hi everyone. ive been searching for a single mom group and i came across this one. i hope i can share my thoughts here without judgment and just clear and honest opionions. i live in north carolina with my mom and daughter. to make a long story very short my childs father left me when i was pregnant and got someone else pregnant. my daughter has a brother thats 3 months younger than she is and shes 15 months. he decided he wanted nothing to do with us until it eventually got back to his family that he had another child out there that they didnt know about. sending me through hell and back i decided living with my mom in nc was the better choice for me and my daughter (im originally from nj) however he decided to be vindictive after i put him on child support and decided to take me to court for visitation. i have a court order that forces me to have to come to nj monthly (ive looked into other alternatives and believe me ive tried to get them to make him travel to see her but thats not how the law in my state works. and id much rather have to travel monthly as opposed to having him take her for weeks at a time) its very tiring and very expensive so i thought moving back would be a good idea ESPECIALLY since i cant seem to find steady employment in north carolina and new jersey has offered me full time employment with benefits. this way if the jerk cancels a scheduled visit i wouldnt feel like an idiot for traveling all the way to jersey as opposed to if i already lived there and he cancelled. the only problem is finding a place to live (was planning on using my income tax as a down payment for a small apartment for me and my daugher.) i have an uncle i could stay with for 3 weeks until i get my apartment. nc is great and all but i have no friends outside of my mom, she has a lot of control over my daughter and how i raise her and tries relentlessly to keep me here with her. she claims i can do what i want but she always has something to say about everything i do. at times i feel like my daughter is my sister and my mom is the parent. i want so very badly for her to date but shes so consumed in "raising" me and my daughter that i dont think that will ever happen. i feel like i have no control over my life. if i stay in nc i will have to get on welfare and medicaid and i didnt go to college to have to resort to that just because my mom thinks its best i stay with her. i have nothing against the system and people on it but i may be getting a job offer that pays almost $60,000 a year and the only thing thats stopping me is my mom doubting that i can live on my own and take care of my child on my own. i love my daughter with my soul, however i cry everyday about my actions that have led me to be where i am now. under normal circumstances i would have never chosen nc. i came here due to lack of support from her "father" and knowing that my mom would be there for me i went to her. but now im 3 weeks shy of being 29 years old and i find myself craving independence and just being able to work, go back to school (online. works better for my daughter) and provide for her. i know im living rent free now and a lot of people would say to just stay with her but at what point is that no longer acceptable? at at what point are us single moms suppose to get up off our butts and make something of our lives? ive suffered from depression and anxiety for awhile but its getting progressively worse. i know my mom wants me and my daughter (esp. my daughter) around but should i stay just to please her? another good thing about being in nc is knowing that me and my daughter are far away from her dad whos caused so much pain but do i put my life on hold to run away from him? ive been crying and crying for days and steadily feel myself losing more and more control. please any advice is appreciated.