Any moms with children living primarily with father? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-24-2011, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Whenever my ex-husband and I went to court over custody for our children I wasn't in a stable living environment and didn't have a steady job.  I chose to forego the "custody battle" and agree that they could live with him primarily.  It was not only a stable environment for them, but one they could (and have) thrive(d) in.  I especially don't get to see them as much now because my husband and I moved to be closer to his family, which puts me a few extra hours away from my two oldest.  

 

Anyways, I always hate having to say to people (whatever the situation may be) that my other two children don't live with me primarily.  I feel this need to explain the entire situation even though I know I don't have to.  I feel like people automatically assume I was a terrible mother because most of the time it seems the kids live mostly with their mom unless she has done something to not deserve custody.

 

Has anyone else ever gone through feeling like this?  I just feel so...terrible...when I'm put into a situation of explaining myself.


Hope this is the right forum to post this in, I didn't see another place it would have fit any better.


Wife to PJ. Mommy to Jacob, Summer, & Owen.
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#2 of 11 Old 10-25-2011, 02:32 AM
 
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Stereotypes hurt people in all sorts of ways.  In divorce, the stereotype that mothers should always have (and always fight for) custody; and that fathers aren't as good at parenting; can hurt men like my husband (for whom it took 8 years to win custody, when - under the circumstances - it never should have taken so long) as well as women like you, who can selflessly acknowledge that your ex had a better environment for the kids and let that be their primary residence.  

 

At least we should use our own unfair experiences to remind ourselves not to jump to conclusions about other people's situations, based on the superficial facts.  Good parents try to do what's best for their kids, not what's best for their own feelings, or their own image.  And what's best for the kids can vary widely, from family to family.


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#3 of 11 Old 10-25-2011, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post

Stereotypes hurt people in all sorts of ways.  In divorce, the stereotype that mothers should always have (and always fight for) custody; and that fathers aren't as good at parenting; can hurt men like my husband (for whom it took 8 years to win custody, when - under the circumstances - it never should have taken so long) as well as women like you, who can selflessly acknowledge that your ex had a better environment for the kids and let that be their primary residence.  

 

At least we should use our own unfair experiences to remind ourselves not to jump to conclusions about other people's situations, based on the superficial facts.  Good parents try to do what's best for their kids, not what's best for their own feelings, or their own image.  And what's best for the kids can vary widely, from family to family.


love.gif Thank You!!!
Seriously, I think someone just acknowledging that it's something that's sometimes best for the children and no bad reflection on the parent (necessarily) makes me feel better sometimes.  I'm a pretty happy person overall, but sometimes I just get depressed over the whole thing. I love my kids more than anything and I didn't do anything to "lose" them as it seems people like to think whenever I say that they live with their father.

 


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#4 of 11 Old 12-17-2011, 01:06 PM
 
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Right here. Sigh. But not by choice.

its awful to explain.

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#5 of 11 Old 02-27-2012, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't been on mothering for a bit so I just now saw this had another reply.
I don't know your situation, but *hugs* and I hope it gets better. My ex-husband is a great father and whatnot now...but when we first separated he was supposed to take the kids for a weekend and then just never brought them back. Which is legal here. I was insanely depressed for a while because I couldn't even go see my kids. Thankfully he grew up and I started being able to see them prior to the custody battle but yea...
Anyways I don't want to talk about that all in anymore detail because it's painful.

But again...*hugs*

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#6 of 11 Old 03-01-2012, 09:32 PM
 
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Having been a child of a mother who did not fight for custody of me, I want to caution you that I have serious abandonment issues that have plagued me through my childhood and adulthood. I understand that you have done the best thing for your children, but it is very important that they always know that is why you left them with their father - not that you didn't want them. What others think doesn't matter. What your kids think does.

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#7 of 11 Old 03-24-2012, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stTimeMama4-4-10 View Post

Having been a child of a mother who did not fight for custody of me, I want to caution you that I have serious abandonment issues that have plagued me through my childhood and adulthood. I understand that you have done the best thing for your children, but it is very important that they always know that is why you left them with their father - not that you didn't want them. What others think doesn't matter. What your kids think does.


I tell them on a regular basis why we made this choice, so I hope that we won't have those issues.  I add in things like asking my oldest how he would feel if he had to move away from his best friend Michael right now and he tells me how sad he would be and I explain that if I had him come live with me he would live very far from Michael and wouldn't get to play with him every day.  He just smiles and tells me that he knows I love him because I want him to be happy...so I know he knows.  Summer is only 3, but I tell her how much I love her and why we did this but she doesn't understand so much yet.  I know that as they get older as long as I make them understand that we'll have no problems with abandonment.  My grandmother had custody of me and my mom did it because she knew it was best for me...she just let me know all the time how much she loved me and she made that choice *because* she loved me and I understood that as I grew up, hopefully my kids do the same.


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#8 of 11 Old 04-05-2012, 10:38 PM
 
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No judgement for not being the non-custodial parent from me (at all!) but would like to know how you rationalized moving so far from them?  How come your husbands family gets to have you close by and not your kids?

 

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#9 of 11 Old 04-07-2012, 01:10 AM
 
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Absolutely agree with Jeannine.

 

Dandelionkid - if you don't want to your questions to be taken as judgemental, I would recommend rewording your post.


Amara ~ Married to my HS sweetheart, we're having a blast with baby Z (1/29/2011)

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#10 of 11 Old 04-07-2012, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yea...definitely feeling judged when the situation wasn't known.

We had to move here for financial reasons.  My husband and I were both managers and the place closed to move, it was under the table so we couldn't collect unemployment.  After talking up everything really big about us getting work while it was moving (helping build the seating in the new place, etc) the owner instead decided to hire a bunch of highschool kids who would work for cheaper because he was going to have to start doing everything more legit and didn't want to have to pay my husband and I the wages we had prior to the move.  We lived in a small college town and were unable to find work anywhere else including fast food places, and with a baby on the way (which we had planned because we THOUGHT we had job security especially with us supposedly going to being on the books) we NEEDED work.  My in-laws told us that if we could move down here (about 6 hours away) that they would be able to help us financially and his dad is well known in the community so they could help us find work.  Now that we're here we have steady work (I'm also in doula training) so we have the money to see them more often than we got to whenever we were only 2 hours away.  I made that post in October, this is now April and I see them WAY more than I did even when we lived closer.  When we first moved here I only saw them once each month because we were still getting stable.  However, now we're quite stable.  Hubby works at a restaurant full-time and I work full-time at an organic market while also doing my doula training.  Life is good, so I don't like feeling judged without someone knowing the entirety of our situation.


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#11 of 11 Old 04-27-2012, 11:19 PM
 
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I'm sorry mama. I know that my situation is totally different from yours, but I have faced a lot of judgment in the journey with my child and I. My son was conceived unexpectedly in one of the most horrid situations one could imagine, and I was judged by everyone from my family to my co-workers. being single and pregnant was extremely hard, and now when we go out and about, strangers always inquire about our situation and ask where his father is and other various questions that are absolutely none of their business. I felt (feel) the same obligation to explain my story and why its better that DS'  father isn't involved. Anyway, i know its a different situation, but i have felt the feeling of judgment and stereotypes, and it sucks. Its painful. I am so sorry that you've felt this way mama. It seems like you know you've chosen the right thing for your children, so my only advice would me to hold fast to that in the tough and painful times. You know you're doing the right thing, and no one can judge you from the outside, no one truly knows what the situation is. 

GL!

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