Ask Laurie – Advice to Single Moms

Ask VeronicaAsk Laurie your questions on parenting, handling children of different ages, coping with depression, coping with addiction, trouble with finances, household chores, cooking, and much more.

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  1. Kenzie says

    I need help with my baby daddy.

    We broke up about a year ago. Not very long after that I found out I was pregnant. He didn’t want to be apart of it and I didn’t hear from him at all. About two weeks ago we started talking again. He would ask about our son and stuff like that. He’s 3 months old. Then it became idle chit chat just catching up and seeing how each other was doing. Then he asked me if I still loved him. I told him it wasn’t fair of him to ask me that because he rejected me when I wanted him to stay and raise our child together. (He had troubles. we broke up because he had a drug problem. He also denied that my kid was his and continued his life of drugs and alcohol.) Anyways he said that he was sorry for asking. he just wanted to know and that he knew he made mistakes. (He earlier told me he was clean for a few months.) He then said that loved me and was sorry for everything and that I was good to him. I told him I still loved him too and that I forgave him. I never got over him.. After that we were talking and flirting all the time. i thought we were back together… how could I not? But then we got together today to talk about our son and him wanting to be in his life. It was kinda awkward because we forgot all the stuff we wanted to say to each other. So through the awkwardness we would play fight like we used to by like poking or whatever. Then things kinda got intense and intimate… I’m not proud to say it but we did end up having sex. It was great.. I felt loved and wanted again.. Then afterwards it was kinda quiet. I thought about it because something just felt.. weird. I finally just asked him “What are we?” he replied that he didn’t know. I was disappointed. I said that I must have gotten the wrong impression because I thought that we were back together.. Then I asked “well were you wanting to get back together?” He replied again that he didn’t know. Then he said that he wanted to focus on our son before we tried to fix what was between us. I think that is fair and all but.. I’m afraid that I don’t know if he wants to try to work out or if he has an alterior motive or just I don’t know. A lot of bad stuff happened between us last year and I want to forget all that and start fresh but I’m afraid of also getting hurt again.. People i know say that I should just stay away but they don’t know him like i believe i did… Can people really change?.. Advice please? What would you do?

  2. Erin says

    Hello! My name is Erin and I’ve got some relationship issues going on that involve children.
    Here’s a little of my story…
    I have 4 children, ages 8, 6, 5, and 6 months. My 3 oldest have the same father but do not see him because he was physically abusive to us and I have a protection order against him indefinitely.
    My youngest child’s father and I are currently together and have been for the past 3 years. He is a good guy other than he can be emotionally abusive at times. When he is emotionally abusive, he is very mean and degrading with his words and actions.
    Some background…
    He does not have a job and is not trying to get one. I work 65 hours a week at a hospital and he drops me off and picks me up from work because my truck is the only vehicle to the household. Now since my children are out on summer break, he doesn’t want to babysit my children while I work so I’m having to pay someone to babysit them. My finances are shot because I pay all the bills in the house with no financial help from him even though I know he’s making money somehow. He always flashes his money that he has but when I ask for some to help with bills, he declines to give me any. He also buys a new pair of $200 shoes almost every Saturday but has barely bought our 6 month old anything more than a small pack of diapers. It is very hard living like this especially since I have no family in the state that I’m currently living in.
    OK, my question…
    I want to move back to where my family lives, 1,200 miles from here. I want to take all my children with me. Could he or his family fight me for custody of my 6 month old? Do you think he would win custody? I know if I moved back with my family, I would have help raising my children and I would be more financially stable. Please help!

