you can’t always get what you want…

I worked 14 hours today.  Having been unemployed (meaning: not having a fulltime job) I am grateful for the work.  I surf a lot and often read the blogs of people that are unfulfilled with their work or career.  One lady was saying that while she was highly paid, the “job” was not within her area of “expertise” and she was considering quitting to “get into her field”.  Normally, I would just move on but for some reason, I was fixated on that statement.  ” Now within my chosen area of training…” 

As a college grad, I am aware of the fact that BA’s are the new high school diploma.  Masters degrees are almost expected. When I quit my job 4 years ago and moved to Scandinavia, I knew several things for sure…that I would do what ever I had to do to help my family stay intact and that I would no longer be enslaved to  the credit card debt (that ate up my salary and took almost 29,000 dollars of the profit we recognized from the sale of the house.)

It’s been hard.  I take lots of nonsense and humble pie is a regular dish at my job.  In America, I would not have been caught dead doing what I do now.  My arogance was quickly replaced in Maslo’s hierachy by the need to survive.  Before, the electric bill came and it went right out.  Now, we have to decide, “can this wait 2 more weeks”?  There is only ONE pay day in Sweden.  Everyone gets paid on the 25th of the month…I have no idea why.  Those that have children receive a monthly stipend called barnbidrag which literally translates to child support.  It comes from the state and everyone, regardless of how rich you are, is entitled to it. It averages to about $135.00 per child but increases the more children you have.  The 20th of the month you typically see all of the parents out shopping for the kids.  The children receive what is called weekly money (vecko pengar).  Most kids do nothing for it.  It is their God given right because the Swedish government says they should… They usually buy saturday candy (lördags godis) and what ever else they desire.  My kids are not so lucky….They have a list of chores that need to be done in order to receive their allowance.  Democracy is sorely limited inside the confines of this house, which I liken to an embassy…meaning the ground it sits on is the property of the country I deem sovereign…which is (of course) America or Great Britain since we ARE distantly related. 

 My son calles me today and says that his job is done, can he go out side?   “Absolutely”, I reply.  9 hours later I arive home to find out that his job is not done.  He was thisclose to lying to me when he admitted he had not done his job and was hoping that I would not notice.  I was so happy…It’s FINALLY starting to sink in… All of the head beating, yelling and timeouts have come to a culmination.  Above all else you are nothing without honor.  If your word means nothing it makes no difference whether you have money or not…no one will hang around you long enough to prove yourself.  That moment, my friends was worth all of the anguish, fear and regrets I have ever expoused about my son.



Filed under Damn kids, Uncategorized

4 responses to “you can’t always get what you want…

  1. uh.. let me get this strait…. you all receive the same amount of pay every month no matter what you do??

  2. You give me hope that all my consistency with discipline will one day come to fruition. Thank you!

  3. Big kudos to you for sticking to your guns! I really would like to move to Ohio. I heard that is the last state left in the US that still allows corporal punishment!

  4. See what happens. The minute you write about disciplining kids, the aggressors come to call.
    I believe in putting kids first. I believe that it is good and correct for the state to subsidize families and to give kids a little mad money, since parents won’t always do that. Who should they be giving it to: Halliburton? I wish we had a program like that here, so little kids would not always have to beg their parents for favors or do onerous chores to get an allowance. A kid’s job is to grow and thrive and get educated, not to submit to arbitrary discipline and punishment.
    The Germans have a good saying, which I’ll bet the Swedes do too:
    Kleine Erwachsene Erwachsene Kinder. Meaning children who are expected to act like grownups grow up to be childish adults. Whenever I see an adult throwing a tantrum about some trivial matter, such as being poorly served in a restaurant, I think of that wise saying.
    It’s worrisome if kids are mean, but other traits are not a big deal. And yet we get so concerned if they make messes and won’t do their chores. So what? Are they cheerful? Are they kind?
    I write this as a 67 year old woman who has brought up two kids and now has a grandkid. I started out being too strict, under pressure from the German society I found myself in, but I reformed when I woke up to what I was doing. My kids are great: highly educated, successful, but most of all good, loving people. And my granddaughter is a joy. She’s three. No one has ever spanked her, and she’s fresh and lively as can be. She understand justice, because she has experienced it. So no one can treat her badly and make her think that’s OK.
    Do read Alice Miller. Please. She talks about how society always protects the interests of the parents over those of the children. It sounds to me as if the Swedes are trying to repair that.
    Remember: you brought them into the world and you must take care of them. There’s no getting around that. Be grateful you’re getting some help.

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