Meeting a friend for lunch last week, she launched into her current list of problems. I really didn't mind, I've done it myself to her several times and sometimes it's reassuring to know someone else has more problems than you!
When she drew breath she apologised and asked how my line up of current woes were. 'Oh I'm fine' I trill triumphantly ' all well my end'! I should have known, I guess I did know as I said it, one should never invite trouble.
So that weekend, just as I was relaxing into a happy state of Saturday-night-ness, I checked my emails and there it was, the trouble I had invited. A cheery email from Ex. We've been divorced a year this month, it stated happily, so (this bit was matter of fact and with no preamble) I'm going to dock your maintenance to the bare minimum allowed by law. Those weren't the exact words, but that was the intention. I froze. We manage now, just. Sleep was hard to come by that night.
Initially I am angry, I am in rant mode here, it is not 'my' maintenance it is money to support the children, he pays nothing to support me, and I would not want him too. However, I do expect him to support his children, especially as he has recently come into an inheritance.
Then I am shocked. How can he do this? So I do my sums. Luckily I can meet the mortgage and regular standing orders, but there's not much left over, not enough at all. Bugger!
So we have a family conference, 3 heads are better than 1 and I want the children to understand I am doing all I can but there is a limit. They rise to the occasion admirably, they even suggest not having a TV, just for a nano second! In the end we realise there's not much more we can shave off our domestic needs, the food bill has already been shaved substantially.
I email Ex telling him that if he chooses not to support his children through me then he needs to support them directly. I list all the things that I have been paying for that I can no longer pay for and ask him to continue to support them by paying these bills instead; guitar lessons, dyslexic tutor, school trips... This was over a week ago. I am still waiting for him to acknowledge the email and agree payments. Nothing so far. I am edgy, I'm not sure if I can fill in the gaps, actually, I'm pretty sure I can't.
Today I picked up my ageing car from its MOT. £362 later I can drive it legally. The credit card flexes well.
I am hunkering down, waiting for the third thing. I know I'm not alone here, times are hard. What's your current solution?