Thursday, February 18, 2010

Grrr...Sometimes Being A Good Mommy Feels A Whole Lot Like Being A Bad One

There are times when I think to myself, "WTF GunDiva?  Can those children really be yours?"  I raised my children with manners and taught them to be respectful and work hard, so who are these ingrateful brats who have appeared?  If children learn by example, who the hell were they watching when I was busy working multiple jobs just to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table?  'Cause they - okay, well, really just the boys - seem to have a whole sense of entitlement that I don't understand.

Digger is 18, quit school because of his gawdawful disease and rocked his GED.  I mean, he blew the GED out of the water during what would have been his junior year of high school.  While I would have preferred he graduate from high school, I have to say that the GED was probably the right choice for him.  We'd exhausted all of the resources the school district had to offer.

I have always told my children that once they were 18 they could live at home, but they'd have to pay rent (all of $100 a month) or be in school.  He's doing neither.  He's been "supposed to" get a job for well over a year and still doesn't have one.  He's sick of me bringing it up and I'm sick of bringing it up.  Now, I know that the economy's in the tank and I know that jobs aren't too easy to find.  I also know that there are jobs to be had in the food service industry and WalMart always needs cart gatherers.

He owes us from wrecking his girlfriend's car two years ago; he owes us for paying for his phone while he's been job hunting; and he owes us rent for November, December, January, and February.  Knowing that he owes us this money, he still was astounded when I told him that I would not pay to fix his car.  Fixing his car would just be the beginning, it also needs to be registered and insured.  I asked him who he expected to pay for that and he told me that he hoped I would.  His best friend's step-dad is "pretty sure" he can get Digger a job in Wheatland, Wyoming.  I told him that "pretty sure" and "guaranteed job" are two totally different things.  If he had a job, I'd be happy to help him out and fix his car, but he doesn't, so I'm not putting a dime into it.

So, he told me that he's moving out.  "Great," I said, "Where are you going to live?"

"Hawk's" he tells me, meaning Hawk's grandma's, since that's where Hawk lives.

"And how long do you think that Hawk's grandma is going to allow you to live off of her for free?"

"I won't be living there for free."

"Really?  'Cause you just told me you don't have a job, therefore no income, so how are you going to pay to live there?"

"I'm going to get a job."

And this is the kind of circular arguement I get into with my teenaged son on an almost daily basis.  He believes that we "take advantage of him" by expecting him to clean up around the house, do dishes when it's his turn, and drive his siblings around.  He calls it "taking advantage of", I call it "pulling his weight".

Sounds like a lot of reported ex-husbands I know.


Mrs Mom said...

Amen Sista. Be strong. Send him to boot camp ;)

Mama Gayle said...

I agree with the "tough love" you are trying to give your oldest boy...
When I was married I had 4 older step-children, 2 of which were boys who had never had discipline, and they were monsters who have both ended up in jail several times each, they both drink and do drugs, quit school, etc.!!! But they take after their Daddy!!
Anyway, he would always just GIVE them money, let them "work" when and if they wanted to (work one day on the farm, come back 3 days later when they needed some cash)....It was a mess!! GOOD LUCK to you, at least your son did get his GED! Kuddos for that!!!!!
I did have to laugh because he was going to "get a job" to live somewhere else, but he couldn't while living with you!!
No pun intended but, "STICK TO YOUR GUNS."

Resentful Wife said...

Wow...I'm totally with you on this. I say let him to go Hawk's grandma's house. Either he'll get a job and pay her rent (which will probably be more than the $100 per month) or she'll get tired of his wonderful intentions and kick him come back home.

Maybe you could come up with a chart listing how much his meals are worth and how much his room/board is worth and then figure out how much each chore is worth. If he can see monetary value applied to running the kids around, vacuuming, doing dishes...and see how much he owes each month, he might not feel like he's being taken advantage of. Sometimes those darn teenagers need to see it in black and white.

Good luck...these are the hard years. He's trying to cut apron strings with those little toddler scissors. It's painful for everyone...

A. Dakota said...

We all knew our daughter needed another year with us. Her senior year was horrible. She moved out anyway and 18 months later she is back home. Everyone is not as defensive and the slate is almost wiped clean. Both parties realize the other one has something to say. She still needs improvement in some areas, but she is getting there.