I'm a 21-year-old single mother looking for direction. Some of you may already be familiar with my situation considering I'm far from new to these boards. I'm yet to gather the resources and support that I need though. To make a long story short, this is the deal. I am young and single with no degree or job. I have a high school diploma and little work experience. My son's father doesn't care about us and lives across the country. I had to hire a lawyer just to enforce the child support owed to me and I'm only getting $280 a month at that. My parents aren't that supportive of me either. They help me out somewhat (financially) and that's about it. If I ever need a break to recharge or get work done, they bail out on me. That's partially the reason why I don't have a job and am not in school. My parents won't even watch my son 15 minutes a day for me to take a shower. I have no help in terms of watching my son. I'm currently living with my parents and although I'm grateful that I'm not homeless, I can't stand living here. I don't feel I'm the best mom I can be when I'm living (and fighting) with my own two parents. I've began to notice that most single mothers my age don't take care of their children. They either pawn their child off to whoever will watch them or drink and smoke in front of the kid. That isn't me...I'm actually a good parent...and I am in desperate need of help. I have visited my local job and family service center (I live in Ohio bty) and was put on CareSource. That was about all they said they could do for me. I applied to a couple different H.U.D housing apartments, but the waiting list for those are nearly a year long. I did call a rep for section 8 and they said they weren't taking applications. I dont know where I'm supposed to live I also don't know how I am supposed to get a job if I don't have help with my son. I can't go in for an interview with my son in my arms. I understand there is subsidized care once youre working or in school, but how am I supposed to apply anywhere when I always have my son. Would school be my best option and if it is how am I supposed to take care of myself financially? Any imput would help - thank you
I can relate to how you're feeling. I am a 24 year old mother of a 5 year old daughter. I had her when I was 18 & things haven't always been easy. I left her father when she was about 3 months old. I was lucky to have a good lawyer to get what we needed as far as child support & visitation went.
That being set, it's still not always easy. I also live at home with my mother & pay rent to her for letting us have the upstairs of her condo. I also pay daycare, as I work fulltime. I wouldn't if it wasn't worth it - but it is, as I found a really cheap, but great, inhome daycare 10 mins from my job. I have been working here since I was 17, though, so I have been working since before she was born - I started working when I was 16.
But, the time has come for me to move on, I need to find a new job & it's SOOOO stressful. I work so much & have to take care of her, it's hard to find the time to actually look.
While being a young mother isn't always easy, I must say I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I love my daughter so much. Just remember, no matter how hard & stressful it can be - as long as you are doing the best that you possibly can, then you are the best mom for your child!
I dont know what suggestions I can offer, as I dont know what is available in your country. I live in Australia, and I have always found alot of organisational support here. I think thats terrible about the housing situation - we too have long waiting lists but those of us with children get put in first and usually fairly quickly. Have you considered looking interstate for public housing? Is it more available in different areas? I know our government for example, will pay people to move to areas with more work opportunities and provide housing. Surely there are welfare agencies that have lists of support - maybe some you havent considered, like church based support agencies.
As for people to help you from time to time with your childcare, do you have any friends that could help? If not, have you considered going to a mothers group? Where I live (in quite a small town) we have two - one is just a regular mothers group and the other is for young mothers- it has been good for mothers particuarly who are quite isolated, and once you start meeting other mothers maybe you can work out ways of supporting each other. If not, have you looked into occasional care? Centres that are essentially playgroup where you can take your children and pay by the hour rather than in blocks of time like half or whole day. Or some people run in home child care, I dont know if the costs are any less though- my aunty runs one and she takes around 10 children into her home everyday and the parents pay her like a babysitter.
There may be many many different types of support available that you are not aware of. I know here there is alot of help set up, but if you dont know to ask for it or where to go, then you just miss out. I would suggest looking in the phonebook under welfare or community support or something like that. If youre already having contact with a welfare or community agency, maybe they have information on other organisations set up to offer different types of assistance. Sometimes support agencies exist and offer alot of support where you might not think to look, like church organisations.
