The Financial Challenges of Solo Parenting After 40
The 46-year-old attorney from Brooklyn, N.Y. is indeed part of a societal trend: Single women by choice having kids past the age of 40. … “It used to be seen as such a radical thing,” says Kipiniak, mom to a 10-year-old son and a six-year-old daughter.
My middle daughter does not have a father that is active in her life. His exact email/message to me was specific. He didn’t want to be involved unless he had to pay child support because he could barely afford to take care of himself.
That’s it in a nutshell. Explaining to a 4 year old in simple terms that her father doesn’t want to be her dad is difficult. I don’t believe in sugar coating the truth. I told her countless times as well as a few other times that her daddy was not capable of being a dad so chose not to be in her life. Since those are his words that’s what I use. As far as she knows, she doesn’t have a dad unlike her brother and sister who have dads. I already got a yelling from a judge that I was the dumb one to have babies with idiots so no judgment on my life is needed here. I could have chosen abstinence (which sounds like a great idea now) or had an abortion (I don’t believe in) and of course I didn’t choose any of that. So I take care of my daughter in the best way I know how without a dad.
It didn’t occur to me she needed a dad
It never really occurred to me that she even needed a dad. In our day to day lives we have our routines and our schedules. I do what I need to do in order to feed the children. If you are new to the site you will know that when I use the term feed the children I am talking about taking care of my responsibilities. The things you need to do every day to provide security and put a roof over your head and those of your loved ones. The last man I dated mentioned to me that Baby B REALLY WANTS A DADDY! I remember hearing those words and it took me a step back. I always just assumed as a single mom it would always be just her and I (along with her brother and sister of course). I thought we were both in it for the long haul. Baby B and I are the outcasts in society looking for love finding it only with each other. It wasn’t until I saw how people responded to her that I even thought about it.
She’s my mini Snow White
Animals and people are attracted to my daughter. She has this fun loving quality that draws people to her. She takes direction very well and for the most part is very well behaved. The worker at Legoland saw her enthusiasm to race Lego cars with the boys and built a car for her. My ex loved giving her piggy back rides. My daughter still prays for him before she goes to bed. My friend from Houston who is a single guy loves playing with her as well. There was only one person that she knew as my boyfriend and that was my son’s dad. Other than that I made a vow not to really introduce the kids until it was serious. I mean men would play with the kids and we’d go out together but it was never something that established this person as my romantic partner. As far as she knows, these are just “fun guys” that do fun things like buy her stuff, take us for ice cream, go to Build A Bear etc.
She doesn’t need a dad
Baby B does in fact need a dad but this person has to be in love with me, her mother first. One of the things that rubbed me the wrong way was a friend of mine who enjoys spending time with her when we are together. I don’t view him in a romantic manner but some of the things he does rubs me the wrong way. For instance he mentioned her eating habits one day. My child eats very well when I am around. But since she ate sparsely with him he began asking me about whether she takes vitamins or not. The part that rubs me the wrong way is that I don’t like being told what to do. I like to be told logically or coaxed into new thinking but don’t enjoy declarative statements. If my daughter is to be blessed with a male role model in her life I can assure you it would be someone that has my approval first. If she is going to have a dad, it will be the man that I marry. If her real dad doesn’t want to be a dad, I’m sure whoever I get involved with romantically (who I am willing to put up with) that eventually wants to settle down would be willing to first accept her and of course then adopt her. There is no grey area there. My daughter has a lot of wonderful male role models such as my friends, my family, my dad and so she is blessed to have them as examples.
I have no advice on introducing your significant other to your kids. I know what I did and I was happy with what happened even if we ended up breaking up. The key is communication that is open and friendly with your child. As far as the dad discussion, I don’t exactly date just on who would be a good dad. While that is one aspect of choosing a lifetime partner there are so many other things. Instinct and your gut play a big role in it. At this time, Baby B doesn’t need a dad, she already has one and it’s his choice not to be involved. I’m sure in the future things may look different, but I think we are doing a great job now.
I was having a discussion the other day and we started talking about Mr. Right. I’m here to tell you right now that Mr. Right is a myth. Like unicorns, trolls and other mythical creatures there is no Mr. Right.
