Any Single Mom Support?

Updated on April 13, 2009
J.A. asks from Harrisburg, PA
22 answers

Hello All....
I am a single mom of 2 gorgeous girls....one who is 2.5 yrs, and the baby who is 7 months. I have been single since I was in my 2nd trimester with the 2nd (their dad, my ex, decided he wasn't ready to have the responsibilty of being a father) and have been raising them physically and financially on my own. I do have a small support group of friends and family....but sometimes it's hard to talk to them because I don't want pity or sympathy. I just want someone to understand what I'm going through. I work full time and don't usually do much other than be with my kids (which I really do love!!) I love my children with every ounce of my soul....but sometimes I can't help but feel trapped and sad that I'm missing out on being a "normal" 24 year old. I also am scared that I'll never find anyone again because...well, I think I'd have to leave the house to ever do that! I want them to have a father someday like my dad was for me. I try my best but after 4 hours of sleep a night and all the stuff in between, I sometimes feel beat down. I guess my question is...is there anyone else out there that has been through this and can offer some advice? Reassure me that it will someday get better or easier?

And please....if you feel the need to respond with negative comments about personal views on me being a young, un-wed mom, don't bother. I'm proud of my decisions and am blessed with my children.

*This may have reposted twice, I didn't mean to send out the first one. Thanks for any responses!!!

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So What Happened?

I just want to thank EVERYONE who took the time to respond. The support that you all have shown me is amazing....it really made me feel so much better. Sometimes I take things for granted...but reading your replies reminded me that what I'm doing is the best thing ever, and I am so lucky to have my daughters in my life. Sometimes the bad days outweight the good ones....but putting things in perspective makes me realize that as long as I have my girls...there are no BAD days!! Thanks again, I really really appreciate all the positive reinforcement. :)

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N.H.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Dear J.,
Another thing to remember is that they do grow up fast. When they start school things will be a lot easier. I am not saying to wish the time away, I am just reminding you that it won't always be this hard. It is something I lost sight of when I was a single mom at age 18. Now she is 32 and I have three granddaughters! The rewards are bayond compare!!! and definitely worth all the struggle I went through.
You will get there!
Blessings,
N

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D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi J.,
Of course you don't feel like a "normal" 24 year old! Because you're NOT! You're an awesome hardworking single mom to two precious girls. Sounds like you are doing a great job and I just wanted to offer you a few words of encouragement.
I'm 45 with a 6 yo son and I don't feel like a "normal" 45 year old either! LOL
It will get easier as they get older. These will be crazy hectic years for you, I'm sure. Try if you can to schedule a little "me time" each day. Even if it's just a long steamy shower after the girls are in bed or a nice walk at lunchtime with a co-worker. Maybe from time to time you can get a sitter and go out and kick up your heels. Look at it this way, you'll be a young mom to older girls some day and the "you" factor will definitely kick up a notch then.
Sounds like you are doing an amazing job juggling all that you have on your plate. Hang in there. This will probably be the most difficult time in your life so it's all easier from here!

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B.W.

answers from Erie on

I'm married now, but I was a single mom for 5 years, when my kids were 3 and 1 up until they were 8 and 4. I've been married for almost 20 years now to a wonderful man (doesn't this sound sappy?) whom I met in grad school. Yes, it can happen.

What's really hard as a single mom, is that you are spending your life juggling work and home, doing everything for everyone. You live for getting them into bed so you can relax, and then you realize there's nothing to do. No one to talk to, etc. Boring and depressing . . I used to get the kids to bed, and then walk around my empty apt thinking, "Why was I so looking forward to this?"

Going back to school was one of the best things I could do for myself. Yes, I met my spouse there, but more importantly, I interacted with people, I thought about stuff, I studied, I developed a confidence that my failed marriage had taken away from me. And I healed during that time, too. I learned to be a single me, and be proud of it, and that I didn't need a man to make me feel complete. I could live successfully without one.

