I miss my baby. Should i quit my job?!

Alexis - posted on 04/12/2013 ( 27 moms have responded )

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I'm a single mom, 21 years old, have a 2 year old son, and am working as a server. Sometimes i feel so alone, like I never see my baby. I miss being able to just relax and watch him laugh and play. My son's father does get him on the weekends, but only so I can double Saturdays and Sundays. I feel like I never get to spend time with Dawson because I'm constantly working. Should I cut back on work and try for more assistance for more time with my son? Or keep working my butt off for him to eventually resent me? I don't know what to do & my family... well, let's just say my choices haven't always been great lately. I haven't been asking them for as much and just showing them I can do this thing on my own... I just don't want to fail my baby...

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Shawnn - posted on 04/15/2013

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I simply cannot advocate for a perfectly healthy young woman to quit working and live off of welfare assistance!

You are an able bodied, healthy young lady. This is the bitter reality of being an adult. We cannot have it our way all of the time.

Shawnn - posted on 04/17/2013

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Alexis, your concern is understandable, however, as we've all pointed out, your son will not remember this time. And, if you make sure to spend as much time as possible with him, while still supporting yourself, and your son, without relying on welfare assistance (as much as possible) he WILL remember laughing and having fun with mommy!

But, if you quit your job, and go on full assistance, you'll be letting yourself down, as well as your son, because you'll be showing him that when adversity hits, the thing to do is take the easiest route, rather than working your way through it.

If you are disabled, if you are unable to work, or if you are working, but still need assistance, that's one thing. But for an able-bodied young woman to quit working, and go on state assistance just so that you feel like you've been a better parent by doing so, then you are selling yourself short. Not only that, you'll be potentially ruining any easy chance to advance in a career. Because they'll see a gap in your work history that is explained by "I didn't want to work, I wanted to spend time with my kid", which any employer will see as a potential for you to quit at any time, on any whim.

Let me reiterate: You are NOT wrong for wanting to spend as much time with your little guy as possible. HOWEVER, you are an able-bodied, healthy young woman who is physically capable of holding down a job and raising a child, both at the same time.

We all make sacrifices for our kids. I've done it both ways, worked (because I had no other choice, and there was no physical reason to go on assistance), and stayed home because we were at a point that we could afford it. Both have their benefits. Both have their drawbacks. Did my youngest (the one I stayed home with) remember me staying home? Not until he was about 5, right before I started back to work. Did my eldest (the one that I worked with) remember having to be with a sitter, and not spending every waking hour with me? Certainly not. And, either way, neither one BLAMES me for a darn thing. They both appreciate that I have worked (in many ways) to support them physically and emotionally, and everything in between.

Michelle - posted on 04/14/2013

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I would urge you to take a serious look at your expenses. And then "trim the fat aka the extras". And then look at what you really need to live and get by. Then take a look at what you are making and see how they line up together.

I recall in college getting by on less than $400 per month covering all living expenses. Now today it would be more than it was at that time and it is different with a child! However I did not have a cell phone, landline telephone, cable, internet, and many other items that are often considered necessities today. I paid for rent and electric, car insurance, gas, food, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and a few periodic extras for a new clothing item. No out to eat, movies, no mall shopping, pedicures, etc... Please note: I am not suggesting that you are, but trying to give you an example of what I limited my basic needs to in order to get by for a while (and it was for several years, not months). My friends still had time and money for these things while I regularly had to decline. It was hard seeing them do things I couldn't. I made the choice that worked for me. You need to decide what you and your son can live without and then look at the remaining expenses and your income.

Your child will love you and understand that you chose to work and support him. Your child is learning the need of working to pay for expenses. You are providing a positive role model for him to follow when he gets older. If you find that you can get by reducing your workload and reducing some expenses then by all means -- yes, reduce your workload if you will be a happier mom by doing so. Since you are able to get doubles on the weekends, can you reduce your weekday workload to spend more time with your son? Any chance you could work evenings and be home with him in the daytime (even if it's only a few days/week)? Perhaps a parent or his father could watch him in the evening when it's basic "routine time" and then he's in bed? If it does work out, I am sure you'll be tired when you have him during the day, but perhaps it's an option to shift things around if you can't completely quit work.

