Tag: Mom

Child Support Isn’t For Women Only (Anymore)

I’m sure you may have heard by now that Academy Award® winner Halle Berry has just been ordered to pay Gabriel Aubry, the father of her child (her baby daddy), an estimated $16,000 each month for child support. That’s approximately $190,000 a year for their 6-year old daughter which is a whole lot of money for such a little girl.

Although I don’t think any 6-year old child needs $16,000 a month to survive, I do think it’s completely fair that Aubry gets a percentage of Berry’s income. Halle Berry’s estimated worth is $70 million so over the next 13 years he’s only getting about 3-4% or her current worth (get it – $190,000 for the next 13 years because she’s already 6 divided by $70 million – it’s a lot of math, I know). For Halle this amount is a drop in the bucket and shouldn’t even put a dent in her bank account. Many men may be thinking that Gabriel Aubry is a lucky man but it’s not about luck, it’s about what’s fair.

I actually think this is great! I have quite an opinion on child support which I’ll write about in another post, but I think now is a good time to explore the circumstances surrounding Halle Berry & Gabriel Aubry especially since Father’s Day is right around the corner.

The women’s movement has fought for decades for gender equality & here it is! We can’t expect a man to be forced to pay child support but not women. “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?” We can’t expect women to reject their child’s father if he’s trying to take an active role in that child’s life, can we? In Halle’s case, she knew that he was a model when she met him. Most modeling careers, and by most I mean 99.99% of them, have an expiration date. So if you choose to date one then be prepared that their career will end as quickly as it started. (And don’t get me started on their career prospects after they’re done modeling)

Now there are some people who think that a grown man shouldn’t feel comfortable taking money from woman, even if she does make significantly more than he does. Men are supposed to get up & go work for what they have & not take it from a woman, right? What type of dignified grown man allows a woman to take care of him financially especially if he can take care of himself? Well, it’s not about what the man can do for himself it’s about the quality & care of the child. Remember, child support is based on the concept that the child should receive the same proportion of parental income (or lifestyle) that he or she would have received if the parents lived together. “She who makes the most, pays the most.”

I am a huge advocate of marriage before procreation but if you’re going to go the “Halle Berry route”, then have a plan. Discuss what the custodial arrangement will be in the event you break up. Agree on financial duties and holiday visitation beforehand. Halle knew she wanted a baby & was purposely trying to get pregnant. Why weren’t these particulars worked out before conceiving? Her lawyers should’ve warned her, to say the very least.

I think the lesson here is – Don’t make babies with just anyone, especially if you make more than they do.

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Your Spoiled Brats Are Your Fault

No one likes a spoiled brat. As an adult you learn right away that other people are not tolerant of spoiled behavior. You can quickly lose friends or even the respect of other people. You learn that life does not revolve around you and no one will stick around very long if you continue to think that it does.

But when a child is spoiled that’s a little different since the parents are responsible for their children’s bad behavior. We’ve all seen toddlers who throw temper tantrums in the grocery store, infants who throw food in a restaurant or the adolescent that talks back when he/she doesn’t get their way. Whether your child is a baby or a teen, there is nothing cute about a child who is disrespectful. Puberty is just no excuse!

Why do parents tolerate this behavior? It’s one thing if you allow your child to act spoiled in the privacy of your own home (notice I said “act” spoiled not “be” spoiled – there is a difference) but to have other people witness spoiled behavior should be more embarrassing for the parent than it is for the child. Why let other adults see how ungrateful your child is? Why set a poor example for other children that may not be as privileged as your own? Now parents who have witnessed your child’s bad behavior have to explain to their children why it’s not okay to be unappreciative of what they receive. Remember parents, you can’t get exasperated with or be mad at your child since you are the one who spoiled them in the first place.

I know I was spoiled as a child but my parents made sure I never acted like I was spoiled brat. Giving a child things that they want (not need) spoils them but when a child expresses gratitude, that is the opposite of spoiled.

Single Mother’s Should NOT Be Celebrated on Father’s Day

There is a long standing disagreement over whether or not single mothers should be celebrated on Father’s Day. I am of the belief that Father’s Day is for MEN ONLY. Aside from the fact that a woman can never be a man let alone replace one, there are some very logical reasons as to why mothers should leave this day for the men. Let’s break down why:

Celebrating mothers on a day that is meant for fathers marginalizes the role of fatherhood. It’s disrespectful for a woman to accept recognition for something that is meant for a man, even if she thinks she’s doing the duty of a man. Besides, recognizing your mother on Father’s Day can’t fill the void of not having an actual father figure, so why bother?  Or is becoming a father so easy that you don’t even have to be a man anymore? Are we trying to change the definition of father to exclude the part where you have to be biologically male? If so, then we need to re-examine the roles and perhaps even do away with one of them. Because if a woman thinks she can do a man’s job then maybe Father’s aren’t really needed after all.

