I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot lately but really haven’t had time to write it out.
It dawned on me recently why I struggle with the idea of not being near my kids, even for a short period of time.
I started thinking back to my childhood and something that I had never thought of before started weighing heavily on me. At one point in my life I didn’t live with anyone in my family.
When I was 4 my parents divorced. I started out living with my mom but shortly after moved in with my dad and grandma instead. I didn’t like living with my mom as her boyfriend (who was 20 years older than her) creeped me out. I moved into my grandma’s farm house with her. My grandma always said one day my dad showed up with me in one arm and my cat in the other.
My dad was (and still is) a truck driver. He used to be gone a lot but now has local routes. At one point I remember he had a trailer in the town he loaded from often and I remember visiting him there.
So at one point my grandma has hip surgery and I was moved to her friends house down the road temporarily. Well that friend passed away so I was moved to another friends house along with the 3 teens that I lived with. The second house I knew well because her grandson that lived with her was a year younger than me.
After that things get a little fuzzy for me but here’s what I think I remember. I know I was almost 8 and had a girl scouts outing and dad was supposed to pick me up. Grandma was there instead. (This leads me to believe I was living back with grandma at this point). I asked her why dad wasn’t there but she didn’t really answer me. The next morning my dad takes me to the hospital and tells me I have a baby sister. Yep, girlfriend knocked up. I was too young to understand then. I actually was excited because I always wanted a sister.
Next thing I know my dad is building a house next door to grandma’s on family land. The 4 of us move in. A couple years later my dad and step mom marry and 3 years after that my brother comes along (I was 14 by this point).
Because of this, I now feel I was abandoned by both my parents at one point in my life. You can see I never went back to live with my mom during any of this.
So what the hell happened? I don’t know. Clearly my parents relationships with other people were more important than their only child. Who leaves their child to live with family friends? Being a mom now I would NEVER do that unless I had no other choice. The only thing that would stand in the way of me not being with my kids is inability to care for them or death. Anything else I feel is a bullshit excuse.
So with all this weighing on my mind lately I understand why I would rather spend anytime not working with my kids. Everyone says it’s so important to have date nights and stuff but you know what, not being away from my kids more than 8-10 hours a day is what’s important to me. I don’t ever want my kids to think I wasn’t here for them.
Of course now I have questions for my dad but I don’t know that I would ever ask them. We used to be close. We’ve drifed now. I’m so annoyed with him enabling my siblings and barely making time for us that I just want to keep my distance.
I wish my grandma was still alive. I would ask her and I know she’d be honest with me. I miss her. If it wasn’t for her I can’t even imagine how this story would be different.
So there’s that. I hope someday my kids realize that they have parents who love them very much and never want them to feel the way I did as a child.