In my years of dating and relationships Mr. Right is a myth. The word “Right” means “morally good” or “justified” and from my experiences with online dating I would definitely say my dating profile never included these words (maybe it should).
I prefer to call the man I want to have a relationship with and be a part of my life with my children as Mr. “I’m willing to put up with” or Mr. “He’s willing to put up with me.” The fact remains is that I have had many romantic encounters with supposed “Mr. Right” but then “Mr. Right” turns into “Mr. Troll,” “Mr. Unemployed,” or “Mr. Not for Me!”
Single Parents and Mr. Right
Being a single parent means that I will have to put up with certain things and choose not to put up with others. Same goes for the partner in this duo. It’s not as simple as just he and I getting along and putting up with each other but also how we integrate two families or just my family into that. None of that is easy. I’m experiencing that now and it requires a lot of patience, time and commitment. Without those three key things nobody is ready.
Mr. “Right and Ready”
After talking to a friend about Mr. Right she said a guy she used to date said he needed to be Mr. “Right and Ready.” I love this term. Many women today will use phrases such as “He is the One” or “He’s my soulmate.” When a woman meets a guy she wants to settle down with or get married she sees a project. However, Mr. Right and Ready is not a project. He doesn’t need to be changed after the honeymoon because what you see is what you get.
A girl will go through a ton of supposed Mr. Rights – but not Mr. Ready OR they may find a lot of Mr. Ready but no Mr. Right. Kind of like a guy friend of mine, the original Mr. Emotionally Immature and Mr. Not Right or Ready. Women would sleep with him and then move on and marry the next guy. Kind of like the movie Good Luck Chuck where Dane Cook is doomed to be that guy.
Mr. Ready can easily turn into Mr. Right and Ready but Mr. Right can never change into Mr. Ready so easily
The main difference is that Mr. Ready is confident in what he wants in his life and knows who he is. It’s just a matter of finding the girl capable of putting up with his ways and that he is willing to put up with. A friend of mine told me this:
Mr Ready means he is ready to share his life with someone and stop dating around. In most cases he has to decide he is ready on his own before he even meets you. In some cases he doesn’t decide he is ready until he meets Mrs Right, but if he makes the switch to Ready just for you it’s because he truly thinks you’re Mrs Right and doesn’t want to risk losing you. These guys are the true keepers. A very eager Mr Ready will imagine Mrs Right in the next girlfriend he gets, as several of my exes probably did to me and the girl they met right after me.
I’m not sure I really agree with this but parts of it are true. Mr. Ready finds a girl they are willing to put up with and if they are ready and she is also ready the timing is great. I would hate for a man to stay with me because he didn’t want to lose me. I would love for him to know that I’ll always be there for him. But that’s just me. At one point I was clearly not ready and I was truthful to the Mr. Rights and Mr. Readys of the world.
Mr. Right may take awhile before he can also be ready. He may not see how great he is yet or may have other realities of his life or goals to accomplish before he is ready. Don’t push this one. He needs to come to this realization himself.
Do you know a Mr. Right? How about a Mr. Ready? Have you ever been with a Mr. Right and Ready? And where are you in all of this?
There are some single parents that are having a baby with no help from the other partner. This is reality for some. While this article may address new parents that have support, some of these tips are great for single parents.
Having a baby is an expensive business. When you have your first child, you’ll be faced with a truly mindboggling array of clothes, toys, accessories, children’s furniture and more, which can make a huge dent in your household budget. Here are our 7 top tips for new parents looking to cut costs…
1. Think before you buy.
Do you really need all of the clothes and toys that you are looking at? Is every single piece of equipment that has been recommended to you really necessary? Think about what you’re buying for your new baby and how often it will be used – and speak to other parents so that you have an experienced pair of eyes to run through your shopping list before you start to spend.
2. Buy second hand.
It’s clear that some of the purchases you make should be brand new, and you’ll no doubt want to splash out on your little one at such an exciting time. There’s plenty that can be bought second hand, though, which will save you a lot of money in the long run. See if your local NCT has nearly new sales, or check online auction sites and local papers for bargains. You’ll most likely find that you can save half the retail value or more if you choose to buy second hand rather than brand new.
