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Step Mommin by Stepmommin - 1y ago

As you may have read in some of my older posts, I struggled a lot with jealousy.  I also talked a lot about how I dealt with my jealousy.  I’d like to say that I am over the whole jealousy aspect, but that wouldn’t be the truth.  However, it is not the same as it used to be.  I have grown and matured as a person a lot, as I learned that I needed to start letting things go to move forward.

I’m not comparing myself anymore.

I don’t look at her and wish I was similar anymore.  I don’t wallow in the fact that she is Little Boy’s mom and I’m not.  I’m over all that now.  I dropped the anger towards her (mostly).

I’m happy with where I am.  I’m getting an education, my summer job (that hopefully transitions into a permanent position) pays amazing with benefits.  My boyfriend and I are saving up to move out when I’m done college.  I see a bright future for us.

Buuuuttt…

I still struggle with balancing our life and the life that Little Boy has when he’s with her.  Sometimes I feel like we have to walk on eggshells and hold our breath just so we don’t set her off.  It was getting to the point where I wanted to be careful with what I was posting on my very privet social media with fear she will somehow see it.

So, my best friend and distant cousin (I brought her up briefly here) explained a little something to me that I will call The House Model.

The House Model.

You’re looking at a home from the road.  What do you see?  You see a curb, a small patch of grass, the side walk, the front lawn, driveway, and the house.

The Side Walk.

The side walk is the Bio Mom.  The side walk is owned by the city.  You do not own the side walk.  You do not need to maintain the side walk, except when you have to (like shoveling snow).

I’m going to repeat that again.  You only need to do minimal maintenance to the side walk, when needed.  Otherwise, you do not need to worry about the side walk.  It is there.  It is in front of your home.  It is always right there, but you do not need to give it much attention.

The minimal attention you give your side walk, like to Bio Mom, is only during the exchanges.  What did the kids have for dinner tonight?  How did they do on their test?  What did the doctor say?  Nothing else.

The Lawn.

The lawn are your Step Children when they are not with you.  Your lawn is part of your property (okay, but children aren’t property… it’s just a metaphor).  Your lawn needs regular maintenance to look it’s best.  It’s in front of your home, but not in it.

You take care of your lawn.  You mow it, water it, fertilize it.  You look after it more than the odd time.  However, the lawn is not in the home.  We take care of it more than the side walk, but less than the interior of our home.  For the most of us, we do not have our Step Children all the time (as much as we would love to), so it does not need to take up all of our energy.

You give you Step Children the attention and love that they need when they are in your care.  But, unless they are with you, you cannot stress over what is going on when they are not.  You cannot control what is happening when they are not with you.  You communicate with their biological parent when they are not in your care, but only when it is necessary.

You don’t mow your lawn every day.

The House.

The house is your home.  In your home is you, your significant other, your (step) children, your pets, etc.  You own your home and all it’s contents.  You are always preforming some sort of task to keep up with your home.  You dust, clean, vacuum, renovate, pay bills.  Your time, energy and focus goes into keeping a healthy home.

You give your significant other all your attention when you are together.  You constantly maintain that relationship, clean it up, and fix what needs to be fixed.  You give the children in home all your attention when they are there.  You feed them, fix relationships, and ensure they are clean and cared for.

Focus on your home.

Your home needs to be healthy.  Take care of what is in your home, as that is what needs the most attention.

Mow the lawn regularly, but do not do it every day.

Shovel the side walk, but do not do repairs on it.  That is not your job.

The post The House Model. appeared first on Step Mommin.

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The little ones are hard at work in school, creating beautiful Mother’s Day crafts.  Tracing their little hands over coloured construction paper, cutting them out to make pretty flowers out of them.  Making beautiful cards expressing love and appreciation.

Your fridge will be empty.  You won’t have a beautiful masterpiece to display.  You’re only a step mom, with no children of your own.

Yet, you mother your step children.  You kiss boo-boo’s and scare monsters from under the bed.  You read bedtime stories, cook dinner, help them with their homework, and love them dearly.  All the work you do for them goes unnoticed today.

How do you get through it?

It’s a hard day for the Childless Step Mother’s, as a lot of us feel as if we fill the role, but do not get celebrated.  We do everything a “real” mother does, the only thing that is different is the biological part.  Here are a few things that you can do that might make this dreadful day a little easier.

