Dear Bubbies: I'm A 28-Year-Old Mother And I Don't Know What I Should Do With The Father Of My Children

October 9, 2019

JLTV

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Dear Bubbies:

I'm a 28-year old mother of two and I don't know what I should do.

I've been with the father of my children almost 6 years and every passing year is worse. When our son was born in December 2015, he lost his job a few short months later. Instead of finding a new job, he decided to work in the garage and fix stuff up for a living. He didn't get enough work and generally people underpaid him or didn't come back for their stuff. Instead of finding a job right away, he waited until the last week of unemployment and grabbed a minimum wage night job.

Since then, he has continued to dwindle his help and respect for me. He gets off work around 11:30pm and stays up till about 2 or 3, doesn't wake up with the children, and doesn't get out of bed until closer to noon most days. He doesn't do chores, he won't change poopy diapers, he doesn't even bring his oldest son from a previous marriage to school most days.

If we had a previous set plan for me to be the housewife, I guess it would be different. But I'm desperately trying to finish my teaching degree. I work part time to pay the bills he can't pay as well as all the extras and groceries. I take care of the 3 kids, including taking them to school, soccer practice, doing homework, etc.

I feel like he's trying to derail me finishing my degree because he's taken my saved money for daycare to purchase a new car and I can't say I'm confident he'll pay me back. He also rarely gives me time to study and I've resorted to lying about working since February so I could go to the library and study. I constantly talk to him about my feelings but he cares less and less and usually ends up yelling. Financially, I can't afford to take these kids on my own and I’d never in a million years leave without them. 

What do I do!? 

Sincerely, Trapped

 

Dear Trapped:

Thank you so much for your letter to the Bubbies. We are there for you and want to support you. 

First of all, you mentioned that you’ve been with “the father of my children” almost six years. You never mentioned if you were married or not. We’re going to assume that you are for our purposes and even if you’re not, we don’t think that would affect the advice we’re about to give you.

Right off the top, the Bubbies feel that you are totally and completely justified in your anger about many of your stated grievances; however, not all of them. For instance, you said “he doesn’t get off work until around 11:30 pm”. Number one, he’s at least working (albeit, at a minimum wage job) and Number two (speaking of  #2, we’ll address not changing the “poopy diapers” later down the line), we imagine by the time he gets home and unwinds, it would be normal to get to bed rather late at night. So we wouldn’t expect him to get up “with the children.”  We’ll give him that. But that’s where our sympathy ends!!!

We think you hit the matzah ball right on the head when you used the word r-e-s-p-e-c-t because in the words of the queen of kosher soul, Aretha Franklin … you ain’t gettin’ none from this man!!! It’s not so much about changing the poopy diapers (although that would be nice) or waking up early to take the kids to school (which would also be nice), but we almost plotzed (that’s Yiddish for fainted) when we read that he took the money you saved to pay for daycare so that you could finish your teaching degree, to purchase a new car!!!  That takes real chutzpah (that means nerve in Yiddish).

Totally unacceptable!!! This man cares about one person … himself!! You even said that he doesn’t give you the time to study, he doesn’t listen to your feelings and “usually ends up yelling.”

That being said, he is the father of your children and you never said if you still had feelings for him. Sometimes our feelings can get lost in all of this mishigas (that’s Yiddish for craziness) and all we feel is anger. And who wouldn’t in your situation??

We wonder if you would ever consider going to therapy … either on your own or in couples’ counseling. It may be too late to save this marriage at this point, but we’re just putting it out there. If nothing else, you can get professional help for yourself and your children.

Now we felt it our duty as Bubbies to first try and keep the family together - in that financially, you would not be able to afford to take the kids on your own and leave.  So, we believe that at this stage, you would be well-served to buy yourself some time until you can get that teaching degree under your belt.

Once you’ve got your teaching degree, you could probably make it on a teacher’s salary and, hopefully, some alimony/child support from Mr. No-Goodnick.  At that point, if things have not gotten better, the Bubbies think it may be time to leave the marriage. 

So, how do you buy yourself some time, you’re asking? Good question. Start by thinking “out of the box” in order to get yourself “out of the box”  you’re in and move from being “Trapped” to being “Free.”

Do you have any close relatives or friends that can help you out with the children when the father of your children isn’t around? How ‘bout your parents? Are they around? Don’t be too proud to ask them to pitch in? They may be more than eager to be active grandparents. Is there a job you could do from home, such as tutoring? How about trading with someone … baby-sitting for tutoring? You need help. You can’t do this on your own. Be creative and don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family for assistance. 

The Bubbies would like you to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You’re only 28 years old now so you’ve got your whole life ahead of you. You will find a way out of this quagmire you’re in. You MUST find a way out for the sake of you and your children!!!

The Bubbies Love You So Much …

Love, The Bubbies

You can watch Host Erin Davis and your favorite Jewish Grandmothers - Bubbies Bunny, Linda and S.J. - on Bubbies Know Best on Jewish Life Television, JLTV, Mondays at 8:00PM.  In the Detroit metropolitan area, JLTV can be found on DirecTV Channel 366 and Spectrum Channel 178.

If you would like to ask the Bubbies a question, you can email them at bubbiesknowbest@jltv.tv.