…I’m Not Selfish, Crazy, or Any Sort of -Aholic or Addict, Either…
Most non-custodial moms are viewed as social oddities. Mothers don’t voluntarily give up custody of their children. Courts always side with the mother in custody battles. If your kids don’t live with you, then you lost custody because you were judged unfit in some way.
Okay, I’m a Workaholic and a Coffee Addict…
I also have an obsession with medical dramas and Jillian Michaels HIIT videos. But really, my vices stop there. I didn’t lose custody and I have never, ever, been judged unfit.
TheEx and I share joint legal custody of Leading Man #1. I voluntarily gave up residential custody because my son needed the house he grew up in, and I couldn’t afford the mortgage. I moved to MA for a job that would pay child support.
An Involuntary Voyage of Self-Discovery
The other reason people assume moms give up custody is because said moms decided they wanted to go on a voyage of self-discovery to a new life. Once again, myself and most of my non-custodial mom peers strike out here. Most non-custodial moms don’t start down what I call “the mother road” to find ourselves. Rather, we accidentally discover ourselves trying to be just as good to our kids as our residential mom peers.
I personally discovered myself somewhere along the Merritt Parkway on my – 30th, 40th, who’s counting? – trip through Connecticut to see my kid. I’ve also encountered her a couple times in IEP meetings called into from my car.
The Alien Mothers…
Most non-custodial moms fight for every second they get with their kids. We view those of us that don’t as the oddities. Motherhood is a choice, and once you make it, all of your other choices have to be at least in part about the child you created.
In Short, NOT a Goddess…
I’m really just a boring late 40-something Mom to an Autistic kid.
Ok, not boring. I take great pride in being the “fun parent” when I’m in New Jersey.
I’m also – like every other autism mom out there, a fierce warrior, raising arms against an elusive cognitive learning impairment, determined to do whatever they have to do to help their kid reach his full potential.