Celebrate other Mothers.

It may not be your Mother’s day.  However, you have many Mothers in your life.  Do something special with your own Mother, Grandmother, Aunts and friends.  Have a dinner or pedicure with just the girls and celebrate the day as women who care for little humans.

Pamper yourself.

Chances are, you don’t Treat Yo Self often.  Mother’s Day is the perfect day to do so.  Get a message, get your nails done, freshen up your hair, see a movie.  Do something nice for yourself.  After all, you deserve it.

Take a moment.

Take a moment to reflect on not only yourself, but also Bio Mom.  Even if you don’t have a great relationship, silently and to yourself, compliment her on all the aspects that make her a great mom.  Allow this day to be about you step child’s mother and all the things she has had to do and sacrifice for your step child.

Don’t get your hopes up.

You might be thinking “Maybe this year my husband/step child will finally give me something/acknowledge me on this day!”.  Stop.  If you don’t have expectations, you cannot be let down.  If they do something, that’s really awesome.  But, if they don’t, it’s best not to have any expectations to disappoint you later on.

Celebrate on Step Mother’s Day.

Step Mother’s Day is on the 20th this year.  Hopefully time lines up and you have your step children on that day and you can celebrate with dinner and desert.

Let it go.

Unfortunately, this is an aspect of life that we cannot control.  This may be one of those moments where you just have to accept the outcome, and just let it go.

Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms, Step Moms, Foster Moms, Adoptive Moms, and Furr Moms.

The post Surviving Mothers Day as a Childless Step Mom. appeared first on Step Mommin.

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Step Mommin by Stepmommin - 1y ago

Attachment – And how it affects relationships.

Attachment is in every part of our lives.  How we connect with people, and how we thrive or struggle in relationships with others.

Full disclosure – I am no expert.  I am only a student, and these are some of the things I have learned from my professors, and from the text books.

This is going to look a bit like a paper, you guys are lucky.  I’m writing this (for no grades!) in hopes to help some of my readers possibly understand why their step children, husbands, or even themselves why they attach to people the way they do.  There’s a link in this post that you can take to see what attachment style you are.  There are also a few videos linked throughout this post.

What is attachment?

Let’s start out with the basics.  Attachment is the connection and relationship that one person has with another.  The way people connect and hold relationships with others stems from early life.  Surprising right?  Not really.  However, attachment can change based on life events.  Someone can have a secure attachment early on in life, but change to an anxious avoidant attachment (I’ll explain these later) when something significant happens – like a divorce (see the connection?).

In the years 0-2, are the most important for the development of attachment and self, because the brain grows rapidly in this stage.  Babies who do not receive consistent care will not develop positive attachment.

By 18 months old, the attachment style is set.

The Circle of Courage

Inge Bolin created the Circle of Courage; it is a model that was based off of Indigenous (Native American) teachings.  It’s based off of four needs children (and adults alike) have in order to thrive.

Belonging is the need to feel as if they fit and belong in a group.  That group is home, their community, and school.  It is where they fit into the world, what they are connected to, and let them feel like they have value.

Mastery is “the desire for competition [that is] inborn [that] cultures shape” (Bendtro & Michtell, 2015, p. 6).  Children need to know that they are good at things, and can accomplish goals.

Independence teaches children to self regulate, indulge in responsibility, and practice in self discipline.  It is also knowing when to ask for help and work with others.

Generosity is giving back to the community, without the intent to gain thanks and praise.  It shows they have purpose, they are useful, and feel as if other people value them.

Attachment

John Bowlby coined the term “Attachment Theory”, and it is the belief that healthy development is strongly dependent on the bond with at least one care giver.  This is the need to belong (that’s why I went on a bit about the Circle of Courage).

Across all cultures, and all humans, there is a thirst for relationship and social support.  “The desire for interpersonal attachment – the need to belong – is a fundamental human motivation” (Bendtro & Michtell, 2015, p. 29).

Attachment Styles

Mary Ainsworth did a study called “Strange Situations”.  It was actually quite interesting.  The study consists of putting a toddler in a room with their caregiver.  The caregiver will be in the room with the child.  Then, a strange person will enter the room.  The parent will leave the child with the stranger in the room.  The parent will enter back in the room.  You can check out the video here.  If you watch the video, I suggest watching it a few times to really get that the study is grasping at.

