The inspiration to develop this site came from an email exchange that I read on one of our member's discussion groups. It went like this:
Hi there, I'm a "wannabe Stay at home mom". I have a six month old baby girl (Pride and Joy)... My maternity leave is about to run out in about 4 weeks and I don't want to leave my baby. I've been trying to find some children to watch so that I can supplement my income, but no luck. I feel like crying each time I think about leaving her for over 9 hours a day, and being home just in time to put her to bed (and she'll look at me wondering where I've been all this time and why did I leave her). Unfortunately, situations have arisen that I cannot just forsake my income for even a short while. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I may try next? I'm searching for a part time job right now, but SIGH... No luck there either.
I am interested in creative answers to this question (Can a single mom realistically homeschool etc.?)
I do not receive child support, and I am not interested in a welfare existence (been there, done that...). I have been working hard at furthering my education. Sometimes I feel very far from my connection as a parent, and I see how society is just "taking over" in the rearing of my children. I have felt so undermined as a mother. I find it exhausting to live up to my highest values as a parent (i.e. healthy eating...). In fact, since I became a "single mom" our diet has really suffered because it seems impossible to have the time and energy necessary to cook properly.
I dream of living amidst nature, with far less stress, and with more time to be a better mother, according to MY values. It seems like an impossible dream. It is sad.
Any comments? Thank you.
Good for you for being so aware of your children and parenting. I am not a single parent, but do struggle with money issues. We have taken boarders in for extra money. Now I provide home day care for money. As others have said, it really only is a couple of hours a day for home learning, if that is the style you choose. Learning is a natural process children don't need to be taught. Answer their questions honestly, teach them other resources like the library or the computer. Then they are learning even more avenues for knowledge. A priceless gift for your children.
Meal time is very family oriented for us. My kids are 9, 7, 5 and 2 & 1/2. They all love to help prepare meals. They see I enjoy doing it so they want to get involved too. We talk about food groups, where food comes from (geography & science). What foods need to grow. We use measuring for math and double recipes (more math). We also grocery shop together and that gives them a real awareness of money and the cost of items and cost comparing. My 9 year old will tell me when something else is a better deal, if I miss it. I believe that, because of our financial position, they have learned a lot about social values too. They have learned that things are not important but people are.
I try to turn everyday "chores" into fun things. I actually enjoy hanging out the laundry. I listen to music, sing to myself and enjoy the fresh air and sounds of the birds. I try to have my kids do the same. Housework goes a lot faster when you have upbeat music on and you dance while you dust and vacuum. I also realize that everyday my house does not have to look like a Country Living Magazine front cover.
One place I do not scrimp is on meals. I have a lot of possible health issues that are all kept under control by being aware of the food I eat. Food is the basic building block to all of our cells and to our emotional well-being. The cook book Whole Foods for the Whole Family is excellent. It has simple recipes that are delicious.
I was very ill a couple of years ago and almost hospitalized. It was then that I realized I really needed to get myself together for myself and my family. Diet change was important but paramount was attitude. I haven't looked back since.
I wish you the best in finding whatever it is you need for yourself and your children. Do not feel undermined as a mother, it sounds like mothering is very important to you, that will show through in parenting your children. How lucky your children are to have you as their mom. As your values are so important to you, share them with your children whenever you can. There comes a day when they will see something against their values and they will point it out to you. What a wonderful feeling that is. It is all worth it.
Love yourself and love your children as you want them to love you back. Good Luck and keep in touch to let us know how things are going. Take Care.
Web Sites on Income Issues
Web Sites on Living Frugally
Challenge the popular advertising beliefs that drive the economic side of our culture.
Newer is not necessarily better. Using recycled (used) items saves money, sustains goods that might prematurely go to landfill sites and gives one the satisfaction of living more lightly on the planet.
"A penny saved is more than a penny earned."
The wisdom of this statement centres around the "expenses" involved in earning a penny -- everything from child-care, to transportation, to eating out, to having special clothing.
A Random List of Items that Save Money
1. Shop for clothes at second hand stores and yard sales.
2. Get rid of the car
3. Use the library instead of buying books
4. Make your own presents and special events cards
Depending on your persuasion in this area, consider activating your philosophical/spiritual beliefs in this endeavour. Everything is available to you, from the "Power of Positive Thinking" to "Asking your Guardian Angel" for help.