I know. You hate waiting on child support.
You're trying to put on a happy face, catering to your kids every need and want, even though you cannot afford it because his (or her) payments haven't came through yet.
It feels like a never ending 18-year struggle, relying on someone else to meet their obligations. Will it always be this way? Will it always feel like a game of tug-o-war with the other parent Fortunately, no, it doesn't have to be this way. As a matter of fact, it's not this way.
More than likely, you've simply conditioned yourself into relying on child support so immensely.
I remember in 2009, the ex dragged me through some type of custody or child support court hearing about our daughters at least once a month.
Yes: Once a month for a whole year.
As you can imagine, it wore me the hell out. I started to get embarrassed when I realized the only thing I could discuss with family and friends was my new monthly episode with the ex. I was so humiliated having to explain to my boss why I have to once again to take time off for court.
And that's when I realized I simply will not worry about child support anymore.
And neither should you.
Now, let me be clear: I am NOT implying the ex shouldn't pay child support. Even though the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported over $28 billion in child support payments in 2014 (and yes, you and your kids are entitled of a piece of that), I'm simply implying you don't have to pull your hair out over it.
So, let's see why you really should shake your nerves free of those damn child support worries once and for all.
Your sanity is more important
Amongst your laundry list of things to worry about, child support shouldn't be one of them.
You have more than enough to drive you crazy than sitting around wondering if another adult is going to meet their financial obligations to their children.
Don't give the tired child support discussion anymore energy than you already have. It only causes stress, worry and lingering angst that could hinder your development as parent and a person for years to come.
It helps you become more frugal
Yeah, I know. It seems like you have enough of everything except cash.
Make it a reason to become more frugal so you don't have to worry about his/her payments or the lack of in the first place.
Trim bills you don't need. Cut cable for a Roku box. Ditch your cell phone plan for a prepaid one (I saved over $50 a month doing this, btw.)
Trim enough bills in a month and you may find yourself saving hundreds of dollars, making your stress over child support a distant memory.
Focus on your creative juices more often
When you stop worrying about things you simply cannot control, you can focus on what you really enjoy, mom or dad.
As a single parent, your time is so divided it seems like there's no hours left in the day for you.
Frankly, single parents are as deserving of "me time" as any other parent, IMHO. Maybe even more deserving...
Establish that blog or create that lovely canvas for the living room. Read about self publishing and sell some single parenting e-books for extra cash.
The sky's the limit when you make it a point to focus on you.
Establish more meaningful conversations and relationships
When I was in and out of court with the kids' dad, it seemed like that was the only thing I could talk about for a long time.
And realizing that was damn depressing.
"Oh, it's just Monica calling. They must have just gotten outta court" was all I could think about when chatting with friends and family.
But after a while, I simply got weary of it all.
So, I made it a point to start talking about my desires, passions, and things I want to accomplish in life. I remember chatting with a friend in New Orleans about looking for a house and we got to talking about location, square footage, and when I was actually moving.
That conversation turned into one of many discussions about homeownership, the real estate business, my freelance writing career, sex, family, kids, The Saints. He actually is now a close friend who I go to for a lot advice in life.
No mention of the ex or child support required.
It's a confidence booster
Not worrying about child support could be the self-esteem jump starter you need to be a great -- and sane -- single mom.
There's something nice in knowing you can afford all the household bills alone comfortably.
There's something nice in knowing you qualified for that home or car, while paying childcare and healthcare costs solo.
There's something nice in knowing that while you're receiving his money due to his legal obligations, you don't need his (or her) money.
So, while you may feel you're in need of child support, are you really?
You really don't have to fake the happy face in front of your kids when you can simply make the decision to be happy.
It doesn't have to feel like a forever struggle getting the ex to pay up.
It's all in how you deal with.
Make the decision to save your own money, leave the stress to the courts, and start focusing on you and watch your child support worries vanish into thin air.