I’ll admit. It’s extremely difficult to be the kind of mom I want to be. My NX has made it quite hard for me to be a great mom. Why? Because of the many tactics he uses.
After the discard, I moved to live with and near family. It was well out of the state that he and I lived. He also had a child protective services case open against me, so if I had stayed in the same state, my visits would have been supervised. By moving out of state, the case was dropped.
After I moved out of state, he had no one to look after the kids should he have been deployed. So the military discharged him. He moved several more states away to live with his parents. A few months after that, he moved again. And a year after that, he moved again just one town over from where he was. A year after that, he moved again....this time, just one town away from his parents. A year after that, he moved again....this time, several more states away. They are still in that state. (But he’s moved twice more since living in that state, just to different towns.)
When thinking how I wanted to write this post, I knew I wanted to have some order to it. Some organization. So below I categorized my reasons into topics of why my NX has made it so hard for me to be a great mom.
Geographically far away
That’s one main reason it’s so hard for me to be a great mom. I am physically far away from my children. It isn’t cheap to visit with them, either. In the divorce decree, the NX made it my responsibility for pick up AND drop off. So because of the geographical distance, it isn’t cheap to purchase airline tickets all the time. Nor is it cheap for hotel stays, food, etc.
My discard was in May 2010. I saw the children in May 2012, July 2013, July 2014 and June 2016. Just four times since being discarded. And because of the expenses involved, I don’t anticipate seeing my children again until the summer of 2018! And if I don't have the money by then, it'll have to be the summer of 2019!
Another reason why it’s so difficult to be a great mom? I don’t talk to the children often, either. Whenever I do call, they’re either too busy or not home. And I have to GUESS when they’re home. When they are home, they’re too busy playing or they’re taking a bath or doing their homework, etc etc etc.
I’ve mentioned to the children that if they want to talk to me, they can call. But that doesn’t happen all that often. It evidently always has to be me to initiate the call.
I’ve begged repeatedly to Skype with the children. When he lived with his parents, Skype was a regular thing. (Because his parents had Wi-Fi!!) I’ve kept emails from him that consistently refused me Skype with the children. I broached the subject with him again just this past January. He said, “No webcam, no Skype.” He recalled that I had once said I’d buy the kids a webcam to make Skyping much easier. So I bought one. I Skyped once in January and once in March. Nothing since.
The last time I got pictures of the children from him was the summer of 2011. Every other picture I have of the kids was either from my personal visits with them, their school photos or photos I took while on Skype with them. (And one visit they had with my mom in the summer of 2015, and she took a TON of photos and sent me several.)
So what do I do to try to be a good mom?
My daughter is currently in her 7th school in just 6 years. Each school she has been in, I have always contacted the school immediately, found out the names of the teachers, and introduced myself. I maintain regular communication with the teachers and the school regarding my children’s education. I find out what company does school photos and I contact that company directly to order from them.
I call when I can. Though for 3 months following my June 2016 visit with them, I didn't speak with them. They had moved yet again, and the NX claimed it was because they didn't have a home phone number. But the NX has his cell phone!!
I have sent periodic emails to the children, too. It's an email the NX set up for the children that gets filtered through his email address. So while I do email the kids, who knows if they even SEE the emails! I also handwrite them letters and include a self addressed stamped envelope with a blank piece of paper in hopes they will write back.
My abilities as a parent are very limited because of the geographical distance and because my NX makes it VERY difficult for me to maintain any kind of regular contact with the children.
What I can’t do
I have no money for a lawyer to modify the divorce decree or even to fight for full custody. And my NX knows this. I also will never move closer. Why? Because my NX cannot stay put in a geographical location for long. On average, he moves once per year. And I will not go country hopping after him. I have been in the SAME home since April 2011. The money I do save is for each time I see my children in person. As I said, it isn’t cheap to see them.
That money I save will be greatly reduced soon enough. In September 2014, he opened up a child support review case on me. He feels I don’t pay HIM enough. Because the divorce happened in one state, I live in a completely different state, and he’s in a third state, this became a tri-state case. It took until December 2015 for me to get a simple letter stating that my monthly amount would increase by MORE THAN DOUBLE. But I haven’t been served with the official paperwork as of this posting. When I do, I will request a court hearing and fight this in court.
I do my absolute best to be in my children’s lives. But he makes it rather difficult. I can’t be the mom that I want to be to them. But I am the mom that I can be. They know I love them with all of my heart. They know I do what I can. And frankly, that’s what matters to me right now.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
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