    • says

      Dear Erin,
      I am so sorry to hear of your very difficult situation…so let me be very clear about this answer: Run…don’t walk back to your family! You are a hard working mother and provider who has gotten the short end of the stick with partners who have not put you or your children first, second or even third in their life. You deserve so much better, but the only person who has really been keeping you from achieving that happier level in life: Is Yourself.
      Pack up your belongings, embrace all of your children, and return to your family for love and support. As far as the court goes, you can check into any legal aid attorney services, but personally I would not stay one more day in that environment. I cannot imagine any judge ruling in his favor, no job, no effort, abusive background, doesn’t make for a good stable parent. So now it’s all up to you Erin. You have found men who are of the same mold, abusive and degrading, that’s not what you need. Place a much higher value on Erin, the woman, not Erin the doormat. You have made it too easy on him, of course he doesn’t do his part, but truly he is not a mature man, and he does not value you or the sweet children. He is lazy and acts entitled to all your hard work. These are old habits you must break, you need to wipe your slate clean. If you don’t start working on your own self esteem regarding partners in life, your daughters, and sons will carry these examples into their adult future, and that won’t be healthy for any of them. Stand strong, have faith, believe in yourself as a strong, loving mother, and give your children a fighting chance for a happier and emotionally stable future. Ii believe in you, and I have faith that you can do this! God Bless you!

  3. sue reynolds says

    Hi , Laurie I have a huge problem Im so losted my mother justed passed two days before Thanksgiving, my two daughters and I lived with her because I can’t make it on my own and I must admit I dont know how, my Aunt Sue and I could not take her one bedroom apartment over, we couldnt qualifly,and now we can’t find a place to go they all want three or four times the rent. My Aunt is on SSI, I have Welfare for my kids therefore we don’t have the income they want I was approved for assistants but it’s not helping .I have afew evictions and I so wished my mom was still here without her Im so losted can anyone help us please

    • says

      Dear Sue,
      First off, I am so very sorry for your loss. I can imagine how you feel when someone you love dearly, passes away. On the other hand, regarding your housing situation, there are many programs state to state that ALLOW people just like yourself, to find housing even with bad credit. Check out your local social security resources, I’m sure you will find some information there. Also, apply for section 8 housing, you do not need high income or good credit for that either. Perhaps your Aunt could find senior housing services that would house all of you. Look into your local churches, often times they have assistance and information that people often overlook. All the best to you Sue, God Bless!

  4. 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??

    • says

      Dear Jennifer,
      You have made several valid points in your post. Let me say this, courts generally tend to favor that “changed” word. I adopted my nephew when he was 10, but he lived with us since he was 3 years old. Every time we went to court, and my sister said she was changing her ways, the courts gave her more chances, however, she never did change. That being said, I believe people who want to, can change and be their better selves. It doesn’t sound like your ex is that person because of all the years of domestic/verbal abuse. That is scary for you and your child. I hope you can retain an attorney to represent you and your sons best interests. I agree that you have to fight an uphill battle to keep him safe, but that is what you must do. You are right, raising a child in an unfit environment is not healthy, and one healthy parent is far better than any abusive one. You sound very strong Jennifer, and you are fighting for all the right reasons. I’m sorry it’s been such a struggle, but being a single mom comes with these hurdles, but also the most amazing blessings too! Stand by your son and never let go, you are doing the right thing. Life is not always fair, but you are paving a better path for your sons future. God Bless!

  5. 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.

    • says

      Dear Jilll,
      It sounds like you have gone through quite a bit. Sorry to hear your ex doesn’t feel you deserve any money for HIS girls, but that’s where he is 100% wrong. He is their father, and the other responsible parent, it’s just that simple. If you contact your District Attorney’s office, they will tell you the same thing, and you should file for child support. On this very website there is information about school grants and resources for the state in which you live. You make a very decent income compared to most single moms out there, so that is a good thing. Do your homework and find out what you may qualify for as far as school benefits and financial assistance. You do have employable skills, those 10 years at your husbands side with his company was a great stepping stone of experience. By all means find your real estate school, and move forward, but regarding your mom, even with her quirks, you need to live with gratitude and appreciation, for all that she does for you, especially for giving you and your girls a place to live. God Bless!

  6. 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.

    • says

      Dear Mercedez,
      It’s always a tough call to make when to start dating again. I don’t think one answer fits everyone’s situation. As for your son, he probably needs to feel safe and stable with you. The most important thing here, is to create that healthy and safe environment for him. He’s very young and just needs mommy’s guidance and love. If your neighbor is a good man/person, he will be understanding and compassionate about your sons feelings. Give this more time, and be patient. If love is in the air, make sure it goes to your child first, after all I’m sure things have been pretty difficult and confusing for him as well. Good Luck, and God bless!

  7. 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.

  8. 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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