And it was at that point, of not "needing" a guy, and not "needing" to lean on anyone else to have a life -- that one asked me to consider a life together. And, honestly, I did NOT want to sacrifice the me I had just gained, to go back to being half of a whole. So we took our time . . . and I set boundaries. Never again would I give up what I sacrificed to try to make a failing marriage work. I was tough. (and loving) And it worked. I am married to a guy who does housework, who raises children, who works hard, and mostly to someone who is demented enough to absolutely love me -- no matter what I do or don't do. I don't always agree with him, he's not me, but I always respect him, always love him, and we are always faithful to each other.

The other thing that is cool about school, is that with or without meeting a "special guy" there, it is a place where people are thinking and talking and doing, and it's a place to meet some people who will encourage you, and challenge you. It's tough, cuz the truly "single" people there are out doing stuff for fun while you have responsibilities at home, but you'll get through that. And it will help you to grow, not just chase the clock, the job and the children. And when you are actively builidng your own life, you are setting a fine example for your children, who will be incredibly proud of their mom, and incredibly proud to follow in your footsteps, or to make a path of their own, because you have shown them by example that it can be done !

Good luck ! I hope you link up with some very smart and courageous women on this sight, so you have people on your pc you can chat with !! But I hope you are also able to link up with some friends who will challenge and encourage you, swap babysitting, etc., and be face-to-face friends, because we really need local friends when the chips are down as well as when we want to plan fun stuff to do with our kids.

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M.M.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Jesse,
One day at a time. You have good core values, you sound v stable and motivated in great directions. Some things you may wish for yourself may not come quickly and easily but they will come.

I can't fully agree with the idea that you need to take a half hearted, irresponsible person to court and force them into a child's life. I choose the opposite when the dead beat dad choose other things. I asked for a renounciation free and clear of all financial ties. I do not regret my choice and have had 15 years to reflect carefully upon it. I did meet someone, the person I was supposed to be with. He raised and LOVED my daughter and I am grateful that my dd knows this. He adopted, raised, unselfishly supported her.

Tossing a child into an unwelcomed relationship for weekends off will never yield acceptance from someone who is unwilling. If the willingness changes, then there is room for amending. I don't disagree that the bio should be held to some financial accountability to help you through this. The courts WILL support you on this and it is wise to have your options on the table. I choose otherwise as the adult partner was not interested and the rejection is much more damaging to a child than having new clothing. It is ok and healthy for your children to see you cry at times, to have moments. But if you show your children strength, solid choices and actions through example, a few tears will teach them compassion, understanding no weakness.

It is hard, God watches and cares and will help you through your journey. One day at a time.

I have been a single parent of one for 8.5 years,with a home, full time job.
I am now a widow, with a job, a small business and a 1/2 time student working on my BFA.
My oldest in college just leaped out of the nest and my youngest are 7 & 9.

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S.G.

answers from Tampa on

Hi J.,
Im only 17 years old and continuing my last year in high school with a 3 month old, yes i know, pretty young. My son's father, decided he was not ready to be a father either and left both of us hanging. It's very hard, because I dont have a job, and being a full time student is not easy either. The only person who supports both my son and I is my father; i try to appreciate everything he has done for both my son and I. My son is definitely a blessing to me, all children are. It's the beauty of nature. I am also afraid that i wont find anyone out there. But with me being so young and having a child, im just in that "adult" stage, where i have to focus on my child, education & work. I dont want to be alone, i hate being alone and I want my son to have a father, someone who will always be there for the both of us. I filed child support on my ex, because he hasn't helped out since he was born. He wasn't there for the birth of my son, which is absolutely horrible. But anyway, people have told me, that i'd be surprised who would want to date me, with or without having a child. They say, to give it time. Your kids are the most important thing to you :) Don't beat yourself down; you did nothing wrong. Im sure there's a guy out there, who is looking for you, and will love both you and your children just the same. Keep your head up high, God always has a plan :)

God Bless & Take care!

