So stressed out over this situation!

United States
February 10, 2007 4:18pm CST
For various reasons I won't get into here, my husband is out of state and out of work. When he gets back I will be filing for divorce. I was a sahm when he was here. Now I'm trying to get state help to find a job and get help with childcare and just support my kids. I have four beautiful kids and I'm trying to stay strong. I'm going to have to move to a lower rent place (right now we were renting a house). It's just so overwhelming to be thrown into being a single mom of 4. How can I de-stress so I can be a better parent? Anyone in a similar situation or know someone who has?
12 people like this
33 responses
@limosonia1 (1559)
• United States
11 Feb 07
Although being a single mom is hard it is not impossible. I was in the same shoes as you with 4 children. Start putting money away now. Learn what kind of budget you can afford make an excel spreedsheet so that you can keep track of all the bills. Find out who is willing to help with the children so that you can earn money. You just need to stay calm and remember you are doing what is best and although it will be hard at first everyday will get easier. Just remember you are getting divorced from your husband the children still need their father provided he is a good father. You guys will hate each other but that doesn't need to be shown in front of the children. Good luck in all.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Feb 07
Unfortunatley I have no money to save right now. I did make a simple budget though. When I am working and have my own place there will be a strict budget. I only want the help I need and no more. I've worked since I was 16 up until 7 months ago (I'm 34 now) when we moved. So I will relish the fact that I can work and earn my own way and support my kids myself.
@mzbubblie (3840)
• United States
11 Feb 07
First off I'm so sorry you are stressed these days. I can say I somewhat was in a situation as yours, however, it was my son father who decided not to help anymore and I was not working due to my son having a few surgeries his first year. I had no means on money, and was living with my parents. I got public assistance until I was able to get a job to support myself and my child. There were some rough years I spent being limited but with the support of my parents until they divorced then things went for a all time streak. My mother was facing the same thing I was. Today going on 12 years later, I can say with all those stressed days, trials and tribulations, not having enough money, I made it....My child made me a strong woman. He gave me the courage to make life better for him and I. I can say 8 years going strong, I've been with the same company, finished school, and have a pretty nice place for us... What I'm saying is, your kids is what's going make you stronger. In a mother's worst days, she always have a smile when we see our kids... I would suggest to you public assistance, housing, also start the child support process, just incase he do get a job in that state he is in. Public assistance will file child support and will pay you monthly. Once the father is located when he gets a job, he has to pay the state back. I believe that works in every state. I'm not sure. I live in Virginia.. Good luck to you and keep your head up. Believe me, you going to make it through all this and your kids and yourself will be happy at the end...
• United States
11 Feb 07
Thank you for sharing your story. I agree, if it wasn't for my kids I'd be a total wreck right now. Everything I do now is for them. From what I understand TN laws are similar, my husband will have to pay the state back for whatever child support I get.
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
11 Feb 07
Oh sweetie! I do know exactly how you feel. I was in your position before and I had 8 kids at the time. Do you have any family you could move in with for a short time until you get on your feet and get child support or assistance? Trying to de-stress....wow...I had a very hard time de-stressing! But i found that if I put aside at least 30 minutes for a good, nice, hot shower...it really did help me feel a little better. I know this is a hard time. But try to laugh and play with the kids more. That too helped me so much and really did make me a happier person. Hold you head up and dance with the kids. It will get better...but expect to have a few speed bumps on the way there.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Feb 07
Tia, thank you. You must be a very strong woman to have dealt with this yourself. And playing and dancing with my children is an excellent idea. I've gotten so stressed that I haven't played as much as I used to, and that saddens me. I just feel bad that my kids have to deal with this. It's just not fair sometimes. But we'll be stronger for it.
@chertsy (3804)
• United States
11 Feb 07
You can check with your state social services office about help on housing, food, and medical for you and your kids. Time to be frugal. You can get clothes at thrift shops. When you file for divorce, make sure you ask for child support. He might not be working now, but with the fear of going to jail because of it will might make him want to get a job fast. And when he whines and cries about not having the money, don't hesitate to report him. My brother is so behind, that he will die before he's done. Don't let him have the kids, or you won't be able to get these things. Then once you get a job, you can slowly save up money for better things. Just take it one step at a time. Talk to your landlord maybe he can help you by taking off the fee for moving out before your lease is up. Best to talk to the landlord anyway, let them know about your situation. Places you pay bills same with them. Good luck.
• United States
11 Feb 07
Thank you for the information. I've always been frugal so that's not a biggie for me. I've been in constant contact with my landlord. She's been absolutely wonderful. I'm very lucky in that respect.
