Friday, February 5, 2010

Something is very wrong here

I am highly annoyed this morning.

There are 5 days off for my children in February that I know of so far, in addition to the sick days they have already have had and probably will have.

Usually I enjoy these days with my kids, but today I only feel stressed out. My son is here with me at my office. This morning he asked for yet another thing that I could not afford to buy him. I'm tired of always saying "We can't afford that."

The kids told me they like to be with their dad because they can have as much ice cream and yummy food as they want. He also has more money to buy them whatever they want. I really resent the position I am in now. I feel like my husband fucked us financially and now I am taking the brunt of it. I barely have enough money to cover our basic needs, let alone buy anything extra for the kids or myself.

My husband and I do not see eye to eye on buying things for the kids. I believe in one gift on Christmas and one gift on birthdays. I buy very few extras. The kids have a lot of family that buy them things, so it's not like they are wanting for anything.

I don't think buying kids excessive toys or treats helps them in any way. So many kids grow up now and get into heavy debt because they never learn how to save for things or weigh whether they really need to buy something.

I believe if the kids want something that is over and above a basic need, they should have to earn it. I always ask my son if he would like to buy it with his own money. We go through how much the item costs and how many weeks worth of allowance it would take the purchase the item. Most of the time, after thinking about it, he does not want the item that badly.

I don't want my kids to grow up with my husband's excessiveness or entitlement issues. I feel like it has caused both him and our family a lot of problems. It is much easier to throw money at something, but it is better to spend time with children and show them boundaries and love.

I can already see the schism between us growing. Now that we are divorcing, I feel my husband will just try to buy the kids. He already tried to use that as a bargaining mechanism with me earlier this week when we were negotiating our initial settlement. He said if I wanted more money he needed to have the kids overnight. I said I would not negotiate about that. I told him the kids are not for sale.

Ironically I told his dad that same thing a few years ago.

I really feel like we have an unfair system for mothers in this country. If I woman chooses to stay home to raise her children, she is ultimately screwed if the relationship does not work. I think a lot of women stay in bad situations because they do not feel that they have choices.

I don't appreciate the way my husband acts like he's a hero every time he gives us money. I cashed in my retirement accounts before we got married because that is what needed to happen for my son to live. Meanwhile he was just off drinking and doing what he pleased. I never asked for a medal for that. I just did it, because we needed the money.

I should have done as I was advised and sued for child support the moment our son was born. I think my husband became accustom to walking all over me from the get-go. Now I just feel like I am suffocating.

"All this was summed up in Lenore Weitzman's famous statistic from The Divorce Revolution: Women with dependent children experience a 73 percent drop in standard of living after a divorce, while their ex-husbands' living standard goes up by 42 percent. The colloquial summing up is simpler: If women have young children, they are only one man away from welfare...Yet if two homemakers were to cross the street and work for each other's husbands, they would be entitled to an eight-hour day and a forty-hour week, Social Security, disability pay, and unemployment compensation - and perhaps paid vacations, transferable health benefits, and a retirement plan (not to mention a better legal safeguard against violence, which also has economic value). Something is very wrong here."

-Gloria Steinem, Moving Beyond Words, "Revaluing Economics", (220-221)

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