Why three of my children are in the full time care of their father.

Yes, honesty is the best policy. But sometimes, should we just shut up on sensitive topics knowing our honest opinion could add more hurt, necessary or not? Or do we just say it anyway, because it’s the truth and feelings about the comment are second fiddle because hey, at least we were honest?

I’ve had a comment rolling around in my head for the last few days, that I am not sure how to take. I don’t think it was intended with any malice, in fact I’m sure it wasn’t. But nevertheless, it’s cut me to the core. The thing that hurts about this the most, is that while it wasn’t said with malice, it was said with conviction.

I never knew how much conviction could hurt.

I struggle a lot with leaving my eldest three children. Sometimes I feel bad enjoying moments and being so present with the baby. How dare I enjoy her and her accomplishments, when I am not with the others enjoying their accomplishments.

Whilst the father and I share a pleasant co parenting relationship – communication could be better, and I often feel like I am being shut out. I don’t think he is doing this intentionally. He could be, and I would never know. I just think he doesn’t think. I talk to the doctor about this often and not much with others in my small circle. Judgement and fear is a huge factor in why I won’t.

“If I was him, I think not letting you see them would be better for them too.”

Comments like that is why I won’t.

Yes, I suffer from mental illness. Yes, I am getting help and I take medication daily. But this is where the justification of my decision comes in to play, and I hate it.

I never physically or verbally hurt my children. They are not emotionally or psychologically damaged from me. They are just in the full time care of their father, BY CHOICE AND WILLING CONSENT FROM BOTH PARENTS.

Nothing legally ordered, nothing funny.

And then I ask, would I have to be justifying myself so much if I was a male and and the roles were reversed? We have almost become desensitised to relationship breakdowns with fathers leaving. We are sad, but move on quickly.

A mother leaves and the shockwaves are much deeper.

The comment above came from someone who has been close to me and the situation and by far, this has been the most hurtful thing that has come out of their mouth.

I don’t think they realise I need those three children in my life as much as they need me in theirs; that not seeing them again would NOT be the best outcome. They are not old enough to comprehend the depths of this. All they would take from it is that their mother abandoned them and never saw or spoke to them again.

I try to be as present as I can. FaceTime, little things in the mail, photos and doing school readers over the phone is just some of it. I get copies of school reports and the newsletter emailed weekly. I pay sports fees, travel fees and buy uniforms.

I say goodnight to them in my head every night before I close my eyes, because not tucking them in each night and kissing their little foreheads is the thing I miss more than anything in the world. I miss their smell, the way my middle child closes her eyes and sighs when I sing “You are my sunshine” while she falls asleep.


I miss how my son likes me to make him a bubble beard in the bath and how my eldest wakes first before the others and sits next to me at the bench in the mornings, reading her book club magazine while I read the paper.

I love how much they love their little sister. How they talk to her on the phone, how they make her laugh and smile. I love that the eldest showed me the drawer of craft things she is making so I can hang it in her room. But how she won’t mail them, she wants to wait until we see each other to give it to me. I love how the baby knows these three are special to her. How they will forever be a part of her, and how she will be a part of them.

A lot of people are happy to tell you when you’re screwing up. Not many will let you know when you’re trying to rebuild that you’re doing ok. I suppose thats when you start learning a lot about yourself.

So if you’re reading this, It is not for the best. Your comment hurt me, deeply. You undid a few months of work where I had come to a point of acceptance with it. I don’t think you realise the impact of your comment. I shouldn’t have apologised for being weird after the comment. I won’t say it’s ok, because it’s not. Im not angry you said it. I’m happy you feel comfortable enough to say things like that. I don’t want you to filter your thoughts, I want you to know that.

I’m just sad you think that is all.

For more from Nicki Metljak follow her on Instagram, Facebook and her blog, The Scarlet Mother.

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