Alternatively, if you can find another mom to swap time with perhaps you can both help each other out. One watch kids while the other works and visa versa. Then you would both save on childcare (if this is an expense you have).

I would encourage your son's father to contribute. Both of you are his parents and responsible for his needs being met. If your family is available and offers to help, graciously accept it. If his father's family offers to help, graciously accept it. If your friends offer to help out, graciously accept it. Anyone you feel can provide a safe environment for your son who offers to help -- accept it. He is little and I would accept all the help you have available so that you can spend time with your son and cover your expenses.

Whatever you do, make the most of the time you have together! Make memories as they will last forever! Take snapshots and make an album of fun times together. Best wishing in making the best decision for you and your son. I know it won't be easy and only you can decide what is best for you!

Andrea - posted on 04/16/2013

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I too am 22 years old and my daughter is one year old. My mother takes care of my daughter .I am far away from my baby. I am a night s journey away from my home. I stay in a girls hostel and study dentistry. I too feel like quitting all this and staying with my baby. i just thought in the long run. My education and my career will go a long way in helping me give my daughter a stable future. Just think of your daughter s future and keep working. Do make it a point though to see your baby every two weeks .That will motivate you to work harder and help you set goals every 2 weeks before you could see your daughter again.I do the same thing and it works. Initial years of struggle and sacrifice will help your family alot.

Cecila - posted on 04/15/2013

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Alexis you will not fail your child. As a single parent you have to do what you have to do. I suggest you talk to your son and let him know that mommy has to work in order to support. You may think he don't understand but children are a lot smarter than what we give them credit for. I have 6 kids ages 8, 5 twins 3,2, and 1. I let my kids know when I'm going to work so they won't feel as though I'm abandoning them. I sometimes feel just how you feel. But now when I leave out the house my kids say, "mommy you going to work so you can make some money" I answer them yes. Let your son know, if he wants all those nice clothes, shoes and toys then mommy have to go to work. Eventually he will understand.

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27 Comments

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Joanna - posted on 04/22/2013

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It takes a village to raise a child, you are allowed to ask for help, if your family doesn't support you that doesn't mean you have to slog it out all on your own and deny yourself time with your baby boy, you are right this precious time does fly by. You may be able to swing some shifts in such a way that you see more of him without welfare, if you can manage that it will be awesome. Feeling alone doesn't seem to stem from simply a large work load but that you feel unsupported -especially by your family. You need to find that emotional support where you can so that you can feel better about parenting, work and that dreadful feeling of being alone. Don't worry what seems so hard now will make sense when you feel you are coping better, Keep the weekend work but make sure you allow time for you and the little man during the week, try a trial of one of the weekend days off once a fortnight or whatever works for you. You have legitimate concerns but don't give up! Working will set your future up - but there is room for the right now. Stop and breathe and believe that there are options. Hang on to that job though because if you drop too many hours you might not be able to go back - I feel that if you keep working and keep a lookout for another job with suitable hours for your routine with Dawson it will all fall into place. You love your baby too much to fail -keep your eyes open wide and support, a new career path and more time with bubs will all present themselves x

Kaila - posted on 04/19/2013

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Work. Do you think your child will respect you for being a single Mom trying to get every service she can?
If you wanted to relax, you should have thought about birth control.

