Saturday, May 20, 2006

Ask RSG

Recently I received an e-mail from "Kim," another RSG who had a question about leaving her relationship and about leaving her child. Her question went like this:

Can you dedicate a post to those of us who may be leaving, and possibly be
even giving up custody of their kids? For me, it's because I'm a full-time,
many-degreed professional who needs to put in way over 40 hours a week while
my husband is a blue-collar kind of a guy who gets home by 4 each day. In my
case it's because it's in my son's best interests, but I suppose there are
lots of ladies out there who just leave to leave.

I had to think a lot about this because I certainly didn't want to have any kind of judgement surrounding it. I think that it's important to weigh out all of the factors in any kind of custody arrangement concerning children, but as a mother and the primary caregiver for my own children, it's difficult for me to imagine giving that up.

I have strived to have my children's life stay as close to the way it was as possible, and I think that is what Kim is trying to do as well. There are several factors to take in to consideration, the most important being that you do not want your child to feel as though he has been abandoned in any way. It is important to establish and maintain as much normalcy as possible and keep the childs standard and way of living as close to the same as can be. This would mean, not moving far away from your child, making sure that you are still able to participate in the same capacity as before; going to parent/teacher conferences, attending school concerts and sports events. Do not use the fact that you are not in the same house as an excuse to no longer parent your child. If you are unable to share physical custody, be sure that you have ample visitation and also see your child throughout the week. Kim didn't mention how old her child was, but he shouldn't be going more than a few days without seeing his mother, even if it's just for dinner every other night. Some sacrifices in work and social schedules may need to be made to insure that he feels as though he is loved and safe, and that is what children need, no matter what their family dynamics are; to feel loved and safe.

Children need to know and be made to know, that BOTH of their parents love them and will always take care of them and keep them safe. This is true of any divorce or separation situation; not just one where a mother leaves because she is a lesbian.

Women who do leave their relationships because they are a lesbian have a whole bunch of other things to address, but that stuff is really seperate from their children. The children need to know that their mother loves them and that's all. When the time comes to address your sexuality; that will be a different issue all together.

People leave their relationships for a lot of different reasons; one's sexuality is only one of them. It's important for people to live their lives as who they are and not pretend to be someone that they are not. It's important to be true to yourself and the people around you; including your family. If you are who you are, and are living your life fully and truly; your happiness will be reflected to the others around you, including your children.

Being good to yourself and true to yourself will make you a better mother; but being a mother is the primary responsibility. You can still live your life the way you want to live it, and fulfill the duties of being a parent at the same time; it's just a bit of a balance.

Good luck to you Kim, and to other women who may be struggling with the same issue. It is important to keep your child's best interest, but the child's best interest almost always involves parenting from both parents.

8 Comments:

Blogger Pissy Britches said...

This is a great post.
You rock girl.

Saturday, May 20, 2006 4:44:00 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

She's right, you do rock.

This post is one example of why I adore you. Children have to come first. Period.

Well done, my dear.

Saturday, May 20, 2006 6:18:00 PM  
Blogger me said...

You should totally apply to be an advice columnist at Girlfriends, or Advocate. I'm being serious here. Your advice was sound, and sensitive.

Sunday, May 21, 2006 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger Deadly Female said...

Wow, great post xx

Sunday, May 21, 2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger pack of 2 said...

Well said Woo!

Angie

Sunday, May 21, 2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Dr H.O. Potamus said...

Say,

You wanna do a

"Ask RSG and the Expert Dr H.O. Potamus" series?

Sort of a point/counterpoint theme..

I didn't think so...

Dr H.O. Potamus--->Dejected

Sunday, May 21, 2006 7:29:00 PM  
Blogger Kami said...

Hippo is a damn nut.

RSG is da bomb.

Great post, my dear.

XOXO

Monday, May 22, 2006 7:09:00 AM  
Blogger patti_cake said...

I can't imagine leaving my child but there are alot of situations I may not understand.Until you walk a mile in another one's shoes of clay you cannot judge them.
Great post RSG

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 1:06:00 PM  

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