• Thu, Sep 20 2012

Anonymous Mom: I Procreated With A Rich Man. And Then A Not So Rich One

Anonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

I have one son who is almost nine months and another daughter from a previous marriage who is almost 11. My daughter’s father is a very wealthy man. I do not mention this to be crass but because I worry about how differently my two children will be raised.

My daughter has been to Disneyland twice, Italy, California, Hawaii, Aspen to ski in winters, Arizona for spring break, and stays only at the best hotels. She has known how to call room service since she was two years old. When her father takes her on vacations, they always fly business class and she always comes back with a second suitcase full of new clothes (Dolce and Gabbana outfits, buttery-leather jackets, designer jeans.) Recently, her father took her to Los Angeles and she came back with five – yes five – pairs of new shoes, three new dresses, and a fur vest that I wished was a few sizes bigger so I could enjoy it too.

My daughter, thanks to her father, has more purses than I do.

He belongs to a private golf/tennis club and my daughter, too, is a member. She loves signing her name when she buys herself a hamburger or ice cream cone. Thanks to her father, she attends private school and will never have to worry about saving for college. I asked him once if I should start saving for her college education, and he said, “Don’t worry about it.” And so I don’t.

I also don’t worry about her getting a car when she is of driving age, because her father has already told her he would get her a car. Birthday parties for her (which he pays for) include fabulous costume dance parties, with almost 50 children, and $20 loot bags a child. His gifts to her for her birthday (which he generously includes me on the card) include iPads, cell phones, computers, and video cameras. He, too, because he can, pays for her overnight camp (for a month, it’s more than $5000) and all her extra-curricular activities.

He is a very loving father. They are very close.

When I got remarried two years ago and had a second child, I hadn’t really thought of the differences in how they would be raised. My husband and I already joke that our son better be good at some sort of sport to get a scholarship to college. I think about where we live and how there’s a great public school around the corner. My son will be going there.

I also think how lucky I am to have a son as opposed to another girl. He won’t be jealous of her walk in closet full of the best of clothes.

And, yes, we do go away on vacations as a family, but we sit in economy class, and stay at family-friendly cheap hotels. My daughter doesn’t realize just yet that she too will be very rich someday (she is her father’s only child and her father and I have discussed her trust fund, which she will inherit when she is 30.) My son, however, has no trust fund, and probably will never know what those words mean.

I find myself in a very perplexing position. I want, of course, what’s best for my daughter and she has the best. But I also want what’s best for my son, which will not come in monetary value, but with the same amount of love I have for my daughter. What my son does have, which my daughter doesn’t, is two parents who are happily married. So both have something the other doesn’t.

But I do wonder if one day, when my son is a little bit older, if he will wonder why his sister gets to fly all over the world and gets the latest in technology as gifts. Will he one day ask, “But SHE got a car! Why can’t I?” Luckily, my daughter doesn’t brag about what she has or gets because it’s her understanding of normal. My son’s normal will be a different kind of normal – the normal that is 99 percent of the world normal – but I do hope that love does conquer all. When it comes to love, at least that part is equal.

Send your own Anonymous Mom submission of 600-800 words to editor(AT)mommyish(dot)com.

(photo: Loskutniko/ Shutterstock)

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  • Ipsedixit010

    We struggled with this when choosing guardians for our son in case something would happen. We want our son to continue the same lifestyle he currently has, which is different than his cousins’. We didn’t want any animosity to form (why does he go to a different school, why does he get his own car when we have to share one, etc.), so we chose a guardian that doesn’t have kids our son’s age. I can’t imagine having to go through it when the disparity is between your kids.

  • kate

    i am actually really curious why she divorced husband 1. i am not saying that she should have stayed because he was rich, im just curious what his fautls as a husband were since he sounds like a good father (not just because of the money, but spending time with the daughter and inculding moms name on the gifts, etc)

    • http://www.suburbansweetheart.com/ Suburban Sweetheart

      Being a good father isn’t necessarily the same thing as being a good husband. This isn’t really any of our business, is it?

