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Heart-Felt Thank You

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Thank you for all of your kind words, prayers, and offers of advice and support on my last post. Some of you commented on how my writing seemed very straight-forward and unemotional, so I must be handling it well.

As I’m sure you can imagine (especially those who have been through it), it’s a full roller coaster of emotions. And I never quite know when I wake up in the morning how I’ll be feeling by the time I go to sleep that night.

Hubs and I have been together for a long time. We started dating when I was 18 (he was 20). I’m turning 35 this year. That’s 17 years. Half my lifetime.

I wanted to find a pic of us in our first apartment, circa 2005, but my photo storage on my computer only goes back to 2011 and I wasn’t willing to dig up old jump drives to find an images so here’s a picture of us at the Rainbow Bridge in southern Utah, 2011.

It’s heart-breaking, really.

BUT, I SOOOOOOOOO appreciate all of your comments on my last post. It’s made me take the next step to seek legal counsel. I was planning to try to do a DIY separation agreement, but so many people commented on the legalities of moving out and “abandoning” the marital residence, etc. I don’t think hubs would try to screw me over in any way, but as some of you commented, “An amicable separation is amicable…until it’s not.” And others also pointed out that, during this difficult time, if I can hire an attorney to complete the legal paperwork and forms rather than putting myself through that emotional wringer on top of everything else….well then it’s probably money well spent.

So I’m calling around to set up an initial consultation with a lawyer or two sometime in the next week. I did already sign a lease and have an expected move-out day of 9/1, so I don’t have time to waste – I need to act fast.

In the meantime, I found some comfort in these words…

Nature can sure be beautiful. When something knocks you over, it’s not the end of the world. Get up, dust yourself off, and keep on going and growing.

Thanks again!

<3

~Ashley


Financial Self Realizations

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I spent the bulk of the month of July alone. The kids were at camp. I work from home. It was very quiet and it was really good for me.

Those who have been following me here at BAD know the last 4 years have been exceptionally hard. Significant loss of income, several moves, kids moving out. It has been hard.

When I met with a counselor recently to discuss, well, we went back 15 years…she immediately brought up PTSD. Not the night sweats and violent outbursts from the movies, although, I’m sure I’m guilty of those. But moreso, the extreme stress and continually being in reactive mode versus proactive.

It was an eye opening conversation. And I’ve had a lot to think about the last few weeks.

Single Income Household

As a result, I’ve done a lot of digging around on single moms and money, even wrote this post over the KidsAintCheap.com. My editor would say it’s a hot mess, but in reality that research was a jumping off point for a lot of eye opening moments for me.

It really made me realize that I have been in “emergency” mode for lack of a better term for most of the last 11 years since I became a single mom. And probably even further back then that as my ex-husband hit me for the first time 1 week after we married in the fall of 2002.

While researching single income families, from the positive side of things, it made me realize I was just thrown into this life.  There was no preparation or working up to it as so many of the experts of single income families recommend. It was just thrust upon me.

And since then, I’ve been reacting to every new emergency, decision, move or change with no thought to planning. I know you are probably saying, well duh, Hope, but this realization has been so eye opening for me.

Financial Self Realizations

It has also been very helpful to know that I am not alone in my struggle. Seriously, do you know how many times I hear about other single mom’s who father-in-law bought them a house to live in after the split or whose parents stayed close to help out? My experience has been quite the opposite, I have truly been alone in this since day 1.

single mom statistics

Statistics from Single Mother Guide

And as qualified as I am for work and as focused as I have been on getting work, well, it’s much easier than it seems. I think between typical W2 jobs and contract jobs including those through Upwork and Guru, I have probably applied for upwards of 500 jobs in the last 5 months alone.

But look at these statistics, over 1/3 of moms in my same position are struggling. And worse than that, the mothers like me are raising over 25% of children under 18. This is a problem.

A Plan is Forming

I am still digging out of my head and all these new realizations and thoughts. And I’m also still digging into what it means to be a single income family. Not from the poverty, whoa is me, single mom point of view, but from the this is the choice I want to make, what do I do.

It’s just a change in perspective. And even though I’m starting late, I’m embracing this choice, this single income life. And now I need to catch up from the last 11 years of being reactive and start being proactive.

Warning: questions forthcoming…

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