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  1. sthomp0291

    Asking in-laws for help and feel ashamed

    Thank you for your reply, Paul. What you detailed is basically my thinking as well. The reason why I am only seeking for her to go part time is to keep costs down (although 85% of the preschools I've called don't offer part time) and I have thoroughly slashed out all non essentials. Unfortunately, as the only real unnecessary spending items were things like 12.99 a month for Netflix (I don't have cable or satellite), canceling my Washington Post subscription of 3.99 a month, and our occasional treats of going to Kangaroo Jax for some $20 fun every now and again, it didn't help that much. My thoughts are that maybe my in laws could redirect some of the not insignificant monies they already spend on sending my DD presents and clothes towards her schooling, and I can cover up to $400 of it. The reality is, she doesn't need any more clothes or toys, they've sent way more than she can use already. She needs a good preschool. I wish that Mike had expressed his thoughts on slashing budget, keeping cost down, etc. in a respectful and compassionate manner, as you did. I appreciate that. But I have worked too hard and know my worth enough not to let a grown man speak to me in a tone that sounds like scolding whilst simultaneously making all kinds of rude and unkind assumptions about me, my intentions, and my circumstances. Not on a message board meant to be a place for support and compassionate advice. Thank you for the reply.
  2. sthomp0291

    Asking in-laws for help and feel ashamed

    Adb: thank you for the reply. Hopefully I addressed some of his nonsense in my post above. As an interesting update to the situation, as I said, my in laws like to feel involved in my daughter's life and care, and wanted me to share with them some of the places I was looking. I texted them the link to the only option I was able to afford (a zoo, basically) and they researched it with me, where we found several concerning citations on their business and were all dismayed. They are now doing their own independent research on daycares within 10 miles of me and sending me info, Haha. I have not broached any discussion over finances other than to point out when several of them were ones I had found but could not afford. They told me, "if it's right for baby, we can all work it out and make it right." This is why Iove these people so much. They are very giving and love my daughter and myself very much, and when they COULD choose to point out how I moved away from their help, instead they want me to succeed, and support me and my daughter. I refuse to be ashamed of asking for support from the loving support network God saw fit to gift to me and my daughter. We all need help sometimes. Thank you to those who had helpful and compassionate responses. Mike, I hope you gave yourself the pat on the back you so clearly feel you deserve.
  3. sthomp0291

