Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Life has reached A New Low

Yesterday I went to the food bank.
I knew last week when I took her to get her ears pierced that I was using precious budget money....but I remembered I had an 'emergency food bag' voucher and I figured now was as good a time as any to suck it up and use it.
It was a crap day anyway, so I am not sure if all the tears after this errand were from stooping so low and feeling the pain and shame of this, or if they were more likely inspired by the accumulating feeling of frustration and dejection which has colored my summer.
Or maybe it was the way the guy who handed me the heavy bag of food said, "This is the last week for this program - the county has cut it - can I help you to your car with that?"
Or maybe it was because, when I got home, I realized that the black and white box of food storage bags the guy had also handed me was not, in fact, storage bags, but a box of government cheese food product.

Yeah, really.


Behold! Poor people food!


Tomorrow I have to decide to send my daughter on a field trip with her brownie troop without the requested $20 so she can dress her newly built bear and risk the wrath of her being the only one coming home with a naked bear.

I also have to figure out how to drive 80 miles roundtrip to work and then drive another 40 roundtrip to get them to visit their daddy: on 1/4 tank of gas.
I will be saying some prayers that the squealing belts on the car won't blow just yet...because I cannot afford to fix the car...again.

Meanwhile, my kitchenaid (professional, my ass) mixer died a horrible death and my traditional stress baking coping skills are severely compromised.

I am trying not to think too much about her upcoming birthday.
The (rescue foundation!) kitten she wants....$150 we don't have.

The requested night away at the beach....not going to happen.

Or how to afford the absolutely reasonably priced yoga classes recommended by her therapist.

Or the flash on my camera which is STILL broken (while he remains in possession of my favorite elph - MINE!!).

Or the burning smell my laptop emits when I turn it on and there is no fan sound...and the fact that I cannot afford the back up hard drive to save my files right now.

Or the fact that if he was paying any of the restitution order or any of the thousands of dollars he owes me, this would not be happening.

Or the fact that Xdude is actively trying to starve me out by not paying the ordered support and waiting for me to have to move....thus proving his point. Which is....well I am not sure what it is....but it's for the greater good of maintaining some control over my life which is no longer his to control. He's already assured the children that if I move, he will follow.


Not to support them of course, but to stalk me 'be close' to them.


Hurting your kids to get to your ex. So unique.

What a man.

142 comments:

Sarah said...

Gwendomama,

I've been reading along since Squid posted her fund-raising campaign and rooting for you (let's just say my mom, sister, and I have been there).

I've got two 100-dollar gift cards for Best Buy, which won't get you a new laptop, but will get you an external hard drive. May I send them your way?

Re: the government cheese - my mom made kick-ass fondue out of it once.

Magpie said...

Can we help? Do you have a paypal account?

kari said...

does your van paypal account still work? i would love to donate, even if it only means clothing a naked build a bear...love your blog. sorry your ex sucks.

Another Suburban Mom said...

So do you have that paypal?

gwendomama said...

I have been in tears all morning at the outpouring of responses in various forms which I have received. I wasn't trying to ask for donations...I was just needing to bitch and vent and even that is reaching it's max point... but thank you.
If you wish to help, yes, thank you.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/3acav73

Magpie said...

if that tinyurl was to go to your paypal, it doesn't work.

gwendomama said...

damn.

https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=JcSpbBQHCTuMxkhG8-06J7DEKiWSn7rnKnWqkGWVyQ9sIlFxNir_JZajMw8&dispatch=5885d80a13c0db1f22d2300ef60a6759516e590e949da361e9502e138eefdd27


i will put in my sidebar. because i have no more pride. cheese food. OMG.

MFA Mama said...

Yes, cheese food. It's good in grilled cheese sammiches, or in a casserole, or melted over broccoli, or hell I can think of all KINDS of uses for that shizz! We heart WIC here; it kept us from going hungry many a time.

I bore down and found just a SMIDGE more shock and awe over this--I mean sure, my ex tried to get us evicted by not allowing me to pay the mortgage (my name wasn't on the loan so they wouldn't deal with me) and flat-out ADMITTED that "it's so when you're homeless you'll have to give ME the kids!" but at least he paid his fucking child support.

Xdude? When you make MY ex look like a prince among men? You FAIL at LIFE!

Morgana said...

I too am happy to help clothe a naked bear or fill up a gas tank or help pay for a yoga class - everyone needs help sometimes. And I have no doubt that at some point you will be in a situation to help some other mama provide for her kiddos! Look at how far you have come - it is nothing short of amazing :-)

Kristen said...

You need to stop thinking that you're stooping to a new low. You are doing what your family needs you to do. You hold your head up high and do whatever it takes to get by with what you have, and allow people to help you however they can with the rest. In the last year, my friends have heated my house, paid off my phone bill, paid almost $800 on my electric bill, and offered countless times to have my children to their house for dinner. My kids have reduced fee lunches at school, and we are on state run health care. After months and month of struggling, and almost losing my house, we finally accepted the help we needed. You do what you have to do when you have to do it. There is no shame in that. I can't send you money. I can't feed you. But if your children are at all the same size clothes as mine, I can send you hand-me-downs. Just let me know what you need. If I don't have it, I probably know someone that does.

mom2nji said...

That cheese is pretty darn good. I have had to go to one of those places on more than one occasion. It's not a low, it's just a means to an end. Can you get food stamps or any assistance like that? If you can qualify, they will hunt him down like a dog until he pays the support, at least in my state. I cried reading how quick people were to help you, the blogging community is full of the awesome. Things will get better. I just found your blog through Notes from the Trenches, but I can tell you, you are an AWESOME mother. Hugs.

Lylah M. Alphonse said...

I just paypaled you a little something. I wish it was more, but it's enough to clothe the bear, at least.

When you're doing what you need to do to take care of your kids, that's not stooping, that's coping. You'll pay it forward when you're able!

(P.S. -- the block o' cheese makes a pretty good kid-friendly macaroni and cheese with some cheap pasta and a little milk!)

Madame Queen said...

I have been there. Well, sort of. My moment came when I went to our local welfare office because my husband had just lost his job and therefore our insurance. And I'd just found out I was pregnant again. So, it was PeachCare for the kids and Medicare for me. I've never been more miserable than I was that day, but at the same time I thanked God for those programs.

