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Monthly Archives: December 2015

Child support / Keeping a child

I just watched this video on youtube and got thinking.
Here is the video, and below it my thoughts on the questions in the end:

On keeping a baby or not:
I think both parents have a say and need to make a rational decision together. If she wants to keep it no matter what, then the father should at least have the right to formally decline his parent-ship. And why? Because she is obviously ignoring his part in this, she is making the decision alone, so now she needs to own up to it. I think this is an option in Germany already, but correct me if I am wrong.
And it only gets difficult the other way around when he wants to keep it but she does not. After all no one has the right to force a woman to carry out a pregnancy that she doesn’t want just as no one has a right to force her to an abortion. Both a pregnancy and an abortion are serious health risks, obviously for different reasons. So you cannot force a person to take the risk that you want them to take. It is their body and they get to decide which risk they are willing to take.
Tadaa condoms / the pill / the pill after / bisectomy / …. Yes all of those can fail (and if they do, you can still deal with that), but at least be responsible as much as you can until both of you are ready for a child in case you want one.

On keeping a baby but later on not paying the support:
So if the decision for both parents at the time was to keep the baby but one day the parents separate/divorce and now one of them should be but is not paying child support, then this is a dick-move. You both need to own up to the responsibility of having a child, no matter if you separated or not because you are still BOTH the parents and it is about the children and their well-being. Seriously, do you fall out of love with your children when you fall out of love with your partner? Come on.

In my case, when I was little:
Here is the thing, as I mentioned above, still both are the parents. The children usually live with one parent, whilst the other one has to pay child support and that makes sense. Usually the amount depends on living standard and what the other parent can actually pay. In my opinion an amount of 50-100 Euro per week and per child is realistic and reasonable because children cost money and one parent alone is unlikely to be able to carry that on top of all the normal bills and especially when it’s more than one child.
In my case, I have 2 brothers who were very very difficult as children and teenagers. So my mother had to quit her jobs or lost them because of them. So now she usually tried to hold jobs but most of the time she could not because of them and therefore we were always very short on money. No new shoes, or jeans, or anything really. My father never paid his child support. He would give me 50 euro for my birthday or send a present. So that is once a year and only for me. Nothing for my brothers ever. So how is that a just behaviour? He gave his sperm, he made a concious decision to keep us together with my mom, but once they were not together any more, he would drop EVERYTHING including his children and we were always close to starving because of it.
Sure my case is extreme and there are probably a lot of families where the missing child support is not a big issue. Maybe it is only one child or all the kids are good and the parent, they live with, can hold a job that pays well, etc. But the fact that the other parents simply opts out of being a parent, that is a dick move and it creates only suffering. The child feels unloved by that parent and might actually go hungry because of that missing money.

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Posted by on December 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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An Atheist Christmas

So I thought, especially for those people, who are still wondering, how an Atheist would celebrate Christmas if they don’t believe in God/Jesus.

Here is how my husband and I are doing it:

I got lucky this year and was able to take the whole Christmas week off. Even Thursday and Friday before, I was already off work.
I had started ordering the presents for my husband early to make sure that they will be here in time. The gifts arrived when I was home sick with a pretty bad lung infection. But I still wanted to go and pick them up so that is what I did.

Once I got off work I started decorating a little bit here and there. Got those candles where every Sunday towards Christmas you light one more. Got a tree and put some nice ornaments on it. The tree topper became a tree middler because it did not fit on the tip. Here is a picture:
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Last Thursday (18th), we went to the Christmas market and had some fun, trying new things and looking at other things. Here are some pictures:

Then last Friday I started planning on what I wanted to bake in terms of cookies and other goodies. This past Monday I wanted to make a tricky type of cookie that did not come out as intended but it is still tasty. I had to run some ideas by my mom, who I bothered with baking questions and ideas via Facebook.

Saturday and Sunday I really just ran numbers to ensure we can afford everything and so on. Normal stuff when your pay comes in. Apart from that we were planning on how we would spend the week, when to cook what, when to do shopping, etc.
Just a normal weekend to be honest. Borrowed a guitar from a friend so I got to make some music. Also did a good amount of gaming and fell into bed at 2 am.

