After the initial move-out, my ex agreed to provide River and myself with a pretty decent bit of child-support/spousal-support.. which is enough to cover food and gas (and not much else). While this is great, if I felt I could expect any sort of lasting commitment from my ex, even regarding money, and I was planning on living with my parents until River was 18, but that's not the case.
When I was a teenager, it became apparent that living with my parents was NOT a good environment for me. I chafed at their restrictions and intrusiveness, and things have not changed. My parents and I get along fine when I'm not living with them, but for some reason we just all need to have our say about everything, and that just doesn't work well for a living situation.
The original plan was to supplement the child/spousal support by selling things on Etsy.com... but after a few posts on there and a couple months of waiting nothing sold. I've tried advertising my etsy on other sites and even sending all my products to a convention with a friend to be sold there. Well... One thing sold... For $7. Not exactly income, and after buying business cards and supplies, it doesn't even start to cover expenses. So, I guess I'm done crafting.
It's on to the world of a working, single mother.
The biggest hurdle I see is what to do with River while I'm working. I looked into child-care options in my area that fit with my parenting philosophies, and they cost more per month than I would pay for rent! Way more than I can afford. My parents, while helpful when it's convenient for them, are not willing to give up their activities (my mother sews in guilds and such) on days that I would need them to watch River. The ex is less than helpful (his work schedule is erratic, he have a living situation that can accommodate a baby, and I just plain don't trust him with our daughter).
It's hard enough to find a job right now, without having scheduling issues that need to be worked around.
So far I've applied at a tea store that I've worked for before and I'm hoping would want to hire me enough to deal with my crazy schedule, and at the library for a really limited hour shelving position. I'm also forwarding my resume to a friend who might be able to get me a paid internship at U of C and would share childcare duties with me (which would be AWESOME!).
While writing this whole post I managed to ignore the extreme anxiety I feel about leaving River to get a job. It keeps me up at night. Just last night I managed to leave River with my mother for an HOUR to get dinner with a friend. The whole time I couldn't stop worrying about her. My biggest fear is that she's going to be crying and hysterical and I'm not going to be able to do anything.
I hold very strongly to the philosophies of attachment parenting. I think that children tell you what they need and that it is unethical to cause them undue stress by denying it. We had decided that River would always have a parent home with her, but thanks to the actions of my ex, that isn't possible anymore. It's hard when the situation changes and your philosophies don't.
I know that if I could find a legitimate work-from-home option, I would take it. If I could bring River to a job with me, I would jump at the opportunity. I'm so worried and scared and stressed about this. I just don't have a choice.