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A.J.

answers from Williamsport on

Hey, awesome lady!
My step sister, 28, mother of two awesome boys, is in the same boat. She JUST got through her divorce, relocated to be near family and started a new job. She has no interest in dating yet, but I'm hear to say, it will be more work for her to keep the men away, than to find one when the time is right. Or rather when the man is right-she learned a valuable lesson form jerk #1. Her next man will be amazing.

The beauty of your situation is that you have your children, which makes you an even more valuable package. Because you are young, you will be skipping all the shlocky guys out partying you may have dated who wouldn't be able to handle a "chick with kids" (after losing one like that-but thank God for your beatiful kids he gave you). Your standards should be ultra high as in finding an awesome mature man to be the example to your kids you need. Thank goodness you know this and mentioned it. And also because you are young, you don't have to panic about how long that will take. And because you are doing so many things at once (sounds like me at that age!!!) You will have many new skills and a lot of maturity once you do meet Mr. Right, and you will be standing on your own two feet, as you are now.

I'm sure every woman's prayers who reads this are with you through this rough time. It's hard even with a dad in place! Keep your loving vibrant attitude, and be very picky about the ones who come along. And they will. Your world seems small with just your little circle right now, but the possibilities are endless. Take very good care of yourself and health. You won't be able to let yourself go to pot-and that's GOOD! Give yourself beauty treats, you like any woman, are more than just a mom, you're a complete woman. Continue counting your blessings and being strong, the rewards will come.

I'm sure you already know, you'd be getting tired of the concerts and stuff soon. The young people out partying don't have the beauty you have. As time passes and your budget increases (since you are working and going to school, you will be making good money) there are always fun things and concerts to do. You're not missing them! My husband and I take off and go to Europe whenever we can with the kids-you can do things like that and all the concerts you want one day! Keep your standards high and make sure your future men work as hard and are as selfless as you are!

Meanwhile, you've got your babies and your youth all at one time! Try to enjoy the present and don't worry what the future will bring. You're an awesome woman, it will bring great things.

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M.H.

answers from Sharon on

No judgement here, I'm actually PROUD of you for supporting your kids completely on your own, physically an financially, way to be a strong woman!!! :D

A lot of the single moms I've ever met are almost always single by choice, and usually it's because they walked out on the father because "they weren't the one" and they wanted to date around some more, or they cheated on him and then walked out on him because they couldn't stand to keep their pants on when he wasn't around. :P They ALWAYS take the kids and sue "that good-for-nothing bastard" for child support. Overnight their ex goes from the father and the lover, to an unlimited access resource that the woman's entitled to and "that good-for-nothing bastard," even when he's done nothing wrong.

But you aren't them. Those women are weak, spineless, and I'm ashamed for them. YOU I am proud of, even though I don't know you, because you've shown strength in standing on your own two feet. You don't need him, and you're proving it quite sufficiently by living well and living happily ON YOUR OWN. I salute you! :D

God bless you, J., and may more single mothers find the strength and courage that you have.

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M.C.

answers from York on

I am a mother of four. I am lucky that my children have their father but he works all the time so sometimes it feels like i'm a single mom. Hey I don't know where you are located but if you ever want somwont to talk to you can e-mail me at [email protected]____.com . I will be glad to help if I can. Hang in there. You will find some one some day just don't give up.
M.

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S.F.

answers from Philadelphia on

i had my son at 18. by the time he was 2 his father and i had broken up for good and i was feeling the same way you're feeling, very lonely and like no one would be interested because i had a child, and the dating scene as i knew it, would not be the same.

the dating scene being different does not mean bad different... in hindsight that's clear now. you meet people in different places, that's all. I met my husband at a softball game that my best friend organized. i didn't even want to go but i let her talk me into it, and i'm sure glad she did.

keep an open mind and stay positive. Also, keep your focus on yourself and your girls and everything will come together.

