My friend and her Ex - how much can I help out without it being 'too much'? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-15-2010, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A very good friend of mine who has a daughter that is 2 weeks younger than my ODS went through a nasty divorce last April and is still dealing with the effects to this date.  Just recently, she told me that her ex has decided to not pay child support anymore because he hasn't had any jobs since July (he owns a wood working company) and she is now struggling quite a bit.  She also has two older sons from her first marriage that I'm assuming she's still receiving support for as well that she still needs to support w/ clothing, food, etc.,

 

This weekend, we're meeting for a playdate and will be exchanging gifts for the kids.  Now knowing how much she is struggling and that she's broke, I want to get a little extra for her daughter besides the stuffed animal that I had originally thought of getting.  She's needing clothes and things like this.  So tell me, how much would be too much? Should I also offer to pay for breakfast Saturday morning - DH had suggested it last night when I was talking to him about this.  I know she would appreciate whatever, but I don't want it to be out of pity - or her to think of it that way, I should say.  I love her little girl like my own and would do anything to help if I could.

 

What are your thoughts? 


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#2 of 5 Old 12-16-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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This may not help but for me I don't really like people helping me too much because I don't want to feel like I took advantage of them but if it seems like something that didn't hurt them much then it's not so bad. Like me having a new baby now and having no baby stuff left from my first two. I wouldn't want anyone to go buy me a bunch of baby stuff or a crib or large item but if they had the stuff to just give away or run across it second hand (so not very expensive) and wanted to get it then I would feel better about it. Does that make sense? Would she be okay with being given used stuff? Could you maybe pick up some GUC clothes for the girl that she may need. Maybe that would be helpful to the mom and wouldn't seem as much as a pity gift. More like "Oh I saw this when I was out and it was so cute I couldn't resist."


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#3 of 5 Old 12-16-2010, 09:59 AM
 
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Oh about the breakfast. I would offer to pay for it. I went out with a friend and our kids a good bit and we would take turns paying for stuff so that doesn't seem like it's "helping" her so much as just being nice. Also I would stick to just a normal gift like all the kids are going to get for the actual gift giving meet. If you want to do anything else to help her I would do it at a different time.


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#4 of 5 Old 12-17-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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I've given handmade clothes to a (well-off) toddler for her birthday, so I don't think it's outside the realm of normal at all. I wouldn't give her, say, six pairs of tights and six pairs of knickers - nothing that looks like you're obviously going for quantity or durability or usefulness. But a pretty dress or coat, sure. Am I right in thinking you only have boys? 'Cause if so, maybe you could get a few really cute girly things (assuming the kid likes girly clothes) and say "Oh, I got carried away in the store when I saw all these frills - it's so much fun to buy clothes for a girl!". I got a whole bag of brand-new baby clothes from a friend of mine for that very reason, so again, I don't think it would be abnormal.

 

Also, um... her ex has "decided" not to pay CS any more? He can't do that, can he?! Maybe the best practical help you could give her is helping her get some legal wheels in motion. He doesn't have a job - tough. He still has kids. Let him flip burgers. *muttered rant*


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#5 of 5 Old 12-17-2010, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

I've given handmade clothes to a (well-off) toddler for her birthday, so I don't think it's outside the realm of normal at all. I wouldn't give her, say, six pairs of tights and six pairs of knickers - nothing that looks like you're obviously going for quantity or durability or usefulness. But a pretty dress or coat, sure. Am I right in thinking you only have boys? 'Cause if so, maybe you could get a few really cute girly things (assuming the kid likes girly clothes) and say "Oh, I got carried away in the store when I saw all these frills - it's so much fun to buy clothes for a girl!". I got a whole bag of brand-new baby clothes from a friend of mine for that very reason, so again, I don't think it would be abnormal.

 

Also, um... her ex has "decided" not to pay CS any more? He can't do that, can he?! Maybe the best practical help you could give her is helping her get some legal wheels in motion. He doesn't have a job - tough. He still has kids. Let him flip burgers. *muttered rant*



Oh, I hear ya.  He's pulled crap like this before.  She's living in hell with this guy - the things that he's done...getting her DD's haircut without her consent, things like this.  He's a drunk and therefore, will never change.

 

I ended up getting cute top and jeans that were on sale at Target along with a cute stuffed unicorn (she LOVES stuffed animals). I spent a total of $20.  But yeah, I hear what you're saying about buying the girly stuff. I always want to pick up something like this for her and probably will just didn't know what to say... And yes, I have two boys, so I get to live vicariously through my friends that have girls. ;)


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