Paying Child Support – Should Men Demand Receipts?
Several days ago, I stumbled on an image on my newsfeed that asked the question that was along the lines of “Should men demand that women show receipts to prove where their child support money is going”? Now, before I delve into a long-winded diatribe, I am a father. I have been paying child support for my son for almost as long as he has been alive. In the beginning, I felt slighted, taken advantage of, felt it was way too much and was upset and even thought along the same lines as many of the men I saw commenting do now.
Comments like “my ex buys her bf cigarettes” or “she uses mine for going out on the weekends” were plenty. Here is the thing gentleman, as long as your child is healthy, happy, has a roof over their heads, shoes on their feet, and are clothed and taken care of, than what your ex spends the money on after you send it is none of your business. It isn’t. Your child is being taken care of in one way or another, and if they are not, that is an issue that you must take up with your lawyer and the court system, but to demand that the mother of your child present receipts to prove that your money is going to your children is absolutely ludicrous.
You see, you don’t know what your child’s mother may have already sacrificed in order to get your child new shoes, clothes, food, or whatever your child needs while you are not there. Perhaps they sacrificed a big portion of their own money in order to make ends meet and your check is helping pay back what she put into raising your child. If that means using it on her BF or spending it on a weekend away with her girlfriends, it is absolutely none of your business. More importantly, there is a pretty big chance that she is raising your child mostly by herself the majority of the time. What I mean by this is, you are probably not around every single day to help take on the requirements of parenting.
I am all for men taking a stand and being a bigger part of their children’s lives. I commend fathers who want to be more involved with the parenting, and I am all for equality in raising our children, but equality is not in demanding that every penny of our child support goes specifically to the children. It is unfair to even expect such a thing. Let your ego and pride go and start focusing on what is more important, and that is the mutual respect between two parents raising their children as best that they can. Together.
When I first started paying child support, I felt the same way that many men do when they first start. It is a BIG expense, but so is raising a child. After almost 17 years, I don’t even blink an eye anymore about paying my child support. My son is a well mannered, kind, funny, and extremely intelligent young man. His mother had a big role in the man he is becoming, and I am thankful for everything that she has done to ensure is taken care of. If what I send isn’t enough, I will always make sure my son get’s and has what he needs, without question. At the end of the day, both of us have one goal in mind that we have agreed on as parents and that is to take care of our son to the best of our ability. Are we perfect parents? Hell no, but we support each other as parents and the decisions that we make, and that is important.
Being a father and a man does not come with a list of demands for the mother of your child. Let go of your ego and step up and be the bigger man and see that your anger, frustration, and attitude reside in a place that may be displaced anger, hurt, and pain. Let it go.