In different types of attachment, the baby would react differently to when the stranger came in, when the parent left, and when the parent came back to the baby.  This study helped researchers identify four attachment styles.

Secure.  “Following separation, children eagerly greet their caregivers, sook proximity until calmed, and then return to play.  Caregivers pf securely-attached children are sensitive and responsive, particularly when the child is distressed” (Bendtro & Michtell, 2015, p. 33).  Secure children and youth receive consistent and positive care whenever they need it.  These securely attached children will become people with confidence, self esteem, curiosity, and empathetic.  They feel good about themselves and feel good about others.

Anxious Resistant (The people pleaser).  “These children may cling but are not easily comforted, showing anger and distress.  Their caregivers are thought to erratic in response to infant distress and more concerned with their own needs than the child’s” (Bendtro & Michtell, 2015, p. 33).  Anxious resistant children’s parents are inconsistent in parenting.  For example, one day the parent will hug and kiss, the next day slap and hit.  This is when a child feels good about other people, but not themselves.  They are anxious about how other people perceive them, and try to predict and please the caregiver in order to receive the good care they need.

Anxious Avoidant.  “These children ignore the caregiver upon reunion, looking or turning away instead of approaching.  Their caregivers have been observed to express little emotion and avoid physical contact when their child is upset” (Bendtro & Michtell, 2015, p. 33).  These children have good self esteem, and low value of others.  This comes from having to self sooth in early development.  For example, a baby will wet themselves, and nobody will change them.  The baby does not get physical affection, and therefore wets themselves in order to feel a warmth, like that of a hug.  These children have to figure their world out on their own, because nobody is there for them (or so they feel).  They feel as if they can fend for themselves, and they don’t need anyone’s help.  They often sabotage relationships on purpose with the “hurt you before you hurt me” logic.

Disorganized.  “These children exhibit chaotic behaviours and have no stable attachment strategy.  Caregivers are likely to be transmitting their own prior trauma experience with unpredictable feelings of helplessness, hostility, or withdrawal” (Bendtro & Michtell, 2015).

Adult Attachment Styles

The attachment styles you form as a child can follow you into your adult life.  However, these styles can change over time and vary from person to person.  For example, I am an “anxious avoidant” person, yet my parents were consistent in their parenting.  I was never abused, and I always got what I needed.  There was an event (more-so multiple events that stemmed from one problem) in my life that changed how I now attach to people.  This can happen to children, too.  If you’re reading this, there is a possibility that you’re a Step Parent, which means your step children don’t have biological parents that are still together.  This separation between parents could have effected the way they attach to people.

If you’re interested to see what your attachment style is, you can check out this link.  There is a link to the quiz at the end of the page.

Just like the child attachment styles, there are 4 adult attachment styles.

Secure.  Just like the childhood attachment, adults with this attachment have a high value of others and a high value of self.  “Their lives are balanced: they are both secure in their independence and in their close relationships” (What is your Attachment Style?, n.d.).

Dismissive.  Children who have avoidant attachments will most likely have a dismissive adult attachment.  “These people tend o be loners; they regard relationships and emotions as being relatively unimportant” (What is your Attachment Style?, n.d.).

Preoccupied.  Children who have had an an anxious resistant attachment style will often grow to be preoccupied attached adults.  These adults are insecure, and self critical.  They’re constantly looking for reassurance and approval from others to relieve their self doubt, though rarely works.  In relationships, they are worried that they are going to be rejected and abandoned, so they are often not trusting and clingy (What is your Attachment Style?, n.d).

Fearful Avoidant.   For those who grew up in a disorganized attachment style develop a fearful avoidant adult attachment style.  Because they detached from their feelings during traumatic events as children, as adults they continue to detach from themselves in self preservation.  They want to have emotionally close relationships, however when they reach that state they do not know how to connect to others on an emotional level.  They tend to relive past traumatic experiences and cannot separate their current relationship from the traumatic and abusive relationship they had as children (What is Your Attachment Style?, n.d).

Attachment Disorders

Attachment disorders come from childhood abuse and neglect.  I can’t stress this enough – in order to diagnose an individual with an attachment disorder, it must be done by a psychiatrist.

