Every now and then, I read stories about parents being in such war that they end up taking their kids away from one of the parents. It always makes me so sad to read because if parents break up, it is their finest job to make sure that the children don’t feel the pain or heartache. If a child can have a life including both parents, they should have that right.
Years ago, I went through a child custody case that ruined me in so many ways. I never wanted to take my boy away from his father, nor did I want them not to have a relationship. But, my child was too little to live in two different homes plus he hadn’t slept at his dad’s place for about nine months and rarely saw him and all of a sudden, he had to live there for an entire week?! When my boy started getting sick by the still unknown illness, I fought with every bone in my body to make sure that he had the best life possible. I lost the custody case and my boy had to continue living a week with me and then a week with his dad. You want to know why I lost?
Well the psychologist who had to look into our case and into our lives felt like I was too naïve when it came to my son and his illness. She felt like I couldn’t really accept him being sick and I didn’t want to realize that within six months or so, all my boy would be able to do was to lie in bed, staring into the wall. What parent accept that? Besides, how on earth could she know that? I can now say that almost five years has passed, and my boy is not in his bed staring into the wall. He’s a happy kid filled with love and laughter – oh I can’t even tell you how often I’ve wanted to e-mail that stupid and incompetent psychologist to let her have a piece of my mind.
I can’t remember how much time passed by after the state administration’s decision, but it wasn’t long after that, that my ex called me to let me know that he couldn’t handle our son a week at a time. It broke my heart, not because my boy now had to live with me and only see his dad every other weekend but I had fought three years for that custody and it just seemed meaningless. Anyways, the weekend came where my boy had to go home to his dad on a Friday. On Saturday around lunchtime, his dad called me to let me know he couldn’t handle our son the entire weekend.
After that day, it all became chaotic and my son didn’t really see his dad.
My ex had a new girlfriend living with him and then he became a dad again, and again… but still didn’t see our boy.
About a year ago, I decided to see if there was somehow they could build a relationship. Not for my win but because I wanted to make sure that my boy had a dad in his life. His dad visited once and to be honest, the visit was not the greatest and my boy didn’t seem that thrilled about it. And after that visit my ex was once again too busy to see our son.
Some months ago, my ex and I had a discussion because the doctors gave us the result of the full DNA test that showed nothing else than a normal result. My ex started texting me all kinds of (sorry) pathetic words about how sad it was, how rough it was and the difficulty of understanding why the doctors couldn’t figure out what our son was/is suffering from. It’s not because I don’t agree; yes, it is extremely rough seeing your child sick but Tobias is actually making some kind of progress (apparently my ex can’t see that but then again, he doesn’t really know our son)… what made me angry about my ex’s texts was the fact that he was complaining how rough it was for him. So I wrote him back that he’s not the one changing our son’s diaper everyday (he’s turning 9 in march next year). He’s not the one helping our son in his clothes every day. He’s not the one trying to fight the systems because they won’t help since our son doesn’t have a diagnosis. He’s not the one taking our son to the hospital when needed. He’s not the one being there 24/7 for a boy who doesn’t sleep that much. He’s not the one being challenged to his core for trying to get through an education.
My ex wrote me back; what can I do? I answered; for starters, try to be there just a bit more often, engage yourself.
We tried it once more; my ex came by for a visit and had his other son with him. My son was actually enjoying it, not because of his dad but the other boy who’s not ill, so Tobias was smiling and laughing. So what happened after that visit? After my ex and I had agreed that we would do this on a regular basis?
His excuse is now his recent break-up. Plus he texted me that he felt like a failure because now he had three children with two different women and he wasn’t with either of them.
Some say; but Maja, why do you keep trying to rebuild the relationship between your boy and his ‘dad’? Because my mom has a very chaotic relationship with her dad and I’ve seen her struggle with it every now and then. I just want to make sure that I’ve tried everything possible so my son won’t come to me one day, thinking that I didn’t do enough. Maybe it is just too damn difficult to understand how a dad can just decide not seeing his firstborn. It is damn difficult to admit that I had a child with a ‘man’ who can’t be there for our son, a man who neglects others as soon as he’s not getting the attention he’s demanding.
I left my ex back in the day, because he drank too much and he cheated on me. I don’t want to go into details about it, but let’s just say that history has a habit of repeating itself.
Today I’m talking to my ex’s ex, and we actually get along and we’ve agreed to bring our children together. We don’t care that the dad isn’t there – we want our children to know one another.
Have I accepted the fact that my son actually doesn’t have a father in his life? To be honest; I don’t know if I’ll ever fully accept that but then again, I rather want him not to have a ‘dad’ if that dad only is available whenever he has the time. My boy deserves the world and he deserves a mommy who teaches him the true value of love. So that’s what I will try to do.
Besides, I’ve been alone raising my son for as long as I remember because my ex never really took the time to do so.
To all the single parents out there; I don’t care if you are a dad or a mom but please, think about the wars that you are creating, what’s the outcome? If both of you are loving parents, don’t ruin that. Please be thankful if you’re breaking up and have children, if the other parent still wants to be a part of your child’s life. Don’t ever let your own feelings take over. Embrace it if the other parent still wants to play a part in your child’s life. Too often, we hear about parents starting a war just because they know if they use the kids, they’ll hurt the other parent the worst way possible.
In my case, I tried but didn’t fail. You can’t force anyone to be a parent if they can’t see through their own misery.
I’m a VERY proud mommy and proud of myself for doing everything that I can. It’s about time that I face the music and accept that my son is without a dad. Maybe one fine day, I meet the man of my dreams…