Seeking Employment, Financial, and Childcare Help.

Updated on January 05, 2010
M.L. asks from Glendale Heights, IL
9 answers

My husband left me and my 9 month old daughter November 16. He would not work child care or financial issues out. So I filed for legal separation. He has now filed for divorce. He was arrested in December for Domestic Battery. He never comes to see his daughter unless ordered by his lawyer. I lost my job on Dec 23. I have no income and last week was at a point of not knowing how to feed me and my baby girl. I cannot pay my bills and dead broke. He constantly harrasses me and is verbally and emotionally abusive. I'm trying to find a job, but its so hard. Right now its about survival for me and my daughter. He will give no more than his $400 a month for child support. I am extremely lost, depressed, and am trying to learn how to survive. I know there is resources out there and I'm finding them. If anyone knows of any suggestions, please let me know.

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answers from Chicago on

Hi M.,

I'm so sorry you are going through such a hard time. I'm not sure where you're located, but there is a great organization in Palatine that helps moms with kids under age 2-3, called PHD (Preservation of Human Dignity). They offer counseling with these kinds of issues, and referrals for the issues they don't deal with, plus also some support in terms of baby clothes, formula, diapers, etc. Check out call ###-###-####.

You can also call The Family Institute at Northwestern; they offer therapy services on a sliding fee scale. There are several offices in Chicagoland. The number is ###-###-####.

You are going through an extremely difficult time, but please do not lose hope that things will eventually get better. Have faith that you will find a way to make it through this, for you and your daughter.

Hugs to you.



answers from Chicago on

Hi M., I was where you are some years ago. I PROMISE it gets better and you can do this. Your attitude is the 1st key... It is called "Acting as if...." Meaning always act as if everything is great! The analogy I love is act like a duck, swimming across the water they look so calm & graceful, but underneath their little webbed feet are moving like crazy to keep them going.. Be a duck. Next try to only speak of the good for today..I used writing as my tool for the things that overwhelmed me..I ONLY spoke of good things, to me speaking about the crappy stuff gave it life..made it to real. So, seeing my situations written down really helped & then I gave myself 3 possible solutions for each situation. I thought on each of those solutions until I knew the right one for me. The other sentence I lived by was " I do not have problems-I have situations that need solutions". (I still say that) Write a gratitude journal-daily. Some days I struggled to write what I was grateful for and coffee, air, and that I had a roof over our heads today was about the best I could do! I had 3 kids who were 4, 6 & 10 at that time. I also did a very strict budget. I knew what we needed in dollars daily to survive. I broke down every expense to the daily amount we needed. Oh I got clever too! Never knew I had a creative side until then. One of my many jobs was that I was a server on Sunday mornings (only) and what ever I made on Sundays was our food money for the week..I had to turn every day into cash what ever that meant. I only have a high school education.. At the time I worked 4-5 part time jobs, sometimes taking my 4 yr old with me to cleaning jobs! She learned to read by 5! Until eventually I found a job 40 hours with insurance that I LOVED and I stayed there 10 years-it was in sales with a base pay. I earned 6-figures one year... I promise you will come through this. Take care of yourself first. Sounds selfish and you may have to learn what that means-but put YOU FIRST, you will have more of you to give to your daughter & what ever else needs to be done. What your X choses to do with his life, thats his story, write your own. And the best thing I learned was living well is the sweetest revenge! Smile often and keep a great attitude. I remember telling my divorce attorney I wanted to waive my child support--my attorney was horrified & said that would never happen in the state of IL.. I said I NEVER want to be under his thumb again. Another time he meagerly offered me a $50.00 bill--remember I never asked him for a dime at this point..I could have used that fifty but it gave me more pleasure to tell him "keep it until you can afford putting another zero on that number" You would not have believed how shocked he was.. he did not understand. I was acting "as if".. kept him guessing.
Good Luck, keep smiling, & remember you do not have problems...You have situations that need solutions!!



answers from Chicago on


I wish you all the best and I am sure that you will land on your feet soon. I don't know where you live. I live near Elmwood Park and I work in Melrose Park. So I drive past Gottlieb Hospital every day (they are on North Avenue in Melrose Park). One of my co-workers mentioned the other day that Gottlieb is hiring RNs for weekend work. That might work for you and be easier for you to find a friend or relative to watch your daughter, at least temporarily. I have a 3 year old daughter and a 9 month old son. My husband and I both work full-time, but are around on the weekends. If necessary, in the beginning, you could probably drop your daughter off with us until you can find better arrangements.

Also, I was just on Dominican University's website (they are in River Forest) and they are looking for a part-time RN for the students. Dominican has a great childcare center that you may be able to get your daughter into as an employee. Here is their site:

Good Luck,


answers from Chicago on

I'm so sorry to hear about your current situation. I would recommend checking out the websites for school districts in your area. They are always looking for a good RN to be a school nurse.

Here are some in your area but no postings yet... keep checking back on these.

Here's one with an opening for substitute school nurses in the town next to you...

Good luck and God bless you and your daughter... keep us posted.



answers from Chicago on


I have a sister who has experienced a similar situation even though she is in a different state, maybe some of this info will help.

You should visit the county for assistance--particularly if he is not providing support/alimony. My sister is getting $400/month for groceries for her and her 3 daughters alone. Filing with the county will also help with the paper trail so he will eventually be forced to pay child support or be garnished. You may also qualify for some kind of rental and heat assistance.

If you haven't already applied for unemployment, it will help to do so assuming you meet the requirements.

I'm not sure where you are located, but for childcare are there any people in your neighborhood where you could swap kids? Maybe a stay at home Mom could use you to watch her kids while she runs errands and then could watch your daughter while you are job hunting or interviewing?

If your location is close..perhaps the new Sherman hospital in Elgin is hiring?

Good luck, I've watched my sister struggle and I know it is sooo stressful. She is lucky that my parents are able to help out with childcare and $$ sometimes.




answers from Chicago on

Metropolitan Family Services in Wheaton can help. Call them! Best of luck to you. Although it is difficult it sure sounds like you made the brave decision for you and your daughter. Way to go!



answers from Chicago on

Did you file for unemployment?

Get on WIC, food stamps etc.
Also apply for all kids (health insurance...and you would be eligible for the family version of it).

You may be able to get legal aid thru prairie state legal services (google for the number)

check out the local hospitals (not sure where you were an RN at) but I know Copley has onsite daycare that is either discounted or free for employees.

Another option would be to do a co-op with someone else who needs a babysitter at the opposite times you while they are at work you are watching their kid and vice versa.



answers from Chicago on

Hi M.,
Don't know where you are, but I know Women-In-Need-Growing-Stronger is a reputable resource for women and children in our area. They get a great deal of support from the community.



answers from Chicago on

Hi M.,
We are having a presentation about our business at Hyatt Regency Woodfield, 1800 E Golf Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173 on Saturday October 23, 2010 at 10:00am. It is a free event. Just come and hear about it. No selling. No pressure. I promise, you will not regret it. Call me at ###-###-#### if you are attending. Thanks.

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