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A Helping Hand for Single Mothers

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The stresses of raising children in today’s day and age have become a very real challenge for even two parent families, but can become almost insurmountable as a single mom.

Being a working single mom myself, some of my challenges include figuring out new ways to try and stretch the money I earn to outlast my monthly bills. Even though I work one, two, or three jobs at a time, it can be difficult to pay for school supplies and events for my children, housing, clothing, food, utilities, medical expenses to name just a few. On top of these bills, both of my two boys are diagnosed with ADHD, one of them is also diagnosed with oppositional disorder and depression. I have the desire, yet no available money, energy or time to return to school. I also have had to figure out how I was going to save, for not only my retirement, but for my childrens’ college education (still trying to figure that one out!). Seeking and affording quality day care during the school year and that dreaded, summer vacation time. Affording health care, homework obstacles, maintaining a home, finding time to just "be" with my children and lastly, and unfortunately, it usually is lastly, finding time for me to recharge and to still try to pursue some dreams and goals of my own!

One the biggest challenges for me, as a working, single mom, is how my lack of a “formal education” has severely hindered my ability to provide for myself and my children. I would have welcomed the opportunity, over the years, to have returned to school. But various situations throughout my life (as with many other working, single moms) have not provided me the opportunity to continue my education. And while the challenges to ALL single moms are great, the ability to qualify and receive substantial monetary benefits for single, working moms to continue their education, are almost non-existent.

One challenge I do not have NOW, is that of child support. Not to say that throughout the years, I have not had to fight long and hard to receive the child support due my son, I don’t receive any health insurance benefits for either of my children, unless I provide it. There are a lot of working single moms who can’t even get child support awarded to them, much less collect it. Although the child support system has gotten continually better over the years, it is still a very imperfect system. I bet many of you can relate to that!

As I mentioned above, with both my children being diagnosed with ADHD as well as other disorders, I have also needed to learn throughout the years, and I am still learning, how to effectively parent these two very challenging boys. This learning process has utilized a great deal of my resources, energy and time.

I have shared but a small chapter of MY STORY and I know you have your own unique STORY as a single mom. And while the "types" of challenges we face as single moms may be different, we are bonded in the spirit of Motherhood and all the wonderfulness it provides to us. Being and experiencing Motherhood should be one of the most, if not ultimately, the most enjoyable, rewarding and wonderful experiences in your life. My children, (without even realizing it) are my greatest teachers! They have taught me more about myself and others than I would have ever imagined! They, by their mere presence and simplicity of spirit, remind me on a constant basis, what is most important in my life.

— Susan Bates, founder

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