Wedding Woes
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I'm missing out because of my damn kid.

Dear Prudence,
I'm a 28-year-old male and have a 4-year-old daughter with my partner of nine years (we're not married but completely committed). My daughter was not planned and I had serious reservations about having a child at such a young age, but there's a lot of love in our family and everything has worked out. But since taking a new job several months ago, I've started feeling differently. All of my co-workers are young and I've made a few good friends, but I often have to decline invitations to events I'd really like to attend because of my family obligations, or because I can't afford it. I'm the only one with a full plate of adult responsibilities, including supporting my partner, who is an artist and doesn't bring home a paycheck every week. So I have to say no to joining them on road trips or at exclusive restaurants, because my weekend consists of toddler birthday parties and visits to the playground. It's making me rueful that I've missed my 20s and worried I will wind up bitter no matter how much I love my family. How do I get out of this funk and regain happiness with my circumstances, and how do I face my co-workers every day when they’re a constant reminder of what I'm missing?

—Longing for Lost Youth

Re: I'm missing out because of my damn kid.

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    It sounds like OP is missing out because he has a sucktastic "partner." I'm curious what the starving artist brings to the table - does she provide full time childcare? take care of the home? Could she pick up a part-time job (especially once the kid starts school) to help with the finances? 

    Not saying he should attend every event, but OP should get a break once in a while. It's great that he is an involved parent, and supportive of his g/f, but he needs time to relax. They need couple time too - get a babysitter on occasion and have a date night. 
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    I love how @PirateBarbie comes right out of the gate attacking the woman in this situation.  Love.

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    for all we know she slaves at home taking care of the child, doing all of the housework, and waiting on b/f and feels the same way that he does - however there's nothing presented to either support or refute this conclusion. maybe she's pushing him out the door and telling him to have fun, but he feels too guilty to go.

    @AuntFlo - are you saying that you didn't want to take some time off when your H was unemployed and you were the sole/primary breadwinner? you didn't feel like you deserved some time to yourself? (even if it was going to a movie where you didn't have to watch whatever your kid wanted to see or get a drink with a friend?)

    I'm supportive of parents contributing to the relationship/family equally and getting time for themselves/couple time.
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    WzzWzz member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited August 2013

    he's worried he will turn out bitter? he doesn't think he is already bitter? he sounds like a dimwit, if you ask me. i also do blame the partner here for this. she (he?) should really be bringing in a steady income if able and willing. from the sound of the OP, it just sounds like this is what she does for a living and isn't interested in doing more to take on some financial burden.

     

    maybe they can get together with another parent and trade off babysitting so it doesn't have to be an expense.

     

    honestly, this sounds like there is an opportunity for this couple to bring in more money and they are choosing not to. who knows. IMO the kid is 4, so daycare and diaper expenses should be lower than they were when it was an infant.

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    When he's in his 40's and his kid is out of the house allowing him to travel he's going to be laughing at all his "young" coworkers dealing with kids and unable to leave the house. 
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    Wow really...Being a responsible adult is putting others before yourself including your family.
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    SBmini said:
    When he's in his 40's and his kid is out of the house allowing him to travel he's going to be laughing at all his "young" coworkers dealing with kids and unable to leave the house. 
    I was thinking this as well. Not that he doesn't have problems (with his attitude and his partner's apparent unwillingness to contribute financially) that need addressing now. But anyone who's been around a while, kids or no, realizes you get to play young or you get to play old, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each. Hells. I'm already seeing it, with people just a few years older than I who actually get to leave their 14yo home alone while they go to the grocery store or whatever. Fast forward a few years to when they get to take their vacations without worrying about an academic calendar or whatever, and I'll certainly be hella jealous, even if I know I spent my 20s doing whatever I wanted.

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    Yeah, kids are a life-ruiner.  I'd be upset if I were him, too, but I doubt that would have just started four years in.
    image
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