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.
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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