I wrote this post a while back and never posted it for some reason. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood to argue with folks who would inevitably disagree with me? Maybe I felt it was incomplete somehow? Or perhaps my perfectionism was getting in the way, as it often does, and I was sure I could improve it somehow.
Re-reading it today I realized that it’s an important opinion to express and I think I already clearly expressed how I feel in what I had previously written. So in the interest, once again, of keeping my perfectionism and subsequent procrastination at bay, I give you my opinion…
On the light rail today I overheard a man explaining his child support situation to a friend. He started by explaining that he has been paying child support for years. That’s good, I guess. The least he could do, really. But he then continued to complain about how crazy the mother of his child is for expecting him to dish out more after he came into an inheritance.
Really? Is that an unreasonable request? Is this woman somehow selfish for wanting as much for her child as possible?
I remember hearing about a woman years ago who was suing Mick Jagger for a large amount of child support. I felt as though this woman were portrayed as someone who was taking advantage of the situation in order to leach him of his hard-earned money. But isn’t there another perspective there?
When one has a child, it’s a natural impulse to want to provide the best life possible for him or her. The fact is, children of wealthier parents tend to have greater advantages. If one parent is wealthy, isn’t it reasonable to assume that their child will live a comfortable life?
I’m not suggesting wealthy parents need to buy their kids sports cars or a yacht or even to send them to private school. What I am suggesting is that it is not selfish of the parent raising the child to expect the parent who is only contributing fiscally to contribute according to his or her means.
Maybe the mother of this man’s child wanted part of his inheritance in order to move their child to a safer neighborhood. Maybe she wanted to be able to send him to summer camp once a year. Or heck, maybe she just wanted some back pay for the salary she never got for doing 100% of the job of raising their kid while daddy quite possibly only became involved when it was time to write a check.
I realize that I don’t know anything about this guy’s situation so my intention is not to judge him personally, but to express the frustration I feel when women are seen as opportunistic because they are seeking out the best life for their child. That seems like a fairly unselfish act to me and a natural biological compulsion.
What do you think?