Ask Laurie – Advice to Single Moms

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Comments

  1. ms says

    Is it possible get sole custody cause I raised my son without child support for six years and there’s emotinal damage and chronic illness violation of court order visitation too much drama cps etc I’m tired and sick of it neglecting his medical attention please is it possible my son and he’s 14 want it stopped ty

  2. Lisa Senske says

    I am a single Mom of my 5 year old daughter who has been getting fevers a lot lately. Preschool demands they go home for a fever of 100 and over. I am missing so much work, but what am I suppose to do? I am alone here and have no family around really. Even if I did, your child wants and needs their Mommy when they are sick. She is starting kindergarten soon and God, I hope it gets better. My company and my boss seem to understand but that’s just heresay. I have pto time I am using but I still feel terrible and worried I will be fired. In Arizona, it’s employment at will, so they can fire me, right? How do single moms hold down jobs when their kid is sick? Its getting frustrating. Plus I work with two other ladies and they have to pull up my slack when I am gone…I am really stressed out. I need an at home position where I can be home when my kid is sick.

    • says

      Dear Lisa,
      I can relate to your frustrations on so many different levels. First as a mother who wants only the best for her child, then as a breadwinner who had few options to choose from, and lastly as the only caregiver to count on. I would love to say I have the perfect answer, but honestly I don’t. However, I do have several ideas and options for you to think about. As far as your employer goes, a sick child, is a sick child, you can’t be punished or fired because you are being a loving, responsible parent. On the other hand you can search for a licensed child care provider who will take in a semi-serious sick child, trust me, they really have these providers. Always make sure they have been fingerprinted, and have gone through a criminal background clearance. As far as your co-workers are concerned, talk to them about your frustrations and thank them for helping out at work, if they are parents, they will understand, if they just want to be bitter, you need to speak to your employer. As a former licensed daycare provider, the state was strict about enforcing regulations on health issues because of dealing with “other” children. My oldest daughter’s child has been ill off and on all last year. Sometimes her employer was empathetic, and other times he was not. It’s just the way it goes. You are doing your best, and you are absolutely right, a sick child just needs their mommy…even though that comes with trade offs, guilt, and juggling everything else parents have to do. It will get better, they do out grow their illnesses, but for now take a deep breath, use your time off when necessary, and know that thousands of mothers out there are facing the same challenges as you. Network with other moms for occasional back-up child care, it’s a great way to avoid costly day care expenses and shrinking paychecks. The best of luck, God Bless.

  3. Kimberly Boyd says

    Dearest Laura, I need help! I’m not doing so good……. it seems as of lately I have been stressed over everything and I domt want to be that way around my daughter… I’m struggling as a parent, with money and living expenses, I don’t know who else to turn to or where to go…. please help me…..

    • says

      Dear Kimberly,

      First off, YOU are not alone. I am very sorry you are feeling overwhelmed right now. I know it seems as if it will never end, but it will. Someday soon, you will turn that corner and find yourself navigating you and your family in the direction you were meant to lead. Nobody said this “single mom parenting” was going to be easy, and often it feels like it’s everything but that. Take a slow deep breath Kimberly, because your daughter looks to you for calm, and direction. Your first priority is as her mother and teaching her coping skills, comes from you. I know it’s tough, and sometimes you might feel like you’re sick of being the strong one all the time, but this is our role, and our children didn’t ask for these hardships. Talk to your family, tell your best friend, speak to someone in a church, let others know you are hurting and have those conversations with adults. Too often kids are stuck in the crossfire and they don’t want to relate to grown-up conversations, nor should they. I have faith in you Kimberly, you will make it through this hard time in your life, and because of it, you will come out stronger and more confident than ever. Let the source of your fears become your greatest strength, it worked for me when I felt this way too. You are in my prayers, and always remember, your child is your greatest gift. God Bless.

