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Miscellaneous

I am so thankful that I found this site and I hope you are able to help me find a solution to a very difficult problem. I am in a non-traditional career as a long haul truck driver which is a very exciting and potentially profitable career however I have a major stumbling block interfering with my progress as a Lady Truck Driver.

I have four teenage daughters still at home and my ex-husband doesn't want to have any thing to do with them as far as sharing the responsibility for their care and even their financial support. I have re-married since my divorce and my new husband is also a truck driver.

My problem is this: I am unable to earn a living driving a truck because I have no one to take care of the children while I'm gone. I have no transportation to find and get to a job driving locally even if I could find one. Even though my husband is gone all the time trying to earn a decent living, we are slipping into the depths of poverty rapidly and if I'm not able to go back to work, we will become homeless very soon.

This situation has produced feelings of severe depression and anxiety and it's ruining my life. Do you have any ideas on how I can have my children cared for and still drive for a living. I thought of hiring a nanny but I can't afford it until I have paychecks coming in and I can't have paychecks coming in until I have a job. Everyone I talk to tells me that I should stay at home and finish raising my kids and that going back on the road to earn a living and leaving my kids is selfish.

Amy, I can't do anything other that drive a truck and my car is broke down so I couldn't even get to a job if I was able to find one here in California. If I don't go back to work, we will not survive. Can you please give me any information on Child Care assistance that includes paying for live-in nannys. Child care doesn't only mean day care centers and home day care. It should include all aspects of child care not just for traditional working parents.

I am sincerely appreciative for any help and advice you can offer as well as referrals to other resources. I have looked everywhere on the Internet and have found nothing useful to solve this problem as it isn't a very common one. If you can think of any thing that I might not have thought of, please, please let me know. I even though of buying my own truck and taking them with me around the country but I can't afford it and most trucks are too small to accomodate a family of five and there is the problem of their schooling to think about too.

I hope this isn't too long but it's quite complicated as you can see. Thank you so much for reading this and I hope you will be able to help. Sincerely, Jennifer


Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM--though as with most requests I get at Ask Amy, I wish I had an easy answer and I wish that you could be writing under different/better circumstances.

There are so many variables to your situation, that it's hard to give helpful advice, but I'll try:

1.) Depending on how old your children are, perhaps they could begin to take care of each other. To help, you could maybe explain your situation to your neighbors and each neighborhood could take a different night to be "on-call." Maybe each neighbor could even take turns with cooking your children dinner on that night. In exchange, you could offer to take care of their children when you are home.

2.) Do you have a relative or a friend near by who could be included in #1, too. Or even one who would consider moving in to help out. This is often where grandparents are a great resource--and usually more than willing to help out.

3.) On a similar note, perhaps you could find an elderly person in the neighborhood who no longer works and might be very willing to help out.

4.) There is a child-care tax-credit to help pay for child-care in/out of the house, which is, I believe, only $500 per child. So it's, not much, but it's something.

5.) You should try contacting your local YW/YMCA--they are usually great places to discover childcare. If something doesn't already exist perhaps you could propose a "child care cooperative"--where you organize parents in a similiar situation--and each of you could take a day and help out.

I hope that helps--and I hope you are able to work it out. Where in California are you? Perhaps I know someone in your area.


Amy

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