I’m a single mum to three amazing kids, one of which has multiple rare disabilities. I just feel like I’m failing them. My ex husband left us when our special daughter was born and doesn’t help financially. Working casually doesn’t pay any bills except preschool and fuel.

How do you cope when your kids can eat dinner but you don’t have enough to feed yourself? How do you cope when your kids get upset that they get second hand clothes and can’t get brand new toys?

I feel like I’m letting them down. I had kids while in a stable and happy marriage. We had a disabled child and he kicked me out.

What can I do to lift my spirits that won’t cost me anything? My hairs a mess. My body aches from exhaustion. What can I do?


Posted by Katherine M, 30th October 2014


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  • Any mum who is doing her absolute best is not failing her children. Give yourself a pat on the back for the work you are doing.



  • Be kind to yourself. You are doing an awesome job and your children will know you are doing your best. If you feel you need help, don’t be afraid to ask.



  • You sound exhausted and doing the best you can . If you pop into the charity shops such as Vinnies or Salvos you will find a mix of new and second hand items . They exist due to generous donations from the public and I am sure you will find something suitable for you and the kids . Kmart even sells ladies tsshirts for 5.00 now so I think it is just a matter of looking. Is there a community support centre that can give you a hand as well as I have heard they can be a great Godsend when needed . Hope you find help soon .



  • What a dilemma! Firstly, kids don’t need a heap of money spent on them to be happy, they just need your time and love. Invest plenty of that into them and they’ll be just fine. As for treats for you, check out the local TAFE. They have hair, nail and beauty students that need ‘guinea pigs’ to practice on. It’s free :)



  • Start by stopping being so hard on yourself. As mums, we expect too much of ourselves which often results in major guilt issues. Rest assured, we all do the best we can for our kids, as long as they know they’re loved and safe, they will survive and thrive



  • Sounds to me you are doing all you can and I’m sure that your children don’t feel you are letting them down as you are there for them. That is want they will remember. However you need support so as the comments below suggest I would encourage you contact relevant organisations.



  • Apologies! comment below; should read..join and not joint.



  • Also; please joint a support group/s; they can be a wonderful support. Good Luck! :)



  • I am so sorry to hear this; please reach out to organisations that can assist you in many ways; food, clothing and support.



  • I am currently going through a separation with a partner that is offering zero financial support and I myself have a disability that makes working difficult so I know how tough it can be. Depending on your child’s disabilities there are organisations that can help with the specific condition for example MS Australia are really supportive. Also, reach out to friends and family. You might be surprised at the generosity – both financially and emotionally. Surround yourself with positivity and good hearted people and your children will see goodness in the world. And you can always group a few friends together and form your own co-op to buy bulk goods to try and minimise some of your costs. And in terms of food always buy fresh because it’s cheaper than pre-packaged and processed. Maybe even try growing some of your own food if space etc allows – and kids love gardening! Good luck and keep your chin up x



  • Good work Katherine, positivity is the absolute key to turning your life around. Start on your Vision board too, get the kids to help pick what they want in their life, get old magazines etc and they can do their own. The more energy put to what you want the more it will overide what’s happening in your life. Just ask yourself “What else can i do” That’s it. When your lost ask that question every time. Answers will come, then do what is asked of you. If you want to talk go to my website and get my number ok. I’ll help you were i can even if it’s just a listening ear .http://future-u.com.au usually up until 9.30 on my mobile ok. Kelly



  • Wow sounds like you’re doing an amazing job as a mother already.. But if you are struggling, maybe reach out to some charity organisations like the Salvo’s.



  • You are a wonderful & loving Mother. Love is what kids need. Hold your head up with pride & go get the charitable help that’s available to you.



  • What a amazing mum you are, you are doing a super job and the light at the end of the tunnel will come soon



  • You are a wonderful and loving mother. A person who gives up a child based on their disabilities is not a father, but under the law he should be paying maintenance. Have you contacted Legal Aid and asked for their advice? It’s free and they may be able to assist in what steps need to be taken for garnishing his wages/benefits.

    Kids might gripe about second-hand clothes and not the latest toy, but the things they need most are love and attention and it seems like to give that to them in abundance.


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