It seems to me I spend a great deal of time trying to ease my children in the idea of responsibility and strength as their own advocates. It also seems to me that the stronger my efforts, the more resistance I meet.
My son? He’s still convinced that every time something happens, it’s someone else’s fault. I get that this is how we think in our 20’s. I try to remind him to take responsibility for his part and release the rest, but I’m usually unsuccessful.
The youngest is a typical 14 year old. She wants to buy everything and go wherever she wants without anyone telling her no, but she does tend to accept when I put limits on her. Getting her to work around the house is like pulling teeth, unless she wants something. I suppose I get that.
The 17 year old is at a crossroads, and we’re butting heads constantly.
Her expectation is that I support her completely, including her car insurance, until she’s 18 next month. I’m not financially capable of doing this. I scrape by, but not without a lot of help from my guy. Usually I maneuver what I can to pay what’s due and sigh heavily when I don’t have what’s left to pay, knowing that at some point, I will have more money and be able to make up for everything I haven’t paid. L makes three times what I do, but is still paying half his salary to his ex. I completely disagree with this, but it’s not my place to say. Still, he ends up supporting more of the household financial obligations than I can. It’s just the way it is right now, and he doesn’t complain. My beanie (the 17 yr old) told me this morning that, since my ex and I agreed he would just send me a check and *I* would pay the phone and insurance, she and her sister have been discussing what I’ve been doing with that money. You see, I canceled her car insurance, after warning her for 7 months that if she didn’t get a job to pay for it, I couldn’t continue the payments. She felt this was unfair, and then suggested that the child support was not being used to support the children, but rather given to my “sweetheart.”
It doesn’t matter how hard I try to explain the finances to them. It doesn’t matter how they feel about L, me, or my efforts to better myself. It doesn’t matter to them that, for the first time in my life, I am never late on my bills. To them, I am being unfair.
I bought my first car myself at age 19, when I already had 2 children. Nobody helped me. If I couldn’t afford insurance, I didn’t drive. I find it absolutely ridiculous that someone would think otherwise.
On one hand, I can completely understand the frustration of having to do “chores” such as dishes and vacuuming. But to honestly believe one shouldn’t HAVE to do them seems selfish and naive. I have to wonder what on earth is happening to the kids these days that they believe it is our job as parents to buy them everything they require until they decide they want to try to do it themselves. And I honestly have to wonder if their view of the world is my fault. I thought I did better than that.
Am I now battling against what I had previously instilled in them? Or are they watching their friends, who drive cars bought by parents and insurance paid for without them having to work, and wondering why THEIR mom doesn’t do that?
I have to believe that there is only so much I can do at this point, and hold my ground. I don’t have time to wallow in the sadness that I’ve somehow failed as a parent.
I have shit to do.