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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MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY MOMENT – 08.28.17

Happy Monday Loves!

It’s the last Monday in August and I was looking for words to inspire you today. To motivate you. To put you in a good mood. Sigh.

I didn’t have any. My life and my words are all jumbled together. I am working like crazy and preparing Munch for school. He’ll be in the 4th grade. I’m excited. He’s not. He doesn’t like change.

Then it hit me.

The inspiration…

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Change.

I love the above quote. Change is inevitable. Progression is a choice. Change is a process. It means to transform or convert. Munch is transforming from a third grader to a fourth grader. He’s scared. His mind isn’t ready.

But, haven’t we all been there at one time or another in our lives? Afraid of change? Scared of the outcome of some things?

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Change is hard. We like the comfort of the normal way things are progressing. We like to take comfort in the things that we know. But, we have to move forward. Change happens whether or not we’re ready for it.

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I never expected to get married, have a son and then be divorced. I never imagined that would be my life when I said that I never wanted to be a single parent. But, here I am. Change happened. I am good. I survived. And so will you.

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We have to accept that things change. We grow older, we lose jobs, families and the things that we took comfort in will sometimes look foreign. That’s where the opportunity to build again lies. In the newness.

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A transformation occurs. In our attitude. In our ability to see beyond the horrific or tragic situations we may find ourselves in. We begin to let the dust clear and find comfort in knowing that we are still here. No matter what.

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That old saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” begins to make sense. You survived. The situation you found yourself facing didn’t kill you. You survived the change. You are a survivor.

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So, my Motivational Monday Moment is about accepting the change. Anticipate and then accept the change. We’re never ready for it, but look at each day and situation as a new opportunity to grow. To learn something new.

Just like Munch is not ready for changing grades, I will help prepare his mind. I will remind him of the new adventures that await him. I will comfort and console and lead and guide him in this new transition. It’s part of life. He’s growing. I’m growing and change is the the only part of life that is inevitable.

Be blessed my loves!

 

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/.

My IVF Journey: Back to the Drawing Board

I ignored my husband. The egg number was low as compared to the woman in the other room. Too low. I just closed my eyes and prayed. Prayed that one of those eggs would give us a baby.

We left and I spent the rest of the day trying to clear my head. We decided that we had to be different. This stress of going through the process couldn’t destroy us again.

The nurse called to tell us about the embryos developing. All was good. Five had made it to the blastocyst stage. Good news.

We were scheduled for a day 5 transfer. I was nervous as hell. The same beautiful Indian doctor who did the retrieval was scheduled to do my transplant. Where the hell was my doctor? He was the one who believed that he could get me pregnant again.

She explained how excited that she was to see me again. She said that she remembered me from the retrieval and she had great news about our eggs. They were beautiful and strong. Five made it and she began to discuss the transplant.

If we transferred one embryo the chance of getting pregnant was 32%. If she transferred two Grade AA embryos the chance of getting pregnant was 54%, but the chance of twins was 57%. I stopped.

I mean I had thought about twins, but not really. I thought about how beautiful my babies would be with my husband’s eyes and mouth, but I knew that I would be exhausted…mentally, spiritually and financially. I hesitated. I looked at my husband.

He recommended two. Of course he would. He had no clue what it would be like raising two babies. He just wanted a baby. By any means necessary.

I looked at the doctor and asked “What would you do?” She said “If it were me, I would transfer 2, but it is up to you. Do you think you could handle twins?” I didn’t know if I could handle twins. But, I knew the odds were higher that one of the embryos would implant and give us a baby.

I agreed to transfer two embryos. She smiled and they transferred two beautiful eggs back into my womb. I prayed that one of those eggs would implant. I wanted a baby.

It was now time to wait. The two week process was grueling as hell, but we were determined that we could wait. We had dinner plans with friends and my husband’s birthday was coming up.

I had bought him tickets to watch his favorite football team, the Redskins, play on his birthday. It was a couple of great seats that included parking and a full tail gate pass. I even told him that he could take one of his friends. I hate football, so I didn’t want him to feel obligated.

But, he didn’t care. He wanted to experience it with me. Why? I hate football. It was hot and all I could do to quench this insatiable thirst was drink beer. I hate beer. I still didn’t know if I was pregnant, but I wasn’t going to deny myself alcohol waiting on another negative.

The game was long, hot and I was sticky. I was happy when we got to leave and go home. I was a little dizzy from the heat and beer. There was one more day.

We only had to wait one more day before finding out if the egg implanted or not. I couldn’t take it. I was coming apart at the seams. My marriage was suffering a major set back and I didn’t know how much I could take before breaking.

I didn’t know if being pregnant would have been good at that moment. I had prayed for this baby and I know I was wondering if my entire life was a mistake. What were we doing?

-To be continued-

 

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/.