There are so many people that rave about being raised by a single mother & how much their mother had to sacrifice with not having a father figure to help them out. I won’t touch on how she got into that predicament in the first place because that’ll be another posting. But honestly, how great of a job can a single mother do if all of the statistics prove that there are many more benefits to being raised in a two-parent household? These stats would be null & void if a single mother could effectively be both a good mother & father. There are just too many women who say they don’t need a man to raise a child. Would you want to be with a man who said that he didn’t need a woman to raise a child? I know I wouldn’t.

So, the question remains: what business is it of mine if someone wants to celebrate their mom this coming Sunday? The answer is simple: our actions always affect other people. Sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. This country is already capitalizing on “the plight of a single mother” – there are Hallmark cards, websites (www.happyfathersdaymom.com as an example) and before you know it someone will be petitioning to change the name of the holiday to something like “Happy Person Who Raised Me” Day. All it takes is 1 person to plant the seed that something is okay when it really shouldn’t be. Don’t believe me? Just ask Osama bin Laden.

If you have an outstanding mother that raised you singlehandedly then just do it big on Mother’s Day and leave Father’s Day for the men. If you are a single mother, then be an exceptional mother but don’t try to be a father too. Respect the role of a real man.

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Men, I Need A Guinea Pig

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A couple of nights ago my Dad was in town so I made my first peach cobbler. It turned out alright – I used fresh peaches and didn’t cook them 1st before putting them in the cobbler so they weren’t quite ripe even after cooking for 45 minutes in the oven – Oopps! Oh well, I definitely know what to do better next time but the whole experience got me to thinking: How can I improve my cooking skills without someone to cook for?

While I don’t love to cook, it’s certainly something I want to get better at just in case (wink wink!). An area I really need to work on is my baking skills because I’m not good with desserts. I don’t have a sweet tooth so learning how to make good homemade desserts has never been important to me.

Without a significant other in my life there aren’t too many people around that I can call to come taste my home cooking. I’m certainly not going to bake a cake from scratch & eat it all by myself! (Although it was suggested that I can freeze it for later, but I prefer not to; thawed out cake is not all that good) So how am I supposed to practice? I don’t go to too many potlucks & my girlfriends and I usually eat out so I can’t really rely on them either for practice. I need a guinea pig…..a taste tester, if you will.  I need someone with a healthy appetite so I can try some new recipes.

The mother of one of my ex-boyfriends can cook anyone under the table – she IS just that good. I remember thinking she must’ve learned when she was single or while she was growing up, you know her mother probably passed down some family recipes to her. But she told me that she didn’t learn how to cook until after she got married. I was so surprised! She went on to say that when she was single there was no need for her to cook that much but because her husband was old school she had to learn how to cook soon after she got married. Of course, once they started a family she really learned how to throw down in the kitchen but it took years & years of cooking to learn how to get food “just right”.  Even though my exes mother is from the South and pretty traditional, she understands why young women today don’t really know how to cook. It just isn’t necessary until you have someone to cook for, especially if you don’t have someone you love that you can cook for.

But you gotta start somewhere. I am a decent cook; I just want to expand my repertoire. I want to learn more while I have the chance to “mess things up”. I do have plenty of male friends that don’t get home cooked meals very often, so I guess I can start practicing on them.

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Shouldn’t My Future Mother-In-Law Kiss Up To Me?

Sometimes I think about what my mother-in-law will be like. Will she & I get along? Will I like her? Will I call her “mom” or by another name? (Hopefully not something that rhymes with witch) Will she teach me the family recipes or back me up when she knows that her son & I have been arguing? Will she be proud to call me her daughter-in-law? Will she & I hang out together and talk often? Or will I despise her and complain to my girlfriends about her? Maybe I’ll dread the holidays when & if I come to visit. Maybe she and I will be complete opposites or worse yet, she’ll think I’m not good enough for her precious son. Whatever the case may be I know that once I get married, I’ll have to deal with (or put up with) not only his entire family but also his mother.

Of course, if my mother-in-law (MIL for short) & I don’t get along I would think that it would greatly affect my relationship with my husband, especially if he’s close to his mother. I wouldn’t want him to be stuck in the middle but that just may end up being the case. Who should a husband side with – his mother or his wife? I say his wife, because according to the Bible, “…shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.” (Gen 2:24) Plus we all know the saying: Happy wife = Happy life. Not to mention as his wife I am the one that is committing to him for the remainder of my life, sticking by his side through sickness, times of poverty, bearing & raising his children and will be there for him when he puts his mother in the grave. Yes, that’s morbid I know but that’s all a part of being a wife. So with that said, if I happen to have a MIL that I don’t get along with wouldn’t it be in her best interest to make a special effort to get along with me?

