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I made a parenting mistake years ago that I wish I could take back.

Posted by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM
  • 5 Replies

 Our sons are now 19 and 16. We own our own small plumbing business and have always eked through life with me being able to stay home with them (at my husband's insistence, long story).

 We had really good times and REALLY bad times, financially. My husband works SO hard and we always manage to make payments, although maybe not big ones, on time, so that our credit stayed strong.

 I always hid from the boys the fact that we were struggling at times. I never would want them to ever worry about anything. I managed to tuck away a little money here and there for a special treat, even in bad times, so they would never suspect that we were struggling. We were really living pay check to pay check, depending on the work available.

 During the good times, we made sure they shared in the bounty, so to speak. One Easter, we did so well, that they each got dirt bikes. Even my husband! They all matched and it was the cutest ting ever to see them ride around. Now, it's not like we did something big like this all the time! We are actually very good with money. If the re-sell value wouldn't have been so high, they would not have been purchased, plus, they were all used.

 Ok, bring us to now, when the boys are 19 and 16.

 Our 19yo tried college. He was miserable. He honestly was not cut out for college, but, at least he tried. He applied for jobs everywhere while at school, and got in with FedEx. He was so pleased, and we were so proud. He is now putting school on hold and just got full time at FedEx. He gets "write-ups" for doing GOOD things and even got employee of the month after being there, just part time for 4 months! He is doing great!

 He and his gf (of 2 yrs) have a tiny apartment about 40 minutes from home, close to his work. His gf got a nice job waitressing at a fancy restaurant that she can actually walk to. They are doing so good for a 19yo and 21yo (she's a little older, which, imo is good) 

 He came home yesterday, as he usually does on weekends (laundry lol), and we sat down with him to tell him that, since he has taken over one of our cars, he needed to handle the insurance for it. He said that that was fine, so he wrote out how much he spends for what and his face turned pale.

 He pays 1/2 of rent, electric ($25 max), cable and internet, gas for the car, and his netflix. Now we added his car insurance. He was horrified to find out, that all being paid would ONLY leave him about $50 a week extra.

 Really? I know so many people struggling to pay their bills, having NOTHING left for food on the table, and he's complaining about only having $50 left over each week?

 Then, I started thinking. He never saw that. He never saw us scramble for that house payment. He never saw my husband up at night worrying about having the electric shut off. He never knew that I had to sometimes borrow $20 from my mom the get milk, bread and potatoes. I now wish he had seen us work through these difficult times and realized just how lucky he is!

 

by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM
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Replies (1-5):
supermom2xlb
by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I am so glad you posted this. I am sorry that you realized too late but maybe you can now talk to him now?

The reason I am glad you posted this is because we are on the verge of fianancial hard ships. DF may lose his job tomorrow (long story) which is our only source of income and I know we will struggle until he finds more work. ( I can't work) I have been asking myself how we will aproach this situation with the children.  I see now that it will probably be best to be honest with them.

lauriebash
by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM

 I have talked with him about how well he is doing. He is trying to understand, as everything I am saying makes sense, but he has never experienced the struggle. If nothing else, I would have liked him to have learned that you can make it through rough times, but you have to tighten your belt to do it.

 I wish you the best with what you are going through right now. I am so sorry.

Quoting supermom2xlb:

I am so glad you posted this. I am sorry that you realized too late but maybe you can now talk to him now?

The reason I am glad you posted this is because we are on the verge of fianancial hard ships. DF may lose his job tomorrow (long story) which is our only source of income and I know we will struggle until he finds more work. ( I can't work) I have been asking myself how we will aproach this situation with the children.  I see now that it will probably be best to be honest with them.

 

bamababe1975
by Gold Member on Jun. 11, 2012 at 12:04 PM
1 mom liked this

 I don't think you did anything wrong by shielding him from all of that when he was a kid, but now you can definitely explain to him how things really were and what you did and why as you help him come to terms with life as an adult. $50/wk as a singleton is TERRIFIC! At one point, we had to live on $50/wk after bills and we had 2 babies in diapers. Just explain to him that while he may not be able to go and do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, $50/wk is a good start and will get better as he gets raises at work. He'll learn, just like everyone does. :)


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Kenzismommy09
by on Jun. 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM
I think you did the right thing. A child should never have to see the burden of financiall problems until they care for them on my own. At 16 when I got a job my mom showed me the bills and then what she expected me to help with. She was a single mom and had been for most my life. I never knew how bad things were but I knew we wernt well off by any means. But at 16 just getting my first pt job she told me I was expected to help with bills, I did not think it was fair at all.
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Mrs_Incredible
by on Jun. 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM
I agree. $50 a week for a kid is a great start too

Quoting bamababe1975:

 I don't think you did anything wrong by shielding him from all of that when he was a kid, but now you can definitely explain to him how things really were and what you did and why as you help him come to terms with life as an adult. $50/wk as a singleton is TERRIFIC! At one point, we had to live on $50/wk after bills and we had 2 babies in diapers. Just explain to him that while he may not be able to go and do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, $50/wk is a good start and will get better as he gets raises at work. He'll learn, just like everyone does. :)




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