What do you have?
Here’s a great story for you. My ex, Baby Mama, is behind on paying child support to me. When we first split she was hurting financially so I didn’t pursue the issue. I was trying to be a nice guy. Almost nine years later she decided to step up to the plate and pay what I deemed an acceptable amount per month. That lasted only a few months.
The bottom line is she’s past due on what she owes and I’ve been leaving messages for her with no response. On Tuesday I finally got a call back. Strangely enough it came right after the voice mail I left her saying that if she didn’t return the call that evening I would call her work tomorrow (she works outside of the office) and leave a message saying we need to talk about her unpaid child support. If you’re gonna tell me that I legally can’t leave messages like that, save it. I’m not interested in hearing it.
Once Baby Mama returned my call I was told she has “other priorities” and that she wasn’t going to explain what those priorities are. “Uh,” I stammered. “OK.” There was a moment of silence and I said I had a question. “Do you realize that your daughter is your first priority?” Baby Mama told me she understood but that she still had other priorities.
This whole situation totally baffles me. She went almost nine years without paying child support and went periods of months and years with no contact whatsoever. I can’t describe what I’m feeling other than to say it’s a combo of anger and sadness. I mean, how does a person seemingly care so little about the child they carried for nine months?
You want to talk about priorities? How’s this for a priority. Near the end of our last two years in Buffalo I wasn’t working and was waiting to get approved for food stamps On several occasions I would go two or three days at a time without eating so I could make sure my daughter had plenty of food. Apparently every parent doesn’t have that kind of commitment to their child. I find that sad.
I was talking with my daughter this evening and I mentioned that I couldn’t afford to pay for something I said I would. She asked why and I told her I simply didn’t have the money right now. “What about the money from my mom?” She asked.
After taking a deep breath, I told my daughter (age 14) that her mom was behind in paying me and that she wasn’t sure when we would be giving me more. I hated telling her that, but she’s old enough to know the truth. The first thing she asked was, “Is my mom mad at me?” That question was like a knife in my heart. When she was younger I made up reasons to explain why her mom wasn’t around and that nearly killed me. I told my daughter that I was very sure her mom wasn’t mad but she was welcome to call and ask.
I’m choosing my words very carefully in this post because I don’t want to come off as overly bitter or opinionated. If I seem that way, sorry. My goal is to stay factual and don’t say something I’ll later regret. You have no idea how hard that is for me at this moment. I mean the “say something I’ll later regret” part. Being factual is easy.
“J.R.,” you ask. “Is there a point to all this or are you simply venting?” Yes there is a point and its a simple one. I don’t have a priority. I have a daughter. What do you have?