  4. Codi West says

    I’ve got an 11yr old daughter with Asperger’s and a 10yr old son whom I have full custody of & been divorced for 5yrs. About 2 years ago I discovered I had Melanoma. My ex moved me and the kids back in while I went through surgeries to remove the cancer. I had to quit my job and become completely reliant on him for a while which I felt was all in the best interest of my children at the time. I’ve had to start from the ground up to get back on my feet and rebuild a stable life for my kids. Since we moved out for the second time a year ago my son has had issues with playing us against each other and my daughter will agree with anyone on anything. Their father who once took me in and was very supportive is now hateful and constantly threatening to take the kids away or bash me to them and his family since he’s now remarried and expecting a new addition. My son will tell him whatever he wants to hear and he is constantly coming after me for neglect. I’ve just completed a bankruptcy due to bills he recently stopped paying on from the divorce. I’m a single mom. I work full time for not near enough. We live in the country and I’m home every evening to make dinner, off on the weekends, house is as clean as a house with kids can be, they have a babysitter even though they are to old in my opinion. I’m busy trying to be a supermom with health issues and I feel like my kids completely resent me for not being home more. They have chores and extremely limited electronics on purpose which he feels is wrong. They don’t have it as easy at my house as they do his. I’m trying my hardest to raise independent hard working kids who understand that things aren’t entitled to them. I can’t prevent the way their father acts out, but how can I help my kids ?

    • says

      Hello Cody,

      Sounds like life has given you many twists and turns. You know that saying: When it rains, it pours. Well I believe it sounds like hurricane weather in your neck of the woods. I am sorry to hear about your melanoma scare, and certainly hope you are in the clear now. As far as your kids go, sometimes they do play parent against parent if the two of you aren’t on the same page, as far as parenting principles and boundaries go. Having said that though, each of you apparently have different rules in your separate homes. I am not judging either of you because, unfortunately, that comes with divorce. However, I never think it’s fair to the children when either parent bashes one over the other, that’s below the belt and tells your child they aren’t worth much either. Remember kids have two parents, even if you disagree with his style of parenting or vice versa, the common goal should always be:
      Love your children, teach them by example, and be patient and compassionate during this transition. They didn’t ask for these problems, and they shouldn’t be the scapegoat or the middle man. They are innocent bystanders in a very grown-up situation. I wish you the very best and hope that you believe in yourself, the good mother you are and know that in time, everything will work out for the best. Let your kids be kids, listen to what they are telling you and guide them with your heart. God Bless.

  5. JL says

    Hi, I have been divorced for almost 4 years. I have a 10 year old girl. She goes to her dad’s on Fridays and Saturdays and I have her on the other days. I’ve been lonely on and off, and it gets bad sometimes when my daughter is not with me. I don’t have much of an emotional support. I was depressed at some point and saw a therapists for almost 2 years. I’m better now but just that sometimes it hits me. Like earlier, her grandma (my Ex’s mom) texted me to call her tomorrow to discuss about taking my daughter on a trip during summer vacation. I really hate it when summer is around the corner. That means I won’t see my daughter for at least a week. I do have family and friends but everyone is busy. I do try to keep myself busy. It’s just that the feeling of not having my daughter for all those days makes my stomach sick. I really hate that feeling. I feel like crying. Am I depressed again?