Reactive Attachment Disorder.  Children with RAD often children filled with rage.  They do not respond to affection, and often repress their emotions.  It would be noticed that these children lie, steal, hurt their siblings, and hurt animals.  They lack empathy and do not “care” when someone else is hurt.

This is rare, and stems from severe childhood abuse and neglect.

This video, is a true story of a little girl who suffers from RAD, and her development. *Trigger warning*  This video may be hard to watch for some individuals, so please take care when watching. Beth, the little girl in this video, is now a registered nurse and a child advocate.

Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder.  Children with DSED are children that do not have a bond with any one adult.  They do not see danger in strangers, and are willing to huge, cuddle and communicate with adults they do not know.  It would be noticed that a child with DSED could walk up and leave with a complete stranger, and not feel a sense of danger.

These children are children who have been neglected as babies.  Babies who have been left alone for long periods of time, or children found in foster systems who have not experienced consistent care.

This is an obvious challenge because a child exhibiting DSED is in danger of abduction.

There’s hope.

Children who have had neglectful or abusive parents have learned that adults cannot be trusted or relied on.  In order to overcome this, the child must be shown what good attachment is.  Modelling a stable relationship to the child, like Step Mom and Bio Dad (or Bio Mom and Step Dad), and also showing them that same respect and trust to them as well.  But, children and youth need to feel as if their opinions are valued and heard.  They are more likely to co-operate when they feel as if they have a voice.

If an individual has an attachment style that is not ideal, it’s okay.  It is not an end-all-be-all.  There is hope, and attachment can change.  With help from Therapists, Psychiatrists, and Child and Youth Workers, children can develop a secure attachment and be a secure adult.

Please do not rely on Google to asses and diagnose yourself, your significant other, bio mom, or your step children.  If you are concerned for current attachment style, or possible attachment disorders, please consult a professional.

References

Bendtro, L. K., & Michtell, M. L. (2015). Deep Brain Learning. Michigan: Starr Commonwealth.

What is your Attachment Style? (n.d.). Retrieved from PsychAlive: Psychology for Everyday Life: http://www.psychalive.org/what-is-your-attachment-style

The post Attachment appeared first on Step Mommin.

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Step Mommin by Stepmommin - 1y ago

I’m in my early 20’s.

I only know of two women my age that I went to school with that have children.  Everyone else my age is focusing on school or their career.

There is only one other “Step Mom” that I went to high school with.(both of us are not married to our significant others).

I needed Step Mom support.

I joined a Facebook group that was designed for Step Moms who stand for The Fathers Rights Movement.  It’s one of my favourite groups because the administration makes sure that only step moms are added, as they don’t want any privacy problems with high conflict exes seeing what’s posted.  The women in this group have so much knowledge and are so supportive.

What I found, was not support.

My first post was an introduction of myself and my situation.  My introduction included my age, how long my boyfriend and I have been together (which wasn’t that long at the time), and my very high conflict situation.  I asked for advice on whatever was going on at the time, and some general support.

I was bombarded with older step moms telling me to run and never look back.  I was too young to be with a man with so much baggage.  I was too young to have to deal with a high conflict ex.  I was too young to be tied down by someone with a child.

Even from others.

It wasn’t just these step moms telling me this, either.  It was family members, friends, acquaintances.  Everyone was telling me I was “too young”.

I was too young to be tied down by a man who has a crazy ex.

I was too young to “play house” with someone else’s baby.

I was too young to be tied down by the financial situations of court and child support.

It pisses me off to no end that people make these comments to me.  I know how old I am.  I know that my boyfriend has a lot of “baggage”, I know it is difficult to co parent with someone who doesn’t want to acknowledge you exist, I know it’s hard to be a parent figure to a child that is not yours.

Then, I found some.

Eventually, I found that person that stood behind every decision I made.  She is always in my corner, she is always a phone call away.  I am so lucky to have connected with her.  She is my best friend.  Funny enough, after a year of being best friends, we find out that we are actually cousins.

It’s all about Resiliency.

I am determined to prove others wrong.  I want to prove to her that I am committed and I want this.  I want to prove to those older Step Moms that I am not going to run away.  I want to prove to everyone else that this is not a ball and chain.