Noosha - posted on 04/19/2013

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Hello :) When my older two were were just 2 and 3 I started a college course that required me to be there for 4 afternoons a week. So the kids went to creche and loved it! But then my son began nursery in a morning and to put him in there, pick him up at dinner to take him to creche in the afternoon was just too much - three weeks in I was a blubbering wreck and I left the college course and cancelled creche. I found other groups I could take them to, where I was with them sometimes and was so much happier as were they. Now my son is 16 and we have a fantastic relationship (I also raised them on my own with little help from anyone). My kids know that they will always come first in my life and whatever decision you come to for your son will be based on doing what is best for you both...go with your gut, I say. I wish you the best for the future, raising kids is hard but you've got to do it your way, not someone elses xxx

Ilene - posted on 04/18/2013

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Your baby needs you as much as possible. Find a way to make that happen. Your motherly instincts (inner voice) is telling you that so don't discount it. I know it's hard because I've been in your shoes. When i got divorced my son was 3 and I had to get 2 jobs to make ends meet (his dad didnt pay child support and wasn't involved in his life). 5 years later I learned about public assistance, quit 1 of my jobs and went back to school and got a 4 year degree on single parent scholarships. After I graduated I got a really good job and was able to get off assistance. I am so grateful for that help or I would still be struggling to make ends meet. My son has abandonment issues now as an adult and has a hard time connecting with men or women. I can't help but think it's because he didn't have parents to bond too when he was a little boy. I'm not a therapist and I don't know all the answers. I'm just sharing my story and my regrets. Good Luck!

Amy - posted on 04/18/2013

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Alexis,

You will need to support your son for the next 16 years. Make the best of the time you have with him and work so that you can provide for him.

The best thing you can do is to work on your career. Plan a career path and follow it. Your son will see how to be a reponsible adult through you. Do you like being a server? Do you want to stay in food service? If so, get ready to be Maitre D, or manager, or whatever the next step is. If you don't, find a better path.

You are 21 and have a long working life ahead of you. Find something you like that will pay the bills and enjoy your son during your time off. He will benefit from your role model and you will benefit with better self-esteem.

-Been there

Amy - posted on 04/18/2013

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Alexis,

You will need to support your son for the next 16 years. Make the best of the time you have with him and work so that you can provide for him.

The best thing you can do is to work on your career. Plan a career path and follow it. Your son will see how to be a reponsible adult through you. Do you like being a server? Do you want to stay in food service? If so, get ready to be Maitre D, or manager, or whatever the next step is. If you don't, find a better path.

You are 21 and have a long working life ahead of you. Find something you like that will pay the bills and enjoy your son during your time off. He will benefit from your role model and you will benefit with better self-esteem.

-Been there

Alexis - posted on 04/17/2013

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My job is important to me, I know this. But the quality of my son's childhood rests in my hands now. I want him to remember laughing a lot with mommy and being loved. Maybe at some point in time I will be financially capable of supporting us & taking time to involve myself...

Alexis - posted on 04/17/2013

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I'm sorry, maybe i'm selfish in also wanting to see my son grow. They grow so fast in the first few years. I just want to be there for every moment and i feel as if its slipping through my fingers.

[deleted account]

He is only two years old. He will not remember this year, or the next (Do you remember when you were two or three? I do not). Just as Michelle mentioned - when you two are together, take pictures. So he can see that you did make memories. You two can make crafts together - and save them. If he has the item in hand, it will be the memory. Just having you there to watch him is your memory, not his. To be able to provide for him now and in the future by working is a wonderful thing. A lot of single mom's do not have the ability to do that, so count that as a huge blessing.

I know as another single mom, I MUST work. I cannot have the luxury of staying home at all. People commented to stay home and enjoy him - most single mommy's cannot do that. They just don't understand. Unless you are a single mom, you don't understand what we go through.

Please know, you are someone to be admired - to care so much about his feelings, and to want to work rather than be another person on welfare. You are actually teaching your child a huge lesson and setting a wonderful example. God Bless you and stay strong.

