It’s a weird virtual world that I live in. I mean, here I am writing a blog about my life…it’s “out there” for the world to see. What that means is that it’s “out there” for the world to judge, too. My life…Sunshine’s life…what we do and how we choose to do it is subject to the opinions of anybody who reads our blogs. And because we both write for other websites, that only goes to increase our readership and, in turn, increase the number of opinions and judgements towards our lives.
Sunshine recently wrote a story for Parent Society that has received a ton of comments. The story was about what it meant to be a single mom as the comments progressed, it came up that a single mom needs to put her children first at all times but occasionally that doesn’t happen. You can find it here.
That comment, however, ended up “inspiring” this one that kinda got the both of us a bit upset…
Momma Sunshine, so if the kids should be a priority, how does that work with a parent choosing to move hours away from their kid to live with their girlfriend?
Yikes. This was obviously a shot at me and my decision to move to Sunshine’s city.
The initial reaction was one of anger. I mean, who is this person to sit there and try to judge my decision like that? Well…after some thought I realized that they had every right to judge me because I’ve laid it out there for the past four years. I can’t write about my inner-most thoughts and then expect people to always agree with what I do. That’s just arrogant and silly on my part.
The second reaction I had was one of confusion. Here I have been putting it all on the line and explaining exactly what’s going on and why, yet this person still didn’t seem to know what they were talking about. Or did they? Or should they? Does a reader need to read every single post ever written by me in order to comment on a decision that I’ve written about? No, I don’t think so. Again…just because a reader is uninformed doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to judge me based upon what they’ve read.
Now I’m at the point where I feel the need to defend myself. So let me try to be as clear as I possibly can about the situation:
My son absolutely is a priority to me. He’s my world and I love him dearly. The decision to move to another city was certainly not one taken lightly. In fact, I never thought I would be making that decision any time within the next ten years.
But then I began to really think about the situation I was in. First, I share joint legal custody of him but his mother has primary custody. I have my son every second weekend and for 90 minutes for supper once a week. I see him at soccer twice a week for an hour. Whenever he is sick, his mother and I usually split taking days off from work to look after him.
When I decided to propose to Sunshine, I asked my son about it first. Sure, he’s five…but he knows what marriage is and he immediately said that he wanted to be the ring-bearer. Awesome…that was one hurdle overcome. I then talked to his mom to let her know my intentions and she asked me about moving away.
We discussed it in detail at great length…it was something she was expecting from the very beginning so there had really been no surprises at this point. We knew that the relationship that I had with my son was solid…which was what I wanted it to be before even considering moving away. The plan was simple…come down every two weeks to have him for a weekend and Skype two to three times during the week so that we’re always in communication. She was not only encouraging of this plan, but we discussed it with my son and he was also okay with it.
Believe me…I would never be moving away if my son didn’t want me to. If he gave the slightest “no” during the conversation his mother and I had with him, this move wouldn’t be happening and I’d be preparing for a long-distance marriage right now.
Is this a perfect plan? Probably not. Will this plan work? I think so, yes.
Whenever Ankle Biter needs me, I’ll be there. If he has a school activity that he wants me to attend, I will make the trip. If something is wrong and his mom needs help, I will do my best to be there for both of them. If he needs me for any reason, I am only 2 1/2 hours away and have no problem making that trip for him. I’m not going to be an absentee dad. Rather, I’m going to be a dad who isn’t physically there 100% of the time but is still 100% available…if that makes sense.
So that’s it. That is me defending my choice to move to be with “my girlfriend” who, as of next year, will be my wife. I am far from perfect and this situation (i.e. the long-distance relationship) has never been one of convenience, but this decision is one that I’m okay with. It turns out, my ex and my son are also okay with it because we believe our plan will ensure I’ll always have a good relationship with my son.
So if it’s okay with me, my ex, and my son…I would think that it’s okay with you, too.
Thanks for letting me vent.