Just think about – if I knew that someone had the power of possibly putting me in a senior home once I got older or letting me move in with them instead, I would try my best to be on that person’s good side. If I knew that someone else was largely responsible for my child’s happiness and my grandchildren’s wellbeing, I would do everything in my power to build a good relationship with that person, especially being as the elder. Sure, there needs to be mutual respect between me & my MIL, and deference on my end since this is the woman that created the man I love & have pledged my life to be with. But don’t think that just because I tolerate you that I like you because those are two totally different feelings.

Until I get married or have children of my own that one day get married, I won’t know what it’s like to have a mother-in-law or to be one. Hopefully I’ll have a good relationship with my own mother-in-law but if not, I may have to prepare to not have a relationship with her at all.

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Would I Be A Good Mother?: Maybe You Don’t Know What Kind of Parent You’d Be Until You Are One

On the heels of Mother Day, I started wondering whether or not I would make a good mother. I mean, I’m not sold on having children in the first place but in the event that the Lord sees otherwise I don’t even know how the whole motherhood thing would work for me.

I have so many hangups on what motherhood is supposed to be like that I don’t even know if the actual role would match up with the job description I have in my head. From what I can tell raising a child properly takes a lot of ingredients that I don’t have:

  • Patience – This is probably the largest trait that I’m missing. I have patience for children (after all, they’re just kids and they don’t know any better) but I don’t have patience for adults with kids. How am I supposed to deal with all of the parents of my children’s friends? What if I don’t get along with the other parents in the PTA or on the playground? I can’t deal with people who aren’t good mothers.
  • Housekeeping skills – I’m just going to come out & say it: I don’t like to clean. I do it out of necessity but don’t really enjoy it. I feel like there are so many other things I’d rather do with my life than to clean up after a kid and their friends (after a large birthday party or sleepover)
  • Time management – I usually have a pretty crowded schedule. Where on earth would i find time to include a child’s activities? I know, I know, I would HAVE to adjust my schedule and sacrifice some of my activities because we all know that children should come first. It seems so much easier said than done though. Seriously, after a long day at work, going to the gym, running errands and cooking dinner I just don’t see how I would have time to be a good mom to my kids by doing things such as checking their homework, reading to them, after-school activities and the like. Because we all know husbands aren’t good for much around the house (lol)!

Would having these things make me a good mother? No of course not, but I do think that you need more than just “love” to be a good parent. So how is someone supposed to know if they would be a good parent? There’s no checklist or survey to fill out. There’s no application required or background check that will determine whether or not you’ll be a good parent. Do people think that just because they consider themselves a good aunt or a good uncle that they would make a good parent even though having nieces & nephews is nothing like having your own children?  How is a man supposed to know if the woman he wants to marry will make a good mother? How does any woman know that she’ll be a good mother to all of her children and not just her favorite? The conundrum is that you don’t know what it takes to be a mother until you are one. But the problem I have with parenting is that once I decide to become a mother, I can’t take it back.

So all in all, I guess I’ll never really know what kind of mother I’ll be until I become one (Jesus, help me!).

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How Can You Spend Quality Time With Your Children When You Have So Many Of Them?

I was talking to a friend who was telling me about one of her girlfriends who had married a man that had about 6 children (I say about 6 children because I couldn’t remember the exactly number). They had one child together before getting married but between their one child together and all of his own children their house was always full. I asked my friend why on earth her friend would marry someone who had 6 children already and her explanation was fairly simple: Although it sounded like a lot of stepchildren (and it is), it never really posed a problem because most of them were grown or lived somewhere else.

Apparently, her friend married someone in his late 40’s (she’s in her early thirties) that started having children in his teenage years. Four of his six children were over the age of 18 and already out of the house (and off of child support). Although he does have a lot of children he was only financially responsible for two of them. I mean most American households have only 2 children, so the question arose – how can you take care of your children when you have so many?

Let me state up front that I think money is only a single factor in taking care of children. Sure, it allows you to hire a nanny or provide material things for your children but having money doesn’t buy you more quality time with your children when you have a lot of them.

Take for example Jim & Michelle Duggar who have 19 children. Although they are reportedly living debt free and have the financial means to care for all of their children, there just aren’t enough hours in the day for 2 parents to be devoted to 19 different children. Even with their “buddy system” of an older child caring for a younger child, the mother & father should be responsible for raising all of their children.

Another example would be Ms. Nadya Suleman who has 14 children, with no husband and no real job. Aside from being broke, she has to hire multiple nannies just to keep all of her children in line. And to that I say, “Your Honor, I rest my case”.

Children need more than the love of their parents and they need more than their parents money. Children need quality time with their parents.

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