Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Down with the fathers ...???

After weeks of battling my husband’s ex in court, I’ve come to a conclusion about fathers in our society.

A hundred years ago if there was divorce it was not only scandalous but there was never an issue of custody or support. Most of the time, the father got off easy. The wife left with nothing and there was no such thing as joint custody. The kid either stayed with the mother or the father. Hell, look at the movie the Parent Trap… and it made in the 70’s. There was a messy divorce, one parent took one kid, the other parent took the other kid. There was no squabbling, there was no going back to court each year. Maybe that was a better system, honestly.

Here’s what’s happening today…

I read an article about a father, who had primary parent status, who made $200k a year. His ex (who just saw the kids only in the summer) made $50k. She plead to the judge that she needed money because she can’t afford a good home for her 4 kids … who she only sees in the summer. The father (who was not previously paying child support, as the kids were with him 9 months out of the year) was ordered to pay $75K a year (after tax) in support … TO HER… because she chooses to have the type of job where she makes $50k a year. She has 9 months out of the year to go back to school and further herself so she CAN make more money. And what does she do? Bleeds the father dry financially… why? Because he makes a good living and she NEEDS more money, right?

What the hell is wrong with this picture?

Isn’t this still AMERICA… land of opportunity? If so, then why do so many people have their hand out? Why would they rather swindle people out of money than create wealth for themselves? You want to know why our country isn’t great anymore? THAT’S why!

Hello, people! Why can’t we all just get off our asses and work harder to make life better for ourselves? I know, I know, since the recession hit, some people are doing twice the work for half the pay. I think those people are in the minority. I think that this country turned completely into the land of the lazy.

But, I digress… I was talking about fathers.

Remember those old TV shows like “Father knows Best” where the Dad was head of the family. He took pride in taking care of the his family and his family (in turn) loved him. Less than 100 years later, let’s look at what father figure examples we have here. Let’s first look at the Disney channel. When my step son was first old enough to start watching the Disney channel, I thought it must be wholesome channel… hell, Mickey Mouse is Disney… what could be more wholesome than that!  Well, here’s the reality of the Disney Channel shows. The kids have smart mouths. The girls dress like tramps. The boys are know-it-all’s. AND… the fathers are all portrayed as idiots.

Let’s look at commercials lately. What’s the theme? The men do something stupid or goofy and their wives end up saving the day.

How did society’s perception of men end up so biased in the other direction. My husband’s a smart man that loves his family. Why is that never portrayed in TV shows (hello, Disney channel) and by the media?

I guess that many people… like many 1st wives… think of their husband as a paycheck. They deserve money, right? Well, what does that make their kid? A tool used to get money? What? How have we gone so far away from what’s important… and that’s the kids…

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yea I drink... I have a 2 year old

My husband and I live in a small AVA. For those of you who aren't wino's that American Viticultural Area - it's a good area to make wine. A few weeks ago we were at a big farmers market with the kids and someone asked me if I drink, wanting to know if I'd like a sample of wine. I've always thought it was odd when people ask you if you dink. You don't ask someone if they floss their teeth or eat mushrooms.

Anyway, what was more funny than the question was my answer. We were there with the kids, right? So I was standing there with Baby C on my hip, literally. I told the guy "of course I drink, I have a 2 year old." He didn't think it was funny.... I did.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I'm A Step Mom

Those words have an interesting connotation. We have memories of stories with the “wicked step mother” from way back in our childhood. For a long time I thought that the step mother was the bad guy or just the one who wasn’t really the Mom… more like a glorified babysitter.

Now that I’m here, in this place, I get it. I’m a parent, not a friggin’ babysitter. I make lunches, go to school functions, do homework. That’s what a parent does, right?

Over the past almost 4 years, I’ve experienced it all and I can truly say that being a step mother is damn hard. Let me elaborate:

Scenario 1) You’re cleaning up puke off the carpet. The puke was put there by a kid that frequently gives you attitude and may or may not say the words “you’re not my Mom” while having a meltdown because you asked them to take out the trash.  With your own kid, at least there’s a bond. They love you unconditionally. You’re the one that comforts them, cleans the cuts, kisses the boo boo’s. You’re Mom and that’s a high ranking title.

Scenario 2) The dreaded Ex has called you for the 12th time today, pissed off that you won’t switch one of your holidays with her. She’s irrational and screaming like a banshee.  Even though you try to remain more neutral than Switzerland, it’s impossible. She ends up hanging up the phone saying that her work schedule (cocktail waitress)  is very important and she just can not switch shifts in order to take her child at the allotted time and says (my favorite) “I’m tired of being inconvenienced by you”.

For those of you who have been there, I'm sorry and I get it. I’m at the point where I’m just sick and tired of bad behavior, bad parenting and no accountability ALL THE TIME. Here’s the thing I don’t really get. Who has the time and energy to continue the drama, and the bad behavior on such a long term basis? I’m not too sure if I should be impressed or pissed.

The hard part is being even the least bit zen about the whole situation and let it roll off you like water off a duck’s back. Maybe I need a new yoga mat… or a vodka martini before the yoga… might not help with the balance but it might help with my patience.