A Family Court Judge Will Decide My Future

by Heather Sexton
Originally Published: 
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How did I get to this place?

Here I am, the day of my family court date, about to go in front of a judge who gets to decide how often my children should see me. I’m terrified, and my heart is breaking.

The whole thing absolutely blows my mind. My, and my children’s, future is being decided by a man who knows nothing about my children or the circumstances that led us here. Never would I have imagined when I saw their little faces for the very first time that I would end up in court years later fighting to see them, fighting to spend as much time with them as I possibly can. I don’t blame the judge, he is trying to do what is best for kids based upon the information he is given. Family court is absolutely necessary.

But, however inappropriate it may be, I want to go into the courtroom asking where was their father when I was up feeding them at 3 AM, or trying to sooth my oldest who had colic? Where was their father when I was going on day 2 with literally 1 hour of sleep and trying to hold everything together? Where was he when I was cleaning up puke on the floor when my youngest was up all night with a stomach bug? Where was he when I was fishing poop out of the bathtub when one of the boys decided to go in the middle of bathtime? I was knee deep in the trenches of parenting, and alone.

Their dad worked, sure, but I did too, and I made no excuses. I spent an entire day at work and then came home to two little boys who needed me like they needed the air they breathed. I made career decisions based on being able to be there for them, and I made sacrifices because that’s what love is. I don’t for a second look back and think I could have done more. I have done it all, every day, and did it without complaint.

Now that they are older and less needy, it’s time for the “hero” of the day to step in. Now that they are more independent, I’m being told my work is half done and now he is here to swoop in and save the day. Forget the days where I shuttled them to my work when they didn’t have school, took off work to care for them when they were sick, or brought them along to an outdoor track to hang out with me just so I could get a quick workout in.

My life has always revolved around those little boys, and it’s devastating to have them yanked away half the time because the hard part is over and now the other half of the parenting coin has decided to try to step up to the plate. I guess those times I was told “when they get older” he would step up have finally arrived.

So, why does the time I’ve put in until now get discredited? Why does the fact that I no longer want to fight every day and live in constant anxiety because of their dad’s temper become punishment that takes me away from my boys half the time?

I know sons need their fathers, I do, but you know what? Mom is just as important as she has always been. Who do they call when they need something? Who still wipes every tear and handles every embarrassing moment? Who is there for every ache and doctor appointment? Mom. She always will be, and she will always want to be. I have not been waiting in the wings for things to get easier. I have been in the thick of it since the day I read POSITIVE on that pregnancy test. Being in the thick of it has never been an option for me, I jumped in head first when I knew I was growing those little boys and no matter what the judge decides today or what their father demands, I am Mom and I always will be through all stages of their life and through every battle. I’m not going anywhere.

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