You have alot of things to work on getting in order. It can be very challenging and extremely frustrating, but putting togather a plan and taking charge of where your life is going can be very empowering. It might be hard, and it might not always go along the lines you wanted but dont give up. First you need to decide what you want. All the things that you want to achieve - what area you want to work in, do you need to study first to be able to do it? Whats standing in your way? Money, child care, support, housing? Work on them individually. I know it sounds over simplified, but it is possible to tackle these problems and succeed. Im 21 and have a 5 yr old son. So far Ive managed to attain everything I had planned to - but it took work and sometimes my plans had to be adapted. For example I wanted to go to uni, and I did, but it got very full on and I had to change to study part time which is now taking forever - I would have prefered to have finished already but thats life, you have to adapt sometimes. Youve already got your high school certificate so thats one thing you can be proud of and can tick of the list of things to achieve and now its a case of building on it.
Good Luck, I wish I new more about your welfare system and could offer more advice- sorry if it was a bit long lol,
my sil and my neice both were able to receive help for day care through the state. They were also able to get other help, such as gas reimbursement for job searching. They offered them SOO much help. But i think you have to be participating in medicaid to be eligible but i am not sure. Maybe if you can contact your local medicaid office and ask about these services. Or a local workforce center might have information for you. I understand a lot of how you feel as i dont have a lot of people to help me out with my daughter either. it does get so hard sometimes and i hope that there is a group of mothers in your area. i myself am going to look for one in my area as well. i hope you will be able to find the help that you need and if you would like i can find out more details from my sister in law if you need them. good luck and take care of yourself! i wish i lived in ohio to help you out but i live in texas!
Jenae Elizabeth 4/4/06
Actually my parents will not help with my son in order for me to go back to school or find a job. That source of help simply does not exsist and is not an option. They solely allow me to live in their house and thats where it ends. Suppose it sounds harsh but this is why I dont want to stay here. Im already on Medicaid but I cant get help with daycare until Im already employed..
I'm so sorry for your situation. I know how it feels to be stuck between a rock and a hard place, its not a pleasent place to be. I'm ashamed that your parents don't care to help you at all, it seems you just want the best for you and your son and there is no one willing to help you get up on that first step.
Anyway, my suggestion for you is to perhaps try to talk to your parents. Explain to them that you want to be able to support your son and try to appeal to them that by you finding a job, you won't be staying with them nor needing their support at all.
Second, if that doesn't work. I don't know about all daycares, but my husband and I had a back up plan in case my mom wasn't able to watch our son, or we had no other options. A daycare close to our college has a program where you can drop your child off in advance and just pay a small fee of 25 dollars for a half of day. Usually daycares make you enroll and basically your child goes there everyday and if he/she misses a day your paying anyway.
This program was designed for situations where a family needs someone to watch their child in such cases as emergencies or if their typical babysitter or caretaker wasn't available.
Perhaps you could call some local daycares and see if they have such a program. Most likely all you have to do is call in advance to let them know the day and time you are planning on dropping your son off. This will at least give you time to go to interviews.
Once you get a job, go immediately to your welfare office and apply for everything they have to offer. By then you should be eligible for housing, food stamps, daycare, gas money etc.
i am in IL but work for a program that helps women get on their feet. i'm sure there has to be similar organizations in OH. google ' "transitional housing" yourcity, ohio' try searching in your town and the towns around you including major cities. or you can google "emergency housing" in your town as well. it should pull up the names of organizations with similar services. also, if they can't help you most organizations will be able to give you referrals to other organizations who might be able to help. good luck! only you can help yourself and your baby. if you're willing to do the work to make it, there are people willing to help you to make it.
I know there is a house for single mothers near Montissuri school where I live and they even have people who come and help them with kids. There kids going to Montissuri school and they pay much less than regular people.
I don't know how this program called but may be you can find out.