This, too, shall pass. And Lylah's right, you will pay it forward. Just like I just did (sent you a little sumpin sumpin via paypal).

Jo said...

I remember that cheese food. I hated that cheese food. In fact, I still can't stand it 25 years later. I sent you 20 bucks, not nearly as much as I want to, but enough so that your little one is not the only kid who can't clothe her bear. Been there, done that and I know exactly how much it sucks.

Now that I'm a grown up, I'm glad that I can help.

Much love to you. Hang in there Mama. *hugs*

Governor Jen said...

It is not you who should feel ashamed, my dear. I was a child who had everything, but my husband was not... so this is for him. Stay strong. You're in my thoughts.

Kristabella said...

I don't know you, but got here from Chris at Notes From The Trenches. And I'm donating, it isn't much, but I want to help.

This was my childhood. And if it wasn't for my grandparents bailing my mom out time and time again to put food on the table, clothes on our back and a roof over our head, I don't know what my childhood would have been like. I don't even want to think about it.

My dad didn't pay a drop of child support, and this was over 20 years ago when the courts didn't care.

Hang in there. I'm glad people can help. I hate to see anyone in this position.

kdiddy said...

It'll be okay, mama. Been there. Still there in many ways. But we're here for you. We'll figure it out together.

Got Appies? said...

I followed a bunny trail in finding your blog, starting with FuckYeahMotherhood to MFAMama to you.

I can't do much in the way of sending money (only 17, myself), but I'd love to help out with Supergirl's birthday. Anything that she wants that can be shipped (I think that likely excludes kittens)? My dad, while no where near as bad as XDude, has definitely caused an empathy for this.

Love and prayers.

Joy said...

Not actually too far from this point myself right now. Wanted to post in case you didn't know about it, you can get GOOD QUALITY food for a huge discount at www.angelfoodministries.com

This too shall pass. Pay it forward when you can.

~Joy
domsjourneymomsjournal.blogspot.com

Just Like Birdie said...

I'm here on account of @mom2nji. The very best part of what you wrote is that XDude has no control over your life any more. You'll survive this. And your kids will remember who provided for them, who loved them unconditionally and who never made the choice to put them in the middle. I gave what I can right now, but I'll check back often...keep your chip up.

Grandma Susan said...

Thanks to Notes from the Trenches who posted your plight. Sent a bit through Paypal. Pay it forward when you can. Good luck!

Katy said...

I'm here via Christ at Notesfromthetrenches. I don't have money, but I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. My ex pays child support... all $38 a month! yeah.. that's way helpful.

Like others have said, you are super mom. You are doing everything possible to take care of your kids. I wish I had more right now than just words, but I'll be back.

rachel stein said...

i was reading chris's blog over at notes from the trenches and just had to stop by and donate a little something. i'm sorry your having such a rough time right now. and in my opinion, "cheese product" is one of man's greatest inventions. love it on everything.

- rachel

Anonymous said...

hi...i found your blog from a friends of mines blog (Thedaytontimes)...have you ever heard of Angel Food ministries. For $30 you get a box of food to feed a family of 4 for about a week. the food isnt bad either. I am not sure where you live but the may have a site near you..check it out if you think it works for you great! ..there is no financial requirement to qualify.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gwen, I read Notes From The Trenches and saw Chris's post. I have been there, I had to ask a church to pay the electric bill when the company turned it off the week before Christmas. It was humiliating, but I had to do it. Things are much better now, and I know that they will be better for you someday. Hang in there!
-Michela

The Altman Family said...

I have so much admiration for you. We've all been in tough times at one point or another and there is NO shame in asking for help. I sent a small donation to help out. I read about you on Notes From the Trenches. God's blessings to you and your daughter. - Alicia

Shelly said...

Thought I would send a small amount to help pitch in for gas or wherever it might be needed. I've been there, and can't imagine doing it with kids. You're a strong woman and I admire you asking for some help. Hope things start to look up! ♥ from Canada! :)

carolyn said...

Just chiming in to let you know that girl scouts has a great program to pay the dues and the other troop fees for girls in need. You just need to fill out a form. Just ask your troop leader for a form. I'm pretty sure it would include any trip costs the troop would normally put on the families.

Anonymous said...

I fondly remember that cheese from my childhood. I LOVED it. On nachos, in cheese omelets, by the slice. We got the block of cheese a lot. Bless you for thinking of your little girl. I remember not having $$$ to do stuff with friends. I was so embarrassed. However I didn't think twice that we were on the free lunch program at school or that our food had govt labels on it bc it was free rather than what is usually seen in the grocery store.

Anonymous said...

Gwendomama,
I too have been where you are. And I agree with the others who say to take pride in caring for your family. My ex is in arrear and only pays $98 a month for two kids.
I have a question for you though, sure to be unpopular - Do you have skills that you could put to use in a full time paying job? That's what I have always done. Yes, it's hard to juggle everything, but it's doable and the sacrifice is one that give you the pride in providing for them in spite of everything xdude is trying to do to make your life difficult. Currently, I am completely out of debt except for my home which I bought on my own. And there was a day that I considered filing for bankruptcy. Anyway - just an idea...
Joan

Krist said...

Chris from NFTT sent me over.

My best childhood girlfriend was from the family who did not have money for extras, or sometimes food. It made me so sad. For years we split everything I had from candy money when we were kids to clothes through high school.

Best Wishes, I hope it helps.

-Krist

gwendomama said...

Joan - your comment is welcome and valid! Yes I have skills for a low paying music teacher or preschool teacher job. Yes, I sold a business I built so that I could afford to get us out of the more than $4K debt with which he left me and retain the roof over our children's heads and deal with the depression and PTSD issues my children have had since witnessing this DV incident. There are other things, about which I cannot write, but rest assured, when the children are in school, I will be working.
Also important to note: Xdude spent 8 months prioritizing his own fun (gorgeous rental house, skiing all winter!, etc) ignoring any obligation to his children at all until a judge ordered him to pay support. Now he just ignores the judge.

gwendomama said...

Oh yes, and BTW....I do work. F/T even. While watching my children I take care of other children, 8-6, M-F. It pays a large portion of our rent. PLEASE do not think I don't work.

natalie @ our old southern house said...

found you through 'notes from the trenches'. sent a little something--wish it was more, a whole lot more.
hugs to you and yours.

jody_beecher said...