    • kate

      nope, it isnt. but neither is any of the rest of it :)

    • http://www.suburbansweetheart.com/ Suburban Sweetheart

      And yet she asked for our opinion on the rest of it. Not on that.

    • kate

      well either way, i was just curious. I like your website so i dont want to argue about it. lol

    • CW

      You’re assuming she was the one who initiated the divorce. Rich ex-hubby could very well have gotten bored with the marriage and dumped her. One of my hubby’s old bosses was like this. He was on wife #3 but only had kids with wife #1 (and wife #3 had zero interest in becoming a mom so it appeared likely to stay that way).

    • kate

      true, CW. I think it is just the human condition to want to know the whole story. and @SuburbanSweetheart:disqus , i wasnt giving an opinion on it, I said I was curious. I realize, and dont expect to, that I am not going to get an answer.

    • ND52

      @disqus_7C7QdAf5N6:disqus

      Who says she divorced him? Maybe he upgraded?

      Why are you not asking about her faults as well? Why is it always the man’s fault?

      I’m betting she got kicked to the curb and is more than a little disappointed that she couldn’t snag another rich guy.

    • katydid0605

      true, but i guess that was what i was getting at…that she was forlorn about the lack of richness

  • caroline

    i am the progeny of just such a situation – i am the ‘have-not’ child while my sister is the ‘have.’ my mother did an excellent job of raising us to understand the true value of things (versus cost) so that we would have a more holistic understanding of the world and our places in it. as a soon-to-be mother myself, i feel blessed to be the ‘have not’ child – while my daughter won’t go to the fanciest schools or have the luxury of a stay-at-home mom, i am grateful to be able to pass along those same lessons of the true value and goodness of life (which, yes, sometimes does include the family-friendly econo lodge vacations!).

    • kate

      i really like your comment and that is a wonderful adage to the article, but i just want to point out that having a stay at home parent is not a ‘luxury’ for everyone. My husband stays home, and it is very very hard to make ends meet. but if he were to go to work, his paycheck would probably just barely cover the cost of daycare.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=518386722 Lindsay Curtis

    Rebecca Eckler – is that you?

    • Ellen

      I thought the same thing, but her daughter is 8 or 9 (this woman’s is 11) and she’s not married to her son’s father (this woman is).

    • ItsGoodtoBeSociallyAwareMom

      I think it’s her and she fudged some of the information to cover her identity.

    • Rachael

      Both kids are different ages from Eckler’s, and I find the tone really different. Probably not her.

  • GPMeg

    It sounds like your daughter has been raised privileged but also well aware of how to be a functioning and good hearted individual. I care for children like her at my facility and it warms my heart when they ask the “have” parent if they can buy the child of the “have not” parents a snazzy birthday gift– I wouldn’t be surprised if she asks the same question one day! It also sounds like you’re all very decent human beings, which helps the situation immensely.

  • bumbler

    My oldest brother had a different father from the rest of us kids, and he would occasionally get expensive gifts from him while the rest of us were lucky to get presents from the local charity (our parents didn’t work much, long story). It never bothered me at all, or even occurred to me as ‘unfair’. In fact, I thought it was unfair that he didn’t get to ever see or spend time with his bio dad, while ours was around all the time. I felt bad because he must have felt ‘different’ and ‘separate’ from the rest of us (my kid opinion). He also shared his presents with us as any descent brother would, so it was actually great when he got things. Even if the Sega wasn’t “mine” I knew I’d still get to play it sometimes.

    Also, my sister in law has three kids, the oldest a girl and then 2 boys. She spoils THE HELL out of her daughter. She doesn’t even try to hide it. Her daughter gets anything and everything. She’s the boss. She gets to go, the boys stay, etc etc. Her birthday is like a broadway production, while her brother’s bday less than a month later is usually rather low key/non-existant because they’re broke from the sister’s extravaganza. My point is that people create this disparity for themselves too, by favoring one child over the other(s). Since her brothers have never known any different, and they’re still relatively young (under 10), this is ‘normal’ to them and ‘just how it is’. They might actually reflect on the disparity one day and become resentful though. Interesting to see how that turns out…