Allyson - posted on 04/14/2013

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Alexis,

You have plenty of time to work, but will not get another chance to raise your own child. Soon enough your son will be in school and you can work then (I swear it seems like yesterday my son was a toddler…he is now in HS). Use your precious time at home with him to not just care for his needs, but also your own; find something to be passionate about, take online courses (you may qualify for financial assistance), grow as a person and a mommy. When you reenter the work force you will be rejuvenated and will provide yourself with additional opportunities and superior earnings to sustain you and your son.

Until next time,

Allyson

Teresa Ann - posted on 04/14/2013

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Hey Alexis,
I feel for you I was in the same position when my oldest daughter was young. Unfortunately felt I did not have any choices and if I had done what you are thinking to do I would have shot myself in the foot financially. Back then I did not know that there are other choices I could have made by sacrificing for a short time that would have not only given me the time back I wanted plus put me in a better place financially. Creating a 2nd stream of income by working from home before you cut your hours or while you are home with your son is a really smart thing to do.....I was able to do that for my younger girls and I have some friends who can share their stories with you who are doing the same while have the freedom they desire. If you'd like to chat or you can add me as a friend.
Many blessings!
Teresa

Dina - posted on 04/13/2013

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One more thing Alexis none of that was to say working moms and stay at home moms are any different both work HARD and I've worked two jobs my whole life until having her. What I'm saying is enjoy these young years until he's 4 and in school. They are magical. I feel sorry for any mom and dad who misses the sweet moments that happen all day long. Most of the mom s giving you advice are probably working moms whose kids are a little older so that's a whole different thing. by that point the kids want you to work because they think it's cool to have the house to themselves I'm sure. And I respected my mom just as much for being a stay at home mom and also tell her to this day that I appreciate her having to work hard two jobs after her and my dad divorced even though both were great parents they just grew apart and both supported us and raised us. It was tough years though when mom wanted out of the marriage and went to work. We all took turns rushing home from school to get there for my little brother and sister and of course helped with making dinner for them and cleaning which we were taught to do chores since we were little but it turned into some of us not getting to join after school activities to help raise each other and other got to and get scholarship to college etc.. and with no parent home at times very turbulent and having your parents dating. Know that I'm older I really feel sorry for all the things kids go through. It changes who they are as Oprah said. Giving kids security gives them confidence that they are loved not just because you give them money or keep buying them things but because you made them your Number One priority. I will send out a prayer for you. Stay strong. Explore your options and hopefully you can have some kind of partial work from home job too. Maybe you can just serve two nights a week and be with your child all day and get paid to watch your friends or siblings child as a childcare provider during the day. Wish I could think of more ideas. I know most of us try not to use assistance but if it's just daycare they would help you out alot or even if it's just temporary but definitely still work some type of work part time. Good Luck!

