9/5/12

A Clear Conscience In just 10 easy payments...

I'll give him something to be concerned about.

So you know that I am very fortunate to have a law firm working on my behalf, pro bono.  That means they are doing all of my legal maneuverings free of charge.  I owe a huge debt to my former BFF and her awesome husband for making this happen.  I quite literally shudder to think of where the kids and I would be without this help.

Anyways.  Big Daddy has hired his own counsel (is it safe to say that?  I sure hope so.).  Hey, I'm thrilled to the gills that he can afford a lawyer.  That tells me he has some discretionary income.  The pool, the new car, the 50" flat screen, the zoo memberships, the new windows, the Jetson-esque washer and dryer all tell me that too, but the lawyer is really telling.  (funny story about the washer and dryer, remind me to gab about that one later)

Here's what his lawyer is telling my lawyer:  Big Daddy is thinking about paying child support.  He's mulling it over in that head of his.  He's also considering paying me some back support, since he hasn't paid a dime in just about four years now.  My attorney told me, "He wants to pay the back support in installments."

Don't get me wrong:  I will take it.  I will take it in pennies and nickels and dimes if it means being able to stretch my income farther in order to provide more for my children.  I know some people never see a cent, and that is always at the forefront of my mind:  at least it's something.  But then I think, "Gee...when I was in the middle of losing my house, it sure would have been nice if the mortgage company had offered to let me pay them in installments."  And I also think, "Gosh...I bet if all of those companies who were after me for debt that I inherited from my dead marriage said they would take installment payments, I wouldn't have had to declare bankruptcy!"  So yeah, I will take it no matter how it's paid.  I'm just a wee bit bitter that child support is seen as something less serious, less SCARY than "regular" debt.

I'm willing to bet that the total amount he's being asked to pay is less than what he and the Missus are paying for a few months of daycare.

Daycare for one child, vs. four years of support for four children.  I would cry if I had any tears left. 

He wants to pay in installments, eh?  Here's what I said to my lawyer:

"Ask his attorney if she accepts installments."


I have spent the last two weeks getting three kids ready for school, and me ready for a new job.  I've written so many checks that my left hand is now frozen in a permanent, pen-clutching claw.  I've purchased new shoes, been to Great Clips twice, missed one picture day already (really, Senior High?  Pictures on the first day?), arranged binders, sharpened pencils and helped with homework.  I've stressed about money, apologized to the kids for yet another spaghetti dinner, run to the junior high and then to the high school to get a kid signed up for track (we can't play hockey this year, so if the boy wants to run I'm going to make it happen.).  Rented a French Horn, met teachers, put some money in lunch accounts, and oh yes, made sure three lovely children are up, clean and fed early enough to catch a 7:00 a.m. bus. 

I do this with love, and no resentment.  I do this because I am a mother, a parent, and these are my children.  I do this because they have no one else on this planet who will do this for them.  I do this not expecting thanks, but because it's what I signed on to do when I made each one of these babies all those years ago.  I do this without help, not because I'm a martyr or because I'm all kinds of Wonder Woman, but because the person who should be helping me either doesn't give a shit or else has no clue that I could use help.  I'm guessing the former.

Last night, I sat down for the first time all day at about 9:00 p.m.  I had bags under my eyes, my feet hurt and all I could think of was how freaking awesome it was going to feel to slip under the covers and go to bed.  William was finishing up his homework, and Henry was going through his binder.

"Hey mom!" said Henry.  "Hey what?" I replied.

"In my English class the teacher told us to think about who our heroes are.  And then we're supposed to write about them.  Guess who I'm writing about?".

I thought about it for a minute.  "I have no idea, honey.  Who is it?"

Henry pointed at me.  "You, mom.  You're my hero."

That right there.  THAT is why I do this.

Install that, mother-effer.








20 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, I literally shed some tears over that last part. Love that your kids see every sacrifice you've made for them & cherish you for it, even though they can still be snot nose punks sometimes. You're an amazing mother & woman, Jenny.