3. Plan for childcare in advance.
When you have only just brought your new arrival into the world, childcare is unlikely to be something that you think about straight away. However, the time when it is needed will approach quickly, and you will need to make sure that you are prepared. Childcare is a huge expense for any parent, so think about starting to save as early as possible.
4. Check eligibility for childcare tax credits.
If your family is on a low income, you may be eligible for financial help from the Government, which will help to reduce some of the burden of the expenses that come with a new baby. Use this calculator to find out.
5. Look for freebies and vouchers.
Discount vouchers and free samples are a great way to relieve some of your financial strain. Supermarkets, baby food companies, nappy brands and a wealth of other companies will have baby clubs that will offer freebies and discounts to help you out.
6. Resell anything that is not needed.
You may end up with more clothes than your newborn needs, and will find that they grow out of toys and clothes quickly. Consider reselling these via auction sites or local papers to make back some of your money as your child gets older.
7. Reassess your gas and electricity suppliers.
Although not baby-related, compare energy costs between your current providers and other companies on the market. By picking up the phone or going online to compare cheap energy tariffs, you may find that you can save yourself a lot of money – giving you more to spend on your new arrival.
- License: Creative Commons image source
David Fellows is a financial services consultant and single father. He shares his experience in both fields to provide help to parents.
Disclaimer: All guest posts and guest authors are prescreened by Dallas Single Mom. All opinions presented are 100% the opinion of the author as applicable. Opinions expressed are not necessarily representative of this site.
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Divorces: they’re rough for everyone involved, especially if you and your spouse aren’t parting amicably. You need to split your property, which could spark any number of arguments. And then there’re your children. It’s not just a question of who gets them and when. The more important question is how much psychological damage the divorce is going to cause for the kids. Fortunately, you can make it easier for your children to cope with your divorce. Here’s how.
Don’t Place Them Between You and Your Ex
If the relationship between you and your ex is strained at the best of times and disastrous at the worst, you might be tempted to use your children as an intermediary to avoid direct communication (and probable confrontation) with your ex. Don’t succumb to that temptation.
You and your ex are the adults in the situation, and if force your child to run messages back and forth, you’re forcing them to get involved in your issues. Let your children be children. Let them deal with issues suitable for their age. Don’t make them grow up faster than they need to.
Let Them Know You Love Them
Most children caught in the middle of a divorce feel, at some point, that they’re to blame for the divorce. To minimize this belief as much as possible, you need to show your children you love them. Tell them they didn’t do anything wrong, and they are still important to you.
Regardless of who gets custody of your children, make sure you communicate with your children—write letters or call them if they’re staying with their other parent for an extended period of time, and bond with them through talking and playing games when they’re with you.
Don’t Fight With Your Ex Where The Children Can Hear
No matter how upset your ex makes you, don’t fight in front of your children. That includes not fighting in places where they can hear you, even if you don’t think they’re paying attention. When your children hear you fight, it can make them feel like they did something wrong—especially if you’re fighting about something they did or something one of you did to them (like forgetting when to pick them up).
If you need to discuss your children with your ex or some other topic, and you’re worried it will devolve into an argument, take care of the conversation where your children cannot hear or see either one of you.
Let Them Express Their Emotions
Let your children know they can share their emotions with you. If they’re feeling frustrated about the divorce or their other parent, it’s best if they can let that frustration out, but they need to know they won’t be judged for their feelings.
While listening to them, though, don’t let yourself use their emotional expression as a way to vent your own frustrations about your ex. Those feelings shouldn’t be shared by them, since your ex is their other parent, and they want to love you both. By listening to your child’s feelings and not trying to control or manipulate them, they’ll feel more confident in expressing their emotions.
Don’t Make Them Choose Between You and Your Ex
Refrain from talking negatively about your ex in front of you children. You can’t expect your children to share your feelings about your ex. They probably won’t, even if they might get disappointed once in a while. Do what you can to make them feel like their opinions about their other parent are valid.
When you pick them up after they finish visiting your ex, ask them how it was. Express an interest in their life while they’ve been away from you. Let them know that you love them no matter whom they choose to spend their time with. Don’t make them choose or take sides in the divorce.
