breaking the silence of parenting alone

I told myself I wouldn’t write about this struggle.

It felt too personal, too vulnerable and too open, I guess. I didn’t really want to expose that part of my life. I kind of wanted, in my head, to protect that portion of me and my family. But in it, I actually perpetuated the issue of silence. Silence, yes. Because when one doesn’t talk about stuff it gives others the perception that they, too, should be quiet. And being quiet can be dangerous when things are not right.

You know, like only certain things are allowed?

But, friends, in order for us to break free and for me to break free, well, it’s time to break through that silence – the silence of shame or fear or angst – and to talk about what’s not right in a divorce and the years afterwards.

So here goes.

I haven’t received child support in over eighteen months.

The only way my kids have been able to see their dad for any length of time is if he stays at my house because he doesn’t have a place and in his words – no room for them. And as awkward as it was I would let him live at my house some of the times when I traveled for work so he could see the kids. Otherwise, truthfully, they would never see him.

And in that time I’ve built a business that provides – with my speaking, consulting, writing – and it’s grown roots out of state — So I’ve petitioned the courts to move.

Because, friends, beyond the need to provide fiscally, I’m tired of coming home to no food left (including all that I purchased beforehand), and kids whose teachers tell me they’re now behind, events and classes that they are not taken to, things lost and broken, chaos, a house that is a mess – even though before I leave I write detailed notes, provide directions, pay for field trips, top of the lunch accounts, get extra food — and I come home to complete disrespectful chaos. Why is there no mutual respect? No communication?

Instead it’s just entitlement.

And now his heels are dug in with a firm it’s not in the best interest of the kids for you to move even though he doesn’t give a dime to them or their education or needs.

Which now means thousands of dollars spent with courts and not with kids.


I tell you those details so you can understand the angst that us single moms (and dads) feel. I have been working non stop over the last three years providing for the kids. Working and cleaning up fiscal messes and left over stuff. Dealing with messes in the house left in the house and a whole bunch of excuses. Going to parent conferences alone. Taking them to all the doctors visits alone. Buying all they need – school supplies, clothes, school pictures, lunches food – alone.

It’s lonely and it’s a painful silent battle. Especially when dealing with a cycle of emotional abuse.

I mean my kids dad has seen them eight hours in eight weeks. And now I’m in this battle of being strong armed preventing my from moving so that I can provide for the kids. And make a better life. And pay off the over 50k of debts left to me.

Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel. But I don’t. And I know there are a whole bunch of you out there that don’t either. We just keep fighting even though we are being thrown darts over and over and over. And we have to be strong for those kids. We have to replace the tears with smiles and I love you’s and well done’s. And we don’t talk poorly about the absent parent even though inside we are so upset at their negligence and the crushing weight of providing is only on our shoulders.

It’s weight, friends. That’s me this morning while writing this. There aren’t filters that can disguise the worry and fears and tears and frustration. Because it’s heavy stuff.



I think we don’t know the battles that others are fighting. I didn’t really want to talk about the pain of having someone drop the family and yet continue to exert control and make things painful. You know what? It’s going to cost me money to be able to pursue my job so that I can continue to provide for the kids. I’ve got two that need braces, some in college and it’s only me providing.

He’s stopping me by not signing and thus causing angst.

I guess to all of you walking this journey — my heart is with you. My heart thinks of you as a brave brave warrior of an individual. And to those of you who drop their kids and don’t think of them but rather self the way my ex is – I have no words. None. Because you are the epitome of selfish.

Today would you do me a favor? Would you do something good for someone else? Buy a coffee for them? Show up with a meal. Write a note to them. Help out. Because there are so many of us fighting these battles of no breaks and exes who dig their heels in the ground and don’t care about not paying but still are belligerent.

And if you think of it – would you send good thoughts my way?

Because after three years of dealing with this and fighting to get life back and out of the control this latest setback is discouraging. Well, it could be, but you know what? I know I’m the one fighting, the one giving, the one who cares about those kids in the real way – not the selfish way.

And in the end I want to be thought of as a fighter, not a quitter. Which, I’ve been called by him, just so you know.

Carry on brave warrior. Fight the good fight. Speak up and don’t be silent.