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A.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

J...I want to echo the others in saying how much I respect you for what you are doing. I also want to add that very soon it is going to get so much easier. You are in the HARDEST stage right now. My kids have the same age difference as yours and I can tell you I really struggled when they were that young. It is just plain HARD. Once they are potty-trained and really talking and communicating it gets much easier. Soon they will be great little playmates for one another and not need your constant attention. They will become more independent and you will be able to do things like take a shower without worrying what is going on. My boys are 5 and 7 now and I am having SO much more fun with them now to be honest. It is just so much easier and now I have time for me also. So hang in there and good luck.

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M.E.

answers from Pittsburgh on

J.,
your a great mother and i applaud you. being a single mother is hard. let alone working a full time job. i am sure your friends and family understand when you need to vent a lil. not many women your age are even ready to settle down and give up everything the way you have. you are one of the few good moms left. it seems everyone is so selfish these day. but if you need to vent or even need to go out for a bit i bet you your friends and family are more the willing to watch those beautiful girls of yours. so dont feel like your wanting sympothy, your not and i am sure they know that too. J. you should be proud of what your doing so a lil [email protected]____.com at times dont hurt.
trust me your family will support you and your friends ..
your a great mom and i wish there were more like that that put thier children first and foremost
God bless you and keep up the great work
but remember also you need time too and dont feel guilty for that.
M.

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T.W.

answers from Harrisburg on

Hi J. A,

Yes it will get easier. Right now they are young and need every ounce of you as the parent who is taking on all of the responsibility to raise them. JOB WELL DONE!!! So many times we as women (lifegivers = the givers of life) make choices because of our emotions. We don't walk away from our children that's just not in most of us. However men are logical they see what's in front of them rather than the whole picture. Be strong for your daughters. You are raising two beautiful children who are looking to you as their FIRST example of womanhood. Yes at times it sucks but I promise you IT WILL GET BETTER. There will be a man who will want to take on you and your children but until then BE PATIENT. Don't settle for the first man who comes around and is great with the children. He will come trust me but until then BE PATIENT. You don't want to bring men around your children until you know that you want to take the relationship further. Remember you are your daughters example, they are watching you. Let them see a hard working woman so when they become woman they too can have those same traits. Take each day one step at a time. IT WILL GET BETTER!!! Your in my prayers. Take care and God Bless!!!

~T.~

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K.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

I am a single mom of a 3 1/2 year old girl so I can relate. First of all, it is wonderful that you do have support from close friends and family. That is really important and truly makes a huge difference. But it's also a good thing to have friends in your situation. I don't know what area you live in but there are groups and events out there for single moms with and without their kids. You should check out your local churches to see if they have single mom groups because more and more of them are realizing that there is a need for it. Those groups usually help you connect with others and either include the children or offer childcare while you're meeting for little to nothing. Also, there is a group you can search online called Parents without Partners. I have not yet joined that but I have heard good things about it. They offer groups for every situation (people with young children, people with older children, people with grown children). Also, do you have any Chick-Fil-A's around you? They actually have activities once in a while. The one in Norristown is having a pajama ice cream bar on Tuesday. Other than that, you will meet other moms that you have something in common with along the way through daycare or playgrounds or any family friendly places you may go to. It does happen over time.

As far as the activities that you have time for, I would imagine that you are going to be fairly limited for a little while yet. Your children are young but it sounds like you have a good attitude about what you should be doing. Keep up the good work. Stick to your routines and enjoy your children as much as you can. It will get easier as long as you keep focused and positive. And please don't let anyone's opinions of your situation affect you or your children.

One more thing to keep in mind. While you have certainly given up the "normal" 24-year old lifestyle, your life is not over. You have much more important goals now. Your little girls are a blessing and their well being is completely dependent on you. You will be able to get some time for yourself occasionally as they get older and just think, you will still be very young when they are on their own.

1 mom found this helpful

D.S.

answers from Allentown on

Hi J.,

Is there any child support enforcement in your area?

Life is difficult no matter what your circumstances.

Get involved with a mom's support group and do social things with mom's that include families.

Parents without partners was created to help mom's cope with raising children alone.

Hope this helps. D.

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C.K.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi J.,

If you ex is completely out of the picture, there is online support that is specifically for single moms when the father is not in the picture at all. Single Moms by Choice or Chance (SMC) or Choice Moms. Both have Yahoo groups.

