In the event of break up, most of the time people don’t just move on, they move. Changing geography may be the only way to cope financially as well as emotionally. So right then and there you take on more than heartache. You take on guilt. You are now burdened with the task of breaking the move to the kids. It doesn’t matter if the other parent is a great parental unit or a dead beat. Your children often do not see things in this light. All they know is they are now missing one half of their normal routine and life. Guess whose fault it is in your child’s eyes? Yours because you are the one that moved.
The Sad Truth
When you love your child, you try and comfort them. Often by saying, “don’t worry, you can visit”. What if the other parent doesn’t help with child support? What if they have never came to see the product of their so called everlasting love you once shared? What if they refuse to pay half the expenses to ensure your child’s desperately needed visit happens?
You are angry. You are resentful. You are once again hurt and conflicted. This is not fair. Why is it okay to fork out money hand over fist when they refuse to lift a finger to help your children visit? You get stuck making arrangements, footing the bill, taking off work and doing the shuffle. Bet most of you thought you were off the hook when the lawyer had you sign on the dotted line, huh? This just isn’t the case. Marriage and long term relationships do not get the luxury of true division when kids were produced.
Fantasy & Reality
I would love to look down at my children and tell them what parents really are as people, as individuals. But, I don’t. The divorce was hard enough on them. I sometimes sit back and revel in the fact that they will know what their other parent was like when they become adults. However, I also realize again, this just isn’t so. I couldn’t tell them bad things about the person they love even as adults. So, what do you do? You put your kids on a plane, make travel arrangements, pay for their expenses and protect their innocence as much as you can.
Most days being a single parent is hard to swallow. I never realized that being the good guy to my kids would cause so much resentment toward what used to be my other half. I never realized how guilty I would feel telling my children no when they want something I should have been able to afford had all gone according to plan. It is easy for people to say, “it isn’t your fault” or “just don’t do it”. Doing the right thing to make your child happy can sometimes make you unhappy. You just have to figure out what is more important. Bringing your child happiness or getting a dig in toward your ex. Money cannot buy happiness, but a plane ticket and some scrambling can mean the world to your kids. Most days, I drink my cup of resentment with 2 scoops of guilt. I know tomorrow I will do it again and that is just fine by me.