Got here from Chris at NFTT. God bless you. Stay strong in the face of it all. Hope my small contribution helps.
Jody

sherrypg said...

Keep after the court to get your child support. I would be on the phone to them every day until I got help. They can dock the Xdude's paycheck if it comes to that.

Don't feel bad about getting government help. You worked and paid taxes, didn't you? Then you have every right to get help.

Good luck.

Heather M. in AL said...

Just popped over from NFTT. I am so sorry. My husband lost his job a year ago and if it weren't for kind friends and family, I don't know what we would have done. That entire experience has changed my perspective radically on poverty, whether it is generational or situational. I believe now that any blessings I am trusted with are not for me alone, but for sharing. I hope that my small contribution will ease your burden a bit...much love from Alabama!

Lucie said...

A little something on its way-we too have had tough times. Pay it forward some day. God Speed. Here from NFTT. Love and good thoughts from Barrie On

Jackie said...

I came here from Notes From the Trenches. I donated just a little using your van donation button. Not much at all but a little adds up and with luck you'll have enough for gas and not to have any nekkie teddy bears. Like everyone else said just pay it forward someday. We all need help at some points in our life.

Anonymous said...

I know what it's like to have a lot more month at the end of the money. Nothing wrong with venting and asking for help. It's not much, but I hope it helps.

Anonymous said...

Got here from a friend and NFTT. Sent a little something via paypal. I'm so sorry for all your struggles and I hope I have helped some.

unmitigated me said...

Found you via Pamela Dayton...life is being very good to me right now, so I payed a bit forward for your gas tank. Hope it helps.

Anonymous said...

I got here from Notes from the Trenches too. I cannnot help much, but I thoughtI'd let you know of a FREE way to back up those files. It's called dropbox. It is a back-up/storage program that I use. It will make your files available across all computers that have your account set up, and you can access your files through the website if you ever lose a computer/don't have it.

I'm also a product of a poor childhood, as was almost everyone I grew up with. We LOVED the government cheese and still have "fond" memories of it. I have not had any since I was 13 or so, but trust me that your kids aren't going to care. It makes a mean mac and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches, as I recall.

Amanda J said...

Also came here from Notes From The Trenches. I sent a little something your way. Couldn't do much, but but every little bit helps, right? ((hugs)) to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

You've probably already done this, but if not, check out http://www.childsup.ca.gov/default.aspx. I think if you apply for welfare the state will go after him right quick. If the state collects the $ then you do not have to hassle w/ him.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that you are going through such a difficult time right now. You don't know me, I just saw a link to your blog from a friends blog. I didn't have much to give you as things are tight for us as well, but I did just sell something on ebay and sent you what was left after I shipped the item. It's not a lot but I know that every dollar counts.

Heather's Garden said...

We ate the government cheese when I was a kid and yes, good grilled cheese sandwiches. Cold and in between white bread for lunch at school...not so much. I remember it was a pain to get normal size slices from it, but hopefully in the 25 years since they've come up with better cheese slicers. My only lasting trauma from being poor as a kid is that I can't eat Ramen noodles -- ugh! And mac & cheese from the box must have 1 can of tuna mixed in to make it to my plate.

Re: computer fan, try using a can of compressed air to clean it out. That worked for me.

I know in CT if you violate a court order to pay child support your wages can be garnished, you can be forced to find work, or actually imprisoned. I can't imagine those options are not available to you in your area.

Speaking as a child of divorce and a step-parent, being honest with the kids about your financial situation is not a terrible thing. It helps them learn the value of a dollar. Obviously not in a bashing the ex kind of way, but mom can't afford that right now, or it's not in the budget isn't the worst thing a kid can hear.

And perhaps you can find a local mechanic who will trade some car work for music lessons for their kid? It doesn't hurt to ask. And bartering isn't begging.

Anonymous said...

Got here from another blog. Keep your head up, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone needs a little help from time to time. Sorry it's not much but I hope it helps some.

Jamie said...

Another reader sent by Chris at NFTT. I remember my dad never missing a child support payment; my mom could always count on at least that money. Then, when I was in teh 7th grade, my sister and I went to live with my dad (better situation). I'm sure my mother never paid him the same as she was just making ends meet. My dad never complained and we had what we needed. I wish your scumbag of an ex was half the man my dad is.

Keep your chin up - you're doing the best you can for your kids and that's what they'll remember. I also read all about Elijah today and want to send you a big hug. You've been through so much - this does not define you.

Hugs!

Christina said...

Chris sent me over here!

I wish IC ould help finacially but 2 months ago our life crashed down, my savings went away so I could be with youngest in a hospital miles away.

Although I cant help you finacially I can say things WILL get better, it was a month I had to say one of the older kids couldn't go on a field trip the school stepped up and said no problem, and our old brownies troop years ago was also accomidating.

I am still getting back on my feet but I am a couple months ahead of you things will start turning around!

The Saucy Saucier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tuesday Girl said...

My husband lost his job 2 years ago. We thought with all his years of experience + awards he would get a job fast. We sold our house for nothing, we lost his company car, computer, insurance and 401K, we moved for a job that didn't work out. Without our families we couldn't pay for our home or fro groceries.
I know what it is like because I have been there. It changed my thoughts on poverty.

I never thcought I would be there just like every one does. My life has turned around and we can see the peak of the mountain we are climbing. I never thought things would change, but they have. I will pray for you & your daughter.
I sent you a little something and I know even the little things from strangers mean so much.

The Saucy Saucier said...

*edit- credited wrong linking blog-wargh!*
I wandered over here from Chris' blog, where I lurk. You remind me of my mom; I am not so many years removed from the time when I thought everyone had cheese food, and pasta six nights a week. She worked so hard and worried so much about giving me everything I needed, so this is for her, and for you, another mom just doing her best in a crap situation.

We don't have much to spare ourselves right now, but here's $5 I won't be spending on something I don't really need. I only wish it could be more. Best of luck to you, Gwendomama.

kel said...

Found you from NFTT blog as well. Sent a little something. At one point I thought I would never have anything to help someone else out with as our child was sick for a long time we had fundraisers in our community everything it was bad and I didn't see a light. Now there is light and I am so happy to do even a little something. Also thoughts and prayers.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Chin up, babe. I know what it's like to have no food in the pantry, or fridge, or anywhere. And not a dime in the house (literally) to buy anything. I hope the little bit I can send will help. I received SO much help with food for my family that it's nice to be able to pay it forward.