    I say you take those installment payments because that money is rightfully yours & your kids, no matter in what increments. And just so you know, you're my hero too ;)

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    1. Oh thank you Lin. Yes they have the ability to morph from turd to angel in the blink of an eye, those rascals.

      And you know what, I'd take it in freaking pennies if I had to.

      Thank you for your kind words!!

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  2. Oh my god, I just burst into tears. No shitting you. That right there is what I dream of for every mom but most especially for moms who work as hard as you do. Seriously, does life get any better than just that right there?
    Can't figure out my damn sign in.....Dr. Laura

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    1. Thanks so much Dr. L. I think it's nice to have reminders like that, once in a while, just to keep us going.

      It made me cry too.

      Thanks for all of your support!

      Delete
  3. Hell to the yeah! Men get off by paying a monthly amount (and no matter how much it is...it is NEVER enough to raise the kids on! Trust me! I know this well!) and then they can go and live their lives and create more babies, even though they're not taking care of the first ones they created, and it's all just fine and hunky dory....BUT....like you stated....we are the real winners in all this crap....we GET to spend our lives with our kids...and they get to see them every once in awhile and be their "friend"...well my kids have plenty of friends, so I'm glad I could give them a "parent"...and now that they're grown....guess who they want to live near, share their kids with and have in their lives? ME! That's right! So slink away Big Daddy....someday you will wake the hell up!

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    1. Yay Jeffie! You give me lots of hope for the future. What an inspiration you are.

      Thank you for all of your encouragement, my friend.

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  4. Omg thanks for making me cry again! My daughter did the same thing for me last year for her senior paper. I literally cried for days...they are all so worth it. And to think their dumb-a$$ father doesn't see or talk to them AT ALL because he is too busy guzzling drinks at the bar with his new older, overtanned, overbleached blonde loser of a GF!!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Augh..now you're going to make me cry. It's like dueling, crying banjos!

      Sounds like you're doing a great job Sil. Keep up the good work!

      Thanks so much for reading!

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  5. I would melt to hear this some day. Book material for sure.

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    1. You'll hear it someday, trust me.

      Thank you for reading, my friend.

      Delete
  6. That Henry -- he is a keeper for sure! But, you do need to add a disclaimer to your blogs -- "caution ... may induce tears" -- so I know what to expect when I am "multi-tasking" and reading your blog while attending a work conference call. It is hard to pay attention to the meeting through the tears. What a great story!

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    1. Yep he's a keeper, alright. Thank you for reading, and I'm sorry about the tears! Maybe I'll add a line after the Dorothy Parker quote:

      "Kleenex required."

      Thanks so much!

      Delete
  7. What a great feeling that is ... to be thought of as a hero :)

    I'm watching my youngest be bribed by my ex to stop getting his diploma and get his GED so that no more child support comes to me. He's paid child support for 6 years ... a whopping $500 a month. These guys are so sad.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oh Tracey, something tells me you've been told you're a hero, too.

      What a crock, about the GED thing. I agree, so freaking sad.

      Thank you for reading, and for being a pretty cool role model.

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  8. I love your posts (can't wait for the book)!

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    1. Thank you, Mommyof1! You've been a great support.

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  9. I have tears in my eyes too. How beautiful of Henry...and he is 100% right! Obviously you're a fantastic influence on him, because it sounds like he's turning out to be an A #1 winner just like his Mom!! Oh, and as for Big Daddy...just make sure you and your counsel nail his behind to the wall (as another divorced friend of mine said she intended to do to her ex -- and apparently succeeded!). It's the best that could happen to him.

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    1. Thanks so much JCS. I hope to live up to his high standards...some days it's not so easy.

      You are a great friend, I appreciate it so much.

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  10. That made tears pop in my eyes. No matter what crap gets sprayed on us from the shit sandwich we are served, we are the winners here. We have the love and respect of our children. http://dowehavetotellthekids.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-best-man-i-know.html

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  11. What an amazing kiddo you've got there! Shows that you are doing a wonderful job in raising your kids all by yourself. I'm so glad he sees what he's got in you, and appreciates everything you do for him.

    Your slight stalker who works in SLP ~ Jen

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