Should mom leave son with his dad to take far-f lung job?
Q: My cat Stewy likes to chew on plastic. I do my best to keep things away from him but you’d be surprised at how much
Dear Carolyn: I immigrated to marry a man I’d dated for four years. It was an incredibly abusive relationship and I inally managed to leave after 11 years. I was unemployed and without family or friends.
After two years I’ve found an amazing job and have done brilliant work in my community. I’m literally receiving awards for my work. Our 12-year-old child has not only adjusted but thrived. We co-parent well and actually maintain a very solid friendship. I’m even friends with his new partner. I’m surrounded by loving friends and “found” family. I’m in a loving, supportive relationship.
All in all life is perfect. But. I’ve been offered my dream job 12 hours away. During our divorce we agreed our child has a say in his living situation should I move. I’m pretty con ident he will choose to stay in his hometown, but hopeful he will choose to move with me.
I’ve made peace with it. The logistics aren’t that hard to manage. But I feel guilty. Society judges absent mothers so harshly. I’m worried about him having the support and compassion he needs.
I’m worried I’m abandoning him and he will end up with weird issues.
I feel justi ied after so many years of abuse and sacri ice that I deserve to chase my own dreams.
But am I being sel ish?
— Woman on Hold
You have an amazing job and loving friends and “found” family and your child is thriving and you’re in love and you’re a ... “Woman on Hold”?
They’re your feelings to feel, but I see room for you to reframe your view of your life, if you wanted to.
As you did just a few paragraphs prior, with, “perfect.”
I also don’t think it’s possible to make “peace with it” and “feel guilty” and be “worried,” all about the same move.
Just facts: The price you pay for a bad decision here won’t be charged to your public-image account — it’ll come straight from your kid’s emotional health.
Yet, as you describe your decision, it will take either his mother or his father out of your son’s day-to-day life, because “I deserve to chase my own dreams.” How is this not sel ish? That’s not a rhetorical question; my advice for you is to answer it.
If you really are just talking about dream-ful illment beyond your current perfection, then your decision feels heavily optional.
The chances you’ll have other dreamy career opportunities, especially if you’re “brilliant” at it: excellent.
The chances your child will have another crack at childhood: zero.
You’re also dumping a horri ic choice on your child. Who, presumably, has just found stability after being put through a wringer by his parents’ abusive marriage and divorce.
One promising element is that you’re even torn about it. You don’t say so yourself, but your peaceguilt-worry pretzel does.
Of course, the only one whose vote counts is your son.