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Kids angry because of $ situation after divorce

Posted by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 11:39 AM
  • 25 Replies
My kids used to have a pretty charmed life. We lived an upper middle class lifestyle. We had a beautiful house, nice leased cars, a boat, etc. I was blessed to be a stay at home mom and able to volunteer w kids' schools and be very active w them. When we separated Husband made several wreckless choices and essentially stopped working- let's just say he has issues. Anyway house got foreclosed on, cars got turned in, I have essentially sold everything not nailed down that I could to supplement my income.. X is unemployed and I get no child support. So things are very tight. Though i am blessed to have a job- I actually don't make enough to cover my expenses but have been managing through windfalls like tax return and unexpected bonuses. But it is hard. I can be poor- i dont need a lot. But the strain is even more difficult because of my kids. My teenager says our financial situation is my fault because I left their dad. He doesn't understand that his dads bad decisions were going to catch up w us no matter what. They want their house back, are angry that i moved them to a (cheaper) neighborhood away from their friends. Son is mad because he doesnt have a car like his friends, of course I can barely afford gas and insurance for my car. But they also want simple things: like frozen yogurt after school on Friday, or to go to in n out for dinner, a new Lego, or to do the after school enrichment class w friends- things which would have been a given before, and I just can't. I am so tired of saying no. The kids, even my youngest, will tell me i am being mean- and say things like put it on the credit card or didnt you just get paid? But that cost literally translates in my head to a tank of gas or a pair of kids shoes or a portion of my weekly grocery budget and I know we can't afford it even if I did just get paid. It's not even that my income is that low, but very hard to support a family of four on it in Los Angeles. I actually read somewhere recently that the minimal comfortable existence for a family of four in LA is 60k...well I live far below that.

I am tempted to sit the kids down w a stack of monopoly money and our monthly bills/expenses and have them manage our budget... But I am afraid it would terrify them. How do you deal w this?
by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 11:39 AM
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Replies (1-10):
rocky_mtn_mama
by Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 12:39 PM
6 moms liked this

Depending on their ages, I think sitting them down and talking to them about the expenses and showing them how you're making things work is a great idea.  They need to learn real life.

lovemybabes3
by Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 1:30 PM
1 mom liked this

if they are old enough i say go for it...teach them how life really works...my ex put us in a bad situation and we were in debt big time and im paying for part of it...at least you have a job, jusy budget as best you can

virginiamama71
by Carrie on Apr. 28, 2013 at 1:33 PM

 agree

Quoting rocky_mtn_mama:

Depending on their ages, I think sitting them down and talking to them about the expenses and showing them how you're making things work is a great idea.  They need to learn real life.

 

Mamavelt
by Bronze Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 2:37 PM
Yes well there's the practicality and there's the emotion behind it too. Like when daughter said "all my friends go for ice cream after school on Fridays" - and all I can think is ... That's because their parents are still together or their dads pay child support! I don't say it but I think it.

And I shouldn't paint my kids as spoiled brats... They just have their moments. Daughter was sick last week and her prescription cost $100 after insurance, she noticed the shocked look on my face at the pharmacy counter, and when we were alone she apologized for it costing so much. That made me feel sick. It's just not fair.
virginiamama71
by Carrie on Apr. 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM

 I would talk to them about how things have changed since now there is only one income. If their friends get to go out for ice cream night, they can have ice cream night too, just make it a fun frugal event at home.

Can you apply for some prescription programs to help defer the costs?

Quoting Mamavelt:

Yes well there's the practicality and there's the emotion behind it too. Like when daughter said "all my friends go for ice cream after school on Fridays" - and all I can think is ... That's because their parents are still together or their dads pay child support! I don't say it but I think it.

And I shouldn't paint my kids as spoiled brats... They just have their moments. Daughter was sick last week and her prescription cost $100 after insurance, she noticed the shocked look on my face at the pharmacy counter, and when we were alone she apologized for it costing so much. That made me feel sick. It's just not fair.

 

dawncs
by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 3:29 PM
1 mom liked this

You should really sit down and talk to them about the income situation with Monopoly money. I also recommend showing them a copy of your paycheck stub, rent information, bills, and car payment things. You need to let them know that Daddy is not helping any more with the extras like you had when you two were together, and you are working really hard to make sure that they have a roof over their head along with good food for their bellies every day. You have to explain it to them like is one Friday worth of frozen yogurt on Friday for all worth going to bed hungry on Wednesday when you ran out of money to eat dinner. The same explanation for eating at a restaurant.

Dawn


Group owner of Different Learners Support Group (http://www.cafemom.com/group/118648)

brieri
by Platinum Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 5:08 PM

 How much is ice cream?  I am sure you can afford 1 - 2 icecreams every couple of weeks especially if school is the one making it.  It's not like your getting it from an Ice cream truck that cost 4.00.

Quoting Mamavelt:

Yes well there's the practicality and there's the emotion behind it too. Like when daughter said "all my friends go for ice cream after school on Fridays" - and all I can think is ... That's because their parents are still together or their dads pay child support! I don't say it but I think it.

And I shouldn't paint my kids as spoiled brats... They just have their moments. Daughter was sick last week and her prescription cost $100 after insurance, she noticed the shocked look on my face at the pharmacy counter, and when we were alone she apologized for it costing so much. That made me feel sick. It's just not fair.

 

owl0210
by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 7:01 PM
I had a six figure income and a beautiful house before my divorce so I can relate. I've had to downsize but I'm much happier now.
easinpc
by Gold Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Hugs!

Mamavelt
by Bronze Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 8:52 PM
1 mom liked this
First, you dont really know what i can afford or not...because you dont know what i make or what my bills are. You dont know how impossible our budget is or how friugal i am or what we go without, or how i regularly have nightmares of being homeless w kids.

School is not the one making the ice cream. She wants menchies or baskin robbins x 3 kids, because I can't just buy it for 1 of my kids. And yes I do buy ice cream when it is on sale for occassional home treats.... But dd wants to go out for ice cream, because her friends do...and because she used to get to, and because she can't because our lives are different now.


Quoting brieri:

 How much is ice cream?  I am sure you can afford 1 - 2 icecreams every couple of weeks especially if school is the one making it.  It's not like your getting it from an Ice cream truck that cost 4.00.


Quoting Mamavelt:

Yes well there's the practicality and there's the emotion behind it too. Like when daughter said "all my friends go for ice cream after school on Fridays" - and all I can think is ... That's because their parents are still together or their dads pay child support! I don't say it but I think it.

And I shouldn't paint my kids as spoiled brats... They just have their moments. Daughter was sick last week and her prescription cost $100 after insurance, she noticed the shocked look on my face at the pharmacy counter, and when we were alone she apologized for it costing so much. That made me feel sick. It's just not fair.

 


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