We don’t often share a lot of personal stories about how divorce affects people, but what we’re about to share really resonates because it highlights the key challenges that women often face in a divorce. While there are some cases where the opposite could be true, more women take on the burden of childcare after the divorce is final, and if they were the primary caregiver during the marriage, then it’s likely they had to make both educational and professional sacrifices in order to do so. With that in mind, listen as a son highlights the difference between his middle class mother and his rich father post-divorce.
“I’ve come from two backgrounds, a working class one and an upper class one. When my parents divorced and my mother got custody, we lived on her $25,000 income, but my dad would try to spoil me with his quarter-million a year salary.
“I spent my childhood living on a crazy budget with my mom. I was a simple video-game-loving nerd, and my mom could only afford one game system for me, but that was enough to keep me occupied.
“When I would go to my dad’s house every other weekend though, he would ask me what games I wanted or anything else to compete in the ‘who’s the better parent’ game with my mom. By the time I was 16, I had never asked for anything over $100, but for my 16th birthday, I asked my dad for a jet-ski since he lived on the water. And sure enough, there was a $20,000 jet-ski tied to the dock on my 16th birthday.
“I’ve found that the best thing about being rich is the comfort, convenience, and general happiness. But I’ve also found that the worst part is that it’s not true happiness. True happiness is feeling loved.
“My mom made me a bank account two years ago that was linked to her name, so whenever something happened with it, I’d get an email.
“Also when I was 16, I asked for an upgrade to my computer, which would have cost around $600. I told her I’d work extra around the house and get a job myself to pay her back. So the next day, I got two emails: one was a notification of a $1500 purchase, and the next one saying that the account had gone in the negatives.
“I never told my mom that I knew, and I never would. Saying ‘I love you and would do anything for you’ is one thing, but doing it is another.
“Since paying my mom back, it took me 5 months to do so, she got Graves disease and had to stop working. I’m in college now, but I still go back home to see her two weekends a month to help her clean the house, cook, shop, etc., and just to be with her.
“No game system, jet-ski, boat, or anything my dad would buy me could ever even compare to my mother.”
Hopefully this story did something to uplift your spirits if you feel like you’re getting snowed under with bills and childcare obligations in the wake of your divorce. The love of a child doesn’t have to be purchased. That’s not what the mom in the example above was doing when she laid out the money for her son’s computer. She was, as he so eloquently put it, doing anything for someone she loved. As long as you can say that about the love you have for your kids, your relationship with them will be just fine.