Originally Posted by JSMa
Mama41...some questions for you...
How do you know? From what I know of you are are a Mom, not a step-mom. How can you judge how deep a "step-bond" goes? Some step-moms raise their step children from infant on... I would say their bond can run just as deep as a blood bond for a Father.
I'm going in part by what I see and have heard IRL, and in part by what I read here. I read many posts here expressing frustration with the expenses and potential c/s changes, and changed sentiments after pregnancy and the birth of a new child. The only child I'd even consider raising, besides my daughter, is her child, and I have to say that'd take some doing, getting me to agree to that. I don't mind setting aside 20 years of my life for this one, but I got stuff to do after that.
|Why do all step-siblings have to sub-par?? What about half-siblings? Why do you judge so harshly?
It's neither a judgment nor harsh, but they're not half-siblings by me. I wouldn't have had a child unless I'd been reasonably well-assured that I'd be able to provide for her in a manner I believe to be responsible. The one I had is far and away my primary responsibility. What others do with and for their children is their own business. So unless I were considerably wealthier than I am, I wouldn't put myself in the position of having to support other children.
Which isn't to say I haven't done for others. My best friend from home isn't well, is single, and she has a son. I've saved for college for him since he was a little boy; I made her that promise and will keep it. But I wouldn't take on an open-ended commitment to pay for someone else's child before I'd fulfilled my duty to my own.
|I find it noble that you want to plan ahead to help your daughter with expenses past her adult age and into grad school... however, not to sound callous, and not saying I would not help my own children if I could... but it really isn't your responsibility. By that age she is an adult. As an adult she does have to come into her own and make her own living as well, just as you have done and everyone else in the world.
My own parents do what they can to help of course. But they never had money to send me to school. So I take classes when I can afford it. I have never once resented my parents for not having money. That is not what makes parents and that is not what should dictate if they are appropriate parents and if they should have stopped having children because of it making finances too tight to pay for college. My life was filled with love. To this day my parents are amazing people that show their affection in so many different ways. It is not their burden to provide college education... that's what student loans and scholarships are for. I am proud of who I am and acheiving what I have on my own accord without Mommy and Daddy paving the way.
As others have said, we all have different values. I want my child to be able to enjoy college, experiment and make mistakes before she's responsible for other people, and afterwards be able to do the work her heart calls her to. I had free tuition as an undergrad and fellowships for graduate school, and not having school debt has left me much freer than it has many of my friends. It's also left me well-off enough in early middle age that I can support a child without putting her in fulltime daycare, do work I've chosen and love, and save for her education and my retirement.
My parents also paid for me to study abroad, which gave me the chance to find work for myself there, and those years are some of the richest I've had. I didn't know, at the time, that my father -- who was ill -- was not only working his regular job but driving truck early in the morning to pay for it. He just handed me a wad of money and told me not to save it, but to spend it on a good time. I was shocked, but I followed his instructions and had a famously good time, and saw and heard things I'd never have done otherwise. There's no way to express my gratitude and appreciation.
It doesn't have to be a choice between love and money. I don't think I'll be able to do for my daughter the way my parents and grandparents did for me; I don't make nearly as much as my dad did, and my ex's family is poor. But I think I'll do well enough by her.
I do believe it's parents' responsibility to help children with their undergraduate education, btw. The public schools in this country have fallen apart to the extent that a hs degree is no longer a ticket to work, and it's unfortunate, but we neither fix the schools nor publicly fund university tuitions. The burden lands on the kids, unless the parents step in. Add tuition inflation over the last 15 years or so, and it's a fairly criminal burden to place on a young person's shoulders. I see kids graduating with $80K in debt from a public university (!) and $300K in debt from college plus professional school. They'll be paying that off till they retire, instead of buying homes and saving for retirement and their children's educations. They've got an ugly surprise coming, too, when their parents hit old age and haven't enough money to buy the care they need. I think we've really robbed an entire generation.
The debt also locks the kids into jobs they don't want, and takes them away from lower-salary jobs that need good people, like teaching. I used to hear routinely from young doctors who detested their work but had to keep on, because they had no other way of making the kind of money that pays off a quarter-million in student loans. I don't know about you, but I don't want to go to doctors who loathe their jobs and are only there for the money.
|Except, again... you really have no right to even offer advice about what she does with HER money. *shrugs* Just my opinion.
OK. When my ex remarries, you can stand by during the conversation and shake your head disapprovingly.