Tonya said...

I also found you via NFTT. When I was younger my best friend who was poorer than I was packed up half of the food she had and drove an hour to bring it to me. I had missed 3 days of work with the flu and I had no sick days. I sent you a little something and I'm glad that I've gotten a chance to pay it forward.

Gucci Mama said...

Tracey from Just Another Mommy Blog sent me over. As soon as my husband gets back from the store so I can get my wallet out of his car, I will be back to help with what I can. I've never visited your blog before; we don't know each other. But I understand this very, very well. I get it. And my heart goes out to you. Best wishes, Mama.

Nicki said...

Also here from NFTT. I was you just last year. I feel the frustration, the hopelessness and the stress you are enduring. I feel the heartbreak when you have to deny your kids what others take for granted. I remember last fall having to keep my kids home from birthday parties they were invited to because we just could not afford even an inexpensive gift. I remember working like a dog for not much money and still falling short all the while family and people around me judged me that I wasn't working enough or doing the right things or trying enough or all the other things people say and think when they can't handle the notion that these things happen to good people without fault.

I wish I could offer more but I donated a little and I also want to offer hope that things do and WILL change. They will get better. One day at a time.

Lesli said...

I'm another one sent from Chris at NFtT. Visited your paypal and left a little something; very sorry it can't be more, we're recovering from my husband's job loss (happy, key word...recovering!), so money is still tight, but at least there is some money now! Hope things turn around for you soon (i.e. ex gets a kick in the butt.) What a good parent you are that you stress about the money needed to facilitate his visitations, while he's obviously not stressing much about that himself. Best wishes to you.

lauraelih said...

Just a lucky college kid with a few dollars to spare, sent your way from NFtT. Best wishes.

CherylM said...

Came over via Chris NFTT.

Left you a little something too - naked bears are just not acceptable!!!

Trust in what everyone is telling you - things will get better!

Debbie#3 said...

I'm here from Notes from the Trenches. Hope this little bit (via Paypal) helps. :) And try to think about Karma - what goes around eventually comes around.

Kim T from VA

Marti said...

Welcome to the club. There are many of us single moms in the same boat who can probably give you a lot of tips on how to survive from meal to meal. Have you heard of angelfoodministries.com?

Becca said...

I'm so sorry that I can't offer more than kind thoughts... I've been where you are, it's terrifying. Things will improve, I promise.

Just one other thought:

Please don't take responsibility for an animal right now unless you can afford insurance, spay/neuter, vaccinations etc. The adoption fee is the cheap part of pet ownership and if that presents a challenge then really, don't do it. You have enough mouths to feed and souls to nurture just now.

Anonymous said...

I put a little in the pot--but I'd REALLY like to contribute to a fund to hire yourself a hotshot lawyer who can kick your ex's butt big time.

Ginny said...

I gave a litte too. I had some extra wine money on my visa debit but I think my liver can do without it.
My partner and I have recently been very, very broke too. We're so lucky that our family keep doling out to help. It sucks doesn't it? Feeling sick over lack of funds is awful and I image it's 10 times worse with kids thrown into the mix.
You're ex is a DICK (haha like you didn't know).
Hope it helps!! x

Zoeyjane said...

I'm looking down the barrel of this situation, myself, so I can't help financially. I'm sorry for that (even though I know you weren't asking). I'm sorry that you had to take this hard step. And even more so, I'm sorry that you live far away from me - I would gladly supply your girl with free yoga lessons.

Things will get better. They always do - especially when we fierce mamas take charge.

Anonymous said...

Ask your lawyer to file a motion to show cause - xdude needs to be hauled into court and made to explain himself. You and your kids deserve better than you've had.

Squid said...

You are always welcome here, any time, and we can figure out some of this at least.

I am so sorely disappointed in your ex as both a human being and a parent. How many more lapses on his part (perjury, ignoring judicial directives) before he's eligible for jail time?

May I take on the replacement of the mixer?

Guy Granger said...

Cheers from Canada. Just checking in with a little gift to keep the Girl Scouts away from your kneecaps. If they are anything like our Girl Guides, they can be a rough bunch!

Raising Zoeyjane sent me, via @smuttysteff on Twitter.

And to anyone reading this who's thinking about a donation? Do it. Pay it forward. You never know when your time might come.

Melissa said...

In Santa Clara county they can attach the idiot's wages for you.
Of course if he has his own business it becomes more difficult.
But. instead of him paying you and not, let the county do it for free.
They collect and send it to you.
Here is my email address for more info: mperryphone@aol.com
Email me so I can help you out a bit too!

Lindy said...

Pay it forward...I was told those words once, twice, three times before too.

Reading this post - this is the first time I've been on your blog - made me realize that now was MY chance to do just that.

I know you don't know me so do you have a work address or PO Box I could send a gift certificate to? I'd like to help.

And I'll be praying for you.

JSmith5780 said...

here via NFTT, wish I could do more, but I am so glad to see the outpouring from others.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Another one here from Chris at NFTT and as I read throught the comments I was thinking oh how wonderful so many are donating and thanks to Guy Granger I added myself to the list.
I am so sorry you ex sucks so much but on the bright side he is your ex, you were strong enough to leave him and you are strong enough to get through this.
Best of luck and blessings!

Jess said...

I got here from Chris and Notes From the Trenches. She is right, with all of the crap that we buy 20bucks is nothing. I was in your position a long time ago...

I donated 20 bucks for you. I hope it helps!!!!

Smile and hugs to you
Jessica

♥Cari♥ said...

Sent you $5. Wish I could do more, but it's all I have right now. Things will get better! (((HUGS)))

Kristin said...

Here after reading Chris' post at NFTT. It's not much, but I sent a little something. Keep your chin up, better days are ahead.

Jen said...

I have never understood men who do that. Or people who do that. I hope that Karma gets them. (Or a good lawyer). Hang in there--this too shall pass, and your kids know they love you. They will remember all that YOU did for them. And they will come to recognize dad is a jerk. I did...

thebestmichelle said...

Here from NFTT. Best of luck to you. Sent a little bit your way. Hope it helps.

Anonymous said...

