I’m a Single Mom Living on $107K & I Have No Regrets

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I’m a Single Mom Living on $107K a Year and I Have No Regrets

My age and occupation: 37, physician assistant
My partner’s age and occupation: I’m a single mom
Annual household income: $107,000
City: Rochester, NY

Childcare costs per year: $18,000 per year over the table
How we found our childcare: Google
Our kid(s) ages: 8 and 6

photo: Brooke Lark via unsplash 

After my separation from my ex-husband it was just me and the girls and I desperately needed care. I googled every daycare in our area. Luckily, I found one, we visited and we all loved it. Sometimes I feel like I’ll be paying for expensive daycare for forever but I know it won’t always be like that. The elementary school years are fun, and having the girls in AM and PM care allows me to work and provide for our family. It wasn’t always easy but I am happy with the decisions I’ve made.


I wake up at 6 a.m. If I am up before my girls, I get their breakfast around and start packing lunches for the day. They’re up by 6:30 a.m. to eat at home before school, then dressing, hair brushing and tooth brushing. I no longer allow TV in the mornings because we were struggling to get out the door on time. Now that they’re in third grade and kindergarten they dress independently and brush their teeth and hair independently, I just do hair styling.

photo: Rubbermaid Products via Flickr

We leave the house by 7:15 a.m. so I can drop them off at our daycare for AM care. Both kids will get on the bus at daycare. From there, it’s hugs and kisses goodbye and a final wave at the waving window. I head to work, which is a 20 minute commute by car.


I work as a PA at an outpatient office where I see patients from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. I try to do all of my work, at work, which usually means that I work through my lunch hour doing charts and returning patient calls. But I’m ok with that. I finally feel like I’m living comfortably, but it wasn’t always that way. It took me a couple years after my separation to get there. I get minimal financial assistance from my ex husband.

photo: Free-Photos from Pixabay


I typically pick up the girls from PM care around 5 p.m. Our district only has half day kindergarten so my younger daughter rides the bus to daycare after her AM kindergarten class at public school and eats lunch and does wrap care there.

Thankfully our daycare is really close to our house so we’re home quickly. I also love that my kids have made friends there and they’re rarely closed for random days like snow days. Even though childcare is more than my rent, it’s such a great place for working parents and totally worth the money, especially since I have no family in the area to help out.

photo: Moshe Harosh from Pixabay

Evening is always challenging for me because I’m tired from work and the girls still need help with homework and I need to prep/make dinner. I am divorced and I often make the girls something I know they’ll eat for dinner (pancakes, eggs and toast, spaghetti) without fighting me on it. I usually end up making myself something separate and eating after them or sometimes as late as when they’re in bed. I try and have my third grader do her homework when I’m making dinner, and then I listen to my kindergartener read after dinner. Then they usually watch one show on Netflix and I try and eat something then.


I try and get the girls in the shower between 6:30-7 p.m. They shower every night and share a room with bunk beds. We either read a chapter book together or they listen to an audiobook before lights out which is 7:30 p.m.

I always scratch backs and sing songs to them before bed. Bedtime is one of our prime connection points for the day. Usually they’re asleep by 8 p.m. and I unpack backpacks, wash lunch boxes, do dishes, and then relax/read/watch a show on Hulu or Netflix before I’m usually in bed by 10 p.m.

Interested in telling your story? Start by filling out our questionnaire here. All stories are anonymous.

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