Because in speaking there is freedom.


to all of you who are walking this journey with me — thank you for your strength and support.

ps. read -> on being a single mom

51 Responses to “breaking the silence of parenting alone”

  1. September 27, 2016

    Rachel M. Reply

    Tomorrow I’m taking my 8 YO son to “Doughnuts with Dad” at his school… I’m grateful that my son asked me to go. He wants me with him even if I am the only mom who comes and just so you know, the school did approve. He doesn’t want to be left out due to his lack of a dad willing to make sacrifices to be involved. I’ll be there and do what is the dad’s responsibility so that he doesn’t miss out. I love him and his brother more than anything. Maybe one day his dad will want to have him over to his place again, but until then he’ll come, like you, and visit at my house a few hours a month. I ache for my sons’s loss, but will do what I can to help them have as happy a childhood as possible.

    • October 2, 2016

      Michelle LeDuff Reply

      I’m not one to read anything online, only bc I too am a single mom that rarely has time to breathe. I was drawn to your article and it hit home so much I broke into tears. The struggles are real and the fight alone is hard! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • October 6, 2016

      R.R. Reply

      Oh Rachel–reading this post knotted my stomach and filled my eyes with tears as I relived my days in the trenches very similar to your situation now. The arguments, the court costs, the emotional battles and trying to be the best working mom you can be while the ex just blasts you out of selfish jealousy. Mine actually paid (some) child support – but it barely made a dent in actual living expenses and only seemed to clear his conscience and make him feel he was doing his part. But, I write to you as living proof that things turn around. Out of the clear blue. It’s just a matter of time. I too had to relocate for my job and incurred ridiculous expenses to maintain his visitation rights for a few years. When I remarried, my new husband stepped in to be my child’s real dad…financially, emotionally, and physically. That stirred up a few more jealous court battles…but years later, the biological offered the option for my husband to become her legal dad through adoption (conveniently ending his child support obligations – and subsequently he stopped all contact). I write all this to say, don’t give up. It does get better – when you least expect it. Just keep plugging along, being the best person you can be and always, always keeping your children first. You are the bigger person for trying to make things work for them to see their father, but he needs to step up and make some effort. {{{{HUGS}}}} to you. You’ll get through this and your children will understand and appreciate everything when they are older!

  2. September 27, 2016

    Cari Reply

    Thank you for taking the time to write this. I’m glad you decided to discuss this topic and I can relate to your fight so well. About 6 years for me that I am still dealing with this excruciating pain of watching my children and myself get destroyed. Rebuild, stay tough, repeat and keep going…when does it stop? Why doesn’t HE get stoppped? I question what is the best for these kids…thank you again for posting. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. September 27, 2016

    Maggie Desmarais Reply

    Hi Rachel,
    Thank you for sharing. I have been a single mom for 18 years. I fight the uphill battle daily, I have never received a penny from the dad. I believe people disagree with me, my decisions, how I parent, etc. And today, everything I have I accomplished on my own. My daughter resents me for never being there (I was working 45-50 hours a week). Now I work independently so I can have more time at home, it’s not perfect, but it’ mine and I did it. No thanks to my daughters father. Keep trudging the happy road to destiny.

    • September 28, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      You did it, my friend, you did it. You are a hero. thank you for trudging that road and letting me know that I am not alone.

  4. September 27, 2016

    Kate Reply

    Rachel – I raise my glass to you and send hugs of support and understanding. Oh I feel your pain. My ex was a minimalist parent until I got remarried and wanted to relocate within the state but not same county because of my new husbands job. Your analogy of the lunch account resonates with me because he refuses to ever put money in theirs because it’s “my job” even though I get far less than standard for child support. 45K later in lawyers fees and at least 5 years worth of stress added to my face – I gave in and I live in one city my husband 4 hours away. While doing the legal stuff my ex was in everyone’s face, school, doctors, etc. Less than a year later he’s back to being a minimalist and asking me to “take the kids back early” from the time he fought me for. Obviously happily they come home whenever because this is home.
    Just wanted you to know someone truly gets you and your situation – I got tired of people saying “he’s the dad – he has rights” blah blah blah. Yup he always has. He just can’t pick and choose what rights he has and needs to consistent.

    • September 28, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Oh oh oh – the 45k in fees is what scares me for real. The funny thing about the court system is that the non active parent can totally bleed and manipulate the system out of the guise of the “best interest of the kids” when in reality it is taking money and opportunities from their kids. I really really feel strongly about this and want to be a voice of reform for many. Thank you Kate for sharing your story with me.