No matter how stressful and tenuous your relationship is with your ex, there are many things you can do to make sure your children go through the divorce with as little change as possible. Whether you’re using a family court in Newmarket or one in Toronto, by implementing these tips, your children will have an easier time adjusting to life after your divorce.
Eloise Hamilton has always been fascinated with law. In college, she studied the subject briefly before switching to business, but she still loves to maintain her knowledge of all things law, by visiting all kinds of law sites like Donnell Law Group. She seeks to inform the general public about the finer details of law in a way they can understand.
A few weeks ago my sister asked me this question while we were talking about the man I’m dating and I was basically stunned. I didn’t really know how to answer except to be truthful, that you don’t ever really stop yourself from falling in love. I’m older and I have a lot of responsibilities that take priority, those things are the priority and falling in love is on the back burner. It’s not completely gone but all those feelings of 24/7 being together, cuddling, kissing and thinking about that special person will in fact take a backseat to raising kids, putting on pajamas, ensuring homework is done, balancing the checkbook, and saving for retirement. At 35, things are way different with regards to dating then when I was 20.
Advice to my young self
If I could give some advice to my 20 year old self when it comes to dating and relationships it would definitely be to take it slow. Learn to love yourself before you end up fantasizing about your wedding and setting up expectations that no man could possibly meet. My sister has been married to my brother in law for a very long time. She was very young when they dated, started a relationship and married. She told me she couldn’t possibly figure out how I hold back what I really feel with the person I’m dating. She has always been one to come out and say it early.
So I told her, I don’t think I’m holding back by not saying anything. I believe as adults we are being prudent and allowing our actions to show more then what our mouths are saying. However, in this game, saying how you feel too fast will scare a man away. So I asked the guy I was dating for his perspective: How do you prevent yourself from falling too deep? He then responded back with, “Why would anyone want to do that?” and wondering how I felt. He feels nobody ever stops themselves from falling in love. Either you are or you are not.
No one can stop themselves from falling in love
He, whom I fondly refer to as Mr. Giants Fan and I have been dating since November 3rd. It is still so new and is mostly filled with great times but on many occasions my insecurities will rear their ugly heads and I start accusing him of everything under the sun. This is the main reason why I have a hard time expressing how I feel to him because I’m not sure what all of that means. What would it mean to have those feelings? Does it mean that we have a commitment? Then what does that mean? How will it affect our children that we already have? How would it affect our families? How would it affect our careers and home life? There is no doubt in my mind that I am in fact falling in love with him and yet I haven’t exactly expressed this with sincerity. I have no clue how he feels about me except that he does say he cares about me. However, if he doesn’t feel the same way should I just get rid of him? I’ve threatened to leave twice already since he doesn’t communicate the same way as I do and non communication is one form of how I act out my insecurities. I literally get a lot of anxiety over this due to my own insecurities and yet majority of the time we are fine. So in my search for what is bothering me, I intend on really opening up my own wounds to determine why I feel so unsettled at times in this relationship. I have been reading Toxic Men: 10 Ways to Identify, Deal with, and Heal from the Men Who Make Your Life Miserable by Dr. Lillian Glass and Mr. Giants Fan is not at all toxic, but I’m starting to think that I am.
Insecurity and uncertainty has made me so emotionally unavailable that I unknowingly prevent myself from truly falling in love.
Stay tuned as I continue this series as I write a post on how to stop being emotionally unavailable and have a fulfilling dating life.
Disclaimer: All opinions presented are 100% the opinion of the blog owner as applicable.
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I’m very pleased to have ended 2012 and started my New Year by getting a free copy of Joe John Duran’s book, The Money Code: Improve Your Entire Financial Life Right Now. I got this copy from the pr company so that I could provide a review on it and I’m glad I got it. I will be doing a radio show in a few weeks about Thriving and Surviving as a single woman or single mom. One of the topics that I talk about frequently is about finances. Whether you divorce or if you are single, your attitude about making financial decisions will be the cornerstone to protecting your financial future, your children’s financial future and relate to the quality of life that you’d like to have. I believe Duran’s book is a simple and workable approach to understanding your emotional state of mind when you make money decisions.