Dina - posted on 04/13/2013

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Alexis. your story is makes my heart hurt. Most moms will only give you advice that makes themself feel better for working or not working but I will tell you the truth. I'm sure you didn't mean to become a mother so young and unprepared financially but nonetheless this is precious time with your child. This is time you will Never get back. I stayed on birth control for many years until I found a good man and finally became a mom at 41 to my sweet little daughter. I gave up my job in Beverly Hills/Hollywood area in the Movie Industry which provided me full insurance just to raise my daughter myself. My fiance and I still can't afford a wedding but since we met later in life did not want to wait til we were too old and maybe not be able to conceive as alot of people we know are going through and had our little girl. We are going with less and living in a smaller place so that I can enjoy these baby and toddler years with her and it is PRICELESS. Yes it's easier when you're with the dad sharing expenses but we struggle financially but are making it. I would never go with cheap daycare like alot of people do. I would pay someone well to watch my child because I believe it is one of the most important jobs in the world in life and it is not easy. Also your child is the most precious thing in life and the peace of mind that knowing they are getting quality care is so important. NO ONE will love your child like the deep love you have for them. If there is any way you can do shift work like 3 or 4 days a week as a Nurse's Aid or Dental Assistant I would do that. They may have schools or programs where the state will train you for free. My friend is a Physical Therapist and she said they hire PT Aid's to help her and you could work 3 to 4 days a week and have insurance and a decent salary and be home night and weekends. Just a thought. I used to wait table's so I know what you're going through but maybe see if you can just work a few good dinner shifts somewhere really expensive where you make big tips and try to spend time with your child. You will not regret it. I feel for you. I would cry at my desk every day if I kept the job I gave up. It was a hard decision. I was working in a good industry learning how films get financed seeing actors and producers come in for meetings going to some award shows but when I held my baby I couldn't tear my heart away from her. Going to work is easy because someone else is dealing with the tantrums or when they won't take their nap it's a job that takes alot of patience but you just have to take a deep breath and tell them you love them every day and just try to teach them not to be spoiled and raise them to be a balanced person with the right balance of discipline and love. If you're not there someone else might be spanking them or something. Don't feel guilty for having to work but if there's any way you can get your ex boyfriend off his lazy ass and work some doubles himself on the weekends instead of him getting to have a nice weekend with his son when he's not even helping you financially is so wrong. You are the one suffering being away from him and he gets to play with him. You should take him to court. It is a disgrace his mother doesn't insist he get a second job to pay you. She is not raising him to be a man and maybe she was absent in his life always working. You deserve to be with your child on the weekend. Do you want to raise your son that there are no consequences for creating life and then getting away with saying screw you to the mom I don't have to pay and I get visitation. I am not saying take him out of his life but I would definitely talk to him and tell him that things need to change or you may have to move away from him. See if you can get a state sponsored lawyer and get some real advice and info on it. It is unacceptable for a father not to financially support his child. You are young and often when we are young we are too naive or nice and let people we used to love treat us that way. I understand I've been there. but I can hear in your heart you want to be a hands on mom. I used to work in daycare in my 20's when I was younger and was taking child psychology. Alot of those kids felt abandoned when their parents dropped them off. I worked at some nice centers and some poor ones. It didn't matter. And I worked with some hard working loving dedicated teachers and directors but there are a few bads ones out there here and there. My friends kids said when they were little a male teacher exposed himself to them. I would never leave my child at a school until center until they are old enough to speak in complete sentences like after 3 or 4 when they can tell me exactly how their day went.
I disagree with Samantha. My mom stayed home with the six of us and had to go to work when we were in high school but my little sister was just in first grade. she hated it and tells me to this day she wish she had mom at home like we did when we were little. We were automatically raised with morals and work ethic and every single on of us turned out as very good people. You don't need to be away from your kids to make them miss you just as you shouldn't in a relationship. That is not mature. I've worked hard my whole life. My parents had each one of us get a part time job at 15 while staying on top of our studies in high school. You teach your kids to have work ethic, respect and to be a good person. Yes, most of us need to work or try to stay home the first few years and then go back to work when they're in kindergarten on up and most of us are good moms but I Totally feel for what you feel in your heart. I miss my little one if I just go out to the store for a few hours and she's at home with dad. It's such a precious time in their life so Do NOT feel guilty for wanting to cut back hours or find a way to do some work from home as well. I have sold things on Craig's list and buy and resell clothes or designer finds from thrift stores on Ebay for a little profit. Don't be afraid to think out of the box. You could always get some assistance for a little while like a year or two until he is in school then you can work just when he is in school. I can understand you being worried of doing that I never used welfare or anything but you are young and you could tell them it's just for a year until you're on your feet so you can be with your son more. You don't want your son to think your always gone and his dead beat dad gets to look like the fun parent. You should just let the chips fall where they may with his father. He should be held accountable for his actions also and not using protection and creating a life and you don't want your son to learn to get away with things or be irresponsible like his dad. He should realize his son is worth getting a job for. I hope that helps you know it's perfectly OK for you to want to feel what you're feeling and to want to raise him in these young and important years. Your child will feel more secure loved and important and ready to be in this world because his mother was there during these formative years. Trust me I've been on both sides of the fence and watched many parents miss so many moments with their kids when I was raising their kids while they worked. You will not regret it on your deathbed someday. No one ever says I wish I would've spent more time at work they say I wish I would have spent every moment with my children or followed a dream. Be brave, be creative. You can do this. Believe in yourself and stand up for yourself and get child support. Wishing you and your son lots of loving moments.

