would be $700/wk. The most money I ever made in my life at a job was $400/wk. And as my children get older, the state cuts them off, and I receive less to help pay for them who have all helped support me, but who now either cannot find a job of their own, or can’t afford to pay for a driver’s license to find a job elsewhere.
I suppose when all of my children have grown and left the house, provided I am still alive by then, I can support myself on minimum wage at Walmart. I will have to, I have no social security, pension, 401K, IRA, xyz, or anything.
Not sure where I was going with this. It wasn’t meant to be a money rant alone, it was also meant to be a “I’m sick of being single, in a married community” rant, and a “I miss my parents, everyone else my age still has both parents, for the most part, and I have been motherless for 23 years, fatherless for 13″ rant. I miss my mother every single day. Especially at Christmas. And in January, her birthday month, when she would spend her birthday on me, because I was her gift. I miss her. Yes, I miss my Dad, too, but not having a mother is just different.
I also miss being a couple. No, I do not in any way miss him. Maybe I don’t miss it, because I never really had it. But I really would like it. Do you know what I mean?