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Child Support….. More Then Just Giving Your X Money

I am honestly not sure what the word Child support is really supposed to mean at this point… I was always under the impression Child Support was meant to help you pay for things for your child like health insurance, child care, doctors visits, clothes, food, etc. Things that your kid needs to grow and live… Both parents have had to submit their income etc. and the state has this whole calculator that figures out what your child deserves as far as support and then how much each parent should be contributing towards their care.

me and little man
Little Man Working On Standing

Which to me makes total sense, its money you need to care for your child. For me because I pay all the bills when it comes to my son this support makes a big difference in paying for his care. To be able to pay his daycare every month so both his parents can go to work. Help pay his health insurance so hes covered if anything happens, not to mention he’s 3 and in daycare… As most parents know, little kids in day care get sick its par for the course so health insurance is a must.

But in my x’s world child support is only seen as money that he has to give his evil x and it feels like he does everything in his power to not pay me. Then when he does pay me it’s never on time. It’s never consistent and let me tell you it sucks. For me there are no options, no choices when it comes to paying bills for my kid. I can’t not pay for his health insurance because if I don’t it will get cancelled and then I would leave him without coverage. He needs coverage, he depends on me to take care of him and part of that is making sure I can care for him if he gets sick or hurt.

I can’t not pay his day care, if I want to be able to drop him off every day so I can go to work, they have to be paid. For my x who really only see’s his son every other weekend I am the one who would have to suffer. His day care doesn’t get paid and I can’t drop him off, I am the one who can’t go to work because he is in my care. His dad is in a different state, it’s a bit of a hike. I couldn’t even tell him this is your fault get here now to get your kid because it could take upwards of 3 hours for him to arrive here. At that point I’m about half way through my work day and might as well just take the whole day.

I know to some parents it’s hard to see what your child support goes to, but those are the kinds of repercussions the parents who pay the bills face when they don’t get their support. At the moment we are doing okay because I am keeping the daycare paid a month in advance, but I have to. I know at some point during the month I should get paid the child support that’s owed so as long as I pay the things my son needs in advance his fathers lack of consistency shouldn’t mess anything up too bad.

But it’s sad it has to come to this, not being able to rely on the father of my child to do what he needs to do to care for his kid. That if our baby needs something I can’t rely on him to help. That I have to call in and report all the time about missed payments, partial or late payments.

For me whatever my little man needs always comes before anything else I do. Now when I say this don’t think I cater to his every whim and if he wants a toy or something it is more important than a bill or food. That’s not what I am talking about, I just mean making sure his health care is paid, his day care is paid, he has clothes/ shoes that fit, he has food, the utilities are paid so he has a roof over his head with everything working. These are the types of things I refer to, I always make sure whats needed for him to be properly cared for is paid before everything else. As a parent I can’t imagine it any other way. Though I don’t always let my kid know whatever he wants or needs is more important to me then anything because I don’t want to spoil him but at the end of the day they are the things that weigh on me more then anything.

So I guess it will always be hard for me to fathom a parent that doesn’t pay their child Robert and Icare or doesn’t realize what it is meant for. No one likes paying bills especially when there is a divorce or end of a relationship in play. It sucks, it hurts, it’s hard, trust me I know I have been there. But at some point you have to put your big boy (or girl) pants on and be the adult that your children need. You have to be there for them, you have to care for them and their needs need to be addressed. You are all they have in this world, if they can’t rely on their parents who can they rely on?

Potty Training… It’s Grueling, Messy And a Bit Funny

campgroundWe went camping over the weekend, it was so much fun getting to hang out with friends and their kids. So many of them have children around my sons age so it was really nice for him to have lots of other kids to play with. The playground at the campground was really cool too, so much for them to play on and right across from the little cabin we rented.

What I really enjoyed though was seeing all the different trials and tribulations of potty training. They were hilarious and gross and awesome at the same time. So for any parent out there struggling with potty training or stressing over all the messy moments this one is for you because its good to know your not the only one. I knew others had to struggle when I was trying to teach my son to poop in the potty. At this point in time he was getting really good at peeing but I guess he just didn’t realize that he could poop in there as well. He would run around playing, having fun then realize he needed to poop and he would run up to me yelling “diaper diaper” because he had to poop. He knew he couldn’t poop in his underwear but in his mind the diaper was the only place he could safely poop. It was a challenge and kind of hilarious but we got through.