(sent by Chris) Added a bit to the paypal earlier... by the way, all Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts councils have sponsorship programs for any thing your child needs to be a part of their troop. Everything from books to uniforms to dues to trip fees. Ask your troop leader or get a form from the council office. I used to have a junior troop where half of the kids used these options for various things and the other kids didn't know anything about it.

Anonymous said...

I'd gladly eat that cheese. Sorry about your sitch. That guys sucks! I can't afford 4 new pairs of glasses for my kids let alone for myself. good luck......

Elinor said...

Can't help financially as I am barely hanging on myself (unemployed grad student) but you inspired me to sign up to volunteer at my local food bank (constantly in threat of shutting down due to lack of volunteers) and hope that the extra karma points help... I wish I could do more

Boss of Seattle said...

Friend, there is nothing NOTHING wrong with asking for and taking help when needed. It is my honor and privilege to help my fellow inhabitants of Planet Earth.

As far as food banks, government cheese, food stamps, etc are concerned, they are what kept my family afloat when I was a child. You still like me even though I spent most of my childhood living off federal, state and friendly funding. Your kids will be FINE and so will YOU. I will still like you even ;)

Kiss those babes for me and chin up.

Tricia said...

I'm also here from NFTT. From one mom to another, I hope my donation will help with whatever you need it for. Good luck!

Jenna said...

Doesn't Kitchenaid have a great warranty policy? I would look into that. Also, Craigslist and most local newspapers have free kitten ads. Hope things turn around for you and the kiddos this summer.

Sherry said...

I'm so glad Miss Grace sent a link to a post from raisingzoeyjane.com to get to you. It's good to be reminded to be thankful and to give. I sent a little something to you when xdude first showed his ass and I hate that it's still necessary. But I'm glad you have people to nudge you into taking the help :).

Anonymous said...

If you can let us know a business address or a PO box (belonging to one of your local friends, maybe?) I'd be happy to send you a cute pair of earrings (new, of course) for your daughter's birthday. They're from Fifth Avenue and I bought them because a friend of mine (single mother with a deadbeat ex) had to start selling that jewellery to make ends meet. They were purchased for another little girl I know but her birthday is a long way off and I can get something else for her. The earrings are little bunnies. Will send you something via PayPal from home. Take care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

the internet reaches moms all over the world, and paypal works from Britain. Whatever you do...use some of the money you receive for something fun! That is what the kids will remember.

Issas Crazy World said...

Found myself single with three kids this year, after 11 years of marriage. I am not in the position you are, but not doing super great myself.

I love this community and while I know my help may not be much, I hope it helps a bit. Hugs to you, for doing what you needed too, to take care of you and your kids.

ps. Sent here by ZoeyJane who I adore and would do anything for if possible.

Muttley said...

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to directly help someone in need. It's comments such as the ones in this post that give me hope and remind me how great people can really be. I made a little donation and am holding you and your kids in my thoughts. Thanks to Chris from NFtT for sending me!

Anonymous said...

Hi- I came over from Notes also (lurking as always...). Just wanted to say everything that's already been said- you ARE a good mom (just like mine), you do what you have to (just like mine), ex-dads (cuz srsly? Mine was like that and he doesn't deserve the title either) suck. I grew up in the same sort of situation in a time before the courts got involved. My mom kept track of what he owed in a spiral bound notebook. I can remember going to bed with a stomach ache and crying myself to sleep whenever I saw her bring it out (she always "balanced the accounts" after we were in bed). Anyway- where was I going with this? Oh YES! We made it through with lots of help. I swore I wouldn't be in the same boat when I grew up but it hasn't worked out that way (my own stupid choices though). Life is hard sometimes (um, duh?) but you have friends who love you and even people who don't know you that care about you. Sometimes the world can be so sweet I just want to cry (and I am NOT a cryer!) Gawd- sorry I'm rambling. What I really wanted to say was the "guvmint" (yes, I'm southern!) cheese- rocks! If you let it. My grandmother made the most incredible sandwiches with it (something about cheese and raisins ground up like peanut butter- no one remembers it but me and I can't find a recipe!)- one of my favorite childhood memories was sitting on her back porch eating those with my little sister. And it does melt pretty well (grilled cheese, mac and cheese, omelets...) It's hard to be positive (I'm much better at doing that for other people- I should take my own advice) but if you try to find the happy, before you know it you're out on the other side of the bad. I wish I could give you more than just words, but, well... (insert favorite money suck of the day- mortgage, preschool, day care, f'in car repairs, ohhai!creditcardbills...) **HUGS** (wow- I'm not a hugger either... your post really got me!)
(oh- and my word verification? nessesit- I take that as a hint. Do what you have to- you and your kids will be stronger for it!)
-Christine

PJ said...

I am sorry for what you are going through. I wanted to offer a bit of advice re the kitten request - unless you can pay potentially thousands of dollars in vet bills, DO NOT get a pet larger than a hamster. Cats and dogs can end up with tremendous bills for all sorts of reasons. My son and his fiancee ended up with nearly a thousand dollar bill for their shelter puppy within 10 days of getting her. Then later that year their cat developed urinary problems, had surgery and treatments totally over $3000. Reading cat blogs a lot, I am always coming across situations where people ar needing money for their pets' vet care. Though I love the idea of finding homes for animals, people need to be able to foot the bills. Rather spend the money on food and other things for your children.

Anonymous said...

Oh! I forgot! You might also check with the Y (if you have one)- they offer free/reduced tuition, especially if you have some sort of referral or doctor's note? That's for the yoga. Or you could try youtube- I swear you can find anything on there. I found some children's yoga sites, too, when I was looking for something to suggest to my son's teacher (he needed OT, I needed a new damn teacher and a winning lottery ticket). It might be a fun thing to do together- he always enjoyed doing the prenatal yoga with me when I was pregnant with his little sister. Of course, it might have been more "laughing at Mommy" than actual yoga, but it was still fun. And stress-relieving!
-Christine

Libby said...

Oh dear, I'm so sorry! I'm sorry your ex is such an utter failure as a human being. I have been reading you for a while but I'm not usually a commenter. I really enjoy your writing and sent you a lil' something on paypal. It's lovely to read all these folks stepping up to help. Mamas are wonderful that way.

Becky @ Welcome to my life said...