The Nitty Gritty on The Money Code
The Money Code first starts out with Duran establishing his credibility and emphasizing how most of us don’t have a good relationship with money. He simplifies that our fears about money center around a fear of missing opportunities and a fear of losing money. Duran then goes on to talk about the 5 secrets that guide your decision making. These are:
1) Your life will be filled with tough choices.
2) Your entire life is determined by how you make decisions.
3) Your biases will affect every decision you make.
4) You will be distracted by things that really don’t matter.
5) You must have a good process to make good decisions.
This all seems simple doesn’t it? This is a very short read only 168 pages, but I have found that those that need financial help the most might be like me, stressed out and not thinking in straight terms. What I love about this book is that the concepts are simple, attainable and everyone can relate to them. It seems that Duran goes out of his way to establish the importance of communicating with yourself as well as your loved ones based upon 1 of three dominant money minds that impact you and others. These three money minds are:
I personally have a fear money mind meaning that my focus is that of protector. Regardless of the amount of money and success that I have, I rarely feel secure or satisfied. I think in terms of what could go wrong and to avoid financial pain. There is a lot of good in this but also a lot of bad such as missing opportunities and experiencing anxiety over financial decisions. Much of this stems from the experience of going through a divorce, being a parent and not getting the child support that I am entitled to. Through the years I have also gone through a foreclosure and a layoff, all of which have taught me the importance of emergency savings and a nest egg. I personally worry about the legacy I leave to my children. I believe many women, especially single moms have this money mind.
Who is Jack? And why create a fictional storyline
Throughout this book not only do you have illustrative concepts, diagrams, lists and objectives but you are also introduced to a fictional character named Jack and his introduction to the Alchemist. The alchemist is a creator of a special program to help Jack and previously Jack’s sister get back on track financially. As you walk through Jack’s life you begin to realize where he is financially as well as the fact that he’s separated from his wife. You also get to the nitty gritty about his financial money mind and how much his communication style of the happiness money mind didn’t mold well with that of his ex wife who, more than likely, had a fear money mind. While many reviewers thought this extra fictional story was a bunch of unnecessary fluff, I for one loved this aspect of the book. It gave a simplistic but real world scenario that you could compare your own situation to it. As you progress through Jack’s mind shift you are taught by Duran all of the basic concepts by which truly understanding your money mind can help you with your financial decisions.
The other aspect in the teachings by Duran is not just your money mind, but some basic things that are in your control when it comes to your personal finances. These would be spending, saving, timing and taking risks. When you are making a decision look to those 4 things to determine what is in your control. In the book, Jack wanted to take a trip and he needed to evaluate his situation based on what he could control which was spending and timing.
What I liked about it?
It’s very relatable without going over your heard. While the character in the story was married, albeit separated, these concepts are something that many single parents CAN and SHOULD employ within their own lives. Many single parents definitely get into a fear money mind and are no strangers to constant self sacrifice, but employing some of these strategies can help single parents enjoy life with their children and lend itself to confidence to thrive as a single parent. I also really liked the quick blurb at the end that describes what questions you should ask your personal financial advisor. I thought these questions were spot on for really engaging someone who will be responsible with your money. As a single parent, it is obvious that you may have trust issues and you wonder whether that professional you just hired truly understands the needs of a single parent. To read these questions, you have to Buy the Book
What I didn’t like about it?
While there are visual aid drawings obviously outlining benefits, it would have made more sense to have these drawings specific to Jack’s decision making so that we not only have an checklist outline of the thought processes but the visuals.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I’d give it a 5 out of 5 stars. I don’t particularly read personal finance books so I can’t compare it to others or to the Dave Ramseys, Suze Orman or Jean Chatzky books. I read a Jean Chatzky book a very long time ago and I personally did not follow it. If you are a busy single parent, how much of this offline stuff can you do when you are working, running a business, taking care of kids and trying to find a bit of me time. I say, this is a quick read that needs to be read when it comes out on January 22 as a ways to start the new year right.
Pre-Order your copy at Amazon.com today!
Disclaimer: The above post may contain affiliate links. A complimentary copy of the book was provided to Dallas Single Mom in exchange for this product review. All opinions presented are 100% my own.