So when all the parents gathered around and swapped potty training stories, the good, the bad and the ugly. It made me feel much better about being a parent, knowing I wasn’t the only one who struggled was very reassuring. There was one little girl there also working on potty training but she also had some constipation issues so her poor mom had hands full… quiet literally at one point.

Her little girl came up to her telling her she needed to go, she they headed off to the bathroom and came back a few minutes later. It seemed it was a false alarm and she only needed to fart, we laughed about it and she went back to playing. Then my son told me he needed to go so we headed to the bathroom. While we were in there they came in because once again she felt like she needed to go. As I am waiting for my son to potty I can hear her asking her daughter. “Do you actually need to go?” and her daughter answer, “I don’t know”.  Poor mom I heard a few variations of this while she patiently waited for her to go. Eventually they gave up and left the bathroom without her little one going to the potty.

The kids were back on the playground and running around having a total blast! Using camp ground 2the slides playing on the pirate ship when all of the sudden her little one makes a face as she hits the bottom of the slide. We were worried she had gotten hurt sliding down (we were in the pool right before this so most of them were still in there bathing suits). But when we went to investigate we found she had peed all over the slide, her mom was embarrassed but we got her to laugh. What are you going to do? Kids have accidents, so I ran to my cabin right across the way and we used a water bottle/ paper towels/ etc. and cleaned the slide up. Meanwhile trying to keep the kids from sliding down the slide till we were able to clean it up was a challenge but we managed and there were no other pee related incidents. Emphasis on pee related…

Mom once again took the little one to the potty but still no number two. The kids continued to play having fun till next thing we know her little one made another face… it was then we noticed the little sag in the butt of her bathing suit that was not there before. I did feel bad for her mom, I know how frustrating it can be when everything seems to go wrong. You also feel embarrassed because you know they know how to go in the potty. But its hard when they are little and get to playing. Sometimes mom shit happens… literally and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. We have all been there and all had the accidents to clean up. It’s apart of the little ones growing and learning.

When she took her to the bathroom she had the task of trying to pull her turds out of her bathing suit without making a mess… thankfully they were true turds, she would have had some serious issues if this had been a soft poop or a diarrhea poop. When those go wrong you usually have to just call in quits and stick them in the shower. Clean them up and just get a fresh start. Once we pass a certain mess level all bets are off…

I have had to put my son in the shower clothes and all to try and contain the mess he had going on. Let me tell you it was not pretty… my bathroom looked like a war zone. And you can just give a traditional bath because there is so much poop you’ll just wind up trying to clean them up with dirty poop water… trust me not the way you want to go.

So for all the parents out there potty training, don’t be embarrassed by the messes and the accidents. We have all had those shitty moments but we always clean them up and carry on. That is apart of being a parent and raising kids, sometimes your just going to get messy. So take heart your not the only one and learn to laugh with the rest of us!

Divorce and Games…

Divorce is like that board game that no one really want’s to play. You pull it out for whatever reasons thinking it’s the best path for you. Once you get going you realize you seem to be missing half the pieces and the directions! You thought it was going to be straight forward and though you knew it would be challenging you didn’t realize what a battle you were about to get into. The petty things you didn’t think matter… I’m warning you now they could very well be there and this “game” will make you want to pull your hair out at times and never want to play again.

Ahhh OHMG Face
That OHMG face you make when you realize what you’ve gotten into….

The beginning starts out so tough your sometimes thinking to yourself why on earth did I even want to do this. But it also shows you every reason why you started this in the first place. All your relationship failings with your partner seem to amplify, whether it be communication issues, money, caring for the kids. All those reasons you left, its like they get blown up to a crazy proportion and it has been this phenomena that reaffirmed for me I made the right choice. Sometimes its hard to realize just how toxic something is in your life until you start to remove it. It fights back hard at first, making things even more difficult then they need to be but slowly things get better and you feel better.