Monday we went out for a pint. My husband is studying some stuff and there is always a nice big meet-up when the term ends. So we went there and we went early because there was a lot of nice Christmas stuff in that town. Here are two pictures:

Tuesday I wanted to bake a little more but I got caught up in shopping for ingredients and cleaning up. So I only made one type of cookies. In the end of the day I just played a bit and then went to bed.

Wednesday I went completely nuts with the food preparation.
We have a little tradition, my man and I. One of the days surrounding Christmas, I will make my Christmas chicken, and one of those days he will make some kind of meat-filled cabbage rolls (traditional to where he comes from).
So I got up around 12 noon and set up two cookie doughs. It sounds more than it is because I just split the dough and put cocoa in one half. I then had egg whites left over from the day before and decided that I will make baiser (stiff whipped egg white with sugar in it, dried in the oven) from that. So I prepared it, put it in the oven, set a timer to 90 minutes, and went out to get a chicken.
Once back, I started to prepare the chicken and it was ready for the oven just when the baiser was done.
So the chicken went in and I had ground almonds at home so I decided to make marzipan. It is actually very easy so I did that. The marzipan has to rest for two hours so the flavours come out properly before you continue. So now I had two cookie doughs and the marzipan all in the bathroom (coldest room in the house) to rest, because my fridge was (and still is) so full that nothing else will fit in there.
The chicken took about 3 hours and came out delicious but here is the thing. The chicken went in at about 6pm so it was done around 9pm. That was one late dinner. I still had to clean that mess up and finish the cookies.
Of course the marzipan was done at some point so I could finish my little coated marzipan balls during the day, between brushing the chicken and cleaning the house.
But now it was almost 10pm and I wanted to finish those cookies. So I went to play, of course 😀 Around 11 I put the cookies in the oven and they were cold and glazed and dried by about 2pm.

Today, Christmas eve, yes we do Christmas eve on 24th in the evening.
Everything was just relaxed. Got up about 12 noon again and prepared some breakfast: Croissants, bacon, eggs. Messed up my waffle iron with the eggs because yes, I waffled the scrambled egg thing but it was too much egg so it came out on the sides. Took me forever to clean that mess up.
After that, I set up a nice platter with cookies and ginger bread and such nice things.
Here is a picture:
20151224_145548Played a little, listened to music. The husband started cooking his thing at some point and it was done around 7pm. I brought some to our friend and neighbour who declined an invitation for dinner because he is sick.
When the man stepped out of the flat for a few minutes to hack some portals (playing ingress) I had Santa come and put the presents under the tree. So once he came back, he wanted to have santa come and put presents under the tree too, so I was banned from the kitchen (“Don’t you have something to do in the bathroom?!”)
So we exchanged some pretty cool presents. Sadly I was not able to get the right size of the chef-jacket I got for him, so we will have to see what we do about that. I guess I will buy another one at a store in the city with him to come along and try it on.
I received parts for my Aiden Pearce cosplay and a Watchdogs bag.
After that, we set up our traditional “bed-picknick” to watch movies and do some coma eating:
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So as you can see. Apart from all the religious parts missing, an Atheist Christmas is pretty much the same as Christmas in a religious family.
Music, tree, good food, family, friends, visiting the market, shopping, gifts, and lots of love.

Now to end this post even nicer, here is some very very nice Atheist Christmas Carol by Vienna Teng:

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Just keep going?

I grew up in a mind set of “We can do this!” and “Never ever give up!”

Over all, this is a great thing because it will always keep you moving, no matter how grim a situation looks. This attitude has been so engrained in me that sometimes I surprise myself through what situations I can manoeuvre my husband and I.

From dealing with having no money to finding a job within a week. For some of my decisions I have been called crazy, for some I have been called brave. But all my decisions throughout the years have always improved my situation, be it financially, health, or generally live.