You won't find get any support from these groups on dealings with your ex, but from the sounds of things he isn't at all involved.

Email me privately for more information, or just to chat.

C. (39 year old single mom by choice)

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C.H.

answers from Allentown on

don't know where you live there is pwp parents without partners. They run activities with kids, alone family, etc.

see what the school or your job can offer you in assistance..

Don't forget to file for child support asap, he should pay don't let him off the hook he made them as well and get file for full custody asap

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E.D.

answers from Reading on

HI J.,
I'm also a single mom, 42 years old, with Twin boys (3yrs old) and a 18 years old daughter. My husband passed away when I was 29 weeks on my pregnacy with the twins. My life changed drastically from the moment by husband passed away. Having twins and handling the changes financially was not easy. I had to downsize home, car and close my husband business while my twins where a few month s old. I'm know what you are going through. I'm a full time working mom. After a long day of work, I go home to take care of my kids. I LOVED them with all my heart. I don't go to sleep until 11pm-12am almost every day. I try to follow a schedule (play time,feeding, bath and bedtime plus nap during the day on weekends)everyday. The boys are in bed by 8:30pm and then after that I have to catch up with everthing else (house cleaning, laundry, etc...). I had family help the first few months but then afterward I was on my own. The lack of sleep! The days of feeling lonely, the days of saying, can't I do this? I have been there! The days of wanting to have at least a few hours on my own, I have been there. So I just want to let you know that I'm also here if you want to talk. My daughter helps sometime but with working and going to a technical school, I can't get her to help everyday. I want her to finish school and get her career moving. It have not been easy for her since her daddy passed away; she was daddy's girl. I won't trade my life for the world but I'm also looking for a way to balance everything that I do, plus also, enjoy my self at the same time. Getting up or going to bed tired/excused everyday has become my normal thing. Maybe two moms going through the same/similar things can help each other! We can relate each other! Keep in touch!!!!!

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J.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

J. A I am sorry to say I have no advice for you, but I raise my hat to you, you are a young woman with lots of responisblity. You are doing a great job supporting your girls and you should be very proud of yourself. I know things will get easier for you as the girls grow, it might feel like it will never happened but it will. Please be patient and hang in there. Its all is worth it when you see your beautiful little gems grow up to be beautiful young ladies. Good Luck and keep the faith

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S.K.

answers from Lancaster on

I just want to applaud you for what you are doing. I am a mom of two and I have a wonderful support system in my husband who is the father to my two girls. I still think raising them is extremely challenging, and daily I ask how single moms do it. So although I don't have any advice for you, I think you have a great head on your shoulders by what you have posted. Love them with every ounce of your being and just remember the positive influence you are having on them.
My oldest is 2.5 also, and my younger daughter is 9 mos. It is a lot of work and every day is extremely busy, but as they get older and can communicate with you better, I think you will find that things get easier. At least that is what I am finding.
As for a social life, I don't have one of those either. But I guess it just comes with the territory. I often feel part of it is my own doing because I'd rather be with them than out with friends anyway.
Take care of yourself and stay strong. You are apparently a very strong woman already!! Much luck!

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L.S.

answers from Pittsburgh on

J.

I think that you are an amazing young woman and it wasn't just your choice it was their dads also. I applaud you that who will continue to be there for them no matter what. It will get easier and when you are not looking God will provide that special someone for you and your daughters.

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T.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

I am not a single mom, but i wanted to tell you that you should be so proud of yourself. What you are doing for your children is amazing. Just being a mom of four is one of the hardest things i have ever done. I was seperated for a brief period when i was your age and had my first 2 kids. It was tough. My husband was not ready to be a father also. (he did come home after about 2 months) I would really look for support groups so you can make friends in your same spot. I wish you the best...strength and courage...and a lot of hot baths!!!

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M.W.

answers from Scranton on

i just wanted to say that you are doing an amazing job and your kids will appreciate it someday. Hang in there. All the best.

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