Child Support: My Story

The issue of child support is a touchy one. This will be a three part issue. The first part will be my story, the second will be a man’s story and the third will be a woman’s story. I’m going to explore multiple sides about the importance of child support and give you truth here. This may be a trigger post for some of you. So, if it is, please stay off my page with your drama. I am all about trying to equalize the argument for the benefits for financially supporting your children.

Many people see child support as a bad thing. It’s deemed the devil because many states require a man to pay 1/3 or more of his salary supporting a “lazy momma” while being denied visitation or being forced to work multiple jobs to even live.  Others see it as the only way to make a man financially responsible for his child while checking out emotionally. It is a vicious cycle and in reality there are some truths to both sides. Let’s discuss the reality.

In reality, children require more than just love to grow into healthy adults. It takes money. Can your child live without clothes, medical, dental, food or shelter? Nope.

Okay, good. Now, before you start saying that I’m pro the destruction of the man, stop it. I’m not. Women who don’t raise their children should also pay child support. I believe that everyone has a financial responsibility for their children.

For the record, I don’t get nor have I ever filed child support against my ex-husband. He doesn’t get it either. In fact, we agreed that we would equally split expenses for our son. So, I have no “skin” in the game to protect any financial support you think I may be getting.

Now, the difference between me and some other women is that I can afford to take care of my son without his father’s help. It’s not a bad thing. It’s reality. I’ve been blessed to have a great career that allows me both the financial and emotional means to be present for my son. However, I recognize that not everyone can say that they are as fortunate. Some women and men actually need the financial support of the other parent.

 

When I was growing up, my dad was ordered to pay $200 a month in child support for three kids. Yes, I said that right – three kids. Ask me how many checks we received?

Zero.

Not one.

My dad lived his life getting paid under the table. He avoided paying child support like it was a contagious disease. He refused to catch it.

Did he feel bad? In my opinion no. Anyone that avoids the financial support of their child doesn’t have a conscious. Therefore, they can’t feel bad for not doing for their child. Combine that with the fact that he lived in another state and didn’t see us and you have the trifecta of a poor example as a father.

He was not present. Financially, emotionally, spiritually or any form or fashion. We were a non-factor in his life. The life he lived in avoidance.

So, I watched my mother struggle. Struggle to put clothes on our back and food on our table. Struggle to work multiple jobs and go to school so she could provide a better life for us.

I imagined that the better life she was working on would provide better clothes, better shoes and more of an opportunity to have her present. See, when a person doesn’t take care of their children, it leaves the other parent to take care of the slack. But, it took two people to create that child. How come one person gets to slack on their responsibility?

 

Because of that hard life of learning to survive in spite of my circumstances, I worked hard. I didn’t want children. I wouldn’t bring a child into this world without being able to support them on my own. I would never give anyone that power to determine the fate of my child/children.

I would be better than that.

And I did. I worked hard to get my career off the ground. Even when my marriage ended and I had to re-shift my focus, it became about the most important asset in my life. My Munch. He was more important than any job or my career. I needed him to know that.

So, I spoke up. I told my employers during the interview stage that I am a mom first. That it is just me and that I will always be there for my son. I won’t miss school plays, programs or games. I will be present on the first day of school and every day thereafter. I only have him for a short time before he is released into the world, hopefully making it a better place.

My responsibilities were to my son first.  My employers understood. They respected my decision. So, I continued to rise in my career without sacrificing because I was a mother. I have been very fortunate to have that.

Even this summer when I had to adjust my schedule to get my son to and from camp. I called on my village and they helped out. My supervisor understood that I had camp that started at 9 am and there was no before care. I didn’t get to work until 9:45 am. My mother went in early and took off to pick up Munch from camp at 3pm.

I take off to take him to doctor’s appointments, to volunteer in his school, attend his programs (like the art camp) or if he’s sick. My supervisor allows flexibility because it’s just me. I need it. My mother didn’t have that. She had me.

I missed school if my siblings were sick. She had to work. We had to take care of each other.

I’m not ignorant to the fact that Munch has the best of both worlds…a mother that can afford to provide and a mother that is present. This is in direct contrast with what I experienced, but experience taught me. I chose to be a mother and I chose to have a career and thankfully I am able to have them both.

The lack of child support or financial means pushed me to work harder and become more determined to not be another statistic. We needed the financial support from my dad, but we lived and thrived in spite of. No one should ever have to be in that position.

-Part 2: His View On Child Support is Next-

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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10 thoughts on “Child Support: My Story

  1. I totally agree with your perspective. However, I have had to experience all three perspectives. Mines in which I agree with you 100% , some men, and my similar experience in growing up. I have had struggles with raising my kids but at the end of the day, I would rather spend my energy making sure my kids are happy. Even if it means shouldering all the responsibility. I have had to watch my mother as a single parent growing up. And I also love a man that has kids with another woman that shared her frustration with me about him not doing enough financially. However, she made more comments about me being with him and our relationship than about the kids. I’ve just decided that I’m going to do whatever makes my kids happy. I don’t have to cause drama in order to do that. At the end of the day, it should be fair to both mom and dad to both emotionally support and financially support the kids. At the end of the day, my kids didn’t choose their mom or dad. I chose their dad. So I’m willing to shoulder my responsibility to my children even if it may mean I shoulder most or all of the responsibility. At the end of the day, I can only hold myself accountable for MY choices. No one else. I still have been blessed to be able to love their dad enough to put aside the drama and do whatever it takes to make my kids happy. At the end of the day, as long as they’re happy, it’s worth the blood, sweat, and tears it took. I agree with your perspective and great post! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much. Yes, you are absolutely right. Children didn’t choose their dads, you did and I think that’s where I learned my strength from. The old women in my family would say “That’s your baby.” I couldn’t understand that until I had a child. No matter what the situation you as a woman birthed that baby so you need to make sure that you provide no matter what. If the man doesn’t you will need to be strong and step up and do so. I love this line “At the end of the day, it should be fair to both mom and dad to both emotionally support and financially support the kids. ” If you only support financially and not emotionally your children suffer. If you support only emotionally and not financially, your children suffer. We have to take care of our children.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I hope people who read this can see there’s no “One Size Fits All” with any Child Support situation. My exhusband does not see our children but he’s never missed a child support payment. My boyfriend and his exwife split their time evenly with their girls so no one has to pay child support. Each situation can vary and I believe it should always fall back on what is best for the child(ren). Well written!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for commenting. Children need all forms of support. Not just financial, but to say that only one parent should support them financially is crap. What happens if that parent loses their job? It takes two to make and two to take care of their children. We have to focus on the needs of the children.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been on the end of a child that never recv’d financial support from their father and as an adult dealt with a man who refused to financially support his child. For the life of me I just cannot understand how anyone lives day to day knowing they have a child that they are not supporting and not jump off a bridge. I mean really, it should eat a person up inside that they have a child out there somewhere that they have completely neglected.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great post! What a blessing to be able to provide for your son emotionally and financially! Like you said many are not as fortunate.

    Question what do you think the cause is of someone not having a conscious? Is it a mental/emotional block?

    Liked by 1 person

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