      • September 28, 2016

        Kate Reply

        Exactly! My son has special needs and in 7 years hasn’t attended a drs appointment or surgery. Even while pretending he was so involved he never went to anything. Yet the court appointed advocate for the kids still thought it was best that we stay in the town close to him. Even though me moving with my husband meant I could stay home. I was even willing to give him more holidays and let him pay less child support. The advocate is a whole other issue.
        So for now I live in one city and my husband 3.5 hours away. So we have 2 homes to support and care for. Big fun!
        Changes in policy would be great for so many!

  5. September 27, 2016

    Jude Reply

    Stay strong. We are here fighting with you, Putting the kids first and crying in the shower where the kids can’t see or hear.

    You are not alone. Keep fighting the good fight. ♡♡♡

  6. September 27, 2016

    Cora Reply

    Wow, my story! My kids dad hasn’t seen them since July and that was for about 45 minutes and before that it was March. He lives 500+miles away. He hadn’t paid child support in 3 yrs and is now on disability and pays $100/month. I work full time and pay every bill with out any help from any other sources! It is so frustrating but they are so awesome and see the situation for what it is. I just love my kids and never bash their dad for their benefit. There is no need. Thank you for your story!!

    • September 28, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      I am sorry that you are walking a similar walk — it’s so challenging. Thank you for your encouragement as well. And thank you for being brave for your children.

  7. September 27, 2016

    Penny Reply

    When I read your first blog about being a single mom, I cried. I’m pretty sure I was one of the first to do so (there weren’t any comments yet) and I almost commented to tell you how much I had needed those words right then. I was fresh off a divorce with a two year old son, ripped away from three stepkids I had raised for five years, with no money, a resume with a three year hole in it and no idea how on earth I was going to make my life work. I cried ugly hot tears after reading that post, because you made me feel like I could make it.
    Now you’ve gone and made me cry again. Not because I am where you are but because I’ve been where you’ve been. My ex hasn’t seen my 3.5 year old son since he was 1. He hid in Alaska, switching jobs every three months in the union to avoid paying child support. Getting orders settled and then garnishments put in place was damn near impossible because he lied to everyone about where he was living and what his address was. And despite not wanting anything to do with me or my son, he pitched a fit and tried to make it so I couldn’t move from Arkansas to Georgia for a job that would pay the bills (keep in mind, he was in Alaska…it wasn’t about his relationship with my son, it was solely about power and causing frustration).

    Eventually, I won in court. Eventually I moved. Eventually, things worked out. I know it’s hard to keep your head up in the middle of it. It’s hard not to just scream profanities when they’ve ignored your child for weeks or months, and then act as though YOU are the reason they don’t have a relationship with their child. But the thing about these selfish people is that they can’t care about anything other than themselves for long. Once they feel they’ve put up enough of a fight to look like they “tried”, they crawl back in the hole they came from. It’ll end, eventually. It gets better, I promise.

    Thank you for not living in the silence.

    • September 28, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      I have discovered that living in silence only perpetuated the pain and the issues. So yes, you are welcome. I am glad to read that your eventually eventually happened – as that brings me hope. Thank you for fighting the good fight and for sharing your story with me. I am completely honored and blessed.

  8. September 27, 2016

    Lori Reply


    You did it, Rachel. For us, but also for YOU.

    Bravo, our friend. Bravo.

    Carry on …. What’s happening is NOT okay, but you ARE a warrior, even on your weakest days.

    Thank you for the reminder to reach out to a few people tonight. My journey right now is TOUGH. I am broke, broken, needing a lawyer without the means for one .. dealing with the physical challenge of MS… yet there are a few people who just CHECK IN with me.

    10:30pm texts. Checking in. Needing no response.

    Its my turn, friend.

    Thank you for the reminder.

    Carry on, Rachel …. You did it.

