Setting the scene:
On our way back from the Local Big Chain Pet Supply Store, where we had just inquired after a cat in need of adoption. The whole famn damily in Psycho-Momia‘s ride (because Tattooed Dad‘s car is too small to comfortably fit all of us in). Oldest daughter and MBW (AKA Psycho-Momia, in case you were confused) are discussing the options for dinner. “Momma, I wish we could go out for dinner.” “I’m sorry, honey, we don’t really have the money for that today” sez Psycho-Momia. Oldest daughter: “Awww, I wish we did. Momma, I’ll give you some of my monies, and then we can go…”
Tattooed Dad smiles and cries a bit.
Smiles because even though she doesn’t really have a grasp of money or value, she does know what’s hers, and was willing to share it.
Cries because you shouldn’t have to say no to a simple request like that.
It’s one of the challenges that comes with the decision to keep the kids at home and only work part-time. You simply don’t have the jing jang to spare for frivolous spending like that.
(may I take a short moment here and remind you of the little store link above? Thank you….)
Other things that are challenging are getting to spend enough time with your partner. You end up trying to cram a weeks worth of idle talk, important things, and intimacy into Just a few hours. Not the best situation for the adults.
I’ve come to realize over the last few years, that the best routes for raising children require massive sacrifices from the parents. And that, I think is the reason for so many people taking the “easy way out” and dumping their kids into day care. Day care is easier than giving up the weekly hairdo and tanning salon, or the season tickets to whatever bread and circus they subscribe to.
Fuck’em. I’ve made the right choices, of that I’m sure.
Speaking of that, Ray – I commend you on you career change and choice. You too, Linda for supporting that.
Until next time, I’ll leave you with a teaser…
Sometime soon, there may just be a way for you to get something for free from me.
Stay tuned, my faithful readers (all 3 of you….)
4 thoughts on “A Little heart breaking…”
So let me get this straight: Those of us working parents who chose not to raise our child(ren) in near poverty are “taking the easy way out” because we don’t want to give up our “tanning bed” and “season tickets”?! What a sanctimonius jerk you are! Here in the real world, there are lots of different ways to be a good parent, at least one of which includes earning a living and using high-quality day care so that we can not only afford to take our children out to eat occasionally but also save for their college education. You’re crying over not being able to take your kid to dinner? How do you think she’ll feel when you tell her you can’t afford to send her to college? Of course, I’m sure all the quality parenting time she gets with you now will more than make up for it. Clearly, you’re trying to justify you life choices to yourself because you’ve come to the startling realization that maybe, just maybe, you aren’t providing for your child in the manner that she deserves. But instead whining about it and unfairly flaming those of use who have made different choices, why do something about it?
Karla, thanks for your comment. I welcome the dialogue. I put the phrase “easy way out” in quotes because there are no easy descisions in child raising. As for “near poverty”, well we’re not rich, but we ain’t hurtin’ either. We just don’t have a ton of discretionary spending cash, especially since we are in the midst of a home improvement project. College is taken care – believe me, we discussed that before we had kids. As for “high quality child care”, it is my opinion that outside of the family, that really doesn’t exist. You can get decent childcare, but not high quality. In a comercial setting, there is always a disconnect between the care giver and the child. I don’t know what the costs are in Florida, but here in Massachusetts, the cost of decent child care would mean I would have to get a second job, just to pay for it.
As for startling realizations, perhaps you are missing something. The only thing missing in my life is enough money to quit my “dayjob”, and be completely devoted to my family.
The main thing I was trying to say in the original post is how absolutly awful it is to have to say “no” to a child.
Again, thank you for your comments.
Funny, I had a similar reaction to the “easy way out” comment. I don’t think it’s an easy choice for parents to do day care vs stay-at-home and/or juggling.
We chose to work opposite shifts and care for our kids ourselves. We don’t have any family close by and frankly daycare here is stupid expensive. Most of the “decent” places we looked at were $150+ per day, which essentially wipes out most of one of our salaries thereby negating the whole purpose of working in the first place!
Most folks struggle with their kid-care choices whichever flavor they choose and have a tough time hearing things that may call into question what they decided on. We all want the best things for our families.
We are not struggling so much that we can’t go out once and a while, but we *do* have a budget, and it’s important to me to stick to it, so we do. It was a beautiful thing for Oldest Child to offer to share her money to get a desired thing: she has learned about sharing and about the costs of things a lession she might not have learned otherwise.
Tattoed Dad, I was with you until you flung out the “weekly hairdo and tanning salon” comment. Really, as MBW says, most parents struggle with childcare choices. When I lived in Massachusetts, myself and partner at the time both worked full time and had mostly opposite schedules. We did part time daycare for our then 2 1/2 year old until she was nearly 5. Two days a week, full days. It was a GREAT school. I’d have occasional bouts of guilt and then go to pick her up at 4 or 5 and she never wanted to leave. At least I knew she was safe and well cared for. There is no perfect way to raise our kids. We do our best and where the world gets divided is by not respecting other people’s choices. Even if we think they suck, what’s the point of not giving most people the benefit of the doubt?
Of course when my own daughter (now nearly 7) wanted an ice cream a couple weeks ago and I told her I didn’t have money (after 6 months of unemployment) she asked ‘are we poor mama?’ and that did break my heart. I just said, “Well today we are.”
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