Dear Ms. Belle,
I am a single father and I want to give the best to my daughter. Too bad, my own family does not seem to support me in this. Although my mother likes having my daughter around, she is very busy with three other small grandchildren. Sometimes she grumbles about having to take care of the children. My sister works abroad and she left her three children with my mother. So when I’d leave my daughter my mother protests that she’s overworked already. She does not complain much with my sister because she gets money from her every month. But I cannot give her as much because I am just an ordinary employee. There was a time when my mother told me to give my daughter to the mother. I love my daughter and I am doing my best to support her. But I feel bad that I am not supported and even criticized because I am having a hard time. Last month, I got word from the boss that they are transferring me to another place of assignment and it will mean an increase in the pay. But when I told my family, they said I could not just leave my daughter with them, and that even if I send money it is not enough. I really feel bad and I don’t know what to do. My daughter is only 10 years old and I am not so sure if it will be good for her to move with me, away from friends and the family she knows. What will I do?
I have been the solo parent for most of my sons’ lives. Having my family take care of my sons was not an option. My father was quite frank with me when he told me to give my sons to their father since his family members were just too willing to have them. He said I was young enough to build a life apart from the previous failed marriage and have another family. I flatly refused and took upon myself to take care of my sons. Belly aching about your mother who seems to value financial support won’t help things. There are three things you can do. One, worker harder and smarter to get enough pay to financially support your daughter so your mother won’t complain. Two, as per advice, give her to your ex. And three, you take her with you make do with both of you as family. She is 10. She can be in school while you are at work. You and your daughter can share the household chores. It can be a fun life. You share life as families are meant to do. When I was raising my boys, I didn’t think it was difficult. Well, it was difficult, but I didn’t look at it that way. I woke up early to prepare breakfast and send them to school. They eat lunch in the canteen. I pick them up after school and cook dinner. Weekends are for all other chores and fun. I felt downtrodden at times when I would be rushing in the morning having to prepare breakfast, prepare for work and even iron the uniform polo of the boys. However, when they grew up, they told me that one of their fondest memories was wearing a warm polo just fresh out of the ironing board. They did look forward to the mornings before school when they put on a warm freshly ironed polo shirt. You see, it isn’t too bad. It’s just life and its challenges.