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Feeling Blessed

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We are not out of the woods yet. Contract work can be unpredictable. But we are definitely making headway. But there have been a few things latest that have left me feeling blessed.

A month or so back, I wrote about starting my day with gratitude and how much I really need that to keep my mental state from falling into a pit of despair at times. A lot of times really.

Feeling Blessed

Over the last couple of weeks, there have been some real highlights that made me feel very blessed.

  • The lady from the shelter who watches our dogs in our home when we travel. She comes over twice a day, keeps them on their schedule and loves them for free. And when you are gone for 8 days as we were most recently, that is a big blessing.
  • The BAD reader who referred a new website/Amazon marketplace client to me. Thank you, Sarah!
  • A local man who came over and spent hours on my lawn as I felt overwhelmed with all the overgrowth and lack of proper tools. In exchange, I helped him set up his new phone and move all his data.
  • Princess made the VARSITY high school volleyball team…1 of 12 out of 68 girls.
  • My parents are hosting Gymnast this month, spending quality time with him as know one ever has before.

The list just goes on and on. But what I’m finding then every time I’m on the cusp of falling apart, wondering how I’m going to do it, there’s a sign, a blessing, a message that I am not alone.

Giving Back

The topic so giving back and charity has popped it’s head up several times over the years here at BAD.

With this latest slew of blessings in my own life, I wanted to find a way to give back. But I’m not in a financially stable place where I can just write a check.

Thinking Outside the Box

When our dogs’ caretaker came over Monday to return our house key, it hit me. I can do what she does for us. I could help others with their animals on a one off basis.

If I had to pay to board our dogs, it would be $45 per night minimum. Thankfully as a foster, all costs are covered. But I’m sure there are pet owners out there, like we were, that cost tips the scales for. Giving up our pets a few years ago was the 2nd hardest thing I’ve ever done (after pulling Gymnast out of gymnastics this summer.)

I thanked her profusely for what she does for us and our beloved dogs, and then told her if she ever knew someone who needed the same type of service, and she couldn’t do it, I would like to pay it forward.  Since she works at the shelter, I figured she would hear about these kind of situations.

I put my offer out there and we will see what happens!

I encourage you to find some “outside the box” way to give back today. It doesn’t have to be big, but you never know how your one act of kindness can bless someone else.  I, for one, cling to these blessings as lifelines in my darkest moments.

What do they say…Be the change you want to see in the world today.


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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