But there is one thing, which is part of this mind set, that is very unhealthy. Only today, my eyes were opened that I cannot keep going like that because eventually it will kill me if I do.

I grew up in an environment where, even when you were sick, you were expected to do your part. As much as you can anyway. My mom lived it for me. She would keep going and going until she physically collapsed and that is when she would take an hour break and then keep going again. This was my role model and this is who I became.
But it is very dangerous. I am not a physically healthy person in general. I have it with the knees, with the tail bone, occasionally with the back, and the asthma on top of it.
So when I get sick, it is usually something with my lungs, sinuses, etc. Anything about my breathing apparatus gets hits hard and a lot.

  • And when I am sick, I will keep going to work. And I am not talking sniffles or a bit of a cough. I think it is normal that you keep going to work when you have a bit of a cold or just feeling a bit off. No, I will keep going to work until I have a fever or until I almost faint from weakness.
  • And when I am sick, I will keep doing all the house work, shopping, paper work, going here and there. Because, well it is not my feet that are sick…

Well recently I was very sick with this lung infection that I get every couple of years. It really hits me hard because of the asthma. The first time I had it, I almost died. Back then, the doctor had told me to stay in bed for 5 days and do nothing at all. This was the first time I did nothing at all. Why? Because the doctor told me. He prescribed bed to me and you need to listen to your doctor.
Recently I had this infection again. Not as bad, but bad enough for me to be generally unable to do anything. For the first few days even talking was too exhausting.
But I was on a lot of medication. One of the things I had to take were steroids because they counteract the breathing problems the antibiotics cause.
But the steroids didn’t only do that. They made me feel relatively fit and not as sick. So I started doing things after two days. I started cleaning, went shopping, went to the city twice. It was very exhausting but doing it all very slow and with lots of breaks, I kinda dealt with it.

Now my husband has been sick for two weeks or so. It’s been an up and down. He got a flu, then his throat went really bad, then he was a bit better for two days, and now he is feeling weak and shaky again.

But for today we had planned to go to the Christmas market with friends. And I was so happy about that.
Slept in until 12:30, and when I got up I saw a text from my friend. We said we’d meet at 2 or so at the market. So this is what I told my husband. At the time I didn’t know yet that he was feeling this bad.
So at about 1 pm I told him to eat something and half an hour later I told him to get dressed so we could leave soon. And he told me that he wasn’t feeling to well.
I think every normal person would be like, ok, so let’s move the market to another day and stay in bed. But I got really upset. Because the way I was raised, if you only have a bit of a bad throat, why would you skip on Christmas market. It made no sense to me and I got very upset. He didn’t tell me how bad he felt until much later and for some dumb reason I didn’t ask either.
Well so I told my friend that we were not coming after all because sick and after that I went to go get medicine.
But I asked him how is his throat so much worse than my recent lung infection where I did everything.
We fought a very ugly fight over this and at some point I had to realize that it is my crooked education that I received about being sick.

If you are sick, it doesn’t matter. You just keep going until you collapse. You ignore the signals which your body sends you. You can slow down but you never stop. My husband listens to his body but I don’t – well didn’t.

We made up and talked it through like normal people. And agreed that we will not be dumb and reckless with our bodies any longer. If you are sick, you are sick. You tell your partner that you cannot do xyz because you are sick. You go to bed and you stay there.

So to answer the question, that is the title of this post:

No! You cannot always just keep going. Sometimes you have to take a step back. Sometimes you have to think about your well-being before anything else. You are no good for anybody or anything if you are sick but keep going.

To close this on a positive note:
Chicken soup, Salvia tea, and a Paracetamol do wonders! Try it.

Chicken soup with noodle

Bowl of clear chicken soup with noodle and vegetables

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The little regrets

You know when you are thinking back to your childhood and you did something and now you regret it. You maybe even regretted it a minute after you did it but over time, you just forgot about it because, well you were a child and childish things are usually not too important. Those little regrets get lost in a sea or real worries but once in a while you think back because somehow they were a big deal after all.