  9. September 27, 2016

    Mary Falotico Reply

    Wow! Sometimes I felt like I was the Only one going through this! I use to let my ex stay in my house while I worked nights, or traveled a week at a time . And – same- no food, house a mess, kids dirty… It got to be so stressful, and continues to be, as the kids get older, the things they need, are more expensive, the things they want are more expensive. It’s football season, he is at every game, and then – poof – he’s gone again, no birthday, no holidays, nothing. He sold our home out from under us when our baby was only 3 months old, he had cars repossessed, with our baby seats in them. I worked nights, took care of kids during the day, went to school part time. He took thousands, and large amounts of thousands from my family, from me, he emptied our boys savings account of hundreds. He ” borrows” money from the kids when he takes them out now, and he lives in his van . He’s a highly intelligent being, with multiple college degrees, and still … He works at McDonalds… (At least he is working now!) oh, and when the kids do ask him why he can’t provide, he tells them it’s all My fault! WTF?
    I however voice very loudly my distain for this man, and I’m sure that has caused issues with the kids, but I’ve never lied to my kids, and my kids are learning how to “deal” with their father.
    I’ve been single parenting for 14 yrs now. I work full time, I’m at every event, I volunteer at their events, I provide a safe, loving home, I pay for everything, and feeding a growing teenage boy is not easy!
    I’m not silent about my struggles, but I do hold back what I’ve been through, and how I got to being a single parent. I half heartedly laugh at how I’ve got no food until payday, or how we can’t go anywhere because I don’t have money for gas in the car (- just enough to get me to work! ). I volunteer the meals , so I can bring home the leftovers, and I ask friends to bring my kids home from same activities… I’m filled with hate for this man that took our American Dream away, and I’ve been working on getting over that. It seems that when I do get in a good place, he pops back into our lives and shakes it up again, just enough that I have to spend days, weeks, even months getting the kids good again, before I get me good again.
    I’ve dealt with anxiety, and depression, and mood swings, anger… But in the end, I’ve raised some Awesome kids, both honor tool students, both have a strong faith and belief in God, both are well liked and have many good friends in their life! They’re beautiful, and sweet, and helpful and giving, and they are happy kids…
    I’m doing something right, but my struggles continue and will because those are ” our” children… So please, don’t be silent anymore, help us open up and have faith… Thanks for your voice!

    • September 28, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Thank you for sharing your story with me. It is a crazy hard journey and reading your words of your strength and how crazy awesome your kids have turned out is so very encouraging to me. Blessings and bravery to you.

  10. September 27, 2016

    Jill Reply

    The similarities in our stories are unreal to me. I am in Wyoming and I am being the fighter my 5 children need as there father is absent and not even financially present. He hasn’t spoken or seen them in 3 years and has managed to have 2 more kids…now a total of 8.

    So know that you struggle is felt all the way over here and I pray and hope for the best for you and your children as you do for me and my kids!!!

    • September 28, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Oh Jill, that is so stressful. Thank you for all you do for your children and how much you give. I pray and wish the best for you as well. Carry on brave warrior.

  11. September 27, 2016

    Jaci Reply

    I’m sure you are a tough kick ass woman as you have to be in your position. My youngest is almost 18. Divorced since she was a baby. Luckily I have gotten support. The first few years it was only $42 a month for three kids as he was trying to be a student. In Alberta Canada where I live it is I think easier to get support as the government doesn’t allow drivers licence to those who are behind. Anyways. Despite getting limited financial support (he doesn’t make much money). He has never been involved with the kids. Which breaks my heart. The kids don’t really want anything to do with him as he has never been there for them. Keep up the good work. Your kids will realize and appreciate all that you have done for them in the end.

    • September 28, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Thank you for the fight and all you gave for your kids. You are the inspiration.

  12. September 27, 2016

    Brandi Reply

    Thank you for sharing. We often feel alone in this battle. But as I read you article, I felt like it was a story of my life. You are a brave woman who inspires so many. Thanks again.

  13. September 27, 2016

    Maylinn Reply

    As the child of one who parented alone – I just want to encourage you to keep on, keeping on… it’s such a cliche, but it’s true.

    My birth mother chose material things, drugs and another man when I was less than 2 years old and left my dad bankrupt to raise me alone. He received no assistance from her, lots of unwanted (and unneeded) advice from others and made many, many sacrifices for me. And I am forever grateful, Daddy gave me a stable home life, an abundance of love and everything I needed. Yes, there were several “wants” that were unmet – but when things worked out that they could happen it was doubly sweet. I always had clothes, food, a safe home and anything else I truly needed. Mostly – I had love and stability, and that was enough. Now I’m a Momma to two great kids and it just makes me appreciate all that my Dad did for me even more.

    Hugs and good thoughts to you Rachel. Keep your chin up and fight on. Your kids are worth it.

    • September 28, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Your story brought me to tears. I’m so grateful for your dad and all he gave and how hard he fought for you. Thank you for sharing and for your kind kind words.

