"I want, I want, I want ... but that's crazy"

Sunday, August 17, 2008

So far behind

It's that time of year again. School starts in just three short days, and I'm completely behind in preparations this year. This seems as though it's been the longest summer of my life, and yet, when it comes to school prep, it seems to have flown by.

I'm starting out so far behind. I have to get over to the school tomorrow to pay book fees. That's $110 right off the bat. I still have to get school supplies, because I wasn't able to get the supply list until last week. I figure at least another $150 or so there, in addition to the basic items I've been picking up here and there over the past few weeks. And of course there's new clothes. New clothes are going to be slim this year - a bigger challenge because the girls seem to have both grown by leaps and bounds over this summer. We've got all the logistics to work out too, getting back into the old school routine.

Let's throw into the havoc the fact that Pooh's starting at college next week. There's a second monthly payment due the week after that. I have no idea where that's coming from.

Is there really any way for a single mom to do this kind of thing? It would be so much easier if I got some financial help from my ex-husband, but in the six years we've been divorced, he's never contributed anything toward raising his daughters. It's partly my own fault, I wanted so desperately to get out of that marriage as quickly as possible that I agreed to shared parenting. Under the agreement, he is supposed to keep the girls half the time and pay for half of their expenses. Instead, he sees the girls for a night a week and pays nothing at all. Since payments under shared parenting don't go through the court system, getting any money out of him is going to require getting a lawyer and taking him to court for it. I want so badly to do that, so we can get the custody arrangement changed too, but how can I possibly afford to hire a lawyer when it's all I can do to keep the kids fed and housed on my own? Thank goodness I've got a wonderful mother with a good job who can help me out when I need it, but I hate to ask. At my age, I feel like I should be able to do this on my own, but it seems all but impossible sometimes.

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