By: Sheila Gaudet
Parenting comes with many decisions about caring for our kids. When our kids are babies those decisions include breast or bottle? Cloth or disposable diapers? Co-sleeping or “ferberizing?” Daycare or staying at home? As they get older it turns into which school is the best match for my child? Do we really want to commit to hockey every weekend for most of the year? Will the proposed puppy be a learning experience in responsibility or just another item on Mom’s to-do list?
Sometimes these decisions can be easy. We draw from our own experiences. We read books, magazines, and blogs. We talk to our friends, neighbors, and even strangers in the grocery store. Every decision is based upon what is best for my child and family.
Unfortunately, I’ve been put in the position of having to make difficult choices. I blame no one else; my choice of partners and husbands have led me to this place. It doesn’t make it easier, though.
When going through a divorce there are so many things to consider. It’s weird to go through a divorce with your children’s stepparent. When the person that you loved (and maybe still do) pledged to be there for you and your children, you want to believe that they will love them as you do, and often they do. When divorce enters the picture, though, that issue becomes irrelevant to the court.
My children and I originally moved to Massachusetts because it was where my husband’s family lived and was where his military unit was located. It was a collaborative decision that seemed to offer many benefits. Throughout our marriage, we made many decisions about careers and finances to provide stability for our family.
Now that we are in the hairy and difficult throes of divorce, every decision (even though they were made jointly) becomes a point of contention. My goal, as a mother, is to provide my children with as much love and stability as possible during this difficult time. They love my husband and have spent five years with him. Even though they are 10 and 16 years old, the divorce feels like rejection of them, as well as me.
I had hoped that I would be able to stay in town for two more years to allow my eldest son to finish high school here. Unfortunately, because we had made the decision for me to switch careers, I am now in the unenviable position of having tuition bills from that decision but no job (as I was unable to finish my certification). I have returned to work, taking on two part-time jobs. However, my salary will not allow us to stay in our family home. Unfortunately, I have to decide whether or not we will move back to our old hometown, where we came from four years ago. There, we have friends and family. I also have professional connections from living and working there for 10 years. It is not an easy decision, as I do not have a job yet. However, staying put is not an option either.
I try to put a positive spin on it for the boys, but they know how much it pains me to not be able to provide them with the that stability they want and that I promised them when we moved here four years ago. I worry about their ability to trust people and love them. I want my children to be confident enough to love with passion and without reservation, and I worry that I have deprived them of the innocence needed to do that. So, decisions must be made. Stay or go? Give or take? Laugh or cry? Somehow, I know in the end it will be all right, because we have each other and some amazing friends and family. However, I still wish I didn’t have to make this decision in the first place.