  14. September 27, 2016

    Stacy Reply

    Amen to that… Speak your truth because the struggle is real. I am living it daily but thanks to my community and network of friends me and my son are surviving. I think the most humbling lesson of this single parent experience is to ask for help. I use to try and do everything myself because of my pride. Today I offer to help others in exchange the gift is returned. It’s not easy but one thing holds true our lives are better without the other parent. The roller coaster results of his involvement are no longer worth it. It’s taken my boy 12 years to overcome th disappointment and accept his father for who he is…. Stay strong and keep blogging your truth. 🙏❤️

    • September 28, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Yes, it is humbling to have to ask for help. Thank you for being real and sharing your story as well. Blessings to you.

  15. September 27, 2016

    Miss A Reply

    I can’t begin to say how it feel reading this, as it brings back to many frightening memories, but I am so sorry for you. You are a brave strong woman, you are doing the very best for your kids and God knows, and He enables you to show grace and joy in the face of such adversity. Keep going, one day at a time. Well done you for taking your control back, i am still being emotionally abused by my ex, but I don’t allow it to control me anymore, it feels quite empowering and helps strengthen mr every day. Take care, praying for you.

    • September 28, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Thank you Miss A. I appreciate your words and telling me i’m strong. And i really appreciate your prayers. Sending them back to you as well.

  16. September 28, 2016

    AJ Reply

    Truth. Been there. Still living it although I’ve gotten child support for 6 months now. That’s a record.

    Wish I could tell you it gets easier – when the kids get older and decide they’re done with him, but it doesn’t. You still see the hurt and anger in their eyes and feel it in your heart and your soul and your bones.

    He popped up in my inbox yesterday. That one word subject line – hi. And then the excuses and the requests. Please send me this and that – stop what you’re doing and fix this for me. As a mother I’m torn. I can’t fix this. I can only hug those kids who tower over me and try to wish away and soak up their pain with every stroke of my hands on their heads.

    Wishing you all the best. I appreciate your writing.

    • September 28, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Thank you AJ. And thank you for sharing your story. It just helps to know that one is not alone. Blessings as you continue the good fight.

    • September 28, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Thank you AJ. And thank you for sharing your story. It just helps to know that one is not alone. Blessings as you continue the good fight.

  17. September 28, 2016

    Katherine Reply

    Thank you for writing this. This is my battle everyday!!! I am going back to court a 3rd time… I look at the situation in hind sight and say what was I thinking. But everyday I gather strength from the children’s smile happiness and innoncients. I say nothing bad about their father and he perpetually does about me – there is nothing more heartbreaking or that makes my blood boil when they say “I hate you” after interacting with him. At the end of day, the truth will come out. Life has a way of evening out.

    • September 28, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Three times. Rough and unfair. Thank you for fighting for what is right and for dealing with the “i hate you’s” and persevering. It really matters. And I love love your last line.

  18. September 28, 2016

    Amy Reply

    I am sitting at my desk at work, in tears as I read your story – my story. Not every word is the same, but it’s still THE SAME. I, too, often feel alone, that I no one else could really understand what I go through. Thank you for sharing. I wish my good deed could be for you, today.

    • September 28, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      You are very welcome, Amy. You are not alone, my friend and warrior in this journey.

  19. September 28, 2016

    Axy Reply

    Thank you for this.

    The hardest thing about my divorce is that no one understands the struggle of starting a new life with my kids, because my ex is “just a lovable goofball”. I’m always “overreacting” to his disrespectful behavior or his complete inability to put his children at the top of his priorities list. He LOVES visitation, you see. Because his children are toys, not people that he has to work or sacrifice for. So, he constantly undermines my household, is hours late with no call, doesn’t make the kids bathe or sleep or keep a tidy environment when he has them, and has allowed his home to become a disgusting, unsafe environment for them with old dirty diapers and rotten food mouldering in their bedrooms. I let him stay with me so he can see them, and from the moment he walks into my home he is leaving trash, shoes, diapers, etc all over the place and disrupting our peace. There is no financial support, despite the fact that I am getting by doing odd jobs, because he spends all his money thoughtlessly on himself and has none to help with the children. People don’t understand that smiling disrespect is still abusive. Like it’s different because instead of saying, “Shut up, b@#$&,” he says, “I don’t see what the big deal is. You are too up tight.” It’s not cute or endearing that I pick up my girls with dirty faces and matted hair if I’m gone more than a day or two. That our toddler gets diaper rash on his watch because he’s not interested in potty training.

