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In desperation mode: Need advice!! *warning: bit of a long history here*

Posted by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 6:57 PM
  • 17 Replies

I am new to the site so let me introduce myself. I am Sarah, a mother of a rambunctious but brilliant and beautiful 3 year old. Her name is Kenzie and she was born August 29, 2009.

When my husband and I found out I was pregnant we were thrilled. Scared...but thrilled! But we were also hurting financially. And when I say hurting I mean HURTING. We made less than $900 a month and we were living in Northern California in the living room of my husband's best friend's mom's house. Oh...and did I mention there were 3 other people living in the house and SEVEN dogs? Very small two bedroom house.

This home was unsanitary. So much that when pregnant, I got E-Coli poisoning from the poop around the house that the son neglected to clean up (his chore).

We ended up moving back home to Virginia with the help of my parents. But little did I know my whole life my parents were struggling financially which lead to both of them suffering from alcoholism that to this day 10 years later) has caused them to join and leave rehabs, be evicted, borron thousands of dollars from my sister, etc... It has been rough. Finding new things about my parents that no child, no MATTER the age, should have to learn so late in their lives, really struck me down. I suffered from severe depression in high school. Which most people would think is strange knowing my childhood. We lived in a beautiful colonial home in Fairfax, VA (one of the most expensive areas to live in the US having it be a suburb of Washington, DC.) and my sister and I attended two of the best schools in the areas. Mind you both of them were Catholic schools. Those aren't cheap! The tuition is through te roof. My father is a devout Catholic and was dead set onhaving us attend private Catholic schools. But it put a damper on their finances. I only found out everything about my childhood this past year.  I thought we had a great childhood. Living on 3 acres of land and attending two amazing schools...

But it wasn't until we moved out of that home I had lived in for 18 years that I found out the true past that I wasnt informed of. Now don't get me wrong...I know most parents like to keep financial problems and hardships from their children in order to protect them. I get that. But my dad kept doing it (even to my mother who is very sensitive) even when I was old enough and mature enough to understand and even possibly help. But because of lies, tricks, etc my father did, I Was unable to go to college. Unable to further my education because at this time I also could not drive. 

When this was happening I was not aware of the many other options I had and my parents neglected to inform me of student loans, financial aid, etc.

But now I know about these things...yet...I have a daghter I need to take care of. Adaughter I love so VERY much that I am opening up and reaching out to women/mothers I have never met on the INTERNET of all places to get help.

I met my husband in March of 2005, graduated high school in June of 2005, and we reconnected in October 2005. We fell in love so hard we could never e away from each other. And I love him even more now. To see him with our beautiful daughter and see the two of them react together is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

We married though the courts in August 2006 and through the Catholic church in August 2007. He was in the army and stationed at Ft. Myer in Arlington, Virginia. He is using his GI Bill right now to attend school and will graduate this fall.

When my husband and I moved back from California my parents took us in. My husband had no job. We had no money to pay for healthcare during the first part of my pregnancy. 

We had some fixes with my husband getting a job and me as well after I had our daughter. But now it leads me to this: The past year has been hell. I learned everything about my parents and our past. My sister and I were never close but all of this has brought us so much closer and it has turned into a beautiful friendship that all sisters should have. 

This is the timeline:

February 2012: Learning about my parents and their inability to pay their rent. We at this time made very little again so we lived there rent free. My mom was working and my dad was...well...trying to work by doing something he could no longer do.

March 2012: My mother gets fired fromher job. Now this was not her fault. Her manager was out to get her and my mother is such a hardworking woman. Not only did her job but did the job of themanager whofired her while she sat on her butt in the breakroom eating and playing on her phone. I have seen it, my husband saw it, my sister saw it. She goes into a deep depression and drinks even more heavily.

Also in March: We caught my father stealing what he thought was alcohol but was actually water in a vodka bottle made to catch him in the act. We got it on tape.