My car was just repo'd because I couldn't keep up with car payments from lack of child support. the Child support he is ordered to pay would have made the car payments. Now I worry he's going to try and take the girls because I lost my car.

I'm in the same boat.

samantha said...

I was raised by a mom who did everything she could to make ends meet, even though it was almost never enough, and I turned out just fine (I think). There's no shame in keeping going as well as you can, or in asking for help. I'm just happy that I can send a little something.

AZ Mommy said...

I saw screw the 40 mile trip to see the douche-save your gas, make his ass drive to you.
2nd that gov't cheese makes the BEST grilled cheese sanniches.
3rd find a free cat in the paper

Elizabeth said...

I started reading your blog a few months ago after I read your story on VU. I am moved by these people who are so willing to help you. I am currently broke because my own deadbeat husband hasn't worked in over a year but I have a $20 ToysRUs giftcard I would love to send you so you can get something for the birthday. Or something for the kids (just because).

I second several things from these comments:

1. Angelfoodministries.com
2. Go after him, bug the courts nonstop, get your money! It is your money and he is stealing it from you. You need it to live!!
3. Keep your head up, now more than ever, people are in financial trouble and need some assistance, there is NO SHAME.

On a final note, big hugs to you - please post an address so I can send this giftcard - I wish I could do more!!!

K said...

Chin up girl. Things are going to be okay :) ((((((((HUGS))))))))
btw i hope you dont mind but I shared your story on my FB and maybe some friends will stop by :)
http://www.facebook.com/jorjasjungle1?v=wall

<3 you and Ill be following for updates sweetie.

Anonymous said...

I agree with AZ Mommy. He can come see them. I sent a little something and I hope you get enough to get a decent lawyer and make that sorry excuse for a man meet his obligations to his kids. Good luck and hugs to you! Sharon

Indigo Bleu Photography said...

You remind me of my mom, though my mom was no longer poor by the time I came along. She was married at 19 and had two kids in 16 months, a mom that died when she was 20, she moved in with her dad to raise her 15 year old sister. Her husband walked out when my sister was 1 and my brother was 2 and he never looked back. Didn't pay a dime! My mom had to get medical through the system when my sister was 18 months old because she almost died due to something that could have easily been prevented with vaccines (vaccines that my mom couldn't afford). My mom eventually married my dad, who did really well and treated her children like his own. They went on to have 5 children total (her two plus the three they had together). My mom has ALWAYS paid it forward. No one wants to live in poverty it happens and frankly you are amazing for even addressing it. Hold your chin high be proud of the incredible woman and mama you are. Accept the kindness around you and someday pay it forward.

I just quit my job to go out on my own pursing my passion. I just sold a piece of my art work and though it is not a lot it is a bit and I am going to deposit it in your pay pal account. Please do something for yourself. Even if you only use a little of it to treat yourself to a trashy magazine, a good cup of coffee, a nice pastry, etc.

Good luck!

Ah and I found you through Chris (NFTT)

Keely said...

I came over from Dayton Times. Hold your head high and do what it takes to remain independent (even if what it takes is kind of humiliating). You're strong.

And I have to enter in another recommendation AGAINST a kitten, even though I don't know you. Pets are expensive, especially when you least expect it. I've learned that the hard way. Repeatedly.

Heather said...

I found you via Zoeyjane-- I am so sorry this is happening. Money is pretty tight here, but I am praying for you and crossing my fingers that you can get through this quickly,

Many hugs!

Jules said...

In the state of California, if you must go on welfare to support your children the other parent is responsible for paying the welfare out of their income, no matter how meager. The court battle is a long lengthy one to get the courts/judge and Child Services to recognize payments, pay-outs etc.
My thoughts are with you. We go through the child custody push and pull and I can't even talk about it on my blog because of the level crazy we have reached.
I have been on food assistance and it hurts your pride, but fills those bellies. Keep your chin up so he can see your beautiful face and know you are still going strong!

Lunasea said...

Wow, GM, I'm so so sorry he's put you and the kids in this position. I do wish you could tell the court, :Hey, until he ponies up the child support, I can't afford to drive them to his visits." Dickwad. God, he pisses me off.

Anyway, I'm also so encouraged by all the commenters - you've restored my faith in humankind.

Casey said...

Got here from NFTT also. Sent $40 your way - I have been in about the same position you are in and I am SO glad to be able to help someone out.

maplesyrup said...

Hey G:
I put a little in payapl for you--I wish it could be more. But I do have 2 bags of groceries I'd like to pass on to you because I will be out of town for 3 weeks and they will just be sittin' here, going bad. I left you a message at home and I hope you call me-- I'd be willing to drop them off somewhere for you or we could meet up.
Also, why are you driving the kids? Shouldn't he be picking them up? Or has his license been pulled because of non-support? I know you want to keep up your end of things concerning the court, but can't you tell them that you can't afford the gas to get the kids to visits because of the idiots refusal to pay?....Keep after him through the CSS/CPS so that you'll get the money you deserve!!!

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Oh, and email me at mctrickyb at sbcglobal dot net. I have a contact that you may be able to utilize for a fabulous review opportunity.

Marisol_Reina said...

Hi. This is the first time I read your blog, I came through a rabbithole of other posts, and given the overwhelming amount of comments, I didn't think I could add anything.. until I saw Heather' Garden's post. She mentioned something about talking to your kids about your situation. I agree with her, I know because my mom did so when I was a child. And I remember it well, but not as a bad thing, at all. I know when I was growing up things weren't quite so hard for my parents as they were before, but I do remember asking for stupid expensive snacks and stuff at the register when we went to the supermarket and my mother telling me 'no' and later at home explaining that she just couldn't afford it at the moment. I also remember being at school and craving cool things or toys other kids brought, and then remembering that there was a good reason why I didn't have them. My parents couldn't afford them.. it wasn't that they didn't love me or that I didn't deserve them.. though I was a small child, I could really understand that. And it didn't scar me, it was just a fleeting thought. And then on to crayons, or playing or whatever. Kids are sooo resilient, they'll be just fine. And also, there will always be a kind kid friend or the kind mom of a best friend, or some angel that gives your kid a treat every once in a while.. and when you're a kid, it doesn't matter where the ice cream cone came from (or how long it has been since the last one). It just doesn't matter, as doesn't the brand of cheese. You just forget in the moment, but you remember later. It's a life long lesson, and it does make you appreciate the value of things, and of money.
So don't worry, because I'm sure that you, like my mother worry A LOT, and mostly about your kids. They will be alright. And they will grow up to admire their mother for the amazing role model she was.
I hope this helps ease your mind a bit! :)

The Suburban Psychotic said...

