No one works harder than a mom. That is, no one works harder than a single mom. You simply cannot imagine the amount of work it takes to be both mother and father to a kid until you are in that position. Single mothers usually don’t choose to be single, but when they are put in that situation, they rise up and perform admirably, even if they are struggling with every step they take. Single mother help, though is available. You just need to know where to look.
Certainly, if you’re a single mom, you already know who you can turn to when you need help with something. You probably have family members, friends, neighbors and teachers who are willing to take some of your load when you can’t do it yourself. However (and there’s always a “however”), there are limits to what those people can handle. They have their own lives and you might be tired of leaning on them even if they’ll tell you they don’t mind.
So, what can you do? Your money is running out. You need to find someone to watch the kids while you look for a job, but you can’t pay them. You need to get educated so you can get a good job. Before you decide it’s a good idea to rob a bank to get what your kids need, take advantage of the available programs that offer help for single moms. They are there for a reason. Despite how you feel, you are not the first single mother to ever struggle to provide for her kids. You can get help and you can give your kids the lives they deserve.
Single Mother Help for Finances:
Finances are probably your biggest and most immediate concern. If you can’t afford to put food on your kids’ table, it’s not going to matter whether or not you can find a decent daycare for them. Fortunately, there are several options at your disposal.
- State assistance. Don’t be too proud to take it. That’s what it’s for. Your state’s Department of Human Services can help you get money to buy food for your kids. Visit their website and download the forms you will need to apply for help. You will also need paycheck stubs to prove your income (if you have them), Social Security cards and/or birth certificates for you and your kids, proof of rent, proof of utility and other bills, proof of residency and any court orders between you and your kids’ dad.
Once you apply, you will receive notifications from the state letting you know whether or not you have been approved. Be sure to read all of these notices carefully and contact the department if you do not understand anything. Governments like to make things complicated, but don’t let that stop you from getting the help you need.
- Federal assistance. The federal government has even more programs in place for single moms, including food stamps and housing assistance. Be prepared to provide all of the same documents you need to provide the state and possibly even more.
- Your church or any place of worship. If you think the government is too difficult to work with or you make a little too much to qualify for their assistance, try your church. Most churches have programs that provide help to single moms for food, rent payments, clothes, utility payments and more. You may still have to provide proof of income, but the rules are going to be a lot less stringent that if you go through the state.
Help with Daycare:
As with financial assistance, there are government programs to help you pay for daycare as well. After all, how are you supposed to go to work or show up for interviews with your kids tagging along? Yeah, that won’t usually go over very well with your boss. Here are the government programs that are in place for single mothers.
- Child and Dependent Care Credit. You get money back at the end of the year if you paid a person or center to take care of your kids while you work or look for work. This is income-based, but if you’re having trouble feeding your kids, you probably qualify.
- Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R). This group is a non-profit organization that will help you get funding for daycare. They will have all the forms necessary to apply.
- Head Start Programs. For children under the age of five, there are Head Start facilities that allow them to attend a preschool program for free. Again, you have to be low-income to qualify, but there are many Head Start programs in every state.
Help with Education:
You already know that the best way to make more money is to get a better job. Easy, right? Yeah, not so much. You usually need to go back to school to get a job that provides you with a higher income. There are many, many educational grants available to single moms to go back to school. This kind of single mother help is available to anyone, regardless of income. Of course, the less you make, the higher your grant will likely be, but it never hurts to apply.
There are literally dozens of grants out there waiting for you to apply. Scholarships, financial aid and loans are other ways you might be able to afford to go back to school. Luckily, many organizations have spent hours compiling them for you, so all you have to do is download the forms, fill them out and turn them in. Fill them all out. Unless you know for sure you aren’t going to qualify, you never know what some financial advisor might be able to do for you when your application is received. Give them that chance to help you.
Your kids never asked for you to be a single parent, but here you are, soldiering through and making the impossible look easy. But you don’t have to do it yourself. Single mother help is out there. Swallow your pride and don’t be foolish in turning down good help.
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