Samantha - posted on 04/13/2013

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I once read that working can be very positive for you're relationship with your child. While you are at work, they notice your absence but when you get home the realise they miss you and makes their time with seem more special. This is why most children have close relationships with grandparents or aunties and uncles. It will also make things like school easier as he will be use to you going to work and it will his turn to go to school. Unless you feel like your son is giving you a reason to feel like you should be around i would think he is just fine and loves his mum. Working parents are also good character building for children, it's the mindset later on that one must work for things and working is apart of everyday life. It's hard working mums like yourself that help create teenagers with a great work ethic!

Brooke - posted on 04/12/2013

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I miss my kids every time I am at work. I am a disability support worker so have times when I am working after school program with kids, and thinking "this would be so much better with my own kids." But then, when my kids ask me if we can go for a drive to the city (an hour away) or go out for lunch, or for footy fees, I love being able to say yes. I felt so guilty going back to work after being a sahm for years, I thought maybe my kids would resent me, but then I spoke to my eldest about it, and found that he has no concerns like that at all. It is not the quantity of the time you spend together, but the quality. Your baby will not resent you, but if you can cut back hours and still afford to live, by all means, do what you feel is best for you and your babe.

Amy - posted on 04/12/2013

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I'm in the process if getting a divorce, my ex pays nothing and I support the kids 100% . Yes I miss them but I assure you my kids don't resent that I work. My son knows I'm the one that feeds him and pays for his needs. We're in the process of selling our house and moving to a tiny apartment, it's tough but he knows its all I can afford. By working and providing for your son you are teaching him a valuable lesson something that obviously wasn't taught to his father.

Alexis - posted on 04/12/2013

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& for those comments i know ill get, "go after him for child support cuz you need it", I cant do that... they will put him in jail, & dawson would be crushed!!! he loves his daddy and i need the help on the weekends so i can work

Alexis - posted on 04/12/2013

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I couldn't live off of assistance... that would be a tad extreme. by assistance i mean families first, providing me with daycare & 142 a month. His father doesnt give me child support because hes broke, living with his mother. I just don't want to feel like im missing out anymore... thats my point... just wanted to know that there are other moms who do all the work that worry about their babies missing them... i just dont want to miss anything and a this point i have 2 nights a week with him that im not working...

Shawnn - posted on 04/12/2013

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If, and only if, you can afford to quit your job.

Dove's solution is much more practical. Trim down your budget, figure out what you can do without, so that you can cut back on your hours. If you are physically able to work, then you need to work, and not rely on assistance if at all possible.

I understand when there may come a time that you cannot NOT rely on assistance, I've been there. But your main goal, in addition to raising your child, should be remaining independent, and self sufficient without the need for assistance. Believe me, your son won't resent you for providing for him, and teaching him that it CAN be done without assistance.

Dove - posted on 04/12/2013

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Can you cut expenses so that you can work fewer hours and still not need assistance? Or look for a job that you can do from home... or WITH your child there?

I don't know. I'm conflicted on this. On the one hand.... if you are able to work (and it sounds like you are) you need to work to provide for you and your child... assistance should be for those who CAN'T work... or at least can't work enough to make it without the assistance. On the other hand... he's only so little for such a short time.

If you are working doubles on the weekends... how much other time are you spending at work during the week? Work up a budget and figure out anything and everything that you CAN cut... and go from there. I definitely don't think you should cut hours at your current job without a plan in place (without relying on more assistance), but that doesn't mean there isn't a way for you to make it work. You just need to do some research on it first to see.

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