I pray not everyone’s divorce goes like mines been (not that I wish divorce on anyone). I had always dreamed I would only get married once and tried so hard to find a partner that I wouldn’t need to worry about all this stuff with. Someone I was in love with, shared things with, I could support and supported me in return. But instead I got my husband, we had the type of relationship where true personalities were hidden until the day we signed the papers. That’s when all trying stopped because apparently signing those papers and having our son meant I was locked in, a sure thing.

If only he knew what he was in for. I try to be an accommodating person, especially for those I care about . I have realized that my feelings do not come first and relationships, any of them even friendship, require your time, attention, understanding and caring. But there comes a point where I realize I am the only making the effort. I am the only one making the time or the accommodations. That the relationship has become one sided and I have been left to do all the work. My mother raised me to be a strong person with a strong mind so when a relationship hits the point where I am doing all the work I leave.

Please don’t think I’m saying when the going gets tough I get out because it’s not the case at all. I tried very hard to work on our relationship for years before I finally was to exhausted to continue. I dealt with a lot of verbal and mental abuse while trying to help my x and help us try to be a more cohesive family unit. But it got to a point where I started to worry, I was depressed all the time so I decided to do things now and then for myself, things that made me happy. I wouldn’t accommodate my x-husband 24/7 and hang on his every word. I was growing stronger hoping if I just did a little for myself, for my mental health and well being that maybe I could be better for him and our son. But it was not to be, I had become the bearer for all the stress in the household. My own as well as my x’s, I was the root of all problems for him and when I refused to allow that to be the case anymore he could not handle it. When I refused to be the verbal punching bag and stand up for myself it hit home just how much of the load I was carrying. How much it was weighing on me and just how much I had been beaten down by it.

When I started making these decisions my X couldn’t handle it and I started seeing all the signs that physical abuse was around the corner. Instead of letting it escalate, especially with a 2 year old in tow at the time, I made the choice to leave. I tried to go the route of compromise and no lawyers but sadly it wasn’t meant to go that route for us. So now were stuck playing this really crappy game. The game of divorce and sadly as much as I don’t want to think of divorce as a game it is the best description I can come up with.

Horse Lick
It’s all fun and games until someone gets Licked by a Horse

Everyone making moves and then counter moves, filing petitions, all sorts of court dates and under handed petty ploys to get ahead. It’s sad and at some points has been sickening. Now thousands of dollars later, were still not even finished with custody stuff. Like I said a annoying and tedious game no one wants to play. It tries your patience, can put you through an emotional roller coaster like you may have never experienced before but when you’ve finally drawn out all of that toxic in your life. You start to feel better, you start to feel more like yourself. You can heal and begin to move on as the games start to slow and eventually diminish over time.

Cats, Toddlers and Early Mornings

Mornings are never easy in my household, are they horrific? No not usually. But they are always a process and it seems no matter how early I get up I still manage to be late…

This morning started off just as many other mornings have started, I woke up and jumped out of bed ready to start my day. Took a shower, got myself ready before getting my little man up and dressed. Went downstairs, gathered what we needed for the day avoiding the cat toys before heading out to the truck. Luckily I hadn’t missed the recycling truck, it is recycling day and he was pulling up just as we were headed out the door so I was able to get my recycling out in time.

Doesn’t that sound lovely… if you looked at just the basics the facts of my morning it wouldn’t seem to bad. Lucky even but that’s not exactly how things went down this morning…

It went a little more like this:

I jumped out of bed this morning, FRANTIC, because I hit snooze too many times and realized if I didn’t get my butt in gear I would be seriously late. I ran through the shower, washed my hair cause that would look like a disaster if I tried to just rinse with water. Then rinsed everything else with water and called it good. Threw on deodorant and perfume hoping no one noticed my lack of actual soap use this morning. Wrestled to get clothes on my toddler who was saying he was too tired and he wanted to go back to sleep. And when I say wrestled I mean it was an all out match for which I am totally outclassed. He wiggles squirms and can be an all together 30+ lb blob to dress some days.

Once dressed he proceeded to give me every excuse in the book about why he was incapable of walking down the stairs, that he ran up and down on about 15 times the night before when he didn’t want to stay in bed, mind you. I can’t carry him, I would love to and I miss doing it and getting those awesome snuggles. But I’m pregnant and there comes a time when you need to just put your foot down and say mommy can’t carry you right now… Which of coarse goes over like a lead balloon.