    • says

      Hi JL,
      Sometimes life just hits us all, and we reflect on where we are and what we’ve gone through. Every divorced parent has felt this way at some point, you are not alone. It sounds like you feel lost when your daughter goes to visit her dad, and gets the opportunity to have some fun summer visits with grandparents. I understand your feelings, but what’s really important JL is that you don’t put that guilt onto your daughter. Our children aren’t supposed to fix their parent’s loneliness, they are just children. I know there are times when it can be overwhelming, wishing for easier and happier times ahead. It’s easy to slip into sad thoughts, and feel sorry for ourselves, I used to feel that way too. My kids brought me joy and inspired me to become a better Laurie, though I’m sure I made my share of mistakes along the way. It’s not healthy to have your daughter be your only substitute for all your sad and lonely times, that puts a lot of pressure on her to “fix” you and that’s not fair to a kid. Remember our kids want to see us soar and believe in ourselves and be happy knowing we are all growing and learning to be our best selves. Talk to friends and family when you have these moments…let them know you need to talk and vent. Try to imagine your daughter’s feelings when she visits her dad, or goes to a summer break with a grandparent….and send her off with a smile and a courageous spirit that you are happy for her to have these relationships, after all, these people are part of her life too. Don’t wish summer away, or wish for time to pass quickly, believe me it goes by way too fast already. Savor these years and teach your daughter how women are strong, smart, sensitive, stable and spectacular beings…love her and yourself enough to let her have fun and know that mommy will be okay too. It’s a gift you can give to both of you. The best of luck, and you are a great mom! God Bless.

      • says

        I agree. I tell my kids to have a great time at daddy’s house even though inside it’s killing me. I have to put a smile on my face and encourage them to see their dad because it’s the right thing to do. For them. I miss them like crazy when they’re gone and sometimes I feel the same way. BUT they need a relationship with their father and I know that I cannot let how I feel get in the way. I set that aside. That is not an easy thing to do. I just found this site today. Thank God. I am recently divorced. My husband left me for another woman. We have four kids. He has two I have two. We were together for 18 years. Our kids are mostly teens and this is the hardest thing I have ever been through in my life. Hello. I am Samantha.

  6. laura vazquez says

    I am a mom of 2 beautiful girl since last year i am separate from my husband
    i have depresion lately i been feling very lonley ,sad , i know i am strong woman but sometimes i feel to much is on me i will like to know wath can i do my writing is not so good but i am working on it

    • says

      Hi Laura,
      Well, being the mom of two beautiful girls, is an accomplishment right there and much to be proud of. Even the strongest women/mothers have gone through periods of depressed feelings, sadness and loneliness. We have all been there. The key to unlocking that sadness is staying connected to people who can lift your spirit and help you find comfort and love. First talk to friends and family for support and emotional connection, and let them know you need understanding and emotional support. Surround yourself with positive, optimistic people, and perhaps if you belong to a certain faith, try reaching out to them, most religious institutions have groups that offer inspirational support and friendship. So much of who we are is attached to the person we shared our lives with, but you are terrific, special and important with or without a partner…always remember that. You are teaching your girls that though life can be hard sometimes, you are strong and want the best life for you and your daughters. This is your most important role to show them how to be treated, how to treat yourself and to be true to yourself. You are their teacher. The very best of luck, and God Bless.

  7. Donna says

    Hi , I have been searching the internet fir information about the qualifications required to receive a grant for college. Specifically, if you have bad credit or bankruptcy can you still be eligible for a grant? I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere.
    Thank you in advance

    • says

      Hi Donna,

      I think it’s terrific that you are looking into grants. There is nothing better for yourself, as a mother, and role model to pursue your dreams and education opens the door to endless possibilities! Right here on this site, singlemom.com there is a specific tab for financial resources and grants is one of the topics. Just find the link and click on it to search for your answer. I am certain there are many options for educational assistance and grants for your needs. Good luck Donna and more power to you for reaching for the stars! God Bless.

  8. Dusty says

    I’m struggling really, really bad financially. I’m on the verge of being homeless. I cant find ANY kind of resources here in Texas that can help me. I have two little boys 5 and 4. Do you know of any resources that can help me. I do have a job, but I’m not getting but a few hours a week. I cant find another job because I cant work the hours due to my kids. Will you please help me find some kind of resources here in Texas for single parents that can help me????????

    • says

      Hello Dusty,

      I am very sorry you are going through such tough times. I hope the following resources will get some of your questions answered. Like other states, Texas has a terrific program especially for single moms. One is https.//www.oag.state.tx.us try this site for a specific program you need. Also the TANF program can offer $1000.00 for a family in crisis, and the SNAP program is all about food benefits, and healthy choices. This one http://www.twc.state.tx.us/svcs/childcare/ can offer free childcare or low cost childcare based on your income while you find a job or attend school. Texas also has charitable organizations that lend a (free) hand with childcare while you move, search for work, or attend school. The best of luck Dusty…and God Bless you and your family.