I may only be in my early 20’s, but I have always been an “old soul”, as my Mom says.  I am a home body, I’m not into partying and being overly social.  I matured early in age, and I was always wise beyond my years.

I love my boyfriend, and I love his son.  That is a key factor everyone seems to ignore when telling me to run and never look back.

The post A Young Step Mom appeared first on Step Mommin.

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Step Mommin by Stepmommin - 1y ago

You may or may not have noticed my absence the past month.  As my readers, I feel as if I should explain my reasoning.

Things with her are not good.

Before on my posts, you would have read how things with her had been getting better.  My blog was all about keeping things positive.  That positive streak had ended.  Things had gotten a little sour.  I felt as if I couldn’t write about positivity and be in the situation that I was in.  Nothing was positive about our relationship.  I couldn’t keep up with the theme of my blog with how things were going.

I was stressed af. 

Stressed is an understatement.  Imagine stress but times 300.  I was in my second semester of school, the professors got strict with their grading.  Assignments were coming out of my wazoo.  My dog had died in October, and I was still trying to figure out how to grieve (he was the first family member/close being to me that had ever passed).  Then, I was tested with how I handled death again when my Grandpa passed away unexpectedly and tragically.  Little things began to trigger me into an anxiety attack and mental break downs.  To top it all off, my financials have been disappearing with the ridiculous cost of gas, and the distance I had to travel to school

With all my assignments, and all the other wonderful things I was dealing with, writing blog posts was the last thing I wanted to do.  I just couldn’t sit down to write anything.

But, I’m back.

Things with her are not good.  However, I know that this cycle of good, bad, good, bad, will continue all through my life as long as I’m a Step Mom.  Should I only have to write about the good things about being a Step Mom?  Should I only be Polly Positive all the time?  No, it’s just not logical.

My school year is over.  I have the next few months to get a summer job, work on myself, and write some blog posts.

From here on out, it’s nothing but the ugly truth.

Glad to be back.

The post I’m Back. appeared first on Step Mommin.

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Step Mommin by Stepmommin - 1y ago

I don’t know if I will end up posting this.  This is something I needed to write out to really process.  If this gets posted, it’s because I hope someone learns from my mistakes, and/or relates to what I have experienced.

This week, I lost a family member.

This family member holds many childhood memories, however I did not have a close relationship with this person.  They lived a 3 hour drive from where I live, in a small town that often had poor weather conditions.

I lost this person in a very sudden, unexpected and tragic way.  His house burned down.

Three years ago, his wife passed in her sleep.  Her celebration of life was an event that brought us all together to visit him.  After losing his wife, I made the decision to make more of an effort to see him on a regular basis, as life could be taken without notice.

Shortly after her death, he had fallen and broke his femur.  He was in ICU for a while due to his vital signs not being stable enough.  I visited him there and made sure that he was doing well and had some company.

That was the last time I saw him.

Since that event, I wanted to go visit at home many times, but I kept putting it off.  Whether it was because we were getting Little Boy that weekend, or I was working, or I had other plans.  Over and over I just pushed it back.

This week, I was planning on telling my Dad I wanted to go down and visit.  I had mentally planned about making him some casseroles for the freezer, do some of his laundry, clean his house for him, and so on.  I was mentally prepared to go down for the drive and spend the weekend at his place.

Then I got the news.

I was absolutely devastated.  It was so sudden and surreal.  I felt so guilty to not have seen him sooner.  I felt so guilty to not have just gone down weeks before.  We all drove down to the house to see what could be salvageable.  There was nothing left.  The whole house was gone.

He was a well off man.  He worked hard throughout his life, and used his money wisely.  He saved and didn’t spend money unless it was for something he needed.

Money doesn’t matter.

He had lots of money.  Could he take it with him when he went?  No.  Sure, it goes to his children to help them out.  But what was the point of being so incredibly frugal?  It didn’t save him.  He’s not currently reaping the benefits.

Money comes and goes.  It can disappear in a second.  It can come in floods in a second.

Don’t work your ass off just to be loaded.  Don’t work long hours and long days and sacrifice time with your family.  It’s time you can’t get back, not the money.

Don’t wait until tomorrow.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to tell them for the first time “I love you”.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to visit someone.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to tell someone how you really feel.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to go on a trip.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to do the things you want to do.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to start painting, or sewing, or knitting, or trying something you want to do.

