Not all non-residential parents live near their children. Being a parent means supporting all of your child’s needs, including their financial ones. As the workplace has changed over the years, so have the places people can actually get work.
As a result, many non-custodial parents, including yours truly, live more than an hour’s travel time from their children. Sometimes it’s just that – a different part of the same state. Sometimes, it’s a few states away: say, Boston when your child lives in New Jersey. For others it’s a plane ride.
Just like a non-custodial mom is still a Mom, a long distance parent is still a parent. We have all of the same worries and woes of our local and residential peers. We are the ones the school calls when they cannot find our fearless co-parent, because we know how to get them. We get calls from the principal’s office. We juggle school events and visitation schedules with blended family schedules and work. There is an empty room in our homes set up for the conspicuously absent child we are carrying in our hearts. We have Amazon Prime for the exact inevitable moment we find out a school project, concert uniform, sports equipment is needed on Monday.
When we cross – via plane, train, or automobile – that state line to where our children are waiting for us, our smiles get brighter and our hearts get lighter.
Non-custodial parents who live nearby and don’t take advantage of every second they could have with their children are anathemas to us. We fight for every moment. We cherish every second.
Our heart breaks when, at the end of the day, long weekend, week, summer vacation, our children return to their residential parents, but we do not stop being Mom or Dad.
You don’t stop being a parent when your child is not in your presence…