When my daughters and my son were growing up, things were often a bit on the rough, sometimes wicked side even, in our home -especially financially speaking.
Raising kids is no walk in the park no matter what one's status might be -rich or poor -there are still always problems, often conflicts galore even in a stable two-parent home. But in a single-parent home, such as ours was, it was often like walking a tight wire at times. One misstep and boy, the pile of doo-doo you could land in!
It sure was not the kind of life I had dreams about when I was a kid, growing up, thinking about how someday perhaps I'd marry and have a family of my own -not the white picket fence with a little bungalow house necessarily -but a nice home and a life that included two parents were the main items I wished for in that home.
For a while, I did have the little ranch house that my ex and I built and the three kids, a dog (always at least one of those) and even a cat too! But then things began to fall apart and eventually, went the way of those nice dreams we have but we wake up and can't remember them.
And, as my ex and I were splitting up, that house went down the tubes and when my Mom passed away, the kids and I moved into her house, which had been my grandparents home and also, the house were I had lived most of my childhood.
My kids still deal with a lot of the aftermath of growing up with a single parent. For many years, they had virtually no relationship at all with their Dad as he moved out west and they rarely heard from him except once in a blue moon he might remember the existed and call them. Visits were even more infrequent then too.
Through it all though, over the years, when it was evident that things were going on in the kids lives, in their minds, regarding their Dad, I did try to explain to them that regardless of how infrequent his phone calls might be, no matter how obnoxious he might be when talking to them too on the phone, that they still needed to remember that underneath all of that mess, he still did love them, but that he was sick and didn't really realize it at the time. I told them that perhaps someday things would be different, that he would find a way to change his life and lifestyle and return to being at least some semblance of a caring parent.
It's something that did eventually happen and for the past 18 years now, he has managed to rebuild a fairly decent relationship with all three of our now very adult children!
I had hoped when my girls each got married that they would find the kind of happiness and satisfaction I had once wished for with a good husband and children of their own.
Sadly, that hasn't been the case as my older daughter has been divorced for several years now although, in her case, her son -who is now 14 years old -still has a strong and good relationship with his dad. I'm very grateful for that aspect in his life too as well as seeing that although his Mom and Dad still don't see eye-to-eye about everything, they both do work very hard to make sure their son, my most handsome grandson, gets a strong, well-rounded and very grounded too, life.
Younger daughter is in the process of getting a divorce and in her case, it really saddens me because I see so many of the same issues cropping up in her life and especially in the lives of her two little children too, with respect to their dad -her sometime-to-be-ex-husband.
What often makes it worse for those two little grandkids is the fact their Dad lives in this area and could still have a good relationship with the children but instead, he's running a track very similar to that of my ex-husband's -way back when -except in this case, he's providing way more drama, and a lot more heartache for Maya and Kurt than children should ever have to experience.
The actions he often chooses now are absolutely mind-boggling at times! The lies he tells these children are going to confuse them way more than they already are and that is so totally unfair to them as well as completely unnecessary as well.
Add to that a cast of characters he surrounds himself with and you have the makings of a major tragedy on the horizon.
To my ex-husband's credit, at least he did always provide for our children by paying child support fairly regularly. Not always timely, but eventually it would come through. Not always pleasant about having to pay that either, but he did at least adhere to the court's guidelines and pony up what the judge said was his dues to the kids.
My daughter is going to have one rough and rocky road ahead I'm afraid judging by the way her "ex" is acting which is to say he is being totally irresponsible about supporting all the children he has -which is two more in their teens as well as the two younger ones he has with my daughter. But, when you don't go out and find a decent job, don't take steps to keep a job when you do have one, paying child support becomes something he pays zilch attention to doing!
And, if someone had told me when they first married, when Maya and Kurt each were born, that he would come to being the person he is today, I would have never believed it could be possible for that to happen.
It's often said -although this is used in reference to other aspects -that history repeats itself. And, boy, my family sure can attest to that!