@shannon76 (1234)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I have known quite a few friends that have gone through it and I can't say that I have gone through it. But I do know that you need to take time for yourself once and while. Let someone else watch your children while you take time for yourself. Be it shopping or going to the salon or spa or even just a nice long walk in the woods - whatever it takes for you to be you. Also make sure you are in a support group for single mommies - I have heard wonderful things about them. They are there for you and vice versa. When someone in thier group is in need they help out. They can offer you tips on getting by and tips on staying sane! And I would personally recommend getting involved in a church (if you haven't done so already). The Lord will really be able to mend you and your family. God Bless and I wish you the best.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Feb 07
Thank you. I hadn't thought of support groups and will have to find one in my area.
@SageMother (2277)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I sdon't know how yoau regetting housing and job help while you are still married. Most programs require that you already have a separate residence without your husband. There is no way you are going to get rid of the stresss so you are goign tohave to set some pretty harsh limits with what you will and will not tolerate. Make sure your kids stick to a scehdule, do not allow joint custody with you husband. Otherwise he will be messing around with your life and constantly threatening to take your kids away if you start seeing someone else. If you cannot avoid joint custody then give the kids to him so that he can use his greater earning power to keep a roof over their heads. That way you are doing what is best for them and preventing him from becoming a problem in your life.
• United States
11 Feb 07
I'm not sure what kind of help I can get, but I'm still applying. I hate asking for help but I'm doing it because my kids needs come before my pride. I just need a boost so I can support them myself (sooner I can the better), know what I mean? I know I'll need to set alot of limits w/ my husband, but I'm praying that I can see those through. Thank you for your honesty. :)
1 person likes this
@beckyomg1 (6758)
• United States
10 Feb 07
Just do what you think is right, even though it is stressful, youll always be a good parent, do what is in your heart and what you think is best for everyone.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Feb 07
Thank you hon, I appreciate that!
1 person likes this
@beckyomg1 (6758)
• United States
11 Feb 07
that is no problem at all.
• United States
11 Feb 07
I am going to take apart your post for you. THis is the way that you can find out a little bit more . "My husband is out of state and out of work" WHy is the man out of state? Is he looking for work ir did he run away from a bad situation that you were both partially the cause of? "I will be filing for divorce" -Will this fix the problems in the marriage, or is it the easiest way out for you? Destress??? First, you destress by forgiving this man for his wrong doings, and then you go on with your life knowing well that in order to move ahead, you leave the past in the past. So many times in life we are ready to pass full blame on to the other person that we fail to see that we, too were part of the problem. None of us are blameless. Did you see these problems coming when they started rearing their heads, and why would you divorce a man because he cannot find work? There are a lot of reasons to leave, and work is the easiest excuse to give when filing for divorce. Make sure that this is really what you want. Divorce is more expensive than getting married.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Feb 07
I'm not going into all the personal details of why he's out of state and out of work. We've had many problems before in the 10 years we've been married that we've tried to work through. There's only so much I can take and my decision is also based on what's the best for my kids in this situation. Thank you for your honest thoughts.
@Ravendon (47)
• United States
11 Feb 07
This is a very personal decision and what works for you is also something personal. Listening or making music, tai chi, chocolate, hot candlelit baths, massage or self massage, meditation, breathing exercises - if you remember lamaze use it, reading a good book, hiking, walking, exercise wind chimes and aromatherapy are just some of the options available. You'll have to test them and see what works for you the best, while still allowing you to monitor and take care of your chidren.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Feb 07
You have some good ways to de-stress. I hadn't thought of aromatherapy- that can help me and my children.
@abg1988 (340)
• India
11 Feb 07
both of you sit together and talk about this and make a good decision.. all the best and may you live happy for ever
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Feb 07
Thank you for the advice and well wishes.
• Brazil
11 Feb 07
Well, first of all, dont hide your porblems from your children. Iw as the son of a sigle mother, and its great when you, as a kid, do chores, or help gatting some money by selling papers, knowing youre helping your family, and not only it sill keep them closer, but it also helps to tech them resposability and life'sdificulties. Have a nice day!
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Feb 07
My children do help with chores, and you're right- it helps us as a family and makes them feel important. They know most of what is going on- I will not lie to them. However, I don't go into details they don't need to know. I don't what to overburden them, know what I mean?
• Australia
11 Feb 07
I really hope things get better, and I can really understand how stressful especially having four kids, and being single. Is there any friends you can contact? Maybe they can help a little, I'm not too sure what you can do since I've never been in that situation but try to think step by step on what you do, instead of trying to do everything at once, as that can really pile up and stress you out. Good luck!!
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Feb 07
Thank you. My friends have been so supportive and for that I'm grateful. I agree, I need to remember to take it day by day instead of worrying about everything. I catch myself doing that and I feel so overwhelmed.
