Monday, November 3, 2008

Vote Tomorrow

Make sure you vote tomorrow. If you are undecided still then you haven't been paying attention. Make a choice and vote.

It's Been A Long Time

Wow, it has been too long since I last posted here. This blog just never really took off.
My exes and I still get along fine as long as we don't talk about money. Isn't that always the case?
Child support is still something one of them has a hard time coming up with but he's working on it.
If you read this blog please leave a comment so I know there are still people out here.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Who has your back?

My daughter is at an age where she is a little dramatic to say the least. I don't know where she gets it from but she sounds like she is 25 rather than 5. My ex, her father, came by to pick her up the other day and she did not want to go with him. She was being demanding and crying. He reprimanded her and asked me to back him up. I did as soon as he asked me and I'm a bit ashamed that I didn't do it before he asked me to. I was flummoxed because we hadn't really faced this before.

My ex and I have not parented together. Our daughter was not even a toddler when we split up so aside from sharing diaper changes and feedings we didn't have to work together where behavior was concerned. I think our daughter has figured this out.

Had this behavior occurred when it was just me and the daughter I would have acted appropriately. Having my ex there made me less inclined to do so because it felt as if he and I were ganging up on our daughter. Of course we were doing no such thing and in fact had I been more in tune to the situation we would have been parenting the way we are supposed to.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Computer Crash

My computer crashed. Please go to Redhead Ranting to read about my experience with Hewlett Packard customer service.

I will not likely be able to post here until this is resolved. Check on redheadranting for updates. Thank you and if you have any experience with crashed computers and customer service please let me know. Jen

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Negative comments

Years ago when my son was two or three years old I was frustrated with his father. I don't recall what I was frustrated about but I let it slip in front of my son that I thought his father was a jerk. Oops! What a huge mistake. My little boy took me to task over it. He said that I was not allowed to call his daddy names and that I should have a time out. Out of the mouths of babes.

How right he was. I slipped. I goofed. I messed up. It was over 12 years ago but I still cringe when I think about it. How I hurt my little boy by calling his father anything less than wonderful. I never did it again. He put me in my place very nicely thank you.

When couples split it is easy to get wrapped up in the arguing and hurt that each other is causing. This should never be express to the children no matter how young or old they are. By making negative comments about your ex you are making negative comments about your child. Or at least that is how you should think about it. The child is half of both parents and at the earlier ages they identify solely through there parents.

Instead of running off at the mouth save complaining about an ex for times when you are alone with a friend. When with children it is important to tell them how wonderful their other parent is even if you have to gag to say it. You don't even have to believe it but your kids do and will. And remember, there was a time when this other person meant the world to you too. They do have great qualities they just happened to be masked by all the bickering. In time these qualities will show themselves again and are always there for the child.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Custody and child support

I have full custody of my kids, legal and physical custody. I have this because my children were both under a year old when I was divorced. Both of my exes pay child support based on their income at the time of the divorce. Both have had increases in child support due to the cost of living going up. Usually about $11.00 per month every other year. I am grateful for the support they pay and have never asked that their income be checked to see if it has increased. I know it has increased substantially for both. Of course my income has increased as well since I was not working at the time of either divorce. I feel the amount they both pay is fair. There is no way I could live off of the child support alone. I have to earn 4 times what I receive in child support to live.

The laws are changing in my state to now consider both parents' income when determining the amount of child support. Also considered is how much time is spent with each parent. If, for example, the children spend 50% of their time with one parent and 50% of their time with the other then child support should be a moot point and eliminated. This is how it is supposed to go.

I know of one couple that does not have child support. They split the time with the kids and pay for what they need when the kids are with them. They also split all other expenses. Theirs was not an amicable divorce but they have managed to be fair to one another in the financial aspect of their divorce. This practically eliminates all arguments between them.

I know of another couple who also split the time 50/50 but yet the father still pays a substantial portion of his income each month to his ex wife. Theirs was also not an amicable split and they have not been able to agree on anything since the breakdown of their marriage. If they do communicate it is negative.

All other couples I know fall somewhere in between. Except for the one couple above no one is ever happy with the arrangement. Everyone seems to think that they were treated unfairly. There must be a better way to support the children. I don't know the answer but money is such a hot button in most marriages and divorces.

One of the problems for instance is that in my son's school I was the responsible party. The bill was in my name and if it wasn't paid it was reported on my credit history. This is also the case for all medical bills. My ex, very generously, paid for all school. He wanted our son to attend a private school and since I could not afford it and he could he paid for it. He did not have to do this and I am lucky to have such a great ex and my son is lucky to have a dad who thinks that his education is the most important thing. There were a few times when the payment was late and the school would call me. They knew of the arrangement but because I had full custody they called me. I would then call my ex. It wasn't a problem and happened infrequently but surely it would have been more efficient to call him themselves. I should say the payment was made directly to the school and did not go through me.

I'm interested in any ideas anyone might have out there about a better way to handle this issue.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Birthday party

My daughter had her 'friend' birthday party this weekend. I think they all had a good time though there were many who cried including my daughter.

I invited her dad several weeks ago. At that point I wasn't sure where the party was going to be. Our daughter wanted it at the Mall of America or Chuck E. Cheeses. About two weeks ago she announced that she wanted to have it at home since she wanted to show her friends her room and toys. Whew! That announcement saved me about $100.00.

Getting back to dad...I never heard from him regarding the party. He told me he would have to let me know. Knowing him, I knew at that point he wouldn't be attending. I don't think our daughter was aware that he wasn't there or that he was invited. I don't think she cared if he came or not. This was about her friends. She had already celebrated with her dad and his family as well as a party with me and her brother so she has certainly celebrated with everyone. I could have used the help and would have appreciated it immensely. When I invited him I did say that I could use a hand with 9 children.

I'm not too surprised he didn't attend. It was on his weekend where he does not spend time with our daughter so I'm sure he had other plans. Actually it is probably better that it turned out the way it did. He was always the more strict parent and I don't think he could have handled 9 kids in one house for two hours. I would have been a wreck trying to make sure he didn't get upset. I also had help from some of the mothers so I had it under control (as much as that is possible with so many 4 and 5 year olds). Aside from the door knob incident (you can catch up here if you like) I think it went pretty well.

My ex and I have spent most Christmases together so our daughter can celebrate with both of us. We have attended funerals and other religious gatherings together. Except for this year we have always cut down a Christmas tree together. I suspect we (he and I) have probably reached that point where we will go off in different directions and probably won't do as many activities together. It may be for the best. It's got to be hard for a new significant other to see us spending family time together and not feel threatened. I'm glad we did these things together, they were never a chore but sometimes a little confusing.