June 16, 2006

A Little Extra Money

Boss surprised me yesterday by telling me that I was not only going to get the regular 3% cost of lving raise, but an extra percentage that he requested for me, as well. Guess he didn't hold being childfree against me after all (smile).

When I left for work yesterday morning, I ran into a neighbor from down the hall who has two children. She, her husband, and the kids live in a studio apartment. They are immigrants from Africa. I know she and her husband work, but it seems they don't make enough between them to afford a bigger apartment. When I first met them, their youngest child was not walking yet. Now he is, and both he and his sister are in day care. They're growing fast, as kids tend to do. There are other support staff people at my job who make approximately the same that I do, some a little more, and some a little less. I know I could not afford kids on what I make. Of the support staff that do have children, I don't know how they manage, especially the ones who are single parents.

It galls me that so many men go around dropping babies everywhere, further swelling the population unneccesarily, then stand on the corners, bragging about their kids, who they do not help.
For some reason, one of my relatives who has seven kids he's not taking care of, crossed my mind. This particular relative dropped out of high school after a couple of years, having never made it out of freshman class due to not studying and doing the work. Most of his life has been spent having run-ins with the law, which have resulted in stretches of time being locked up. In between, he'd take on jobs, mostly low-paying ones. Even if the moms of his kids pressed for child support, he couldn't pay. From what I see, it appears he never spends time with any of his children. He's lumped in with what a local radio personality here called "sperm donors".

The radio personality will appear at a Father's Day function. He does commentaries, and in the last one, he really let irresponsible dads have it. "I let my emotions get the best of me," he said, during an apology some time later. I felt that he had nothing to apologize for. It galls me that so many men go around dropping babies everywhere, further swelling the population unneccesarily, then stand on the corners, bragging about their kids, who they do not help. When the moms attempt to force them into responsibility, i.e. taking them to court for child support, the deadbeat dads have the nerve to accuse the women of being "golddiggers". It's simple. . .if they don't want the responsiblity, then they need to stop making excuses about why they won't wear condoms.


Teri said...

BT - Congratulations on your raise. Re; the money and expense of raising kids, not to mention the responsibility, you sure know how to drive home a point.

Re: sperm donors, that is very to the point as well. Kids needs so much more to be healthy, happy adjusted contributing (self-supporting?) citizens when they get older.

nomadshan said...

Amen. And congrats on your raise! You can smile knowing you got it for your work ethic, and not because you have kids to raise.

NikkiJ said...

Congrats on your raise. That's good news. On men dropping babies everywhere you make a good point. However the responsibility for bringing children into the world is two-fold. Much still rests, rightly or wrongly on the woman. Contraception (and family planning) is so widely available these days that, accidents aside, there really is little excuse for having unplanned children unless the relationship is stable and unless the man is stable, and unless the means are there to bring up the child. Many men deep down don't want the responsibility of fatherhood, and it is for the woman to dig and find out before going down the path to children.

The men should carry their share, absolutely, but I know many women who are so dead set on having a child once they have a boyfriend and who conveniently ignore the warning signs from their men as to whether they are ready or willing to father. The signs are almost always there.

kT said...

NikkiJ, I agree that women are expected to be more responsible, but this is also a double-standard that needs to be abandoned. It takes two to tango, and all that. Anyone who procreates and abandons the resulting child should be taken to task for that.

BUT, that said, I know I'm the one left making the hard decisions if there is an accident, so I take full responsibility for being ultra-careful.

Congrats on the raise!!

NikkiJ said...

It takes two to tango, totally agree and if you abandon your children because you're anirresponsble dad you should absolutely be taken to task. No argument there and it wasn't what I was implying. Just that women unless they are totally sure that the man is going to support them and the baby need to be extra careful.

In an ideal world everything would be shared 50/50 and there would be no problems, no having to chase an errant father through court to take care of his own offspring. And if you succeed, you might get money, but what about the support? That comes from being a responsible parent. To make some men "responsible" you need a court edict and education and even then it's a toss-up if you get them to comply.

The reality is though that women are the ones left holding the baby
(literally) when accidents or even non-accidents happen. No matter how much we want men to be responsible (and they should be, no question) it is very hard to make them so if they don't want to be. They get away with it because they can. Women are left to bring up the children. With this in mind women need to be extra careful. You can't depend on the man for prevention. Sad, but true.

And so as not to paint all men with the same brush, there are plenty of men who would and who do take up their responsibilty 100% when they father a child.