@venshida (4837)
• United States
11 Feb 07
I am not currently in your situation, but I have walked in your shoes. It's not easy, but things do get better. I had to move to a different city with no immediate family for help, and I was able to find a job with a company that offered flex time so I was able to handle my family situation. I was always tired and stress, but eventually I got a few promotions with a little more money and skills I was able to move to better area. My advice to you is take it one day at a time, and believe that things will get better because they will.
• United States
11 Feb 07
Thank you for sharing your story and your advice. I'm glad things have worked out for you. :)
• Philippines
11 Feb 07
I am glad you got out..I don'tknow your story but maybe we have something similar..I have 5 kids..I guess for you now that you made your decision you should stand up for it. Have a dream...sometimes dreams get me rolling. For your children let them know the situation.. You'll be a better mom if you open up to your kids...Good luck to your new life..Just hang on and I know you can do it..
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Feb 07
It's easy to make the decision, just difficult to stand firm and strong and see it through. My brain's with the program but my heart's being stubborn. I know it's the right choice for me and my children. Thanks for the support. :)
@stateroad (730)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I am so sorry for your problems. I do not know of anyway you can de-stress from a situation like this. You have so much to deal with. I do not think you can possibly be a better parent then you are now. You are left being the Mom and Dad for these children. Taking care of them emotionaly, physically, finacialy. You are doing it all. I think the important thing is to try and find help somewhere for you. I do not want you to get ill and then your children will have no one. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
• United States
11 Feb 07
Thank you for the support, I really appreciate it.
@Sawsen (795)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I had a friend whose dad remarried over her mother, and she took all her children and moved out. And now she's doing very well. She got remarried and she's living the life that she's been wanting to live. I think it all has to do with faith. Have a lot of faith. And don't feel extremely overwhelmed, because God only gives a person as much as they can handle. And I'm sure you'll be stronger because of this. I hope it works out for you.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Feb 07
Thank you for the happy ending. I'm sure it'll work out for me eventually, it's just hard to see the end of the rainbow right now. Thank you for the advice. :)
@kgwat70 (13396)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I have friends who have gone through the same situation as you and are parents and seem to be doing well. I know it is tough on them. One of my friends works two jobs, goes to school and has a child to take care of plus pay for her home and other expenses. I am sorry that you are going through the same situation and hope everything will work out okay for you and your beautiful children. Do you have family or friends that can help you out with looking after your kids while you are job searching and trying to find daycare? Have you ever tried doing Yoga or some type of exercise that may help you to relax and take your mind off of things?
• United States
11 Feb 07
I have my dad and stepmom, and also my sister close by for support. They've been a wonderful help. I know it's no going to be easy, I watched my mom struggle to support me by herself. I'm just hoping I can show the same strength she did. Thank you for your thoughts. :)
• United States
11 Feb 07
been there done that going it alone is hard but being misserable for the rest of your life is worseI was lucky I had my mom move in with me and she helped a lot please dont let him get off without getting at least an order for child support I didnt and regreted it I was lucky i had an education so I could get a good job and while that helped finacialy I found myself away from my kids too much and for that i have suffered ,They are grown now but i still think they resented me not being there for them all the time they say not but I feel otherwise Good luck to you I will kepp you and your children in my prayers we dont knoe how strong we realy can be till were tested!
1 person likes this
@coolcatzz (1587)
• Canada
11 Feb 07
Well my husband and I split up two years ago after 18 years of marriage. I was devastated because stupid me didn't see it coming. I kept thinking how will I survive. I was just in a panic. Well my kids (18 and 9 now) and I found a nice townhouse to rent, we are so happy and at peace. Now I absolutely love being on my own. It's funny though because people will feel sorry for you because you don't have a partner and I keep telling them not to because I honestly love it this way. I make the decisions. We eat what I make, when I want and I don't have his dirty socks and underwear to wash anymore. LOL It's tough at first because you are going through so many emotions but it does get easier and you may be like me and learn to love it. Wish you all the best.
@abakers (72)
• United States
11 Feb 07
I am so sorry to hear of your frustration. You can get help even if you are still married as long as you have not been living together for a month or so. As long as you can prove that he is no longer in the house. Usually they will verify through friends, neighbors, etc. Asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of and staying strong all the time can wear you out. After all the kids are in the bed take an hour to just think about your problems and what resolutions you can write down, sometimes it helps just to see what you can come up with. Cry if you need to to let it all out. Once you file for state help you will probably have to sign papers to let the state get child support from your husband. Most importantly, take care of you and everything else will fall into place. It will be bad for a while, and hard, but you have 4 wonderful children to remind you that it is not always going to be that way. I feel for you and if I can be someone for you to talk to just pm me.
1 person likes this