    I really needed to read this, today. See, I’m using my limited funds to file a Temporary Custody Order, because the oldest girl (the one with behaviour issues, emotional problems, and abandonment issues) isn’t my biological child. She’s his child by a previous marriage. I didn’t come along when she was a baby, either, and she’s 12. But he was very supportive of me taking her with me because he doesn’t want to be responsible for her (her mother passed away), and despite her issues and my struggle, she deserves to have a safe home. So, thank you. I needed to know I’m not alone, because I struggle every day and I feel completely isolated and that no one understands.

  20. September 28, 2016

    Lindsay Reply

    I just wanted to thank you for your articles. Although I am not a single parent, I wanted you to know that your bravery in being real and vulnerable and authentic allows so many other moms to be the same. All moms are perfectly imperfect, and your articles help all moms to realize that we are all on similar journeys, with many of the same doubts and fears. And our kids still turn out great!!! I share your articles often because they are beautiful and honest. Thank you!!! Tucking you and your sweet children into my thoughts tonight.

  21. September 29, 2016

    Heather Reply

    You are a rockstar. Keep doing what you are doing, and YOU will be the ultimate winner. Your children will see and understand it all someday.
    I went through a similar situation. Deadbeat dad, would come and go at leisure, sometimes years in between visits, rarely a dime toward our children’s needs (if he would pay, he would beg me to have the case closed and would promise to pay on his own, only to disappear after i would relent and close it).
    Then my life changed and i met someone. Together we wanted to move our family to a city that provided opportunities that were better for the family.
    He sued me for custody.
    He served me with a Protective order that refused to let me leave town until our court date.
    Our day in court was karmic and beautiful. He was denied all of his requests and I was granted all of mine. It showed him that just because he is the biological father, he can’t just do as he pleases and think he has much right to have a say so with the important stuff.
    Keep your head up, hold tight to what is yours and keep on.
    You are beautiful and amazing and strong!
    Thank you for sharing!

  22. September 30, 2016

    Lynn Reply

    Stay strong xx

  23. September 30, 2016

    MicroGal Reply

    Yes, Yes, YES!

    I’m so sorry you’re fighting this battle, and yet, you are these kids’ mom for a reason: because you are a FIGHTER.

    Thank you for putting on your brave face and humbly sharing with us your story. So many of us (me included) have been on this path you are on.

    You are an encouragement. You are a GREAT mom. You are NOT a quitter. Keep your chin up and know that we have your back!

  24. September 30, 2016

    Karen Reply

    I’ve been a single parent for 7 yrs. I can so relate to you and many of the comments posted. This last month has been especially stressful. Today my youngest turned 18 (and even though this is his senior year in high school), I found my self unexpectedly emotional. I’m thinking I’ve been suppressing so much for so long; trying to put on that smile every morning and be strong. Now the finish line is in view and my emotions are overflowing.
    Thank you for sharing. I’m so glad I found your site.

  25. October 1, 2016

    Debbie Jones Reply

    Thank you for saying what most do not acknowledge. I have been single parenting for 13 years. I have a 14 year old daughter and a 12 years old son. My ex-husband pays the minimum child support required and in the first years after our divorce rarely paid that. Since our divorce I have moved out of state and put myself through college. He still tries to control me but I have managed to divert his comments. He sees the children once a year, in the summer, for a month. He makes no other effort to see them. He rarely calls. When he does call them, on the cell phone I pay for, if they do not answer he gets upset. He had not spent any time with my daughter since she refuses to see him. In the past year he had a health scare and his life expectancy was not good. I think this made him rethink the way he treats my girl. He has made now efforts to help out financially but only if she asks. Then of course she feels bad for asking. I have done it all or must of it for the past 13 years. I’m tired and I’m lonely but it’s good to know somebody else understands. Know that I too understand. My kids also know that I am the one who is there for them. In the long run they choose me even when he didn’t. That is all that matters.

  26. October 4, 2016

    Heidi Reply

    Yes. Yes. And YES. It is hard. I am in the beginning of a divorce after two years of separation and no change on his end with manipulation and verbal abuse. He lives somewhere now where he also “Doesn’t have room for the kids”, I still don’t understand why he thinks he gets that choice. I have had to live with people for over year now because of the financial crush of his discussions and my need to heal. I unlike him don’t get that choice (and would never think of it) to live somewhere where there isn’t room for my kids. The kids and I have lived in one room together, I put up little kid tents for their “rooms” and we did our best. They loved it while I gasped at all we had lost. I am gaining perspective though, I don’t care about my stuff or about a lot of things I use to. I get to make healthy choices for me and provide a healthy mom for my kids now.

