WESTMINSTER — Normally a new job with better pay for the sole provider of a family would be good news.
Jane, her husband and their six children found themselves in that position just one year ago. It seemed things were looking up for Jane, a stay-at-home mom, and her family. However, things quickly took a turn for the worse.
“There is a culture of pain pill abuse where he went to work,” Jane said. “At first I didn’t notice, but it didn’t take very long.”
Jane began to witness both peculiar behavior at times, and even more noticeable, money would be missing for bills. Jane soon learned that her husband was using the money for buying pills.
“We have been married for 10 years,” Jane said. “I could never have predicted this.”
Jane did not want her children around to see the drug abuse. She made the decision to give her husband the ultimatum, to stop or move out. Sadly, he chose to leave.
It left the family hanging financially. Of her six children, Jane’s oldest, 13, is from a previous marriage. She receives $40 per week child support. The other five, four daughters ages 3, 5, 7 and 11, along with an 8-year old son, belong to her current husband. Jane also receives a monthly SSI check of $722. However, that is the extent of their income as her husband is not providing any help.
“In order to get child support, we would have to go through a divorce,” Jane said, “but I don’t have the money for a lawyer.”
The family’s monthly income covers bills, but there is nothing left over. Providing food or anything extra has become a problem. Jane said it upset her deeply just a few short days ago when one of her daughters had their Secret Santa workshop at school. Jane said she could not even afford the $3 for her daughter to go to the workshop. To add to the heap, the family’s only vehicle broke down four months ago, so they are left depending on family or friends for transportation. Jane also has had surgery for endometriosis and is facing two more surgeries.
“The oldest knows about my husband’s problem because she was old enough to figure it out,” Jane said. “The rest don’t know what is really going on. I don’t say anything because I don’t want them to look down at their dad if he would become clean again.”
Jane said the family is mostly in need of groceries and clothing. The oldest daughter wears a woman’s size five and medium shirts. The 11-year-old wears size five jeans and a medium shirt. The 8-year-old wears 8-10 shirts and size eight jeans. The seven-year-old wears size 10-12 shirts and size 12 jeans. The 5-year-old wears 7-8 size shirts and size 8 jeans, and the three-year-old wears size 5T and also enjoys Peppa Pig.
“I would just like for my children to have enjoy Christmas,” Jane said.
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter@LanceMihm