So I am left half dragging, because he wont walk forward, half carrying, because he swears his legs don’t work, my little guy down the stairs. Which frankly was probably more work then if I had just picked him up and carried in the first place. But at that point I was working on principle…

When we finally get down the stairs, I went to get our shoes. Only to find the cats had been jumping on the tables again, which of coarse they’re not allowed on and broke my lamp (aka cat toy)… Knocked it to the floor, shattered the bulb and everything. Though I failed to realize the bulb was decimated until I stepped on a sliver with my unprotected feet because of coarse I had to walk straight through the disaster zone to get to the shoes…

Once obtaining said shoes my son decided he did not want the shoes I had to offer and proceeded to throw a fit about wearing his paw patrol sandals after originally asking for his new sneakers. But since I had just finished picking the piece of broken light bulb out of my foot I was not in any mood to discuss his choice of foot wear. Long story short he wore the sneakers and he was not happy about it. So unhappy in fact he decided he was no longer going to wear his shirt and proceeded to try and take it off. I put a light short sleeve button up on him, not a stretchy shirt, so when he tried to take it off it got stuck. It took a lot of will power not to laugh at him at this point because the shirt was stuck on his head with his arms in the air while he was crying because he was stuck and couldn’t get out. I felt bad that it scared him but at the same time he learned his lesson and stopped trying to rip his shirt off.

Once his shirt was straightened and I had all our bags we started to head out the door. As I got onto the back porch i heard a familiar sound, the recycling truck!!! I had forgotten to put the recycling out the night before. I snatched up the can and proceeded to sprint across my yard to the alley way to hand off said recycling. But of coarse I lost a few pieces along the way, but at that point I was honestly just amazed I was able to sprint and not miss the truck. Sprinting and pregnant are two states that were never really meant to coincide with one another… Thankfully my bladder was still pretty empty so my, ahem “liner” (which is a nice way of saying pregnancy diaper) was able to save my pants.

So now that my house and my lawn are both a mess, I’m late and just a tiny bit frustrated, my son decides he cannot walk out to the truck and needs to be carried. After some arguing, some bargaining, some tears and a mini temper tantrum I finally picked him up and carried him to the truck under one arm… (because he was still throwing that mini temper tantrum and that was the only way to not get kicked).

Looking back later in the day I laughed at how insane and silly our morning was. Especially when my bf came downstairs and texted me asking “What were you two doing this morning?”. It must of looked like a bomb went off before the rush to get bags ready, the broken lamp/ bulb and the recycling all over the back lawn. When I started thinking of his reaction coming down the stairs I just couldn’t help myself.

Azure top - mo_catThis wasn’t a typical morning for us, sometimes there are tears about wanting different shoes, to bring a toy or needing a doughnut for breakfast. But this morning was definitely one for the books!!! At least I was rocking a gorgeous outfit yesterday so even though it felt like my morning was a disaster I knew I looked amazing!!!!

You’ll have to forgive my love for the Facebook filters but they are just too much fun some days! Not to mention it felt semi- fitting after kitties ruined my lamp!

Lessons I’ve Learned About Life

Life is not about short cuts, at the end of the day it’s about giving it your all so at-least you know you did everything you could.

Life is about finding the flowers in your garden of weeds.

Life is living in the present as much as possible and enjoying what you have while you have it because you never know how long it will be there.

 

craig and iLife is about loving your family with all your heart, keeping those most precious to you in your every thought and giving them all your love.

Life is about working hard for the things you want as well as the things you love.

Life is about making tough decisions, even though they hurt, because they are whats best.

 

Life is about love because a life without it is no life at all.

Life is about finding joy because where will your will to continue be if you cannot find the joy.

Life is about keeping it simple, not everything can be expensive and extravagant. But some of those simple things can be the greatest treasures you will ever know.

These are just some if the ideals I try to live by, it helps me to think of them on the harder days. The days when nothing seems to go right because they help me pick myself back up and to keep pushing through because I remember that I do have things worth fighting for.

Robert and I