Ask Laurie – Advice to Single Moms

Ask VeronicaAsk Laurie your questions on single mom dating, coping with depression, coping with addiction, trouble with finances, household chores, cooking, and much more. Get direct answers to your single mom questions. Ask your questions using the form below, and Laurie will reply you as soon as possible. She will give you a direct, non sugar coated answer.

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  1. Jennifer says

    I am a 40 year old single mother of a 9 year old autistic child. I became a single parent after an episode of domestic violence when I was pregnant. He (the father) is a long time alcoholic with over a dozen arrests for alcohol and/or violent incidents. However, courts granted the father very generous visitation rights but then he stopped coming–for 3.5 years.The court eventually rescinded all visitation. During the past 10 years he has threatened to take our child, he had shown up at my home and refused to leave until the police came, he has sent me hundreds of vile e-mails that vacillate wildly from how much he hates me, to not believing our child is really his, to how much he loves me.

    After a 3.5 year absence the father retained a lawyer and asked for joint custody and visitation. I prepared my declaration, including all information relating to the police reports, the domestic violence, referred to e-mails and threats, as well as to the fact that our child has a severe learning disability and struggles with severe anxiety. Yet, all the father had to do was tell the judge he’s “changed” and within 5 minutes the order was changed to 2 weekends per month supervised visitation. We didn’t go through mediation, the judge came right out and said he “didn’t care about the anxiety of the child”.

    Why is it still so strongly believed that 2 parents are better? If one parent has been abusive, and he has been verbally abusive to our son in the past, calling him stupid and dumb, not to mention the 10 years of verbal abuse I’ve had to endure after he physically injured me, because we have a child together.If one parent is abusive, an alcoholic, and chooses to walk out, why, WHY do parents like these always get an endless amount of chances to keep screwing up their kids lives? When does the court ever say, enough is enough? I was referred to as “one of those liberal women” because I stated my beliefs that being raise by a single mom was better than having a dad who made the child’s life so miserable.

    The stress of being “forced” to see his father has made my son physically ill, he’s having nightmares, and he’s, quite frankly, terrified. This is affecting his school work, which is hard enough on him as it is–3 different IEP tutors. My son has a very high IQ, so he’s acutely aware of his differences.

    I’m really tired of parents who chose to speak up and say, look, the other parent is unfit and here’s a laundry list of police reports, how the child feels, etc., I’m tired of being branded “anti-family” or being accused of damaging my child by wanting to keep his abusive father away from him. Everyone from my childs teachers, therapists, etc., have all said my child is far better off without his father in his life–so why don’t the courts every listen??

  2. Jill Biggs says

    I have been separated form my husband, who was severely mentally abusive, for about 8 months now. I have been living with my mom in her tiny house sharing a room with my two girls, who are 7 and 9. I feel like I’m loosing my mind in this house. Its hard enough to have left this marriage and cope with the issues I have picked up from it, but to then deal with the life with my mom, in borrowed space, with all her “quarks” is just too much. I worked for my husbands company for the past 10 years, so I have no real career of my own or real way to provide for my girls. He hasn’t given me a penny to help with my girls (who I have full time)and for some reason feels he shouldn’t have to. So here is my question, I want to not only get a place of my own but have no real way of doing that making only about $800.00 a week at the job I have now, but I also would like to go to school to get my real estate license which I can’t do because then I wouldn’t be able to work this measly job (I should call it measly but…well it is). Are there grants out there for single moms to help support life while they go to school? The school is a specialty school, its not at a college, which is where I feel I’m running into issues. They seem to have grants for college which require so many credits and things like that, but is there something out there that I can apply for that would help me in my situation? Thank you so much for any assistance or guidance you can give me. I feel so desperately in need right now.

  3. Mercedez says

    Hello my name is Mercedez I am 23 years old and I have a 3 year old son. my sons father and I have been separated for a little over 2 years. his father isn’t a big part of his life. Its been just me and my son for the past 2 years and I made a promise to my son and myself that I would get us on our feet and be a happy family before getting back on the dating boat. We just recently moved to our own home about a month ago and we are doing great. Thing is I have a neighbor that my son took to pretty fast, they run around, play in the mud, we play at the park close to our house, and he does boy things with him. I really like him. he is so great with my son. when we started getting closer and began cuddling my son would get jealous and say no my mommy and be rough and whinny Im confused on what my child is wanting. Ryan my neighbor is so sweet and really makes me feel amazing. and my son likes him but don’t want us touching. Im just wanting to know what I should do about my son and dating, my son likes Ryan, Ryan likes my son but my son don’t like me and Ryan together. Any advice on what my next step is!? thank you for your time.

  4. Nadine says

    I’m a single mom of a kindergartener and her school is having a daddy daughter dance. I don’t know how to handle this. Her father has never been in the picture (he’s an abusive alcoholic) and I don not receive support. My question is what do I do about her friends asking where her dad is and what do I say say to her about the dance? I want her to be prepared before the flyer comes home and she is left sitting in the kindergarten class sad because she feel she can’t go because she has no dad?

    • says

      Dear Nadine,
      This is something I am very familiar with. My daughter’s father was hit or miss for years, and when her father-daughter dance came up, he promised he would take her. Unfortunately, he forgot and never showed up, even though he promised her several times. It’s the worst thing to see the let down and disappointment on your child’s face, but the best I can offer, is to be honest with your daughter, but have a conversation and ask her what she feels comfortable telling her friends. Sometimes a “white lie” isn’t about being dishonest, but sparing a child the embarrassment of being made fun of. My daughter’s friends thought she was going to the dance with her dad too, and when the next school day rolled around they all asked her why she didn’t come. She told them her dad got sick, even though she knew he forgot. I raised my children on my own too, because her dad was bi-polar. That is very rough on a school age child. Her dad missed many school events, and after awhile, in her own way she started telling her friends, her dad had an illness, and was sick. When you’re a kid, you just want to have a dad go to your school events like other dads. All my best to you Nadine, you sound like a loving mother who reminds her daughter that she is loved and special everyday whether dad is around or not. God Bless.

  5. Shawn Kuhl says

    Laurie, I have included my plight in the website box – I am a single mom raising two teenage boys by myself and I am trying to move from Lisle, Il. down to Springfield, Il. where my older sons live and running into the struggle of not having enough money to move and really not enough money to live here anymore. Both my older sons are willing to help me in anyway possible once I move there but of course I have to get there. On top of that my boyfriend and I of 3 1/2 yrs have recently found out we are expecting another child in November unfortunately he does not live with me and cannot afford to help me or even move because he is struggling himself even though I know he would if he could. My wish is to move down there by June and then he will try to come closer to when the baby is due because the lease on his apartment is not up until October. So really my question to you is do you know of any place I can receive financial help to make this move happen. I am extremely desperate now to make this happen soon because my lease is up in April and eventually they will be charging me month to month and my rent will go up another $340 dollars. Any advise anything at all? Thank you in advance

    • says

      Dear Shawn,
      I am so sorry to hear about your struggles. I am not sure how old your boys are, but you stated that they are living on their own, so I will assume they are over 18. As far as you and your boyfriend, I am a bit confused why you both are in separate dwellings, as expectant parents it makes more sense to live in one place and work as a team toward a better solution. Please look into the website right here, it gives you information state by state on various programs, and housing assistance. Your state should have prenatal care and medical coverage for you to ensure quality health for you and baby. Often times churches and out reach centers also have food banks and bus vouchers for traveling. I wish you all the best Shawn, but I feel it’s best for you and your baby’s father, your partner to work together on this solution as a couple. The best of luck to you all!

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