I'm a new member and I really, really need help. Please don't flame me, I realize that I’m not perfect, but I need help now. I'm a single mom to 2 kids, DD1 age 14 and DD2 age 10. DD1 and DD2 have the same father but we are not together and he is not involved in their lives. Their father and I had a brief summer relationship and after we broke up I found out I was pregnant. He knew but never made an effort to be involved. 4 years later he came back and swore he had changed and straightened out his life and wanted to be involved. This time he was only around for a week. I “slipped” once, and that is how DD2 came to be (please don't judge or flame, I was a young, overwhelmed single mom and he was my first love) Since he left I haven't seen him again, I have no idea where he is or anything. DD2 has never met him and DD1 met him a handful of times when she was really young but she doesn't remember him at all. There are no pictures of him or anything, and neither of my girls remembers him.
I have done my best to give them a good life. I breastfeed both of them well past 6 months, they slept in my bed as babies, I have never made them do time-outs or anything like that, and I have never EVER spanked or hit them. I try so hard not yell and have always tried to do natural consequences. Since their father left the second time I have not dated anyone or brought an endless string of boyfriends around. We live in a nice part of the city and each DD has their own room. I took some night school courses and got a better job where I can even be at home sometimes, and while we are not rich and don't have a ton of stuff, I can get by with a little budgeting and my daughters have a roof, food to eat, warm clothes etc. They have lots of friends in this neighborhood. They both do very well in school and have never shown any behaviour problems. Since neither of them has ever known a father it is not like he just left and they miss him. They haven't had any traumas or deaths of someone close. I have always tried to do my best for them, though it is hard sometimes since I have no family and my parents are deceased (back when I was a teen) and their father doesn't have any relatives that I know of. I really, really try to be a good mom, and that’s why what has happened is upsetting me so much.
DD1 has always been into music, since she was small. Ihave never been able to afford an instrument or lessons, but when DD1 became a pre-teen she because even more interested in learning, and settled on the electric guitar. AT 13 she decided to save for one on her own, and began babysitting for our neighbours. I would also pay her for odd jobs when I could, though she always helps out with chores even when I didn’t pay her. She saved every cent she earned for over a year and ended up with $225. She was so proud of herself for saving and I was proud of her as well. DD1 did research and bought a really nice red electric guitar and as a birthday present I bought her an amp. Even though her birthday isn’t until July she needed the amp so I bought it for her now. DD1 was in love with it, she started to teach herself to play and was actually doing quite well. DD1 had the guitar for 1 month, then the situation happened 2 weeks ago. It was the afternoon, DD1 was out with friends, DD2 was watching TV and decided to sit on the deck and enjoy a book. It was such a nice day that I feel asleep. I awoke to a horrible screaming, so bad I thought one of my girls was in trouble.
I went inside and DD1 was crying. The guitar was smashed. Broken. Literally in pieces. After I calmed her down I tried to figure out what happened. Later that night DD2 admitted that she had smashed the guitar on the floor. She said that she didn’t mean any harm, and that she had been watching a music video on TV and playing with her sister’s guitar and gotten carried away and had imitated the musicians in the video when they smashed their instruments. She said that she hadn’t meant to break it and that she was sorry. I truly believe she means it, her sister is another story.
The guitar is a write-off. it cannot be fixed, believe me, I tried. I took it to many repair places and every single one said it was too damaged. DD1 is devastated. Like I said above, we are not rich, I make enough that we can get by if I budget, clip coupons etc, but I don’t have anywhere near enough money that I am able to replace it. I went over and over the budget, I have tried trimming it or cutting things out and I still cannot come up with any money. We have no vehicle and use public transportation but since we live in the city it isn’t a big deal. We have basic TV with only a few channels. I have a cell phone, but it is paid for though my work and neither of my DD’s have one. I have tried to lower our grocery bill, but I was already shopping at discount and clipping coupons, and if I cut it then we will literally be living onbread alone. I have money saved for both them to go to college, but it is locked in and I cannot draw from it even if I wanted to.
The only other money I have is $200 saved for DD2. Both my girls are members of a neighborhood club association (it is free) When the kids reach DD2’s age group, they get to go on a camping/wilderness adventure, with some of the parents as chaperones. DD1 went when she was that age and had a blast, her and her friends from the neighborhood still talk about it a lot almost 4 years later, and she has pictures all over her room. The trip is in June. This is where I am torn. DD1 wants me to give her the $200 so she can buy a new guitar. But if I do then DD2 won’t be able to go on the trip because it is in a month and I won’t have another $200 by then. I have done the math. I can’t afford to buy DD1 a replacement guitar until Christmas. DD2 is only 10 she is too young to babysit like her sister, so she cannot pay DD1 back on her own. If DD1 saves after babysitting again it will take her another year to make that much money, and since she is only 14 she is not old enough to get a part-time job until next year, and even then it will take her months to save enough that amount of money. I can’t ask anyone I know for money. The economy is tough and most of them are just making enough like me. None of them have that much money lying around. DD1 doesn’t want a different kind of guitar, she wants the same model, new not used. She says that since she bought a new one she should have a new one as a replacement.
Part of me wants to give her the money from DD2’s trip, but at the same time I don’t want to DD2 to miss this once in a lifetime camping trip. All her friends are going and I don’t want it to be where they talk about it years later and she missed out on it, all because of one stupid mistake. I have talked to the trip organizers, there is no way that the price can be lowered, they are already getting a deal and the cost has to be paid up front. I don’t think DD2 meant to break the guitar, but she is not a child anyone and she knows better then to even touch her sister things without permission. She should not have even been playing with it. DD1 is crushed, she has stayed in her room for the past 2 weeks, and says that she hates her sister and doesn’t want to live here anymore. She feels as though I’m favouring her DD2, and we have fought about it and DD1 has yelled at me and says she hates me. I am so overwhelemed, I wish I didn’t let them watch so much TV. If I had been inside with DD2 then thismight not have happened.
I haven’t slept in days because I have cried so much. I feel like no matter what I do I will be failing one of my girls. I want to punish DD2 but not too harshly like her missing thetrip. I know she is 10 and old enough to know better, but she is so young still. I feel like if I was a better mom then I could provide for both my daughters and I would have enough money to buy a new guitar without DD2 having to miss her trip. I have no idea where to even start with natural consequences on this. Do I give DD1 the money and have DD2 miss her trip, or do I make DD1 wait until Christmas or beyond to get a replacement guitar? Sorry if this is so long, and if you made it though all this then thank-you. This may be incoherent, I know this is all jumbled andeverything, I just really needed to get it out. I have no idea what to do. I am such a bad mom
Edited for spacing to make my post easier to read. No words have been changed