Children can make you tired and wear you out. In winter in Maine, the cold and darkness can make the days and nights seem endless. Those nights also bring much higher electric bill expenses. Sometimes a single mom only needs a little help during times when money is stretched a little thin. Being aware of the resources available to you can make a huge difference in handling the stresses of life as they occur.
It is easy to get stuck in a rut. Making the same few dishes over and over because the meals are inexpensive or it keeps the kids from complaining is not the best way to provide nutrition to your family. If you need help with supplementing their diet to include the more expensive nutritious food, you may look to the SNAP program. This program provides money in the form of a debit card each month to supplement the groceries you normally buy. If you need to increase your meat and fresh vegetable, SNAP can help you do it. You must apply for the benefits, and the benefits usually have a limitation, but it can be a great way to get eating healthy.
Maine also participates in the WIC program for Women, Infants, and Children. They are a nonprofit program that gives classes on health and nutrition and provides vouchers for food items like beans, milk, and baby formula. They only work with pregnant or nursing women and children under the age of five.
Having medical insurance for a growing family is a necessity, yet many single mothers cannot afford health insurance. If this is true for you, you may qualify for MaineCare. This program is for low income families that meet certain guidelines. If you qualify, it is good for your children at comes at no cost to you. Go to http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oms/ for more information.
Child Care Assistance
What do you do when you have children who don’t go to school and you need to work? Some single mothers try to find a mother’s group that rotate babysitting. Other mothers look at daycare centers and hope that they can pay for it. Even more mothers look for in-home child care, but fear for the safety of their children. Maine has a voucher program that will subsidize the cost of child care at a facility that they have approved. This provides a safe environment for your children and allows you to work without fear that the day care will close because the person gets ill. For more information go to http://maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/ec/occhs/step.htm .
For some single mothers it is only a dream, others make it a reality. Going to college to try and get a better job is the most common reason single mothers return to school. It is true that a college education is costly, however, there are many grants, scholarships, and work study programs that can help make the cost of attending much more reasonable. Start out by going to www.fafsa.org and follow the instructions. Before you know it you may be walking through the doors of a local college getting a head start on your new career.