    You are doing your best Rachel. As single mom’s we can’t make up for what for what their dad’s don’t give to them. It is impossible to be mom and dad. That one we all get to put into Gods hands. I remind myself that I will get through this and so will my kids. We can choose to be stronger or damaged and bitter on the other side. I like you choose to be stronger. To learn through this pain and to let go of judgments, my things, and all that I thought I needed. Someday’s I allow myself to see how strong I am what a good decision I am making for myself and the kids. Thank you for encouraging all of us to be stronger.

    Here are a few words that have encouraged me along the way…
    “I walked a mile with pleasure
    She chatted all the way:
    But left me none the wiser
    for all she had to say

    I walked a mile with sorrow
    and ne’er a word said she;
    but oh, the things I learned from her
    when sorrow walked with me” – Robert Browning Hamilton

    “Be still, and know that I am God” -Psalm 46:10

    “Trouble never comes to someone unless it brings a nugget of Gold in its hand” – Streams in the Desert

    “When you are rattled, don’t rush. When you are confused and don’t know what to do, do nothing” – Streams in the Desert

  27. October 5, 2016

    Jennifer Reply

    My child’s father did the same-strong armed me even though he applied to go into the service and wanted to move to Italy. My job was closing and business was reorganizing. I was faced with moving or holding my piece and losing my job as my office would close. I was in the middle of my first mediation where I offered his the 20k in back child support to let me go-I was told no. They year before he had no problems but his family wanted to keep us with them. Fast forward 2 1/2 a years. I took him to trial and got permission. I doubled my salary with the same company-in turn I left my family and am doing this alone with some good neighbors while my mom waits to retire. He got stationed in San Diego while I moved to Arizona where I grew up. I am legally obligated to be in Arizona unless I take him to trial again. And he still is able to strong arm me. Courts need to change things because it isn’t about the kids-it’s about their anger towards the situation. We know the courts could care less if they pay the child support. Best wishes honey! Keep going. I struggle and miss my family everyday-but I didn’t want to be imprissoned in a state I wasn’t happy in and lose my job because of him when he went to travel the world. I feel like I keep running from an abusive husband (even though he and I never lived together…I wish I could tell you the “strong arm mentality” ends when you move out of state but it doesn’t).

  28. October 5, 2016

    Jennifer Reply

    I need to add-sorry about the spelling errors above. Thanks so much for having the courage to post this Rachel! I don’t know anyone else like me who had to fight for their job and their child to move out of state for the future. I have friends say “they understand”. They never had to go to trial and move away from their family like I did because my child’s father wanted to make me miserable in his mind. I think being a good parent is always going to be something we fight for as good moms!

  29. October 5, 2016

    Sandra Reply

    I can definitely relate to this. I’ve been a single mom for 12 years now and had another baby that is 10 months old. It is a struggle everyday. What helps me is knowing there are others out there like me and reading their stories. I don’t really have family or many friends so I am very lonely and that is what makes this so hard, the loneliness. It’s hard to get out and meet people with a young baby but something needs to change. I don’t get financial help from either dad. I’m so worn out and tired all of the time, there are days I just want it all to end. I’ll be thinking of you all and hope it gets better for everyone. Thank you for sharing your story and know that you are not alone.

  30. October 13, 2016

    Linda Reply

    My brother is going through what you are speaking of, no support from his ex. I wish more people would realize that there are a lot of single dads that are raising their children alone with no support from the mothers too.

  31. October 14, 2016

    Gail Reply

    You are an amazing woman and mother! Your selfless devotion to providing the love and emotional and financial support your children need all by yourself speaks volumes about what a loving and caring person you are. I admire you and am rooting for you. Be prepared that the court systems take pity on the fathers. Unfortunately, you will have to take money that would have gone to providing your children better food, clothes, activities, etc. to pay for a lawyer and court fees. Document every non-payment, every failure to follow through in providing support with the children’s activities and the like. Your ex. is an extremely selfish individual. Rise above him. It will not be easy but you can do it. You are clearly made up of all the right stuff to do it. Then, please, be sure to do something good for you. Remember, if you are not OK, you cannot take care of your kid and clearly with the father they have, they need you more than ever. Please don’t forget about you in this journey. You’ll be an even better role model for your children.

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