DEAR ABBY: In response to the single mother who is tired of "just getting by":
I can certainly empathize with her. I am 46 and have an 8-year-old child, and I live from paycheck to paycheck because I don't receive child support either. When I get depressed, I play the "count your blessings" game, and it changes my perspective.
That single mother who is just getting by is able to provide a comfortable roof over her daughter's head, good food and nice clothes. She wants to provide "better things" in life, and she's angry because she can't afford dance lessons for her daughter. She should realize that there are at least a million mothers on our planet who would gladly trade places with her.
I would encourage her to be creative -- teach the daughter herself. She can turn on the radio and have some of that fun she thinks only money can buy. Where there's a will, there's a way. -- FRANCINE YACOUB IN DALLAS
DEAR FRANCINE: You and many others pointed out that with a little creativity and help from others, this single mother can provide quality entertainment for her daughter. Many readers suggested she consider church activities, scholarships from the YWCA, picnics in the park, and visits to the public library to check out books and videos.
Among the other excellent suggestions: Share housing with another single mother or senior citizen, barter for some of the things she needs (perhaps she could clean house for the dance teacher), trade baby sitting with another mother, or baby-sit to earn extra money.