Mommy Moments – 8.22.17

Munch and I have been enjoying our summer. School starts next month and I am preparing him slowly. His favorite color is blue (like his mommy) and he’s asked for blue tennis shoes again and a blue back pack.

Got it.

I’ve been buying school supplies and making sure that he’s enjoying camp. He started art camp this week and it goes through next week so I am excited about him learning and playing. This was the one request he had for a camp for summer. He wanted to go to art camp.

He’s gone swimming, skating, go-kart racing, to the fair and to an amusement park. He’s had a ball. We’re headed home to Tennessee in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait. I need the break.

Some funny news about Munch and his health…Last December Munch got a silver cap placed on his tooth. They call it a crown and his dad happened to take him to the dentist when they suggested it. I called the dentist upset because a crown requires a root canal and he still has baby teeth in his mouth. The hygienist was very helpful and just told me in essence it is a crown that his crown was to prevent the spread of decay of the two surrounding tooth. Okay.

After a $225.00 doctor visit for this crown and convincing Munch that it was okay as it was in the back of his mouth to the side, we got used to it. They explained that when his permanent tooth came in then the baby tooth with the crown on it will fall out.

Well, after only 8 months it fell out. Nope, I didn’t get my $225.00 worth of use. Munch was so cute because he thought that he should get more money from the tooth fairy because it was not just a regular tooth, but a silver tooth. Really?

He got a beautiful $1.00 from the tooth fairy. He then said the next morning “I wish it were a gold tooth. I probably would have gotten more.” LMAO.

The last few weeks in August will be spent attending BBQ’s, parties and appointments to get him ready for school. He has a vision appointment this Saturday to make sure he’s all set. School starts on the 6th of September.

How are you enjoying summer so far? Are your kids back in school? Any tips for getting ready to start the new school year?

 

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/.

Reblog: Ghost

I had a dream last night with my ghost.

We were running in a field of wildflowers.

Big

Open

Majestic

We were laughing and playing.

Like old times.

We paused.

Laid down in the wild flowers.

He held my hand while I cried.

I told him about my dreams that were unfilled

My hopes that had died

My bones that had been broken

My tears yet to fall

He smiled

He whispered five words

in my ear.

I was comforted by his presence.

Renewed by his encouragement.

I awoke knowing that I would get through

this life.

No matter what may come I know he meant it

when he whispered

“Never Stop Believing In You”

 

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/.

Where Am I?

Where Am I? I don’t know. It’s a simple question. But, I struggle to answer. Why? Because it seems that I am nowhere, but somewhere. Where? I don’t know.

I guess I would say that I am somewhere between bliss and exhaustion. Heaven and hell. Uncertainty. Indecisiveness. The location evades my consciousness.

So much has happened. In the world. In my life. In Charlottesville. Sigh. I can’t.

I’m tired ya’ll. You know that I’m tired of living in a society that values ignorance over humanity. I’m tired of living in a country where the color of my skin matters more than the content of my character. I’m tired of having to talk to my son about racial bias and yet educate him on the realities of racism.

He’s 9.

He still believes in the tooth fairy. He still believes in Santa Claus. He is innocent. I have to protect him. So, I decided that I needed to take a break.

I unplugged.

I took some time to gather my thoughts, pray and re-center myself. School starts next month and so does my busy season. I have to get it together. No more drama. No more negativity sucking away at my time, money or life.

One foot in front of the other.

I march.

Slowly and with determination and uphill. It doesn’t matter. Life is what is. No crystal stair, but there are stairs to climb.

I can’t stop.

I won’t stop.

Fighting.

Fighting for Munch.

Fighting for you.

Fighting for me.

Fighting for everyone.

My break has allowed me the opportunity to reflect on my journey and recenter my expectations. To realign my goals and just breathe this sometimes heavy atmosphere into my lungs and exhale the fear and frustrations.

Can I just tell you that I was tired ya’ll?

I’ve joined so many Facebook groups trying to learn and align myself with my tribes. To inspire others. To let people know that sometimes the enemy we face is our own self. When we look in that mirror and realize that we are blocking our own blessings. We have to be accountable. We have to hold each other accountable. Only then will we feel the shift.

The shift in our perspective.

We have to heal. We have to be better. We have to see that change is gonna come if we believe.

Be blessed loves!

You were all missed.

 

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/.

A Break

Hey Everyone!

I know you’re probably wondering what’s up with me. I haven’t posted since Monday. I’m sorry. It has been a really busy week at work and at home. I decided to take a break and focus on the things that I need to handle.

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I’ve been reading books (I’ll review them soon) and trying to catch up on your posts. Please bear with me. I like to read what I’ve missed. I’m writing and journaling more than I ever thought possible. I’m in a place of zen. This has been relaxing.

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You are missed and I will be back next week.

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Peace and blessings to all of you.

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/.