Tag Archives: marriage

Thoughts on motherhood, reality TV style

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I am addicted to MTV’s entire teen pregnancy family of shows: 16 & Pregnant, Teen Mom, and Teen Mom 2.  Some of the moms are great, some seem WAY to immature to be parents, but all of them are growing up and parenting in their own ways, and I’m fascinated by their stories.

The dads, however, drive me crazy.  They range from totally uninvolved and clueless to really trying to be good parents, and in a few cases, are more responsible than the mother.  It’s almost shocking to watch how the girls go through physical, emotional, and psychological transformations, while some of the guys can’t tear themselves away the Xbox in their friend’s parents’ basement.

Paco hates when I watch these shows, because they stress me out so much.  I mean, why shouldn’t they, they’re about real people, right? Despite being 10-12 years older than most of the girls (I’m closer to their moms’ ages, in some cases), I identify with a lot of their struggles.  The GED is really hard!  My baby daddy won’t change diapers!  I’m not old enough to drive, how I can I take my kid to daycare?!  Theoretically, I’ve passed all of those teenaged obstacles, but won’t there just be other, equally challenging ones? Teen Mom and the We are the 99% tumblr have really fogged up my rose-colored glasses.

However, I’m trying to take a better perspective about the whole thing. Before we adopted Lando, I worried if we were responsible enough to handle a dog. As it turns out, we have given Lando (and Rascal!) an excellent home, and I suspect (hope!) that becoming parents will have the same happy ending.

Random tax tip for newlyweds

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Don’t change your withholding status on your W-4 to “Married,” if both you and your spouse work. There is a third box that allows you to select “Married” but to withhold at the higher Single rate.

The Married option is intended for single-income households. A smaller portion of your paycheck will be withheld, but you’ll end up with a large tax bill in April.

I’m not a CPA, so don’t take my word for it! (You probably shouldn’t take unsolicited tax advice as a general rule. . .) However, here’s the IRS’s explanation of the different withholding options.