Found you via NFTT, like so many others here. Your story really strikes a chord with me, and I'm rooting for you all the way!

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs a lift up. I'm happy to help buy the bear some clothes. No child should feel left out. Or mother....

Julie said...

Found you (like everyone else it seems) from NFTT. We are at a very low point ourselves, but I wanted to sent a note to you to hang in there. If you do, I will...:)

chrissie said...

i've been thinking about you all day. i read this post yesterday, coming here via NFTT. It's a horrible situation you're in. Horrible. but the first time I read you was yesterday so i didn't feel invested.

then i went to work today where I make a fairly decent living as a pharmacist. had 2 coffees AND lunch from Tim Horton's. Wrote a big cheque so someone else could clean my house. Bought stupid candy for my kids. Etc etc etc. I need to realize how lucky I am and how good I have it, and I need to pass it on. So I am.

I've subscribed to your blog and I am invested. And right now? i'm off to hit that PayPal button.

Jacey said...

<3

Can't help much in the way of money, but if you care for a, well.. carepackage, from New Zealand, just email me. I'd be happy to pop in some Kiwi souviners for your kiddos. Might make Christmas stockings easier this year.

There's no shame in needing help, or asking for it. We all need that helping hand at some point.

-Jacey

Avitable said...

I hope you're able to get some support from the courts - they should be garnishing any paychecks he received to help you. What a douchebag.

You haven't failed in any way. You are doing what you need to do to take care of your children and yourself. It's commendable.

adrienne said...

from one mom to another, keep fighting the good fight. just pay it forward when you can.

Danielle said...

kitchenaid may have a return policy! my mom's ancient kitchenaid mixer went up in smoke and kitchenaid repaired it (it was 25 or 30 years old!).

call kitchenaid and explain your mixer dilemma!

also, i sent you what i could. i'm a lurker and have been wanting to help. things have just eased up a bit so, i sent my little extra your way! x

Anonymous said...

After reading your post, to be honest, I was a little irked. I'm sure I'll be viewed as uncaring, but in fact, I do feel for you. I know it's difficult feeling like you don't have "enough" or you're not keeping up with others (which in fact is not important). What is important is being strong for your kids, and making wise decisions for not only them, but yourself for the future. There is no shame in asking for help, but as soon as you label things "poor people food", you make yourself "less". That not only labels others, who are probably in an even worse situation than you, but it also makes you a victim. Here's the reality. Build-a-Bear clothes are not a necessity. Pierced ears, yoga and kittens are not only not necessities, but they cost money that apparently you don't have right now. I know it's difficult. I have been there earlier in my life. In fact, I ate top ramen for 6 months straight because it was the only thing I could afford. I barely had enough gas to get to work. Believe it or not, that experience was one of the most valuable I had in my life. It made me stronger. It showed me that I could overcome just about anything and still be OK. It gave me determination that I never thought I had, which served me well later in life. I'm now financially independent as a result. Life is all about how you react to it - that's a fact. Be grateful you are healthy, your children are healthy and you have somewhere to live and a job. Promise yourself to work hard to improve your situation. Be creative. Take advantage of free education, training, food and recreation. Kids don't need stuff - they need love. Play with the hose outside, let them run around. It's free and gives them exercise. Stop being a victim. Don't apologize for your situation, make it better. Be proud - you already have everything you need - it's inside of you, just tap into it. Believe it will get better - and it will. And start saving your money instead of spending it on junk that doesn't improve your situation. Be strong, you can do it. I'm sure of it.

Joleen said...

I just found your blog through Grace's link and donated what I could through paypal. Big hugs to you.

Jean said...

Notes from the Trenches posted...everyone needs help now and then. Sorry it wasn't more but hopefully between me and everyone else, you can send your babe to the yoga, and get the bear and get some gas. And you know what? do something for you too :) Blessings :)

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Anonymous,

Actually, running through the hose ISN'T free. You have to pay for the water. And when you know the entire situation behind Gwen's past year (actually, past several years), you'll know that she IS strong and doesn't expect hand outs from people. Her kids need the little things that an outpouring from the internet can provide. Please, read her blog's archives and rethink before you judge one post.

Jen said...

Both my husband and I grew up eating more government cheese than we probably should have. Fast forward to the first we were married, when we really, truly had nothing. One night, while trying to figure out how a pack of ramen noodles, a can of peas, and the two end pieces of a loaf of bread where going to suffice as dinner, we both wished we had some government cheese. We made some changes to our lives, got our stuff straight, and finally turned it all around. I can still taste the salty goodness of government cheese when I think about it, though. I will send a little something to your paypal account. We are a girl scout family, too, so hopefully you can use it for something the troop is doing.

ps. There is financial aid available through Girl Scouts...just call your local council.

Julie said...

Here from NFtT also. Sent a little something your way via Paypal.

As a child of divorce myself, I remember eating lots of generic food growing up and I turned out ok. One of the best pieces of advice I can pass on from how my parents handled things - be honest with your children about the financial situation and do your best do to bash your ex in front of them. Yes - this can be conflicting advice! No matter how much of a slime your ex is, he is their dad. Let them discover his sliminess on their own when they are older, if you can. And remember he did give you the best gifts of all - your children.

Julie said...

Ooops - I meant "do your best NOT to bash your ex in front of them" - too many mistakes typing while holding a baby - so sorry!

beauty obscure said...

I sent you a small pp donation. If you can, please spend it on something completely frivolous because nobody has the right to tell you what to spend money on. It drives me nuts when people who don't have money get told what is and isn't a necessity. People who are wealthy never get told what is a reasonable use of money.
Also you are brave and awesome!

Robyn said...

It saddens me to read that others think your daughter doesn't need things like earrings, yoga or build a bear. Of course she doesn't NEED it, but everyone deserves a treat once in a while, and you deserve to be able to give that to her as her Mama. Trust me, I'm sure she understands the value of money by now. She doesn't need to be taught that lesson every.single.day

Big hug. I'm sorry your ex has been so awful.

roztime said...

