The Irony of the Single Parent in a Custody Battle, and the Requirement to be Perfect

As I drove away from the school today, dropping off my kids at the last possible second (think tazmanian devil whirling into the lot and us running into the school),  I am amazed that we made it on time and certain that God’s hand was in it.

I look around me and see other parents who are dropping off at the same time – some a few minutes later – where they will get the tardy.  There is one couple calmly pulling into the circle, which is only possible to do if you’re actually tardy, and happily hopping the kid out of the car.  There is another mom who is wheeling in with the same style as me.  I know her well – she is a single parent who is being tortured with case after case and motion after motion being filed against her from her psychopathic ex whom she never even married.

The irony?  The parents who have it the toughest will have every tardy harshly looked at and held against them… proof that we are unfit parents who can’t get our kids to school on time.  The parents who are in an intact, happy marriage who happen to drop the kids off late… no one is judging them or worrying about them.  Yet they happily share the responsibility of getting the kids homework completed, waking them up for school, meals, lunch packed, doctors appointments and sporting events.  Sometimes, these parents even speak of how hard parenting is (and it is a lot of work… no doubt about it).

Yet why is it that those of us who are doing this on our own are judged even harder?  As my attorney puts it… “welcome to the land of litigation”.  Yeah… well… it sucks.  We’re all human and we’re all doing the best we can!!    Just a little side bar… but I know others know the feeling 🙂

11 Responses to “The Irony of the Single Parent in a Custody Battle, and the Requirement to be Perfect”

  1. audrey holmes says:

    Also, I am a wonderful parent. I feel that for someone to tell me I am not has many issues of their own and I just consider the source.

  2. Heather says:

    Oops … Late to schoOl 1-2 times and hes late always. Of coursE I’ll use this to defend against his sister’s spurious accusations of abuse. The issue for you is that he’s a psychOpath with a narc. Injury. Get the fight away from kids as much as you possibly can. CPS will hurt rather than help. Engage him in minor crap… Make a huge deal about it… And make a huge deal about “losing.” in terms of “happily”‘married couples, over half of marriages end in divorce. I’m much much happier being divorced from him.

    • hmmmm… keep talking… engage him in minor crap, like the stuff that I don’t care about? I keep wondering what I can do with the child support motion he has on the table. Financially, he’s crumbling. I want to really push this fight because I don’t actually care about his money, but if I win it – it’s wonderful leverage for me.

      • Heather says:

        I would make a HUGE F-IN DEAL about the child support. Cry moan beg the court. You’ll have to revise expenses. You’ll have no idea how you’ll make it. File to increase it based on the amount of income he ***should*** be earning. Bring in past taxes. He used to earn 3X more and you think he’s just trying to hide income. I’d file a motion in response to INCREASE THE SUPPORT. This is the kind of behavior NARCS get. It’s the way they operate. No compassion. No caring. No sense of connection. No basis in reality. Your attorney if they aren’t a NARC will be very pissed off at you for this.

        Ok…well maybe if he considers giving up some weekend visition you’ll survive without that extra income for a bit…make the judge put a time limit on the reduction he’s looking for so he has to be nice to you when you hit the deadline (and then you can dangle some special time wiht kids on his weekends) but it’ll be REALLY REALLY HARD. Make everyone understand how hard it will be.

        Chess game. Chess game. Chess game. Feed his ego. He will be more rather than less stubborn if he feels attacked. If he needs the attack make it about something that’s an easy loss. But of course act like it’s the end of the world.

  3. KJ says:

    I don’t think it was my hyper vigilance that worked for me. I think it was the fact that I was/am a good mom and have my sons best interest at the top of my list ALL THE TIME. The court counselor didn’t even notice or note the cleanliness of my house (I had taken a cutip to the window sills!) she noted the easy interaction and funny conversation between me and my children, she could tell they were happy and comfortable in my house. She didn’t ask to see my menu for the week/month, what time we ate, or if my son ate vegetables, she didn’t talk to my neighbors, or mutal friends (though we were allowed to submit six letters from others). I guess what I learned from it all was I should of just lived my life because in my real life I am a good mom, a good housekeeper, good employee, good daugter, good sister, good aunt, good neighbor and a good friend.

    I won more time with my son and an ulcer from worrying…my ex won paying less money…the attorneys won a year worth of legal fees for something that never went to court. I feel a little bit lighter not having ‘court’ hanging over me but the weight of co-parenting with a NPD is still heavy as he still doesn’t comply with anything in the NEW agreement.

  4. KJ says:

    After just finishing round 2 of a custody fight I am so with you on this post. During the year between filing the motion and actually concluding the case I lived like I was under surveilance, I didn’t go out with friends because I didn’t want to be seen in bars, I kept my house too clean because I was afraid the court counselor would do a surprise inspection (even though she assured me she didn’t), my interactions with neighbors, mutual friends, even my other adult child was guarded,my attendance at work, his attendance at school, what we ate for dinner, when we ate dinner…I felt like my entire life was under a was exhausting. Hang in there!

    • Amen on that! But it worked for you??

    • audrey holmes says:

      WOW! I think it’s ridiculous. When my ex and his overstepping wife is ok with me, “YOu are the best mom”
      When they are mad at me, “Your a terrible mother”
      I did feel that I was under the microscope but now I don’t care to worry. I am not ending my life over someone who decided to be an asshole. I have a friend who watches her back and even looks for people following her bc of her ex. It’s sad really sad. Yet some married couples with a child aren’t that great of parents but they don’t have to feel this way. Only single parents has to be looked at closer. Discrimination people!!

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