  • maureen

    If they were around the same age I would predict jealousy, but an 11 year difference might prevent that. They’ll never compete for toys, and by the time he’s old enough to get a car, she’s be at least 27 and living independently. She’ll be the cool older sister who he turns to for cash when he’s mad at mom :P

  • Bubberfly

    “I want, of course, what’s best for my daughter and she has the best.” True – if by “best” you mean lots of expensive stuff…

  • mslove17

    Money Comes, Money Goes. Just because someone’s father is “rich,” doesn’t mean your daughter always will be. Believe me, 11 years ago I was a teenager living a fabulous ex pat lifestyle; my parents had a lot of money. Now they are divorced, my father makes about 40K a year and my mother is unemployed and struggling. Things change (even when you are SURE the money will always be there), so you might be over worrying a little bit. And besides, maybe someday your son will earn HIMSELF a lot of money :)

  • Totally Eckler

    Totally Eckler…she just changed the ages of the kids like that’s going to fool anyone.
    Daughter is the only child of a super rich dad….check.
    Daughter goes to Hawaii, Arizona, etc….check.
    Daughter has known how to order room service since the age of two…Eckler wrote a column about that.
    Daughter went to an exclusive summer camp for one month…Check.
    Ex belongs to a super expensive golf and country club in Arizona…Eckler wrote a column about that too.
    She’s a clever one…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=518386722 Lindsay Curtis

      Yep, that’s what I thought. She fudged some of the facts to “confuse” people and she did fool a few. But not us. What a loser.

    • lou

      why is she a loser?

    • Scarlette

      I believe they were implying plagiarism but the comments were a bit too cryptic to say for sure.

  • sherylintexas

    I can see how that would be difficult. I would say that since your daughter will be 30 when your son is entering college maybe she will feel some family bond to help him out a little. By that age she should understand the circumstances and if there really is A LOT of money like you imply I imagine she will feel some since of wanting to help. It sounds like there will have to be a lot of conversations about money and what it can and cant buy while they are growing and maturing though.

  • Samantha

    Dear mom,
    I found your site when I was wondering about what to get my super rich dad who has everything. I have never left a comment on any site before, but I believe I am an expert in the situation you are describing. I am your daughter (fast fwd to 28) and I have a 11 year old half brother from my mothers side, with another man, who (unlike your son and unfortunately for my brother) has a father that is very neglecting and gives him nothing. I will tell you the following: you have to socialize your daughter as best you can to understanding that her situation is not normal. I think if she lives with you she will already end up grasping some of this. But really, not to make her feel guilty, but grateful for what she has. I think you need to work more on your daughter than on your son. Believe me, ‘having everything’ is can be also a curse. There will be envy in her life one way or another even if it doesn’t come from your son. Teaching her how to be humble will be the best way to keep your family united, and to help her have true friends. And teaching her gratitude and responsibility will mean that one day she may end up helping to care for many of her brothers needs. I married a not so rich (and yet very successful) man for normal standards. This may also happen to your daughter some day. Teaching her the humility and the true values in life will help her through her marriage and in raising kids. Furthermore, if she understands what truly makes her happy (and the focus on money is often a distraction) she may end up pursuing this more that just frivolous consumption, and find something meaningful in her life. Her inheritance may be a blessing for her and those around her. You need to prepare her for the responsibility of what is to come. It very different to be the one who makes the money (like her father) and the one who inherits it.
    I hope this helps you understand that although you may think you need to compensate in someway for your sons “misfortune” the truth is that what you really need is to redouble your efforts on your daughters upbringing. The values you teach until shes 13 is what will stick, after that there’s not too much more you can control. Teach her how to be a lovable person and your son will not envy her, or feel somehow disadvantaged, because, as you said: love conquers all.
    I pray that your daughter will become a wonderful person and hopefully a philanthropist someday.

    Cheers!

  • http://www.facebook.com/arthur.coccolin Arthur Coccolin

    What worries me the most is the ex-husband spoiling the daughter. Sure there is a problem with the younger son not being as “richly raised” but the 11 year difference and the gender difference mean they wont compete over stuff.
    I’d say your biggest challenges are going to be making sure they get along and that the daughter doesnt become a brat.