April 2012: We had an intervention with my father's cousin and his wife who are 36 and 22 years sober. Told them we had bought them train tickets to go live with my mother's sister, my Aunt Margaret in Missouri. She is a nurse and knows detox so it was the perfect place for them.

May 2012: With my parents in MO we learn my dad is causing problems and caused my uncle to have his first heart attack ever. I could go on about my dad's personality but that would just be pointless here. lol During this month we pack up the house they left behind to get sober (but never did) and we moved out.

June 2012: We are finally all moved out and into the small 10 foot wide by 20 foot long basement of the mother of one of my closest friends. The three of us - my daughter, my husband, and myself.

July 2012: I am absolutely miserable here and my depression worsens and every time I looked at my daughter I would cry and cry and cry. I hugged her more in these few months than I ever had before.

August 2012: Our friends move out of the home they are living in because they bought their own home. (Lucky them.) But they were before living with her mother in law. This woman is a hoarder and is not clean. This month we spent cleaning the whole house as a thank you for letting us live here after our friends moved out. We did not even receive a thank you for what we did.


All of that being said...This is where we are at now:

We have been living here for a few months. In October my husband got a job which came at the most needed time. He was a graphic designer for Weichert Realtors in McLean, VA. He was starting to make good money when......There was a merger of two offices. He was let go due to a more experienced doors representative who took his place after being with the company for over 14 years. This hurt us BADLY.

We make less than $2,000 a month from the VA benefits from the GI Bill with my husband in school. MOST of the time around $1300-$1600.

We live in one of the most expensive areas of the US. Northern Virginia. Our money goes to many MANY bills and also paying for storage for my parents' things they left behind when we shipped them off to MO to get sober. We are left with about $100 a month for gas for my husband to drive 45 minutes to school and back 4-5 days a week and for food to feed the three of us. 

I hae had surgery on my back so I cannot do much physically. And that surgery was THREE YEARS AGO. I have a lot of physical issues that prevent me from working. I also do not have much experience in most jobs and we cannot afford daycare for my daughter for me to be able TO work. We have no family that lives near us to be able o watch our daughter while I go to school or work. I can't work without childcare but can't afford childcare without work. But with my husband in school full-time I can't do ANYTHING.

I am so desperate for help that I am reaching out to you, mothers, whom I have never met before but feel safe enough to open myself up.

I have thought of many job possibilities like bus driving, being a nanny (which I have been for over 7 years actually), working at daycares (no degree and this area doesn't like that no matter my experience as a nanny).

We have thought of everything. I won't list it all because it is way too much! =P

I need help. Today alone, we got denied medicaid and food stamps because they claim we make too much which of course most people know is complete bulldicky. 

We need money and I have run out of ideas. I need a job but there is not much I can do. I cannot stand more than an hour with my back. Last week I had to go to the hospital (without insurance because we have none) because I could not hold myself up or even erect myself completely. My husband had to help me to the bathroom and I was using a cane when I could finally hold myself up. I am only 26 and I have the back of a 70 year old.  (Don't qualify with prior work to apply for disability either.)

Please someone give me advice. Give me an idea of what I can do to help my family. Most of the time people respond with things we have already thought of, written off, or can't do but I will take anything. 

I have run dry of ideas and I am scared. Very scared.

by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 6:57 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 7:50 PM
I am so sorry you're going through this! I work as a mystery shopper from home... A lot of times there are phone calls and Web inquiries you can do from home through them to make a little bit. I only do the Web ones and make $30 a month just on that. If you are interested in that I can message you the link to apply. If you are crafty you can make things and sell them online, sell stuff you don't use anymore on ebay. Can you guys move anywhere that is cheaper?
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by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 9:43 PM
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Hi Sarah. After reading your post I totally feel for you. I have recently gone through a hard time myself. My husband lost his job and I am a stay at home mom. We also ran in to the daycare problem like you. We applied for all the government assistance programs, we qualified for some. It helped a little but when he found a job it got better. During the time he was unemployed and even now with him making much less, we had to adjust or lifestyle. We got rid of anything we could do with out. I started looking for a deal wherever I could. For awhile we would eat what I call bulk dinners, something that yields lots of leftovers like spaghetti. I would see when the noodles would go on sale for a dollar a box then get a whole bunch. Same with the sauce. I ended up making a meal that was $1 for noodles, $2 for sauce, $2 for ground hamburger, put it all together and for 3 people we had 2 meals each off of it. I have plenty more meal ideas if you would like them. Also if you just need someone to talk too.

