Being a mom is the hardest job I’ve ever had. I became a mom at the young age of 18, just barely out of high school. I met my son’s father when I had just turned 16, he was 19. Right after I turned 18, two months before I was to graduate high school I found out I was pregnant. I was terrified…about everything….but I was most terrified of telling my mom. Our relationship became very rocky right after I started dating my son’s dad. She didn’t approve of him and it only pushed me further to him. He was my rebellion. As I expected she did not take my being pregnant very well. However by the time my son was born she became just like any new grandmother would…totally smitten with him.
My son’s father I and did marry the following summer but split up for good one year later. I was 20 and our son wasn’t quite 2 years old. Just like any divorce we had to go through custody and child support. We both have joint custody with me being his primary custodial parent. Over the past 13 years my son has gone to his dad’s on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of the month, split holidays, and one month during the summer. It wasn’t easy at first but we made it work. It’s our normal. Even though my ex and I haven’t always been on good terms, I’ve always tried to compromise and let him have extra days with our son, or get him other times that technically is not his visitation time. I’ve always tried to look at the situation from his side and how it must suck to not have your child living with you 24/7. I’ve always been thankful that he has a dad that wants to be involved in his life.
I always knew that the older our son got there may come a day he may choose to live with his dad. Well that day is now. He has been trying to tell me for about a year now, but he didn’t know how. He was afraid I would get mad or that my feelings would be hurt. If we were in the middle of an argument he would say he wanted to go live with his dad, but because we were in the middle of an argument I never took him seriously. I just thought oh he is mad and just saying this to get me more upset. However, he did mean it, he just never knew how to tell me.
So what am I going to do you ask? I’m going to let him. The monthly visit in the summer is no longer enough, he wants more time with his dad. What good will it do to our relationship if I stand in his way? I don’t want my son to resent me for not letting him go live with his dad. Resentment only breeds anger and possibly rebellion. Those who know the situation with my ex over the years are probably reading this and thinking I’ve truly lost my mind. There comes a time when you have to let your child/teenager make their own decisions about certain things and this is one of them. Our son is almost 15 years old, he is old enough to make this decision, and he has the right to as well. If this was 10 years ago I would definitely be questioning this and I would definitely have said no. This decision was not made over night, nor was it mine or his dad’s decision to make. My ex and I have spent a lot of time talking the last couple of weeks. We both sat our son down and talked with him to make sure this is what he wanted. My ex has always wanted him to live with him, but he also wanted it to be for the right reasons. He didn’t want him to come running to live with him if he is mad at me or if he thinks it will all be fun and games over at his house. I asked my son to be completely honest with me about his reason. He told me why and I get it. He is not doing this out of spite, he just wants to be with his dad. What teenage boy wouldn’t want to live with their dad if given the choice?
I’ve prepared myself the last couple of years knowing this day may come. I’ve prayed about it a lot. I’m at peace with this decision. A year or so ago my feelings would have been different. I want my son to be happy. Who knows, he may decide he doesn’t like it over there and decide to come back home. My door is always open to him and he will know this. This will be his last week in the only school district he has ever known. He will start a new school on Monday. I am super nervous for him. I can only imagine how hard starting a new school your freshmen year of high school would be. Thankfully he already has a few friends from his dad’s neighborhood that he can hang out with. The visitation will just switch. I’ll get him on 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends, split holidays, and a month in the summer. It will be an adjustment for me, but just like I got used to it once, I’ll learn to get used to this as well. I’d be lying if I said this was easy for me or that I am not sad by it. But the thing is, it’s not about me, it’s not about my ex, and it’s not about any issues we may have between us, it’s about our son and what he wants. The decision is his and I will fully support him.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6