Lurking in the shadows of part-time parenting are many emotions.
Doubt, fear, uncertainty, anger, bitterness, but one of the worst for me is LOSS
LOSS, every time they go back to their dad’s.
I grieve every time. It doesn’t matter if they were with me for one day or 14 days, I grieve.
It doesn’t matter if it’s our twice a week visits, holiday visits, birthday visits, or our six weeks of summer visits. I grieve
When I drive that route to and from returning them to their dad’s, I grieve.
That grief is always there, lurking in the shadows
One of the most difficult times for me is when I go back to the part-time visitation schedule
I remember when they lived with me full time I made comments such as: “I just need a break. I never have any time to do what I want to do”
Well, I eat crow a lot now because when they are away, all I think about is how much I wish they were with me every moment.
For the longest time I believed I was being punished for saying such horrible things about needing a break and for complaining about never having time for me.
I’ve learned God and life don’t work that way.
I’ve learned it’s okay to need a break, need time to myself, and to miss them like crazy when the boys are not here.
I’ve learned time apart is not punishment nor is losing full time custody of my children.
I never understood when I would hear that God works all things for good. I would always, ALWAYS, roll my eyes when someone would say that to me.
I didn’t understand that same phrase didn’t mean bad things wouldn’t happen nor did it mean my life would be over when bad things did happened.
You’ve heard this one, right?
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Going from a full time stay-at-home mom to a part-time parent was very painful, VERY PAINFUL! How could there be good in that? I’ve asked myself and God this question a million and one times, eh maybe more.
As time has passed, I am more capable of seeing how much the loss of custody as grown me. How God needed me to learn to be grateful and thankful for many things in my life, including time with my boys. I don’t believe these are the only things, but they are the ones I see right now.
When something is right under our noses, our children are right under our feet all the time, we can begin to complain about it or take it for granted. I think this happens in marriages too, but that’s for another day.
When bad things happen, as I see it, we have two choices:
Let it destroy us
Let it grow us
I struggled for a good long time as I made the choice, albeit not conscientiously, to let the custody battle and change destroy me.
Many times I let myself believe as the world believed, that I was a BAD mom.
THAT IS JUST NOT SO
Looking back over the last 6 years I can tell you exactly where God has grown me.
I can tell you many of the things I needed to learn.
I did not see it in the middle of the battle, nor did I see it a year later, two years later.
Every day I see and feel little things that suddenly make sense to me.
Don’t get me wrong, moving to part-time parenting status was never in my plans and it SUCKS on most days, BUT God has taken that terrible, horrific ordeal and made good things from it.
I think I had to ‘hit rock bottom’ or the closest thing to it for me, in order to decide to make time with my boys QUALITY and not simply QUANTITY.
It can be so difficult sometimes, as a full-time parent, to remember what a blessing it is to have our children with us all of the time. We can lose track of our gratitude.
I wouldn’t wish loss of custody on my worst enemy, it was exactly what I needed though to treasure my children and the time I get with them.
Our relationships are stronger for it and I am grateful!
That certainly doesn’t mean I don’t long for them to be back with me full-time, nor does it mean I don’t miss and long for every single moment I’m not able to be there in their everyday lives.
What it does mean is this:
I am now able to count it all as joy! Sounds crazy I know, but its true.
Even through the pain, hurt, sadness, emptiness, and every other emotion I feel when the boys are not with me, I count it as joy and know that my GOD is an awesome God and has my best interest at heart!
James 1: 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Troubles are going to come, pain is inevitable, but in all things trust that you are loved beyond belief and God is working even if you can’t see it.
I’m learning to believe and live it.
Till Next Time,
What do you take for granted?