Writer’s block

Posted: March 18, 2013 in Family, Finances, Inadequacy, Responsibility

OK, so I’ve been silent for quite some time.  Certainly life has not been event free, however, every time something happens, it just has not felt like something worthy of expounding upon, or it would be more of the same old, same old.  Even though life is that way, I don’t know, I just feel like if I’m asking you to come to the blog and see what I have to say that it should be worthy of your time.  I wrestle with the reality of that though, because if it is just musing from a divorced dad, then I should just muse, right?  Even if it is what has happened before, or a continuation or a variant, just as I talk to my family and friends, maybe I should just lower the standards, so to speak, or this medium and just let you know what is in my head on a regular basis rather than waiting for some new nugget of wisdom to share.

After all, when I first started, I had shared nothing, so I had all this pent up material.  It was like meeting someone for the first time.  You knew nothing about my journey, so anything I could share was new.  I was obviously very prolific then, since I felt I had so much to share to get you up to speed.  Now, however, you know the critical things about my journey and are up to speed enough to follow along without a lot of work.  Just like everyone else, thank goodness, I do not have monumental events happening all the time; otherwise I might just have a nervous breakdown or something.  I’m like a lot of other divorced dads out there.  I went through the cycle of divorce, recovery and finding a new love.  I’ve had issues taking care of my kids, disagreeing with my ex, and other work and life events that we all have.  So now it has just settled down and this blog, will I guess need to move a little differently, similar in fact to all the other ones from similar authors who have traveled the same road.

So lately, I’ve still been dealing with my legal troubles that should not be about the old house I had.  I’ve been doing my job to the best of my ability and juggling family and work responsibilities as best I can.  I guess the biggest problem has just been trying to stay as unchanged as possible through what is happening.  If I think about it, it’s almost the same process as going through the divorce with some key modifications.

I am trying to make certain that the financial strain of the legal issues has as little impact as possible on my family, very similar to how things went in the divorce.  While adjustments needed to be made I took great pains never to tell the kids we could not do something because I had no money because I was divorced.  In many cases they would not understand, as even my fifteen year old still lives in the blissful nirvana of having no real clue how much it costs to live.  Sure they see purchases as the store, but all those hidden adult expenses like utility bills, insurance, mortgage and now legal bills are not something that they can easily comprehend.  It’s my job as a parent to cover their needs of food, shelter and clothing.  When we go to the store, they should not have to use their allowance to purchase their jeans, underwear, etc.  That’s our job as parents.  Sure if they want to go over the top they can always augment what I am willing to spend, but it should not become the default.  I think both my wife and I are in danger of falling into that mindset more easily with the current situation and I push back strongly to avoid it.  It has not really caused any fights yet, but I can feel it may, and I am trying to get her to understand my point of view while understanding that her point of view of how she grew up, the struggles she had to go through as a single mom after bankruptcy and other things make her look at things on the financial front more conservatively than even my rather conservative self. 

As a man, God has made it my responsibility to provide for my family and lead them.  In today’s culture we have pushed this aside and said women can do some things and I’m certainly OK with assistance, but at the end of the day, God has ingrained in me the need to make it all work out and to shelter those I love from the tribulations of the world. So while my wife is OK with telling the kids they can buy something on their own, I am not.  So far we’ve worked this tap dance during the last few months well, but if it is through just briefly discussing or agreeing to disagree, I’m not always sure.  If the kids want to go to the mall, I’m OK with giving them a little money to use.  If they do it every week, that amount goes down a lot, but I see no reason they have to fund every trip to the mall on their own.  God has blessed me with the ability to support them in that way and I feel that is right.  There is always the danger of spoiling them or of being taken “advantage” of by begging children, but I do my best to keep that in check.  For the most part my wife and I are on the same page, however, as I said earlier, the implication the kids can do something carries with it a lot more of the self-funding variety than it did before the legal bills started coming. 

I am very upset about the fact that they are coming.  I have talked to my pastors, and many people I know about what I should be doing, seeking wise and godly counsel as Scripture instructs me.  They all are confused why this lawsuit is even occurring as I had done everything I was required to do and no one can see any issue other than unfortunate circumstances for the new owners of the home. While they may want someone to blame, it does not make it right.  For now we have a way to handle the extra expense through the grace of God and His grace to allow me a healthy bonus from work this year, so I view it as handled for now and trust that God will continue to provide and allow me to continue to manage my family and their finances as I did before the situation began.  I am being prudent about the reality and certainly there has been some cutting back, but I have done it more where I normally do, on things that impact the adults, rather than the children at this time as it has nothing to do with them.  So we go out to eat less often on our kidless weekends than we did and that saves us a few hundred dollars a month, as an example.

I certainly have been honest with the older kids that some expenses are being avoided right now because of the situation.  There are activities they would like to attend that just are not in the budget right now.  They understand and are saddened but they get it. 

So all this is what has been weighing on my heart since I last wrote and it keep me from getting too excited about other topics because it would only serve to further irritate me about the situation as it is and the drain of our funds when I can certainly do much more productive things for my family with them.

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