Get those bucket list items crossed off your list.  Tomorrow may not come.

Stop and smell the roses. Tell people how you feel. Make time for family.

The post Lesson Learned. appeared first on Step Mommin.

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Step Mommin by Stepmommin - 1y ago

I stepped into my boyfriend’s life at a bad time; or maybe a good time.  He had recently cut ties with her, and he knew he was never going to have the family he pictured when he found out he was going to be a Dad.  I watched him grow from the “boy” he was when we met, to the amazing Father that he is today.

He has changed so much since I have met him.  In really great ways.  I’m so happy that I was able to watch him grow into someone more mature, and a great father.

He has matured.

When we started dating, he was an angry, and generally unhealthy person.  He was holding onto hate, anger, resentment, and all of those negative things.  He wallowed in his sadness and anger, and acted on those emotions.

For a long time he thought only about his situation and how it was affecting him, and not how it was affecting others or why it was happening.  It took a while for me to get him to be empathetic and try to understand or figure out where the other person is coming from, and why they’re doing what they’re doing.  He had to learn what the other persons privet logic was, even if it didn’t make sense to him.  I’ve noticed recently that he thinks more critically, and he attempts (most of the time) to try and figure out why someone does what they do.

He has calmed down so much.  He is less pessimistic, and goes more with the flow.  He doesn’t let the bad things get to him like he did before.  Watching him communicate with her, especially with out me, makes me so happy.  Even in high tension times, he remains calm and neutral.  He doesn’t get angry, and shares only facts.

He’s a better Dad.

I don’t want to say he was ever a bad father, because he was never bad.  He loved holding his baby, feeding him, burping him, and even didn’t mind changing dirty diapers.

He just didn’t feel like a Dad.  He lacked time with his son, and I think that was the biggest problem.  Most first time parents become less sensitive to a fussy baby, or freak out less when their baby cries after their baby is more than a few months old.  He felt like a babysitter more than a parent.  Until a few months ago, he had never spent a night with his son (who is almost 2 now).  He was unable to get the time needed to become a more “experienced” daddy.

For a long time, Little Boy preferred me over him.  For the simple fact that I was a woman, and less stressed than him.  Little Boy reached for me, and would only fall asleep for me.  Then the dynamic changed when I started school.  I was around less during the week because of homework, and they got more time together without me.

It was at the moment where Little Boy moved from wanting me to wanting his Dad where my boyfriend really blossomed as a father.  He embraced the responsibility, and wanted to go the extra mile.  He started feeling more like a father, and less like a visitor.  As much as it sucks sometimes being rejected for cuddles because Dad is there, seeing my boyfriends face light up makes me so happy.

Now, Little Boy says “Daddy Daddy” constantly, always wants hugs and cuddles, and can only be soothed by Daddy.  He has become a Daddy’s boy, and my boyfriend is really loving it.

Our relationship is better.

He’s more romantic towards me.  It was like pulling teeth trying to get him to do something nice for me, but now he does it without being asked.  He gets me flowers for no reason, my favourite chocolate bars, writes love notes in my phone.  He has also shown me that romantic gestures aren’t always flowers and gifts.  It’s also foot rubs, massages, “good morning beautiful” ‘s, and breakfast just the way I like it.

Love and romanticism isn’t always flowers and gifts.  It’s letting you sleep in, giving you a kiss before work, telling you to drive safe, making sure your car is well maintained and safe.

The post Watching Him Change appeared first on Step Mommin.

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Step Mommin by Stepmommin - 1y ago

My opinion.

I wrote this post earlier about an experiment I did with my Twitter and Instagram polls.  The results made me think more about my opinions, and changed them a little bit.

Do you believe in child support?

So, before these polls, I would have said no.  However, I had a few conversations with classmates (one of which is a single mother), and family members.  My original stance was one of a narrow view, and clouded by bitterness.  It is also based on the belief that fathers should have their children 50% of the time, and therefore should not have to pay child support.

Now, I realize that not everything is as black and white as I had originally thought.  There are fathers out there that don’t have 50/50 access, and need to financially provide for their children.

What should child support be based on?

I found the results of this question really interesting.  For my Instagram poll, the options were either based on income or cost of child.  Cost of child won at 60%.  On Twitter, cost of child at 29%, and fixed income at 35%.

