The price of being an adult.

You guys know I’m busting my ass just to eek out a living for me and my kids, right? I don’t sleep, I’m stressed as all fuck, and I still have to take hand-outs from Rob’s folks. They’re generous as all hell, and it KILLS ME to take money from them, but I do it because Rob hasn’t found a job yet, and honestly, this feels like the only option to live the way I want and not loathe Rob. (READ: “Okay, so you’re not helping me financially with our family, but at least your parents are.”)

My own folks are cash-poor. Sure, they have property and cars and whatnot, but they’ve refinanced the mortgage too many times to count and don’t have anything to give me. I know this, and I don’t ask anything from them. Whenever they offer me something, I either refuse from the get-go, or agree with the knowledge that all I’m getting is an empty promise.

Now, my mom’s been in the Philippines since my grandma passed away. The other day, my aunt came to visit, and while the three of us were at the dining room table, Mom said, “How much are your medical costs [for giving birth]? I can’t give you anything, but…”

I laughed and ate cake. “I know you’re not giving me anything, Mom,” I said, dismissively. “So don’t worry about it.”

“Well, if you have any money saved for your labor,” she said, “maybe I could borrow…?”

I laughed again. Typical Mom. She’s never learned how to manage her money, and always spends more than she has.

“Sorry, Mom,” I said. “I’m busting my butt just to take care of my kids. I don’t have anything to spare.”

Then, today, my brother left the house and came back with $500 worth of new tech – which happens to be the exact amount of money I need just to be admitted into a fucking hospital – and even though I’d like to say that I was all zen and merely took deep breaths and went on my merry way, the truth is, my soul screamed!

I get that I’m older and have my own family. I hold myself to high standards and feel my pride dwindling at the thought of asking someone for financial help. But these are my parents. They see that I’m busting my ass to do what I gotta do. They know that I’m having a hard time. They ask me for money. And the second they come into some cash, they go and buy my brother some swag.

My mom says this is the case because my brother doesn’t have anyone to depend on but them, whereas I work and have Robert and his parents to depend on.

And I know it’s not my place to dictate where other people spend their money.

I know I should be above all of this pettiness.

I know that I should just be grateful for what I have and call it a day.

Those are the logical answers. But how about the emotional ones?

I feel like I’ve been traded to another team.

And here I thought I was sitting pretty as the MVP.

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