  9. Joy Small says

    Hi Laurie, my husband decided that after 10 years of being married to me he no longer wants me in his life are around i know for a fact that he is and has been cheating on me for sometime now. I guess i just didn’t know how to move on. we have a 7 year old and i do not work. i have been a staying home mom for the last 7 years. on December of 2013 i was lucky to get apart time job which ended when the holidays was over, and that didn’t work out very well for me either because it was very hard with no help from him and having to get my daughter to and from school and still be on time for work. i had a girlfriend at the time who helped out now she no longer lives close by. I would love to work and be able to take care of myself and my daughter, not only is it hard for me to find a job but even if i did i wouldn’t have anyone to drop are pick my daughter up from school. i have no idea where to begin looking for help.

    • says

      Dear Joy,
      That’s a beautiful name and you will find that again. I share your pain and frustrations. I too, was a home-maker and loved every minute, but when my marriage fell apart, I was left to be our family’s bread winner, and I had to think fast. I loved children , and with five of my own , there was no hesitation in my decision to become a licensed child care provider. However, in your case, I believe you can make it with employment opportunities and schooling. What have you always wanted to do? Nowadays it seems every community college has on site childcare as long as the parent (mother) is enrolled full time. Their centers are well known for excellent care, because they are mostly students of the Child Development programs, so their instructors are very involved with everything. As far as help and support goes, try looking into the community resource centers for after school programs. Also wherever your child attends school, perhaps they also have an after-school program that as a single mom, you could meet the eligibility status for funding. Some are free because of single parents income status, so that’s worth looking into. I truly believe your local churches can be of great help too. They usually all have resources and information on support groups, (that’s where I found my co-dependency workshop group for me, and it was life changing) perhaps babysitting help, and even contact information regarding job opportunities. You haven’t mentioned whether the father in this matter would be of help, so I will assume, it’s all on you. However, he is the father and therefore is responsible to help care for his child, at least financially, and that is best in the hands of the Child Support service agency. I’m sorry about the third party situation, but it sounds like this wasn’t a surprise to you, so maybe this means you are ready to take better care of yourself. Moving forward is never easy, but in time you will see a more confident young woman in yourself, and even a better role model to your daughter. All women should be valued and respected. I believe you can do this and find your new Joy! God Bless.

  10. WabiSabi says

    I was just wondering if anyone has moved abroad and then relocated back to their home country? I am the single mother of a 6 year old, living abroad and next year will be moving back to the USA (Seattle, WA). I am moving to a new city where I won’t have family or friends to stay with. And unfortunately the timing is a matter of weeks before school starts. Is it possible to enroll a child in school without an address to prove residency? I can’t get a lease to prove residence as I won’t have a job. Plus open enrollment ends in February – I won’t be returning to the states until August (about 2 weeks before school starts)…any advice? I keep running in circles, I’ve searched for months and I can’t find information about anyone who has done this before.

    • says

      Dear WabiSabi,

      You have a lot going on right now! The first thing that comes to mind is, whatever city you plan on moving to, contact the chamber of commerce, or the City Hall in that location. They should be able to provide all the answers about school admissions policies and residency requirements. Another tip, if you have decided on the school that you want your child to attend, inquire if they have an after school program…perhaps that would help while you are searching for employment opportunities. As far as funding goes, check your states eligibility to see if you qualify for funding to help with after school care costs and enrollment fees. I’m not sure if you have already found a job where you will be moving back to, but if not, even a job at a Starbucks or fast food chain can establish your residency…you can always change jobs when something better comes your way. You will find great women and friends such as yourself, perhaps through your child’s school, local church groups and community resource centers. The Best of Luck! God Bless.

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