Home is Where Your Story Begins

October 3, 2010

People Who Should Not Parent and the Children Who Suffer for It

Filed under: Life,Parenting — my3daughters @ 9:03 pm

When you have children, you give up the right to put yourself and your needs and wants first.  If you are not willing to do this, don’t have children.

This blog has been building for quite some time.  I wanted to wait until I could be fairly calm before I wrote this.

I am far from being a perfect parent.  But at least I try.  And I care.  That’s more than I can say for some people.  Let me give you at least a few examples (I’m using initials to protect the not so innocent).

N.E. has a beautiful two year old child.  N.E. gets up in the morning and heads off to work, leaving her husband to get the two year old up, dressed and dropped off at the sitters on his way to work.  N.E. is done with work by 3:30 pm but doesn’t pick her child until 5:30 pm because that’s the latest the sitter will watch anyone.  Evenings and weekends, N.E. leaves the toddler with her husband, or more commonly with one of her step-daughters.  N.E. got to have a normal, baby-free life when she was in high school and college but doesn’t feel that her step-daughters deserve the same consideration.  Why did N.E. have a child if she is not going to spend time with that child?

A.E. is a divorced mother.  A.E. spends almost every weekend out on the town with her friends.  While I understand needing time to yourself, take it while the children are with your ex-husband.  The weekends they are with you, spend time with them.  And for pete’s sake, pick them up on time.  Yes, I’m remembering the time I ran into you and you very calmly told me you had picked them up from their father’s almost two hours late because you were getting ready to go out.

E.E. is a divorced dad with teenagers.  He shares custody with his ex-wife.  When the teens are with their mother, he does not attend any of their events.  When they are with him, they are responsible for the majority of the household chores including cutting the lawn in the summer, shoveling the snow in the winter, doing the laundry and cleaning the house.  While I understand that everyone should contribute to the maintenance of the home where they live, this is going too far.  Lead by example, dad.  Do your share of the work.

H.Y. has a child who worked very hard to get accepted at a good college.  This child worked while in high school and continues to work in college.  H.Y. refuses to contribute to any part of the college expenses, stating that they “can’t afford it.”  My reply to that is, “you could afford it if you quit smoking and sucking down tons of pop every day.”  This child is a good student and is at a school less than two hours away from home.  H.Y. will not even drive to bring the child home for a weekend.  Heck, H.Y. couldn’t be bothered to take the child for orientation.  An older sibling had to do it.

Speaking of college-aged children who get squat from their parents, let me just mention Y.E.  Her parents are divorced.  Dad has remarried, Mom has not.  Mom makes enough to cover her bills with very little left over.  She is unable to help Y.E. financially but does what she can in other ways to give her daughter as much support as possible during her college years.  Dad, on the other hand, doesn’t help Y.E. out with any of her expenses or anything else for that matter.  “I can’t afford it” he says.  Yet his wife is taking classes towards her Masters Degree.  Y.E. is trying to earn her Bachelors Degree so that she can get something better than a minimum wage job and support herself.  Dad’s wife has a decent job and a Bachelors Degree.  Would it kill her to wait two more years to start on her Masters so that they can help Y.E. pay for her Bachelors?  Guess so.

I just recently met A.N.  She was divorced soon after her youngest was born.  She actually bragged to me that her ex was “dumb enough” to think that having the kids for three weekends out of the month meant he would pay less child support.  She didn’t care because it was “more time for me.”  You’ve got to be kidding me, right?

I could go on and on and on.  There are the parents who don’t take their child to the dentist, the doctor, get them extra school help, whatever because it’s just too much of a hassle and a bother and an expense.  Seriously, parenting is a 24/7 commitment.  If making sure your child has what they need means you go without, then you go without.  It is your responsibility as a parent to give your child everything they need to succeed in life.  I’m not talking just financially here.  Heck, if parents were graded on how much they spent on their kids, I would fail.  I just can’t afford it.  But I can teach my children to be responsible, to care about others, to live within their means.  I can be there to support them in everything they do.

Since I believe that life is all about balance, let me finish up by telling you about just a few of the fantastic parents I know.  I could spend hours and not touch on all of them.  Thankfully, they are the majority.  Again, I’m using initials here, this time to protect the innocent who did not asked to be drawn into my rant.

A.R. is awesome.  I wanna be her when I grow up.  She bakes, sews, and takes her kids on all kinds of adventures both big and small.  She makes every day an adventure.  Until I read her blog, I had no idea you could make homemade marshmallows.  And she has four, count them, four children.  Her husband, L.R. is an equally awesome dad.

L.S. is a single mom.  Dad isn’t in the picture at all.  L.S. works two jobs to make ends meet and still finds time to spend with her son.  He is a very well behaved young man and I guarantee all the teachers at elementary school love him.  I’m not saying he’s not all boy because he is.  I just know that he is going to be someone very special when he grows up because his mom has taught him to be caring and thoughtful.

E.L. and A.A. are sisters.  The both scored excellent hubbies in R.L. and D.A.  These two sets of parents know how to make life special for their children.  I mention them together because they not only do things as individual families, they do a lot of stuff together.  So they are teaching their children the value of extended family.

N.H. and H.H. are very special parents.  So far they have one very precious two-year-old.  Yep, they’ve hit those terrible twos.  They handle it very well, working together to make those twos terrific instead of terrible.

Finally we have A.K. & H.K.  Both of these parents work full-time jobs.  Yet they make time for their children.  Ball games, parades, trips to the cider mills, outings with extended family.  Their children know they are loved and appreciated and wanted.

If you break my code, you will probably figure out who at least some of these people are.  Even if you can’t break my code, if you know me, you have heard me rant on this before.  And there are other parents out there that I haven’t mentioned.  While it’s hard to see these selfish, self-centered parents ignore their children, those who are over-protective or over-indulgent do their own kind of damage.

Hug your kids before you go to bed tonight, or if they don’t live with you anymore, call them and just say “I love you.”  And when you run into those kids whose parents don’t give a rat’s ass about them, share some of your love with them.  All of the children I mentioned in the first part are fortunate in that they have an older sibling, parent or other adults in their life who DO care about them.  It’s not the same but it’s better than nothing.  Some have nothing.  Be the something, the somebody they need.


1 Comment »

  1. I love this. I’ve been waiting so long to see you write this blog. Thanks for your honesty and forthrightness about this. Some people just shouldn’t be parents, and that’s the hard truth about it. I’m glad I’m not the only one who recognizes this.

    You are a great Mom. I look up to you and all you do for your girls. You have given me a great examples to strive towards in my motherhood. I love you, and I love how much you love me and my family. You are awesome.

    Comment by Kathryn — October 3, 2010 @ 10:46 pm | Reply

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