I admit that, when we decided to have a child we did not sit down and talk everything through.We did not meticulously plan how we would do things. When I addressed certain topics here and there I was always given the feeling that we were on the same page.
I myself did not think everything through in detail, I tend to react to the reality that presents itself at the given moment – at least concerning all the things that are not in my hands to plan or foresee.
One extremely important thing, life-altering in fact, is or was completely out of my hands: Daycare!
We did not discuss in detail what we wanted to do about work but it was seemingly perfectly clear that a great part of the answer to that question would be if we get a daycare for the baby or not! I have to add that in hindsight maybe this was only clear in my head. I applied to all daycare facilities in my vicinity when I was a few month pregnant.
The normal way around here is to get on all the waitinglists when you are pregnant and then hope for the best. Maybe I should also mention that in my city finding a daycare or a Kindergarten is a little bit like winning the lottery and no, I do. not exaggerate. It is extremely difficult.
A private daycare was out of the question because it is really expensive. It is worth the money that one half of the couple earns in a month (in an average family) meaning: You can watch your child yourself.Okay, so let’s see:
First: It is very common, almost standard I’d say, that daycare does not take your child before the age of 6 month. That was clear for everybody.
Second: We cannot afford a Nanny or any person that would take care of a newborn baby for us.
Third: I think the reality that Mr. M. does no longer live in Eastern Germany and that we are now united and the DDR does no longer exist – has hopefully caught up with him because in the DDR it was standard for every woman to give birth and immediately drop of the newborn at daycare. This system does no longer exist. (and I don’t want to argue here if that is even desirable)
That leaves everyone with the understanding, that no matter what you do, you have to take care of your child at least for the first six month. Not to mention the minor little details like breastfeeding, having a preemie etc.
So let’s assume Mr. M. was aware of the three aforementioned points and please note that everything I am describing happen immediately after the birth! Like from day one! Because for me that somehow weakens any argument that his behavior had to do with me not earning money even if I would have been able to in his opinion.
Okay so what did he do? He did not give me any money if I did not explicitly ask for it! Seriously he let me ask for money like a school girl! I am talking about money to do the shopping in case that wasn’t clear. I am a grown woman who earned her own money, who worked freelance for all her professional life and raised a small business that gave him work, too and my husband lets me beg for money while I am at home taking care of our child!!!
Maybe you can imagine that I do NOT beg twice! When it was clear to me that he obviously planned to let me ask for it I just stopped. I waited until the fridge was completely empty and he eventually asked why there was no food.
As you can imagine food is not the only thing you need to buy with a newborn. He was not even ashamed to give me 50€ -which I spent on diapers and a few other things- and tell me the next day:
„I gave you 50€ yesterday where has it all gone?“
Sorry daddy I spent all your money in the drugstore!
I suggested a few times to use our bank account (which we had both access to and which we only use for the rent) so he could put money in it for the grocery shopping etc. and I could stop asking him.
He said yes but he never did it. I just gave up asking and waited until he realized that stuff was missing or until he asked why I did not buy this and that and I could answer „I have no money“.
Oft holteich das Geld aus der Sparkasse meiner Tochter weil ich nichts mehr da hatte. Er hörte aber auch irgendwanna uf dieses Geld zu ersetzten.
From the very beginning there was a steady and tangible undercurrent of „you spend MY money all the time“, „why do I have to give you MY money“, „I am the only one who is earning money around here“ etc. None of this was spoken out loud but it was constantly there and it was humiliating.