by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 9:45 PM
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I baby sit a few kids in my home, so my husband and I wouldn't have to put our daughter in daycare. You can make some good money if you can handle 3-4 kids. I love it. and I love that my daughter is interacting with kids her age. 

by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 9:45 PM
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A job that I was working on (didn't, because we moved) was a contractor position where I would be a direct tv customer service rep. From home. All I needed was a computer and a phone line. You could work nights, or whatever time frame would allow you to get your calls in without interruption. But it's from home. My husband is military, so portable jobs are important, and I know several women that had jobs like that.
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by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 10:05 PM
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Alright I did this for a couple of months and i will admit it is brain numbing but it brings in extra money.  It is called lionbridge and it is an online job. I received money from them and everything is legit.  It can only be part time and that is a max of 20 hours a week but the pay is 11 an hour.  You sit there an rate the usability of websites.  You do need internet and it can not be wifi at mcdonalds because some information is sensitive. They will gve you training material and you have to take this really long two part test but it would be perfect to bring in some extra income.  Just google lionbridge and follow the links to their at home careers.  Also you can go to which lists a bunch of online jobs that they have checked out and believe are legit. 

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 8:52 PM
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k9l1c5 - Unfortunately we can't afford to move anywhere else at the moment. =( The lady we live with apparently is looking at moving and we have no one to move IN with and no money to get our own place so we are SO scared about being homeless. We haven't been able o figure anything out. But that does sound like it would help...even $30 a month or just a little bit helps tremendously. I would love to have the link. =) Thnak you so much for your post. It means a lot to me that people I don't even know will try to help me. I am not used to that! 

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 9:06 PM
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Wow I did not expect to receive such warm and thoughtful responses. Thank you all so much.

Septemberbaby89 - We try to do the same =) I will make a meal with Knorr Rice packs that are a dollar each and use a little ground beef to mix taco rice and meat together for a meal with some cheese and taco seasoning. it is pretty good and my daughter eats it up. But even then sometimes we can't afford to get the stuff we need. We get paid ONCE a month inthe beginning from the VA benefits but it doesn't last long and we are left about 2 weeks wihtout money period.

Leila1986 - I would love to do that too but the house we live in is dirty and unsanitary even I don't like my aughter being here. But it is not my house and having a hoarder as the renter, she doesn't like us cleaning or moving her stuff=( We need to get out of here but have no other options. And even SHE is thinking of moving.

Mlogsdon - I would love to do something like that. I did apply for an at home job with Uhaul but was never called and tried to call them but no one was ever available to talk to. That was a few months ago. Since my husband is only in school now using the GI Bill I can do anything until he graduates this fall but it's the loud daughter in the room that I am afraid of. However She does have her own room with a TV and loads hand me down toys =) I Would definitely look for more of those types of things! Thanks so much.

aodom323- Wow I will definitely goodle those. That sounds like something I definitely have the time to do. I have great internet at this house and can definitely do it. Thank you so much. Great idea.

Thank you all so much for your help.  I am thrilled to know that people I don't even know care even just a little to read my (long) story and give me advice. I am at a loss for words. Thank you thank you thank you!

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 9:09 PM
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You're very welcome dear, I will send you the link as soon as I get back on my laptop :)
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by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Try Elance and

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 9:48 PM
I don't have any advice for you that hasn't been mentioned so far, but my heart goes out to you! I hope you find something soon and are able to dig out of this hole. Hugs mama! Just keep swimming!
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