by Lu Anne Betcher
I have three kids, 12 and 8, and have been on my own for two years now. Recently I made the decision to cut my work hours in order to stop paying outrageous day-care prices and because I truly wanted to be there when my kids walked in from school. I also have a summer problem - both my kids like to go to summer school which is only half day. I am a computer programmer and considered consulting which pays well but trying to program and be mom at the same time doesn't quite work when they're home.
Facing a $700.00 a month cut in pay, the same expenses, and a determination to be with my kids I called on talents long buried in order to make ends meet.
My mom's side of the family is very gifted in the stitchery department and from very little I was given projects to busy me, which I loved. I now design cross-stitch patterns, teach classes out of my home, repair old cloth dolls, small quilts, and teach classes in embellishing thrift shop finds. My kids have gotten in to the act also - my son and daughter both design a great deal of the cross-stitch patterns and are quickly beating their mom in who can come up with the best thrift shop find.
We have made fun challenges out of tight situations and all are learning valuable lessons about what's really important to us. Every time they walk in the door after school and I have fresh baked cookies on the table I can't imagine how I ever thought working to 5 or 6 at night made me feel like I was being a good parent.
I realize that not every single mom is in my position or has the option of the choices I've made and I support them in what they are doing to keep their families together. I just thank my lucky stars every day that at least for now I can do things my way.
I am putting together an article about single parents and the different lifestyles they have adopted and adapted to "make it". I would love to here from readers. They can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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