Responsible for Everything - MetroFamily Magazine
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Responsible for Everything

by Shannon Fields

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

Right after my divorce was finalized, I bought a house…granted, it’s a much smaller house than the one to which the girls and I were accustomed…but it’s a lovely little home, all the same. I tried to find something in my price range in their current school districts, but…well, let’s just say Northeast Edmond wasn’t really a viable option and leave it at that.

The girls surprised me by choosing to switch schools mid-year. For my sixth-grader, it was purely a numbers game. “Well, duh, Mom…I’ll have more friends if I have people at both schools I can hang out with…besides, new kids are always popular,” she tells me matter-of-factly. (As we all know, 12-year-old girls know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING.) Sara, my second-grader, was initially a little more hesitant, but ultimately, she listened to her sister, whom she believes is the epitome of Cool.

The transition went seamlessly, and they love both the new schools and our new home….they’re always happy to come back to their own rooms, which I allowed them to decorate themselves, and we have a great time on “my” weekends all piling onto the sofa and having Baking and Movie nights, or having their friends for sleepovers.

There is a downside, though…lovely as it is, the house came with a price tag, and I have to pay for it, all by myself. I won’t lie, it’s more than a little daunting sometimes to be responsible for everything. What the girls haven’t fully grasped is that we now have to keep to our budget for this to work, and Mom doesn’t have much extra cash. We cook at home now, and only eat out about once a month. We can’t always just go bowling or ice skating on a whim. I often have to say no at the store when one of them sees a book or a game or an outfit they want to buy RIGHT THIS SECOND.

On the flip side, those things aren’t much of an issue at Dad’s place. He’s living in a small house owned by a family member (thus making it dirt-cheap) and frequently takes them shopping and out to eat and to the movies. They’re always coming back from Daddy’s with new clothes and enthusiastic tales of who they saw at the skating rink.

I’m glad they get to go. I AM. I just wish they understood how hard it is for ME to have to say no so often…I worry that they just think I’m being hard on THEM. One of these days, I’ll figure out how to explain it to them without making them think or feel like they’re a burden to me…one of these days, I’ll welcome them home from Daddy’s house and check out their new outfits and listen to everything they got to do over the weekend without so much as a hint of resentment in the back of my mind….one day.

For now, I will focus on being thankful for what I CAN give them…cooking and baking experiments in the kitchen…a safe neighborhood where we can go for walks…their own bedrooms…and a whole lot of Girls’ Nights In snuggled up on the couch watching The Princess Bride for the umpteenth time.

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