Wednesday, June 1, 2011

About Me and the Reason for This Blog

"Life is what happens while you're making other plans."

I've been separated/divorced for 18 years now. I've remained single through that time. More on that later.
 A bit of history: My ex-husband left when the going got tough, telling me he "just wasn't having enough fun". At the time my kids were 9 months, 3 and 6 years old. They are now 19 (Rosie), 21 (Middy), and 24 (Dude). Dude had meningitis when he was 4, lost hearing in his right ear, and he has some speech difficulties. Rosie had a congenital heart defect that, luckily, was repaired and considered cured when she was 8 months old. Both of them spent a lot of their childhoods catching up from these big setbacks, but are doing pretty well now. Middy is married to a guy who loves her very much and she works really hard at two jobs.

As I slogged through the day-to-day of getting my kids through school and launched toward better futures, I dreamed of the days when I could start living my own life. You know, get a good, well-paid job that doesn't need to work around school hours, evenings to myself, the ability to put something away for retirement, and generally become the boss of my own life. Freedom from the constant needs and demands of others. The ability to make plans or do things on the spur of the moment.

That isn't to say that I/we haven't come a long way since 1993. When my ex first left, I had a minimal roof over my head, a $32/wk job, and child support of $70/wk. I confess, I was terrified at first. Efforts to find a job/affordable child care combination were not successful.
 My ex, of course, had it all planned out. I was to find someone who would watch the kids for $45/wk--he knew someone whose neighbor did that for them--and get a job at one of the manufacturing plants for $12/hr. He planned to be relieved of child support obligations within 6 months. Oh well...
We spent a few years on public assistance. It was a great help. Particularly fun were the nasty glares from cashiers when I handed them food stamps. Oh, the glory days. But now I live in a small rented house in a decent neighborhood and it's pretty nice. Rosey and Dude live with me while they attend local colleges. I work full time at a low-pay, dead-end job, but we don't need public assistance and we live pretty well. It isn't fancy but it's a vast improvement over other times.

But I figured I'd be doing better by now.

In the intervening years I've earned two associate's degrees and I'm working on my bachelor's. None of it seems to count. I really want to break out of the low-income bracket. Here's hoping the next degree makes a difference.

Anyway, I'll be posting on being a single mom, the challenges of a low-cost life, older kids, work, and whatever else comes up. I have a lot stored up.

I might as well do something while I wait for my real life to begin.

1 comment:

  1. I read your blog and found it so interesting. I know that you had it very rough when your children were younger and sometimes as they got older I know it was not an easy job but it gives Wayne and I so much respect for you and I know your children respect you or keeping their best interest ahead of anything else. Linda & Wayne


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