To the single mommas in my private Facebook group, The Single Moms Mastery, I recently asked this question, “If your child support ended today, would you make it?”.
If you think you are prepared to engage, I’d like to ask you the same question. Would you be able to pay your bills and provide for your child(ren) without child support?
Based on my personal experience and research, sadly too many single mommas are financially dependent on their monthly child support checks. For many, the amount received isn’t even enough and too much of their precious and limited energy is being invested to get more.
Please trust me when I say, I speak from experience and I understand your why.
I remember getting off work and heading to my parents to pick up my girl and hope my mom had made a “good” dinner. My family would chat about our day and then my girl and I would be off to our apartment to wrap up our evening.
For the most part, this routine was usually a smooth transition but on occasion, once a month to be exact, I would receive in the mail an envelope addressed from Child Support Services.
A check for $25.
Let me tell you friend, when I say there was very little that set me off more than this check. The amount of that measly thing would send me into a tailspin.
To top it all off, this check was hard earned with countless hours of completing paperwork, filing with the county clerk, and showing up for the out of state conference calls during work hours and between appointments.
The continued disappointment. The bitter arguments of what I was owed and the intrusion that invaded my heart with resentment.
The. Twenty-five. Dollar. Check.
My emotions seemed to be compounded with every stamp of “he can’t afford it” on final judgments, and the ex’s bulldog stubbornness to divert all cash from a less than monitored system.
With each mounting disappointment, I was faithfully reminded of where I knew God had been guiding me all along.
Full and complete dependence on him.
Looking back this lack of financial support from my daughter’s father was indeed a hidden treasure only to be discovered on the other side of the mountain. A situation demanding I step up to be the woman I was created to be.
But what does that mean for each of us? As we are all unique. Each of our stories, it’s very own.
Well, how about another question?
Where does your trust lie? In a man you are no longer married to? In a half-assed broken court system? To his job that could end on any given day for any given reason or a God that loves you more than you could ever imagine? Who says His love and faithfulness endures forever. Who has plans to prosper you and never forsake you.
Please, don’t misunderstand me. A father, of whatever standard, is supposed to provide for his children. We all know this. That is not up for debate.
Here’s my concern.
The vulnerability, the potential control and you, missing the mark of your potential worth.
When we are dependent on someone, are we really free? How would your behavior change with your ex if you knew you didn’t need his money? How does he treat you knowing you need it? What would you do differently if you were forced to be the sole provider for your children? For some, this is not an issue of concern. If this doesn’t pertain to you, then please, send it to a friend that perhaps it does.
Lastly, I strongly suggest two things.
- Having a court-ordered child support plan in place, at the minimum.
- Begin securing a plan that will allow you to feel the freedom of being financially independent of your children’s father. How nice would it be to put that money aside to buy a home, to help purchase the kids a car, or extra savings for a vacation on him!
Today is International Women’s Day. I want to empower you to create your own life making your own money. Anything else is gravy!