I have this today. I had a shower and suddenly those two incidents just came back to me and I am so sorry. Now, at 31 years old. I am so sorry for that one time when I was 9 and that one time when I was 11.

Here are my two regrets that I am still so sorry about and there is just no way to make them good.

  1. My great grand mother:
    I was about 9 or so. And my great grand mother had moved in with my grand parents because she had gotten Alzheimers and wasn’t in a state to live alone any longer.
    What I understood was, that her brain was going backwards. In her mind she started forgetting the recent things and would only remember earlier and earlier things of her life. So she would forget about me very early on. I wasn’t mad about it. My mom had explained it to me and I was very kind and understanding.
    So when I was at my grand mother’s house, we usually played some board games. And my grand mother had this box with different dice. One of them only had the number 1 on each side.
    So I decided to play a trick on my great grand mother and gave her that dice to play. She didn’t notice of course.
    I think that evening I had a bit of a mean streak because after playing, when my grand mother was making dinner in the next room, I also pulled out my tongue (something I usually never did) to my great grand mother. She in returned complained but I was acting like nothing had happened so it was just credited to her Alzheimers.
    I felt so bad about it just minutes later.
    I think it was my own way to see how far I can push the boundaries and I never did something like those two things again but I feel very sorry about it nowadays. I cannot say sorry to my great grand mother as she died about 3 years later. And telling anybody about it would be weird, this many years later.
  2. The pen-pal:
    When I was 11 there were only two children living in the house where I lived. The other child lived right next door. Apparently she had a pen-pal. It was that time, when there was no internet for normal people. We are talking 1995 here. So if you wanted to talk to people from somewhere else, you would get a pen-pal.
    One day I noticed a big letter that did not fit right in the box of the neighbour’s girl and it had her name on it. So I pulled it out of the box just to look and feel it. I never received packages or even letters or cards. From whom anyway? So I just got very curious and upon feeling, that there is something like a book in there, I just opened it without thinking to see what book it is.
    At that point I might have gotten a bit jealous or something. I looked through it and it was one of these friendship books that have little questionaires and a spot for you to write a nice thing and a put a photo. So her pen-pal had sent this to her so she could put herself in it and send it back. It was a very common practice back then to have a little book like this and give it to all your friends, family, classmates, and even teachers. It would, in the end, always be a nice collection of memories.
    I think that fact, that at that moment she had someone to do this with and I did not, was what got me jealous. I ripped the book apart and threw it away.
    Never told anybody either because I knew how bad this was and that I should not have done it. I did not want to get in trouble and if I would just be quiet about it, they would think the post lost it or something.
    Again, nowadays I feel very sorry. I destroyed a book full of nice memories of a child I didn’t even know, just because I was jealous.

There are always more things. Especially during your childhood. I have tons of little stories where I am wondering why I did the things I did.

But childhood is for making mistakes and learning from them.

  • I remember beating a girl up just because she annoyed me once – that was when I was 10 or so.
  • I remember stealing chocolate bars just because they looked so nice – I think I was 10 then as well.
  • I remember stealing coins from my teacher’s purse to by sweets – same age.
  • I remember secretly taking 1DM from my mom’s purse on Sunday mornings before church so I could have ice cream.
  • I remember smashing old empty bottles in a old factory once.

In retrospective, between 9 and 12 years old, I had a very rough patch in life – rougher than it had usually been. So I think I acted up a lot and tested boundaries more than I would have in a normal situation.

The good thing is, I learnt from all of these mistakes. I was a smart kid and understood why the things I did were wrong and how I could have done better. Most of the time, I tried to make things right and that is why I usually didn’t get in real trouble. I would normally come forward on my own or just get caught at some point. But I would always stand to what I did and take the punishment or whatever was to come.

Children need to be allowed to make mistakes, test boundaries, learn how life works, learn to deal with feeling bad about what you did, learn to make things right, learn why rules are in place and why it is important to respect them – learn to think before doing things.

There is stuff you cannot teach from books.

And learning from your mistakes is one of those things.

Cheers 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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