Post # 1
Today really sucked. I have been working hard to lose weight – eating right, working out, doing all the things I am supposed to do. But, the scale isn’t moving and for the third week in a row has actually gone UP.
Then, I picked my 12 year old daughter up and she is all excited about cheerleading tryouts. I read the forms and find out cheerleading fees are $700! There’s no way I can afford it and it breaks my heart to tell her she can’t try out.
Her dad hasn’t paid child support in years (he moved back to Canada and doesn’t work, so there’s no way to get any money out of him) and I am barely keeping my head above water financially. I am pissed at him and frustrated that I can’t give my daughter the things she wants and deserves. She is such a good kid – she’s a straight A student in advanced/honors classes. She’s testing her boundries and gets sassy/disrespectful at times but overall she is a sweet, kid who behaves well and tries hard to please. She deserves to be able to do fun extra-curricular activities and I feel so bad that I constantly have to tell her ” I’m sorry baby I can’t afford it.” My fiance has paid for almost the entire wedding, so I can’t ask him to help and I wouldn’t feel right asking any way.
So, she’s in the shower and I am sitting here bawling my eyes out as quietly as I can, trying to get it all out before she is done because I don’t want her to see mom losing it.
I feel like such a big fat failure.
Post # 3
When I read this it made me feel a lot of things, and I just have to tell you this. I have no children, hell I’m almost a child myself, and because of that I had post this, because it’s something I feel strongly about and I hope more than anything it will make you feel even a little better, so…
My dad raised me alone, and we were so poor. I didn’t realize just how poor at the time but now I do. Looking back I remember all these times when daddy did things like skip meals so I could eat and slept in the cold so I could use the heater and stay warm at night, and I never even noticed until later. I remeber crying and not understanding why I couldn’t have things that other kids had, and I remember saying things like “Am I not a good kid daddy?” and “I make good grades why can’t I do things like the other kids who don’t?” And now I know why, even though at the time I couldn’t understand clearly. And I know my dad loved me with all his heart and he gave me everything he possibly could.
I don’t know if that helps, but you aren’t a failure at all. You sitting there crying at the thought of your daughter feeling sadness proves that you are not failure.
Just wanted to say that. And now I’m crying too lol.
Post # 4
“You sitting there crying at the thought of your daughter feeling sadness proves that you are not failure.”
Yes, this. Your daughter loves you and will one day understand.
Post # 5
I just wanted to give you some encouragement! Realize that your daughter is lucky to have a mom that cares about her so much. When she gets older, she will remember the time that you spent with her and realize the sacrifices that you have made.
While I don’t have kids, I teach at a private school where most of the students come from affluent families. Most of these families can afford to buy their children the nicest clothes, the most expense toys, and allow them to participate in any extracurricular activities. Even with all of these things, I see that most of my students don’t get the one thing that they crave more than anything: time and attention from their parents. From your post, it seems like you are doing a great job of this!
Post # 6
$700?? Wow!! Is this a school related activity? Maybe you could talk to someone about your situation and see if there is any kind of assistance available. I don’t really know too much about it, but it sounds like $700 would be a pice for cheerleading CAMP not the a regular season!
That being said, there’s the possibility that maybe you can find a rec cheerleading squad that is cheaper.
Your daughter is very lucky to have someone that loves her as much as you do. I can also relate to the frustration of the scale not moving the right way, no matter what you try. I can’t offer advice, but you aren’t alone. 🙂
Post # 7
Is it a public school activity? Is there any way the school will work with you on the fees? I did public school sports and activities and I know that there was always an unwritten policy of waiving or reducing fees for families who couldn’t cover it all. It wouldn’t hurt to ask the school or coach.
And you are obviously a great parent for caring about this. I hope it all works out!!
Post # 8
All of this x 100.
I am a child of a mother much like you. She often found a way to afford things, but when she couldn’t and I was a brat, I hope she still knew I loved her.
I’m 29 now, and a few years back I had to have a sit down with her. She has a habit of buying a small token for us kids for any occasion. It was usually a stuffed animal or something cheap and cute… but for pretty much every holiday, lol. At 25, I had amassed an embarassingly large stuffed animal collection b/c I couldn’t bring myself to give any of them away. I know how hard she worked for every penny, and so there’s no way I was going to throw that $4 stuffed cat that I got 3 easters ago out. I had to tell her, no more stuffed animals 🙂
Point being, your daughter does not see you as a big, fat failure. Quite the opposite, even if she doesn’t know it just yet, you’re her hero.
Post # 9
I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. I know that feeling well and it sucks.
I grew up in home (with two parents) where we couldn’t afford the things other kids had. While I didn’t always like it, I knew (especially as a teenager, even when I went on about how unfair it was) that if my parents *could* do things for me, they would. I knew despite their efforts to shield me from most financial issues that it was money, not because they didn’t want me to have the things I wanted.
I’m also raising a child with no support and I’m faced with this kind of decision regularly. I know it feels horrible to have to say no when you want to give your child the moon and the stars. I know it doesn’t feel like a consolation when you feel like you’re disappointing her, but the support and love and stability you provide her count for a LOT.
Hang in there.
Post # 10
Thanks everybody. Your kind words and personal experiences really do help. I know some day she will understand that I did everything I could to give her a good life.
As for the cost of cheerleading – it is a public school but we are in a pretty affluent area, so the majority of the parents have no problem dropping that kind of cash. And it’s not for camp – it’s just for uniforms, shoes, fees for the regular football and basketall seaons! I don’t think there’s much hope of the school helping out – I talked to a neighbor whose daughter cheered last year and she said when they had trouble paying they threatned to kick her daughter off the squad and the mom would lose the funds she had already paid!
I moved here specifically because the school is one of the top in the state. It’s been a great decision and I’m okay with being stretched to the limit because I know my daughter is getting a great education. It’s just hard to have tell her no to things all her friends are able to do.
All of that on top of gaining weight and the stress of planning a wedding (with more things I am trying to figure out how to pay for like fiance’s wedding band and my dress alterations ugh!) just knocked me down today. I’m allowing myself an ugly sobbing pity party tonight but that’s it – then it’s time to buck up and start planning a yard sale or something… LOL
Post # 11
@LauraLT: I hardly ever post, but am mainly a lurker… Your post just jumped out at me though as I am a single mom who barely makes ends meet. But the reason I am responding is that I used to be a cheer coach at an affluent school.
You may have already thought of this, but my old cheer offered a payment plan to help offset the cost. The fees could be paid out over a 4 or 5 month time frame. If a payment plan wasn’t feasible, I also had “sponsors” who would basically cover the upfront cost and work out a payment plan with the parent.
I know that pride could get in the way of asking for help, but you might ask the cheer coach if they have any options. I so feel your pain as my heart hurts when my 4 year old prays to please let us have enough money.
Post # 12
@LauraLT: Have you considered donating plasma at all? I started doing it to help build up our savings faster and honestly I love it! It goes to a good cause, gives me a hour of time to just chill and read and book and I make $200 a month doing it! Just an idea :).