I second (third? sixeth?) the idea that you are welcome to spend my hard-earned money on whatever the hell you please. Starbuck's would be my choice, but then I'm a selfish mommy, God save my soul.

There is something to the idea, though, that being poor isn't something we need to put a negative label on. Or perhaps it's deeper than that - something not to stigmatize. You're a person of more integrity and chutzpah than any of the Housewives of Whatever County, no doubt. But. Being poor as a mom who loves her kids and wants the bestest that's out there for them, sucks worse than processed cheese. So. Here's to you, lady whose blog I have just discovered.

AND Happy Canada Day!!

ashleyenfrance said...

I'd also be more then happy to throw together some goodies from France for your kids. I am sorry you are going through this. Sucks that life isn't fair sometimes.

Susie said...

I got here from NFTT too... Sometimes it's easy for me to read something like this and click off because I'm lucky enough that I can't relate. But I just started thinking that this could be me some day. It could be anyone. You don't deserve this and your daughter definitely doesn't deserve this. I don't have much to donate right now... But I do know that I had the most amazing childhood possible and the older I get (I'm 27 right now), the more I appreciate how lucky I was and how others aren't as lucky.

I hope my kids are as lucky as me some day, but they might not be. And if they're not, I hope someone will help me let my daughter dress her bear. I hope my tiny donation helps a little bit. And I hope things start looking up for you soon :)

Sues

Anonymous said...

I too got here from NFTT. Glad to help with a small donation. As a single Mom of two whose x never paid child support I really understand. In my humble opinion the little things... a pet, pierced ears and dressing a bear are the little things that make an enormous difference for your kids, even when you really can't afford them. When my girls were younger, I adopted a puppy when things were really tight. It wasn't the most responsible thing to do at the time but I never regretted the decision. Hope life gets easier and will do something fun for yourself!!

Anonymous said...

gwen if you can't afford a kitten right now the next best thing is to be a foster parent to one. It will be hard to give them up but there is always another one waiting in the wings looking for a foster home. I do cat rescue and love my foster families. Most rescue organization supply all the food, litter and medical care needed and all you need to supply is the love!
Beth NY

Mrs. Flinger said...

I always appreciate that I am literally one paycheck away from this. Literally. One.

I am thankful I have a paycheck this month. And I'm happy to help a friend.

Keep reaching out. XO

A Dose said...

Found you through Chris at Notes From the Trenches. Can't donate much, but hopefully a few dollars will add up for you.

Anonymous said...

Here from Notes From the Trenches too... Well, here from New Zealand but you know what I mean. Made a small donation and I hope it helps!

I've had a lucky idea and you haven't, I'm so pleased to even make a tiny step to address the imbalance.

(And I don't know either of you but the commenter before who typo'd Christ From the Trenches gave me a giggle.)

mph

Katelynne said...

Hi,
I just found you from one of my mom's favourite blogs to read. (DillyDally and Flitter) even though she doesn't get on the computer very much) I don't have money to give or anything like that so I just want you to know that I am praying for you and your kids.

Anonymous said...

You'll look back on all this one day and say, wow, I made it. Believe in yourself. Believe in the universe.

Chris said...

Just keep doing what you have to do. The kids will learn great work ethic and morals and know how much they are loved. I make this donation to help you in honor of my Mom who spent much of our days growing up in just this situation working two jobs to get us the essentials. I knew she did. I also learned that when I wanted something extra I had to work for it. It became so second nature I didn't realize until I was grown that I did it. One day as we were out shopping for prom dresses for my daughter I looked at my Mom and said I don't know how you did it these dresses are so expensive and she looked at me and said I didn't have to...you always took care of it so I could cover the basics. I have no memory of that. I know I worked and paid for my extra things but Mom was always there when I got my dresses and I don't remember paying for them myself. I guess I did. My point, you are an awesome Mom and the kids will learn a valuable lesson from all of this. Having everything ruins a lot of the people I've encountered in this world. Having to work and wait for it, builds character! Good luck to you and the kids and don't waste another minute of anger of the Xloser. Do try and make him pay but focus on your family...a concept he obviously doesn't understand!

bernthis said...

I wish I could have given more. Times are very tough in this house but single moms have to help single moms but where the hell would be without each other? I shudder to think

Vmami said...

I do have something to say. First of all, while I agree that the things you mentioned in your blog that you feel bad you cannot provide for your daughter aren't necessities, I disagree that they aren't important.

For circumstances beyond my personal control, I am forced to live in Mexico with my daughter and my husband. I have truly learned what it is to be poor - to not have running water, or electricity, to eat nothing but eggs and tortillas because there isn't any money for anything else. To offer food to people who come by the house which means that there is less meat and more tortilla to go around. To go without coffee (sorry Nescafe is NOT coffee), without internet, without the ability to call home because it was so expensive - it goes on and on and on.

My point is .... the situation improved (although we still cannot go home together) and many of the things that I took for granted in the United States (like running water, electricity) we now have. BUT, with that said, I get homesick - I miss things from home - and I don't have money to buy things I really love (like bath and body works foaming soap) .... so, one day a few months ago, a group of internet friends (whom I have never met) surprised me with a whole suitcase of gifts - things I completely did not NEED to survive, but absolutely NEEDED in my heart place .... it was absolutely amazing the way it touched my heart and the people around me who witnessed me opening everything up.

So, now, it's your turn. And, one day, you will turn around and say that to someone else. I know it.

And, lastly, my sister has/had a deadbeat ex ON TOP of dealing with my nephew's leukemia (he was diagnosed at age 2 -- he is now 7). She is absolutely freaking amazing - and you are amazing - just stay true to your heart and be open - you can't do better than that - and if someone can't handle it, feck 'em.

I'm sending something through to your paypal account - just request that you pay it forward someday when life is better - and it WILL be better. ....vm

Rachel Dysart said...

I'm sorry things are really rough for you and your family. I can understand. This Thursday I'm signing up Braedon for free medical and things are tough. That said, we have food so come over for dinner sometime. If your kids want to swim our condo we rent has a pool. rachel_dysart@yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I was able to get my ex back after I followed the instructions at www.saveabreakup.com I totally recommend this site, saveabreakup.com helped me a lot, all I can say is big THANKS!!! I'm so happy now...

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