Single Moms

I missed my student loan payment, that's a first in a LONG time.


Status: In Repayment, Delinquent

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* Make a payment today, even schedule one for the future

* Payments too high

* In school / unemployed

* Financial hardship

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I have been feeling like I'm living beyond my means for the last month, maybe two. Things have changed a lot in the last six months, I think things have just spiraled out of hand.
*I got a car loan
*My new vehicle is using much more gas
*Of course my insurance is higher too (which I just realized is ALSO delinquent!!)
*I'm driving to work now instead of taking the bus -it makes a HUGE amount of difference in the time I am away from the kid, which I felt was worth the extra cost of driving.
*I got gym memberships for the kid and I. It was necessary for our health-we needed a push to be healthy.
*I increased my cell phone plan, it's now 40% more a month. I was on a VERY limited plan (500 minutes between two of us?? How could that ever work??). We don't have a home phone so increasing the minutes was necessary so as to not go over again (which proved to be really pricy!).

I have a few married women I talk to, one of whom is my sister, who say that they feel like they are single moms. This puzzles me. Don't they understand who they are talking to? I've tried to explain it to them that, yes, they may be doing 85% of the work around the house and 85% of the parenting, however there's a HUGE aspect they have: a PARTNER. If something were to happen, for example, the car breaks down, they have someone to fix it or get it fixed for them. The house floods? They will not be the only one cleaning up the mess. One of the kids gets sick? Yeah, I'm sure the spouse will be there. The kids are in trouble, you have someone to help straighten them out. Have to stay late at work or can't make it home to get the kid to practice, just make a call. Oh---and here's the biggest difference I think...an INCOME from their spouse.
One of my friends told me that her husbands paycheck didn't help anyway, they are still poor. I am a bit insulted. They are still poor?? She has no idea what it's like to be a poor single mother.

Being a single mother means more than being poor. You're poor but without support. You don't have someone to help you juggle the daily strain of being poor. You don't have someone to help get resources. You don't have someone to talk to about how poor you are and how it can be changed. You don't HAVE someone.

So for the married wives---please keep in mind that you have it good. Married wives who don't have to work, ugh....enjoy it!! Your life is G-O-O-D.

Don't get me wrong---I don't really want to be married. I LOVE being single. I do, however, miss having a partner at key moments. My sons school events, for instance. I end up sitting next to one of the couples I have met through school and sports, but it is not always comfortable doing so. I missed having a partner this morning when I realized my loans, my cell phone bill AND my car insurance were delinquent. I missed having a partner last week when my son really needed to get to school early and I couldn't do so because I had taken time off work earlier in the week when he was sick at home all day. I missed having a partner when my wrists hurt really bad last night and I needed someone to massage them. I missed having a partner when my son needed help with homework and I couldn't figure it out.

I don't usually care that much about being a single mom. It does hit me at times like those, but I also think I have it good as a single mom. I never have to worry about what everyone wants for dinner. It's really just up to me. I don't have to deal with a man being smelly and dirty in my space. I don't have to share my closet (which would mean I would need to find a new place for all my volunteer supplies). I don't have a lot of drama that comes with a committed relationship. I don't have to plan social things around him and his friends-I can go out whenever and with whoever. I have the final say in all things with my son; there's never a time when I conflict with another adult about raising him. I can be somewhat selfish in most aspects. I have FREEDOM. I love it.

I am not going to love trying to figure out how to buy holiday gifts with all the bills piling up though. I'm on a good path to get a new job with a higher income and I've been a single mom for over a decade now. I KNOW how to juggle my bills. I KNOW how to manage my income. I've just been a little lazy about it lately...

And still my friend calls me daily to complain about her husband. Her husband who still comes home every day and helps with the kids. He makes breakfast for them. He helps them get ready for school. He is there on the weekend to play with them. He goes grocery shopping when she asks him. He brings home a fat paycheck each week (though they might mismanage the money-they still have it). He helped them set up the Xmas tree. He is THERE. And as such---she is nowhere near living as a single mom.

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