    Asking in-laws for help and feel ashamed

    Wow, Mike, if I had known that coming to this message board to get some advice was going to result in a grown man thinking he could try to scold me (a grown woman), I would've stayed away. This is supposed to be a place where we come for help, support, and to commiserate. If you want to say that you vote a no on reaching out to the in laws for help, then say that. But don't you DARE condescend to tell me that I lack resilience, a work ethic, or personal character. Allow me to address some of your false assumptions about me (the person you've never met): 1. You claim that the option at the "top of my list" was to go running to others for money. If that was true, why on Earth would I be anxiety ridden and asking for ideas and support on here? I would just go do it. Obviously, my first choice is to find a safe childcare option that I can afford, but with only one income now, that's almost impossible. Daycares around here, even the crappy ones, are $600 a month or more. That was a struggle to afford when my husband (a corrections officer) was alive and bringing in money. Now, it's impossible. 2. You attack me for making the choice to leave a racist, nowhere town to get back to a better civilization for better schools like my daughter doesn't deserve them. You seem to be operating under the false assumption that I meant better daycares. I didn't- I was talking about the much better PUBLIC SCHOOLS several years down the road. She had a great daycare in my old town..... FOR $750 A MONTH. When my husband was alive, we scraped it together, but now he is NOT and I literally cannot scrape it together from my pitiful teacher's salary. 3. You talk about abandoning your higher education as if it's some sort of badge of honor and noble sacrifice, and maybe in your case it was. Maybe the time commitment and cost didnt add up to paying off in the end for your career. But guess what? My finishing my Master's (which only added about $10 a month to my already existing student loan payment) and moving to a higher paying district in my hometown are the only reasons WHY I was able to try to get her into daycare for next year. That pay raise gets me another $250 a month, so I can MAYBE afford it now, and spare my poor mother a heart attack from trying to chase after my 3 year old when she's in no condition to. I made a very SMART financial decision in pursuing my move and my degree, because without this pay raise, my daughter and I would have lost our house! But thanks for seeing my year and a half of staying up until 2 am every night studying and working (AFTER a full work day as a high school teacher and mom) as some kind of luxury cruise I indulged in. I assure you, it was just as much a sacrifice as your choice NOT to pursue it. 4. You claim I am asking for help in this choice without giving my in laws any choice or say. Idk how you managed to extrapolate that little gem from my very limited response, but, once again, you're wrong. I am wanting to ask for their HELP, not just their wallet. I want some HELP in deciding which option is best, in terms of finances, location, quality, etc. One of the worst parts of sudden widowhood is the sudden realization that EVERY decision falls to you, and every consequence as well, and having my much loved family AND in laws in this discussion further cements their feeling as being involved with their beloved GD and me. Whether they can help me financially or not, I know they appreciate that I've made them part of the conversation, that I've continued to include them. 5. You try to portray yourself as someone who just magically managed to manifest childcare for your kids without providing any specifics beyond "stitch together a patchwork of decent care." How, Mike? Pleeeaassee let us all in on your magic secret patchwork you had that apparently didnt involve any assistance from anyone else. Did your job offer you work from home flexibility? Oops, teacher, remember? Not an option. Did you have other young parent friends around who created a co-OP? Tried it. They all prefer daycare and have 2 incomes Did your job pay you well enough to cover daycare costs even on one income, although you had to cut back to do it? Mine just doesn't. Sorry. As another poster said, sounds an awfully lot like you accepted some help to make that patchwork there, but. Idk what your "patchwork" consisted of, but I'm afraid the quilt it made doesn't extend all the way here from your time (back in the day of my dad, I'm assuming, since your kids are grown, where the economy boomed and my dad, a high school dropout working as a manager in a grocery store could support a family of 4 and buy a nice house). Welcome to 2019, hon. Cost of living and childcare have gone up exponentially since this was your concern, and I suggest you calculate what the percentage of your take home was going to childcare in that day and then calculate it today on a teacher's salary. I bet you'll get a surprise. I'm not even going to address your snarky implication that I haven't already "cut expenses to the bare bone". Apparently, you already decided (again, without ever having met me or had more than a 3 paragraph glimpse into my life) that apparently I'm just whiny, spoiled girl who isn't willing to give up her yacht or her nail appointments or something to make it work. Like I haven't busted my ass for everything, like we all do. In response to that, I just say shame on you. We come here so maybe, just maybe, we can feel like we're not so alone in this. Like maybe every choice in front of us isn't a crappy one for once. Like maybe we can avoid the judgment for the many hard choices we have to make alone now, but apparently that's not how you see or use this site. You can try to excuse your tone-deaf rudeness with "you see, I'm a blunt-talker" all you want...... that's code for being a self-righteous jerk.
  4. sthomp0291

    Asking in-laws for help and feel ashamed

    Hi Melissa, thank you for replying. They live about 2.5-3 hours away, depending on traffic, so twice a month is about all I can handle, unfortunately I worry a lot about them feeling like I "chose" my own family over them by moving, but they travel constantly and I needed more constant, present support, as well as wanting my DD to get all the benefits of the better schools and life here (old town was a really country, backwater, somewhat casually racist area, and I didn't want her growing up there). Its just so awkward to ask when it's not in my mindset to ever do so and it feels icky....
  5. sthomp0291

    For those who wanted more children

    I have been feeling this a lot this year. I wanted 2. A boy and a girl. My DD was 10 months old when a car wreck stole her father from us. I feel so guilty when I am worn out and ask her to play solo for a bit so I can sit down for a minute, or read a few pages, just have some time..... she is 3 now, and I probably would have been pregnant now if my DH had lived. It hurts terribly, and I am with you in sadness....
  6. sthomp0291

