While you might have been thrilled to have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom with your kids, now that your marriage has turned sour you're finding that leaving will be very challenging. While there is no doubt that hard times lie ahead, if you're determined, you can make a workable plan to exit your unhappy union. It'll require time and plenty of hard work, and you'll also have to step outside your comfort zone. If you're convinced that continuing to stay married will equal a lifetime of misery, however, this will be a small sacrifice.
Make a plan. While walking out the door today will likely leave you in dire economic straits, doing so a few months from now after you've had a chance to save some money is entirely feasible. Figure out how much money you will need to leave by researching the costs of local apartments, child care and other expenses you'll incur.
Get a job. If it's been a while since you've worked, ask a friend to help you put together a current resume. Visit your state employment agency to find out what is available for a person with your skill set. Persist in looking for employment, even if it appears nothing is available. Wait tables or clean houses while you look for the position you want, according to tips on "Dr. Phil" McGraw's website. Enjoy the process, which may serve to distract you from your distressing marriage.
Make child care arrangements. If you have your children in a day care facility that you trust, leaving your marriage will be much easier. Child care can be quite expensive. Consider choosing a facility that will accept any child care subsidies that are available for low-income people in your state. For example, the state of Texas has a Child Care Management Services program that can help you pay for day care. While you may not qualify while you are still living with your husband, you can apply for assistance once you are paying your expenses on your own.
Gather a support system. Look for people who might be interested in sharing housing so you can save on expenses. Make a friend with whom you can trade child care favors should you need to work overtime and require someone to pick up your kids from school or day care. To avoid being perceived as needy, offer as much as you give.
Save your money diligently. Pass up opportunities to shop clothing sales and put every last penny that you don't need for bills into a savings account that is in your name. If your husband is controlling or abusive, don't let him know you are saving money in order to leave him.
Find a new home and file for divorce. If money is tight, which it almost certainly will be, seek legal assistance from a nonprofit organization designed to assist people with low incomes. If necessary, at this point you can also seek state assistance to help you pay for groceries and housing until you get on your feet.
Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.