Basing child support off of income or cost of a child could be good or bad, depending on your financial situation.  If you make great money, then paying based on cost of child could save you some money.  However, if you didn’t make great money, paying based on cost of child instead of on income, it could be way too far out of budget.

I did not expect “fixed income” to have such a high score.  But this begs the question:  What would that number be?  Would that number be high, or would it be fairly low?

Should Dads monthly expenses be taken into consideration when ordering child support?

The interesting piece about this is that they kind of are, but not really.  The courts don’t look and say “Dad pays x amount on insurance, y on mortgage, z on all these other bills” and come to a reasonable amount based on what he can afford.  Unfortunately, for a lot of fathers, which bills they can fall behind on.

On both polls, “yes” won by a fair landslide, and I would have to agree.  Monthly expenses should be taken more seriously so that fathers can actually live.

Should child support be monitored?

I have absolutely no idea how the courts would effectively monitor the spending of child support.  I have heard idea’s such as a “child support card”, where what is spent on that card can be watched.  This sounds like a great idea.  However, that is not to say that it is the most effective way to fully track how the money is being spent.

Do I think it should be monitored?  In a way, yes.  There are some mothers out there that have children in ill fitting and old clothing, but they themselves have a fresh set of nails and foiled hair.

Should 50/50 custody be automatic when in the process of settling custody?

Opinions of this matter was pretty 50/50 split on agreeing for both yes and no.

At first, I agreed that both fathers and mothers should have access to their children on even times during a custody battle.  My logic comes from a space of being in the position where a good father had abuse allegations thrown around, and his time was very limited with his child.  We found out the hard way that is very hard to prove you’re a good parent, especially when you don’t get to see your children.  It’s very easy to claim and prove a parent is unfit than it is to prove one is.

Then, thinking outside of my experiences, I had to think critically about other situations.  Some parents are trying to leave real abuse situations, high conflict, high crime, substance abuse, or simply an unfit parent.  Giving both parents 50/50 could put another parent and/or child(ren) in harms way.

I’m not exactly sure where I stand on this, as it is so circumstantial.  Not to mention, some parents use the “silver bullet” (abuse and assault allegations, sometimes that are untrue), which would ultimately just make the system work the way it works now.

Should there be a maximum number allowed to be ordered for child support?

The majority of the poll agreed that yes, there should be.  And I strongly agree.

This is the question that really got me thinking.  I was in my Legislation class in college, and we were reading about “Ontario Family Law in the News”.  There were a few different news articles we had to read, and this particular one from the Toronto Star really caught my attention.  The author of this article was clearly a Fathers Rights Movement activist, and they made some really compelling points.  I’ll be paraphrasing here, as I don’t have access to this article anymore, but I had written down this point. “In Canada, the most amount paid monthly for child support was $65,000”.

THAT’S ASTRONOMICAL.  The author of this article went on to say that child support has become spousal support in disguise, especially that of a relationship that never married.  At what point do we say that enough is enough?

In conclusion.

The family court system is corrupt, out dated, and broken.  That is for certain.

I believe that good, willing, able fathers (and mothers) should be getting their children 50% of the time, and have an equal say about what goes on in that child’s life medically and educationally.  A lot of these fathers are being forced out of their children’s lives by bitter mothers (and even mothers being forced out of their lives by bitter fathers), and in the end it’s the child that suffers.

Because I believe that children should spend equal time with both their parents, I believe child support is unnecessary.  If a child is with each parent 50% of the time, then each parent takes up 50% of costs, and therefore no need to pay the other parent.

However, for fathers (and mothers) that either can’t, don’t want to, or shouldn’t have their children 50% of the time, child support is necessary.  Parents are financially obligated to their child.  That being said, some parents are being ordered an amount they struggle with.

Sometimes, child support gets in the way of the paying parent to be able to provide a stable, healthy, happy living environment for the children.  Parents who pay child support can struggle to pay all their bills, so in return they have to sacrifice some essentials.  This can also mean that the paying parent cannot afford a nice home for their child, toys, clothes and good food.  I believe that child support needs to be more proportionate to the other bills a parent must pay.

What’s your opinion?

The post My Opinion appeared first on Step Mommin.

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