    The Lack of Sympathy

    Ooooohhh I cannot stand that! My own GIL told me she understood perfectly what it was like to be a single parent because her husband traveled once a month for work.... it took everything I had not to snap back. There are some people who just turn everything, including life's tragedies, into a competition. They always have to jump in when you're down with a "me too" or "well my friend had to blah blah blah". I just kind of stare at them and make a mental note to place them at the outer rim of my personal circle. Hugs!
  7. sthomp0291

    The Guilt from Inlaws

    I have felt the same way as you, although I was blessed to have a very loving relationship with my in-laws, and still do. But if it helps to hear, it can be the same feeling even with a strong relationship. I moved about 2.5 hours away back to my hometown and family a year after my husband's death. I make sure my DD (3yo) gets up to see them at least twice a month, but it is exhausting. They do want me to come all the way to their town more often, when I would prefer to meet in the middle. I jokingly but sometimes frustratedly call it the "custody exchange." It is so hard to balance out our desire to care for the emotional needs of everyone who was impacted by our spouse's death, and it is yet another burden sometimes. Take comfort in the fact that you have worked hard to keep you IL involved and continue to do so as much as you REASONABLY can, but also try to.be at peace with the ball being in her court to come to you sometimes. If it means so much to her, she will make it work.
  8. sthomp0291

    Will our 4 year old remember Daddy?

    I feel your pain in this. My daughter was only 10 months old when we lost her father in a car accident. I know she will have almost no real memories of him. I am not sure if I should be relieved because it will be easier for her emotionally, or heartbroken that he will not exist in her mind. She is 3 now and I show her pictures, talk about him, what he liked, how he played with her, what he called her. I saved a great deal of his hobby items (war memorabilia, pins, a cigar box, mementos from his travels, etc.) and I plan to give one item to her each Christmas as a gift from daddy in Heaven, with a letter explaining how this item meant something to him. It's the best we can do. I sincerely hope your 4 year old will have a few of those very strong, if blurry memories from favorite moments together.
  9. Hello everyone. My name is Lauren and I was widowed on January 1, 2017 when my husband was killed in a car accident. I was 26 at the time, with a 10-month-old daughter. I'm now 29 and my daughter is 3. I am asking for advice and/or support over the issue of asking family, specifically my lovely in-laws, for help, and the feelings of shame and anxiety involved. As I've been widowed for 2.5 years, I am BAG and feel like I'm doing as well as anyone can be at this point. I have always been very independent, and although I have an amazing, loving relationship with my in-laws, I've done all the "big things" (moving, continuing education, therapy, etc.) on my own with their and my family's emotional support. My issue right now is that my mother is getting too old to continue to watch my daughter while I work (teacher) and so I need to get her back in daycare/preschool for next year at least 3 days a week. Obviously, as a single parent now, that's a real financial burden. My parents do all they can to help, but have their own financial issues and cannot help me with this one besides continuing to keep her 2 days a week to.keep costs down. My in-laws, on the other hand, are very well off, but I've never been comfortable asking them for financial help beyond help putting up a fence and accepting gifts for my DD. I called my MIL yesterday to vent my frustration over the cost of childcare in my new city and the low quality of the ones I've seen in my price range. I have found an amazing school that DD would thrive at...... for $850 a month to go 3 days.... I can only afford no more than $400. I am considering asking my in-laws if they would be able or willing to help with this cost, only because it could be instrumental in helping DD (their only GD, my DH was an only child) get a great head start. But I am feeling IMMENSE shame and anxiety about asking. These lovely people basically adopted me as their own when we married, and even more so after DH's death. I dont want to risk tainting their opinion of me or our relationship by involving money. They were already saddened last year when I chose to move back to my hometown to be near my large family support network, although I make sure DD sees them at least twice a month. Any words of advice or wisdom in this issue? I feel like becoming so self-sufficient, getting my Master's, fighting to get my own new home and stability for myself and DD became my driving force and my identity as a widow. The thought of being dependent or seen as a moocher repulses me, and I'm so conflicted on this.... Thank you for any thoughts you could share.

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